Who we are (so far)

Better than Starbucks

Founded 1995 as Scene, Arts of the Treasure Coast,

Renamed 1998 Abundance, a Harvet of Literature, Life & the Arts

Revived  2016 as  Better than Starbucks

Publisher, Founder, Editor-in-Chief                                                     Haiku Editor, Spiritual Advisor, Poetry Mentor 

Anthony "Uplandpoet" Watkins                                                                                   Kevin McLaughlin                      

Even in 1968, at our old home in Shorter, Alabama, the littlest one was the noisiest. And nearly 50 years later, I still am.

My late mother and our dear dead friend "Mrs. Dan" in front of our old Mercury sedan at Coon Cottage, West Helena, Arkansas, circa 1963.

Neither of these wonderful ladies are on our staff, as both are deceased, but they put this little muddy footed boy on the path to a love of the written word.

Better than Starbucks just got Better!

Kevin McLaughlin, featured in the August edition BTS Interview is joining us. This is Kevin's second time as an editor for us. Back in the 1990s he  ran the Poetry page. Thi time around, his focus will sppecifically be on the classical American Haiku, and the other extreme short poems that capture something of the original Japanese, whether they meet the hard parameters of American Haiku, or not.

Our readers are in for a real treat, as Kevin brings his Zen to Hiku and his Haiku to Zen!

We are very fortunate to have Kevin rejoin our team, please enjoy.

We  are, in an effort to not become too unweildy, have moved the Free fr All to a link within the main Poetry  page, Kevin's Haiku page will also a link fro the Poetry page.

We started out as a "one man band", so a bit about the "band"

At age 5, I fell in love with poetry, because I could make up my own rules. I have pretty much been living by the self-made rules all my life.

In 1995 I started a local print literary and arts paper called Scene, Arts of the Treasure Coast, with a little insert called Sleeping Bear Press. After 7 years of long tiring hours and great fun, I gave it up in 2002. Along the way, it morphed into Abundance, a Harvest of Life, Literature, & the Arts.

In the past decade I started a group on Shelfari that soon filled up with a few thousand wonderful people. Shelfari is no more, but we called that site Better than Starbucks.

One of my dear friends on Shelfari pointed me to a class on Coursera, Modern Poetry, from the University of Pennsylvania. It has changed my life and I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. It is led by Prof. Al Filreis, and his able band of Teaching Assistants! As of last year, I have been honored to join the as a Community Teaching Assistant.

Professor Al Filreis is featured in the September edition as the BTS Interview!

There is more about me, and I could go on for hours, but nobody but my mother would want to read it, and she passed away back in January. Love to Mom, and I hope you all come to love this “little paper.”

Our goal is to offer a living website than combines the old salon feeling of our soon to be destroyed Shelfari group and the old literary journal that served three counties in Florida  for 7 years. If you can think of a way you can help make us better, please let us know.

I have never been the best at anything, but i have aways  put myself foward as a willing servant to do what I think needs to be done, and to take help from any who care to and are able to offer it.