About Us

We met while attending Spalding University's MFA program. To give back to the poetry community, support other poets, and keep ourselves immersed in poetry, we decided to start a blog that focused on poetry book reviews and interviews.

You won't find any scathing reviews here. We write about what we love. We each have our personal individual aesthetic and tend to select books based on that aesthetic.

Regular Contributors

Anthony Fife and his family
Anthony Fife lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his wife, fiction writer Lauren Shows, and their daughter Lucy.  Anthony accepted his B.A. and M.A. in English from Morehead State University and his M.F.A in Poetry from Spalding University.  Anthony teaches English at Clark State Community College and Sinclair Community College. Anthony’s taste in poetry is broad, but his main interests include personae poems and character sketches; in short, poems that place the focus primarily on a person, and don’t let them get away with anything.

Caroline LeBlanc
Caroline A. LeBlanc's poetry and essays have been published in the US and abroad. In 2010, Oiseau Chapbooks published her manuscript, Smokey Ink and a Touch of Honeysuckle. After thirty years, in 2006 Ms. LeBlanc closed her practice of Jungian psychotherapy to pursue her studio/fiber art and writing, including a literary exploration of her Franco-American heritage. She has a BS and MS in nursing as well as a MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. Her experiences as a military family member and former Army Nurse inspired the Writing For Your Life© programs which she offers to soldiers and their families at Fort Drum, NY as well as veterans in Albuquerque, NM.  A graduate of the Marion Woodman Foundation Leadership Program, Ms. LeBlanc offers groups which explore connections among personal dreams, myth, the body and creativity. For book reviews and poet interviews for the blog, she generally selects poets with ties to the Southwest.

Joel Nelson
Joel W. Nelson spent most of his childhood in the sub-Saharan countries of Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire. He has an MFA in Poetry from Spalding University and lives with his wife and son in Louisville, KY. His poems may be found in the Bellevue Literary Review, the Found Poetry Review, The Louisville Review, and A Narrow Fellow. Joel is interested in concise poems that rely heavily on images and are musically interesting. While books containing these types of poems will be his main focus, he is also interested in translations and books with international themes.

JoAnn LoVerde-Dropp
JoAnn LoVerde-Dropp's poetry and short stories take place in the slivers of land between waking and dream consciousness. Her life consists of missed highway exits, teaching freshman composition, technical writing, and special topics at Southern Polytechnic State University, and serving on the board of directors for The Georgia Writer's Association where she is the poetry workshop facilitator. Her poems have been published by Gargoyle magazine and Accents Publishing. Other published interviews include authors Terry Kay and Chris Mattingly.  She is a graduate of the State University College of Brockport in New York, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Spalding University. For book reviews and interviews, JoAnn focuses on writing that echoes the soft knock from parallel universes, past lives, the paranormal, and the fantastic.

Karen George
Karen George retired from computer programming to write full-time. She lives in Florence, Kentucky, and enjoys traveling to historic river towns, mountains, and Europe. She is author of Into the Heartland (Finishing Line Press, 2011), Inner Passage (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Swim Your Way Back (Dos Madres Press, 2014), and forthcoming The Seed of Me (Finishing Line Press, 2015). You can find her work in Louisville Review, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, Wind, Permafrost, qarrtsiluni, and Still. She holds an MFA from Spalding University, and is fiction editor of the journal, Waypoints. Visit her website: http://karenlgeorge.snack.ws/. Here on Poetry Matters, Karen tends to review books grounded in the natural world, or ones that haunt her long after she's read them.

Melva Sue Priddy

Melva Sue Priddy, a native Kentuckian, earned degrees in English/Education from Berea College and The University of Kentucky, before earning an MFA. Her poems witness survivance and growth, bringing to light truths that arise out of felt experience. In addition to poems, she creates gardens, quilts, and some rustic woodwork. Her poetry can be found in ABZ, Accents Publishing’s LexPoMo, Blood Lotus, The Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Motif Anthologies, The Single Hound, and Still. Melva’s interest in poetry, while broad, gravitates to lyrical and narrative poems of people and place with voices that speak of the common extraordinary.

Nancy Chen Long

Nancy Chen Long is 2017 National Endowment of the Arts fellow in Creative Writing (poetry). Her first book Light Into Bodies (University of Tampa Press, 2017) won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. She is also author the chapbook Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013.) You’ll find her recent and forthcoming work in The Adroit Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Southern ReviewCimarron Review,  Ninth LetterZone 3Alaska Quarterly Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She received a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology and an MBA, worked as an electrical engineer, software consultant, and project manager, and more recently earned her MFA. As a volunteer for the Writers Guild at Bloomington, she coordinates a reading series and works with other poets to offer poetry workshops.When it comes to poetry, Nancy reads eclectically and is not wedded to any one aesthetic, school, approach, style, etc. For reviews and interviews here on Poetry Matters, she tends to gravitate towards emerging poets, those who have written their first or second full-length book. nancychenlong.com

Guest Bloggers

Barbara Sabol
Barbara Sabol lives in the Great Lakes area and has an M. A. in Communication Disorders, an MFA, and a BA in French. She is the author of two chapbooks: Original Ruse (Accents Publishing, 2011) and The Distance Between Blues (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, most recently The Examined Life, San Pedro River Review, The Louisville Review, on the Tupelo Press Poetry Project web site, and in the collection, Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems (Accents Publishing).  An essay and book review/interview have also been published in Public-Republic.  Barbara believes that poetry, beyond its aesthetic value, is a vital tool for healing and transformation, and that when poetry lives and breathes in our larger communities, it becomes an agent of change. To that end, she created and hosts a poetry reading series―Third Thursday Poetry Reading–in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where she lives and works as a speech therapist.  Barbara’s inspiration for writing is shaped by the natural world, perfect metaphor for our sensate lives.  She writes primarily in the lyric mode, yet her poetic tastes are eclectic.  The books she plans to review will be chosen from work presented by her featured readers at The Root CafĂ©, and by any fresh, vibrant voice that insists on her attention.