Thursday, December 22, 2022

Is(sue) 12 of AvantAppal(achia) is Live


Edi(tors) Sabne Raznik and David Sykes are pleased to unveil the latest is(sue) of AvantAppal(achia).
We are spotlighting submissions from The U.S., Greece, India, Ireland, Australia, France, Siberia, and Belarus; seven countries in all.
We sincerely hope you enjoy this collection of the weird and wonderful in the fields of art and writing and we hope to publish another collection, Is(sue) 13 on June 15, 2023.


Ed(itors) Sabne Raznik and David Sykes

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Is(sue) 12 Deadline for AvantAppal(achia) Ezine

Dear Kinfolk,

It’s nearly time for a new is(sue) to go live again. That means this is your final reminder that the deadline for submissions to Is(sue) 12 is November 30, 2022. Send us your experimental poetry, art, and short stories.

You will notice that the date for Is(sue) 12 to go live has been pushed forward a week to December 22, 2022. This is due to Sabne Raznik having scheduling conflicts that could not be resolved otherwise. This way, your submissions will get the attention they deserve.

She and Dave Sykes are thrilled to read what you send us. Please, read and follow the full guidelines at before sending your emails. We may not have time to inquire and may be forced to reject brilliant work which does not meet guidelines. Thank you so much. 

This is your ezine. You make it the fun, funky, fabulous frolic that it is. 


Sabne Raznik
Poetry/Art Ed(itor)


Friday, November 11, 2022

Review of Scott Ferry's "The Long Blade of Days Ahead"


Scott Ferry, The Long Blade of Days Ahead (Impspired, 2022) 122 pages, poetry, $9.99.

This collection comes from those emotions or states of being we tend to struggle with integrating into our experience as humans. 

It starts with anxiety. Poems like "4/26":

"so I better just be ok

be ok be ok I better just be"

set the tone. But it soon becomes apparent that the anxiety likely stems from grief. Many are the poems exploring Ferry's journey with learning to accept and move forward with the death of his father as a father himself. 


i miss my father most

when my son screams

daddy and runs to me

with so many years

in his hands

The natural human tendency to confusion in the face of these overwhelming emotions is seen here too. Ferry mocks and belittles faith. At the same time, he often speaks of ghosts and hauntings, believing that his father is visiting him in his afterlife state. Yet he seems not to be aware of the contradiction inherent in holding both these viewpoints at the same time. All of this holds true to the illogical emotional noise that accompanies grief and anxiety. 

And it all makes for some intriguing poetic moments. Overall, this is a collection worth buying and reading.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Book Review: "Why We Argue and How to Stop" by Jerry Manney


Jerry Manney, Why We Argue and How to Stop: A Therapist’s Guide to Navigating Disagreements, Managing Emotions, and Creating Healthier Relationships (TCK Publishing, 2022) 175 pages, self-help, $19.99. At Amazon

I'm not thrilled with self-help books, to be honest. Generally, they are too quickly read and forgotten. The real benefit comes from application - and that rarely happens without the buddy system, someone to gently hold you to account and enthusiastically encourage you along the way. This is why working with a professional therapist has a much better success ratio than reading some random book.

This particular book, however, is different. This one is interactive. It is set up like a workbook. Get your pens and pencils out and write in it, please. Get interactive. Get involved. Journal. Take notes. Be specific. This one encourages you to actually apply the suggestions it makes to real scenarios in your life. In real time. In a realistic way. 

Would you still do better with the buddy system? Absolutely. But this is a solid place to start. This is a self-help book that is actually designed to help. If you do get your pens and pencils out and do the exercises, you'll be less likely to just trash this book in a week. You might even remember a few of the suggestions when emotions are peaked. And that's about as high a bar as a self-help book can reach. Bravo.

Monday, June 20, 2022

North/South Appalachia Anthology Vol. 2 Submission Call

Call for Poetry Submissions

 From North/South Appalachia! 

 DEADLINE: July 30, 2022 

 The Watershed Journal Literary Group is joining Studio Appalachia and AvantAppal(achia) to publish a second anthology of Appalachian Poetry in the fall of 2022. 

 Watershed/AvantAppal(achia)/Studio Appalachia poets are invited to submit up to five poems for consideration by the editors Patricia Thrushart, T. Byron Kelly and Sabne Raznik. 

 You can view the first edition on Amazon. 

 Submission Guidelines:
 1. You must have been published in The Watershed Journal or AvantAppal(achia) previously 
 2. Previously published poems are acceptable. Please be sure to provide any credits your former publisher requires 
 3. Submit up to five original poems via email to along with a bio of less than 100 words 
 4. There is no fee for submission 

 If selected, your poem(s) will be published on North/South’s website and included in the printed anthology, which will be available for purchase on Amazon and at Watershed Books. 

 Send questions to Learn more about North/South Appalachia at 

 We look forward to your submissions!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Is(sue) 11 of AvantAppal(achia) is live!

 Dear Kinfolk,


Is(sue) 11 went live around 10 pm EDT on June 15, 2022. With this Is(sue), AvantAppal(achia) entered year 6. Thank you all very much!


This is(sue) features 3 countries and 12 states. Almost all of Appalachia is represented and a number of other places as well, along with Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. You will also find chapter 4 of Jim Meirose’s mind-bending Beckettian novel that flips the concepts of death and resurrection on their head.


The submission period for Is(sue) 12 is now open. The deadline for that is November 30, 2022. We need your weird, fun, experimental poetry, art, and short stories. Please read Guidelines and follow them because the reading period is only 2 weeks, so we will now have to automatically reject any submission which does not follow the instructions.


Also, stay tuned for an announcement from our sister endeavor North/South Appalachia, which should be dropping into your email or on social media channels in a couple of days. Exciting, I know!


Until we meet again!




Sabne Raznik

Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Wednesday Night Virtual Poetry Feature - May 11, 2022


Review: "Drinking Guinness With The Dead" by Justin Hamm

Justin Hamm, Drinking Guinness With The Dead (Spartan Press, 2022) 163 pages, poetry, $15.00. At Amazon.

Justin Hamm presents us with a selection of his poems from 2007 through 2021 in this amusingly titled volume. While Hamm is strongly based in the American mid-west (he lives in Mark Twain territory), he proves himself to be a strong poet of place wherever he is writing from. Even poems that address relationships and inner child work are firmly grounded in earth and to specific locations.

"The air in this place/ is ripe/ with some kind/ of weather."- from "Ohio County, Kentucky, 1985".
"They come from the mountain, he says,/ Their faces cold as the moon's." from "Stranger at the Only Fueling Station in Kingston, Arkansas".
"a night train torches/ through the dark stomach/ of the prairie" from "A Moment in Kansas"

Hamm is a man walking the planet and keenly aware of roots, of ground, of river, of tree-sway, of time, of turning-turning-turning in outerspace at all times. He never loses sight of it. He has a connectedness to all the moving machinery of nature and reminds us that it is machinery. He raises a toast to it - to history, to place, to time, to people past and present - and passes us the pint.


Monday, May 16, 2022

Deadline for Is(sue) 11


Dear Kinfolk,

Our deadline for Is(sue) 11 is May 31, 2022. We need your avant garde, experimental, weird, fantastic poetry, short fiction, and art.

Please look at the Guidelines on the website. Because of time constraints we will now have to automatically reject submissions that do not follow the Guidelines. Especially, we ask that you remember to include your state or country of current residence in your bio.

Thank you so much! AvantAppal(achia) is what it is because of each and everyone of you.

See you soon!


Sabne Raznik
Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Sunday, May 1, 2022

"Dreaming of Bono" Launched Today from VoiceLux

"A little girl, a young lady, and a mature woman walk into a bar and order a pint of Guinness. Only the mature woman leaves.


Because "hope has wings" and only the mature woman has the experience enough to manipulate "the sadness in our will : the courage of noble righteous doomed, who defy and defy ... because we must, if only for those who lack the strength to fight". Because, as I told you, "she's lived more than you'll ever read".

The collection is a taste of mental growth in action, weaving dreams, reality and over the top stardom into a father figure only to outgrow him in the most superlative way.

A carry in your pocket lifting of burdens to peruse over and over again. Why? Because "hope" is making a ruckus to get your attention! -- Marica, Artist"

Get yours at Voicelux 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

A(A) E-Reading #4: National Poetry Month Edition

Dear Kinfolk,

This is just a reminder of our National Poetry Month reading coming up. This will happen on April 29, 2022 at 7 pm EDT. If you want to attend, register at EventBrite.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Sabne Raznik
Poetry/Art Edi(itor)


Friday, April 8, 2022

The Modern Plague Years Special Is(sue) is live!


Dear Kinfolk,


The Modern Plague Years Special Is(sue) is live under the Special Is(sues) menu tab on! Thank you so much for sharing your work with us.


If you did not receive a yay or nay email from us about your submission during this reading cycle, know that David Sykes and I have read it and decided it would better suit a regular is(sue) and kept it for Is(sue) 11 in June. You will receive notification concerning it during that reading cycle.


Please remember to check out the Guidelines on the website when you submit and follow these. As a writer myself I know submission anxiety is real and I do not wish to be strict, but the volume of submissions we now receive and time constraints force me to it. If you fail to include the state or country of your current residence or fail to follow any of the other guidelines, we will be forced to reject your work regardless of its quality. So please – please – read those guidelines thoroughly and follow them closely. Thank you!


The deadline for Is(sue) 11 is May 31, 2022, for a publication date on June 15, 2022. We need your avantgarde, experimental, and weird poetry, art, and short stories.


Thank you for making this ezine the stellar publication it is!




Sabne Raznik

Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Monday, January 17, 2022

Review of Kai Coggin's "Mining for Stardust"

 Kai Coggin, Mining for Stardust (FlowerSong Press, 2021) 99 pages, poetry, $18.00. At FlowerSong Press.

Kai Coggin's latest collection is modern confessional poetry. Here you will find no symbolism or imagery for its own sake. Every poem is straightforward, literal, and usually long. It leaves nothing to the imagination. These are COVID pandemic poems, a nearly chronological journal of the poet's experience of 2020. Some are optimism in extremis, others are angry, others almost despairing. All of them are starkly honest.

The best poems are introverted rather than extroverted, self-reflecting rather than social and political. These poems tend to be a little shorter and leave the reader with more breathing room for interaction by filling the little blanks that are less literal and more suggestive within them. As in "When the Stars Fall":

the rain falls 

hard heavy

on the white petals

of jasmine

that have entwined

their soft bodies to the steel 

that holds our house 

to the earth

swirling galaxy of stars

that affixes 

us to the ground

and to the heavens combined

in the morning

a universe is scattered

under our bare feet

Some of these poems are too much of their moment to remain relevant 10 or 20 years from now. Some are truly sublime. In that sense, it's a potluck seeking to be comfort food. Its strongest argument for itself is that it will continue to be an honest, individual chronicle of a year which will surely be of interest to history. 

In January 2020, I was completing an audiobook of Daniel Defoe's "A Journal of Plague Year", which - although being fiction - is the nearest thing we have today to an actual journal of an individual living during the last substantial outbreak of bubonic plague in London just a year before the Great London Fire. I did not then know, of course, that I would immediately begin to live through a modern plague of different cause. I have often had occasion to think back on that book in the 2 years since listening to it and make comparisons and to be grateful for the differences that modernism makes in how humanity weathers such an event. (How fortunate we are to have refrigerators so that we do not have to go to market literally everyday for food! How wonderful is having the internet so as to stay in touch!) I imagine books like "Mining for Stardust" will serve a similar purpose for future generations in helping them to understand the human stories of this time.