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Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Spring 2024

The Main Street Rag Spring 2024 issue features an interview with Richard Allen Taylor by Jessica Hylton titled, “Letters to Karen Carpenter,” the same name given to a collection Taylor says “combines poems about the very public tragedy of Karen Carpenter’s life, death, and career with poems about my very private tragedy in losing my wife Julie to an acute form of Leukemia.”

The issue also features new “Stories & Such” by Jeff Burt, Nick Ekkizokloy, Dave Huffstetler, Pesach Rotem, Mark Williams; Poetry by Richard Allen Taylor, Virginia Aronson, Bob Caldwell, Lawrence Bridges, Cindy Buchanan, Chuck Carlise, Charles D. J. Case, Maureen Clark, Steve Cushman, Eugene Datta, M F Drummy, Leonore Hildebrandt, Joanne Esser, Arvilla Fee, Joseph Geskey, Lynnie Gobeille, Shelley Girdner, Lois Marie Harrod, Robert W. Hill, Linda Hughes, Mike James, Richard Kenefic, Luke Koesters, Ron Lauderbach, Thomas Long, Lisa Low, Ken Meisel, Marg Ryan, Abigail Michelini, Michael Minassian, Randy Minnich, David Newkirk, Camille Newsome, David Sapp, Claire Scott, George J. Searles, Phillip Sterling, Connie Soper, Diane Stone, Mark Strohschein, Mark Vogel, Buff Whitman-Bradley, and James Washington, Jr., as well as a deletion of book reviews. Cover photo by Tim Bascom.

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Fall 2023

The Main Street Rag Fall 2023 cover image

The Main Street Rag Fall 2023 issue, in keeping with the long-standing tradition of hosting interviews to open the magazine, invites readers to enjoy Editor M. Scott Douglass (& friends) in conversation with Minion TRUNION – who is also featured on the cover and whose origin story is provided in the “Welcome Readers” intro. After that good laugh (or maybe cry), readers can go on to enjoy “Stories & Such” bySydney Lea, Kevin Brown, Maria Hardin, Burt Rashbaum, Michael Pikna, Michael Sadoff, Bill Spencer, Richard Widerkehr, Kevin Winchester, Marie Gray Wise, and Poetry by M. J. Arcangelini, Joe Barca, Jane Blanchard, Ace Boggess, Alan Catlin, Deborah H. Doolittle, Mirana Comstock, Paula Brancato, Casey Killingsworth, Carol Levin, Kevin McDaniel, Richard Merelman, Yvonne Morris, Richard Thomas Murray, R. Nikolas Macioci, Charles Rammelkamp, Kevin Ridgeway, Russell Rowland, Maeve Stemp, Jane M. Wiseman, Richard Weaver, Liza Wolff-Francis, and many more.

Find out more about many of these titles with our Guide to Literary Magazines and our Big List of Literary Magazines and Big List of Alternative Magazines. If you are a publication looking to be listed in our monthly roundup or featured on our blog and social media, please contact us.

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Summer 2023

The Main Street Rag Summer 2023 cover image

The Summer 2023 print issue of The Main Street Rag is available for purchase and opens with “Abandoned Places,” an interview with photographer Lynn Black, whose work is featured on the cover. The issue also includes prose works by Frank X. Christmas, Jim Ray Daniels, Ed Davis, Dean Z. Douthat, Barbara Eckroad, Andy Fogle, and Robert Sachs, and poetry by James Breeden, Les Brown, Raymond Byrnes, Steve Cambron, Terri Brown-Davidson, Robert Cooperman, Douglas K. Currier, RC deWinter, Susan Donnelly, Jeffrey Dreiblatt, David Galloway, Alan Haider, Jay Klokker, Cordelia Hanemann, Zebulon Huset, Judith Janoo, Gary Lark, David Lawton, Mark Madigan, Gary Mesick, Nancy Carol Moody, Mary Hills Kuck, Madeleine Cohen Oakley, Brian J. Pilling, Deb Pfeiffer, Matthew J. Spireng, Timothy Robbins, T. Parker Sanborn, John J. Ronan, Richard Ryal, Landa wo, Neil Shepard, Kashiana Singh, Theodore Turner, Tom Wayman, Eric Weil, and Marie Gray Wise as well as several book reviews.

To find more great reading, visit the NewPages Guide to Literary Magazines, the NewPages Big List of Literary Magazines, the NewPages Big List of Alternative Magazines, and the NewPages Guide to Publications for Young Writers. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date!

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Spring 2023

Main Street Rag Spring 2023 issue cover image

The newest issue of the print quarterly The Main Street Rag (Spring 2023) features Patti Frye Meredith author of the novel South of Heaven in conversation with MSR Editor M. Scott Douglass; fiction by Tony Hozeny, Roger Hart, Ann Levin, Scott Pedersen, and Steve Putnam; poetry by Rachel Barton, Joyce Compton Brown, Frank X. Christmas, Gayle Compton, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Ginny Lowe Connors, Brenda Edgar, Alissa Sammarco, Alfred Fournier, Monique Gagnon German, Mark Grinyer, Bill Griffin, Jana Harris, Randall Martoccia, Lloyd Jacobs, Hank Kalet, Gary Lechliter, D.C. Leonhardt, George Longenecker, Robert Lunday, Michelle Matz, Randy Minnich, Karen Whittington Nelson, David E. Poston, Philip Raisor, Diane Pohl, James W. Reynolds, Livingston Rossmoor, Mark Rubin, David Sapp, Karen Elizabeth Sharpe, Richard Allen Taylor, Judith Terzi, Mitchell Untch, Mid Walsh, Cynthia Ventresca, Randy Lee White, Richard Widerkehr, Christy Wise, and Samantha Woodruff; and several reviews of new publications.

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Winter 2023

The Main Street Rag literary magazine Winter 2023 cover image

The Main Street Rag Winter 2023 features an interview with Jim Lundy involving the history of the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Also in this issue, readers can enjoy poetry by L. Ward Abel, Melissa Apperson, Susan Ayers, Carol Barrett, Maria Berardi, Mike Bove, Terri Drake, Sam Capps, Ricks Carson, Robert Cooperman, Steve Cushman, Barbara Daniels, Abigail Dembo, Patrick Dungan, Michael Flanagan, Tony Gloeggler, Earl Carlton Huband, Judith Janoo, Becky Nicole James, Mike James, Garret Keizer, Casey Killingsworth, Jennifer LeBlanc, Justin Lacour, Richard Levine, Mary Makofske, Ronald J. Pelias, Erik Rosen, Janet M. Rives, Bret Roth, Claire Scott, William Snyder, Jr., Shaheen Dil, Tom Whalen, James Washington, Jr., Frederick Wilbur; fiction by Chris Daly, Brett Dixon, Peter Fraser, Paul Juhasz, Eugene Radice, Beate Sigriddaughter, Karen Sleeth; images by Rebeccah Williams Connelly, Karen Pelosi, Michael Woodruff, Lynn Black, Jill L. Rausch; and a slew of book reviews.

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Fall 2022

Main Street Rag print literary journal fall 2022 issue cover image

Hot off the press, the Fall 2022 issue of The Main Street Rag features an interview with author of Songbirds & Stray Dogs and Editor in Chief of Reckon Review Meagan Lucas on “The Business of Publishing.” The issue also includes Fiction by Michael L. Woodruff, Jennifer Anne Moses, David Bradley, Robert Perchan, David Sapp, Siamak Vossoughi, and Poetry by Richard Band, Anemone Beaulier, Jane Blanchard, Matthew J. Spireng, Ace Boggess, Gary Carter, Holly Day, RC deWinter, Joanne Esser, Andrea Potos, Craig Evenson, Gary Finke, Dennis Herrell, Joseph Hutchison, Lloyd Jacobs, Chuck Joy, Jeanne Julian, Robert Lee Kendrick, R.J. Lambert, Kevin LeMaster, Kerry Loughman, John Macker, Ken Massicotte, Gary Mesick, Deni Naffziger, Leslie Hodge, Andrew Oram, T R Poulson, Marjorie Power, Timothy Robbins, Peter McNamara, Russell Rowland, Peter Serchuk, Richard Weaver, Gabriel Welsch, Steven Winn, Francine Witte, Michael Young, and Richard Levine. TMSR is available in single copy as well as by subscription.

New Book :: My Secret Place

My Secret Place stories by Max Talley published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company book cover image

My Secret Place
Stories by Max Talley
Main Street Rag Publishing Company, July 2022

In My Secret Place, Max Talley deftly mixes humor with pathos with biting social commentary in seventeen short stories, of legendary jazz musicians meeting for a recording session in 1966, of a painter dealing with the art market crash in downtown Manhattan, of a woman’s surreal walk home in Southern California after another day as a house cleaner, about a mid-’70s bar band achieving one-hit-wonder status, and a middle-aged wife dreaming of her imperious Long Island youth. Talley describes musicians and artists, underdogs and eccentrics; secret heroes of their own lives. People driven by eccentric quests that bewilder friends and family. Apartment managers, stoned teenagers, and pop culture collectors, all trying to live in and make sense of a modern world that may have already left them behind. Talley’s first novel, Yesterday We Forget Tomorrow, debuted in 2014, and his crime thriller, Santa Fe Psychosis, was published by Dark Edge Press in spring 2022. He teaches a writing workshop at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and at Santa Fe Workshops. More at www.maxdevoetalley.com.

New Book :: Creature Features

Creature Features poetry collection by Noel Sloboda published by Main Street Rag Publishing book cover image

Creature Features
Poetry by Noel Sloboda
Main Street Rag Publishing, June 2022

While the poems in Creature Features draw inspiration from several sources, many center on classic monsters author Noel Sloboda first encountered as a boy while watching the Creature Double Feature television show. In the 1970s and 1980s, this show introduced him to the Mummy, the Wolfman, the Blob — and more. What largely interested Sloboda and what he explores in this collection is how these monsters show us ourselves (or reflect our “features”). Readers may appreciate that there’s also a good deal of Shakespeare in the chapbook, since Sloboda teaches Shakespeare and has spent some time in theatre as a dramaturg. But the author also wanted to lend some of our popular culture nightmares — too often dismissed as disposable or as kitsch — the kind of pedigree they merit. Hence too — in part — the “borrowed authority” with the inclusion of cameos by eminent philosophers. Originally from New England, Noel Sloboda earned his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. His dissertation about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein became a book. He sat on the board of directors for the Gamut Theatre Group for a decade, while serving as dramaturg for its nationally recognized Shakespeare company. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of English at Penn State York.

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Summer 2022

The Main Street Rag literary magazine Summer 2022 issue cover image

If you’ve ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes at NewPages, now might be your only chance to find out. The Main Street Rag Summer 2022 Featured Interview is Casey Hill, Founder and Publisher of NewPages in conversation with TMSR‘s editor M. Scott Douglass as he digs into NewPages history and speculates about the future. Also featured in this issue: Essay by Gail Hosking; Fiction by Melissa Benton Barker, Judith T. Lessler, Anthony Mohr, Elaine Fowler Palencia, Timothy Reilly; Poetry by Alan Berecka, Joan Barasovska, Bonnie Bishop, Brenton Booth, Joanne Fay Brown, Deborrah Corr, Stephen Cramer, Mirana Comstock, Douglas K Currier, David Dragone, Matthew Duffus, Brenda Edgar, Frederick Foote, Jane Ann Fuller, Elton Glaser, E. J. Evans, Carol Hamilton, W. Luther Jett, Robert Lee Kendrick, Ulf Kirchdorfer, George Longenecker, Vikram Masson, Richard L. Matta, Jim McGarrah, Jeff McRae, Cecil Morris, Norman Unrau, Robert Parham, Elizabeth R. McCarthy, David E. Poston, Harriet Shenkman, Kevin Ridgeway, Laura Sobbott Ross, Victoria Royster, Andrew Taylor-Troutman, Rodney Torreson, Richard Weaver, John Walser.

New Book :: Love Poems in the Apocalypse

Love Poems in the Apocalypse poetry by Dani Jeremiah Gabriel book cover image

Love Poems in the Apocalypse
Poetry by Dani Jeremiah Gabriel
Main Street Rag Publishing, May 2022

Love Poems in the Apocalypse is the newest collection of poems from Dani Jeremiah Gabriel, author of Low Rent Prophet (Nomadic Press) and several other titles. Gabriel says their “response to the pandemic was to write these unbelievably gritty and hopeful love poems, and the book is made up largely of that writing.” With such titled works as “election thursday poem,” “wish list,” “everyday insurrection,” “the antidote for everything,” and “poem for my white transgender twelve year old son thinking of twelve year old Tamir Rice shot by police while playing,” Gabriel asserts the range of what can constitute a love poem. The former Poet Laureate of El Cerrito, California, Gabriel earned an MFA from Mills College and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

New Book :: Breaking Down Familiar

Breaking Down the Familiar poetry by Donald Levering book cover image

Breaking Down Familiar
Poetry by Donald Levering
Main Street Rag Publishing, May 2022

Donald Leverings’s 16th book of poetry, Breaking Down the Familiar, grapples with a host of harrowing assaults to the narrator and his family: illness and accidents, addiction and madness, estrangement and divorce. Yet as mind and body falter, as faith is undermined and relationships sunder, as aging parents can neither be changed or saved and former athletes tally their infirmities, previously obscured strength emerge – as a ruined golfer in one poem says, “Your character is revealed / in the handicap you claim.” Finally, the poems re-enact the family’s reconstitution, the way in the eponymous poem, shattered bottle pieces are refashioned into artisan’s sea glass crafts. A former NEA Fellow, Donald Levering won the Tor House Robinson Jeffers Award, selected by Eavan Boland; the Carve Poetry Prize, judged by Carmen Giménez Smith; and the Literal Latté Poetry Award. Levering’s work has also been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac podcast.

Magazine Stand :: The Main Street Rag – Spring 2022

The Main Street Rag Spring 2022 literary magazine cover image

The newest issue of The Main Street Rag (v27 n 2) starts off with “Painting In, Painting Out: An Interview with Michel Tsouris” by Don Bertschman, and is followed up with fiction by Linda Buckmaster, Robert Garner McBrearty, Skyler Nielsen, Richard Risemberg, Terry Sanville, and Frank Scozzari; poetry by Michel Tsouris, Chris Abbate, Frederick W. Bassett, Stephen Benz, C.D. Bailey, Cindy Buchanan, Brian Builta, J.I.B., Jane-Rebecca Cannarella, John J. Ronan, Margaret Diehl, Irene Fick, Regina YC Garcia, Karen L. George, Alison Stone, Cordelia M. Hanemann, Marci Rae Johnson, Genevieve Fitzgerald, Donald Levering, James Lineberger, Christopher Louvet, Kim Malinowski, Richard Merelman, James Miller, Michael Minassian, Daniel Edward Moore, Benjamin Nash, Rikki Santer, David Sapp, Gordon Taylor, Matthew A. Toll, Tom Wayman, Jeffrey Thompson, Riand chard Widerkehr.

New Book :: Singing at High Altitude

Singing at High Altitude poetry by Jennifer Markell book cover image

Singing at High Altitude
Poetry by Jennifer Markell
Main Street Rag Publishing, November 2021

Jennifer Markell‘s work has appeared in publications including The Bitter Oleander, The Cimarron Review, Consequence Magazine, RHINO, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and The Women’s Review of Books. She serves on the board of the New England Poetry Club and is a long-standing member of the Jamaica Pond Poets. For the past twenty years, Jennifer has worked in community mental health and as a psychotherapist.

Continue reading “New Book :: Singing at High Altitude”

The Main Street Rag – Winter 2022

Main Street Rag winter 2022 cover

The Main Street Rag Winter 2022 issue features editor M. Scott Douglas’s interview with Craig Johnson, author and creator of Longmire. New poetry from Margaret Benbow, Paul Colby, Pablo Patiño, and Rachel Mauro. New fiction from Burt Beckman, Valerie Gilbraeth, George Looney, Shoshauna Shy, and more. Includes a new batch of book reviews.

Find and buy the Winter 2002 issue at The Main Street Rag website.

The Main Street Rag – Fall 2021

In this issue: fiction by Jennifer Blake, Matthew C. Bush, Nathan Leslie, R. F. Mechelke, and more. Poetry by Matthew E. Henry, Jane Andrews, Richard Becker, Kay Bosgraaf, Brenton Booth, Chris Bullard, Ricks Carson, Diana Cole, Matthew J. Spireng, Beth Suter, Kevin Sweeney, Kelly Terwilliger, Mark Taksa, Eric Weil, and others. Plus a featured interview, “Teaching While Black,” with Matthew E. Henry by Shawn Pavey. Find out more at The Main Street Rag website.

New Fall 2021 Titles from Main Street Rag Publishing Company

Check out the titles slated for release this fall from Main Street Rag. These will be release in September, October, and November. You can order an advanced copy at a discounted price, too!

  • A Flower More Enduring poems by Hellen Losse
  • A Gathering of Friends poems by Ron Lands
  • Amorotica poems by Sarah Brown Weitzman
  • Any Dumb Animal poems by AE Hines
  • Blind Green poems by Richard Carr
  • Easter Creek poems by Gary Lark
  • Floating Bridge poems by Eleanor Brawley
  • Just Off Half-Moon Road poems by Sheila Turnage
  • MAGA Sonnets poems by Donald Trump found and compiled by David Rigsbee
  • Making Payments on a Pink Cadillac stories by Robert Parham
  • Polaroids at a Yard Dale poems by Ralph J. Long, Jr.
  • Praises poems by Shelby Stephenson
  • Revised Light poems by Sharon Ackerman
  • Sainted poems by Lisa Zimmerman
  • Singing at High Altitude poems by Jennifer Markell
  • Stories of the New West short stories by Evan Morgan Williams
  • When Light Waits for Us poems by Hilda Downer
  • When There Were Horses poems by Pat Riviere-Seel
  • Wild Things poems by Elizabeth Johnston Ambrose
  • Winter Bride poems by Monica McAlpine

Which titles are you adding to your fall and winter reading lists?

The Main Street Rag – Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 issue features Postscript to a Postscript: an interview with Bill Glose, Winner of the 2020 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, interviewed by M. Scott Douglass. Fiction by Abe Aamidor, Allison Daniel, Tony Hozeny, Michele Lovell, Bob Moskowitz, Robert Stone and poetry by Bill Glose, Joan Bauer, Frederick W. Bassett, Joan Bernard, Burt Beckmann, Ace Boggess, Marion Starling Boyer, and more.

The Main Street Rag – Winter 2021

In this issue of The Main Street Rag, find a featured interview with Ellen Birkett Morris by Beth Browne. Fiction by Ellen Birkett Morris, Lawrence F. Farrar, Michael Graves, Kathie Giorgio, and Steve Cushman. Poetry by Carrie Albert, Diana Anhalt, Rose Auslander, Joan Barasovska, Brenton Booth, Raymond Byrnes, Robert Cooperman, Rachel Dixon, Richelle Buccilli, Angela Gaito-Lagnese, Martha Golensky, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Ted Jonathan, Elda Lepak, Anne Hall Levine, Vikram Masson, Ken Meisel, David Mills, Randy Minnich, Harry Moore, Gail Peck, Ann Pedone, Gary V. Powell, Charles Rammelkamp, David Rock, Seth Rosenbloom, Russell Rowland, Tom Wayman, and more.

Freedom-Granting Poetry by Bethany Bowman

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

The Main Street Rag forwent their usual beautiful photographic cover art for a cartoon version of Donald Trump behind bars with the Fall 2020 issue. It seemed pretty appropriate, then, that I ended up opening the issue at random to find Bethany Bowman’s “Sometimes After Getting Off the Phone,” which begins with the speaker getting off the phone with their father “who confesses to voting for / Donald Trump to reverse Roe v. Wade” and observing a friend being confronted about her right to choose with her abortion in the 70’s.

The poem begins in a tense spot but we’re given relief, along with the speaker, in the form of animal facts given by the speaker’s son. These facts lead to biblical lessons and connections being “fed to the dogs” as the speaker realizes “you’ve always been filled with the spirit— / no external male force, no deity can grant it / or take it away.” There is power in this realization, a freedom granted from the sins stacked on women’s shoulders from the beginning of time.

While Trump may be behind bars on this issue’s cover, there is freedom to be found in the writing which Bowman graciously reminds us of.

The Main Street Rag – Fall 2020

This issue’s featured interview is with Doralee Brooks, whose poetry is also included. Also in this issue: creative nonfiction by Frederick W. Bassett; fiction by Nathan V. Baker, Mari Carlson, Linda Griffin, Alan Nelson, and Eudora Watson; and poetry by Joan Barasovska, Rachel Barton, Ranney Campbell, Maria Ceferatti, Sally Dunn, Caroline Goodwin, Cleo Griffith, Dorinda Hale, Dennis Herrell, Zebulon Huset, Craig Kittner, Mike Jurkovic, and more.

A Kind Voice in the Emptiness

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

I like a piece of writing that piques my interest and leads me to do even more reading. Gail Peck’s “The Minister of Loneliness” in the Summer 2020 issue of The Main Street Rag managed to do just that for me.

The poem is introduced with a note: “The U.K. created the position of Minister of Loneliness, two years before COVID-19.” The title “Minister of Loneliness” was enough to interest me on its own, and even more so learning that it’s a real position. Peck’s poem addresses the minister in the days of COVID-19, women calling with their moments of loneliness. “It was bad enough before,” they admit, and now it’s gotten worse, their loneliness filled with uncertainties: “should they let the delivery boy in?”

The poem is touching and relevant. In addition to giving me something further to read about, it also gave me a point of connection as someone who lives alone and spent the early days of my state lockdown feeling incredibly lonely. What more could one ask from a poem about loneliness but a moment of connection and understanding? Peck’s poem itself works as a listening ear, a kind voice in the emptiness.

The Main Street Rag – Summer 2020

This issue’s featured interview: “Digging for Gold,” an Interview with Don Kesterson by Terresa Cooper Haskew. Fiction by Ethan Forrest Ross, Michael L. Woodruff, NV Baker, and Rita Ariyoshi. Poetry by Steven Ablon, Mark Burke, Chris Capitanio, Llyn Clague, Shutta Crum, Darren C. Demaree, Craig Evenson, Barbara Greenbaum, Angela Gregory-Dribben, Katrina Hays, Scott T. Hutchison, and more. Also in this issue: a selection of book reviews.

Call :: Main Street Rag Seeks Poetry & Prose on Mental Health Recovery

Don’t forget that Main Street Rag seeks poetry and prose (fiction/nonfiction) for an anthology with a mental health recovery theme; uplifting stories of overcoming mental health challenges and trauma from writers who have experienced a mental illness or love someone who has. Length: up to 6,000 words (prose) or 5 poems. Reading Period: May1-August 1. Simultaneous submissions and previously published considered, however, authors must own the rights (no third-party permissions). Questions may be directed to editor Erika Nichols-Frazer at [email protected]. Submissions should be sent to: mentalhealth.submittable.com/submit.

The Main Street Rag – Spring 2020

In the Spring 2020 issue: fiction by Jarrett Kaufman, Emily Alice Katz, J.T. Ledbetter, John Mancini, David Pratt, and Timothy Reilly; poetry by Jeffrey Alfier, Tobi Alfier, John Azrak, Tara Ballard, Chris Bullard, Dorritt Carroll, Ricks Carson, George Bishop, Sudasi J. Clement, Joan Colby, and more; and six book reviews. Be sure to check out our featured interview with Tim Bascom by Beth Browne.

Contest :: KAKALAK 2020 Poetry & Art Contest Closes May 18

KAKALAK 2019 coverDon’t forget that the deadline to submit poetry and art that evokes the spirit of the Carolinas from the Outer Banks and Low Country to the Piedmont and Appalachia is May 18. Anyone can enter. Entry fee: $12 for 1-3 poems or 1-3 images. All entries considered for publication. All contributors will receive one copy for each item selected for publication. Prize money ranges from $300 to $20. Details can be found on the Kakalak contest page of the www.MainStreetRag.com website.

Contest :: 2020 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest

Open: May 1–June 15
Prize: $1000, publication, 50 author copies. Reading Fee: $15 (electronic submission $17). Length: 28-40 pages of poetry. First round judging done blindly by Main Street Rag editors. Final Judge: Cathy Smith Bowers, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina. 2019 Contest winner, Doralee Brooks of Bridgeville, PA for her book, When I Hold You Up to the Light. All entries considered for publication. Details: www.mainstreetrag.com.

Call :: An Anthology of Mental Health Recovery

Main Street Rag seeks poetry and prose (fiction/nonfiction) for an anthology with a mental health recovery theme; uplifting stories of overcoming mental health challenges and trauma from writers who have experienced a mental illness or love someone who has. Length: up to 6,000 words (prose) or 5 poems. Reading Period: May 1-August 1. Simultaneous submissions and previously published considered, however, authors must own the rights (no third-party permissions). Questions may be directed to editor Erika Nichols-Frazer at [email protected]. Submissions should be sent to: mentalhealth.submittable.com/submit.

Contest :: KAKALAK 2020

KAKALAK 2019 coverDeadline: May 18, 2020
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES apply to both poetry and art. Anyone can enter. Goal: We’re looking for work that evokes the SPIRIT of the Carolinas from the Outer Banks and Low Country to the Piedmont and Appalachia. Submission Period: March 1—May 18, 2020. Entry fee: $12 for 1-3 poems or 1-3 images. All entries considered for publication. All contributors will receive one copy for each item selected for publication. Prize money ranges from $300 to $20. Details can be found on the Kakalak contest page of the www.MainStreetRag.com website.

Take a Walk Down “One Narrow Street in Tokyo”

The Main Street Rag - Winter 2020Magazine Review by Katy Haas

There’s something simple and sweet in “One Narrow Street in Tokyo” by L. Davis, published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Main Street Rag, and it’s that simplicity that drew me into it. The language is sparse, and so is the poem itself, taking up just a tiny sliver of text on each side of the page.

Davis captures a small section of time in which life changes for a girl, a life so fleeting compared to that of the shrine she passes. A nearly mystical aura lingers around the fox that watches from its home in the shrine. Davis uses no punctuation used in this piece, sweeping readers up into the scene and to the end in one seamless motion. I read it over and over, letting it wash over me, my eye originally caught by the poem’s formatting. Short and sweet, it’s a good place to start with this issue of The Main Street Rag.

About the reviewer: Katy Haas is Assistant Editor at NewPages. Recent poetry can be found in Taco Bell Quarterly, petrichor, and other journals. She regularly blogs at: https://www.newpages.com/.

The Main Street Rag – Winter 2020

The Main Street Rag - Winter 2020

The Main Street Rag Winter 2020 issue includes featured interview “Living for the Day” with Laura Thurston by Richard Allen Taylor. Also in this issue, find fiction by Nancy Bourne, Michael Gaspeny, Nick Gardner, Don Stoll, Laurence Levey, and Michael Washburn; poetry by Joan Bauer, Ace Boggess, Les Brown, Brian Fanelli, Mary Alice Dixon, Sean Thomas Doherty, Vicki Mandel-King, Gerard Sarnat, Sibani Sen, Young Smith, and more; plus a selection of five book reviews.

Main Street Rag – Interview with Cathryn Cofell

Main Street Rag - Fall 2019The Fall 2019 Issue of The Main Street Rag includes an interview with Cathryn Cofell. The interview touches upon career, inspiration, and the Cofell’s submission process.

Cofell was named the winner of the 2019 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and readers can also find three of her poems in this issue: “Rush Hour,” “What I Learned from My Father,” and “Resignation Notice.”

Stick Figure with Skirt, the winning book, was released in November 2019 and is available at the Main Street Rag bookstore. Readers can also find additional sample poems from the book at the store.