poetry writing

National Poetry Month: William Shakespeare

Everyone knows who William Shakespeare is. He has graced many classrooms, theaters, and households for generations. As a student who found herself in many literature classes, my time with Shakespeare was one spent analyzing the structure, decoding the metaphors, and connecting the words and events to social and political happenings in the years in which the pieces were written.

As a graduate, and as someone who spends her time amidst countless books, across multiple genres, I was drawn back to Shakespeare. Mostly because of the beautiful editions that have since been published of The Bard’s great works, but partly because I wanted to read them without the pressures of responding to them in essay format. I wanted to read for the sheer purpose of enjoyment rather than academic excellence.

And so, in honor of National Poetry Month, I started with his Sonnets. They can be found all over the internet, but I wanted to share one of my favorites them. I encourage all of those who have read Shakespeare, or any author for that matter, for the sole purpose of academic requirement, to go back. Fresh eyes allow us a new opportunity to appreciate the works of centuries past without the pressure to see the author’s meaning/intent. Instead, we get the opportunity to feel it.


Sonnet XXV

Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook’d for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.



About Corinne

CA Bio ImageCorinne has her MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and her MPS in Publishing from George Washington University. She has been an editor at Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press since 2013, taking over the company in 2019. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites, and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve.

Bed of Thorns by Melissa Myers

Whatever it is
I don’t want to
I’m busy
Staring at the ceiling
And feeling the sound of my breathing
Life revolves around resting
even if my bed is made of thorns
Holy philosophers say
it’s a sin to be so still
How is it possible to offend God
without ever moving?
Pondering the mysteries of my morality is exhausting
I need another nap



About Melissa Myers

My name is Melissa Myers. I’m from Tennessee, and I live in New England. I love exploring the rich history of this region, and I jump at every opportunity to do so. Poetry holds a special place in my heart because of its ability to connect people on an emotional level. I often find inspiration in life, love, and nature. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

jazz is by Peter Carlos

jazz is
    (for Michael Castro)

a call out
and a response
jazz is
jazz is
jazz is
jazz is
and chill
and cool

jazz is

              Peter Carlos



About Peter Carlos

Peter Carlos has attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont in 1976 and 1979, where he studied under Mark Strand and Robert Pack. He graduated with a M.A. in Creative Writing from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf Graduate School of English. His poetry and photographs have appeared in American Poetry Review, Image, River Styx, The Oakland Review, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among other small literary journals. He is author of a chapbook, Praise the High Grass, and a book of poems, Dreamfish. He is the Program Chair of Cinema Arts at Lindenwood University.

Plowshare by Jeremy Weeks Joyner


The war was over long ago.
Discarded, engine rusted.
There are flowers now, Where men fought.
Watered by the blood of brave men and fools.
My aim is true, no longer.
Barrel fallen and powerless.
I, forgotten sentry,
From a world that was once burning.
There are flowers now,
Where once was only mud.
Armor, melted by fire and steel
Hotter than the flight of Icarus.
The ridge ahead, marred, now green.
Grass covered and silent,
The cannons evaporated.
No tanks should tread among these flowers.
Silent Behemoth,
The world quaked at my roar.
But that was long ago.
There has been too much pain.
My final task,
To guard the flowers
That men may war no more.


About Jeremy Weeks Joyner
Jeremy Weeks Joyner is a poet, philosopher and ordained minister. He lives in central North Carolina.

Untitled by Jeremy Weeks Joyner

Through a glass, darkly
The necromancers stare
Seeking forbidden wisdom
Spells float on the air.
In this wretched palace
No kings upon the throne
Abandoned pestilent kingdom
Horror haunted halls of stone.
Dead crawl from their graves dancing to an unseen tune
Unaware of their thralldom
Preparing the timber hewn.
The evil sorcerers incantations
Summoning an undead gathering
Corpses pondering lost freedom
Whose call is it they’re answering?


About Jeremy Weeks Joyner

Jeremy Weeks Joyner is a poet, philosopher and ordained minister. He lives in central North Carolina.

She’s Dying by Will Collins

She always lies in the dark
Skin that once fit her like a beautiful mask
And protected her like armour
Is giving way to bruises,
And holes gape from her skin
Down to the bone

Her eyes closed but
She was still in there.
Her chest moved with each breath
Shallow but quick
As she began to slip away.

Morphine in the corner pocket
Of her mouth helps ease her into
Vast nothingness or somethingness
Depending what you

I told my manager I couldn’t make the call
Because I might cry.
I went into her room and opened the curtains for once
But of all days it was gray.

I don’t know what crossed my mind–
Even the most radiant sun’s rays
Cant ressurect a dying flower.

I was hoping,
Just thought for once,
The answer didn’t have to be in a pill
Which came from a textbook–
Standard operating procedure–
‘This is How You Help Them Die.’



About Will Collins

Will Collins is currently a nurse in Toms River, NJ, living with his three dogs who are a handful.  He graduated Richard Stockton University of NJ before becoming a nurse with a major in Spanish language and culture and writing.  When not at work, he can be found writing, skateboarding, and hiking or bird watching. His poetry is currently not published, so he says this is an exclusive treat!