The Origami Poems Project
Welcome to the Origami Poems Project™
Helping the world, one free micro-chapbook at a time
What is an Origami Poems Micro-chapbook?
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 books. Download the PDFs to read and share. Folding hints here.
DID YOU KNOW?
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
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2nd Annual OPP Kindness Contest
This contest opens December 15, 2016 and closes March 1, 2017.
We will post a link to the Submittable portal shortly before the 15th.
Two original & unpublished poems on the theme of Kindness per entry.
Simultaneous submissions acceptable but notify us ASAP if accepted elsewhere.
No Fee. No monetary awards.
Winning poems (1st, 2nd, 3rd & Honorable Mentions)
will receive the anthology (published via Amazon).
- Not all entries will be included in the Anthology, "Best of Kindness, VII" -
but all who permit us to publish their work will be offered a volume at cost + S&H
Stay tuned for details and watch carefully out that rearview mirror for other encouragements.
Our Finalist Judge is Mary Ann Mayer
Author of Salt & Altitudes (Finishing Line Press 2014) and Telephone Man (via Amazon),
she is a member of the Ocean State Poets and Origami Poems Project.
Her 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.
Read Mary Ann Mayer's OPP bio page here
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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!
Every Micro-Chapbook can be dowloaded as a sincle-page PDF; click the Title to read/print/fold.
Origami Collections by Ethar Hamid, Nancy Jasper, John Grey, Stephen Toft,
Oz Hardwick, Bob Carlton, and a Random Acts of Poetry edition by Frankie King Gartner
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.
My Name is Still Available
Let me be clear, my name is still available
But I fear it will never be used.
All I will insist on is calling it Poetry.
And Evenings of Wild Flamenco ..
And perhaps a Little Night Music..
And some decent Chinese Food..
I can sense my removal from the “List“ already
And the box next to Hurricane Norma
What can I tell you ??
The woman wears beige and reads romance…
You’ve only yourselves to Blame.
Helen Burke © 2016
Helen Burke, we surmise, must've kissed the Blarney Stone when she was still in her Mam's inner sanctuary.
She has been unwinding these tales of hers ever since she took her first dance step, first sip of wine,
first bite of chocolate... and her first (of many) poetry readings, awards, publications.
This time we find Helen is a bit miffed. She has not, as yet, been chosen for a Hurricane naming.
See an extensive bio here.
Father, I am flying above
the sea. I am the glass bottle
thrown to the wall, ornament
coming loose. Mother, I hear
your voice pulling at the water,
your fists reaching for waves that
threaten to break like windows.
I look for you from the sky.
Your silhouettes hide within
my reflection. Even now, your names
come loose in the brine, bruised
souls like sparks in the waves.
Father, Mother, I am lost in the air.
The sun conquers your shadows.
Above the waves, a breeze
is blowing; touching the
soft water, then parting, then
touching it again, like lips.
Daniel Blokh © 2016
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.
A church sign reminds me
If you are coasting
then you are going downhill
as if the penny in the hand-
grip of the driver’s side door
slow sliding was not self-
evident we heathens can coast
Mark Danowsky © 2016
(First appeared in Gyroscope Review, Issue 16-1, Jan. 2016)
Mark Danowsky's poetry has appeared in About Place, The Broadkill Review, Gargoyle, Illya’s Honey,
Red River Review,Star*Line, and elsewhere. He lives in North-Central West Virginia where he works for a
private detective agency and is Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This is his second collection with the Origami Poems Project.
Cover photo by Ana Prundaru
Numbered in scars
Negotiated in wildfire
We retired time.
Years piling and
crumbling like stale bread.
Time carries itself
tall in daylight.
For a minute we were invincible.
Ana Prundaru © 2016
Ana Prundaru is a translator living in Switzerland.
Cover art: 'City of Dreams - Snow Moon' by Lauri Burke
Cedar Grove (after Wang Wei)
I sit alone among the cedars,
play my guitar and hum.
In this dark forest
no eye spies me but the moon’s.
Robert Okaji © 2016
Robert Okaji's poetry has appeared in Panoply, Eclectica, Poetry Breakfast, Clade Song, Otoliths
and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press),
and the chapbook-length “The Circumference of Other,” which appears in Ides: A Collection
of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press), as well as the Origami Poems Project's
You Break What Falls. He lives in Texas with his wife, two dogs and some books.
Visit his blog, O at the Edges, at robertokaji.com.
Cover art: 'Unearthly Lights' by Lauri Burke
The Blue Earrings
For months I’ve kept the universe
in a box. It happens.
I get tired of infinity
with its sapphire eyes
staring out at me
from behind mirrors.
But today when I slip on
all that sea, that sky
seems a little
lighter, as if nature
isn’t so in-your-face
endless after all—
or maybe I’ve just gotten
used to the idea of
this big wavering life
being so damn brief.
Lori Lamothe © 2016
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).
Cover art: 'improvised' by Lauri Burke
A brief history of time
The clock stops ticking
at the fake Irish café at Dubai airport.
Twenty-minute waiting time now and
I see green still.
The crowd, the sizzling spirit,
the cliffs I almost fell off for another Horcrux,
the poetic lady who will sit next to me
in the next flight;
we earn two hours the way back
as time flows faster towards home
to make up for we grew younger
in the last eight days, seven nights.
Ho Cheung LEE © 2016
Ho Cheung LEE's poetry has appeared in many publications including Ozone Park Journal,
Poetry Pacific, 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.
Cover photo: Road at Dusk by Isabel Winson-Sagan
barely a drop
on the wooden bench
a book which of
of this time
slice of rainbow
without footed ends
like an odalisque
across Lama Mountain
Miriam Sagan © 2016
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.
Visit her blog Miriam’s Well.
Cover photo: 'Lake Tomahawk' by Kevin Keough
Train rumbling by,
distant traffic sounds…
Me, I’m sittin’ right here.
Long John’s on the line
drying in a spring breeze.
Free at last!
A baby stirs, cries –
the morning glory opens.
Another day begins.
My neighbor doesn’t meditate.
How does she find peace -
every day in her garden.
Winter freight train - icy wheels
screech and squeal.
Glad my head ain’t glass.
Mo Soulis © 2016
Mo Soulis is a retired clinical social worker and lives in western North Carolina.
Cover art: 'Heuchera Leaf' by Lauri Burke
is love-in-idleness, the wild card
that plays the wild pansy –
at children – knows all about
affairs of the heart,
is Oberon’s flower in Shakespeare;
that thrives off neglect....
but mostly it's the way
you hang your head
at the onset of rain
that I like the most…
and the way you go to bed.
Neil Leadbetter © 2016
Neil Leadbetter is an international author, editor, essayist, poet and critic living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
See his page for further details.
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* (only somewhat in the order to be presented)
A more complete listing of our micro-chapbooks 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
♦ 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.
• 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
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
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We've been asked, "How do I get an Origami Micro-chapbook?"
Every micro-chapbook 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 Micro-chapbooks