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KaKaLaK is an annual publication of poetry and photography by North and South Carolina writers and photographers. All work is selected through contest which has a May deadline. Guidelines for the next upcoming contest will be posted on the MSR website starting in January of that year.

ISBN: 978-1-59948-490-7
168 pages, Cover price $15.00

Released: October 21, 2014

(OUT OF STOCK. Inventory on all copies of this title belong to the current publisher).


2014 Poetry Award Winners:

Richard Garcia (1st Place)
Jenny Hubbard (2nd Place)
JS Absher (3rd Place)

Honorable Mentions:

Sari Weston, Bill Griffin, Libby Swope Wiersema, Emily Wilmer, Mary Kratt, Sally B. Miller

2014 Art Award Winners:

Allison Anne Brown (1st Prize)
Jeannette Brossart (2nd Prize)
Kathleen Pompe (3rd Prize)
Ruth Ilg (Cover Art)

Honorable Mentions:

Sharon A. Sharp, Catherine Anderson, Heather Dearmon, Steve Lautermilch

William Aarnes (Clemson, SC) has published two collections, both with Ninety-Six Press: Learning to Dance (1991) and Predicaments (2001). He teaches at Furman University.

Anthony S. Abbott (Davidson, NC), Professor of English Emeritus, Davidson College, is the author of seven books of poetry. His most recent is The Angel Dialogues (Lorimer Press, 2014).

JS Absher (Raleigh, NC), author of two chapbooks, Night Weather (Cynosura, 2010) and Burial of Anyce Shepherd (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2006), recently had two poems selected for Southern Poetry Anthology.

Malaika King Albrecht (Ayden, NC), author of What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53), Spill and Lessons in Forgetting (both from Main Street Rag Publishing Company), is the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild.

John Amen (Charlotte, NC) is the author of four collections of poetry. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine (www.thepedestalmagazine.com).

Catherine Anderson (Charlotte, NC), author of The Creative Photographer (Lark Books, 2011) teaches photography, SoulCollage® and creativity workshops and retreats in North Carolina, Italy, France and South Africa.

Pam Baggett (Cedar Grove, NC) has recent poems appearing in the Barefoot Muse Press Anthology Forgetting Home: Poems About Alzheimer’s, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina.

Tina Barr (Black Mountain, NC), authored The Gathering Eye, winner of the Tupelo Press Editor’s Award. She has received fellowships from the NEA, MacDowell Colony, & the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Libby Bernardin (Georgetown, SC) has published two chapbooks: Layers of Song (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and The Book of Myth (Stepping Stones Press, 2009), a past winner of The South Carolina Poetry Initiative contest.

Bill Blackley (Elkin, NC) is past President of the North Carolina Poetry Society and Director of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series. He has three Pushcart nominations and is published selectively.

Cheryl Boyer (Waxhaw, NC), contributor to Kakalak, Iodine Poetry Journal, and The Main Street Rag, often subjects her family to her pen or lens. You can find her at www.myferriswheel.com.

Barbara Brannon (Lubbock, TX) studied poetry with James Dickey at the University of South Carolina, where she earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Her poems have appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, and Yemassee, among other venues.

Peg Bresnahan (Cedar Mountain, NC), author of In a Country None of Us Called Home, (Press 53, 2014), was thrilled when she heard Garrison Keillor read the title poem from that book on The Writer’s Almanac.

Doris Thomas Browder (Rock Hill, SC) is grateful for the support of her writing groups. She collects family stories and often finds poems there.

Allison Anne Brown (Greer, SC) was born and raised in the upstate city of Greenville, SC. Specializing in ceramic sculpture, she now works out of a studio in the old Taylor’s Mill.

Beth Browne (Clayton, NC) has many of her published works displayed on her website at BethBrowneBooks.com. She lives with her partner and her two teenagers and sails in Pamlico Sound.

Jeannette Brossart (Durham, NC) has been a professional mosaic artist since 2003. Her mosaic work can be viewed at www.mothernaturemosaics.com.

Patrick Bryant (Rock Hill, SC) recently completed a road trip traveling counter clockwise around the United States and is currently working on his first novel, Hum. Get ready.

Laura Jane Burgess (Rock Hill, SC) is a recent college graduate who studied creative writing because she must enjoy rejection. This publication comes as a welcome deviation from the norm.

Terry Butler (Greenville, SC) prefers to work in mixed media compositions using assemblage to create tactile textures. He builds textural images with collage, impasto, and found art, and painting with acrylics.

Beth Ann Cagle (Charlotte, NC), an editor of Kakalak, senior editor of moonShine review, poet, author, and photographer, has also served as a newspaper reporter and college educator.

Seth Campbell (Raleigh, NC) recently escaped the corporate world to contemplate life and pursue his dream of being a writer. His first published poem appears in this edition. Agere sequitur esse.

Catherine Carter (Cullowhee, NC), author of The Memory of Gills (LSU Press, 2006) and The Swamp Monster at Home (LSU Press, 2012), teaches at Western Carolina University.

Michael Colonnese (Fayetteville, NC) directs the Creative Writing Program at Methodist University and serves as the Managing Editor of Longleaf Press. His poetry collection, Double Feature, won the 2013 Gell Poetry Prize.

Russell Colver (Durham, NC) lives and writes as part of a large, intergenerational, multi-species family. She is in the process of retiring as an ADHD life coach.

Barbara Conrad (Charlotte, NC), author of Wild Plums (FutureCycle Press, 2013), and The Gravity of Color (Main Street Rag, 2007), edited Waiting for Soup (2004), a collection gathered from her workshops with homeless neighbors.

Julie Ann Cook (Rock Hill, SC), author of Love Like Weeds (Main Street Rag, 2013), creates for/with her household of boys: railways, forts, meals, messes, music/noise, memories, photos, paintings, poetry. www.julieanncook.com

Steve Cushman (Greensboro, NC), is the author of two novels, a short story collection, and most recently the poetry chapbook, Hospital Work (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

Debra Daniel (Columbia, SC) is author of Woman Commits Suicide in Dishwasher (Muddy Ford Press) and two chapbooks, Downward Turn of August (Finishing Line Press) and As Is (Main Street Rag Publishing Company).

Heather Dearmon (Columbia, SC) has received awards for her poetry and art in previous editions of Kakalak, including the first prize for poetry in 2009. Her chapbook water unto light was recently published by Finishing Line Press.

Jan Donaldson (Fayetteville, NC) taught creative writing for nine years at Fayetteville Technical Community College. She earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Sarah S. Edwards (Pinehurst, NC) is a retired clergyperson and a fairly young poet who lives happily in Pinehurst without playing golf.

Hillary Frye (Fairview, NC) is a North Carolina-born artist who grew up in Upstate South Carolina and returned to North Carolina to study art at Appalachian State University. Now a professional artist, she lives in the mountains Western North Carolina.

Janice Moore Fuller (Salisbury, NC), Professor of English at Catawba College, published her fourth poetry collection, On the Bevel (Cinnamon Press) this year in Wales. Her book Séance won the Oscar Arnold Young Award in 2008.

Richard Garcia (James Island, SC) is the author of The Other Odyssey (Dream Horse Press, 2014) and The Chair, forthcoming this fall from BOA Editions. He shares his island abode with his wife, Katherine Williams, and their dog, Max.

Michael Gaspeny (Greensboro, NC) won the 2012 Randall Jarrell Prize and the 1998 O. Henry Short Fiction competition. His chapbook Vocation is available from Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

Nichole Gause (Charlotte, NC) lives with her awesome spouse and three incredible kids. Her work includes poetry, fiction, and plays. She can be found at www.nicholegause.com.

Wendy H. Gill (Matthews, NC) is the owner of Professional Communications, a creative video production agency. Her poems and essays have appeared in a variety of regional and national publications.

Bill Griffin (Elkin, NC) is a small town family doctor and former Poet-in-Residence at the NC Zoo for the Poetry of Conservation project. http://GriffinPoetry.com

Ed Gold (Charleston, SC) has a chapbook, Owl, and poems in the New York Quarterly, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, and many others. He is a grateful member of the Long Table Poets in Charleston.

Jennifer Halls (Fort Mill, SC), author of The Runes Workshop, is a fulltime intuition development facilitator and consultant (since 1997, www.Youknow.net) and artist (www.WingmakerArtsCollaborative.com).

Evie Chang Henderson (Oriental, NC) is a visual artist by training and profession. Born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies, she writes poems and photographs Nature.

Irene Blair Honeycutt (Indian Trail, NC), author of three full-length poetry books, including Before the Light Changes (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2008), has poems forthcoming from Nimrod and Southern Poetry Anthology.

David Brendan Hopes (Asheville, NC), a former contributor to Kakalak, teaches literature and creative writing at UNC-Asheville. His oratorio, The Birth of Color, was recorded in Budapest in June 2014.

Jenny Hubbard (Salisbury, NC) is the author of Paper Covers Rock and And We Stay (Random House), critically acclaimed novels for teens in which the protagonists rely on poetry to make order from chaos.

Justin Hunt (Charlotte, NC) writes poetry and memoir. His poems have received awards and appear in What Matters (Jacar Press, 2013), Pinesong (NC Poetry Society, 2013) and Kakalak 2013.

Ruth Ilg (Biltmore Lake, NC), a native of Germany, lives and works on Biltmore Lake near Asheville, North Carolina. She is a painter, a photographer, and a trilingual poet.

Arnie Johanson (Durham, NC) is a retired philosophy professor from Minnesota who moved to Durham in 1999 and started writing poetry. He hasn’t stopped.

Alice Johnson (Black Mountain, NC) is a widely published poet and short story author with recent awards and honors including Finalist, Ron Rash Literary Competition, 2013 and International Merit Award Winner for The Atlanta Review’s 2012 poetry competition.

Jeanne Julian (New Bern, NC) was awarded first place in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2014 Mary Ruffin Poole Award competition. She has published in The Comstock Review and other journals.

Anne Kaylor (Charlotte, NC), Kakalak design/copy editor and moonShine review executive editor/publisher, has poetry published in numerous journals. Her book, Floating a Full Boat, is available through Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

Lisa Williams Kline (Davidson, NC) is the author of eight books for young people, including Eleanor Hill, winner of the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. This is her publishing debut as a poet.

Mary Kratt (Charlotte, NC) has authored five poetry books, including Valley (Sow’s Ear Press) and Small Potatoes (St. Andrews College Press). The Only Thing I Fear (Carolina Wren Press)
won the Brockman-Campbell Book Award and the Oscar Arnold Young Award.

Steve Lautermilch (Kill Devil Hills, NC) has new poems and photographs appearing in various publications including The Antigonish Review, The Comstock Review, and Nimrod. A show of his work was displayed last spring in Georgia. He is the only person ever to have won both the Kakalak poetry and art contests; he won both these honors in 2007.

Susan M. Lefler (Brevard, NC) published her first collection of poems, Rendering the Bones (Wind Publications) in 2011. She is a student in the Queens University of Charlotte MFA program.

Sarah Lindsay (Greensboro, NC) works as a copy editor. Her most recent poetry book is Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).

Lou Lipsitz (Chapel Hill, NC) is a psychotherapist and author of several poetry books including Seeking the Hook (Signal Books, 1998) and If This World Falls Apart (Lynx House Press, 2011).

Helen Losse (Winston-Salem, NC) author of Facing a Lonely West and Seriously Dangerous (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2014 and 2011), is an assistant editor for Kentucky Review.

Michael Hugh Lythgoe (Aiken, SC) is the author of Brass, the chapbook winner in the Kinloch Rivers contest, and a full collection, Holy Week. He teaches for the Academy For Lifelong Learning at USC in Aiken. His poems appear in The Caribbean Writer, The Petigru Review, Cairn, and BlueStreak.

Mary MacMillan (Charlotte, NC) has studied with Anthony Abbott and Diana Pinckney. She was published in Bay Leaves (2010.) She is also an oil painter and instructor at Braitman Studio.

Rosalyn Marhatta (Greensboro, NC) is author of numerous poems in literary journals including Referential Magazine, Vox Poetica, Dead Mule, and Bellamuse. She loves entertaining readers at open mics.

Mary E. Martin (Rock Hill, SC) enjoys projects fusing her two passions, dance and writing. Her poetry has been published in many journals, most recently in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Preston T. Martin (Chapel Hill, NC) has recent work in Iodine Poetry Journal, Sixth Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival Chapbook, and poems forthcoming in Every River on Earth: Writings from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press).

Nancy Martin-Young (Fuquay-Varina, NC) is a former reporter, editor, and academic whose publications include a chapbook, The Last Girl Standing, and a novel, Seeing Things.

Susan Laughter Meyers (Givhans, SC) has three collections, including My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (Cider Press Review Editors Prize, 2013), which received an Honorable Mention for the Brockman-Campbell Book Award.

Jeff Miles (Greensboro, NC) is a frequent contributor to Kakalak.

Sally B. Miller (Charlotte, NC) is a visual artist and poet. Her poems and paintings have appeared in various publications including Iodine Poetry Journal and Kakalak. She received the honor of cover artist for Kakalak 2007 and one issue of The Main Street Rag in 2005.

Kevin Mills (Daniel Island, SC) works for the South Carolina Aquarium.

Claudine R. Moreau (Whitsett, NC), author of Dark Machines (Fugitive Poets Press, 2012), teaches physics and astronomy at Elon University, stargazes, and moonlights as a poet.

Paul Mount (Mt. Pleasant, SC) has published three chapbooks: Folly Beach Love Story (2011), Tango Girls (2012), and The Haiku Project (2013).

Alexander Muller (Murrells Inlet, SC), a recent graduate of Winthrop University, is attending graduate school at Wake Forest University. His poetry has appeared in Kakalak 2013 and Sanctuary.

Kathleen Nalley (Easley, SC), author of Nesting Doll (winner of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Prize) has an MFA from Converse College and teaches English at Clemson University.

Dede Norungolo (Greenville, SC) has been a featured photographer in moonShine Review and has published images in various other publications including Drunken Boat, Sandlapper, and prior issues of Kakalak.

Grace C. Ocasio (Charlotte, NC), author of The Speed of Our Lives (BlazeVOX Books, 2014) and Hollerin from This Shack (Ahadada Books, 2009), is a full-time writer and mother of a toddler.

Alice Osborn (Raleigh, NC), is the author of three books of poetry, most recently After the Steaming Stops; she is a book editor, workshop/retreat facilitator and serves on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers Network.

Gail Peck (Charlotte, NC) is the author of six collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Nimrod, Greensboro Review, Apple Valley Review, Iodine, and other journals.

Carlos Pelay (Mint Hill, NC), Cuban born, New-Orleans raised, now makes his home in Charlotte where he works at a market research company he founded. Married with two teens, he is passionate about literature, photography, and baby elephants.

Diana Pinckney (Charlotte, NC), is a South Carolina native with four books of poetry including Alchemy (Main Street Rag Publishing Company) and Green Daughters, (Lorimer Press). Her poems are published in numerous journals and anthologies.

Kathleen Pompe (Seabrook Island, SC) Professor Emerita of Art from Francis Marion University, is a practicing artist. Her art medium is photography. She was recently awarded “Best Photograph” in the Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition in Charleston.

David Radavich (Charlotte, NC), vice president of the North Carolina Poetry Society, is a poet and playwright. His most recent book is The Countries We Live In (2014).

Chelsea Resnick (Apex, NC) is a writer and editor working out of Raleigh-Durham. Her past publishers include Hallmark Gift Books and Phinnie International.

Cindy Rickey (Waynesville, NC), poet and photographer, is the author of A Year in the Life of an Unemployed Poet. To read more of her work, visit www.cindyrickey.com.

Pat Riviere-Seel (Asheville, NC) is the author of Nothing Below but Air (2014), The Serial Killer’s Daughter, winner of the 2009 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, and No Turning Back Now (2004).

Peg Robarchek (Charlotte, NC) has been published in Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, Iodine Poetry Journal and Blast Furnace. Her collection Inventing Sex will be published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in 2015.

Leslie M. Rupracht (Charlotte, NC) is Iodine Poetry Journal’s longtime senior associate editor, and moonShine review’s photography and copy editor. Her chapbook is Splintered Memories (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2012).

Erin Ryan (Charlotte, NC) is a freelance writer and editor, and an assistant at Charlotte Fine Art Gallery.

Deborah Lawson Scott (Charleston, SC), is the immediate past president of the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Her work has appeared in Poetry in the South, Kakalak, Boomtown, and My South. She prizes her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.

Sharon A. Sharp (Boone, NC) creates artist’s books featuring original text, artwork, photographs, and handwriting (www.sharphandmadebooks.com). Several appear in 500 Handmade Books, Volumes 1 and 2, plus 1,000 Artists’ Books.

Nora Hutton Shepard (Raleigh, NC) received an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College and North Carolina State University where she now teaches beginning poets. Her poems have appeared in several magazines and journals.

Jane Shlensky (Bahama, NC), a veteran English teacher, holds an MFA in creative writing from UNC-Greensboro. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Dead Mule, Writer’s Digest, Kakalak 2013, and Southern Poetry Anthology: North Carolina.

Crystal Simone Smith (Durham, NC) is the author of Routes Home, Finishing Line Press (2013) and Running Music (2014) forthcoming from Longleaf Press. She is the Managing Editor of Backbone Press.

Erin Elizabeth Smith (Knoxville, TN) is the author of The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake, 2011) and The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press, 2007). She serves as the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts.

Katherine Soniat (Asheville, NC) is the author of The Swing Girl (LSU Press), selected as Best Collection of 2011 by The Poetry Council of North Carolina. A Shared Life won the Iowa Poetry Prize. She was on the faculty at Hollins University and Virginia Tech.

Larry Sorkin (Taylorsville, NC), performs, teaches and presents workshops exploring the connection between poetry and the fine arts, dance, music and Depth Psychology.

Lee Stockdale (Tryon, NC), attended Antioch College and received his BA in English from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is author of the novel, Murder of Law (iUniverse, 2007), and currently focused on poetry because it’s shorter.

Janice Laughter Sullivan (Greensboro, NC) has poetry in Fire and Chocolate, North Carolina Poetry Society’s Award Winning Poems (now known as Pinesong), Bay Leaves and recently, Wild Goose Review.

Elizabeth Swann (Charlotte, NC), author of Port Desire (Finishing Line Press, 2014), teaches English, creative writing, and journalism at Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, SC.

Richard Allen Taylor (Charlotte, NC), Kakalak editor, is the author of two books of poetry, Review Editor for The Main Street Rag, and an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte.

Alice Toporoff Wallace (Charlotte, NC) was a finalist for the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Poet Laureate Award in 2012. Her poems have appeared in various poetry journals and anthologies.

Rebecca Warren (Greensboro, NC) is recipient of numerous poetry awards, including Ruah’s Power of Poetry prize for her chapbook, Prayers for Someone Else. She is manager of Sweetgum Puppets, LLC.

Sari Weston (Cornelius, NC) has had work in The Bark, Oregon Literary Review, Kakalak, and Brain, Child. She is a full-time yoga teacher and studio director of The Bindu in Cornelius.

Libby Swope Wiersema (Florence, SC) works as a freelance writer and editor. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Queens University in Charlotte. Her first poetry chapbook, The Season of Terminal Cold, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Clare Willey (Flat Rock, NC) lives with her husband, Art, and practices being herSelf using yoga, meditation, photography, writing and making her bed every day.

Emily Wilmer (Alexander, NC) has published in various journals including Sufi Journal (London, UK), Inkwell and Poetry of the Sacred, where she was selected as a finalist in the 2012 Thomas Merton Institute annual contest.

Dede Wilson (Charlotte, NC), author of Eliza: The New Orleans Years (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Near Waking (Finishing Line Press, 2013) has been published in Spoon River, Carolina Quarterly, Poet Lore, Tar River Poetry, and Tampa Review.

Lisa Zerkle (Charlotte, NC), Kakalak editor, has work in the Southern Poetry Anthology, Broad River Review, Tar River Poetry, Nimrod and others. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Heart of the Light.


Honorable Mention

by Bill Griffin


The peach clings to its stone. Flesh
must need a center that will hold. Touch
me now—how have we held so many years? I stop
and calculate: could it really be 1969,
Fort Macon Beach, holding hands, purple sky

and crashing stars, some awakening
about to raise its head, too huge to see?
Had we even yet imagined a first
kiss? So much ancient history.
Have we let the spring tide ebb?

A life writes its first draft all fire
and longing, breakers, a crashing line
for every thwarted expectation, every desire
denied, but near its end the story simply wants
to remember: the touch of your hand
in mine, the one thing I will never
edit out. Some of the juice

is lost down the sink when I try to slice
this soft damn peach. Fragile . . . holding on,
letting go, could the two be one?
When I lay down the knife, my fingers
taste sweet. And yet some things must want

to let go of us. You don’t particularly seem to care
to have me touch you anymore, but last Saturday,
our anniversary—how many now?—we climbed
a thousand feet to Alligator Back where we’ve stood
side by side in every season. Again you counted

the purple ridgelines, breakerless swells receding
into the past, memories saved
in tissue we won’t unwrap as long
as we’re so fragile. “Twelve,”
you count the sleeping beasts, “Thirteen,”
and I believe you, and when I wrap
my arm around your waist, you kiss me.


A Hard Left
by Peg Bresnahan


Raise a glass to Francie.
She grasped a fringe of magic carpet and flew
straight out of Raleigh to Istanbul,
marrying a man she’d met six weeks before.

Her friends raised their brows,
crossed their arms.
He was young enough to be her grandson.
Probably wanted a Green Card.
Definitely after her money.

She didn’t care.
Didn’t care that before he sold rugs
he’d been a shepherd from a village
with three diacritical marks in its name.

She gave up wine and weed, shed weight.
What would you do? What would I,
if a stranger asked us to wrench a hard left
away from days so familiar
we didn’t have to open our eyes?

Don’t we all carry a talisman—vial of sand,
scrap of peau de soie, strip of horizon?
Turn around and we might see our old
familiar past loaded with a sack of tired
desire trudging behind, then picture Francie

in clickety wooden sandals and a fringed
cotton pestemal, headed into a steamy tiled
hamam, or ferrying across the Bosporus
between continents to purchase pistachios,
figs, pine nuts at the Spice Bazaar.

Cheer her on as she nails an indigo glass
evil eye to their front door to deflect calamity,
learns to stuff grape leaves, drink yogurt water,
calls what was once a sloe-eyed
illusion, my husband.


Camille Embroidering

~after Monet, 1875

by Gail Peck


This is her canvas, and she too
will make something lasting.
She separates the thread, and the needle
punctures cloth—
lavender and blue until
a garden grows
that she can walk through,
a basket on her arm,
her right hand holding shears.
Today all is vibrant
and the sun casts shadows,
making two of things.
The long hem of her dress
sweeps over stones
on the path to the bridge
overhung with wisteria.
For now it’s spring and there’s no thought
of long sleep, of dying young.
She’ll make a bouquet
for her favorite crystal vase
and bend to smell the bluebells.
All time seems now contained—
her own still life.

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