If you’d like to read more by The Coop: A Poetry Cooperative editors, you can find their publications here.
Recent Books from our Editors
The Book of Stolen Images by Laura Lee Washburn
Available from Meadowlark Press
Laura Lee Washburn is the editor-in-chief of this site. She is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review. Harbor Review’s chapbook prize is named in her honor.
Of The Book of Stolen Images, the publisher states: “In a fantastical neo-classical sense, The Book of Stolen Images speaks novelly toward culture, politics, and collective humanity. This poetry collection recognizes personal yet relatable ordinary and existential experiences, particularly in a timely contextual fashion regarding modern social issues–what makes us feel alive, imperfect, concerned, and inspired to do better. Unique imagery and diction flavor each poem and set this collection apart from other offspring of fairy tales and social commentaries.”
Laura Lee Washburn’s poetry presses light against dark and bravely traverses the landscapes of environment, politics, and culture. With a keen and observant eye, Washburn writes poems whose layers delve into the self and the ordinary- “Morning breaks me into pieces / and every organ speaks its subtle resistance” – to reveal and connect with the global. Through her poetic lens, we are reminded of how fallible we humans are. I can’t help but feel that Washburn is trying to warn us, inform us-“our end… may come so terribly to resemble entrance”-yet also take our hands and help us cross the way.
-Shuly Xochitl Cawood, author of Trouble Can Be So Beautiful at the Beginning, winner of the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry
Can a book be both charming and terrifying? Laura Lee Washburn’s The Book of Stolen Images manages that delicate tension between the beautiful and the scary in the stories we consider familiar. A joy in Washburn’s poems is her ability to see wonder where other poets might see terror. This is a collection where the voice gains strength as stories are told and fears are revealed. The book strikes me as being full of particular anthems for the Gen X generation, but really, any reader can connect with Washburn’s cogent observations, durable wit, and intriguing images.
-Allison Joseph, author of Confessions of a Barefaced Woman and Lexicon
This collection opens with the image of an inverted tree, roots in air. Throughout, Laura Lee Washburn upends the fairy stories that confine us, remakes old tropes to break through fear. She aims righteous anger at injustices historic and immediate. These poems probe many kinds of darkness, but ultimately turn us toward that “bright light shining from the mind to the soul.”
-Peggy Shumaker, author of Cairn and former Alaska State Writer Laureate
The Currency of His Light by Roy Beckemeyer
Roy Beckemeyer is a past monthly editor and was coeditor of Kansas Time + Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry, a collection of poems that appeared in the first incarnation of this online journal between 2014 and 2016. He is author of four previous poetry collections: Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar Press, 2019), Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Press, 2018, Winner of the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award), Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018), and Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014, a 2015 Kansas Notable Book). Since 2015 four of his poems have been Pushcart nominees, two were nominated for Best of the Net (2018, 2023), one was nominated and accepted for publication in the 2019 Best Small Fictions anthology, and one nominated for a 2023 Best Spiritual Literature Award. Beckemeyer has been a scientific journal editor and has written many scientific and engineering papers that span more than fifty years. He lives in Wichita, Kansas with his wife Pat; they have been married for more than 60 years. His Creative Writing Author’s Page is at https://royjbeckemeyer.com/ and his scientific publications are listed at http://publicationslist.org/royjbeckemeyer.
Roy Beckemeyer is a polymath, with expertise in entomology (dragon flies in particular), aeronautical engineering, painting, and poetry. Always, he has fascinating tales. His latest book of poetry, The Currency of His Light, shows his originality. Each section begins with an epigraph about light. Each poem refracts human stories and lyrical wonder. This poet’s not-to-be-missed book astonishes on every page.
-Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-9, Red Mountain Press Prize winner
As with E. E. Cummings, love transports Beckemeyer’s poetry to its rightful place between heaven and earth. The light shines on it, and beauty blooms from the shadows, sparkling with elevated diction, visceral imagery, keen metaphor and “the color of blessing.” Highest recommendations.
-Arlice Davenport, author of Kind of Blue: New Poems.
Roy Beckemeyer, in his shining new collection of poetry, explores, questions, laments, and celebrates the mystery and power of light in language, art, spirit, and life. His deep and abiding investigation of the natural world generously gives these poems grounding, heft, and precision so that what’s often beyond words can take flight. This whole book is an ode to wonder, and the kind of wonder we especially need to illuminate our lives right now.
-Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas 2009-13, author of How Time Moves: New and Selected Poems
Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi
NEA fellow, Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Through Grainy Landscape (2021) and Only More So (Salmon Poetry, Ireland). She guest-edited The Coop in April of 2022, and you can find her own poems on the site here and here. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Covid grant). The Corporation of Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana (Portugal), and the Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.” She lives in Topanga and holds degrees from CSULB and USC.
This is a vital book for those of us whose heritage is Portuguese, but it’s also an important book for readers of every background and tradition. It stands as an esthetic bridge between cultures.
–Frank X. Gaspar
America often prides itself in being “a melting pot” of cultures, but the truth is that the dominant culture often strives consciously and unconsciously to make the new citizens change who they are and how they act to fit in and disappear. Accardi’s collection is often an exposition of how that happens and the anxiety and even terror of losing one’s identity.
— John Brantingham
Wing by Densie Low
Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, has been a frequent guest-editor of this site, last editing in May 2022. You can read one of Denise’s more recent poems here. She is winner of the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Choice Award for SHADOW LIGHT (Red Mountain Press, 2018). Other recent books are a memoir, The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press) and A Casino Bestiary: Poems (Spartan Press. Jackalope (Red Mountain Press,2015),short fiction, was acclaimed by Pennyless (U.K.), American Book Review, and New Letters. She edited Kansas Poems of William Stafford (Woodley). Low is past board president of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs.
Denise Low writes places, events, frustrations, and joys that are felt in nail bed and hair root. “Pray to the gods of gravity to untangle chaos”. I don’t know for certain where the keratin of human meets the keratin of dark feathers, but it may be that in the smoke of wildfires and pandemic the stubborn shapeshift just enough and know each other more clearly. Denise is a writer I come back to again and again. Read Wing and you may understand why.
-K Shuck, 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco
Denise Low makes poems of striking verticality. There are fault lines and scored buffalo bones beneath them, sand crab holes bubbling at their toes. They breathe wildfire smoke and are touched from above by a buzzard’s shadow. When they sleep, they go to the stars for instruction. Go to Wing for instruction; every poem in it is a core sample of our humanity.
-Eric McHenry, former Kansas Poet Laureate
How Time Moves by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
How Time Moves: New and Selected Poems brings together over 30 years of Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s poetry on what it means to be human in a particular place, time, body, history, and story. “She is our teacher speaking from the sky, from the field, from the heartland,” writes Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford. “Like William Blake’s ‘doors of perception,’ these pages lead readers inward and outward at once,” Denise Low, past poet laureate of Kansas, says of the new poems. The collection also includes poetry from Mirriam-Goldberg’s previous six collections: Following the Curve, Chasing Weather, Landed, Animals in the House, Reading the Body, and Lot’s Wife.
“In How Time Moves, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg offers us a magical gift: a compilation of new and selected poems, rich with memory and meaning. ‘Expect to be startled,’ the poet tells us. And we are,” writes poet Joy Roulier Sawyer. Poet Patricia Traxler adds, “This is the real work of a poet–to see and speak the often-hidden truths of a human life in a way that enlightens and informs.” Poet Diane Suess points out that “True to its title, time is a paramount issue in these poems—not simply its passing, but its potential, in complicity with imagination, to invent and resurrect the future.”
Available through Meadowlark Press and the Raven Bookstore.