Welcome to the web site of Marie Kane

Marie Kane is the Poetry Editor for Pentimento Magazine.  She is the 2006 Bucks County (PA) Poet Laureate.   Two of her poems, “Radio Interview” and “In Every Life, Both” have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes.  Her work has been frequently published and anthologized. She has received a recognition award for her poetry from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, and an award for her teaching of young writers from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  After twenty-eight years of teaching, she retired from Central Bucks School District (PA) where she taught Creative Writing, Honors and Standard English, AP English, World Literature, and other electives.  She has been a featured reader at the New Jersey State Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, the International House in Philadelphia, and at many universities, bookstores, and libraries.  Her book, Survivors in the Garden, was recently published by Big Table Publishing Co., editor Robin Stratton.  TO PURCHASE: SEE THE “BUY NOW SURVIVORS IN THE GARDEN” PAGE

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My new book, Beauty, You Drive a Hard Bargain, will be available by the end of October from me directly ($2.00 off Publisher’s price) on this website or through email, (engmrk@aol.com), or on Amazon.com. (full price) The book’s cover is a photograph of my husband’s, Steve Millner.

Below is the poem (“Wind-Blown”) from the new book that demonstrates Steve’s and my positives inspite of the difficultiess we deal with.


In our new yard on the hill under the low-
branched dogwood tree, our new house
behind us, we nestle on a spread of white—
as a May morning, Scattered petals rise
with gusts like excited balloons looking
to escape their owners. We admire gossiping
crows and their soldier-like, burnished wings.

Today we will not wake in the old house,
narrow and tall. Under sky’s canopy, habits
unmoor, stilted rituals dissipate. There will
always be street lamp’s glimmer as we turn
toward home, always music quivering the air,
always a yard full of wind-blown blossoms.

©     Marie Kane, 2017






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Poetry News From all Over; finally a post!

Poetry News From All Over

It’s been seven months since I’ve posted. I apologize for ignoring the importance of poetry, the value of visibility, and the connection between MS and expression. Reasons abound, as they always do, for my absence. I could say, ‘my extreme disability,’ but that’s not exactly right, or I could use the ‘been really busy’ route, which is true, but still…. I should not allow these things to be responsible for my silence.

My husband, my caregiver, (those with multiple sclerosis know how invaluable that person is who cares for one with debilitating MS), is dealing with his own frustrating disease. Amyloidosis is not well known and yet similar to MS in that it is hard to diagnose, has a wide range of symptoms, and can be nasty in its effects. We have super doctors, a home health aid, physical therapist, a loving family, and cool neighbors and friends to help us through rough spots when my husband is not able to take care of me

We knew the daunting nature of our relationship with one spouse who is disabled and one who is not. Now we’re finding out how much more difficult it is to have a marriage where both partners have health problems. A developed sense of humor is necessary! We’re finding the seesaw challenge of balancing home, family, our art (my husband is an artist), and the mundane chores that must be completed—doctor’s appointments, medicine schedules, and things such as … laundry!—quite disconcerting. We are handling all this and honoring our creative energies; we know the importance of nurturing creativity in both of us—but sometimes our health difficulties are impediments to doing so. To meld our talents, Steve and I are working on a chapbook of my poetry and his art, which should be completed next year (2017). I’m also finished a new book (Beauty, You Drive a Hard Bargain) for which Steve is doing the cover art. It’ll be published by Kelsay Press of CA and is due out in a few weeks.

Below is the poem (“Wind-Blown”) from the new book that in a way demonstrates positives in inspite of the illness we deal with.


In our new yard on the hill under the low-
branched dogwood tree, we nestle on a spread
of white—gleaming blossoms loose and cool
as a May morning, our new house behind us.
Scattered petals rise with gusts like excited
balloons looking to escape their owners.
We admire gossiping crows and their
soldier-like, burnished wings.

Today we will not wake in the old house,
narrow and tall. Under sky’s canopy, habits
unmoor, stilted rituals dissipate. There will
always be street lamp’s glimmer as we turn
toward home, always music quivering the air,
always a yard full of wind-blown blossoms.

©     Marie Kane, 2017


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Poetry News From All Over–SVJ publishes two of my poems


Many thanks to poetry editors Bill Wunder and Bernadette McBride for accepting “All That Light” and “Take Me Back to the Lake” for publication in the well-respected journal, the Schuylkill Valley Journal.

 Peter Krok, the editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal Print and the online SVJ atsvjlit.com, serves as the humanities/poetry director of the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center where he has coordinated a literary series since 1990.


All That Light
“More light”   ~ Goethe’s last words                           

Like a lover, November embraces

the full moon that reveals our collapsed

garden glowing with frost’s clarity

and the clenched leaves of cherry branches

that offer no defense against this cold.

What mazes this light reveals!

Labyrinth of cherry boughs weaves in and out,

crystalline ice networks the grass,

and heaps of fallen leaves twine the curb—

yet there is no web more complicated

than my heart into which you have found

the way.

To understand the world at all, focus

on a tiny bit of it—moonlight!—neither bent

by wind nor touched by cold—

an advancing spirit that revels in matrix

of lawn’s shadows, fabric of cherry

branches, rowdiness of hearts, and all that light

leaping—with no thought of landing.

© Marie Kane, 2015

Take Me to the Lake                                     

Take me to the lake to marvel over two-tree
island. We pause your father’s Mad River
canoe, admire two determined sweet-birch
trees clinging to this small rock in the middle
of a backwater cove. We cut trough thick
yellow lilies rising just above the surface,
their lobed leaves’ parting whisper slides
against our canoe’s wooden sides.

You need to take me to Spectacle Island.
we’ll trespass, examine the deserted red
cabin whose dusty windows reveal inviting,
empty rooms, then lie on its worn dock,
crooked pilings leaning toward Meredith Bay.
Lake water sloshes over rough rocks that barely
rbeak surface—a nightmare for boaters without
Bizer’s map whose red x’s mark rocks
that have gashed boats open. We have a map.

Will you take me to Red Hill? Fallen oak leaves
lie slick from recent rain, foothill pines drip
wetness like heavy marbles. It’s a steep climb,
more than we thought, winded at the top—
but we ascend fire tower’s metal ladder
to view the lake’s sculpted islands—each
an irregular jade stone running to the caldera
of the Ossipee Mountains.

You have to take me to the lake!
Light falls out of August sky by degrees—
stars and planets empty and empty
themselves of light that stains all the sky
then pours between oak leaves at the end
of our dock—and still, and still, it comes.
We go to our knees for that.

 © Marie Kane, 2015

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This is the second year for the Main Street Voices Poetry contest. The response to our first year of the contest in 2015 was terrific; we had over 175 entries in total from both students and adults.

I’m on the planning board for the contest, the judge for grades 6-8 and 9-12, and the MC for the reading.

Melanie Eyth is the judge for grades 1-2 and 3-5. Postmark deadline for entries is Thursday, April 14. All winners receive monetary prizes. Students enter one poem.

Judges for the adult part of the contest are preliminary judge, Brian Lutz, and final judge, Julie Cooper-Fratrick, both award-winning poets. Adults enter three poems.
The contest is judged anonymously.

For guidelines and entry forms, see http://www.doylestownbookshop.com/event/main-street-voices-poetry-contest


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I’ve been the final judge in the Sarah Mook scholastic poetry contest for seven years. Organized by poet David Mook in honor of his daughter, Sarah, the contest is going strong after eleven years. Open to student poets from grades K-12, we receive hundreds of entries each year. As a final judge, I receive the top 10 student poems in each age group: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. I choose the top three winners from each age group, who receive a generous cash award.

And here’s a link to the entry guidelines: http://www.sarahmookpoetrycontest.com/2016_contest_guidelines


The postmark deadline is March 31, 2016; so if you know a talented student poet, give him or her this information. There is no entry fee. One or two poems can be entered. Here’s an overview of the contest from the Mook family:

The purpose of the Sarah Mook Memorial Poetry Contest is to encourage and acknowledge the efforts of student poets in grades K-12. Sarah was a student in the third grade at Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, when she died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm on December 14, 1995. Sarah started writing poems in kindergarten, and it is the goal of this outreach that Sarah’s gift continue to inspire young poets. A fund has been established by Sarah’s family specifically to fund the contest, now in its 11th year! Cash awards are given in four categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Optional donations (there is no entry fee) are given in Sarah’s name each year to a designated charity. This year’s donations, as they have been for the past four years, will go to Smile Train, an organization providing free cleft surgery for millions of poor children in developing countries. Awards and charitable giving are important, but the focus of our effort is always the young poets and their poems. Careful consideration is given to every poem. Final judge Marie Kane takes great care in judging each poem and provides a detailed commentary on the poetic merits of each of the winning poems. We hope you will enter your poems!

To see what the winning poems accomplish, here’s a link to last year’s 2015 winners with my comments: http://www.sarahmookpoetrycontest.com/contest_results_2015

And here’s a link to the entry guidelines: http://www.sarahmookpoetrycontest.com/2016_contest_guidelines


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My poem, “Travelogue” in 2015 issue of U.S. 1 Worksheets

I’m pleased that U. S. 1 Worksheets accepted my poem “Travelogue” for their spring 2015 issue. U.S. 1 is based in Princeton, NJ, and has published its yearly  journal since 1973. The journal includes over 100 new and seasoned poets in each issue; local, national, and international voices are featured. See the journal at the link above if you wish to submit.

I’ve been fortunate to be published previously by U.S. 1 Worksheets.

The varied covers for the journal are photographs, paintings, or mixed media collages by acclaimed artists.
On the twenty-mile trip to work, and then home at the end of the day, these are some of the things I experienced:

In the morning headed to work:
purple and red sky surround the crescent moon—
swollen lips on a plum.

The blue Nissan with the Jesus license plate
speeds toward the intersection, crusading
through after the yellow changes.

The white van’s dome light appears and inside
sit five guys with short hair above buttoned
collars, sharing a joint.

The deer had no chance since the car coming
the other way finished what the car
in front of me did not.

Later, headed home and drowsy, I drive off
the edge of the road. The rough, brown
dirt of a Bucks County farm saves me.

© Marie Kane 2015



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Take a minute and check out Pentimento Magazine.  Begun by Lori Brozek from Lambertville NJ, we are an ad-free print magazine that concerns “All Things Disability.” I’m the magazine’s poetry editor; our entries have originated from the U.S. and other countries.

Pentimento Magazine is accepting submissions for the summer 2015 issue from January 1, 2015 until March 31, 2015. For the upcoming issue, we’d love to see entries related to the theme of WORK and disability; although we will accept material that does not concern that theme. We publish Creative non-fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Art, and Photography. We accept material from both children and adults who are disabled individuals themselves and from those who are in the disabled community–caregiver, family member, doctor, friend, etc.

 ALL ENTRIES FOR THE READERS’ PEN COLUMN MUST BE BASED ON THE THEME OF ‘WORK’ AND DISABILITY. The writing for this column is first person memoir/personal essays centering on a theme and its relationship to disability. These entries may be heavily edited.

We pay our contributors.
On occasion, we accept previously published work. Please give the name and date of the previous publication; make sure you have ownership of the work.

The cover is always art by a disabled child.

To submit to the magazine, ask for a free issue, or to subscribe, click on Pentimento Magazine and check out the submission requirements for each genre. Please follow the requirements if you want your material to be considered; the material must be well-crafted and concern disability. The author must be either disabled or a member of the disability community.

Art and photography are always welcome; they have special requirements:
A person with a disability may enter art or photography on any issue.
A person connected to the disability community must submit art or photography directly addressing disability.

We also have an “Uncut” column where a handwritten piece by a young person with a disability is published as is; we do not make any revisions on that piece.

“Pentimento” refers to an art term that means:
“An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting or original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.”    Also, it means “To see beyond the surface.”

We hope our magazine does just that–see beyond the surface of a disability and connect individuals.  Our home page says it best: “Through art, photography, essays, stories, and poetry, Pentimento will ask its readers to see beyond disabilities and physical challenges.  To see the ways in which we are all connected, and find in our pages a sense of the what the poet Emily Dickinson wrote:  ‘I felt it shelter to speak to you.’ “

Let us see your take on living with a disability–you just might find yourself in print.

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