The Healing Muse Cafe

Healing Muse 15 cover art by Ted Meyer

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

May Looms Large

Although we are still somewhat cool, okay chilly,  here in Central New York, we do believe the warmer weather is just around the corner and with that comes increased activity for all. This is the last week to submit your work for consideration in Muse 16 which will appear in October 2016. Editors and staff are already busy editing and proofing, and we are looking for our visual artists to send us their work as well.

Speaking of visual artists, Joan Applebaum had a wonderful spread given to her work in Thousand Islands magazine. The article captures so well her passion for painting as well as her commitment to celebrating the seasons. We have been so fortunate over the years to have Joan's work each year in our pages, and we're delighted to see that others agree with us about her many gifts. She was gracious in this article to mention The Healing Muse and its significance  and we say thank you for that shout out, Joan!

While we are thanking Muse contributors, let us also share news from poet Theresa Wyatt who represented us at the tenth annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair April 9. Theresa said she had a great time talking to people who stopped by her booth about The Muse. She said the crowds were a good size, and people were hoping that the organizers who announced that this would be the final book fair could be persuaded to hand it off to someone else. Buffalo has a lively literary core, and they don't want to see this annual tradition end. Theresa met some of our writers who were in town visiting friends or at the university and decided to stop at the fair.

Theresa at theBuffalo Small Press Fair
If any of our writers or artists has a similar fair or literary arts happening occurring in your town, please consider representing
The Muse at it. We'll send you copies of the journal to sell, and we'll give you brochures to distribute as well as our submission guidelines. Or perhaps you'd like to be part of one of our readings; we try to let area contributors know whenever we are having a reading in your town, but you are very welcome to organize one at your local bookstore or gallery or cafe. The Muse continues to gain new fans, and you gain a bigger audience! Thank you to Theresa again.

Another of our regular contributors, poet Joan Cofrancesco writes to let us know that she is publishing a children's book, Beverly Beaver's Hats: An Adirondack Tale. Her friend Janine Bartolotti is the illustrator, and the book looks so inviting. You can find it at Barnes and Noble. Joan says the story is inspired by her own mother's talent for designing hats for her friends

Joan has poetry in the latest volume of Sinister Wisdom, the 100th issue! You can order it at this site or find it at your independent book store or at one of the chains for $12. Two excellent publications, Joan!

Poet Kathy Kramer sends us the good news of her new book being published: Planting Wild Grapes from Yesteryear Press is now available on amazon. I'm looking forward to this one too. 

And finally a reminder that several Muse writers will be reading their work at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca NY at the Ithaca Commons Saturday May 14 from 2-3:30. Stop by and say hello; authors will have individual books available for sale and of course we'll have Muse 15 there as well. Hope to see you. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Read Your Healing Muse 15 Work at Buffalo Street Books

Hello, all! It’s that time of year again for our spring readings, and we’d like to invite writers whose work appears in The Healing Muse, Volume 15, to participate in a reading at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, NY.  The event will take place on Saturday, May 14th from 2-3:30pm.

If you are in within reach of Ithaca that weekend and would like to read your work at the bookstore, please email us at

Whether you stop in to attend the reading or plan to read your own writing there, we look forward to seeing everyone in Ithaca in May!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Updates for Spring

I'm writing this as welcome sunshine pours through my window. Yes, the meteorologists are predicting snow by week's end, but I can hear birds singing and there was a definite smell of spring in the air over the weekend. With these good harbingers, let's talk about Muse writers and their continuing publications.

I have in my hands Before We Knew, the new chapbook by Joyce Holmes McAllister. It is the perfect book for an afternoon's reading.

Joyce's poems have appeared in several of our Muse volumes, but it's lovely to see a body of her work and feel the elegiac along with the celebratory, the wry with the comedic. What a rich life she has led, and you can enjoy hearing her talk about with fellow poet and talk show host Tish Pearlman on Ithaca's weekly art show, Out of Bounds. This is a Muse bonus round: two of our poets engaged in a lively discussion about how poetry comes to be. Tish Perlman is a gifted interviewer who seems to know exactly what question will elicit a thoughtful response.

From Maryland poet VP Loggins (Muses 11 and 14) comes word of two honors: his book The Green Cup received honorable mention for Cider Press Review Poetry Book Award, and his latest manuscript The Wild Severance was a finalist for the TS Eliot Poetry Prize. Well done!

Here at The Healing Muse, the editors are deep into reading for the next issue; our deadline is May 1; please go to the website for instructions on how to submit manuscripts or artwork. We are now using so the process is a little bit different. We love hearing from old and new writers and artists so send us your best work. Muse 16 will appear in October 2016.

Thanks to Muse contributor and poet Theresa Wyatt, we'll be a presence at the 10th Annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair Saturday April 9 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library. Stop by and say hello if you are in the area.

We appreciate our writers and artists helping us to get the word out about the great writing and art we have to offer. If your area is having a book fair or sponsoring a poetry reading or if your book club is looking for the next book, consider The Muse. We will help with copies of The Healing Muse as well as information packets.

Back to the reading pile.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holidays Ahead

How can it be December already? While we're trying to figure that out, we want to remind our loyal subscribers that Muse 15 makes a wonderful gift! For only $10, you give someone hours of good reading and art, stories and words that provoke as well as entertain, teach as well as delight. Please consider sending a copy to a friend, a colleague, a teacher, a librarian, a physician, a nurse practitioner, a student thinking about a career in health care. Muse 15 has so much to offer. It's the gift that truly does keep on giving. For details on how to order visit our website.

We send our best wishes to you for a happy Hanukah, a happy Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a happy Kwanzaa. We hope the year ends with more acceptances for our writers and artists and look forward to hearing from you in 2016. Take good care.

Deirdre, Kathy, Jess, and Kate

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wells College

A big thank you to Professor Dan Rosenberg at Wells College who hosted 8 Muse writers last Thursday night in a packed reading. We always feel so at home at Wells. As poet Bruce Bennett reminded the audience, our connection with Wells runs deep. Bonnie St. Andrews, our founding editor, was a guest there several times doing workshops and readings, and the Book Arts Press at Wells published her very beautiful book of poems called Learning From Renoir. Bonnie and Bruce were professional colleagues who became good friends, and thus began a wonderful symbiotic relationship between the college and our journal. Bonnie's untimely death in 2003 was a huge loss for so many of us, but Bruce kept our pipeline running. He used the journal in his creative non-fiction and poetry classes; he encouraged his students to send us their best work, and we continued to delight in publishing them.

Bruce has retired from teaching, but Dan has continued our yearly tradition of following the launch of the journal with a reading in MacMillan Hall. We thank our enthusiastic audience who came out in big numbers and gave our writers applause and feedback. We also enjoyed a tasty meal beforehand! It was good seeing old familiar faces and meeting new potential writers and readers. Thank you to all who came out.

A reminder that we'll close our fall travel trips with a reading next Thursday Oct. 29, 6:30-7:30 pm at the Ulysses Philomathic Library in Trumansburg NY, just a few miles down the road from Ithaca. The  library is at 74 E. Main St in Trumansburg. So far we have 7 of our Muse 15 writers signed up. Please let us know if there are any others in the area who want to read. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon, Deirdre.

Monday, October 19, 2015

We Are Launched!

Hello, Muse Faithful. I wanted to post some pictures from the fun time we had at the launch last Wednesday. Muse 15 is officially out in the world and we could not be prouder. I'll begin with our surprising our former Managing Editor, Lois Dorschel, with the dedication of this volume to her. All of us were so happy she could attend the launch and hear from us and from our contributors how much she has meant to the journal's growth. Our Associate Editor, Kathy Faber-Langendoen,  had put together a gorgeous bouquet remembering how Lois always kept the office blooming with color and healthy plants.

Deirdre and Lois


Then Jessica DeJohn Barbuto, our new Managing Editor came to offer her thanks and congratulations. Next up was our Design and Graphics Editor, Nancy Schreher. She's been hearing wonderful compliments about the new design and presentation of our art. Our artists can now see their work more clearly and more cleanly. Finally Editorial Assistant Kate Ghezzi-Kopel stepped forward to receive our thanks for her painstaking work at editing and proofing. Without these amazing women, Muse 15 would not be as stunning as it is.

Lois and Jess
Lois, Nancy, Jess, and Kate
Lois, Nancy, and Jess
Now, how stunning is Muse 15? Like any parent, I am of course biased, but unlike any parent, I  am allowed to say that our latest "child" is the best one yet! I think if you spend some time reading and reflecting, you will agree. Muse 15 has laughter and sorrow, meditations and reveries. At the launch, we heard from ten of our writers; they made us laugh and cry; they reminded us of the truths and themes we hold in common. As always, I love hearing the writer read his or her own words; always new meanings emerge for me, new appreciations for their craft and honesty.

Pam Freeman "Land Line"
Katherine Robinson "He Didn't Look Dead"
Eric v.d. Luft "Conflict"

Bob Lebel "Uncanny Gift"

Victoria Korth "Seizure"

Ann Sutera Botash "Hovering"

Tori Russell "Broken, or Only Sprained?"

Mary Gardner "Postsurgical Mind"

Bob Daly "Talk"

Bruce Bennett "The One Thing"
Opening Remarks
President Eastwood
Closing Remarks

After the readings, we adjourned for cake and conversation and congratulations to our artists and writers and staff and readers. We are grateful to all.

Reminder, some of us will be heading to Wells College (Main Street Aurora NY) Macmillan Hall's Art Exhibition Room Thursday October 22, 2015 for a 7 pm reading. Come hear the Muse in person! 

And October 29, 2015 Thursday at 6:30 pm we'll be at the Trumansburg Library (74 E. Main Street, Trumansburg NY) for a reading. We hope to see more of you there. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Books from our Writers

As the countdown continues to our Muse 15 launch (October 14), we want to share some good news from two of the issue's writers, Ron Pies and Mary Gardner.

Ron Pies MD is a psychiatrist, poet, novelist, and ethicist who serves on the faculties of SUNY Upstate Medical University and Tufts University School of Medicine. His latest book, The Myeloma Year, is both a physician and husband's account of his wife's journey through a serious illness. In addition to poetry, the book includes six short essays that examine the threads connecting psychology, philosophy, and different spiritual traditions. You can find his book on Amazon.

Mary Gardner, whose poetry has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, has published her first chapbook, When All Danger of Frost Is Past, from Foothills Publishing. In these pages she unites her love for nature and gardening with her belief that writing too depends upon seasons, "times for sowing and repeating, laying things to rest, and daring to sow again. You can order her book here. Gardner is also author of My Life Matters, now in its fifth printing, and she is an active member of the National League of American Pen Women, CNY.

We send our congratulations to Ron and Mary and encourage our readers to give these books serious consideration. If you've been published in The Muse and have other work appearing elsewhere, let us know and we'll be happy to spread the word here in the cafe.

Also, as we approach the launch of Muse 15, please keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for giveaway contests! We'll be giving away free copies of Muse 14 to the first people to retweet/"like" our contest posts on social media in the coming weeks.