Gift-giving: Write a poem!

Dear Writers,

In shopping for the perfect gift comes a bit of stress in contemplating what to buy that special someone, or that distant relative, long lines at super stores and gift shops,  wrapping gifts once you get home, and then waiting to mail packages at the post office or mail store.  Avoid all the hassle and try this activity on for size: Write a custom poem, type it up and add it to a power point presentation slide or two, put it on a decorative background using publisher or some other program, add some photos to the slide show that you have personally taken, to share, put the entire power point in a digital photo frame, and then send it off to relatives and friends.

What a delightful gift that will sit on a counter or on top of the piano, or mounted to the wall, and remind them of you!

You can have the powerpoint transfered to a flash drive and send that little gift in a padded envelope. Add some original music or taped/transfered favorite music to the mix, and you can have them play this on their laptop or computer at will.  What a thoughtful gift.

If you need feedback on your poem, contact me.




Art Reception – Hard-Edge Design and Writing Workshop on Ekphrasis – Writing About Art –

Gary Rose, artist, and Monika Rose, poet, had a reception on Friday, October 14, from 2-7 PM, for an art show, ekphrasis workshop, and poetry reading/signing at the open house reception at Mountain Ranch Community Center in the darling community of Mountain Ranch! Art show and reception occurred 2:00 P.M. through 7 PM – with artist Gary Rose, featuring his large, geometric hard-edge design wall sculptures and join a chat with the artist about minimalism, design, and modern art. His work will be visible from October through November at the center.

EkphrasisWorkshop  (writing about art) with Monika Rose   3-4 PM Writers and public art lovers enjoyed this art form, which is writing about visual art, dramatic art, presentation art, and more.  River by the Glass, a 212-page collection of poems spanning two decades, was signed by the author.



Recent Writerly Activities

Book signing at the Arts Bash this coming Saturday, Oct. 12! Will post some pics soon.


Tuolumne Meadows Poetry Festival and Workshops: August 17-18, 2013

Another trek up to Tuolumne Meadows for the Poetry Festival, in August, right before the Rim Fire ignited and took its toll up in Yosemite country.  This time, David Mas Masumoto charmed everyone with his luscious peach samples and peachy wisdom in words, and Mark Doty brought tears of laughter and heartfelt sadness to our eyes…sometimes at the exact same moment. Jane Hirshfield gave us all the gift of her poems. Then, Jay Deming with his poetry workshops and exercises walked the walk as his poems moved metaphors around like rollicking boulders. Kira Shammen mesmerized us all with her violin/fiddle/wood-stringed-thing that turned into a magical being. And then there was Margaret who knits it all together, host and organizer, self-effacing and shy, but what a powerhouse under that lithe demeanor!

As we left the park and headed back down to the foothills, we saw the Rim Fire to our right on Hwy 120. I said to Roberta, we didn’t see that coming up, did we? It looked unattended burning in a canyon not too far from Cherry Road, no planes, no fire tenders, no men in yellow suits doing battle…nada. I wondered, where are the planes? Even a spotter? Nothing. It was about 4:30. Still early enough to send out the tankers. Sadly, it was the “let it burn” mentality governed by some US Forest Service official who got the thumbs up to let the monster go. I know all the arguments. I am still in favor of sensible management — a combo of small fires and managed conservation with logging and timber personnel allowed in to excavate safely and extract needed fuel for biofuels, for lumber, and other forest products.

What about the red-legged or yellow-legged frogs, huh? Just two weeks before a Calaveras Enterprise front page touted the dangers of the extinction of these little guys up in Yosemite land. The fires took care of them. No need to fight the ranchers and developers and timber concerns about the little critters anymore as they were pulverized by infernos. Maybe the spotted owls could get out, or the woodpecker, the bears and the deer that everyone worried about — they can outfly or outrun the flames. But not those little frogs. No one is talking about that now. It’s very quiet out there when it comes to the frogs.

Never mind that cattle were lost, burned, and otherwise traumatized by the event. These animals keep the brush down naturally.

Sure, in about two hundred years some of the trees will come back to that height. But in the meantime, no. Gone from view.Ditto the habitat that went with it, providing a home for many animals, insects and plants in the ecosystem, including humans.

That beauty could have remained and the undergrowth could been cleared and utilized for much-needed wood products and biofuel, with people put to work to boot with some management plans in place. And don’t blame the sequester cuts. Puh-lease.


Tuolumne Meadows Poetry Festival 2012

A few of us die-hard poets and nature lovers trekked up to Parsons Meadow Lodge festivities, arising early, packing the car, and meeting at 6 AM for the drive up the mountain.  We arrived just in time for some of Camille Dungy’s workshop exercises by the Tuolumne River, with the rushing sound of the water behind us helping with the flow. Then a brief lunch, with shared items from Gail’s lunch and our own snacks added in, and then a commune with the river and quiet time to write, walk, take photos, and simply enjoy the environs. The Unicorn mountain behind us, and the back side of Cathedral Peak in another direction, we were in good company.

The featured writers–Mike Burwell, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Margaret Eissler(organizer), and Camille Dungy–filled the lodge with good words,  from 1:00-2:30, and set the rest of the day ticking – good poems to feed on– and Shira Kammen’s music once again sublime.  The afternoon included a walk, a supper near the trail directly in the meadow, with a view of blue ponds formed from river rivulets and tributaries, and four poetesses speaking music amid the unwrapping of the shared dishes for the feast.

The evening approached, with the open mic luring the campers and poets back in to the lodge, its stone walls holding us in an embrace.  With hot coffee and camaraderie, humor, poetry, storytelling, and music, it was the perfect campfire without the pit. We were the community of humanity, sharing voice and sound that reverberated long after the event ended. 

We had forgotten flashlights, so the journey back would have resulted in some injuries down those rocky trails had not a poetry couple given us that hat headlamp to light our way back to the vehicle.  We survived. Next time, we vowed, we would rent a tent cabin at Wolf or somewhere nearby, or at least a campsite, and sleep there, catching the next morning’s workshop as well and staying there, luxuriating in all that greenery and river water. And next time, we would all bring a flashlight.

Poems are coming out of that adventure.







My recent poetry reading from River by the Glass at Black Sheep Winery was an intimate, lovely setting. It was quiet, moisturey cool under the trees despite the 98-degree day, and with good friends in the audience, as well as new friends made, it was a delightful afternoon that flew by in the pleasure of fine wine and word-tasting.  We had the Chardonnay and the award-winning Zinfandel, and we had the pleasure of a good discussion about the nuances of words and the insights behind poetry. I read the first poem, “Drowning at the Kern” and a few other river poems to celebrate water and moisture, that parching day.  A few light-hearted poems contrasted to the sadness of that first poem – and I think we were all satiated by the end of the afternoon. It was a delight to have all these wonderful people there, talking about poems, about life, about relationships, and about what really matters in the hubbub of our days.







Ironstone Reading August 13 was a wonderful gathering of some of the finest poets in our region!

Joy Roberts, MWP business manager, who keeps the press connected and well-oiled and ready for business! She’s also one of the hottest editors in our region. If  you need your book edited, manuscript prepared for publication, she is the one who will set you straight.  Also, she’s a good friend and has a good shoulder for crying on, if needed. Every poet needs a good shoulder and good friends.  Here she is at the Ironstone Vineyards reading.



Ironstone Vineyards ~ Moonstruck with Manzanita Aug. 13, 2012 was a wonderful gathering! Many talented poets read to the rhythms of bassist David Sackman throbbing in the background.  It was warm that day — but the Heritage Room was so lovely and cool — the day was delightful!  Jeannette Clough (Island, Red Hen Press) came all the way from LA to be with us–outstanding poet, along with others who traveled a distance — Sande Trizise, Brigit Truex, Zoe Keithley, from Sacramento, Kevin Arnold (from San Jose Poetry Center, President), Mr. Clewett from Elk Grove, and more from several counties came out to enjoy the poets and their fine words.

Brigit Truex reads from her chapbook at Ironstone

This is Linda Field, Manzanita Voices radio show designer and host.  She is also a very good friend!  Linda has a novel she is writing, working its way through to the surface, one chapter at a time.  Be watching for it!  Her New York roots meet Mother Lode sister land and conjoin in this novel.  Can’t wait to see it in print at Barnes and Noble!

Kathy Isaac-Luke reads from Chrysalides 





Two writers, Goldpanning at Roaring Camp

Bret Harte should have written about these two gold diggers. Little did they know that their dreams for riches, trickled down to mere flakes and flashes in the pans.  Not referring to the ladies, mind you, but the laden pans. Next morning, they might just as well be  frying up a couple of golden trout in the other kinds of pans.

Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone After Musings and After Glow

Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone Vineyards was lovely August 13!

Manzanita Writers Press editors want to thank everyone for their great poetry and prose read at Ironstone yesterday for the Moonstruck with Manzanita literary festival. Also, we’d like to thank the public and lovers of literature for coming up and enjoying the event. We had a wonderful time sharing poetry and prose and music with visitors, the public, and other writers up at Ironstone Vineyards yesterday – Sat. Aug. 13.   David Sackman played rhythmic bass loops that throbbed behind the fabric of the spoken word. Jim Lanier  played some great tunes and sang our favorites, and then read a short story from his ebook collection.

The newspapers did a wonderful job of promoting the event and despite getting off to a slow start (writers aren’t usually morning persons, are they?), and waiting a long time to get a bite to eat due to the high numbers of people packed into the lunchroom between noon and one, we had a nice time. 

Manzanita writers

We read, with breaks, from 11:30 until 5 PM. There were fantastic writers from Sacramento, Stockton, Sonora, Yosemite, and Elk Grove – as well as our talented local poets and writers from Amador and Calaveras. One of the Manzanita featured poets came from Santa Monica, trekking all this way to enjoy our beautiful area – Jeannette Clough!  Dan Williams came up from Wawona to read from his upcoming collection of work that reflected his experience as a Yosemite park ranger, and then had to leave to get back and help support fighting the fires up at Yosemite. Anne Molin had to stay up there for support, so we missed her poetry, but Dan read one of her poems, so that helped.  We also missed hearing Ron Pickup, GlenHill Publications, publisher of Monika Rose’s River by the Glass as he was ill and couldn’t make it. We are looking forward to seeing his great river photos that grace the covers and the interior pages of the book, at a future event!  Thanks Red Fox Underground poets represented by Brigit Truex, all the way from Placerville…loved your poetry once again. Can’t get enough. Linda Field, Manzanita Writers Press editor and radio host,  read a poem about the Stock Market, called Dead Cat Bounce. You had to be there, is all I can say. And when Linda read the poem Unwrapped, written by another  anonymous writer in our midst who was too shy to reveal that she was the originator of that lovely, sensuous poem about chocolate and love, it was just luscious.  Again, you had to be there.

Monika Rose and Kathy Boyd Fellure - Manzanita editors

Thanks to more of the poets and writers who shared their work, like our own Manzanita distribution editor Kathy Boyd Fellure, Pam Mundale, Kathie Isaac-Luke, from Sonora, as well as Kevin Arnold, president of the San Jose Poetry Center — who drove hours to get there! and our own Dave Self, Mitz Sackman, Zoe Keithley from Sacramento, John Clewett,  Scott Anderson (our wonderful Lode Star Columnist representing the Lode Star team of writers, editors, and columnists), Donald Anderson and Nikki Quizmondo from Stockton, our own Sande Tresize from Sacramento,  our own Ted Laskin, Jeannette Clough all the way from Santa Monica–love her poetry!, Nan Mahon from Sacramento, Durlyn Anema from Stockton, and more…

The writers had their books displayed beautifully and were there to sign books at breaks.

The lunch was wonderful, once we were able to get it, and Ironstone prepares some great luncheon specials. The wine going with it –? perfect. I had a chardonnay. It went with my Caesar salad with turkey perfectly! I couldn’t eat it all — the portions are huge! 

Dinner at Murphys Hotel

Some of us kept the party going at Murphys Hotel afterwards. If you  want some great prime rib, go up there on Saturday night and enjoy!  A few ordered medium rare and the hotel prepares it on the red side, so when the writers were a bit dismayed at the rarity, Brian quickly remedied their trepidation and whisked the plates back to the kitchen for a further searing, and the laden trays returned like magic, PERFECT! Anyway, they aim to please over there.  Not to mention, dashing service and chivalry.

Monika ordered an appetizer of grilled gator and passed the plate around after cutting it into bite-sized chomps and bits. Surprisingly, most of the pieces clung to the plate when it came back around to her. She and Joy dug in … undeterred by the apparent trepidation. More for them to enjoy!

As Monika was diligently sawing away, a conversation erupted when someone brought up Monika’s poem, Chester and the Bluebird. You know, the one that starts out with Chester near the barbecue, and then his ending up on the barbecue. Anyway, Linda was nonplussed. It’s not her favorite poem and she cringes when it’s read. Monika was not to be put off, giving a few more details from the poem.  Cutting up the alligator, and commenting that it must have had a lot of space to run around (remarking on its texture), reminded Monika about Chester’s propensity to wander off and how tough he was.  She remarked, as she was cutting the gator, that she remembered something her son had said as he was cutting up Chester on the plate.  He had reminisced about chasing that bull calf many an acre after breaking out of fences,  and he addressed the steak, as he hacked  away, “You’re not getting away this time!” 

Groans were heard around the Murphys Hotel restaurant table.  Linda was ready to pick up her knife and hack away at Monika’s arm, next to hers in close proximity–most likely, in retaliation. You have to understand, though. Linda loves animals and abhors abuse or mistreatment of animals.  Monika totally understood the origin of her friend’s distaste for that poem.  She couldn’t stop herself, though. She tried to redeem herself by noting the spirituality in that poem. The bluebird lands on the hand just as she laid that Chester steak down on the grill. The bird takes a look at the meat, sizzling on the grill, looks at her, then takes off. That was the softest sensation she ever felt. Put her at ease.  Monika hoped that part of the story would smooth LInda’s ruffled feathers a bit. She’s still talking to Monika, anyway, so it’s a good sign. Next time a calving is happening, Monika promises to call Linda so she can come on over and watch. Life coming in is far more exciting than the leavings.

On a lighter note, many of us tried the Hatcher Cabernet and had a second glass, it was so good. One fine wine, that. Monika said it was “chasmic,” so go figure–a poet describing red wine should be on call by the winery ad writers. Jeannette said it rolled around the tongue and you could feel the bite all around on all sides. Excellent! You know writers and their literary layering of descriptors.

Anyway, it was a wonderful evening. So much fun to be had with a fun table of writers…Getty had to hold his own with all the women. Not difficult as he is our charming gentleman writer friend. Zoe, Sande, and Shirley trekked from Sacramento and stayed longer to enjoy the meal.  Then Monika was off to the celebration of the full moon with Gary and friends as it rose over the hills, so lovely and elegant. First, cosmic and low, in its largesse, then as it rose higher, put into perspective!  Like a mirror held at arm’s length. Sensible and safe.  Go to it, Moon.

Thanks to everyone for reading to the end.

Signing off!


Red Room comment

Author Comment:

River by the Glass is an eclectic 212-page collection of poems that explores life and the living of it. River by the Glass is a collection of poems spanning two decades. The poems, says publisher of River by the Glass, Ron Pickup of GlenHill Publications, contain a whimsical wit and metaphysical humor ~ poems such as “Carp” or “Eye” ~ and such poems as “A Poet” or “Yellow the Dead Canary.” With biting humor and haunting verse, found in “Chester and the Bluebird” and “On the Fence,” the poems reflect visual puzzles and conundrums of life, thus the viewing of the River ~ by Glass ~ through lenses, windows, screens, mirrors, and drinking vessels. Rose recalls a time in her childhood when her barefoot ways met the barbarism in the human defacement of nature ~ broken beer bottles with ugly shards of brown glass marring the lovely boulders, sand, and water purity of her favorite river haunt, the Kern River. She could never understand how people could deface the lovely places in our lives ~ the only kind of refuge from the asphalt and concrete world that levels our aspirations and deadens our nerves and senses. Yet, in a strange kaleidoscopic way, those shards of glass that derived from sand and water, seemed to glitter and demand meaning for being what they were ~ products and reality. They existed and they were there, clashing with the ideal of what she envisioned. This collection is her way of cleansing some of the unpure places in the human heart and exploring the mysteries in human behavior as well as the natural movements in nature. It is a celebration of life in the natural and unnatural worlds that collide within, and without us. Yet, it’s not a collection of judgment and critical pointing of fingers. It’s also a glimpse into the quirky behaviors of man as well. The leaving of loved ones and the world of dementia ~ the meeting with a deer that connects the aspects of wild and tame ~ parthenogenesis, gold panning, gardening, skipping stones, finding a harmonica in the river sand ~ making coffee in the morning ~ the dying of friends ~ the haunting by a black dog when even holy water couldn’t protect enough ~ contemplating the breaking of a bull pine limb while a couple sleeps ~ the celebration of a woman’s cycle of birthing coming to an end with the flow of the “Tuolumne River” ~ and poems that whimsically explore love through visions and images of the particular, spilling into the universal. All of these and more… Take a sip of River by the Glass and quench your thirst. You may find yourself drinking harder than you thought.


Books and anthologies with editing work by Monika Rose

River by the Glass River by the Glass front cover small, A Collection of Poems by Monika Rose

Released, April 2011- 212 pages, 85 poems, photography by Tuolumne County talent Ron Pickup

River photography includes Tuolumne River, Clavey River, Stanislaus River, and more….

Publisher, GlenHill Productions, Soulsbyville

Purchase on this site.  $21.95, add shipping and tax: $28.50





Wild Edges: volume 6 of Manzanita – Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode and Sierra

Editor: Monika Rose – Published Aug. 2010 – pub. Manzanita Writers Press – 216 pages featuring over 100 poets and fiction writers from California and the U.S. Over 30 photographers and artists featuring their work – a 16-page full color glossy spread by talented artists and photographers of the Mother Lode and Sierra – Purchase from Manzanita Writers Press for $15.00.  2,000 printed – 1,000 remaining        Wild Edges - volume 6 Manzanita anthology front coveradd tax and shipping

 Some of the writers featured: J.P. Dancing Bear, Mara Feeney, Taylor Graham, Ted Laskin, Linda Field, Jim Lanier, Ron Pickup, Helene Pilibosian, Jackie Richmond, Monika Rose, Andy Shupala, Allegra Silberstein, Laura Snyder, Norine Radaikin, Jackie Rogers, William Keener, Bill Gainer, Michael Lee Johnson, Brad Buchanan, Zoe Keithley, Shelley Muniz, Joseph Milosch, Kathy Isaac-Luke, Kevin Arnold, Moira Magneson, Barbara Leon, W.F. Lantry, Carol Ann Lindsay, James Jacobs, Jodi Hottel, Gail Entrekin, Johm Fitch, Maureen Flannery, Lara Gularte, Dianna Henning, Lisa Gelfand, Connie Corcoran, Sandy Crepps, Chrissy Davis, Donald Anderson, Dawn Bonker, David Anderson, Marta Brady, Barbara Bass, Tim Bellows, Gary Cooke, Alan Cohen, Leslie Bailey, Marcia Adams, Glenn Wasson, Dorothy Wake, Andrena Zawinski, Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Daniel Williams, Paul Willis, Brigit Truex, David Sullivan, Michael Spinetta, Robert Walton, Anne Wilson, Paula Sheil, Dave Self, Michele Rugo, Dave Seter, Scott Siegel, Anne Privateer, Mark Redfearn, Marie Ross, Nick Samaras, Zara Raab, and many more…

Cover photo by Paul Neal


Manzanita Volume 5 – released Sept. 2008 – 1,500 copies published – 400 remaining

Over 100 writers and artists featured – still in print Manzanita volume 5 Front cover – cover photo by John Doane

Editor: Monika Rose

Published by Writers Unlimited, sells for 15.00 plus tax, shipping

 Back cover volume 5 – photo by Ron Pickup

Poem by Jackie Richmond

Manzanita volume 5 back cover - photo by Ron Pickup - poem by Jackie Richmond









Manzanita – volume 4  – over 100 writers and artists featuredManzanita volume 4 Front cover

Editor, Monika Rose – published by Writers Unlimited, 2006

Now, Manzanita Writers Press

published 2006 – 1,200 copies printed – 50 remain – sells for 15.00

Cover photo by Ron Pickup of Soulsbyville – lovely Manzanita blossoms frosted by a surprise snowstorm in the late spring




Ted Laskin’s collection of Short Stories and Essays

George A. Custer, Please Come to the White Courtesy Phone

Available from the author and Manzanita Writers Press

17.95 plus shipping and handling – 8.25 % tax – total: 23.00

George A. Custer, Please Come to the White Courtesy Phone - by Ted LaskinEditing work: Monika Rose  – Ed. Manzanita Writers Press, 2010

Joy Roberts – chief editor  on the project







Glenn Wasson’s collection of poetry, essays, and flash fiction

Tales Mark Twain Would Have Loved to Steal – revised edition

Tales Mark Twain Would Have Loved to Steal - revised edition - by Glenn WassonEditing work, Monika Rose, Joy Roberts: 2008 and 2010 (2 volumes)

Winner of the Readers Choice Humor Award

Available for 21.95   plus shipping, and 8.25 % CA tax

Total 28.50. 

Publisher: Manzanita Writers Press

Contact author via press







Getty Ambau’s Young Adult Novel

Desta and King Solomon’s Coin of MagicDesta and King Solomon's Coin

Monika Edited: 2009 and 2010  (not exclusively)

Manuscript also reviewed by Lodi High students


Formatting a Poetry Manuscript – Saving and Preparing Files and Text

Preparing Your Poetry or Other Manuscript for Publication   © Monika Rose April 2011

A few tips from Monika Rose, Editor  –

These are not conclusive…many more things to think about abound, but these are a few….

Manzanita Writers Press

1. Saving your Files:

  •      Keep a working folder with your book project name.  

It is important for you to save your drafts and document changes, as well as to save your files in folders that indicate the final draft and date of each poem. Some day, it will be useful to view your drafts and process. Back these all up to a CD or DVD disc, external hard drive, flash drive (which can corrupt). If anything, it keeps MA candidates busy if your work is studied in the future.

  •     I keep a folder for each poem. Inside of that folder are two folders. One has draft documents of the poem with dates, and they are numbered in succession. Each time a change is made, the document is given a new number added to the title and a new date for revision. This tracks any changes made to the poem. The other folder has the one final draft of the poem going to press.
  •     Copy final poetry files that you have labeled to the section folders in your main folder. Do not move them, but COPY them.
  •     When it is time to copy these final drafts into a folder for the publisher, then they are copied in succession from the final draft folder of each poem, into the section folders ready for the publisher.  

2. Organizing your files for the publisher:

  •      Front Matter materials organized in a folder called Front Matter- copyright page, dedication, etc.
  •       Back Matter materials also organized in a folder called Back Matter – author bio, photo, credits, etc.
  •      Sections numbered or saved with titles- with section titles and any quotations/photos
  •      Poetry matter is saved inside each section.  

3. Preparing ancillary materials:

  •       ISBN number – some people advise to purchase your own ISBN # for the book, but publishers do this and they are listed in Ingram and distribution sites – if you self-publish, or partner with another press and exchange printing favors, then purchase your own as well as the bar code afterwards, from the Bowker site online. This takes about a half hour for the process.
  •       Library of Congress Catalog # – obtain this free. It takes about a week or so to get it back via email.
  •       Copyright page – retain copyright of the book – list your name as copyright owner on the copyright page.
  •       Attributions and Credits – where your poems have appeared in print – give publication and dates if possible for every poem
  •       Acknowledgements page – front or back – thank you’s
  •       Dedication – short – usually to one or two people
  •       Blurbs for the Back – quoted lines from other writers and editors or readers to whom you have sent your manuscript to read and give commentary for the back cover
  •       Author page: bio and  photo with photographer caption – saved as a larger tiff and as a jpeg  and name them so you know (two types) – this goes for all photos and images used. 5 or more megapixels camera used(larger files with good resolution are needed – the jpeg files are used for smaller files, web sites, newspaper photos, etc.)  

4. Preparing the text for the manuscript

  •       Fonts – use Times New Roman – or other serif – don’t use a sans serif font

Do not change font styles for titles or anything – don’t bold your lines or use all caps

Some fonts have strange italic styles, or letter configurations. Don’t use different ones.

Stay consistent.

  •        The typesetter and editor will select fonts/depends on the arrangement you have with your publisher. If self-publishing and you want to do your own layout, take Tom Johnson’s class. Learn about fonts and sample them. Some of the fonts don’t print well in a large run and are hard to read.

 5. Use a style manual and study it carefully – Chicago Manual of Style is best

  •       Use Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary -or latest one
  •       Check those darn hyphenated (or not) words! I never realized how tricky these were until putting words in print. Edit carefully. It will cost you a lot of money if you send the typed manuscript to the editor and publisher, and then once it is laid out, you discover many changes you want to make to it.

 6. Check your manuscript in Word.

  •       Note spacing issues, spelling, grammar, capitalization of lines  do go through and check to see if your own format is consistent to the lines in the printed poem. Check contractions–are they needed? Get rid of them if possible. Check line length and evenness — visually and rhythmically. Check for best words. It is never too late to revise your poems. W.B. Yeats did this constantly in various printings.  But I would advise that you do this before the book is printed.
  •       Also, set your tools in Word to catch all your errors, including passive construction, grammar, style, etc. Check all spelling options if the word is in red. This saved me several times, and I’m an English teacher! I knew that the word maize was not spelled maise. But I didn’t pay attention to the cute little red line.Good thing we caught it just in time!
  •       Check punctuation carefully. Do you need the extra commas and periods? Get rid of them if they are not necessary. What about those colons?
  •       Use M-dashes for those long dashes poets love to use – Emily, this one’s for you!

            Sometimes, Word will change those double hyphens for you, sometimes not.

Go to insert symbol—look for the M-dash (the longer one). The shorter one is the N-dash.  Do not use that one. Set cursor to the spot and click the dash. Voila! There is no space on either side of the M-dash. However, there is a space after each ellipsis. . .

  •       What style do you want your numbers to be if you have sections numbered in your poems Roman numerals or other? What other styles do you prefer? Page number location, etc.
  •       Check your titles – are they too long?  Do they give everything away too soon?
  •       Epigraphs: These are those dedications after poem titles, or extra information about the place or time the poem references. Indent with an M-dash and then italicize them. Be consistent.
  •       Line length: Depending on the size of your book, your lines, if too long, will automatically be shifted to the next line and will split, depending on spacing
  •       Do this yourself before the heartache comes. Shorter lines are best. Measure your space. For a 6 x 9 formatted book, leave about a 1 and 1/2 inch margin inside and outside, to be safe. Then see if your printed poem fits inside that frame. If not, you need to think about how to split your lines and reform your stanzas. It may mean rewriting. Think about this as you write your poems to save you heartache later. See what editors do with Walt Whitman’s poems and their very long lines.
  •       Speaking about lines, VERY IMPORTANT:

Most poetry is flush left margin, not centered. Think very carefully as to whether you want to center any of your poetry. Unless it’s a concrete/shaped poem, leave it conventional flush left.

  •       Watch stanza consistency. There may be shifts in your lines once the stanzas are laid out, with lines dropped and moved to the next page. Carefully proof your galleys.

 7. Seasoned poets have formed typing habits that can hinder a typesetter:

  •       eliminate your two spaces after a period – only use one space as the computer program adjusts the spacing after a period automatically – difficult to change typing habits practiced over the years, I know
  •       don’t use the space bar, use tabs, to place words in shaped poems or poems that have creative spacing,  and don’t space over to the end of the line. They show up when a typesetter goes to place your poem.   
  •       single space your poems and double space between stanzas – if a stanza is split at the bottom of the page, then indicate the stanza break or indicate the stanza is continuous if it goes to the next page – best thing is to keep stanzas intact.
  •       turn off your system’s hyphenation if you have prose poetry
  •      don’t justify (don’t full justify – the block symbol in the tool bar) 

8. For more book manuscript information, check this site online:


Contact MWP local layout designer as a reference: Joyce Dedini

For any other advice, contact Manzanita Writers Press. We would be happy to help.


Monika Rose, Editor

Joy Roberts, Business Manager, Editor

Linda Field, Fiction editor, Events Coordinator

Copyright 2011 – Monika Rose

River by the Glass – What Readers Say about the Poetry Collection by Monika Rose

Welcome to the web site of Monika Rose, Poet, Author, Editor

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Founding editor: Manzanita Writers Press

New Poetry collection released :   River by the Glass



Monika Rose, Poet and AuthorHere are what other poets and writers say about River by the Glass:

Pattiann Rogers, poet, says:

The poems in River By the Glass are rich with the details of the earth moving moment by moment from death to life, from life to death.  Monika Rose understands the union of these transformations and records them with the energy, contemplation, and originality of finely composed poetry.  Like glass, her poetry offers both a reflection of the physical world and a window into our human experiences of its shifting beauty and mystery.

       –Pattiann Rogers

Kathy Isaac-Luke, poet, says:

In her new collection, River by the Glass, Monika Rose shows her
formidable range. By turns meditative, profound and imaginative, her
poems are always, at their core, genuine and unflinchingly honest.
Whether rooted in landscape or familial memory, these poems are rich
in metaphor and finely crafted. With the precision of a scalpel and
the clarity of fresh water, River by the Glass takes the reader on a
journey of discovery.

           —Kathie Isaac-Luke, author of Chrysalides, 2010, Dragonfly Press


Kevin Arnold, poet and director of the San Jose Poetry Center says:

Monika Rose inhabits the Mother Lode country, a geography that produces poetry.  Down the highway from where the Squaw Valley Community of Writers winter with Gary Snyder, her poems grow out of local soil.  No wonder Monika is dedicated to bringing out the best of her community.  These fine poems could have been written nowhere else.

        –Kevin Arnold

From Mary Mackey, novelist and poet:

“Rose’s poetry captures the texture and currents of the river, translating water into words.”
           –Mary Mackey    

About the poem, Harmonica, from River by the Glass, and notes by the poet, Monika Rose

One of the most interesting things I ever found was a tiny harmonica on a chain at Tuolumne Meadows, embedded in the sand bank, close to the Tuolumne bridge that traverses the Tuolumne River. The one-inch harmonica lying in the sand, attached to a tiny chain, sported four tiny reed holes. I tested the sound, a resounding and high-pitched tweedle–which added harmony to the river burble and the distant murmur of a pair of lovers’ voices dangling over the bridge. I gave the harmonica away, and then got it back and promptly lost it somewhere. Some things continue to want to be lost. The memory of my friend who passed away, fellow poet Julia Holzer, is intertwined with that harmonica. She was with me when I picked it up. She has been lost to the river of sky, no longer with us. The music of the harmonica still sings to her somewhere. Someone lost that harmonica. I wrote a poem about the losing. I wonder whose amulet it was. I wonder if they will find me through the poem. It won’t matter. The harmonica remains lost. The poem stays. If someone reads it, the harmonica will be found again, though in another form.

Side note having nothing whatsoever to do with the poem: The moniker, “harmonica” had been attached to my name, Monika, by my old Geometry instructor Mr. Flynn, who, in his darling Boston accent, would call out “harmoniker,” referring to me, while erasing the board with the elbow patch on his tweed coat and at the same time, and with the same arm, writing new material on the board simultaneously with erasing the old.   

Notes by the poet on the poem, “Harmonica, ” in River by the Glass




Forgetting the music

But finding new sound

Here by the river

Where stone shapes the

River songs,

An amulet glitters

In the sand


A talisman lost

By a lover

Maybe, last night

Here, by the water

Straining under the weight

Of new romance


A four-holed harmonica

On a black string tossed

In a groan

Or a sigh

Flown into sand

Reeds altered by grit


Bitter on the tip

My lips almost envelop

The musical words

Wondering how

The tryst went

How deep

Did it slip

And how the

Taste lingers.




How to Write a Sonnet by example – two poems by Monika Rose


 Here is how Monika Rose converted a free verse poem to a Sonnet form — see the poem titled “Father” below the sonnet titled “Fish”, which was transformed from the free verse form.

                                                Conversion to an English Sonnet     (time: 2 hours)

Start with a situation and a statement of a condition, situation, or event which begins a plot or set of complications or logical argument—there should be a motive behind the speech:


The Fish


My father taught me how to swim to life

He must have seen my sudden fetal crawl

My body slicing membranes like a knife

While gasping, choking, wriggling in the squall


Continue with elements or aspects of that condition or situation and be sure to further the story — there should be a complication or advancement of the narrative:


How I kicked my legs and leaped into his world

Beginning struggle at an early stroke

And like a butterfly in flight unfurled

To wings of infant innocence he spoke


Add the volta (9th line — a turn or some kind of complication or reversal)

Then an explanation or elaboration . . .


Push off the heart he warned when leaving home

And turn like silver lest you lose retreat

Keep moving under water and its foam

So journey take you back where all ends meet


Add a resolution or solution to some aspect of the situation set up:


The backstroke takes you far into the start

The breast stroke brings you back into your heart.


 Finished! Fait accomplit!

 Finished sonnet:


— from River by the Glass, A Collection of Poems by Monika Rose


The Fish


My father taught me how to swim to life

He must have seen my sudden fetal crawl

My body slicing membranes like a knife

While gasping, choking, wriggling in the squall

How I kicked my legs and leaped into his world

Beginning struggle at an early stroke

And like a butterfly in flight unfurled

To wings of infant innocence he spoke


Push off the heart he warned when leaving home

And turn like silver lest you lose retreat

Keep moving under water and its foam

So journey take you back where all ends meet



The backstroke takes you far into the start

The breast stroke brings you back into your heart.

 — from River by the Glass, A Collection of Poems by Monika Rose



 He watched from the outside

As I swam inside

The breast stroke

The butterfly

He watched

As I swam out






This is the crawl he spoke

The fastest stroke

Kick your legs

Pull your arms

Cup your hands


This is the breast stroke

Push out from the heart


This is the butterfly

Unfold your wings


This is the backstroke

Retreat sometimes



 My father the fish

Who taught

Me how to

Stroke ripples

Blow bubbles

Gulp quickly

Push away

And swim back