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Blue Poetry Contest Winners and exciting news from Flying Ketchup Press!

Congratulations to Caroline Laganas for being the winner of our Blue Poetry Contest! Laganas is earning her MFA in Creative Writing at California Institute of the Arts. She received her BA in Journalism from Pepperdine University. She is currently writing and illustrating her first poetry collection. Her poems have appeared in Expressionists, Father and I: A toast to fatherhood, FishFood Magazine, and others. Her first-place winning entry is "Buzzed" and is reprinted here with permission.

Buzzed After drinking too much caffeinated sunlight, the jacaranda grows jittery and restless, turning pale indigo.


Our Second-place winner is Luna Dragon Mac-Williams for her poem "Boogie." She is a playwright, poet, actor, dancer, handmade jeweler, zine editor, arts educator at After School Matters, and an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University. She is a proud Chicagoan, born and raised. Her one-act, Good Strong Coffee, premiered at Chicago Dramatists through Pegasus Theater in winter 2018. She has recently been published in Ariel’s Dream, and her poetry appears in the 2020 KCBS Zine. She believes in sweet coffee, wishing at 11:11, and helping youth honor and share their personal & collective narratives. Instagrams: @lalunadragon and @bylunawithlove. Issuu: @lunitadragon.

Our fave lines from it were in this portion below because of the way the poet plays with time and music through imagery that moves both inside and outside. This fluid past and future all imagery echo in her form with its hurriedly syncopated long lines as if the dancing and speaking are all one.

...I unscrew myself and let my elbows fly.

I think, you could track a lifetime in songs stuck on repeat. Hermanita

next to me, all bones and limbs and lithe aliveness, says, this is why

I love this family. Ma and Pa forget the fight they’ll probably have

later, let love bubble up without catching in their throat...


The Path of Birds is our September Call for Poets and Artists. Deadline is the last day of the month at Midnight CST. Share your avian art and poetry, the sweetness of flight, that sense of soulfulness, the broken shells on the ground after a storm. Whether it's metaphorical, the flight of a soul, or the migration of a journey; whether it makes us catch our breath or read it again and again, we want to hear from you. The most lifting poems will be published in an upcoming chapbook with beautiful artwork and poetry by Flying Ketchup Press.


But wait!...we had to mention the lovely work of one more poet, Janet McMillian Rives who shared this blue beauty with us:

Carrying Yesterday

after Lucille Clifton

"The Mississippi Empties Into the Gulf"


buoys a boat.

Cargo shifts

port to starboard

back again

spills luggage








gentle at times

then rough enough

to dislodge a vessel

laden with weight

of long ago.

Janet McMillan Rives grew up in Connecticut and Arizona. She retired as a professor of economics from the University of Northern Iowa. Her poems have appeared in Lyrical Iowa, Ekphrastic Review, Sandcutters, The Blue Guitar, The Avocet, Fine Lines, and The Raw Art Review as well as the anthologies The Very Edge, Women Facing West, Voices from the Plains, and Desert Tracks: Poems from the Sonoran Desert. Her chapbook, Into This Sea of Green: Poems from the Prairie, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in late October 2020.


Read some recent interviews from our staff and our editors from our newest release The Very Edge!

Flying Ketchup Press ® is a trademarked small press in Kansas City, Missouri established to develop new and diverse voices in poetry and short story. Our dream is to salvage lost treasure troves of written and illustrated work—to create worlds of wonder and delight; to share stories. Maybe yours. 

   grassroots     ✵     artist-run    ✵     helping writers catch up!

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