MRPR #17     Fall 2017

This is an exciting Fall Issue we have. We have a number of outstanding poets, and of particular mention our three Feature poets: Barbara Helfgott Hyett, Tim Gager and Wendy Drexler.

Among the poets is one of my personal favorites whose work is recognized as among the best in America, Eileen R. Tabios. She has been a Feature in the past and will, I hope be a Feature again in the near future. In this issue she has written three riffs on another great poet, the late John Ashberry who died September 2 at the age of 90.

Also in this issue is Michael Ansara, a co-founder of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival who has two poems, one of which, “Savannah,” is particularly meritorious. Steve Klepetar, featured in the last issue has returned from Australia, where he was obviously inspired as you will read in his three poems. Another whose poetry I drawn to is Gloria Mindock, Poet Laureate of Somerville, MA and Publisher of Cervena Barva Press. We also have the privilege of having in this issue Doug Holder, a co-founder of the legendary Bagel Bards of Somerville and author of his latest poetry book, Last Night at the Wursthaus which has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize! Back again is another former feature Dennis Daly, a much lauded translator and poetry critic who has two pantoums. Voices of Poetry founder Neil Silberblatt is also in this issue with three poems. And be sure to check out Ken Meisel’s interview in the latest issue of Rattle and his poem here.

Once again this is the largest issue – 65 poets and 128 poems! It is nearly evenly split between male and female poets. Thirty of the poets are appearing for the first time in Muddy River Poetry Review, a great indication of how our readership is increasing and the magazine is a sought after home for poems.

Starting with this issue I will no longer have a Special Feature, but instead will feature three poets all equally superior. As a result, we have three features for the fall: Barbara Helfgott Hyett, Wendy Drexler and Timothy Gager.

Barbara Helfgott Hyett is a poet, professor and public lecturer who has published five collections of poetry: In Evidence: Poems of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps (1986), Natural Law (1989), The Double Reckoning of Christopher Columbus: 3 August-12 October 1492: Poems (1992), The Tracks We Leave: Poems on Endangered Wildlife of North America (1996) and Rift (2008). She is the recipient of two Massachusetts Artists Fellowships in Poetry, the New England Poetry Club's Gertrude Warren Prize, the Herman Melville Commemorative Poetry Prize among many other prizes and awards. Helfgott Hyett has taught English at the “Teachers as Scholars” program at Harvard, MIT, Trinity College, and Boston University.

Timothy Gager is the author of thirteen books of short fiction and poetry. His most recent poetry book is Chief Jay Strongbow is Real (Big Table Publishing). A prolific writer Tim has had over 400 works of fiction and poetry published eleven of which were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His work has been read on National Public Radio.

Timothy is the Fiction Editor of The Wilderness House Literary Review. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Timothy lives in Dedham, Massachusetts and is employed as a social worker.

Wendy Drexler’s third poetry collection, Before There Was Before, was published in March by Iris Press. She is also the author of Western Motel (Turning Point, 2012), and a chapbook, Drive-ins, Gas Stations, the Bright Motels (Pudding House, 2007). Her poems have appeared in  many national publications and have been featured on Verse DailyWBUR’s Cognoscenti, and in numerous anthologies. A three-time Pushcart-Prize nominee, she is currently in training to be certified as a poet-in-residence in the Boston Public Schools. She lives in Belmont, Massachusetts, with her husband.

These poets and the others in this issue will provide you with hours of great poetry. So again I invite you to relax in a comfortable chair and take in the poets who present their considerable talents for your contemplation and enjoyment. Some have been previously published in this magazine and others are new to our Muddy River Poetry Review family.


Zvi A. Sesling


Issue #17

Timothy Gager -- Feature

Wendy Drexler -- Feature