Tag Archives: poems

Interview with Author Luanne Castle

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Sometimes it seems as if I was always a writer. When I was a baby, I used to love magazines and would rip out each page and wad it up. Maybe I was being a critic, but I like to think that I loved the paper, ink, and pictures—not to mention the sound of the crumpling paper. I have always loved books, reading, and writing. However, I don’t think I was ready to begin to write in earnest until I was in my late twenties, when I had enough life experiences.


What inspired you to write your book?

Rooted and Winged came about from the experiences I had throughout the writing of the poems and the memories that came to light during that period. The book took about five years to write as I began it after my chapbook Kin Types was published. Then, after COVID surfaced, I finished the final poems. These pandemic poems can be found in Section IV. Death, loss, aging, and terminal illness inhabit the final part of the book along with the lonely surreal feel of living in the first few months of a pandemic. “Hearing Aids” describes how my mother bought her first hearing aids during these scary months when we were both trapped within our homes almost two thousand miles apart, feeling isolated yet united:

“She pours tea there / and I pour mine here. Our spouts speak the same.” 

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope readers draw what they personally glean from the poems, drawing upon their own perspectives and experiences. Writing poetry is a discovery process for the poet. I don’t know what I am going to learn until I complete a poem. From this collection, I found that the images of flight are meaningful to me as both a spiritual site and as a source of great power. But without roots to tie me to earth and its human and animal inhabitants, I would lose the balance that guides the power.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I have loved poetry since I was a child. I still love to read poetry, but I also enjoy memoirs and mysteries. I tend to write in short bursts of time regularly, which is very conducive to writing poetry. To write a novel, I would need large blocks of time. Also, I love the imagery and succinct quality of poetry.


What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Definitely my blog, Writersite.org. I started it ten years ago and have made wonderful friends through blogging. My readers are so supportive of my writing and me personally. Facebook is an excellent way to share my writing with friends from different parts of my life and with other writers. I like Twitter because I can keep up with what is going on with other writers. Instagram is fun, but I use it more for my art journaling since it is a visual social media.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Read, read, read in several genres, especially in the genre you want to write in. And take every in-person or online workshop or writing class that you can. Many free or low-cost ones become available, so watch for them. Don’t publish too soon. Even if you are planning a novel or full-length memoir, start with smaller projects and submit stories and poems to literary journals. Finally, don’t publish a book that hasn’t been adequately edited. 

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I just completed my memoir in flash nonfiction “scraps.” Fittingly, it’s called Scrap: Salvaging a Family. I’ve also been assembling a chapbook of poems based on Little Red Riding Hood stories.


About the Poet

Luanne Castle’s Kin Types (Finishing Line Press), a chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Award.  Her first poetry collection, Doll God, winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, was published by Aldrich Press. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she studied at the University of California, Riverside (PhD); Western Michigan University (MFA); and Stanford University.  Her writing has appeared in Copper Nickel, TAB, The American Journal of Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Verse Daily, Saranac Review, Lunch Ticket, River Teeth, and other journals. An avid blogger, she can be found at luannecastle.com.  She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a bobcat. Her heart belongs to her rescue cats.

Luanne blogs at Writer Site and The Family Kalamazoo.



Songs for the Cleveland Avenue Warriors by Gary E. Moore Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and Poet Gary E. Moore use his experience living in Chicago’s South Side and as an inner-city school teacher and father to deliver a collection of poetry that dispels the trope of the “angry black man” and instead paints a realistic yet emotionally-driven image of vulnerability in his book, “Songs for the Cleveland Avenue Warriors”. 


The Synopsis

Some poets spend their lives within the cloistered walls of colleges and universities.Gary E. Moore has spent his life dedicated to education-but not behind cloisteredwalls. In over fi ve decades on Earth, he’s been educated by the streets of Chicago’ssouth side, by a system designed to deal out law and order disproportionately, andby a culture which rejects the idea of the nurturing, gentle black man. In his poeticdebut, Moore draws on his experience as an inner city schoolteacher, as a father, and as a former child himself to paint an emotional landscape which is alternatelypoignant, shocking, witty, and furious.

In “Songs for the Cleveland Avenue Warrior,” Moore breaks the strangling troupeof the angry black man with the vulnerability of his message, the melody of hislanguage, and the passion for nurturing which is woven throughout the work.Written in three sections, in honor of ancestral gemetric wisdom, “Songs” is a timemachine, a critique on the present, and a piercing ray of hope which illuminates ourcollective humanity. 

The Review

I absolutely loved this book. The collection brought such a harmonious tone to both the emotions each of these poems conveys with the narrative style of poetry the collection took on. Exploring life and the adversities he faced over his life, the poems did an amazing job of putting the reader into the author’s world and visualizing the experiences and accompanying emotions that came with those experiences. 

The themes and representation that the author included in this book were perfect. The examination of race, class, and family set against the backdrop of the Chicago South Side was an inspired and heartfelt choice. The examination of our nation’s broken system and how it impacts various communities, in particular the Black Community, was perfectly represented here. Yet it was the way the author’s poems contradicted and erased the stereotypes often thrust upon the Black Community, especially young black men, that was so captivating and emotional to read. 

The Verdict

A beautiful, thoughtful, and highly creative collection of poems, author Gary E. Moore’s “Songs For the Cleveland Avenue Warriors” is a must-read book. The imagery and honesty the author conveys in these poems and the way not only his own personal experiences impacted the narrative style poetry found within but how readers will be able to read into these poems was truly awe-inspiring. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share this poem I wrote for my own mother, Christina Avina. She has been a constant source of love, support and strength in my life, and is one of my best friends in the whole world. We are co-founders of our own paranormal podcast and investigative group known as Phenomenon Paranormal, and she has been a huge source of inspiration not only for my work in this field but in my writing career as well. Mom, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me in my life, and for giving me the strength to move forward each and every day in the face of all that has been thrown in our path. I am fortunate to have had you in my life, and I look forward to what our future will bring us. I love you mucho mucho, to the moon and back.




My North Star

Through gnarled branches and scarred trees,

Past the edges of the growing forest and raging wind,

I see your light shining against the breeze, 

My North Star.

Over looming hills and under thrashing seas,

Across an ocean in search of me,

You find me with your smile of warmth,

My North Star.

Against all odds from childhood and beyond,

From nights of terror to pain from within,

You have guided the ship that is my life,

My North Star.

A piercing sword in the dark,

Repelling all that would wound my body and soul,

You clash against the crushing weight of negativity,

My North Star.

The embodiment of hope and love in a world of sadness,

You become the messenger of forgotten gods and missing heroes,

A towering warrior and loving mother sharing one body,

My North Star.

Facing the future by shedding the past,

Becoming the symbol of light against the dark,

You hold me in your motherly arms with love and heart,

My North Star. 

Here is a special holiday poem I wrote called Holidays of the Heart. I hope you guys will enjoy it this holiday season. Hold your family close, surround yourself with friends and loved ones, and know I am thinking of you guys this holiday. Thank you for all your support this year. Everyone have a fantastic weekend holiday! #christmas2015 #christmas #christmastime #holiday #happyholidays #holidayseason #poetry #poem #poems #instapoem #poemsofinstagram #poemsporn