Regular Features Pages
Sentimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins
ModPo & Experimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins
Vera Ignatowitsch is new Managing Editor
Better than Starbucks is proud to announce that Vera Ignatowitsch is the new Managing Editor. She will continue to edit the Formal and Rhyming Poetry page, as well as copy editing the entire magazine.
We are excited to have her take over the day to day running of the publication. She brings a strong sense of organization, an eye for detail and tireless dedication. We are looking forward to better serving our readers and contributors. Please welcome her to her new role. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anthony Watkins, Publisher & Editor in Chief
To our contributors: You are our treasure, the reason Better Than Starbucks exists, and is able to offer so much great poetry, fiction, and more month after month. Occasionally emails go astray, and I encourage anyone who has not received a response from us to email again and inquire. I will do my best to respond to every email. Thank you again for trusting us with your work, and we hope you continue enabling us to make this journal an ever better showcase for your writing. Responses regarding acceptance can take a couple of days to a couple of months, depending on the editor (they're amazing too), and volume of submissions in each category.
Vera Ignatowitsch, Managing Editor, October 5th, 2017
Featured Poem of the month
is a love and a chance
and tying up sex with pink ribbons
on a blue bed
in a red room
with no bright lights
breathing mist against glass
no clothes on
turning over blankets
a weekend away from all other weeks
in another country
on a strange street
in a triangular shaped hotel.
Published in: You, My Love... a diary in verse and How Deep The Pain Goes Quiet, After – iUniverse.
Richard Atwood Born in Baltimore, Rick has lived in Los Angeles and Denver; currently in Wichita, Kansas. He has published three books of poetry: available on Amazon. He has also been published in several literary journals; authored 3 screenplays and 2 large stage plays; and has currently finished writing a 180,000 word m/m erotic fantasy novel, with a GOT ambiance; and sometimes volunteers in little theater.
Vera: How were you inspired to write poetry?
Anna: My father was a big lover of poetry, particularly Shakespeare and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and was always quoting his favorite poems as I was growing up. It seemed natural for me to try my hand at writing it. Later on I discovered my own inspirations in first T.S. Eliot, and later Sylvia Plath. I fell in love with the sprawling canvas of "The Wasteland,” which I felt showed the potential of a flexible iambic pentameter based line, and I loved the brutal honesty of Plath on love, depression, and motherhood.
Vera: Your favorite Plath poems?
Anna: It’s hard to choose. I love “Elm,” “Daddy,” “Cut,” “Lady Lazarus”… The following poem was inspired by Sylvia:
After you poured the milk, and set the tray
down, and opened the window to the night,
and stuffed the gap with washcloths, did you pray
or did you kiss them and turn out the light?
Tell me, Sylvia, and I'll forgive
your cowardice in choosing not to live.
When I was a teen you were my idol.
I carried a dog-eared Ariel around school,
learned "Elm" by heart, wore a suicidal
amount of black, thought it the height of cool
you'd killed yourself. But after my two were born,
for years I hated you like kiddy porn.
This guilty art of ours is NOT for mothers:
the sticky hands and mouths, the constant tugs
of war with words—don't do that to your brother's
hair!—the tender scolding, the fierce hugs,
the times I watched my perfect babies sleep,
too tired to write, and far too tired to weep.
Yet the older they get, the more the steel
trap of me closes on my selfish core—
I do what I want and don't ask how they feel
each time they watch me vanish out the door.
So, Saint Sylvia, tell me: when you set the tray
down, did you kiss your babies? Did you pray?
First Published in Courier Post
Vera: Beautiful. I read that you studied sciences; is that correct?
Anna: Yes, my first degree was in Chemical Engineering (from Imperial College, London.) I do think that scientific training contributed to my joy in complex repeating forms like the sestina and the villanelle, as these are much like algorithms.
Vera: What led you to writing female historical persona poems?
Anna: the female historical persona poems arose out of my work as the essay co-ordinator for the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets’ Timeline (http://www.mezzocammin.com/timeline/timeline.php?vol=timeline&iss=1&cat=essays&page=home). Collecting those essays showed me that before Anne Bradstreet there were no “housewife” poets, as that life was not conducive to poetry writing. Most earlier women poets were either noblewomen, cloistered nuns, or women who were otherwise outside the norms of society (actresses, courtesans etc.) I decided it would be interesting to look at history through the lens of the voices of those women.