Interview with Pentimento editors Lori Brozek and Marie Kane in online journal, Wordgathering

Lori and I are pleased to have the interview concerning our magazine, Pentimento, with Michael Northen, editor of Wordgathering, published in the September issue of that journal.  Lori is the Managing Editor of Pentimento and I’m the Poetry Editor.

See the September issue for the interview, and other great writing about disability Wordgathering publishes.

I am grateful to Wordgathering for publishing my first poem concerning MS, “Shards,”  and in later issues, other poems and essays. See my site for a copy of the poem under the file “Living With Multiple Sclerosis and Poems About Doing So.”  “Shards” concerns teaching with MS.

The magazine, Pentimento, concerns all things disability–fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, essays, memoir, art, and photography.  Read the interview and check out our magazine  to find out more!


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Submissions to Pentimento Magazine until September 15

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

Pentimento Magazine is accepting submissions for the winter issue until September 15, 2014. 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.

We pay our contributors.
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.

For the upcoming issue, we especially need entries for the theme-based ‘Readers’ Pen’ column. The writing for this column is first person memoir/personal essays centering on a theme and its relationship to disability–this winter issue’s theme is ‘ROMANCE.’

To submit to the magazine, click on the link above and check out the submission requirements for each genre. Please follow the requirements if you want your material to be considered.  Remember, 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; we could use these for the next issue. 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, “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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U.S. 1 Worksheets accepted my poem “Travelogue” for their 2015 issue; U.S. 1 accepted my poem, “All the Universe Is Your Toy,” for 2013 issue

I’m pleased that U. S. 1 Worksheets has accepted my poem “Travelogue” for their 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.

I’ve been fortunate to be published previously by U.S. 1 Worksheets. Last year’s poem can be found at the end of this post.

The varied covers for the journal are photographs, paintings, or mixed media collages by acclaimed artists.
The Town Topics,  a Princeton, NJ newspaper, noted that:

“This year, (2014), cover art is a collage by Yardley, PA, artist, Stephen Milliner. For last year’s 40th anniversary issue, managing editor Nancy Scott’s collage graces the cover. The accomplished local art photographer Frank Magalhaes (who created the journal’s layout for a number of years) donated work for two issues 51, and 54. Other issues have featured Therese Halscheid’s “Mexican Vessels,” “The Writing Desk” by New Jersey photographer Thomas Bivin, work by Paul Cockrell of California (issue 53), Dick Greene of Massachusetts (issue 52), and Jay Goodkind (issue 50).

“Established in 1973, U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative has met continuously once a week in members’ homes for critique sessions. ‘It’s the longest continuously running poetry group in the nation,’ said member Betty Lies as she got the event underway. A member of the group since 1989, Ms. Lies serves as the journal’s senior selecting editor and is a Dodge Poet for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.”

U.S. 1 Worksheets publishes once a year.

2015 dates for submission (for the 2016 edition) are Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (267.5 days from now) through Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

I’m honored to be published in this terrific, well-respected journal.
My poem, “All the Universe Is Your Toy” published in 2014 issue of U.S. 1 Worksheetsis below:

All the Universe Is Your Toy
                     to my grandson, Lucas

Cool birdseed filters between our fingers,
spills in an arc of black and gold

onto mesh feeders at our feet. You display
your hand – teardrop seed stuck

between fat of fingers – wipe it on my thigh,
and mouth-open laugh, while your

hand dives again into the tub of seed.
Black-capped chickadees and purple

finches swirl where the feeder used to be.
You wave at them and spray seed trails

over my lap. I look toward tree line and sun –
brilliant on the metal of my scooter.

You jump to reach the birds, pull my hand
to jump too, your dark hair releasing

the scent of baby shampoo. Get up, get up,
you urge, in your toddler summer

that will twirl to one sunrise after another.
Then I am untethered, standing,

lifting my good foot high, as if jumping
each time your feet leave the earth.

© Marie Kane








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Pentimento Magazine Accepting Submissions July 1 to September 15 for December 2014 issue

Submit to Pentimento! We accept fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, essays, art, and photography from adults, young adults, and children concerning disability. The cover is always art by a disabled child. Submission dates are July 1 to September 15.

The Reader’s Pen column’s theme for December is….. Romance.

As Poetry Editor for the magazine, I can attest to the wide range of topics and styles we publish.  Writing must be well-crafted and revised.

Please follow subscription guidelines at

Submit between July 1 and September 15 for the December 2014 issue. Writers can either be disabled, or someone connected to the disability community as a parent, teacher, caregiver, friend, relative, neighbor, etc. of a disabled person. The writing must concern a disability.

Pentimento has released two issues in 2013, June and December. We are an ad-free journal that publishes poetry, essays, creative non-fiction, fiction, a Reader’s Pen themed column, art, and photographs all concerning disability. Pentimento is looking for adults, young adults, and children who are disabled, or anyone who is connected to the disability community to submit their well-crafted writing, art, or photographs.

On the cover is always art by a disabled child or young adult (under 18).

And, they pay for accepted submissions!

I am the Poetry Editor and a sometime Contributing Editor for the magazine.

Submission and subscription information for this exciting new journal can be found at

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My poem, “Radio Interview,” published in the anthology The Liberal Media Made Me Do It

I’m honored that my poem, “Radio Interview” has been published in a new anthology,
The Liberal Media Made Me do It, a collection of poems inspired by NPR and PBS interviews, stories, and shows.

Published by Nine Toes Press, a division of Lummox Press out of San Pedro, CA, and edited by Robbie Nester, the anthology’s fifty-five authors hail from both the U.S. and Europe.  The book is divided by five thematic sections, and the inspirations range from All Things Considered, Marketplace, Fresh Air, Science Friday, and others on NPR to American Masters, Freedom Riders, the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour, Radiolab, and others on PBS.

The book is available on

Robbi Nester, editor, says:

“The quiet confiding voice of Public Radio sees us through our commutes, educates, and amuses us. For its part, Public television becomes a trusted sanctuary from crass commercials, laugh tracks, unfunny comedies rising in volume as they grow more empty in content.

“It shouldn’t surprise us then to see that so many have responded in kind, speaking back to the speakers, inspired by what they hear and see. What may be more surprising is that no one seems to have had the idea of gathering these works together into an anthology, though they have appeared here and there, in poetry collections and journals.”

My poem, “Radio Interview,” was inspired by the NPR program “Spouses on the Campaign Trail” that aired on October 17, 2007. The interview was conducted on “All Thing Considered” from Philadelphia’s radio station, WHYY.  The poem centers on Multiple Sclerosis and one person’s experience with it that I compare to my own.

The poem first appeared in Wordgathering, 2010, and is a Pushcart Prize Nomination.

Radio Interview

Her missionary voice beams from some NPR studio across inaccessible stars and blue-black space while I drive on in the coming dark, anxious to arrive home before my vision fades, before my leg brace constricts my calf, before spasms. She crows – I have no MS symptoms and haven’t for years – and credits rest, healthy meals, acupuncture, and reflexology for her symptom-free life. Why, she feels protected from that evil, eating fruit and whole grains and resting with her feet up on a cushion (Sometimes she just HAS to stop and rest), while I grimace and regret the ice cream, rue the wine, lament those missed naps. No daily or weekly shots for her; steroids are hideous and the hope of stem cells? (Stem cells – uttered like a loathsome curse.) Well, she hopes research halts before any more innocent lives are taken in the name of science. I envision her heeled shoes winking as her rose-tipped toes slip in before she launches back home to ride Byron, her show horse. (Riding fights fatigue and stress.) Then I am yelling at the radio, pounding the steering wheel at that nail-driven-home voice so much like the roaring page, the bastard blues – I want to propel Byron through an unlatched gate, his tail a free flag in the wind, push that smiling voice down a flight of stone steps until those fancy shoes fly, and punch my hand through her smug assumption that she knows exactly how to manage MS, never acknowledging that my MS might be a different animal all together. Lights on our cedar trees appear and disappear in the growing wind. I turn onto our gravel driveway, silence the car, clamber awkwardly out, stand supported by my quad cane and leg brace, and admit that I so desperately want, oh how I want, oh, oh, with my heart in my mouth, oh, how I want to be her.

© Marie Kane




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My poem, “Hearing in November of the Arrival” was recenly published in Adanna Journal

The latest issue of Adanna Journal, centered on the theme of Women and Food, has just been released.  I am honored that my poem, “Upon Hearing in November of the Arrival” is included in this prestigious journal.  The poem celebrates the announcement that my daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Steve, are expecting.  It takes place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 2012, when Sarah, her sister, Elizabeth, and I bake pies for the holiday.    The poem’s format is different in the printed copy; every other line is indented a tab space.
Here’s the poem:

Upon Hearing in November of the Arrival
                                                         for Sarah

Upon news of my grandson’s upcoming
arrival, our Japanese maples
clap in raucous approval, throw the last
of their crimson leaves upon
late-fall grass. We all clap too,
and I hug you, my daughter.
We forget about Thanksgiving pies,
until your husband reminds

us of the one in the oven.
Ochre scent of hot pumpkin
fills the steamy kitchen; your blue
eyes focus on distances out
the window opened by leafless trees.
We speak of cribs and colic,
of flour and its refusal to be rolled
into a perfect circle,

of apples and grandmother Nellie’s
talent of peeling them
in a continuous red and white loop.
I marvel at this layered,
complex being, want to touch the place
of it. But I’m suddenly shy,
not wanting to intrude on your
veiled smile, new knowledge

of woman’s power. Later, Chinese food
cartons unfold like origami
on the oak table. Your chopsticks grasp
sushi’s compact, bright center,
pluck beef, broccoli, and snow
peas out of one package, water
chestnut crunch out of the other.
You eat your way back

to childhood: always Chinese before
Turkey Day. Camera flash
records you, your sister, and me behind
the glass and chrome table
that holds eight pies for cooling.
Your long hands smooth
your white sweater over what is to come
in full-throated July.

© Marie Kane

Published in Adanna Journal, April 2014, Women and Food Issue. Editors: Diane Lockwood, Lynne McEniry  ISBN 978-0-9836463-7-2



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April Is National Poetry Month! ADJECTIVES! Marie Kane Writing Advice–Adjectives

How important is it to your poetry to add the absolutely right, kicker of a word, most specific adjective?  Very.

Adjectives modify nouns–people, places, and things.  They describe, identify, or quantify a noun or a pronoun.  In the phrase, “black cat” the word black is an adjective because it describes the cat.

Their use is vital in poetry when aiming for specifics.

BUT, be careful when using them for three reasons:

1. Don’t ask them to do more work then they should.
2. Your energetic verbs and powerful nouns should handle much of the description.
3. Avoid generic adjectives that are overused and therefore meaningless.
Adjectives such as beautiful, interesting, lovely, exciting, sad, miserable, peaceful, angry or any number of overused adjectives need to be avoided.  Your reader does not see the specific in the word, only the general.  You have to show the reader what you are describing; the use of the general adjective convinces no one that you are.

Use as few adjectives as possible. Only use them when your line needs a punch, a word needs a further description that will exactly inform the reader. Use sparingly.

Check out the second stanza of my poem “Almost” WITHOUT ADJECTIVES, THEN THE FINAL DRAFT WITH THEM.   We looked at the first stanza earlier.

LAST STANZA OF “ALMOST” WITHOUT ADJECTIVES: (‘a’, ‘and’, and ‘the’ are adjectives; I left them in the following.)

week, the thump of an MRI
obscured music and my
nerves lit up like stars. I tried to remember
running—eating up the asphalt, eyes focused
on the runner ahead.  My number
always askew, my arms lifted at the end.
I would lean, mouth slightly open, focus
on a watch.

Here’s the final with adjectives:

Last week, the eight-beat thump of an MRI
obscured 60’s piped-in music and my scarred
nerves lit up like stars. I tried to remember
running—eating up the asphalt, eyes focused
on the swaying runner ahead. My race number
always askew, my arms lifted at the end.
I would lean, mouth slightly open, focus
on a timer’s black and silver watch.

The adjectives not only allow the stanza to make sense, but they add vital description to the action.  While they are sparse in number, they are necessary.  See how words used such as “60’s piped-in” to modify “music,”  “scarred” to modify “nerves,” “swaying” to modify “runner,” and the all-important “timer’s black and silver” for “watch” deepen the meaning of the poem.   These adjectives widen the reference of meaning for the reader and complete the picture in the short poem.

>Well placed adjectives are forceful.  Strong adjectives enliven a poem; be as specific as possible, surprising, and original.

Be judicious in their use!

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