Sunday, May 22, 2016



Interview with editor of Iodine Poetry Journal

Recently I asked poet, editor, painter and publisher, Jonathan Kevin Rice for an interview. I was pleased with his response. After reading his remarks, I find that I have much in common with him, his likes and how he spends his time. He also has a sense of humor.
I appreciate him taking the time to answer my questions.

 Glenda Beall: Thank you, Jonathan, for taking time to answer my questions.
Tell us, please, about your family and where you live and work?

Jonathan Rice: I live with my wife and youngest son in the University area of Charlotte, NC. I’m a working artist and editor/publisher. I manage to make a few bucks doing that.

Glenda: Your education was in religious studies. Are you a minister or have you been a minister?

Jonathan: I am not a minister, although many years ago I worked with an inner-city ministry. That was a very busy and fulfilling time working with families in public housing, elderly, as well as the homeless and incarcerated. I became a bit burned-out though and moved on to other things.

Glenda: I know you have been editor and publisher of IodinePoetry journal since 2000. Why did you begin this publication?

Jonathan: Around that time I was getting published in small press mags and, upon looking at the various inexpensive (and sometimes cheap) formats, I thought, “I can do this!” So I went to my good friend Scott Douglass, editor and publisher of The Main Street Rag and Main Street Rag Publishing. I told him my idea, so with a few hundred bucks I started Iodine as a 32 page saddle-stitched mag with a card stock cover, priced at $4. I was also hosting readings at the time. It was a year into those readings when I decided to start Iodine, so getting poetry was easy. Much of what was in that first issue was poetry I heard at the mic. I hosted the readings for fifteen years until the café closed. I miss that café (Jackson’s Java) and those readings.

Glenda: Iodine has published some notable poets over the years. Tell us about them and some of the  universities that subscribe to Iodine.

Jonathan: Well, some of those poets found us, like Virgil Suarez, for example. I never knew what was going to be in the mail box. Also, I was always meeting poets at readings and conferences, so I made it a habit of asking them to submit. Not everyone did, but those who did helped to make Iodine what it is.  
A letter or email goes a long way in reaching out to poets to submit as well. I was thrilled to publish work by Fred Chappell, someone I greatly admire. He was kind enough to write a blurb for my collection, “Ukulele and Other Poems.”
We’ve published Kim Bridgford, Peter Cooley, Kim Garcia, Jaki Shelton Green, Colette Inez, Ron Koertge, Dorianne Laux, Karen An-Hwei Lee & R.T. Smith.
We have poetry by Kim Addonizio, Cynthia Atkins, Joseph Bathanti, Patrick Bizzaro, Cathy Smith Bowers, Mary Carroll-Hackett, Okla Elliott, Jane Ellen Glasser, Lola Haskins, Peter Makuck, John Stanizzi, Shelby Stephenson, John Tribble & Virgil Suarez among many other emerging and established poets slated for our final issue.
Ron Koertge’s poem “Found” was selected for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2006.
A handful of university libraries subscribe, such as Brown University, Davidson College, Furman University, University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, University of Buffalo (SUNY), University of North Carolina at Chapel, University of Wisconsin at Madison and a few others. Iodine is also archived at The Poets House in NYC.

Glenda: Many poets will be disappointed that you are discontinuing Iodine. 

Jonathan: Actually, just picked up the last issue a few days ago. I have other things  I’d like to do. I would like to have more time to write and paint, but I couldn’t say no to being offered a co-editor slot of KAKALAK 2016, so I’m still wearing the editor’s hat. I also do some select reading for Main Street Rag, so I’m staying busy. I thought about exploring the possibility of transitioning Iodine to an online mag in 2017, but that idea is pretty low on my priority list, if I go there.

Glenda: In 2002, you co-edited a chapbook, Celebrating Life, a project funded by Barnes and Noble. Tell us about it, please.

Jonathan: This was a little anthology of poetry that was put together in honor of Dorothy Perry Thompson, who was a wonderful poet and instructor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.

Glenda: Your latest poetry book is titled Killing Time. Interesting title.

Jonathan: My publisher, Scott Douglass at Main Street Rag, had been bugging me for the past few years (maybe longer) to put a new collection together. My last book came out in 2006, so I was a bit overdue for a new book. It just wasn’t high on my priority list, but I bumped it up the list after a lot of prodding from him and other friends. 
I took a variety of work from the past nine years and assembled it, hoping Scott would like it. I sent it to him and I was pleased that he suggested few edits, so I felt like I must have done something right. I blame the title…or should I say give credit to Scott, because he would call me from time to time wondering what I was doing (as if I wasn’t doing anything), and, more often than not, I would say Killing Time.

Glenda: You won the Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award. That is not for writing or painting, is it? How did you feel about receiving this recognition?

Jonathan: That award is given to individuals for “outstanding service in support of local and regional writers,” so that was basically for my editing/publishing Iodine for so long along with the hosting of readings in the area all these years, which I still do. I was surprised and very honored to receive this award. The literary community in Charlotte and the state is by and large a very supportive one.

 GlendaYou are a visual artist, also.Tell us about that part of your life. When did you begin painting?

Jonathan: I began painting in high school, but my interests were all over the place, so I didn’t paint continuously over the years. I had some art instruction in high school, but I have basically learned from other artists and from just doing. I had always been attracted to abstract work and loved the art of Robert Motherwell, de Kooning, Pollock, Rauschenberg and others, so I naturally was drawn to experiment in that realm. I also painted seascapes, beach scenes, some landscape, although they were a little abstract. I just prefer to work in the abstract. I paint practically every day, although lately I’ve been pretty busy with the poetry side of things and doing readings around the state.

Glenda: At one point you began using your own paintings for the covers of Iodine. Why did you do that and how was that idea received by your subscribers?
Jonathan: Five years into editing the magazine, Scott had suggested we do a full color cover for the five year anniversary edition, which he designed from a surreal image of me, that another friend had created from a photograph. I call that cover the Warhol-Peter Max cover. Scott did a great job designing that. After that issue came out, readers said, “You can’t go back now!” Nobody wanted me to go back to the simple card stock covers and some friends suggested I start putting my art on the cover, so I did. Readers loved it. Not long after that I set up a studio in a local gallery and I was painting more, and selling my work. The covers brought new attention to my visual art.

Glenda: Which do you most enjoy, painting or writing poetry?

Jonathan: I can’t say I enjoy one over the other. John Lee Hooker once said, “If the boogie is in you, it’s gotta come out.” That’s how I feel about the creative act. Whatever is in me has to come out, whether it’s on the page or canvas.

Glenda: With more free time, where do you plan to exert your energies?

Jonathan: Free time? I exert it with the stuff that I do, like answering these questions for you in this interview.  
I always have something to do: walking my dog in the woods (the most important thing I do at the beginning of the day), reading, writing, editing, painting, booking readings, hosting readings, going to readings, art exhibits, booking exhibits, marketing my art, doing coffee with friends, wine with friends, beer with friends, etc etc. I am very fortunate to have wonderful friends in the arts. I try to look at everything I do from a creative aspect. Everything I experience leads to the next creative act.

Glenda: Can you tell us something personal that is not in your bio?

Jonathan: I love music. I play guitar. I’m not great at it, but I love to play and sing. I love listening to music and I love live music, whether it’s a busker on a street corner or a band in an arena. Love it all.

Glenda: Thank you, Jonathan. I like the humor in your answers. I feel I know you, and you and I have much in common. 

Jonathan Rice will teach a poetry and poetry marketing workshop at Writers Circle around the Table in Hayesville, NC on June 11, 10:00 - 1:00 p.m. 

Contact Glenda Beall at 828-389-4441 or for more information. You may go to for a class description and fees.

Jonathan is one of the featured readers at Writers Night Out in Blairsville, GA at the Union County Community Center on Friday evening, 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to meet him and hear him read his poetry. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

In case you missed him, here is a video of Bob Grove reading a selection of his prose at Coffee With The Poets and Writers, May 18, 2016, at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC.

Bob Grove

Here is a video of Bob reading a selection of his prose from the May 18, 2016 meeting of Coffee With the Poets and Writers, at the Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville, NC. This program was sponsored by the North Carolina Writers' Network-West.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Prose writer Bob Grove to read at Coffee With the Poets and Writers, at the Moss Memorial Library, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at 10:00 AM

This month, Coffee With the Poets and Writers welcomes Bob Grove. Bob is very entertaining, and will read some of his prose on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, at 10:00 AM.

Coffee With the Poets and Writers meets every third Wednesday at 10:00 AM, at the Moss Memorial Library, at 26 Anderson Street, Hayesville, NC. The reading will be followed by open mic and the public is invited to attend.

North Carolina Writers' Network-West sponsors Coffee with the Poets and Writers. Please be sure to attend and to bring a friend! Coffee and cookies will be provided. For more information, please call Glenda Beall at: 828-389-4441, or the Moss Memorial Library at: 828-389-3734.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Bob Grove now lives in the mountains of North Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Kent State University and his Master of Science at Florida Atlantic University. His diversified curriculum enabled him to teach courses in English, journalism, creative writing, physics, chemistry, biology and psychology.

Bob has been an ABC-TV public affairs director, an on-air personality, and the founder and publisher of Monitoring Times magazine. A prose critique facilitator for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and an officer with the Ridgeline Literary Alliance, he has published seventeen books and hundreds of articles in sixteen national magazines.

Now retired after 35 years as founder of Grove Enterprises, an international supplier of radio communications equipment, Bob has more time to write. Most recently, he has published a mystery novella (Secrets of Magnolia Manor), his memoir (Misadventures of an Only Child), a collection of children’s stories (Adventures of Kaylie and Jimmy) and has written several flash fiction stories as well as some forgettable poetry. He has been awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in the Silver Arts literature competition.

Bob’s public readings are popular as a performance art form, typified by his annual December reading, in costume and dialect, of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

His collected writings on technical topics (Antenna Basics, Antenna Anthology and Ask Bob) are now available, as is his informative overview of deviant mental behavior (Abnormal Psychology) which he uses as a teaching text in continuing education classes.

All Bob’s publications are available on Amazon Kindle, and you are welcome to visit him at


Friday, May 13, 2016

The Literary Hour to be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, NC, features poets Gene Hirsch and Maren O. Mitchell

On Wednesday evening, May 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM, John C. Campbell Folk School and N.C. Writers' Network-West are sponsoring The Literary Hour, an hour of poetry and prose reading. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. Normally scheduled for the third Thursday of the month, this month the event will be on Wednesday. Poets Dr. Eugene Hirsch and Maren Mitchell will be the featured readers, both of whom are accomplished poets. This should be an excellent program and greatly anticipated by writers and poets in our area.

Gene Hirsch is a physician who, for many years, has taught human values in patient care, and in dying people, to medical students and doctors. His major interests are people in health and sickness, and poetry. Hirsch initiated the writing program at John C. Campbell Folk School in1992 and, with Nancy Simpson, co-founded NC Writers’ Network West, and he has been active in both. Hirsch conducts workshops for interested poets twice a year, as well as Glenda Beall’s Writers Circle.

Gene’s poetry has appeared in medical and non-medical journals such as: Pharos (Medical Honor Society), Journal of the American Medical Assn., Hiram Poetry Review, Human Quest, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Anthologies include: Atahita Journal, Blood & Bone (poems by physicians), Behavioral Medicine, Crossing Limits (Afro-American and Jewish Poets), Tyranny of the Normal, and Echoes across the Blue Ridge. He has edited five volumes of Freeing Jonah (poetry from J.C. Campbell Folk School and the surrounding community) and two books. Two more books will appear this spring.

Maren O. Mitchell has taught poetry at Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC, and catalogued at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. In 2012 she received 1st Place Award for Excellence in Poetry from the Georgia Poetry Society. For over twenty years, across five southeastern states, she has taught origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Although a native of North Carolina, Mitchell lived in Bordeaux, France, and Kaiserslautern, Germany, as a child.. After moving throughout the southeast U.S., she now lives with her husband in Young Harris, Georgia, on the edge of the national forest.

Mitchell’s poems have appeared in Iodine Poetry Journal, The Lake (UK), Appalachian Heritage, The South Carolina Review, Hotel Amerika, Southern Humanities Review, Town Creek Poetry, Pirene’s Fountain, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Skive (AU), The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Appalachian Journal, The Arts Journal, The Southern Poetry Anthologies, V: Georgia & VII: North Carolina, Sunrise from Blue Thunder, and elsewhere. Work is forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Crafty Poet II, Chiron Review, Poetry East, and Tar River Poetry.

Her nonfiction book is Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide (Line of Sight Press, 2012), available on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest's deadline is May 25, 2016

WaterSedge poetry chapbook contest's deadline is May 25, 2016. Ohio's poet laureate, Amit Majmudar, is the contest judge.
The winner of the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest will receive:
• $500 cash prize
• Publication of the poetry chapbook in both print and e-book format
• Amazon distribution for Kindle and print
• 25 free copies
Details are included in this 2-minute video: 
The contest is limited to poetry chapbooks 24 - 48 pages in length, and the entry fee is $20. For complete contest submission guidelines, visit
The contest is limited to poetry chapbooks 24 - 48 pages in length, and the entry fee is $20. For complete contest submission guidelines, visit

NCWN-West is not a sponsor of this contest.