The Origami Poems Project
Welcome to the Origami Poems Project™
Helping the world, one free microchap at a time
What is an Origami Poems Microchap?
The Origami Poems Project publishes microchaps (or minichaps, whichever appeals). Poems are arranged on a single sheet of paper and folded, origami-style, into palm-sized booklets. Download the PDFs to read and share. Folding hints here.
DID YOU KNOW?
Happy New Year and Thanks to the many poets who shared their work with the OPP in 2016
Thanks to artist-in-virtual-residence, Lauri Burke, for her spontaneity in creating cover art.
And gratitude to our 2016 'Kindness' Contest finalist judge, Peg Quinn...
and to the upcoming finalist judge, Mary Ann Mayer, for the 2017 contest.
2016 Contributing Poets
Ana Prudaru, ayaz daryl Nielsen, Bill Sullivan, Bob Carlton, Bradley McIlwain, Chip Dameron,
Christina Sng, Daniel Blokh, Donald C. Welch III, Ethar Hamid, Garrett Phelan, Helen Burke,
Ho Cheun Lee, James Croal Jackson, Jason Heroux, JD DeHart, Jeff Ingram, Joan Leotta,
Joyanne O’Donnell, Judy Heaney-McGee, Lori Lamothe, Mark Danowsky, Martin Willitts Jr.,
Mary Ann Mayer, Miriam Sagan, Mo Soulis, Nancy Jasper, Neil Leadbeater, Nettie Farris,
Oz Hardwick, Peg Quinn, Regina Green, Rick Henry, Robert Okaji, Stephen Toft, Tricia Marcella Cimera
2nd Annual OPP Kindness Contest
Opens Thursday, December 15, 2016
Closes Sunday, March 5, 2017
• Submit up to 2 (two) original & unpublished poems per entry that relate,
suggest and/or convey the concept of Kindness. (Poems shared on personal blog sites are acceptable.)• There is No Submission Fee. (But No monetary awards, either!)
•Simultaneous submissions are alright but notify us ASAP if accepted elsewhere.
Winning poems (1st, 2nd, 3rd & Honorable Mentions) will receive a copy of
the Kindness anthology (published via Amazon).
NOTE: Not all entries will be included in the Anthology, but if your work is selected,
a copy will be offered at cost + shipping & handling. We make every effort to keep the S&H fee minimal.
Our Finalist Judge is Mary Ann Mayer (Bio page)
Author of Salt & Altitudes (Finishing Line Press 2014) and Telephone Man (Amazon), member of the Ocean State Poets
and Origami Poems Project, Mayer's work has been widely recognized and includes Boston’s Grub Street poetry prize,Tupelo Press and River Styx finalist as well as the honorable mention in Bauhan Publishing’s May Sarton Book Contest.
Every Microchap can be dowloaded as a sincle-page PDF; click the Title to read/print/fold.
Origami microchaps by John Grey, Bob Carlton, Duane Herrmann,
Katherine Zickgraf, Sasha Palmer
and a Random Acts of Poetry edition by Frankie King Gartner
*Coming Soon - in whatever order we manage to present!
Welcome as we begin our 9th Year!
Cover: Spring fresco, Akrotiri, Greece - Public Domain
They were the imagination
of our planet. Let us have a bird
that lives here and spirals so,
and migrates in a sky-blanketing
single movement from Quebec to Texas.
Are wrens and robins
better than the Dodo?
Three wishes, which would you choose?
Cathy Barber © 2017
Cathy Barber's poetry has been published recently in Pinyon, SLAB and Kestrel in the anthologies,
The Cancer Poetry Project 2, which won Midwest Book Awards’ Best Poetry Book of 2013, and
Changing Harm to Harmony, an anthology about bullying.
This poem, written in 2010,was published in Canary in 2015 in a slightly different form.
Cover photo: Kloof Street, Cape Town by Lauri Burke
Incident at Cape Town
Man on Kloof
Drunk city night
Raucous motorbike optimism
Traffic at a standstill
Hear Africa yell
Stopping. Forgetting. Repeating.
“We are crazy!”
“We are crazy!”
“We are crazy!”
Doug Norris © 2017
"I call these "Third Life Poems" because they all began as travel blog posts, where they still exist
in cyberspace. Then they received a second life as Wordle images, push-pinned
to a bulletin board. From the Wordles, I found origami poems." Doug Norris
Cover: Heaven & Earth by Lauri Burke
the river ice
long distance call —
the receiver cold
against my ear
Stephen Toft © 2016
(The poet wishes to thank the editors of the following journalswhere some of these poems originally appeared:
Presence, Blithe Spirit, Snapshots and Atlas Poetica.)
Stephen Toft's first collection "the kissing bridge" was published by Red Moon Press in 2008 and in December 2016 Scars Publications released his chapbook "naming a storm: haiku and tanka".
Cover: Violet Night Starfire by Lauri Burke (w/JK adaptation)
Chase my tail, swallow fire,
eye bright night light,
a site for soaring hearts,
liminal spirit, spirited away
before day dawns: I am
fox, I am fire, disguised desire,
tangled in tales, the lost key
to storied myth, stalking, twisting
out of reach, but look in my eyes,
I’ll teach you the twinkle, sleight of tongue
sung down ages in sweet mouths-
Oz Hardwick © 2016
Cover by Ethar Hamid
The liquid’s modest shade of brown
Intensifies any rich mahogany
Flesh that handles it.
The amber-colored tea streaming into
My mug gives glory to the deep copper-
Hued hand pouring it. Set against the
Subtle brown tinge of the tea,
The waiter’s hand and forearm look
Like sublime pottery,
His rich brown hue—earthen, pure—
Outdoing the light stream of chai he pours
Into my cup.
Ethar Hamid © 2016
Ethar Hamid is reading, writing, and studying in Virginia.
Visit her publications page at Jannahandme.
Cover: Buddha Texas Tree by Lauri Burke
I’ll bet if Buddha
had been a Texan
he might have picked
this live oak, older
than the Republic,
have sat right under
the missing limb,
others reaching out
What he might have
known as nirvana
through chigger bite
itching is a koan
ripe for meditation.
Chip Dameron © 2016
The author thanks the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program for its generous support.
Member of the Texas Institute of Letters and two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize,
Chip Dameron is the author of eight collections of poetry, including China Sketchbook
(Virtual Artists Collective, 2016). His poems, as well as his essays on contemporary writers,
have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad.
Cover: Giantess gives out shit & honey by Lauri Burke
There’s a certain misogyny here,
(how large women are,
but I think, on balance,
Snorri gets it right
about Odin’s three nights
with the giantess.
is not only a fine ferment,
carries with it
a history of commotion,
the ogre’s bed.
in its origin story,
mixed with blood.
Nancy Jasper © 2016
Commotion and Another Origin Story first appeared, in somewhat different form, in Nancy’s collection
of Icelandic poems, Egil Is Baffled By Grief-which is now available on Amazon.
In Concord, Mass. I saw Louisa May
Alcott’s brown Orchard House.
I loved Little Women, Jo most of all.
All the March sisters came to life
in that house, I thought with awe.
I never gave a thought to Mrs.
March Marmee steadfast Mother.
Did she stay in bed mornings while her
daughters glanced at each other uneasily?
Did she sit quietly on a kitchen chair
staring out the window unseeingly?
Did she rise suddenly from the table
leaving the meal she cooked untouched,
night after night? In our brown house,
my mother did.
Tricia Marcella Cimera © 2016
Cover art: Dark Petals by Lauri Burke
Petals and Shadows
I didn’t see the shadows
until I zoomed in tightly,
brought the lens and eyes down
to the strands of darkness
staining each and every white
petal. One could not be without
the other. Sisters holding hands,
the pure one more prominent,
the earthly one so shy. Hidden
but ready to be discovered.
Let the violin’s high note announce
the dance and the cello’s mellow
tones carry the tune. Watch the sisters
twirl like black and white dervishes,
twirl until the sky darkens, until
they stagger and fall to the ground
petals beyond their time.
Bill Sullivan © 2016
Professor Emeritus of Keene State College, NH, where he taughts courses in American literature
and American studies, Bill Sullivan is one of a handful of original contributors to the Origami Poems Project.
This is his fifth collection. Visit his page here for further details and collections.
fish he chooses to speak then listen to
crayfish backpedal divine the current’s music
before a pond
stocked with koi
the heron genuflects
Jeff Ingram © 2016
Of his microchap, Jeff Ingram writes, 'My manuscript is a collection of what poet Jorge Carrera Andrade
in his book Micrograms calls “compressed poems”... these compressed poems are original works
mainly in haiku and senryu form, observing some of the plant, animal, and human goings-on in my own life
as well as the lives of those close to me... some of my poems have been published in magazines—
these include Acorn, Bear Creek Haiku, Mayfly, Presence.' Jeff Ingram teaches creative writing
and works on an organic farm. He lives with his wife, Kim.
A Random Acts of Poetry debut:
Life has been ratcheted up
in the overwhelm realm for so long,
I'm not sure how I'll respond
when the pressure lets up.
My teeth aren't always clenched,
but tend to be on that edge
even when they aren't.
I am preoccupied with the plight,
of my 8 year old Aspie...
Judy Heaney-McKee © 2016
Writer and storyteller, Judy Heaney-McKee writes on her blog: Judith Heaney;
weaving words and creating stories to capture the moments that matter.
* (only somewhat in the order to be presented)
A more complete listing of our microchaps from previous months is on Recent Books page
All Original poetry published is considered for our annual Pushcart Prize recommendations
Welcome Poets New to the Origami Poems Project
♦ Catherine Zickergraf
♦ Stephen Toft is a poet and homelessness worker who lives in Lancaster, UK with his girlfriend and their children. His first collection "the kissing bridge" was published by Red Moon Press in 2008 and in December 2016 Scars Publications released his chapbook "naming a storm: haiku and tanka".
♦ Oz Hardwick's most recent poetry collection is The Ringmaster’s Apprentice (Valley Press, 2014), and he is co-author, with Amina Alyal, of the Saboteur-shortlisted Close as Second Skins (IDP, 2015). York-based poet, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician, he is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University.
♦ Chip Dameron teaches is the author of eight collections of poetry, including China Sketchbook (Virtual Artists Collective, 2016). A two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, he was a recent Fellow at the Dobie Paisano Ranch. He thanks the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program for its generous support.
♦ Jeff Ingram teaches creative writing and works on an organic farm. He lives with his wife, Kim. Of his microchap, he wrote, 'My manuscript is a collection of what poet Jorge Carrera Andrade in his book Micrograms calls “compressed poems”.
♦ Daniel Blokh is a 15-year-old writer and author of In Migration (BAM! Publishing, 2016), available now on booksamillion.com. His work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Foyle Young Poets, Cicada Magazine, Thin Air magazine, and more. He is an editor at Parallel Ink.
♦ Ana Prudaru is a translator living in Switzerland.
♦ Lori Lamothe is the author of three poetry books, including the forthcoming Kirlian Effect (FutureCycle Press 2017),as well as several chapbooks, most recently Ouija in Suburbia (dancing girl press, 2015).
♦ Ho Cheun Lee (Peter) Ed.D., resides in Hong Kong where he teaches and writes. His poetry has appeared in aaduna, FIVE Poetry Magazine, Ozone Park Journal, Poetry Pacific, Red Booth Review, Sierra Nevada Review and elsewhere. His short stories have also been published in Eastlit, Miracle Magazine, Nazar Look, River Poets Journal and The Oddville Press.
♦ Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including the novel Black Rainbow (Sherman Asher, 2015) and Geographic: A Memoir of Time and Space (Casa de Snapdragon, 2016). She founded and heads the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College.
Other Poets New to the OPP
• Neil Leadbeater • Mo Soulis • Rick Henry • Christina Sng • James Croal Jackson • ayaz daryl Nielsen •
(Peruse Pick a Poet page where poets are properly compiled alphabetically by first name - pleasantly)
Coming Soon - another 'Friends Make Things Better'
We were moved by Judy Heaney-McKee's posting and asked to translate her observations into a
Random Acts of Poetry microchap. She generously agreed and we are happy
to share her thoughts with you. See more on our Random Acts page.
RANDOM ACTS OF POETRY was created to support worthy causes. Contact us for more information.
See "Origami Sightings" page for full list of Nice Comments
I’m delighted that you will be publishing “At Paisano Ranch.” Your microchaps are such wonderful ways to get poems out and
share them for free. I love the idea. And yes, I’m sure Buddha would have loved chaps!
Chip Dameron, Texas, 11/23/2016
Hi Jan (& team), I'm so pleased & excited that you're going to be publishing The Firefox Suite - it's made may day!
Oz Hardwick, Northern UK, 11/20/2016
Thanks for publishing it.
Robert Okaji, Texas, 10/19/2016
Thank you very much for sending the draft. I have checked it over and there are no amendments.
Please thank Lauri Burke for the illustration which fits in nicely with the title.
Neil Leadbeater, England, 9/14/2016
Hi Origami! love what you do
Miriam Sagan, New Mexico, 7/22/2016
Dear editors, I truly enjoy reading the micro chaps you provide for free and wanted to submit six of
my poems for consideration. The general topic of the collection is living in the moment
and/or trying to live as freely as possible, despite handicaps, old age
or other hardships. Thanks for taking a look.
Ana Prundaru, Switzerland, 7/7/2016
Looks great. As usual, Ms. Burke's cover art matches the content beautifully.
Bob Carlton, Texas, 6/18/2016
Thanks for all the work you do!
Rick Henry, New York, 6/15/2016
I just happened upon your site when looking for an April is Poetry Month project for our teens in the library. I would love to be able to have a micro-chapbook display. I see that there are "self-stocked" libraries in Rhode Island but I know it is too late for me to request a sampling.
I would like to make sure that it is okay for us to use the PDF printables and hold a "pay it forward" in the library. So, our teens would fold the PDF's that we print off and pass them out to customers or leave them in the 800's poetry stacks for customers to take at will. Thank you for the fabulous site and inspiration!
Sincerely, Christy M., Information Services Specialist
Columbus Metropolitan Library, Whitehall, OH
(Editor's Note: We did send the library a sample of Origami books... and with great pleasure! - Jan Keough)
Origami Poems Project, the sweetest little publishing endeavor we have, ‘changing the world one micro-chapbook at a time.’ Six of my poems in an origami chapbook, proof of love, cover art by Lauri Burke, titled, ‘Speak with the Tongue of the Wild Rose.’
Received ten copies, all in a first class letter, and I am beyond delighted - will share my copies, including one to a Colorado poet/good friend with end-stage cancer (knowing he’ll love it). Well done, Jan Keough and The Editors, well done, indeed. Check 'em out, your poems could help change the world one micro-chapbook at a time!
ayaz daryl nielsen, Colorado, 2/28/2016
I'm really excited about this collection and having it be a part of Origami Poems!
Donald C. Welch III, Brooklyn, NY, 1/6/2016
Pushcart Prize Nominations
We have nominated these six poems and their poets:
The Blue Earrings - Lori Lamothe from "endless after all"
Sonnet #4 - Donald C. Welch III from “The Post Atomic Sonnets”
I am brief - Garrett Phelan from “Standing where I am”
Blood Moon - Peg Quinn from “Moon Shadows”
Three Strikes - Bill Sullivan from “Three Strikes”
Parting from Wang Wei - Robert Okaji from “No Eye But The Moon’s”
12/6 update - Download these nominated poems as a PDF
here: OPP Pushcart-nominated poems. Enjoy.
Best of Success to All!
Origami Poems Project Newsletter
Our December 2016 newsletter : Read here!
Winter Solstice by Lauri Burke 2016
'December, month of winter solstice, invites us to look at the brilliance of long winter nights with awe. There is a sense of the eternal in nights' blue/black vaulted skies, star studded and cold. A breath of forever in scented dark green pines, their upheld arms dressed in sleeves of snow. When we immerse ourselves in this purity, we remember who we are. Reconnect with how we too shine, perhaps most brightly, in the darkest of months and in the darkest of times.'- Lauri Burke♦
November 4th News - Just in.
Tina Cane, of Rumford, has been appointed Rhode Island's poet laureate by Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Cane is founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools RI, an educational program that places professional writers
in public schools to support students as they explore the writing process.
The Best of Kindness anthology
(41 poems selected from our 2016 contest entries) is available on Amazon.
Cover image by poet/artist, Lauri Burke, "Rainy Cherry Blossoms"
Alphabetical List of Poems & their Poets in this Anthology available here as a PDF
And some reactions to the anthology:
The Kindness Anthology arrived today!!! Gorgeous!I gave (a friend) a copy...
She is now reading one poem every morning and writing a little meditation essay on it.
MM, 6/8 RI
It doesn't get better than kindness - this anthology is a rich tapestry
of the many ways kindness can show up.
MR, 6/6 Amazon purchase review
* * *
We've been asked, "How do I get an Origami Microchap?"
Every microchap can be downloaded as a single-page PDF and printed - for free. If you don't have a color printer simply choose the "print grayscale" option. Below are Screen Shots of what we mean.
The SINGLE PAGE PDF SCREEN SHOT of (Our) Printing Options
Wendles' Cafe & Deli maintained by Mary Ann Mayer ♦
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Thank you for your interest in the Origami Poems Project™
We know you'll enjoy these Origami Microchaps