Weekend Interview – The Art of M. M. Ciciovan: Energy and Vibration

This weekend Literary Revelations is thrilled to bring you an interview conducted by Virginia Mateias with M. M. Ciciovan. Our hope is that you enjoy the interview and M.M. Ciciovan’s beutiful art.

Mona Ciciovan is a successful Canadian painter. She signs her canvases with M. M. Ciciovan, because, she says, women continue to be undervalued in the world of arts. Nothing seems impossible to her in painting: to reproduce the memory of the earth, the flight of a bird of paradise, or urban architecture. « Somewhere in between abstraction and the figuration, realism and imagination, M. M. Ciciovan’s paintings give a metaphorical and poetic meaning to the urban landscape. The color and light do not only evoke the shape, but primarily arise the energy and vibration of the image. »  Those are the words of professor and mentor, the late Antoine Pentsch, who new best to describe the essence of M.M. Ciciovan’s art. 

V.M: How would you describe art?

M.M. Ciciovan: Art is something that exists beyond reality, it comes from the creator’s imagination and speaks to the viewer’s imagination. As Kandinsky said: « To create a work is to create a world! » Art is above all emotions and experiences. I believe that art must appeal to the senses first and then to the intellect.

V.M:  When did your artistic adventure begin?

M.M. Ciciovan: I remember, as a child, the joy I felt playing in the mud, modelling figurines that came to life in my imagination. Drawing was my good friend. Ever since then I have spent hours drawing or modelling, instinctively understanding Creation as the expression of an inner solitude and experience. Later, in Canada, I studied fine arts at two universities in Montreal. Those were very intense years when, with an extraordinary thirst, I studied and experimented with various techniques: drawing, painting, engraving, modelling, and sculpting.

V.M: Which of your personality traits have been most helpful in your career?

M.M. Ciciovan: I believe the character trait that has helped me was and is my determination or stubbornness to go my own way, no matter the obstacles. The artist must stay true to his artistic vision, to find that particularity or uniqueness of his own.

V.M: Sometimes, painting can be a repetitive work…

M.M. Ciciovan: Painting can only be repetitive if the artist indulges in a so-called recipe or mannerism. For me each painting is a new universe to discover, a new adventure.

V.M: You are one of the most successful Canadian painters. Tell us about the achievement that brought you the most artistic satisfaction.

M.M. Ciciovan:  Artistic satisfaction can be of a different nature. The acquisition of a work, an exhibition in a prestigious place, the recognition of the artistic value by your peers, etc. I can mention as an example that in 2021 I was invited to exhibit in two museums and a cultural center in Romania, my country of origin, and that some of my paintings can be found in their collections  and the collections of other prestigious institutions. Currently, the exhibition “Le rythme de la ville l’architecture dans l’imaginaire” has been running for several months at the Romanian Start Up Café, in Montreal, Canada.

I feel a great joy when a person finds himself/herself in my painting, when the emotion is visible. It often happens that this is a young person who is buying a work of art for the first time. This moves me deeply!

V.M:  What important art business lesson did you learn in the past that took your career to the next level?

M.M. Ciciovan: For many years I felt that once the painting is exhibited, the artist must fade out behind the painting, that one’s role is over. Which is incorrect… Having understood this, I stepped out of my comfort zone, out of my studio, and discovered skills I didn’t even know I had.

V.M: What famous artist in history would you like to spend a day with and what would you do together?

M.M. Ciciovan: here are so many artists with whom I would love to spend not just a day but a lifetime. Of all of them, I most certainly would choose Brancusi, my spiritual father. I would watch him grind his sculptures to perfection, listen to his wisdom and inspirational quotes from Milarepa, and we would surely enjoy cooking something together.

V.M: Where can we find your paintings?

M.M. Ciciovan: You can find my paintings through my website at www.mmciciovan.com, as well as on the online boutique www.espacemara.com. But the most beautiful way remains in person, by visiting my latest exhibition “Le rythme de la ville, l’architecture dans l’imaginaire” at the Romanian Start-Up Café or directly at my studio by reserving a private viewing (mm.ciciovan@hotmail.ca).

All images used in this post including the featured art are by M. M. Ciciovan.

Feature of the Week – The Stunning Poetry of Vasiliki Petroudi

This week Literary Revelations is thrilled to bring you the poetry of Vasiliki Petroudi, a Greek poet of striking talent.

Vasiliki in her own words:

There are two powerful memories from my childhood. First, sleeping under gigantic cypresses that one can find everywhere in Greece, and second the voices of a Greek singer whispering something about the death of a symbol. Greece is not only my birth country. It is also my legacy.
Cypress trees, the voices of our composers Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis, Yiannis Markopoulos, and the lyrics of our greatest poets Elytis and Seferis.
Raised among books, I started reading and writing at the age of four. Since then, books have been my shelter and writing my way to communicate my ideas and my vision about a better world.
My spiritual fathers, Homer, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, showed me the way.
Through my poetry I try to show the way to other people. The way not to only survive but to truly live.


Immaculate conception
I came to this world
by my own volition
Fed with verses,
by haunted minstrels
My childhood doesn’t have the scent
of laundry that dries up in the sun
It smells gunpowder
and ink from a print shop
My nannies,
moonstruck poets
the ugliness of the world from me
I grew up with a lame soul
and a mind full of Idees Grandes
And now that all my sitters are dead
I wander, an orphan, 45 years old.


I so wanted to be born,
to know the world,
but couldn’t find the way

I had the innocence of the first moment,
the purity of nothing

I was walking through the open markets,
watching people passing by
and I was begging them
to give birth to me

But they were afraid of my power
for so enormous it was,
that could tear the world apart

It was then, when I discovered
two deaths
The death of kindness
and the death of memory

For Death is the need to forget

Jesus of Suburbia

Jesus of Suburbia,
my Bible written
with blood and sperm
on the bathroom tiles

Born in a crèche full of shit
Suckle my mother’s cocaine

Home is where abuse
still haunts you

Pain recycled in every boy’s touch
Signs mislead, this is not love

Alcohol and cigarettes,
can you fill the void?

Please daddy stop, it hurts

Lost my faith at 7
naked in the garage

Swarn Gill reads from Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology

Good morning/Good evening everyone

Literary Revelations is proud to bring you the wonderful readings of Swarn Gill. Swarn will read two of his poems from our recently released book Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology.

You can find Swarn’ s bio here. We hope you enjoy the readings.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Kait’s poetry reading from Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology

Literary Revelations Journal is proud to bring you a poetry reading by Kaitlin one of the marvelous contributors to our #1 Amazon bestselling anthology Hidden in Childhood.


Better known as Kait and living in Spain as a teacher’s assistant, Kaitlin has found healing and rediscovered her love for creation through poetry. For Kait, surrealism allows connecting at a safe distance from a traumatic childhood; it paints some kind of personal understanding that hopefully offers healing and insight for others as well. She grew up in Virginia but moved to Spain originally pursuing a translation career, which has led to teaching and writing. When she’s not at school or at her desk, she enjoys going to the cinema, trying a new hamburguesería or traveling with her partner, which, according to Kait, has been a major influence in her writing—experiencing worlds outside of one’s hometown teaches new perspectives and inspires personal growth, especially having grown up in a strict religious household. But another one of the most important influences, that inspires her poetry and her healing, will always be her seven siblings.

Kaitlin received a BA in English Literature and a double minor in Spanish and Religious Studies from Randolph-Macon College, where she worked as a copyeditor for The Yellow Jacket newspaper and completed a translation internship with the Latin American News Digest. Her poetry has been published in Hidden In Childhood and FromOneLine anthologies.

The Voice of a Cassette

Stories unravel through dun 1970’s tape with a slight stick

Of never reading with you again—the click of the unfinished chapters

Promised in bed, The Lion King, too busy with the hunt,

Leaving your cubs to the dusty reels of a cassette player.

Each night in our den, four girls vote on which moral to memorize

Sleep, imagining Benjamin Bunny thumping the audio to a stop:

A pause to sift through cardboard boxes with our paws for another dream

Or rewind our ears into the moans across the hall,

Leading to the lioness licking medication to ease her burning

—The static—splitting our pride

From the breast of innocence, wound in stuck buttons

Reproducing our shredding tale, pebbles trembling in darkness.

(the recording below was made before the publication of the anthology)

A Poem by Vance Walker Included in Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology

As of this writing Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology is still running #1 on Amazon New Releases [poetry anthologies]. This is almost the 5th day. I cannot tell you how humbled and delighted I am. The poetry in this volume is fantastic. 150 poets wrote about their childhood. Joy and pain. Tears and smiles.

Today coming from childhood the voice of Vance Walker.


Under the old oak tree
where they hung our swing
we three would play
till the bell would ring

and we burned our hands
on the fisherman’s rope
and skinned our knees
on the fireman’s pole

In our big tree house
with lights but no water
we three played
two sons and a daughter

Using cherries for blood  
our ammunition was mud
squirt guns for rain
It was all just pantomimed pain

And I could hold my breath
much longer than you
under the old oak tree
when it was just us two

Except on that day
on that afternoon
when that rope around your neck
turned your face bright blue

I didn’t know what to do
under that old oak tree
Hang on hold on
I’ll get you free 

We had our GI Joes
up to their necks in mud
and flying through the air
and landing with a thud

And I could hold my breath
much longer than you
except on that day
on that afternoon

when you banged to the floor
when I banged down the door
blood, not mud
and your face bright blue

I didn’t know what to do
tears coming down like rain
you in your cherry juice
you and your phone cord noose

Remember when
we had to pantomime pain?

Well it was we three
then it was us two
now it’s just me
me alone

using tears for rain
and I don’t have to pantomime pain.

Vance Walker has been writing poetry since he was a little boy. Recent poetry published: When Smooth-Faced Wooers Woo, in the Wingless Dreamer’s Breath of Love, Poems for Global Poemic, Vita Brevis Press, and The Gay & Lesbian Review. His play, You’ve Got To Keep Mother Alive, was recently performed at Scribe Stages. 

Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology is now a #1 Amazon Bestseller [Poetry Anthologies]

We are thrilled to let you know that Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology published by Literary Revelations is now a #1 Amazon bestseller. This book was made possible by the gorgeous poems you, poets from around the world, sent us. Thank you for trusting Literary Revelations with your poetry. Congratulations! You are now #1 Amazon bestselling poets.

Amazon Description:

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.

On our per-launch Hidden in Childhood show: Our gracious host Victoria Onofrei of Radio Bloomsbury will broadcast the show on Sunday January 29, at 6pm London Time. If you want to listen you can do it here https://www.bil.ac.uk/bloomsburyradio/

You can buy the book here:

An Exceptional Writer: Richard M. Ankers

Literary Revelations is proud to bring you today the exceptional work of Richard M. Ankers.

Richard is a native of the beautiful county of Yorkshire, England. When Richard isn’t writing, which he usually he is, he can be found running and keeping fit, or drinking coffee with his friends. If he could write in full view of the mountains with a stream running past his garden, he’d probably never resurface.

Richard has four published novels to his name: The Eternals, Hunter Hunted, Into Eternity, (all part of The Eternals Series) and Britannia Unleashed. Richard was a Gold Medal winner on Authonomy.com by HarperCollins with his novel The Snow Lily.

He has appeared in many anthologies including The Clockwork Chronicles, Love Letters To Poe: Volume 1, Once Upon A Broken Dream and Clockwork Christmas. Richard has featured in magazines worldwide such as DailyScienceFiction, Bunbury Magazine, Expanded Field Journal, Spillwords, and always feels privileged to do so. He counts himself fortunate to have over fifty writing credits to his name from his decade in writing, and also now writes with others. When people ask why does he write, he simply replies: ‘Because I have to’. Richard can be found on his blogs at: richardankers.com and on Twitter at: @Richard_Ankers

The In-Between

By Richard M. Ankers

I walk in a world between the here and there, eyes wide and ears straining. Above me, the clouds gather a semi-darkness as though having tasted the night and are reluctant to welcome the dawn. There are no birds, no cars, no ocular disturbances whatsoever, only the still. And I wonder, Is this a dream?

Leaves tumble like angels’ feathers, tinted in gold and lighter than air. They mark my movements as snowflakes record the winter’s depths. I shiver through my many layers.

In some places, there are pools of water reflecting the unnatural calm. Curling leaves float upon these mercury wonders like gondolas on Venetian canals, but where their gondoliers are remains a mystery. It is a mystery that mirrors this marshmallow purgatory.

I pass familiar places but without the usual disdain. I question everything, from the shades cast by the hospital buildings to the fogged-up glass of the bus shelter, the broken hedge separating mankind from nature, and even the heights of the vertiginous curbs. Nothing is as I remember. Nothing is how I recall.

It takes longer to reach my goal, as the clouds drop by the moment and I’m wary of every step. When the first wisp of wind comes to tug at my jacket, I panic. I know I’ll never make it even though my friends are already waving hello. 

The coffee does not hit the mark. The conversation is as the words of ghosts. They tell of things that the world has promised, but it is not my world, and I can’t wait to get home.

There are no goodbyes; it’s as if they know.

I step back out into the in-between, where cumulous clouds corral the space I occupy, hem me in. There are no birds. There are no cars. Nothing has changed except me.


I wake to the news a hurricane hit during the night, the first true hurricane in over a century. England has always considered itself too good for such things. Extremes are for other places, other peoples, not us. Chaos abounds.

I dress and leave.

There are no birds. There are no cars. Not one leaf graces the trees; they have all gone. Neither are there pools of water, as everything and everywhere is blasted dry. Overhead, the clouds swirl around as though I wear the universe’s greatest halo. And I smile: Is this what it feels like to play God?

My friends look shocked.

“We thought you were dead!” one garbles.

“Why didn’t you call?” says another.

“Why would I?” my reply.

There are six of them sharing the same vacant expression, six intelligent, honest individuals who I am glad to call my friends. The oldest speaks, the wisest. I trust him with my life.

“You’ve been gone a month.”


There are no birds. There are no cars. Snowflakes abound in a world turned white, not grey. The snow has found a level. There’s not a print in sight. Even if awake, I couldn’t be happier.

Feature of the Week – John Hinton: An Indiana-Based Poet

This week Literary Revelations brings you the exceptional poetry of John Hinton.

Hinton’s writing is inspired by human interactions and accompanying emotions. Love, hate, indifference, passion. His words explore who we are, how we behave. Eloquent and gritty, these words reveal the joy and pain of this beautiful human existence. Hinton serves as President of Poetry Society of Indiana. In this role, he works toward the goal of helping people discover and express their personal voice through poetry.

Find John @johnrhinton2 on Twitter.

Open Letter to Undisclosed Recipient

victims of the same crime
violated by common perpetrator
our traumas took us to depths of sufferings
most will never know
I thought we would have bonded
an alliance of understanding
instead, we became passive enemies
never any outright attacks
only assaults of indifference
time and again I waved a white flag
a strange act as I was fighting no war
yet, I sought surrender
not from a fight but from schism
it seems my act of concession
turned the white flag to red
your apathy flamed to hostility
you took an innocent prisoner
weaponized your own flesh and blood
hostage to pain you blame me for
torturing me by separation
part of me cruelly severed
Do you see me bleeding?
Does it please you
watching my slow-dripping agony
will this debt you’ve attributed to me
ever be fully satisfied
or will you charge the exorbitant interest of affliction

Hidden in Childhood – Full Cover Reveal and Preface

Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology – preface by Gabriela Marie Milton

Release date: late January 2023

If you open the pages of this poetry collection, you will be mesmerized by the talent of the contributors, and by the range of stylistic approaches they use to recreate the world of childhood.  It must be said from the beginning that this is not a poetry collection for children. The pages you will read memorialize the beauty and magic of childhood – remembrance of love and fairytales – as well as its ugliness – abuses, poverty – that unfortunately still exist in our world. Some of the authors of the poems included in this anthology were brave enough to talk about the pain they endured in childhood. I salute all contributors: those who tell the world that childhood is love, and those who still bear the wounds of a difficult childhood.

As the editor, curator, and publisher of this book, I am honored and humbled that so many poets entrusted me with their work. The poems I included in this anthology are stunners. They are magnificent in their wealth of emotions, and very diverse in style. It is the role of the editor to try – as much as she/he can- to stylistically unify the works included in poetry collections. To a certain extent, I decided against it. I allowed for English spelling, as well as for American spelling. I overlooked places where perhaps I would have used different words, in the interest of clarity. Why did I do it? Two reasons: (1) These breathtaking poems have their own energy, an energy that continuously echoes in one’s soul, and it sends shivers down the spine of the reader. There is a freshness about them, freshness in front of which the strive for better formulations ends up in patheticism. (2) Perfection is most of the time sterile. There are emblematic poets who sometimes consciously allowed for small degrees of clumsiness – here and there – in their poems in order to preserve the authenticity of the feelings. I hope I did that in this collection.  

The themes and archetypes the contributors use are very diverse. You will find the father as the protector and/or as the abuser, the figure of the mother as the nurturer and/or as the monster, the loss of siblings, the heavenly paradise of grandparents, the fight with disease, and the list can continue.     

To turn to a different idea, once Charles Baudelaire wrote, “The child sees everything in a state of newness… Nothing more resembles what we call inspiration than the delight with which a small child absorbs form and color.” No doubt, during childhood we are first and foremost the recipients of the sensory world.  

The academic literature on childhood – as well as our common understanding – frequently defines childhood as a period of our lives that precedes adulthood.  Whatever happens during our first years is formative and important to our becoming. However, we tend to dissociate childhood from maturity. Most people subscribe to the dichotomy of childhood/adulthood.

Indeed, the prima facie reading of the poems included in this anthology shows that the authors kept in mind the dichotomy of childhood/adulthood.

Yet, what strikes the reader during the second and/or third reading of these stunning poems is how present childhood is in the lives of the authors, now mature people.  For these poets, whether they know it or not, childhood is not a simple memory filled with joy or pain.  Childhood constitutes itself as an integral part of their poems, a part that continues to transform them as they write.

The strength of this poetry collection is the capacity of its authors to blur the line between childhood and adulthood. Whether the authors talk about joyful memories, or sadly abusive childhood, the effect is stunning. We do not know anymore where childhood stops, and adulthood starts.

Am I returning to Philippe Ariès and his Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life (1960), who put forward the idea – albeit controversial – that during medieval times childhood was not recognized as a distinct phase of human existence?

No. I am not. I merely claim that the idea of childhood is not as transient as authors such as Ray Bradbury claimed.

In many aspects, childhood never goes away. It stays with us forever.

This is what you will discover in this anthology, which contains the most beautiful, as well as the most heart-wrenching, verses one has ever read. And this is a phenomenal discovery.

Gabriela Marie Milton
author, editor, publisher

Feature of the Week-PS Conway, An American Poet with Irish Roots

We are thrilled to feature the poetry of PS Conway, an American Poet with Irish roots. We hope you enjoy his work.

PS Conway returned to poetry in 2020 after a far too long hiatus from writing. Sadly, yet serendipitously, the Covid19 quarantine created a much-needed space for words; words that attracted an ardent online community of readers. PS finds fascination in language birthed from dark, literate, and emotive places. In the last 26 months, PS has been published in 12 literary publications. In his free time, PS fancies himself a rock star, jamming on his drum kit, and a wannabe sommelier, savoring Napa cabs with his wife Susan.

Website: PoetrybyPS.com
Facebook: facebook.com/PSConwayPoet
Twitter: ps_conway
Email: psconwaypoet@gmail.com

light and shadow

I pace along stone fortress walls
looking to the forest at small
herds of deer grazing in the space
between light and shadow.

Oisín clings to my leg, eyes welled
with tears, a wee fawn with the soul
of a poet, he mouths your name,
and I shake my head ‘no’.

as for me, this warrior’s heart
lies lost in memories of you,
as entwined as moss taking root
‘midst worn cracks of this dún.

but know this,
my most solemn pledge,
sworn unto the gods…

our love is beyond time, and no
black curse, no conjured slight, will e’er
halt my search; I will find you and
return you from shadow
into the light.

the storm

hold me fast, my love, for I am frightened
of the coming of the night, safe in our
snug seaside cottage, sheltered from the storm,
the raging tide summons – and I cower

under the covers like a child, fitful
in this turmoil, swift shallow breaths like ice,
throat so dry, and I thirst, I thirst for life,
for the spring-tide of my youth, what shall suffice
save forestalling the coming of the night
with its dark schemes, its furtive machinations,
to steal this life, this soul, from me, from us,
this soul, a toll, my final oblation

who will tend me in the darkness, tell me
all will be well, you will be well, scatter
the ghosts that haunt this fearful mind who dreads
the end, drowned in night’s ebbed ebon clatter

then silence, all is still,
peace settles ‘cross my heart

dry your tears, my love, the storm abates
the full moon awaits o’er the sea, holds my eye,
she is beautiful, she is warm, and she calls
my name gentle ‘long hushed surf, like a sigh


she proffers up her imagination
unto the currents of moonlit breezes
seeks conjunction with like-minded dreamers
who behold the heavens and know beauty

she views horizons
yet knows not limits
only potential
for further creation
she knows full the ache
how true genius craves
to plant wildflowers
o’er Algernon’s grave

she shall not be small ‘neath vast harvest skies
denies being small ‘neath the eyes of a man
tessers so swift across space and time
ever-rewriting her fate with a pen