Saturday, December 2, 2017

From Volume 38: "Holiday" by Stephen Thomas Roberts

A croissant with a glass bowl of jam.

By Stephen Thomas Roberts

It seems indulgent
to eat outside
beneath an awning
and breakfast late.
The passersby
must be tardy—
late for work or school,
or else are idlers—
but either way
the thought amuses.

How pleasant to sip
the juice of exotic fruits
and nibble breadstuffs
daubed with jam,
and read the local paper
(or pretend to)
over steam rising from café au lait.

Friday, December 1, 2017

2017 Pushcart Nominees

Congratulations to this year's Pushcart Prize Nominees in the order in which they appear in this year's edition, Volume XXXVIII:

  • Polly Brown, "Richard and the Blue Boat"
  • Claire Mowbray Golding, "Nameless"
  • Nicholas McCarthy, "Paterfamilias"
  • Jennifer L. Freed, "Cleaning the Bathroom"
  • James K. Zimmerman, "Hart Island"
  • Michael R. Schrimper, "Chinese Dream"

Best of luck to all our nominees!

To order a copy of Volume XXXVIII, click the cover image on the right-hand side of the page.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

From Volume 38: "Skating on the edge of flesh" by Richard Fox

By Richard Fox

One: on Dr. Paul Kalanithi ’s When Breath Becomes Air

The neurosurgeon.
            Cuts to cure.
            Midnight rounds/early call,
his wife waits for her consultation.

Ecstasy, saw slicing skull, a scalpel’s rivulet.
Danger in the drill,
thrill in the skill.
            Sensitive hands, eyes that see
            what only he can see,
hope for goners.

Lung cancer killed the neurosurgeon.
            I have malignancies in my lungs.
            We share the trinity:
diagnosis, treatment, death.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Volume 38 Cover Reveal!

Volume 38 of The Worcester Review is coming soon! 
Subscribers, expect for your copies to arrive in early November.

Cover Art "Mothership" by John Vo
Cover Design by Kirsty Walker, Hobblebush Books

We're so proud to bring you work by these talented poets and writers...

Monday, October 2, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Leone Scanlon

By Leone Scanlon

In Chagall’s kitchen a red floor, a cake, and a cut melon on a red table,
pink roses for her birthday, her feet not quite touching the floor,
he, floating above and around, head curved like a swan’s for a kiss,
like the father in cummings’ poem swaying “deep like a rose”
over his mother to kiss, like a poet, as I imagined he would and did
when I was young, life transformed, the way Chagall
turned a kitchen with cake, knife, red floor into flying,
the way pain slices flesh and spirit crimson,
the way cut roses spill petals over a table filling the room,
the way the on-sale rose bush my daughter planted
blooms again and again even in late October, scenting the chill
as I descend the steps in slippers and robe to pick up the paper,
sky still starred, pink changing to blue, crows cawing from a tree-top
and turn, gathering my robe, breathing in roses, to start the day.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Worcester Review -- Staff Openings

The Worcester Review seeks to fill several positions on our editorial board.   We invite you to click the links below to view the full position descriptions. If you are interested, please contact Managing Editor Diane Mulligan at

Assistant Managing Editor

Poetry Reading Editor

Copy Editor

Monday, September 4, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Karen Sharpe

When Worlds Collide
By Karen Sharpe

after Edvard Munch’s painting, Girls Picking Apples, from the collection of Scofield Thayer

Innocence, you are but deceit twined in green
a shackle of softness in a girl’s thigh and chin
an obsession with a torrid itch
purity, you twist the empty tongue.
As ever, pleasure is a lie that defies your definition:
hunger kneels plainly before the blossom
ripens with lipless lust, desires the waxing bloom.
Above, the wild sky swirls its azure threads
its empty net casting for ruin. As ever,
the ocean lifts its stormy myths, it swells
with its legends, it lists with forgotten men.

Monday, August 7, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by 黄昏, Mi Zheng-ying


by 黄昏, Mi Zheng-ying

As the sun rolled down to the river
to where it would soon plunge,
a bird shot up from the trees
like the arrow of time.
The sky turned black, and night
came in like waves
grating in the dark.

Monday, July 3, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Marsha Truman Cooper

By Marsha Truman Cooper

“The perfect gift is always hidden too well.”
—Pat Conroy

At the scene of my accident
a tow truck driver tried to decide
whether my car was drivable.
His phone vibrated.
He leaned against my smoking
wreck, listening,
tore a sheet off his clipboard
and wrapped the paper
around the top of his thigh
to scribble in pencil.
Such notes usually
wind up looking
like the beak attack
of a furious hen, but
he finished without
poking holes. He’d used
a personal physics
of gentleness, exerted
the exact force per unit area
to write without injuring
any skin of his page.
The woman I hit watched too,
almost ignoring
her expensive dents.
Then, as the snarl cleared
and I sat high in his cab,
he blew a kiss over
his shoulder, over
the crash, over shattered glass.
The face of my victim
colored and smiled as if
nothing bad could happen
on the other side of this gift.

Monday, June 5, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Judith Robbins

Worcester Tornado of 1953.  Credit: WCVB Boston

By Judith Robbins

The thought of it, the sight of it,
the everliving fright of it
does not die from year to year
but returns, written in memory
with a dark pen that marks black
the mind’s funnel that tunnels
back to the day and night in early
June of 1953. What it meant for you
and me was fear, caught from our
mother like a dark disease, spreading
quickly through limb and vein
as we sat on the couch until very late
awaiting a second tornado authorities
warned of. Over the radio, news
of death and destruction. The numbers
grew with the passing hours––names
of the dead, names of the missing read
again and again. Does anyone listening
know the whereabouts of So-and-So?
So many So-and-So’s unknown before
that night formed a terrible litany not
forgotten for months afterwards
in all our communal prayers.

Monday, May 1, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Colin Dekeersgieter


By Colin Dekeersgieter

You are roiling in the newest star,
a constant measure of the law
of fading. This fissure of the night, toggled by Doppler,
arpeggiates the ocean to sway the suzerain moon
until she gives the sheet over to the bright tone.     
This is jurisdiction, this being in the water’s body
as the winking beacon of a heartless light,
an indivisible orbed orison coursing
over the origin of the incubatic purling

Monday, April 3, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Daniel Saalfeld

By Daniel Saalfeld

Riding to Stalin’s dacha on Easter morning,
we listen to a Russian woman point out,
in Russian, the major Sochi landmarks
from hotels to monuments to parks

Monday, March 6, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by 黄昏, Mi Zheng-ying


等我抬起头,它已消失在樱花 树

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Get Involved at The Worcester Review!

The Worcester Review is currently seeking a copy editor to join the editorial team. Like all editorial positions at The Worcester Review, this is a volunteer opportunity and is ideal for a candidate looking to build copyediting credentials and references at a literary journal.

Copy Editor Position Description:

The primary role of the Copy Editor is to help the Managing Editor prepare The Worcester Review for publication. The Worcester Review is the annual publication of the Worcester County Poetry Association. Most of the work of the Copy Editors is done independently; however, all editors are invited to attend twice-yearly staff meetings, usually held in January and June.

The Copy Editor timeline is as follows:

Monday, February 6, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Jonathan Blake

By Jonathan Blake

Heavy flakes of snow float
Beyond the windows that overlook
The valley. The hills of the horizon
Are blue. I have forgotten what it is
I must do in this world, and the voices
That trouble me are still. I grow
Old, but the winter light in my small
Room grows and fades like the breath
Of god. I do not need science to know
It enters me, lights the holy marrow
Of my bones. I am not the dark wings
Of those birds coming to rest
In the bare oak like the blind eyes
Of a woman who knows night
Comes on. No. When the long mirror
Of the world grows opaque, I am
Nothing. And nothing more.

Monday, January 2, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Sarah Brown Weitzman

By Sarah Brown Weitzman

Though he must have longed for summer gardens
at Giverny, hot light flaring off water-glazed lilies,