Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Vintage" ~ Poem/Photo Collaboration by Cristina M. R. Norcross and Des Hanie

I had the great pleasure of coming across this intriguing photo by artist, Des Hanie, while posting on the ‪#‎BeOtherwise‬ thread of the Alphaeon Facebook page. We connected, when I reached out to say how much I would love to write a poem for her brilliant photo of this old, abandoned house in Virginia. I wrote the poem, "Vintage," to accompany her photo, and I will always be thankful for the stories this house whispered to me about age, strength, and beauty. Hope you enjoy this collaboration, too.
photo credit: Des Hanie


(Inspired by the photography of Des Hanie)

One day we will all cave in.
Windows drawn –
rooftop bent –
foundation bow-legged.
Joints creaking
from the slightest howl of wind –
the structure still holds.
Our center core stands –
lungs filled to capacity –
chest emboldened
by a strength never known before.

There is song in our bones.
It is the length of our stance,
the broad sweeping lines of curves,
and proud jawline.
The eyes look out from weathered floorboards
and delicate hands.
Each vein speaks of the years
pulsating through our lives,
and we sit with the silence of now.
Remembering hymns –
remembering the body’s
movement in space –
knowing that time’s passage
is just our vintage gaining value –
our red velvet density
shifting in the light.

Poem by Cristina M. R. Norcross
Photo by Des Hanie
Copyright 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Poetry Workshop with Author Cristina M. R. Norcross January 16, 2016

Using Poetry Exercises to Enhance the Beauty and Atmosphere of Prose Writing

with Cristina Norcross

January 16, 2016
(Registration Deadline: Mon, Jan 11) 
9:30 am – noon

Red Oak Writing ~ Marian Center for NonProfits #205
3195 S Superior St, Milwaukee

Poetry transports us to illuminating worlds, which we never knew existed, and convinces us to stay there with enticing sights, sounds, and textures. In this workshop, we will read a few sample passages from novels by writers who have a strong poetic voice. We will identify why each writer’s use of language and/or technique makes the narrative more evocative or compelling.

The larger portion of the session will be comprised of a series of short poetry writing prompts, followed by a Roundtable-style sharing and discussion period. Writing exercises will focus on word choice, imagery, and how to pinpoint your purpose in as few words as possible. Writers will work both solo and in groups, to help generate ideas and share thoughts on why the poetic voice helps to make a story come alive.

(photo credit: Perren Photography)

Cristina M. R. Norcross is the author of 5 poetry collections including, most recently, The Lava Storyteller (2013) and Living Nature’s Moments: A Conversation Between Poetry and Photography (2014) with co-author, Patricia Bashford. Her works appear in print and online in North American and international journals, such as The Toronto Quarterly, Red Cedar, The Moon Magazine, Your Daily Poem, Lime Hawk, The Poetry Storehouse, The Avocet, and Right Hand Pointing. Cristina’s work also appears in numerous print anthologies. She is the managing editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review ( Cristina is one of the co-organizers of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day (February 20th). Find out more about this author at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Submissions Now Open for Blue Heron Review! Deadline: October 10th, 2015

Doing a bit of cross-pollination between my author blog and news about the online poetry journal I currently edit, Blue Heron Review.  Hope you will follow me there on Word Press for news about submissions, recently published issues, and special author features.

(Artwork by Daniel Adams)


Polish up your poems and get them ready to send. Submissions for Blue Heron Review are officially open! The deadline is October 10th, 2015. Our reading period is a bit shorter this time, so send your poems early. We always suggest that writers read sample poems from past issues on the BHR site before submitting. Blue Heron welcomes submissions from emerging and established writers. We provide a space for spiritual and life-affirming poems. While we aren’t necessarily looking for overtly religious poems, we tend to be drawn to well-crafted, imagistic poems with a meditative or contemplative quality.

Please read our complete list of guidelines carefully on the SUBMISSION GUIDELINES page. We look forward to reading your work!

Don’t forget to visit the Blue Heron Speaks page to read sample poems by, Stephen Anderson, our featured author for the month of September. Stephen’s latest collection, Navigating in the Sun (Finishing Line Press, 2015), was just released.

With kind wishes for autumn,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
Blue Heron Review

Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy National Poetry Month!

I will be joining a plentiful array of poets this month, in our quest to write a poem every day for April.  I will be fine tuning these poems to get them ready to submit, so I won't be sharing them on this blog (as I did last year), but my gift to readers this month is my new poetry/photography postcard, NEW CURRENTS.  Below is my latest design, which I created in honor of National Poetry Month 2015.  In total, I mailed off 80 copies of this card as gifts to friends, family, and fellow writers.  Hope you enjoy it as well.

New Currents

The air is charged –
a current surge of running horses
where sky connects to earth.
Flames reach for purpose.
A shedding of winter hibernation
reveals green leaf
and gold resolve.
We are electric.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
poem/photo Copyright 2015
(Photo taken at sunrise of Oconomowoc Lake, WI)

Happy writing to everyone who is taking the challenge to write a poem every day.  May there be many gems in your journals!


Saturday, February 07, 2015

Join us for Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day on February 20, 2015!

Random Acts of Poetry & Art Day on February 20, 2015 is an international day of inspiration.  As an artistic pay-it-forward movement, our purpose is to spread the joy of the creative process.  Wherever you are on this day, please join us in sharing your poems and visual art for all to enjoy!

It’s up to you what you do!  A few examples: leave behind free poetry cards or quotes at coffee houses, cafés and libraries; give away mini works of art; donate art prints and poetry books to non-profit organizations or schools; or give away handmade scarves or jewelry.  Create, be inspired, and share photos of your Random Acts of Poetry & Art on our Facebook event page.  For more information and ideas, please visit the RAPA Facebook page.

Who knows?  You could change someone’s day in an instant of art and poetry!

~The RAPA Inspiration Crew

"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.  The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." ~Amelia Earhart

Looking for ideas for a special gift tag for your art or poetry giveaway? We've got you covered! Here is a sample of what you could do. Sometimes people need to know that they have found FREE art and poetry! This is a png image which can be saved as a pdf for print out, or you can make your own. 

Here is an example of my FREE poetry/photography postcard for RAPA Day this year:

(front of card / "Myth of Lack" Copyright 2015, Cristina M. R. Norcross)

(back of card /

This year's RAPA Day theme is: "Philosophy Legacy" - choose a key word or phrase that represents the wisdom you would like to pass on to the next generation of poets and artists! What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind, based on your art? Create something centered around your own words of wisdom.

Here is an example of a pair of my "word philosophy" earrings (Biku Beaded Designs), which I made to give away for RAPA Day.  I plan to leave these earrings as a gift at a local coffee house, where I know a lot of writers work. I want other poets/writers to remember to not only be artful in their own writing, but to inspire others to create as well.

Don't forget to share your Random Acts of Poetry and Art, by posting photos on our Facebook page! Thank you for joining the journey! 

Monday, February 02, 2015

"One Hundred Percent" poem by Cristina M. R. Norcross / video remix by Othniel Smith

Several of my previously published poems are now available on The Poetry Storehouse site.  This is an innovative, online, collective movement, encouraging cross-pollination of the arts, so that poems, music and film can have a greater impact on our creative culture.   All genres of the arts are connected.  When we inspire one another, we bring our art forms to a higher level.   

I am honored that two of my poems have been chosen, so far, by filmmakers (Marie Craven / "The Red Drum" and Othniel Smith / "One Hundred Percent") to create short, video remixes.  The latest online creation is a film by Othniel Smith, available to view on Vimeo.  "One Hundred Percent" originally appeared in the print journal, Verse Wisconsin.

Please visit the VIMEO site to watch the video remix of "One Hundred Percent" by Othniel Smith.  Many thanks to Othniel for creating this moving, visual accompaniment to my poem.  Seeing the many different faces of society, allows us to understand, on an even deeper lever, that we are all ONE.  When we see ourselves in others, we connect with our shared humanity and develop compassion for all people. 

One Hundred Percent

You are more than a statistic.
You are blood and bone.
You are purpose and spear.
You are part of a symbiotic whole –
an organism
that moves together,
grows together,
strives together
and thrives together.

You are a person,
not a ruffled piece of paper.
There is no refuting
your truth,
your beauty,
your authentic walk to grace.
You are here

because we are all here –
reaching for
a book on the shelf,
a roast chicken on the table,
the prescription for an ailing heart.

You are part of the 100 percent.
We are not divided.

Cristina M. R. Norcross

Published in Verse Wisconsin October/2013

Monday, January 05, 2015

"The Red Drum" on Vimeo (poetry by Cristina M. R. Norcross, video remix by Marie Craven)

Thrilled to have one of my poems used as inspiration for a short film on Vimeo!  What a great way to kick off 2015, with a mixing and melding of artistic genres.  Click on the link below to view the film version of my poem, "The Red Drum."

"The Red Drum" on Vimeo

(Video remix by Marie Craven, music by Dementio13, writing and voice sourced from The Poetry Storehouse.) 

To order a copy of  The Red Drum: Selected and New Poems visit:
Signed copies on Etsy


The Red Drum

(Inspired by the writing of Stanley Kunitz)

Your heart – a red drum.

Taut leather bound

to the infinite shape of a circle,

seeks the music of other beating hearts.

Sound changes,

when a strong wind blows,

when the leather is rain-soaked,

when the sun makes the circle

jump into the light.

“I made this,”

says the drum.

Dreams take shape in the air,

with each, bellowing note.

“Now change it by living,”

says the drum’s stick.

Sing a new song.

“Truth –

Of thee I sing.”

Many more layers of change

bring syncopated rhythms,

ballads of longing,

and newly discovered voices.

Your heart is a red drum –

now crimson with passion,

tomorrow the sun makes it pink –

a tender, summer rose.

Sing your transformation to the world.

Beat the drum.

Beat the drum.

Beat the drum.

Published in The Red Drum: Selected and New Poems (Lone Gull Press, 2013)

Audio file and video remix available at The Poetry Storehouse