The Last Time We Saw Strangers


Chris HopkinsWith “The Last Time We Saw Strangers”, published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House, poet Christopher Hopkins has crafted a chapbook of great, sweeping imagery that blends with lyricism and poignancy. Each and every poem expresses definite thoughtfulness and sensitivity to the world around us and the flashes of the inner storm we carry within us.
This poetry is cerebral and precise, lines comprised of words that you, as a reader, know were carefully placed.Chris Hopkins 1

This is a small chapbook of 24 poems, but I’m not sure if it’s necessarily meant to be read quickly. Each piece requires a pause, some time to chew on it and let it carry your thoughts to different horizons.
Hopkins is a master craftsman of the written word, and I would recommend his poetry to anyone with an appreciation for thoughtful literature.

Shedding Skin



I don’t find snakeskins anymore,
but I used to as a child-
shed here and there
by some shiny sleek friend
that had already made his way
to a warm and quiet place-
a place rife with primal orders.
Each time I found a snakeskin,
it was like finding a treasure.
Nowadays, I’m in the wild
more than ever,
but there are no snakeskins.

Where have all the snakes gone-
all the treasures?

Have all the wonderful beasts
fallen further into the green-
into the sylvan whorl
that we can only whisper of
in the comfort of our houses
when we’ve spent the day outside,
scratching at the edges?
Have all the good and gentle things
hidden themselves away?

I want to be a creature
that smells of pine and lilacs.
I want to be a beast
that roams the woods and hills
and knows all the names
of the…

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My thoughts on Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl. One of the best Contemporary Poets around today. @PoetTrandahl

Poetic Insights

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing

Release Date: April Twenty-Sixth 2017

Average Rating: 5/5 🌟 on KU



Nicholas Trandahl is an avid outdoorsman and credits his many adventures and travels as the prime source of inspiration for his writings. One is just as likely to find him on a trail or beside a trout stream as sitting at his writing desk with his old typewriter, a family heirloom. Trandahl writes at the edge of the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and children.

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My Thoughts and Review

I don’t even know where to start! You can learn so much from reading Trandahl’s poetry about perfecting your own craft. His poems are subtle, so they don’t immediately scream to you this is a love poem, or like in poem The Lengths we All Go writing about invisible mental wounds, or in Belgium

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Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

An amazing review of my new poetry collection by the poet Christina Strigas!

Christina Strigas


Pulling Words is like Pulling Weeds for Nicholas Trandahl

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Nicholas Trandahl is one of my favorite contemporary poetic voices. I have read his poetry books before and every time I am amazed at the simple brilliance. His approach is methodical, reflective, environmental and brutally honest. Trandahl’s new poetry book published by Winter Goose Publishing is his best yet. Trandahl captures, nature, war, peace, love and family life in such divine poems that reflect nature and the beauty of everyday life. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary and this is what makes Nicholas Trandahl a true poet. His ability to see thunder, rain, war zones through his quiet eyes. He is a peaceful man, and his beautiful soul is pulling words out of the universe with exquisite gestures.

There are so many poems in this collection that reached out to me and touched me…

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#NationalPoetryMonth: Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

A great review for my new poetry release from Winter Goose Publishing, PULLING WORDS.

The Smart Cookie Philes

The thing about reading poetry is if you already are a poet, it awakens an innate desire to take the words before you, inhale them, and exhale them into poetry regurgitated but uniquely yours.

According to Winter Goose’s site:

With PullingWords, a collection that simply and honestly showcases the drama and quietude of life, poet Nicholas Trandahl displays written snapshots of the world he has explored and observed. He escorts readers from his childhood in rural Virginia to his troubled time as a deployed soldier in the Middle East, and from the empty beauty of Wyoming to the quaint charm of Martha’s Vineyard.

I’ve followed Nick’s poetic journey from the beginning and liked his use of nature to stick a lens into the bigger picture of life’s greatest mysteries and moments: love, being in love, marriage, pregnancy, and reminiscing childhood truths and young adult experiences that led to…

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The Poetry of Christina Strigas


I set out to write a review on here of Christina Strigas’ debut poetry collection In My Own Flood (she had a recently-published chapbook as well entitled Your Ink On My Soul), but I found that I could not write a review of that book alone. I want to write about her poetry in general, all of her published poetry and what she also posts on her website and on social media. She is also the author of a paranormal romance novel entitled Crush (and available here) and a trilogy of nonfiction novels about a Greek-Canadian model that she co-authored with Zaharoula Sarakinis (available here), but that’s not why I’m here. I don’t know if Strigas would agree with me on this point or not, but I consider her first a foremost a poet.

StrigasI encountered Christina Strigas, a Greek-Canadian dwelling with her husband and kids in Montreal, online in 2015, and was immediately taken in by her writing. She displays an honesty and grittiness, but she’s also a romantic (whether she would admit to that or not, I don’t know). She loves … love. She writes of passion and lust and longing with a force that moves the reader, that pulls the reader deeper. She writes proudly of her Greek heritage and of her memories and family in such a way that you felt as though you’ve also known them, as if you also visited her cousins in Greece or sampled one of her mixed drinks of Greek coffees. She is a personal poet that writes comfortably enough to allow the reader long looks into the exquisite cave of her life.

Her chapbook Your Ink On My Soul (available here) was first released through 451 Publishing, but after parting ways with them, Strigas re-released her chapbook on her own, and I think that was a very wise move. It pairs wonderfully with her brand new poetry collection In My Own Flood (available here). I re-read her chapbook when I got my new edition and moved right into her poetry collection. It flowed like a single cohesive work. Her poetic brand is evident in both works, and if I read one of her poems with no author noted, I would know a Christina Strigas poem just by it’s format and tone and themes alone. That’s a difficult thing for a poet to get across to the reader. All the really great poets have it, their own unique brand that is unmissable. And Strigas is a great poet.

During the course of my conversations with Strigas, I’ve deemed her my “Poet Hero”. She is unafraid of expressing herself through poetry, even if her words are vulnerable or deeply personal. I’m amazed and humbled by her lines that appear simply-composed but are actually saturated with poignancy and depth. Strigas has an unbelievable talent for writing the exact thing that must be written. She’s a Hemingway-esque poet, but writes verses proudly emblazoned with femininity.

Strigas was recently interviewed on a radio show and along with many others, I got to hear her read aloud one of her poems, “1973”. Head here to read “1973 on her website. This piece, my favorite of hers, is a vivid and stunning example of what I’m trying to impart to you about the significance of Christina Strigas’ poetry. If you like what you read, and I sincerely hope that you do, please check out her website and please purchase her chapbook and her debut poetry collection.

Her writing is so utterly worth it.

A Little History

River Ram Press #InspireWriters #InspireReaders

Nick Trandahl- 'A Little History'

I’m an  avid fan of all sorts of contemporary poetry, especially free verse shorter pieces that manage to condense something very potent and significant into just a few lines. I like poetry that packs the honest punch of Hemingway, Jim Harrison or Raymond Carver. I want to feel the point or theme of a poem suddenly and simply. There’s elegance in honest and simple poetry.

Being such a fan of that style of poetry, it should come as no surprise that over the years my own writing has also been purified into a similar style. My first book of poetry, Lost Yellow, published by Swyers Publishing and available in paperback or kindle here, began as the desperate poetic scribblings of deployed U.S. soldier caught in the tight spin of a downward spiral. The poems of Lost Yellow were largely angry and soaked in depressive imagery and themes, and they…

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Who Will Love the Crow by Miriam Dunn

Ever since I first directed my hungry gaze at Winter Goose Publishing, I’d been reading as many of their books of poetry as I could afford. That practice, even after being fortunate and persistent enough to sign with WGP, never ceased. I’ve never encountered a publishing house with such an arsenal of really good, solid poets. It’s kind of shocking! Every collection I’ve read from WGP has been exquisite. And that holds true with the latest offering I’ve had a chance to read.Miriam_BW

Who Will Love the Crow by Miriam Dunn is that poet’s debut with WGP. Dunn resides in eastern Canada, and that Atlantic air has seeped into her prose. This collection (and be patient; I’ll get to how amazing it is in a moment) is available for pre-order here.WWLTC_FlatforeBooks

It seems redundant to call a poetry collection “poetic”, but that was the first word that came to mind when I read this collection. Dunn is a poet of immense talent, and she utilizes several different poetic tools with her work. There are several pieces with rhyming, which seems to me to be a rarity in much contemporary poetry. It causes her work to seem traditionally-inspired and cerebral. Dunn also utilizes the standard haiku form on occasion, and most of her poems are comprised of short lines. These poems are concise and beautiful. They’re gorgeous themes and imagery elegantly packaged into a readable contemporary form that hearkens also back to romanticists. Her work is also rife with sensuality and tension. They’re brooding and also hopeful.

It should also be noted that throughout the collection, gorgeous photographs are perfectly-paired to several poems. You reach the end of a particular piece and behold an image that brings the whole piece together. Come to find out, these photos are done by Dunn’s daughter. It looks like there’s creativity aplenty in that family.

My favorite pieces were “Crows”, “Undressed”, and “The Ocean is too Big”. “Crows” is conversational in nature, written as dialogue. It almost reads like flash fiction. “Undressed” is very pleasurably suggestive, as several of Dunn’s poems in this collection are. My favorite poem in the book is “The Ocean is too Big”. It contains my favorite lines in the whole collection:

The ocean is too big

but still I find you.

Miriam Dunn is a remarkable poet, and Who Will Love the Crow is a remarkable collection of poetry. Pre-order it ASAP. Read it. Discover why Winter Goose Publishing is at the pinnacle of contemporary poetry.