Kakalak 2017


Out of stock

Kakalak is an annual publication of poetry and art by or about North and South Carolina, the people who live here, the places that draw others here. All work is selected through an annual 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: 978-1-59948-649-9, 150 pages, Cover price $15.00

Release date: December 2, 2017

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

2017 Poetry Award Winners:

Nicole Stockburger (1st Place) Nancy Young (2nd Place) Cathy Larson Sky (3rd Place)

Honorable Mentions:

Jane Seitel, Karen Jackson, Julie Ann Cook, Donna Wallace, Sherry Siddall

2017 Art Award Winners:

Jeannette Brossart (Cover) Julie Ann Cook (1st Place) Jeanne Julian (2nd Place) Barbara Rizza Mellin (3rd Place)

Honorable Mentions:

T. Parker Sanborn, Martin Settle, Hillary Frye


CONTRIBUTORS to Kakalak 2017


Threa Almontaser (Raleigh, NC) is a Yemeni-American writer born and raised in New York City. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared in Track Four Journal, Gravel Magazine, Day One Journal, and elsewhere.

Melanie Aves (Indian Land, SC) co-authored Interior Designers’ Showcase of Color, The Home Color Book, The Kitchen and Bath Color Book, and Comfort Colors (Rockport, 1994-1999,) and authored Newport Beach: A Photographic Portrait (Twin Lights, 2001).

Pam Baggett (Cedar Grove, NC) has published work in such journals as Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, and Tar River Poetry. She received an Ella Pratt Fountain Emerging Artists Grant in 2017.

Dorothy Baird (Chapel Hill, NC), a former editor and teacher of English, is the author of Indelible Ripples (Aldrich Press, 2017).

Michael Beadle (Raleigh, NC) is a poet, author, and touring writer-in-residence. His fourth poetry collection, Primer, was a finalist in Main Street Rag’s 2016 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest.

Staci Lynn Bell (Hayesville, NC) is a retired radio broadcaster and avid dog lover. Her poetry and prose have been published in Kakalak 2016, Wild Goose Poetry, Old Mountain Press, and Wolf Warriors.

Kimberlyn Blum-Hyclak (Lancaster, SC), Kakalak 2017 co-editor, is the author of In the Garden of Life and Death: A Mother and Daughter Walk (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2014). 

Cheryl Boyer (Waxhaw, NC) is a contributor to Kakalak, Iodine Poetry Journal, moonShine review, and The Main Street Rag. Her never-dull family is often subject to her pen or lens. 

Jeannette Brossart (Durham, NC) has been a professional mosaic artist since 2003. She facilitates group projects and creates mosaic murals, public art, and sculptural, garden, gallery, and personal mosaics.

Joyce Compton Brown (Troutman, NC) is the author of the chapbook Bequest (Finishing Line Press, 2015).

Laura Jane Burgess (Chester, SC) is a none-too-notable poet who has a thing for heights, writes, hikes, skydives, and lives in a camper in the woods with her feline friend, Louis. 

Ann Campanella (Huntersville, NC), author of The Beach Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2017) and the memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found (Divine Phoenix/Pegasus, 2016), lives on a horse farm. 

Glenn Cassidy (Springfield, IL, formerly of Carrboro, NC) teaches economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield and conducts research in public finance. 

Ken Chamlee (Mills River, NC) teaches English at Brevard College. He has two books, Absolute Faith and Logic of the Lost, and he directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference, held in Brevard, NC.

Lauren Coggins (Lake Wylie, SC) is a graduate of Queens University (2001), and works in the insurance industry. Her poems have appeared previously in Reed Magazine and Southern Poetry Review.

Barbara Conrad (Charlotte, NC) is the author of Wild Plums (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and The Gravity of Color (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2007) and editor of Waiting for Soup, a 2004 Main Street Rag collection of art and poetry from workshops with homeless neighbors in Charlotte, NC.

Julie Ann Cook (Rock Hill, SC)—wife, boymom, artist, and Pushcart-nominated author of Love Like Weeds (Main Street Rag Publishing Company) has been published in Presence Poetry Journal, Fall-Lines, moonShine review, and Kakalak, among others.

Beth Copeland (Gibson, NC), author of Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVOX, 2012) and Traveling through Glass (Bright Hill Press, 2000), teaches creative writing at St. Andrews University and lives in a log cabin.

Jessica Dame (Columbia, SC), creator of Lady Dame Prints, has work featured in skirt!magazine and shown in South Carolina and Virginia.

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

M. Scott Douglass (Charlotte, NC), founder and managing editor of The Main Street Rag and Main Street Rag Publishing Company, designed, produced, and published this edition. His most recent book, Just Passing Through was released in 2017 by Paycock Press. 

Sarah Edwards (Pinehurst, NC) is a retired clergyperson who enjoys writing poetry instead of sermons. Inspiration for her poem was a gift from the real Aurora Borealis. She is the author of Pandora, Let’s Talk (Finishing Line Press, 2016).

Nadine Ellsworth-Moran (Wesley Chapel, NC) is an ordained minister and emerging writer with a passion for poetry, essay, and all forms of the written word that create dialogue.

Carrah Lee Faircloth (White Oak, NC), previously published as Carrah Lee Royal, is glad to be back in Kakalak. She works in academia and publishes a weekly blog, Buoy.

Beverly C. Finney (Hickory, NC) has appeared in Kakalak three times and is a frequent contributor to Poetry Hickory and the Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art.

Joanne Kennedy Frazer (Durham, NC) is a retired peace and justice director/educator for faith-based organizations. Her poetry has appeared in several print anthologies and online journals.

Hillary Frye (Fairview, NC) primarily concentrates on painting and jewelry making. Known for circle images, peacocks, and other animals, she often uses her images in her jewelry designs.

Judith Martin Fuller (Wilmington, NC) has taught English in Bogota, South Dakota, and Idaho. Sacajawea’s Song employs persona poetry to follow Sacajawea’s journey from Fort Mandan to Astoria, Oregon.

Khalila Adriana Garcia (Garner, NC) was born and raised in Honduras to American parents but considers herself a citizen of the world. She works in education and has four amazing children.

Michael Gaspeny (Greensboro, NC), author of the chapbooks Vocation (Main Street Rag Publishing Company) and Re-Write Men (forthcoming, Finishing Line Press), recently completed his fifteenth year as a hospice volunteer.

Anne Waters Green (Hendersonville, NC) is a retired attorney and native of South Carolina. She loves the mountains, the Great Smokies Writing Program, her husband, Jim, and their many grandchildren.

James L. Green (Hendersonville, NC) is a retired engineer. He lives atop Mt. Hebron in southwest Henderson County with his wife, Anne.

Cordelia Hanemann (Raleigh, NC), professor emerita with a Ph.D. from LSU, artist, and author of Through a Glass Darkly, is writing a novel about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.

Tim Harkins (Ridgeville, SC), author of Chasing the Ineffable (Stepping Stone Press, 2008), is a technical writer by trade and a poet at heart.

Karen Salvati Harper (Socastee, SC) edits the upcoming anthology With an Adamantine Sickle: A Devotional for the Titans. Her work has also appeared in Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology and Morbid Curiosity. 

Evie Chang Henderson (Oriental, NC) retired from the Visual Arts Faculty to Eastern NC and got bitten by the photography bug. She is particularly fond of photographing anything with wings. 

Mary Hennessy (Raleigh, NC) has published poems in many journals and anthologies. One poem was featured in the play “Deployed.” She stays grateful. 

Jo Ann Hoffman (Cary and Beaufort, NC) has published fiction, non-fiction, and numerous poems in literary journals. She has received recent contest awards from the Pamlico Writers, Carteret Writers, and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.

Karen Luke Jackson (Hendersonville, NC) draws upon her oral history background, contemplative practices, and experiences in nature to craft poems appearing in Alive Now, Broad River Review, Ruminate, and Kakalak.

Arnie Johanson (Durham, NC), a retired philosophy professor from Minnesota, moved to NC in 1999 and started writing poetry. His latest chapbook is A Trunkload of Ephemera (Finishing Line Press).

Jeanne Julian (New Bern, NC) has had photography featured in moonShine Review, Minerva Rising, and Hartskill Review. Her chapbook is Blossom and Loss (Longleaf Press).

Anne Kaylor (Harrisburg, NC), Kakalak 2017 co-editor, publishes moonShine review, a prose and photography journal. Her latest poetry collection is Unwilling to Laugh Alone (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2015). 

Caroline Kane Kenna (Huntersville, NC) has poems and essays in three anthologies, including For the Love of Baseball (McFarland, 2017). She currently serves on the Charlotte Writers Club board. 

Christopher Laskowski (Durham, NC) is an avid photographer, chaser of waterfalls, lover of nature. “I enjoy trying new, different digital techniques I couldn’t attempt in the great days of film.”

Kelly Lenox (Durham, NC) had her debut collection of poetry, The Brightest Rock, published this year. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Valerie J. Macon (Fuquay-Varina, NC), author of Shelf Life, Sleeping Rough, A String of Black Pearls, and The Shape of Today, runs a garden for the homeless and poetry workshops for seniors.

Jordan Makant (Hickory, NC), author of Impossible Angles (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2017), is a senior at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Previous publishing credits include Rat’s Ass Review, Ekphrastic Review, and The Main Street Rag.

David Treadway Manning (Cary, NC), a transplanted Californian, has published several collections, most recently Genes (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and the full-length Soledad (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2014), reflecting his love of the natural world.

Sandra Marshburn (Edisto Island, SC) has poems appearing in journals and has published four chapbooks. She taught at West Virginia State University and volunteers at the Edisto Museum.

Preston Martin (Chapel Hill, NC) has published poems in New Ohio Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Chaffin Journal, Kakalak, and other literary journals and anthologies. He reads, writes, and teaches in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC.

Douglas Anne McHargue (Catawba County) has a chapbook of poems and is a regular reader at Poetry Hickory and the Hickory Art Museum’s ekphrastic series. She was a finalist for the NCPS 2014 Poet Laureate Award. 

Barbara Rizza Mellin (Winston-Salem, NC) is an award-winning writer and artist. She recently received an ArtPop Award that features her artwork on an NC billboard for one year.

Bill Mikkelsen (Durham, NC) is a retired social worker. Two of his poems appear in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2017 Pinesong Awards anthology.

Michael Minassian (Charlotte, NC) has poems published in such journals as Comstock Review, Evansville Review, and Third Wednesday. Amsterdam Press published his poetry chapbook, The Arboriculturist (2010).

Cheri D. Molter (Fayetteville, NC), a recent graduate of Methodist University, has been published in Kakalak 2016, Tapestry, Monarch Review, and Aletheia. She is currently the editor of Tapestry.

Kathy Nelson (Fairview, NC) is the author of Cattails (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2013) and Whose Names Have Slipped Away (Finishing Line Press, 2017).

Teddy Norris (St. Charles, MO), author of Pillars of Salt (Finishing Line Press, 2015), is a retired professor of English. She and her husband enjoy vacationing in the Carolinas.

Ione O’Hara (Davidson, NC) taught at UNC Charlotte, CPCC, and Queens University’s Life Long Learning Center. Her chapbook, A Passing Certainty, was published by Pudding House Press.

Gail Peck (Charlotte, NC) is the author of eight collections of poetry. Her last poetry collection, The Braided Light, won the Lena Shull contest, sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Diana Pinckney (Charlotte, NC) has five collections of poetry, including Alchemy (Main Street Rag Publishing Company), Green Daughters (Lorimer Press), and The Beast and The Innocent (FutureCycle Press, 2015).

David E. Poston (Gastonia, NC) is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Slow of Study (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2015) and leads occasional workshops for hospice and other venues.

Claire L. Poulson (Mooresville, NC), a life-long lover of poetry, started taking poetry-writing courses from Anthony S. Abbott upon retirement from decades of teaching and research as Professor of Psychology. 

David Radavich (Charlotte, NC), co-editor of Kakalak 2017, has published seven poetry collections, most recently The Countries We Live In (2014). His new collection, This Myriad, is due out next year.

Parker Sanborn (Huntersville, NC), author of Pierian Perspective, Poems and Images (self-published, 2016), finds wonder in everything, no matter how great or small.

Eric Sbarge (Charlotte, NC) is founder and head instructor of The Peaceful Dragon, one of the largest centers in the Carolinas offering traditional tai chi, yoga, kung fu, and Zen meditation.

Jane Shlensky (Bahama, NC) a veteran teacher and musician, is a regular contributor to Kakalak and other magazines. The NC Poetry Society nominated one of her poems for a Pushcart Prize in 2016. Her chapbook is Barefoot on Gravel (Finishing Line Press, 2016).

Martin Settle (Charlotte, NC) is a poet, assemblage artist, and photographer. He has published three books: The Teleology of Dunes, Coming to Attention: Developing the Habit of Haiku, and The Backbone Alphabet.

Jane Seitel (Apex, NC), is an Arts Therapist. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, Split This Rock, etc. She founded QuillsEdge Press, dedicated to women poets over fifty.

Sharon A. Sharp (Winston-Salem, NC), a North Carolina Poetry Society past president, creates multifaceted artist’s books such as those shown in 500 Handmade Books (vols. 1 & 2) and 1,000 Artists’ Books.

Sherry Siddall (Chapel Hill, NC) has recent work in Tar River Poetry and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol VII: North Carolina.

Cathy Larson Sky (Spruce Pine, NC), author of Blue egg, my heart (Finishing Line Press, 2014), has an MA in Folklore from UNC Chapel Hill, plays Irish style fiddle, and writes poetry.

Nicole Stockburger (Beulah, NC) earned an MFA from UNC-Greensboro and farms organic produce with her partner. Her poetry is forthcoming in The Louisville Review, Chattahoochee Review, and Indiana Review.

Ty Stumpf (Sanford, NC), author of Suburban Burn (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2017), is Chair of the Humanities Department at Central Carolina Community College.

Lynne Santy Tanner (Rutherfordton, NC) is the author of three Finishing Line Press chapbooks and has served as choreographer for the Rutherford County Arts Council for forty-six years.

Jo Barbara Taylor (Raleigh, NC) has poems appearing in journals, anthologies, and online. Of four poetry books, the most recent is How to Come and Go (Chatter House Press, 2016).

Rob Vance (Richmond, VA) is a full-time digital designer and part-time poetry editor. His current projects include an illustrated book of prose poems.

Donna Wallace (Lewisville, NC) is president of Winston Salem Writers and director of Poetry in Plain Sight. Her poetry has been featured in Camel City Dispatch and local coffee shops.

Priscilla Webster-Williams (Durham, NC) is author of The Narrative Possibilities of Coral (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2017) and recipient of the 2016 Rash Award in Poetry sponsored by Broad River Review and Gardner-Webb University.

Eric Weil (Elizabeth City, NC) teaches English at Elizabeth City State University. His poems have appeared in journals ranging from American Scholar to Poetry and from Dead Mule to Sow’s Ear.

Bob Wickless (Reidsville, NC) has published poems in many journals, including American Scholar, Antioch Review, Poetry, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, and Kakalak 2016.

Nancy H. Womack (Rutherfordton, NC) is a retired educator whose poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Kakalak, Bay Leaves, and The Widows’ Handbook (Kent State University Press, 2014).

Nancy Young (Fuquay-Varina, NC), former editor, reporter, and college educator, is the author of The Last Girl Standing (poetry) and three novels, Seeing Things, Hearing Things, and Sensing Things.

Sherry Siddall



I found the red cardinal
dead beneath my window.

His limp head, the sunken
blackness of his eye said death,

yet his body, bright as flame, was soft
above his fanned stiff tail.

For two winters in all weather,
he visited the bare whips of wood,

the mock orange that would be lithe
and scented come spring. He perched

in the middle, spending his redness
when there was no other color,

no verse but coming dark.
I held the last gift of his body,

laid him at the roots of that bush
soon to bloom again.




Donna Wallace



The first judgment ever made
was in the second grade.

We learned our fates
from die-cut cards—

pristine decrees delivered
the hour before dismissal.

Boys & Girls sorted & sent
to love, to like, otherwise

despise. Quivers of heartless
writs in grip: draw, aim, release—

sealed verdict’s stinging darts
strike & script paper-cut scars.



Barbara Conrad



Beside her bare foot, a rippled, dappled arch
of gray shell, its edges listing in wet sand.

She picks it up, peers through its perfect pinhole
toward the dunes where a cottage might have been

and a child in pink baby doll pajamas hanging
like a spider on a door frame, her father lathering up,

working magic with the slip of a wrist, swish of tender
bristles nuzzling her face, sweet smell of cold

eucalyptus. Sometimes, the razor nicks his skin ’til he bleeds.
Sometimes she lifts up the rift of time, always

light settling somewhere on white venetian blinds,
always the beach white and fine-grained.

Flanked by florescence, she tosses her shell
back to the sea, ragamuffin sacrifice of broken bone.

Beyond the foam, an old man fishing on a pier,
the pier still riding the tide.

SKU: 978-1-59948-649-9