Tag Archives: letter from the editor

Arcana’s Reviews, Interviews, and Award

Happy Beltane/May Day! This month, I’d like to highlight the press that Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology is getting. I appreciate all the reviewers, interviewers, and award voters who have given our little book so much love!


11933493_10153092443051027_7327002337113167990_nArcana was reviewed by Emily E. Auger for Mythprint: Quarterly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society. The last line of her review: “This is definitely a collection that students of mythopoeic literature should take note of: if the visual status of Tarot has caused them to pass it by, they are very fortunate that the Arcana poets were not hindered by the same limits of imagination.” You can read the whole review on Emily’s blog.

Joanna C. Valente reviewed Arcana for Luna Luna Magazine. She writes: “All of the poems are full of surprises and stark truths–they wake you up and startle you into seeing yourself properly, as if for the first time, just as a reading is meant to do. In many ways, these poems are not just poems, they are each a realization, they are a reading.”

Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology was also reviewed on Queen Mob’s Teahouse by Greg Bem, who says, “I found the biographies alone, as diverse as the work within, to satisfy my journey through this conceptual anthology…I am glad the effort was put into collecting what are, at the heart, poems of passion and respect for not only the practice of tarot, but the world that surrounds it.”

Sherryl E. Smith reviewed Arcana for her Tarot Heritage blog. Her conclusion: “These poems immerse us in a phosphorescent ocean of swirling images where we float in a dream or thrash in a rip tide until we emerge transformed. I’ll take up this book often to plunge repeatedly into this great sea of images.”

And Arcana was reviewed on Spiral Nature by Nicole Rain Sellers. She says the book “is hard proof of the mysterious power of the tarot to trigger each of us differently, to float us away on unique magic carpet adventures, some lovely, some grotesque, while still anchored to each other by our mutual understanding of a collective tarot catalogue…Like a box of exotic chocolates, Arcana is a book to linger over and enjoy slowly, from cover to cover. My only complaint is that it ended too soon. If you appreciate both poetry and tarot, you must read it.”


pile of anthologiesAlso on Spiral Nature, I was interviewed by Psyche. I mentioned how I “highlighted a few folks in the Featured Poets Series…from different countries because I’m fascinated by how tarot looks in a country I’ve never been to before, and what it’s like to be a practitioner of tarot, and a poet in the scene that’s not in America.”

Prior to the book’s release, I was interviewed by December on Seer & Sundry. I briefly described how I got into Tarot: “My mom reads Tarot and gifted me my first deck—the Aquarian Tarot—when I was about fourteen. My paternal grandmother read intuitively with playing cards, so I guess you could say my love of reading cards runs on both sides of the family!”




Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology won the 2015 Tarosophy Award for best indie-published/self-published book! These awards are given out annually by professional Tarot readers from around the world.




If you are inspired to purchase Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology, you can find it on the publisher’s website, Elliott Bay Book Company, Amazon, and other stores. Bay Area folks can pick up a copy at my upcoming Tarot Writing Workshop!


How Do I Choose?

I am blessed to have received a large number of Tarot poems. Thank you to everyone who submitted to the anthology! As I read through the submissions, I thought I’d share a little about my selection process for this book.

Wizards Tarot by Corrine Kenner and John Blumen

Wizards Tarot by Corrine Kenner and John Blumen

I want to create a diverse collection of 78 Tarot poems that sing in harmony. I’m only including poems that are clearly related to cards, imagery, and symbols from standard 78-card Tarot decks (not oracle decks).

Diversity is important to me. First of all, I want diversity of authors—poets whose names you know and poets you’ve never heard of. Because most Tarot readers are women, I expect to feature more female than male poets. Also, my publisher and I value highlighting the work of LGBT authors as well as underprivileged authors. The contributors are international, ethnically diverse, and diverse in age.

In addition to diversity of poets, I value diversity of the work itself. While I will include more than one poem about some cards (and some poems about multiple cards), I’m trying to find a balance of cards in this book. I believe one could make an entire anthology of poems about the Queens or The Fool, but I plan to show as much of the Tarot deck as possible.

And I care about diversity of form. I want readers to see the wide range of Tarot poetry out there—poems from the Oulipo school of thought, prose poems, sonnets, free verse, haikus, micropoetry, narrative verse, and more. This book is intended to be a survey of Tarot poetics.

To create a survey that entices the reader to seek out more work by their favorite contributors, I have been inspired by collections such as Tottel’s Miscellany, A.E. Waite’s anthology of English fairy poetry, some Norton anthologies, and a number of literary journals. I read and enjoy a wide variety of poetry (and prose). A few of my favorite poets are Patricia Smith, Shakespeare, Adrienne Rich, Pablo Neruda, and John Keats.

What binds the poems I select—makes them sing in harmony—is quality. Much ink has been split over the question of what makes a good poem. I look for overwhelming beauty, a heightening of spirit, a filling of the heart, an expansion of the mind, and/or a burst of laughter. Simply put, I believe good poetry makes the reader think and/or feel something new. I dislike clichés and overwrought rhymes; I like original as well as simple phrases.

Frankly, I hate writing rejection letters. As someone who has received her fair share of them, I believe writing rejection letters is only slightly better than receiving them. Please know that if your poem isn’t selected, there may still be a home out there for it.

Again, I am honored that so many people have given me permission to read their work. I hope to release a full contributor list by the end of the year.