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📖INTERVIEW: “The Long Body That Connects Us All” by Rich Marcello

Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

Hello there, Rich! I’m happy to be kicking off spring equinox with another wonderful interview. Needless to say, this book sounds like an inspiring collection of poetry, but what exactly inspired it?

I wanted to publish a collection about what it means to be a good man in the modern world. There are many great poets out there, but few these days are writing on this topic. With all the divisiveness in the world these days, much propagated by violent men, I wanted to show some of my own experiences about being open and vulnerable with the hope that some of my specific experiences would generalize.

That is so beautiful. I absolutely love your vision. Speaking of which, what are some central messages you strive to instill into your readers?

Thematically, the collection is about what it means to be a good man in the modern world––a timely topic given all that’s going on these days.

With all the divisiveness in the world these days, much propagated by violent men, I wanted to show some of my own experiences about being open and vulnerable…

Wonderful. So more on you as a poet… What sparked your interest in the written word?

I’ve been writing poetry all my life. I also have written over sixty songs and my publisher, Langdon Street Press, has published three of my novels: The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. I am currently working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers.

How exciting is that? I’m really happy for you. And a little bit more about you as a writer if you don’t mind… Who are some of your poetic influences?

I love Merwin, Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver, and Kay Ryan, to name a few, but really, I love just about any poet who writes from a deeply emotional place.

Absolutely. It’s those courageous writers who unapologetically write from the depths of their own psyche that really impact other writers and readers alike. So, I musk ask: What does a day in the life of Rich look like (writing-wise)?

I write every day for four or five hours in the morning. I’m a big believer in going from one kind of dream time (sleeping) to another (writing) right away, so I find working in the mornings is best for me. The rest of the day I focus on family, friends, and the causes I believe in, like climate change.

That takes quite of bit of discipline. I applaud you for dedicating so much of your time to your creative side, all while maintaining that “writing/life” balance. That doesn’t come easy. Before we wrap things up here, are there any concluding words that you’d like to share with everyone?

Thanks for taking the time to check out my work. If you are so inclined, feel free to drop me a line about any of my work, or about anything you feel like discussing.

My pleasure, and thank YOU! It was such a joy speaking with you. May boundless creativity continue to flow your way 🌞

Commercial PhotographyRich Marcello is a poet, a songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall was published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.


📖The Long Body That Connects Us All
is now available on Amazon!

📖Official Website

Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📖INTERVIEW: “Phoenix’s Journey Of Poetry Part II” by Lamecca Butler

In the poet’s own words: “A collection of Poetry! I share my life experiences through my poetry. The collection of poetry is a journey that I have been writing over the years. Love, relationships, sex, and everyday problems that go on in the average black woman’s life. My story is just put in poetry form.”

Good morning, Lamecca! I’m grateful to be speaking with you on this wonderful day. Thanks for being here. What inspired the creation of your book?

My inspiration for this book was the fact that I self-published my first poetry while homeless. I wanted to keep the momentum going.

That’s amazing. I can’t imagine the hardship you must have faced, so the fact that you pushed forward regardless is proof of your personal power and the power of poetry to guide you out of difficult times. When did your love of writing come about?

I began writing as a little girl. It was my best form of expression.

Poetry is definitely a great tool to authentically express oneself. What is the central message you’re attempting to put into the world through this collection of poems?

My message that I’m striving to convey is that I have been through more than most can fathom, so if I can do it, anyone can do it.

How empowering! I admire your can-do attitude. So, what gets your creative juices flowing when sitting down to write?

I literally base my poetry off of emotion. I write from my personal experience or the emphatic view from afar.

I have been through more than most can fathom, so if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Emotion (any emotion, really) and experience (both good and bad) are the muses of all muses. Thank you again for taking some time out of your day to have this lovely chat. 💛


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📖INTERVIEW: “Moon Chaser: Running from the Sun” by Brooke Lynn Knight

Moon Chaser: Running from the Sun is a collection of poems displaying conflicting emotions of a toxic relationship. Moreover, it is an intense story of two forces colliding in a rush of passion and pain.

Hi, Brooke! As a fellow moon chaser, I’m especially excited to be having this interview with you. First things first: What inspired this book into being?

This collection of poems was inspired by my personal experience in a toxic relationship with a sociopath.

Such darkness could definitely result in a sea’s worth of poetry. I can vouch for that, unfortunately and fortunately (?). How did your passion for poetty come about?

I have been writing for most of my life and it has always been a true passion of mine.

So, a lifelong poet. I can most certainly relate. 🙂 What are some central themes that are showcased in this collection?

The collection of poems convey the raw emotions of a toxic relationship. It is meant for an audience that can truly relate their experiences and understand that they are not alone in the struggle and confusion of relationships such as these.

I’m glad you created a book that has the potential of reminding people that they really aren’t alone in their relationship struggles and toxicity in general. What are you biggest influences in general?

I am influenced by pure, unmodified emotions and experiences.

Those type of emotions really are what poetry is all about! So, how doesn’t your writing process typically look like?

I prefer to take my time during the writing process. It is important that I feel the poetry pour out as opposed to producing when I am nor ready. It is time-consuming but well worth the wait when completed.

That is so very true! I must ask… Will you continue to produce more poetry?

Yes, I am excited to pursue my dream of becoming a well-known and admired poet and author.

It is important that I feel the poetry pour out…

Excellent! I’m happy to hear that. Don’t ever put that pen down. Do you have any remaining thoughts that you would like to get off your chest?

I thank everyone who has taken the time and taken the chance to read my first collection of poems and hope that you all will follow me on my journey as I continue to produce more raw works of art.

And I thank YOU for chatting with me about your wonderful book of poems. May inspiration consistently flow to you ceaslessly! 🌝



📖Now available on Amazon!

📖Instagram: @_unknowinglee_

Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📖INTERVIEW: “The Spaces Between Breaths” by Melissa Moy📖

Join the journey of self-exploration through a time of struggle and renewal. Moy captivates you with her raw and exposing poems. You will be forced to question what you thought you understood about yourself and the world. These poems challenge the reader to grow beyond what is now known as reality. A poetic escape into the mind and heart that journeys through tragedy and revelation.

Good morning, Melissa! I’m thrilled to be talking to you today. “The Spaces Between Breaths” is quite the captivating title. But that’s only one piece of this poetic puzzle. What was your inspiration for this book in its entirety?

I underwent some struggles with the loss of some important relationships in my life. Betrayal seemed to be a running theme. My son also got diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, Eosinophilic Esophagitis. A trauma my son had hidden for a couple of years came to light, breaking my heart and shattering our world. It was the journey through these things, the recovery, and most importantly, the reflection.

Dark times have a way of shaping us as both writers and as people. When did the initial spark of creativity enter your life?

I’ve written poetry since I can remember holding a pencil. Sometimes I think I lived it in the ways I lived and the relationships I shared.

That’s such a beautiful way of putting it! What are a few of the central messages you’re striving to portray in this poetry collection?

Self-exploration, staying true to yourself, finding our own peace in life, growing constantly as a person.

I lived [poetry] in […] the relationships I shared.

These are all very profound themes. What poets have influenced along your writing journey?

e.e. Cummings and Emily Dickinson.

Excellent choices! What’s your approach to writing?

Sometimes phrases or words just come to me at random points. They collect on my phone in the notes app, voice memos, etc. Sometimes I’ll even catch myself reciting poetry while cooking dinner or taking a shower. The words just come and whether they’re captured or not depends on fate. Sometimes my feelings are just so strong, they must materialize into words and I have no choice but to obey. A few even came from writing experiences I would provide my students and the jealous writer in me would have to join in on the writing fun.

I love it! Are there any final thoughts you’d like to leave the community with?

People often look at me and ask how I do it, how I manage everything. I often tell them, I just do, I just have to. Writing, though, it has been the boat for my journey and allowed me to embrace the pain and enable the growth.

Two years ago a new teacher started teaching next door to me and she quickly became my best friend, Abeer Afana. I don’t think I could have evolved into the confident person or writer that I am today if it hadn’t been for her constant support and encouragement.

Over the last couple of years I have neglected myself in so many ways. I needed to take a leap and try to chase my dreams. As a teacher, it is my job to lead my students by example. That is why I finally deiced to put my writing out there, in this chapbook. By the end of March I should also have a children’s book published. It is currently being illustrated.

Thank you for the empowering concluding words. You’re such an inspiration, Melissa! 💙


Writing has always been a passion for Melissa Moy, something that she will never be able to give up or turn her back on…it is…who she is. From the very start of her educational experiences, Moy gravitated toward written expression. When asked when or how she first learned to write she simply replied, “There was never a ‘how’, only a ‘had to.’ I just had to write, and so I did.” Moy’s writing dips into a plethora of forms and topics, but poetry has always been most near and dear to her heart. “Writing is the wind that blows the sails of emotion and thought, so that we may better travel the seas of our lives.

📖Melissa’s Facebook Page.


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📖INTERVIEW: “With a Broken Wing” by Ronaye Hudyma📖

Whether contemporary, classic, or peppered with Elizabethan eloquence, this profound ensemble of 130 poems is not stationary. They move as if conducted with a maestro’s baton –fluid between the euphoria of life and love, the drama, the anguish of death and loss, with every nuance of human emotion spilling upon the pages.

They are poignant words written with the transparency of youth, gathering maturity and experience, evolving to wisdom, into the spiritual realm.

This is not just poetry. There are a million stories in each poem. Once for each of us. From the teenager discovering their individuality, the young adult challenged by relationships and the world around them, to the Elder denizens of Earth, who cherish their memories as veterans of life, this is a book to be read and reread, a keepsake to console, embrace and affirm your recognition of the truth within yourself that is already there.

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^Click on the eagle to purchase the book on Amazon!


The only life I had ever known before this was on a stage, with the spotlight in my eyes, the music in my ears, amid the roar of the crowd. This is what I lived for. This was all that mattered.

Music had always been such an intrinsic part of me, that the moment I was born, when the doctor grabbed me by the feet, turned me upside down and slapped my wee baby bottom, I swear I burst into song, not tears.

My purpose in life was clearly defined, and my parents willingly supplied the piano, singing, ballet, tap dancing and drama classes—where I learned how to be a tree—and showed off their little girl’s talents at every event and contest.

There was no question in my mind. I was destined to be a classical soprano and concert pianist, singing Verdi, Puccini and Mozart, playing Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, a calling that intensified as I outgrew childhood and entered adolescence.

With those teen-age hormones and emotions kicking in, I found it terribly romantic to lead a life of dedication and sacrifice for my art. I couldn’t have been more committed and devoted. To abandon it would be unthinkable.

I was fearless and confident, or young and naive, but that’s what it took as I set out on my own at age eighteen with a one way ticket to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, three thousand miles from home where I didn’t know a soul. On my own and where I didn’t know a soul would be a constant theme that ran throughout my life.

It was a real tearjerker with my family and friends crowded around the railway platform, kissing me goodbye; and mom handing me sandwiches she had packed as I boarded the moving train, looking back until their tiny faces disappeared into the horizon.

It wasn’t as if I had told anyone I was coming or had any forethought of where I was going to stay. First I’d get there, then worry about the rest later. I’ll wing it! Those words became a mantra and motto that served me well on the road that lay ahead. The show biz term is chutzpah, and I had it.

All divas have to eat, so between studying the art of Bel Canto and learning arias from “La Boheme”, I auditioned for everything, in any genre, whether I was qualified or not.

“Can you sight sing?”
“Of course.”
“Can you square dance?”
“Speak French?”
“Ride a horse?”
“Uh huh.”

I wasn’t really lying. I didn’t say when I could do those things. Maybe not then, but I would in time for the first rehearsal. First, I got the part, the role, the show, or job, then I would throw up in the wings with my heart in my mouth when it came time to deliver.

I remember calling a friend of mine, panic-stricken, saying “You’ve got to help me! You know that guest spot I have on that show? They’re taping it in Montreal. They just sent me the script and the whole thing is in French. I don’t speak a word of it.” Even after she translated it for me, there was no way I could carry it off. “Maybe I could just say Bon Jour, Oui, and smile a lot…” which is what I did.

They didn’t call us “gypsies” for nothing. I went where the work was, leaving friends and lovers behind, a nomad in search of the next gig, the next adventure, and the next teacher who could transform me into Maria Callas. No matter where it was, what it was, or what it paid—be I the chanteuse at Le Toilet in Nebraska, or a headliner at The Fiesta Palace in Mexico City—the world was my playground and I was fulfilling my own prophecy.

Chance, it seemed, was on my side and followed me wherever I would go, often arising from a most unlikely circumstance.


I was standing in an elevator in Manhattan and struck up a conversation with the man standing beside me who just happened to be an agent. “I need a singer in Alabama for two weeks,” he said. “Do you want to go?” Coincidentally, I just happened to be between shows, TRANSLATION: Out of work . Over the years, we developed a solid working relationship and he ultimately sent me to places like the Orient and Sri Lanka.

I was fearless and confident, or young and naive, but that’s what it took as I set out on my own at age eighteen with a one way ticket to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, three thousand miles from home where I didn’t know a soul. On my own and where I didn’t know a soul would be a constant theme that ran throughout my life.


The glitter and glitz never endure, so I decided that composing music would be my legacy which segued into writing songs. It was a natural progression and a smooth transition with doors opening for me like the parting of the Red Sea. While I was performing at The Palomino in Los Angeles, a production company for a country star was in the audience and requested demos for three of my songs. Not only were they encouraging but suggested I come to Nashville, which they called a “writer’s town” where the only prerequisite was to have the heart of a poet and the skin of a rhinoceros. Before they could hang up the phone, I was packed, ready to go, and on my way.

With a promise and a prayer, and very little money, I left Los Angeles in a classic old 1966 Dodge Dart that ran on a postulate, pulling a six by four trailer that held all my worldly possessions. Destination: Music City, U.S.A. where I had never been and knew no one.

Songwriters are a special breed of individuals, a whole different species that come to Nashville in droves from everywhere in the country. They are a dedicated bunch, often broke and lonely, willing to sacrifice everything for a chance to make it in the music business. I was one of them.

I was “out-there” and confident, yet innocent, trusting and exploitable, oblivious to the pitfalls and land mines that littered the playing field or the sharks circling at the smell of blood. The first thing I did was join ASCAP, the licensing agency for songwriters, artists and publishers, where I was welcomed by a tongue down my throat, then chased around a desk clutching a cassette of my songs.

Like everyone before me, I made the rounds of the publishers who hid behind barricaded doors in administrative structures designed to keep writers out, with security guards ordered to shoot us on sight. At this time, all the female artists were still singing tearful songs of self-reproach while their men caroused at the corner beer joint; but I submitted lyrics like “Doing all I can in the arms of another man. It takes one to forget one.” A woman couldn’t say that back then. The rejection was candy-coated and kept me hooked, however, as they’d always add, “…but bring me more.”

Some actually took a couple and gave me the required dollar after I had spent my rent and food money on demos. I was thrilled until I found out that it didn’t mean they would always promote them to the record labels—especially if they had eighty other writers signed.

Nobody tells you these things when you’re going into the game. Occasionally I would get a song recorded, but my hopes were dashed when it would be bumped from the album at the last minute. Finally, when I did luck out, my name appeared in Cash Box and Billboard, which I promptly sent home to mother, but I never saw ten cents.

At long last, I landed an exclusive publishing contract. This is it, I thought. Now I was a professional. All I had to do is write hits and live happily ever after. Not necessarily. It kept me alive for eight years until they went out of business.

There’s a saying in Nashville—if holds were gold—near hits and misses, and I had them, with holds on my songs from Kenny Rogers, Lori Morgan, Michael Bolton, “cuts” with up and coming artists that faded into obscurity, an offer of a record deal from a small label, which my then publisher turned down. This kept me going for years until my luck ran out and I was left with no other options but to leave the same way I came in.


It wasn’t a decision. I’ve always been writing as a form of introspective expression or the wonder of being alive. I started a diary soon after I left high school and some of these poems are from there–the unbridled, unfettered, uncensored raw emotion of one very young, with not much ego yet to protect. But in actuality, what I thought was unique to me, is simply human emotion that all of us experience to greater or lesser degree.


Because that is when you most want to purge yourself of the feeling, whether in song or in verse. When you are happy, you’re lying on a sunny beach. When you are not, you’re drowning in the ocean.


No. There are many poetry books, but these poems have a variety of style, verse and subject. They are not stationary. They move–fluid between the perspective of innocence and youth, gathering maturity with experience, and evolving to wisdom.

I do not set out to write a poem. They come. Then I write them. I don’t consciously follow any rules of structure. I go by feel. I conduct them as I would an orchestra. How the words feel when I write them, how the poem feels when I read it. My instinct tells me when it is finished.


Moment by moment we make our choices. Somewhere along the way——I picked door number one instead of door number two.





My lifelong career has been in the entertainment business, beginning at The Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto where I studied classical piano and voice; continuing as a solo performer in the medium of stage, television, and nightclubs touring across North & South America, the Orient and beyond. This was followed by a contracted staff song writer position for publishing companies in Nashville, TN. I have had poems published as Editor’s choice’ in Poetry Magazine in Chicago. I currently reside on an island in the Pacific Ocean in Canada.

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