VOLUME III ISSUE II: #neogoddesses

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The poems by the women- and nonbinary-identified writers in this issue of White Stag are haunted by the bones of these checklists, by men and mothers and gods who tell us how to be. In them I hear the old drum of be quiet, don't say anything, don’t draw attention to yourself. Joshua Hegarty writes, “Without flaws / may very well / be the opposite of masculine. / The blemished record— / the poison fed to babies / at birth, / and every meal thereafter. / When the world is yours to break, / you’re free to break it.” And Ashley Mares tells of shame as our origin story: “What if she [Eve] explained how / a woman’s body slips into / clothes as easily as it /slips into shame.” But these poems refuse the silence. They refuse pretty and refuse shame. Chelsea Burden’s poem tells us to “Begin / by unhooking their names / like cat-claw from your skin,” to unhook from the need to do everything for everyone but you. Xuxa Rodriguez is noisy in her want: “I wanna be a Malibu Musked valley girl sun in hair sun blonde bright so light I want my eyes sea blue too to see so clear so super thick glasses won’t fall crack down glare and scare Cool Water boys mushroomed cut prepped out and baggy panting into crop mop topped New York Toasted lipped girls with their baby curls gel mousse teased bangs waving hair so high god high fives snaps daps I’m not cute cool or down...” These poems build an alternate world, like Burden’s bridge: “They know that you are on a bridge / made of matchsticks. / Do not stand still. Let the friction / of each footstep do as it will. / Revel in the flames at your back.” These poems revel in destruction as much as creation. Stacey Balkun gives us new bones to build from, reminds us “you / have to take it yourself.” This issue is not about being not-male; it’s about the noise and rage of becoming ourselves, and the many ways we’re in-between. From these writers I’ve begun to rethink all the cups the word goddess can fill, and all the things that can fill it. As Tammy Robacker writes, “Can’t you feel / the atmosphere / crack apart by / the lungfuls here?” -Jill Kolongowski
Featured Authors: Melissa Atkinson Mercer, Stacey Balkun, Julie E. Bloemeke, Erica Bodwell, Chelsey Burden, Sarah A. Chavez, Sharon Coleman, Juliet Cook, Gail DiMaggio, Kallie Falandays, Elizabeth Gross, Gillian Hamel, Joshua Hegarty, Allyson Jeffredo, Petra Kuppers, Steffi Lang, T.m. Lawson, Sarah Lilius, Jennifer Macbain-Stephens, Ashley Mares, Ashley Miranda, Catherine Moore, Sarah Frances Moran, Jesse Rice-Evans, Tammy Robacker, Xuxa Rodriguez, Nicole Ross Rollender, Kathleen Taylor, Kim Vodicka, Jessica L. Walsh, Sophie Weiner, Cassondra Wethers, Autumn Widdoes, & Sara Wilson with an introduction by Jill Kolongowski & cover photo by Mothmeister.

VOLUME II ISSUE II: #arspoeticus

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Or, Writing About Writing About Writing And Being A Writer.: techniques, styles, literary epochs, famous authors, pieces of literature, and literary characters. We begin #arspoeticus with a small blade of language that opens a world of crossword puzzles, intaglios, letters, and markets of sighs. Stories are retold, histories are imagined, and new mythologies are created through form, syllable, and sentence to pay tribute to past and present authors and writing. And, of course, what would life behind the pen be without the occasional battle with the blank page?
Featured Authors:  Elizabeth Ashe, Alessandra Bava, Steve Bertolino, Susannah Betts, Michelle Chen, Joan Colby, Jim Davis, Andrea Janelle Dickens, Katie Eber, Patricia Guzman, Lily Hoang, Angela Hooks, Claire Ibarra, RJ Ingram, Sonja Johanson, Kayla Krut, Juniper Marguerite Lee, Charles McGregor, James Meetze, Catherine Moore, Christopher Mulrooney, Mark Petrie, Thomas Piekarski, C. R. Resetarits, Adam Stutz, Tim Suermondt, Donna Vorreyer, Chelsea Whitton, & Adam Jerome Williams.

VOLUME IV ISSUE I:  #GHOSTMOTEL

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"...underneath all the spectacle, a ghost is an association with something that lost.
And this is where it’s left us (where it’s brought us?): poetry is the language of ghosts.
This language of ghosts is not pragmatic. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a poetic technical manual or instructions on how to poetically bake a cake (though there are exceptions like Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook).
Poems don’t have a fixed meaning; they’re meant to be felt. Language is the medium of associations and the listener is no less important than the speaker. We navigate our way through it together, arms ahead of us, stumbling. But we do it together.
In Jennifer Lorden’s poem Dormitory and Matt Dennison’s poem Deliquent, I hear very different echoes of Ono no Komachi’s tankas from a millennium before. In Lorden’s poem, a year vanishes into a moment. And, as a speaker tries to escape into that moment, the poem turns: the world continually threatens to intrude. In Dennison’s, the speaker lights a hill on fire, which lights his house on fire, and tries to convince us it has nothing to do with their mother’s recent death. In both, I can’t help but think of Aratani and Hirshfield’s translations with their sharp turns, strong voices, and softly-quick speed. Night deepens / with the sound / of a calling deer, / and I hear / my own one-sided love.
For better or for worse, the words that salt your tongue were inherited from the dead. The poems you love take part in a conversation that began before you and will (hopefully) move beyond you.

And, as uncomfortable as it is to say, a ghost is also the desire to hold on to the ideas of whatever it is we feel we’ve lost." -from Jamison Crabtree's introduction to #GhostMotel
Featured Authors: ​Glen Armstrong, Julia Bouwsma, Robert Carr, Natalie Crick, N. Cuzzi, Matt Dennison, Kelly Jean Egan, Mag Gabbert, Gretchen Gales, Meg Griffitts, Gina Keicher, Jennifer Lorden, Jeffrey H. Maclachlan, Kevin Kvist Peters, Heather Sweeney, Billie R. Tadros, Donna Vorreyer, & Sophie Weiner with Introduction by Jamison Crabtree.

VOLUME III ISSUE I:  #psychologia

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These introspective writings explore the vast realities of the human psyche through chemical, traumatic, & physical effects on the brain, & through the phenomena of clairvoyance & dreaming. The featured authors weave the mind & soul so tightly they are nearly indistinguishable, revealing the mind as a physical manifestation of the soul & the soul as the essence of the mind. Their works draw fruit from the soul & translate singular experience into empathic connections revealing the complexities of our seemingly innate capacity for emotion. We are drawn into an otherworld, bereft of science & technology, but rich in human experience.
Featured Authors: Aaron Anstett, Lana Bella, Laynie Browne, Peter Burghardt, Brittany Cagle, Robert Carr, Kelly Corinda, Michael Costello, Adam Deutsch, Emari DiGiorgio, Donald Dunbar, Matthew Harrison, Janet MacFadyen, Jeffrey H. MacLachlan, Jennifer Martelli, Devon Miller-Duggan, Rusty Morrison, Kelsay Myers, Caroline O'Connor Thomas, Emily O'Neill, Robert James Russell, Lynn Schmeidler, & Matt Trease. *Cover Photo by Mothmeister.

*SOLD OUT* VOLUME I ISSUE I: #leadthemtotheotherworld


In compiling these works, we wanted to follow a narrative related to the theme of “Lead Them To The Otherworld.” Instead of combining works by author or topic, we wanted to arrange the pieces in such a way as to create a cohesive narrative that illuminates a journey and/or metamorphosis into the Otherworld. Each individual piece of writing represented in this issue is a footstep—or hoofprint—that leads us to examine morality, the actuality of this world, and the unexplainable worlds beyond this one. In this, we find ourselves experiencing a single migration through multitudes of life and death to conclude with the imminence of a post-death existence. We hope that our readers will a gain a similar sense of entry into these ideas and experiences that so often go unseen by the forsaken eye. The Otherworld is a mirror in which the ineffable reflects. Open your imagination to the realm of chance. 
Featured Authors: ​​Jose Angel Araguz, Maya Gene Beerbower, Doc Burkard, Rachel Burns, Colin Dodds, Clare FitzPatrick, Claire Fornarola, Raymond Gibson, T.B. Grennan, Theo Hummer, T.R. Hummer, James Jones, Keith McCleary, Becka Mara McKay, Michael Palmer, Tim Suermondt, Pia Taavila-Borsheim, Carleigh Takemoto, Hanna Tawater, Mark Wallace

VOLUME II ISSUE I:  #thebestiary 

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The animal within us all is prevalent & ever growing; we hunger, we seek praise & love & forgiveness, we ravage, we protect, we play, & we're proud. The relationship between writer & animal is a mental & emotional bond, an acknowledgement of each other's existence. The writer craves to uncover the minds of beasts, to find that bestial instinct within him/herself, & to relate their anatomies, behaviors, & habitats to our own. From the god-heads of Ancient Egypt to the spirit animals of the Celtics, the symbolism of various animals has become inherent in our lives through tradition. #thebestiary portrays that seemingly ancient sense of co-existence & curiosity between man & beast; poetry that pays homage to the beauty & burden of our fellow creatures & their deep effect on us as humans [& writers]. Each piece highlights the bonds & struggles between both worlds—at times, a clash—while showing respect for the relationship as a whole.
Featured Authors: Jennifer Arcuni, Stacey Balkun, Tantra Bensko, Ariana D. Den Bleyker, John Briscoe, Doc Burkard, Jamison Crabtree*, Susan Cronin, Amber Edmondson, Brenda Hillman, James Croal Jackson, Gabe Johnson, Sonja Johanson, Nate Maxson, Nichole Riggs, Michael Robins, Christine Scanlon, Danielle Susi, B. Ellis Williams, Warner James Wood, Rachel Zavecz. *Jamison Crabtree is the winner of #thebestiary poetry contest for his poem "<3 White <3 Red <3 Deer"!

*SOLD OUT*VOLUME I ISSUE II: #beyondthetaboo


In Celtic mythology, the White Stag was believed to have appeared when one was transgressing a taboo. For this issue, we asked writers to submit work that explores traditions, rituals, and lifestyles that may often be deemed unacceptable or strange to American culture, to submit poetry and prose that leaves the reader with the feeling of passing into, through, and/or beyond the taboo in some way. The writing collected within #beyondthetaboo illuminates a variety of taboos—religious, cultural, psychological, physical—that we hope will incite curiosity in our readers and allow them to delight in the taboo and embrace the artistry of strangeness (and the strangeness of the art). We arranged this issue like we were building our own literary shop of oddities; our aim wasn't to criticize, exploit, or mock the taboos in these pieces but to display each piece as a glimpse into how the taboo affects the individual while also relating it to the other pieces (and taboos) within the issue, because as much as taboos create uniqueness within us, they can also be a source of connection.
Featured Authors: Robert Alexander, Kazim Ali, Aaron Apps, Jose Angel Araguz, Kate Bernadette Benedict, Peter Burzynski, Joan Colby, Michael Collins, Paul Fauteux, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Katrina Greco, Janae Green, Donna Isaac, Anna King Ivey, James Croal Jackson, Stephanie N. Johnson, Kate Johnston, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Joey Kingsley, Shareen Knight, Adrian Gibbons Koesters, Christina Marie Lancaster, Daniel W.K. Lee, Brendan Lorber, Nate Maxson, Bruce McRae, Richard King Perkins II, Thomas Piekarski, M. J Saenz, Jess Mansour Scherman, Danielle Susi, Sarah Suzor, Rachel Lee Taylor, Sara Vander Zwaag, Scarlett Watters