Literary Revelations Journal and our upcoming anthology Petals of Haiku added to Doutrope

My Dear Readers,

I am thrilled, proud, and excited so time to celebrate! Eleven months ago when I started Literary Revelations I secretly hoped that my publishing house would be listed by Doutrope in three or four years. I did not share my hope with anyone. Eleven months after Literary Revelations was born it made to Doutrope. I am happy as a human can be. I will share the links after I set up the profile for the publishing house.

Doutrope is an award-winner resource for writers and artists. As a writer and artist you can use it for a fee. You can access what Doutrope lists as best publishers, editors, journals, and literary agents.

On Sunday Literary Revelations received the following email.

And this is not all. Our upcoming collection Petal of Haiku: An Anthology was added as a resource too.

Please continue to submit to our anthology Petals of Haiku. Submission guidelines here.

Please note that mid-December we will publish Greenlandos, an excellent book for children written by Virginia Mateias. More about the book here.

Enjoy the rest of the week and thank you for submitting to Literary Revelations.


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Literary Revelations burns the midnight oil to bring you in December Greenlandos by Virginia Mateias aka Virginia Witch!

Dear all,

I am thrilled to let you know that Literary Revelations is working hard to bring you an excellent children book written by Virginia Mateias aka Virginia Witch mid-December.

Let’s open the curtains:

Good morning/Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome to Greenlandos!  In this epic clash of good versus evil, loyalty versus betrayal, and the natural world battling the artificial one, who will triumph?

Meet Belladonna, the enigmatic heroine, as she defends her pristine land. Follow the clever and brave Mandragoras as he unravels a sinister plot to obliterate Greenlandos, while Mr. Pepper falls hopelessly in love with Miss. Cauliflower. What is threatening everyone in Greenlandos?

This gripping tale raises its voice against the rampant use of pesticides, championing a return to a cleaner world. It’s ideal for young adventurers aged 9 and up, as well as for their parents. Greenlandos introduces ecological and moral values through its unforgettable characters and extraordinary escapades.

Greenlandos is a fantastic book. Children and parents will enjoy it alike. Virginia is an outstanding writer. The book is illustrated by Serban Adreescu whose work shines.

For the moment, let’s listen to Virginia

I was five years old when I discovered books. For me books are a magical universe. I started reading long before going to school and my mother was proud I was able to read the newspaper to my father. Boredom prompted me to learn how to read early on. However, I wasn’t bored at all once I started reading books.

On my journey to becoming an author I read a lot, studied literature and drama at the university. I was and I still am a cultural journalist. Yet I believe life itself has been the most effective instructor for me.

I was born in Europe. I left Europe and moved to Canada. Moving to a new country with a new culture has brought about a new perspective and new challenges. I would say that life constantly gives us the opportunities we need in order to evolve. It’s up to us to accept or reject these challenges.

My first book called “The Persistence of Memory” was published in Romania and it was received with much success. The public purchased all the available copies and the book was highly praised by critics. The second book called “In the Shadow of the Angel” was published in Canada in 2019. The poetry I wrote emerged from a soul that has walked along fiery instants and from a mind that never ceased to question existential concepts.

In my opinion, the author and the reader are the opposite sides of the same coin. Writers cannot exist without readers and readers cannot exist without writers. A book is simply a bridge that invites the mind and soul of the two entities to meet.

A book is a chance for the reader to enter a new time frame, to live a new life and learn something new. I would encourage readers to choose books that allow them to dream, to learn what they do not know and to rediscover themselves.

My passion for nature extends beyond my poetry to Greenlandos. I’m an advocate for preserving our environment and stop harming it. Children and animals hold a special place in my heart. Tyger, my cat, being a cherished family member. Lost civilizations have always captivated my curiosity. Traveling with my daughter, Andra Maria, to explore ancient ruins brings me immense joy. I hold life in the highest regard, and it saddens me to witness ongoing conflicts at the dawn of the 21st century. My hope is for human progress and peace.


Please, stay tuned for more news on Greenlandos!

Thank you to everyone who submitted to Petals of Haiku: An Anthology. Please continue to submit by entitling your email only HAIKU SUBMISSION. If you use more words your email will end up in the wrong folder. Those of you who submitted incorrectly please resubmit.

I have big and exciting news about the Literary Revelations Journal and our anthology Petals of Haiku. I am beyond happy and beyond proud. I will share the news with you in an upcoming post.


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Petals of Haiku: An Anthology – Call for Submission –

Petals of Haiku – Call for submission.

Literary Revelations invites you to unleash your poetic prowess and be part of our upcoming poetry collection entitled “Petals of Haiku: An Anthology.” With a cover designed by the brilliant duo of award-winning Japanese artists, Hikari, and her mentor Naoki Kimura, please do not miss the chance to have your words grace the pages of our anthology.

Featured image by Hikari and Naoki Kimura. Note: This is not the image that will be used for the cover design, but it’s a work that those fabulous artists created together and I hope you enjoy it.

Interpret the theme the way you want.

Here are two haiku that I like.

“A Poppy Blooms” by Katsushika Hokusai

I write, erase, rewrite
Erase again, and then
A poppy blooms.

“The Old Pond” by Matsuo Basho translated into English by Robert Hass

Old pond…
a frog jumps in
water’s sound.

[see https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-old-pond/%5D

Guidelines for Submission

Email your submission at literaryrevelations@pm.me and title your submission HAIKU SUBMISSION. Please note that any other title will land your submission in the wrong email folder, and your submission will not be read.

Do not submit more than 6 haiku. We will select 3 or 4 for publication.  For your submission you should use Times New Roman 12, double space.

Submit your name and your haiku in the body of the email. No attachments will be open. No need to submit a bio.

By submitting to the Petals of Haiku: An Anthology you, as a contributor, affirm that you own the rights to your piece(s) submitted and/or accepted for publication by Literary Revelations LLC and give Literary Revelations LLC permission to publish your work.

You attest that you are 18 years or older.

If you commit plagiarism Literary Revelations LLC is discharged from any liabilities.

You retain the right to your work. Literary Revelations LLC retains the right to the anthology, and it remains its exclusive publisher in perpetuity.

Pieces accepted for the anthology may be used by Literary Revelations LLC in whole or in part to promote the anthology.  Writers and artists will be appropriately credited in all promotional materials.

Read the About section before submitting. You will find the Terms and Conditions under which we operate there.

Example of submission:

Dear Editor,
Name: (please use the exact name you want to appear in the anthology)

Here are my 6 haiku

Haiku 1

Haiku 2

Haiku 3

Haiku 4

Haiku 5

Haiku 6

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

Thank you.

Submissions will close on January 15, 2024. We will let you know when the book will be publish.


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« Greenlandos » by Virginia Witch – An Extraordinary Satirical Tale of Fantasy and Reality – Advanced Praise by Théophile Husar

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by. We will unveil the publication date for Greelandos by Virginia Witch in several days.

Till then we have a new advanced praise for the book. I hope you enjoy it.

“Greenlandos” offers a satirical and humorous perspective on human society, approaching life with humor, sometimes even dark, in a unique way. The author brings social satire to the forefront through characters like Dr. Praz, who advocates for the absurd and comedic sacrifice of fellow citizens : Science demands sacrifices, Garlic! Progress has always been reached through chlorophyll spilling!(page 60)

The book’s originality lies in representing people as vegetables, each with human habits and characters, introducing an element of absurdity and surprise to the story.

Virginia Witch, the author of the book, presents a variety of typologies, from the superhero Belladonna to characters like Pumpkin Chef and Mr. Cucumber, the neighborhood drunks. This diversity of characters contributes to the complexity and richness of the story. The unpredictable evolution of these characters maintains the reader’s interest from the beginning to the end.

The strength of the book lies in its advocacy for friendship and responsible behavior towards our planet. The author successfully blends fantasy with real data, creating a world where vegetables become vivid portraits of humanity. This original approach breathes fresh air into the satirical genre. Geared primarily toward middle school children, Greenlandos is a book with a dual audience. The ecological and moral education woven into the story is designed for children aged 10 and above, while the satirical aspect and additional information at the story’s conclusion are intended for adults.

At the end of the book, the cards presenting elements of culture and myths related to vegetables and plants add an additional layer of interesting information. Highlighting the extraordinary benefits of these vegetables for our health provides readers with a useful and educational perspective. Consequently, “Greenlandos” transcends the realm of merely being a humorous and satirical tale, evolving into a captivating exploration of the interplay between fantasy and reality.

Théophile Husar, professor of English literature & author.


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An interview with Naoki Kimura, a fabulous Japanese artist

While photography inherently gives the impression of being “real” or “existing in reality,” the essence of monochrome photography lies in creating scenes that do not actually exist. Through this abstraction, the universal characteristics and emotions of the subject are emphasized, bringing out a deeper sense of reality. If color photography can evoke individual emotions and meanings as realism, monochrome photography can be said to enable a universal empathy not influenced by color.

In summary, monochrome photography opens up new visual and emotional dimensions by stripping away color from reality and achieving a unique balance between reality and unreality. It is one of the methods that appeals to human perception and emotions, a means to explore the world “beyond of the surface” of the photograph.

Naoki Kimura

Featured picture Hikari.

Literary Revelations is thrilled to bring you an interview with a fabulous Japanese photographer whose artistic endeavors have received high recognition: Naoki Kimura. In this interview you will discover a true artist. Please stay with us until the end. You will not regret. Thank you.

Naoki Kimura is the author of the book Nagi (Shinnihon Publishing) and the recipient of numerous international awards.

Please read more about his work and his bio HERE.

Now let’s go to the interview.

Gabriela Marie Milton: Naoki-san, I am honored and humbled you accepted my request for an interview. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  From our correspondence you know very well how much I admire your art, and how much your black and white photography means to me. Yet, to start, let’s talk first about your decision to become an artist, a photographer. I want you to return to a time when you were 15 years old, and you were walking the streets of Nishijin, Kyoto, Japan a place which by some kind of miraculous coincidence I visited. Please, tell our readers how you, the 15-year-old boy felt, and what made you decide to become a photographer.

Naoki Kimura – The catalyst for my journey into photography began shortly after I entered my first year of high school (in Japan, the school year starts in April, not September). It was a time when cherry blossoms had fallen, making way for fresh greenery. I was  strolling through the city when I happened to notice a sign for a group photo exhibition.

My memory of the event is somewhat vague, but I believe it was a small gallery located on the second floor of a building. It was indeed a group photography exhibition, and what stood out most in my memory was that nearly all the works were monochrome. As it was my first experience attending a gallery exhibition, I remember nervously stepping into the entrance. The space was minimalistic, with three white walls forming a simple rectangular studio-like area. There were around 30 photographs displayed in a single row, ranging in size might be from 8×10 to about 11×14 inches. Unfortunately, I can’t recall all the works now, but one image caught my attention. It was a scene of an old-style red (should be) Japanese mailbox, set against a strong yet graceful evening sunbeam casting its shadow. It was a breathtaking moment, and that image captured my heart.  I don’t remember the artist’s name or the title of the piece. Furthermore, I’m not entirely sure why it left such an impression on me, but I believe it was the power of expression through “photography” itself that resonated with me.

There was an atmosphere that seemed to convey something profound, even though it was just an ordinary mailbox. While I was writing my name in the guestbook, I absentmindedly glanced around the exhibition space and realized something remarkable. There were about ten or so attendees, and I hadn’t heard a single conversation among them. It was silent, and then it dawned on me—they were all communicating in sign language. It was at that moment that I realized the exhibition was showcasing the works of “deaf, hearing-impaired” individuals.

Could it be that these individuals, who lacked one of the five senses, had woven a unique kind of “power” into their creations? My young and inexperienced sensibilities began to sense the strength of human emotions and the potential of photography as a means of expression. I became deeply intrigued by the art of photography. Photography is a way to convey the world as seen through one’s own eyes to others. As a photographer, I wanted to capture my perspective and emotions through photography, and through that, share the beauty and emotions of those moments with others. It was these feelings and innate “awareness” that led me into the world of “photography.”

Gabriela Marie Milton – Let’s go to the substance of your work. Please talk to me about the time you spent in Europe, particularly your study of the Renaissance period. Looking back now how did that period influence your work? How does the art of that time reflect in your work?

Naoki Kimura – In a somewhat paradoxical manner, my involvement in Renaissance-era background and symbolism during my student days could be seen as a journey to discover the essence of my own “photographic works.” It wasn’t a matter of having a specific trigger or connection to Western culture or European art since I was born and raised in Japan. Instead, it was more like a childhood sense of aesthetics that drew me towards Renaissance paintings.

To put it somewhat boldly, it felt like memories from a past life. My father was stationed in Europe and the United States since when I was born, so even while in Japan, I had easy access to Western culture. There were art catalogs from renowned museums around the world at home, and I distinctly remember leisurely flipping through them. Undoubtedly, such experiences had some influence on me. As I delved deeper into art history, I encountered the field of “Iconology,” and it led me to perceive a paradox between my artistic style at the time and my background. Iconology seeks to decode the impressions and meanings inherent in artworks and images, and it is a crucial factor not only in art but also in the realm of “photography.” Photographers believe that they can convey meaning and emotions through composition and the arrangement of elements. Moreover, Renaissance paintings and sculptures often depict religious themes and narratives and studying them could provide insights into the messages and stories within those works.

Similarly, during that period, I sought clues from the Renaissance approach when trying to express specific themes or stories through photography. However, as I mentioned at the outset, a kind of “paradox” confronted me. It was a struggle to reconcile the idea that while I experimented with compositions, symbols, and the meanings they conveyed intellectually, my work didn’t feel authentic unless it was driven primarily by “sensitivity.” Pressing the shutter—this act indeed, when grounded in a contextual flow, could trigger a concept, but I realized it didn’t resonate with my personal style. Not all of a sudden, but in truth, I came to recognize that something akin to a revelation, something close to divine inspiration, was guiding the shutter to produce what I consider to be a kind of masterpiece of mine. So, for instance, I dabbled in academic research, but it didn’t lead me to a style rooted in that research. Instead, I ended up expressing myself in a style that sometimes seemed contrary to it—a somewhat comical tale, I must admit. It’s simply that a profoundly abstract atmosphere touched a natural chord within me. This, I believe, was one of the characteristics of my “Renaissance period.” I returned to the fundamental notion that beauty doesn’t always require explanation.

Gabriela Marie Milton – Let’s go now from what I call “Naoki Kimura’s Renaissance Period” to “Naoki Kimura’s Japanese period,” a period very present in your work today; a period in which the Japanese motifs are flourishing. Why did you “return home,” so to speak? And how do the beauty and the power of your native culture reflect in your work today?

Naoki Kimura – In a way, my several decades of venturing to the United States with an intention to explore, and on the other hands seeking my aspirations in Europe, particularly Italy, now feels like a period that was akin to “training or ascetic practices” for me. Looking back, I realize that I always subconsciously viewed myself as a perpetual work in progress, especially when it came to being an artist working in Europe and the United States. Additionally, during that time, I deliberately chose not to foreground my “Japanese” identity in my approach.

Around the time that approximately three decades had passed, I had a certain feeling—I can’t explain it clearly, but it was as if the “timing had ripened.” It felt somewhat like a natural progression, as if stalactites slowly and patiently bridged the gap between heaven and earth, following a single current. It was a decision that finally led me to embrace my nationality and identity as “Japanese,” the roots and core of my personality, and the source of my cultural foundation and strength.

However, this shift in embracing my nationalism as Japanese didn’t bring about changes in the influence on my work or the evolution of my concepts. While there are clear differences in the photographic subjects, the underlying concept remains consistent. It’s my dedication or, to put it differently, a desire to express the fluctuations of sensitivity, almost like an “intangible affection or dilemma” You could even call it “Mono no Aware,” It is an instinctive search for beauty that cannot be explained in the context of contemporary art, which can be considered abstract. At present, it cannot be called “conceptual art”.

Perhaps it could be explained within the context, deriving from the concept of “Marginal Art” itself, but I see it as a more primitive pursuit, guided by innate desires. As for the motif, the representation of “Nagi, -Lull-” which flows continuously within me from the Renaissance period to my time in Japan, captures the essence of this pursuit.

Throughout my growth from childhood, I carried within me a unique Japanese sensibility, such as “Mono no Aware,” “Wabi,” and “Sabi,” which I should have inherently experienced. I initially attempted to capture the legacy of the Renaissance period through this sensibility. Later, I applied this sensibility to digest foreign cultures. This journey led me to a turning point where I felt compelled to, once again, entrust a part of myself to the light and winds of my homeland.

Gabriela Marie Milton – Let’s dig deeper into your work. Why black and white? I remember I wrote to you once that by choosing black and white, you create a new reality. The Renaissance in black and white is different from how the real Renaissance looked. Most people who visit Greece today believe that white (yellowish, grayish) and blue are the colors that dominated Ancient Greece. That is not true. The temples and statues were colored. Time transformed Greece. By choosing only black and white you transform reality. Why only black and white Naoki-san?

Naoki Kimura – The reason I specialize in monochrome photography is not to reject natural colors but because the contrast between the realism inherent in color representation and the unreality woven by monochrome expression resonates as an approach to human “imagination” and “sensitivity.” Monochrome photography tends to focus on the essence of the subject and express it in an abstract form.

While photography inherently gives the impression of being “real” or “existing in reality,” the essence of monochrome photography lies in creating scenes that do not actually exist. Through this abstraction, the universal characteristics and emotions of the subject are emphasized, bringing out a deeper sense of reality. If color photography can evoke individual emotions and meanings as realism, monochrome photography can be said to enable a universal empathy not influenced by color.

In summary, monochrome photography opens up new visual and emotional dimensions by stripping away color from reality and achieving a unique balance between reality and unreality. It is one of the methods that appeals to human perception and emotions, a means to explore the world “beyond of the surface” of the photograph.

Monochrome photography also has the characteristic of conveying a sense of the passage of time beyond capturing a “moment.” Of course, the same can be said for color photography, but the limited information in monochrome photos allows for even more freedom, making it a factor that can appeal to people’s concepts. In simpler terms, it might be a process of presenting a connection to the viewer’s “unique individual thoughts” and “nostalgia”.

While easy to understand, it is also easy to induce a directionality of thought, and I believe that “Black and White photographs”, which are less informative due to the lack of color, are more easily associated with concepts within the individual.

 This may lead to the cultivation of deep emotions and a sense of symbolism, even though the imagery is unrealistic. By eliminating color information, we can emphasize the symbolic aspects of the subject, and in a state liberated from the influence of color, shapes, structures, and contrasts become sharper. When this happens, the symbolic meaning of the photograph emerges, approaching what I seek, which is akin to the concept of “Yuragi”(fluctuation) or “Nagi.”(Lull-calm)

I believe that there is a faint affinity between the infinite tonal range and the flow of time in “black and white.”

Gabriela Marie Milton – Please choose two of your favorite photographs and talk to me about them.

Naoki Kimura

At the top of the still chilly hill, 
Cherry trees in full bloom stand as if in love with their ancient glory.
A single breeze that passes through is stopped.
Bloom has been lulled.

It is said that there was a time of darkness when people feared evil spirits of rivers and mountains and turned to God.

”The dawn of the Renaissance, when humanity was restored.”

The fantastic accompaniment of the choir would have praised the freedom of the people. The dull glow of metal lies dormant behind a strict guard.

I wonder if the organ is still there with the same feeling.

The low, heavy sound of a car passing by outside. Only one pipe seemed to resonate.

I watched the faintly colored light of the sun shining through the window. I waited for the echo once more.

A slight tremble brought in the calm.

I wondered what it would praise for …now.

Gabriela Marie Milton Naoki-san, thank you again for this interview. Literary Revelations is thrilled to feature you and your magnificent art again. Anything else you would like to tell our readers? Anything else we should know about your work?

Naoki Kimura – I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for taking the time to interview me. It has been an enriching experience to delve into your valuable insights and opinions, Gabriela-san.  This interview has provided me with a fresh perspective, stimulating my thinking and creative endeavors. It has also given me the opportunity to reflect objectively on myself. 

I am truly thankful for the consideration and support of “Literary Revelations” and of you Gabriela-san.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the readers. I hope that my work reaches your hearts and inspires them. While my creations are shared through the medium of photography, your reception and interpretation add new depths to them. I hope that we can continue to explore new worlds together through my artwork.

With heartfelt appreciation,

And now, I would like to share a little about my work with all of you.

My work is an exploration of the ancient Japanese sentiment known as “Mono no aware” or the appreciation of the transience of things. This concept underlies all of my creations. Through the concept I refer to as “Yuragi ≒ Nagi (Fluctuation ≒ Lull)”, I aim to evoke empathy and resonance. Beyond visual perception, my work also seeks to connect with the emotional aspects through the material elements of original prints.

Thank you once again for this opportunity.

Gabriela Marie Milton – The pleasure is all mine, Naoki-san.

Works by Naoki Kimura

MODAN.L.161 R-11


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Poems by Ben Nardolilli

Literary Revelations is thrilled to present you with the poetry of Ben Nardolilli. We hope you enjoy it and wish you wonderful weekend.


Ben Nardolilli is currently an MFA candidate at Long Island University. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Door Is a Jar, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, The Northampton Review, Slab, and The Minetta Review. Please follow his publishing journey at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com.

A Universal Production

A body in rest becomes ugly, hideous in ways
No compliments can cure,
At the shore of a desk, it twists and bends
With shoulders taking on the angles of an ox,
And legs swelling as an alleged cushion
Cuts into the circulation,
Meanwhile the pits miraculously begin
To cry even though the air is managed,
The eyes fade, of course, as the lenses dull
The back curves of words,
And the brow turns to a furrow harvesting faults,
What happens to the heart
Is unseen, a rumor for doctors to suspect,
Until an autopsy reveals a candelabra of clogs

Renewable Every Hour, Pending Availability

Sneezing my way forward
along the shoreline, and looking up
at the lights of the towers ahead,
a quick azimuth tells me I am lost

Low tide, one less moist horror,
until I trip over on the mud
wishing there could be some snow
if there is going to be all this cold

A kiss with the depths avoided,
something to be happy about,
even if the dirt cannot be dusted off
the knee hurts, but it can bend


  • Thank you for your submission to our upcoming anthology Petals of Haiku. We are thrilled with the number of submissions. The deadline is January 15 so we are still receiving submissions. With a cover designed by the brilliant duo of award-winning Japanese artists, Hikari, and her mentor Naoki Kimura, please do not miss the chance to have your words grace the pages of our anthology.
  • Thank you for your poetry and short prose submissions to Literary Revelations. The volume of submissions that we have to read is very high so please be patient with us.
  • Please do not forget that we are looking forward to late December when we plan to release Greenlandos by Virginia Mateias. You can read more here.


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Cyber Monday at Literary Revelations – Shop our #1 Amazon bestsellers

Hello everyone and welcome to Cyber Monday at Literary Revelations. This season please do not forget to shop for book. We have three #1 Amazon Bestsellers. All poets who contributed to those volumes are fantastic.

Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology (Literary Revelations, January 2023)

A #1 Amazon bestseller [New Hot Releases in Poetry Anthologies]


From authors featured on NPR, BBC, and the New York Times, and from emerging poets, comes a monumental anthology in which every poem sends shivers down your spine. Childhood’s joy and trauma expressed – with stunning talent and sincerity – by over 150 poets in more than 280 poems. Childhood spaces magnified by the human memory, populated by good and bad, by trips to hell and heaven, in an almost Hieronymus Bosch type of atmosphere. Over 150 voices call you to read this book. Read it. You will learn that childhood never goes away. You will be reminded of the beauty of the seraphim and the need to protect children from any form of abuse. 150 voices knock on your door. Open the door. A chorus of childhoods will tell you that our children need love.

Literary Revelations is proud to bring you this anthology and deeply grateful to all contributors for pouring out their hearts into the pages of this book.

Love, Stars, and Paradigms by Swarn Gill (Literary Revelations, April 1, 2023)

#1 Amazon bestseller in the US, the UK and Canada [Category: Love Poems]


Swarn Gill’s poetry collection, Love, Stars, and Paradigms is a must-read for anyone looking for original and stunning poems about love, social, and political issues. Through his work, Gill explores the connection between the natural realm and the human condition with an eye for detail that is both captivating and thought-provoking. Through powerful imagery and vivid language, he paints his own unique perspective on the world around us. Whether it’s about heartache or joy, Gill’s words will touch your soul. Love, Stars, and Paradigms is an unforgettable journey through the beauty of love and the complexities of relationships.

Building Sandcastles: A Book of Short Poems by C.X. Turner and James Welsh (August, 2023)

A #1 Amazon bestseller on Hot New Releases – Haiku and Japanese Poetry; on August 13, 2023, features as the #1 bestselling haiku book in the UK.

Building Sandcastles: A Book of Short Poems by C.X. Turner and James Welsh is a spectacular collection. From every page the beauty of haiku and senryu poetry jumps, inscribing itself in the soul of the reader with color, sonority, melancholy, grief, and love. Water, clouds, memories, do not only mark chapters. They become the real soul of the book. The transitory nature of haiku and senryu – with their delicate and ethereal qualities – is magically transformed by the authors into permanence. That is no easy thing to do. C.X. Turner and James Welsh create a world of splendor and depth that will forever mark those who read the book.

The book showcases seven wonderful sketches done by C.X. Turner. You will find beauty and great substance in them.

Building Sandcastles has received plenty of advanced praise:

Bryan Rickert, Editor: Failed Haiku Journal of Senryu, President: The Haiku Society of America writes: “With both broad brushstrokes and intimate details, these two poets paint the beautiful experience of their haiku worlds.”

Joe Woodhouse, Editor: Wales Haiku Journal states that: “In one breath tender and poignant, in the next stark and arresting, this collection of short poems is a journey of discovery through an evocative series of moments in nature. It is an exploration of that yearning to glean meaning from the chaotic lives we all lead.”

Roberta Beach Jacobson Editor, Cold Moon Journal and Five Fleas (Itchy Poetry) tells us: “Building Sandcastles: A Book of Short Poems, the stunning new collection by C.X. Turner and James Welsh, is a must-have for your shelves. These thought-provoking haiku and senryu left me breathless.”

GRANNA by Nick Young

Literary Revelations is thrilled to bring you a piece by Nick Young entitled GRANNA. We hope you liked it as much as we did.


Nick Young is a retired award-winning CBS News Correspondent.  His writing has appeared in more than thirty publications including the Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Garland Lake Review, The Remington Review, The San Antonio Review, The Best of CaféLit 11 and Vols. I and II of the Writer Shed Stories anthologies.  His first novel “Deadline” was published in October. He lives outside Chicago.


She couldn’t know—how could she? 

She was but five, so she couldn’t know that the ancient figure across the room was anything but stooped by the weight of time. She couldn’t know that once that woman with brittle skin etched by life’s toil was as full of joy as she, reveling in the summer sun as she ran, laughing, through the dazzling wildflowers sprinkled up the slope of the low hillside that rose toward a patch of thick timber behind the faded brick farmhouse. How could she know that as a schoolgirl the old one was bright, full of curiosity about the world and thirsty as a sponge for knowledge? Or that in her teenage years, she kept a secret diary, confiding in its deckled pages the thrill of kissing a boy for the first time and her dreams of going to a college in the ivied East and living in a city with soaring buildings of dizzying heights. She couldn’t know how those yearnings were crushed away to dust by parents who put no stock in a girl having “them notions,” prodding her relentlessly so that she finally surrendered, exhausted, abandoned her books and fell in with a fast crowd, living loose, for the thrill of the moment, roiling convention, flouting rectitude. How could she know that the woman before her with lank gray hair and a stolid thickness about her once had a pin-up’s face and a body that was all tightness and curves, driving men to frenzies of passion and jealousy sometimes settled with fists or a knife. She could not know about the barroom nights that ended, panting, in a back seat or a shabby room in a rundown motel on the far side of the railroad tracks. And she could not know how the people of the town whispered cruelly behind the woman’s back, even as she strove to pull free of wantonness, refashion her life and let the past slip into the distance of memory.

No, she didn’t know—how could she?

What she knew was that this is old soul in the faded cornflower-blue shift who shuffled so slowly, hardly lifting her worn slippers as she moved, would never fail to bring her favorite teddy, to see them both safely tucked within the cocoon of blankets infused with the faint scent of cedar as the evening drew down. And she knew this woman would bend low to stroke her hair with tremulous hand, place a gentle kiss upon her forehead, smile and whisper that the night would hold no terrors, and the morning would come with warm sunshine and bright birdsong.


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Interview with Șerban Andreescu, the illustrator of Greenlandos by Virginia Witch

I recognized the brilliance of the idea from the outset. It’s not just a book; it’s a timely manifesto advocating for the preservation of our planet, a call to action against pollution.

Șerban Andreescu on Greenlandos by Virginia Witch

Dear Readers,

We are working hard to bring you a fabulous book for children and adults next month. The book is entitled Greenlandos and it is written by Virginia Mateias aka Virginia Witch.

Greenlandos is more than fiction book. As professor and author Maria Rusu tells us: “I wholeheartedly recommend it to those seeking an insightful and humorous read, as well as those dedicated to maintaining a healthy diet and a clean planet. The information sheets at the end of the novel, offering insights into the origins and legends of vegetables from different time periods and cultures, are particularly fascinating.” Please read more here.

This weekend Literary Revelations is privileged to bring you an interview with the artist who created the wonderful illustrations for Greenlandos, Șerban Andreescu. I hope you enjoy it.

Illustrator Serban Andreescu, a former engineer, brings a unique blend of technical expertise and artistic passion to his work. Beyond his creative pursuits, Andreescu channels his energy into sports, particularly karate and ju-jitsu. Known for his sense of humor and perfectionist approach, Andreescu’s commitment to excellence shines through his illustrations. In an exclusive interview regarding his collaboration with author Virginia Witch on the book “Greenlandos,” Andreescu commented, “I recognized the brilliance of the idea from the outset. It’s not just a book; it’s a timely manifesto advocating for the preservation of our planet, a call to action against pollution.” In his 33 years of activity, Serban has illustrated over 500 books in the USA, England, Belgium, France, and Poland.

Serban collaborated on three cartoon movie studios in Romania, France, and Spain and with advertising agencies in the USA

LR: How did you make the transition from the engineering profession to becoming an illustrator?

Serban Andreescu: The circle of life brought me back to drawing. When I was 4 years old, I felt the need to draw. I was particularly fond of cartoons and wanted to know who created them to distinguish between them. I grew up with Walt Disney movies and French magazines. From the beginning, I preferred comic drawings designed to bring a smile to the viewer’s face. Initially, I wanted to study at the School of Fine Arts. However, I didn’t believe in my talent and pursued a career as a power engineer. After 10 years, when freedom came to Romania, I felt it was a good time to try my hand at creating a book entirely conceived by me. And so, I embarked on a new path in life as an illustrator.

LR: How do you adapt the illustrations based on the age group of the target audience and the subject of the book?

Serban Andreescu: The illustration must be as suggestive and pleasing to the viewer as possible. You cannot convey something with a complicated illustration to a 3 or 4-year-old child. That’s why an adaptation of the drawing style is necessary.

LR: How important is illustration in the process of understanding a story or a book? The question, of course, pertains to children of all ages. This inquiry, naturally, extends to children of all ages.

Serban Andreescu: Illustrations are highly significant. Even if the book has many pages and a more serious subject, a few illustrations bring you closer to the world of the story and help you visualize the content. Reading becomes more enjoyable and effortless due to the illustrations. In the case of books for young children, illustrations play a predominant role. By seeing the drawings, the child will remember the key moments of the story and the depiction of the characters.

LR: The book “Greenlandos” by Montreal writer Virginia Witch is the most recent book you’ve illustrated. How was the collaboration with a witch?

Serban Andreescu: Not always do illustrators and writers see eye to eye, leading to discussions due to differences of opinion. However, in the collaboration with the writer Virginia WITCH, the understanding was perfect. She provided a detailed description of the characters and illustrations, and my drawings met her approval. So, 100% understanding. It was a book that pushed my imagination to create characters a bit more different. Yes, it was a challenge!

LR: Where can the illustrator Serban Andreescu be found?

Serban Andreescu: I can be found at http://www.serban-andreescu.ro or at andreescu.serban@gmail.com.

Illustrations from the book by Serban Andreescu:

Please do not forget to submit to our anthology Petals of Haiku. You can read more here.


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Weekend Poetry – Diane Funston


Diane Funston writes poetry about nature, and human nature. She co-founded a women’s poetry salon in San Diego and created a weekly poetry gathering in the high desert town of Tehachapi.

She has been the Yuba-Sutter Arts and Culture Poet-in-Residence for the past two years. It is in this role she created Poetry Square, a monthly online venue that features poets from all the world reading their work and discussing creative process. 

Diane has been published in Last Stanza, Synkronicity, California Quarterly, Whirlwind, San Diego Poetry Annual, Meat for Tea, Tule Review, Lake Affect Magazine, and other literary journals. Her first chapbook, “Over the Falls” was published this July 2022 from Foothills Publishing. 

Diane is also a visual artist in mosaic, wool felting, and collage. Her pieces have been in galleries in the Sacramento Valley. 

Still Waiting

I creep in to the butterfly habitat,
dappled with perfume.
Wearing my most colorful,
flower-full blouse.
Ready for filigree butterflies
to cover me.

I stand still as a park statue.
Silent as the pious in prayer.
Occasionally I drift
toward a new feathery squall—
offer myself,
passive altar,
a turned-down bed.

Amazed, I see whorls of wings
flicker and flutter past me,
to settle instead upon
silver haired shrieking tourists,
corpulent camera man in a sweat logged suit,
chocolate smeared children waving their arms,
calling “Come here butterfly, come over here”.

I watch amidst chatter and clutter,
silent, scented, open palmed—
still waiting.

Saving Time

If I could save time in a bottle;
I used that old song as prayer.
1973, I was fifteen,
my grandmother, sixty-six.
Her extended round belly,
hard under her jersey dress
resembled new life growing strong
but the cancer grew as death’s quickening.

I watched the electric pump drain her poison
nearly every day as the six weeks it took,
the doctors having told me, by myself,
we had a 4 to 6 weeks left together.
I held her straw of the ice cream sodas
I’d bring her on the bus after school.
The time sipped and pumped away,
until she passed in the red of October.

I was her daughter in all but sown seed.
She still speaks every time I state “No”.
Every time I stand up by my roots,
untangle the ivy of pretense
from the brick walls of my growing up.
Each time I set a boundary these days,
I see her smile in raw approval
feel her hand in mine.


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Michael Shoemaker and his wonderful poetry

Literary Revelations is pleased to bring you the poetry of Michael Shoemaker.


Michael Shoemaker is a poet, writer, and photographer. His writing has appeared in Ancient Paths Literary Journal, Last Leaves Literary Magazine, Front Porch Review, Littoral Magazine, Clayjar Review, the Compass Literary Magazine and elsewhere. His poems are in anthologies at Central Texas Writers Society, Poetica, Poetry Pacific, Pure Slush and Poets’ Choice. He lives in Magna, Utah with his wife, and son where he enjoys looking out on the Great Salt Lake every day. His book of poetry and photography “Rocky Mountain Reflections” which will be published by Poets’ Choice in November 2023.

Clackamas River Tubing

Floating back and forth 
swinging in the swirling stream
sweet sounds in the leaves
like the flight of piccolos 
flickering above the flutes. 

Taking the Long Way Back

I trekked out
in a flurry
beating hot thin dust
on the trail
burdened with
the swiftness
of worry
and pretense.

On the way back
there will be
no such error.

I will take time
to lean on the
old picket fence
and stare at the
far distance of
the mist rising
above the hills
counting my brothers
the quail bolting
the trees
to lie on the
cool damp ground
in the meadow
tasting the tang
of wild raspberries
looking up
saluting the
bottom of daisies
listening to the musical
consonance of bees
that must also breathe
in the sweet smell
of the graciousness of grasses
to sit in playing
light and shadow
almost like a laugh
by the brook
with feet immersed
in cold brisk liquid-

You ask me
how to live,
this is how.

Below Michael’s original photograph that accompanies this poem.


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Happy Halloween! Dark Fantasy by Spyder Collins

Telling scary stories is one of the Halloween’s traditions. Today we feature dark fantasy by Spyder Collins.

Trigger warning: Those of you who do not like this genre are advised not to read.

Eve of Elena

Alas, she sings, and with each note, my heart beats. Her warmth washes over me like the rising sun upon freshly fallen snow. She, my love, my soul, and the warmth of Heaven’s grace. Here with me, my dearest.


It has been a fortnight since the return of my darling Elena on Forefathers’ Eve—the night of ghosts and ghouls, a child’s play of tricks or treats. It will be a night I will never forget, nor take as play. 

          You see, a seer portended the fall of my love. She would surrender to consumption, if I did not take precautions. I, a proud and in retrospect foolish man, refused the seer. I had no belief in such craft or any craft I could not physically witness. Carpenters and masonries were crafters. I begrudge the wise who looked at mystics with a believing eye.

         Enough of my ignorance. I am so pleased with the necromancer who came to my aid. Her raiment of ancient times and incantation from the tongues of devils brought my Elena home.

         I fell into a grave sorrow upon Elena’s passing. The consumption riddled her with pain and dolor. My guilt rode on a trail of snide quips to the doctors who tried to cure her. Their failure was my guilt, and that failure stoked my fury. I would not let them take her after her death. She lay in my bed until her rotted flesh soaked the bed and the stench became unbearable.

         As she was placed into the ground, I vowed—silently—that she would return to me. I struggled with courage, belief, and a willingness to sell it all for her. In the end, I did. My eternal life is nothing. I live for today, and this day I want Elena.

         On the night of October thirty-first and until the aurora of November first, my immeasurable love would be tested. The necromancer did her due. I won’t go into details of the incantations or the process of removing the dead from their sacred home. It is not something I wish to narrate or relive. Just know you would need to prepare yourself for that unholiest affair.

         Elena is here now. Her melodic voice carries the beauty of her soul, though she sings of longing for death, The fey sound haunts each moment of each hour, of each day and night. She never sleeps. My heart sings of joy—madness, perhaps. Her flesh is all but decayed from her bones. Her clothing hangs, as it did in the armoire. Her scent is as I imagine hell will be for me. Sulfuric, biting, and oddly metallic.

         She sits before her vanity, as she has done many times. The empty stare at her reflection is unnerving. She’s all but brushed her hair from what remains of her scalp. Her sunken eyes shed tears, I swear it. Impossible, I know, or a product of my growing insanity. One must ask themself if this may be bedlam; it could only be expected. 

         My gluttony will never wane, no. I fear thralldom has me in its clutches. I wonder what will become of her when I find death’s door. But I’ve no time for such thoughts.

  Elena, my love…welcome home.

Spyder also wrote a poem for us.

As the gloaming arrives
my hopes for my love arise
it has been far too long
since I have heard her melodic song

Quietus the rogue took her
from between my loving arms
in my shame I confess, I did not stir
to protect my beloved from harm

On the altar on All Hallows’ Eve
this incantation I weave
to sell my eternal soul to him
as my future is quite dim

Evermore on the raven’s wing
darkness casts its eternity River Styx
endless flames it brings
I will drown in Hades’ pitiless sea

I will pay my due, whatever it may be
to share another moment, her with me
for my undying love is greater than God
for I know the truth of His façade

I’ll play that wager for her
and I will take my punishment, for her
as there is no life, without her
this forevermore is for her


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Halloween is almost here! Exclusively for Literary Revelations an interview with Iuliana Irimia conducted by Virginia Mateias


VM. Congratulations on your successful start in the art world! Can you tell us about the journey that led you here?

II. I started drawing when I was very young. My parents allowed me to draw on everything: books, post-its, walls… nothing escaped my crayon! I started taking drawing classes at 14, where I was taught in a more traditional approach using large paper pads and an easel. This has given me a good foundation to build my personal style upon and served me well in school while I studied Illustration at Dawson College. I have since done a variety of projects as a self-employed artist, from logos to murals, and everything in between. 

VM. Your work has a unique style. How do you incorporate your love for Halloween into your paintings?

II. I’ve loved Halloween since I was young. Every year, my friend and I would spend a lot of time and effort planning and decorating her house for trick-or-treaters. We would make paper maché cauldrons and elaborate cemetery displays in her front yard, complete with zombie hands and legs sticking out of the ground. 

While my art doesn’t necessarily always revolve around typical Halloween imagery, I have incorporated the oddities and feeling of eeriness using a more surreal style. 

VM. How has your recent success impacted your creative process and inspiration?

II. Much like other artists, I also worry about my art being “good enough” or liked by others. We of course have to cultivate our audience, but in the end people respond to authenticity. The work I’ve done recreating Nalini Malani’s mural at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts reminded me how important it is to do work that is inspiring to us. Malani’s work is much different than mine, but her art and process are nothing if not authentic, and it really reminded me to enjoy and trust the process of creating art. 

I was also able to gain more immediate feedback while working in front of the public during Montreal’s Mural Fest. It is a street art festival where, among other activities, artists are commissioned to paint on large wooden boards on the pedestrian-only street. Initially, I had created a design where I tried to cater to what I thought people would want to see at such a festival: something colourful and a much simpler theme revolving around the city. However, I changed my design a few days before the event. Remembering the authenticity in Malani’s art, I simply felt like it didn’t reflect my personality and instead created something that was more in line with my vision as an artist. 

VM. What are some of your favorite themes or subjects to paint that relate to Halloween?

II. I very much love the idea of magic and witches. It’s the feeling in the air during the fall season that is charged with the possibility that anything could happen. Even if my subject is still, I want there to be some kind of presence that isn’t explicitly stated. There is a power and control to the concept of magic, which lends itself well to the power and control an artist has over their art. 

VM. Are there any specific artists or painters who have influenced your work?

II. I find myself drawn to artists from the Golden Age of Illustration. The first that come to mind is Harry Clarke. I discovered his drawings for an Edgar Allan Poe book titled “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” while researching a project for one of my classes at Dawson College. I immediately loved the texture and detail in his art, and it has since heavily influenced how I approach any ink drawing I do. I also love the beautiful curves in the illustrations of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, and I try to incorporate those kinds of shapes in many of my own work. If I had the opportunity, I would love to go back in time and take a look at his studio. It would be fascinating for me to see how he approaches illustrations that are so intricate. 

VM. Could you describe a recent project or painting that you are particularly proud of?

II. I was commissioned, along with a friend, to recreate a mural designed by the artist Nalini Malani, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Unlike a lot of murals that are normally done with paint, this one was done using markers and charcoal. We spent two weeks working in front of the public at the museum, and had a multitude of interactions with many who had never seen a mural being created. This experience has been an absolute honour and I will cherish it for the rest of my life. 

VM. How do you balance the spooky and playful aspects of Halloween in your art?

II. I find it important to stay away from obvious clichés. There are plenty of images of witches or zombies, so I ask myself what kind of story I want to tell. To me, Halloween is about the strange and unexpected, so I take inspiration from many sources and mix them in my personal cauldron to create something new yet still familiar. 

VM. What can your fans and art enthusiasts expect from your upcoming projects, especially in the context of Halloween-themed works?

II. I’ve experimented with many styles in the past years, but some ways of working come more naturally. I love intricate linework done in ink, and while it’s true it takes more time than other drawings I’ve done, I believe the investment is worth it! The style really evokes the look of an old engraved illustration in a grimoire, and I can really immerse myself in the drawing during the time it takes to create it. I intend to follow the path of many of the Golden Age artists who have illustrated books, to soon illustrate my own. 

Website: iulianairimia.com
Instagram: @mtl_raiin

Works by Iuliana Irimia


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