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.
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• Submit up to 2 (two) original & unpublished poems per entry that relate,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.)
•Simultaneous submissions are alright but notify us ASAP if accepted elsewhere.
•  There is No Submission Fee.  (But No monetary awards, either!)
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.

Recent Origami Microchaps Published

Every Microchap can be dowloaded as a sincle-page PDF; click the Title to read/print/fold.
Coming Soon*
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!
January 2017
Gone by Cathy Barber
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
                                                                 Crazy laughter
                                                                 Man on Kloof
                                                                 Drunk city night
                                                                 Smothered. Guarded.
                                                                 Raucous motorbike optimism
                                                                 Traffic at a standstill
                                                                 Hear Africa yell
                                                                 Deep-rooted wants
                                                                 Deep-bellied fears
                                                                 Ever-present uncertainty
                                                                 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
December 2016
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-
                                                                         follow me.
Oz Hardwick © 2016
Cover by Ethar Hamid
Dark Skin
Chai tea with nutmeg goes well with dark skin;
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
Grandfather Oak
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

toward enlightenment.
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,
                                                                       how demanding)
                                                                       but I think, on balance,   
                                                                       Snorri gets it right  
                                                                       about Odin’s three nights  
                                                                       with the giantess.
                                                                       How poetry  
                                                                       is not only  a fine ferment,
                                                                       but also  
                                                                       carries with it  
                                                                       a history of commotion,
                                                                       the ogre’s bed.  
                                                                       How even  
                                                                       in its origin story,
                                                                       the poet
                                                                       is formed  
                                                                       from spittle,
                                                                       the honey  
                                                                       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.
November 2016
                                                                                    Mrs. March
                                                                   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    
Tricia Marcella Cimera is widely and diversly published (see her bio page).  She recently wrote a
new Boxborough poem called "The Trees Rise Up Darkly" which just appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic.
This is her second collection with the OPP.
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.
Cover art: scene changes by Jan Keough
selected poses
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,
                                                                   the struggle,
                                                                   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

The Origami Poets

Welcome Poets New to the Origami Poems Project

..January 2017..
♦ Catherine Zickergraf
..December 2016..
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.
..November 2016..
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”.
..October 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.

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.

Oh-So-Nice Comments

 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
Wow! This is gorgeous. I love the cover art, and can’t wait to let people know of our beautiful little book.
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
 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

Read previous Newsletters (Sign up here)   Next newsletter leaves the e-door April 2017
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

Microchap Display Locations

Wendles' Cafe & Deli maintained by Mary Ann Mayer ♦ 
Wendles' Cafe & Deli, Franconia NH (seasonal) Display provided by Mary Ann Mayer
Poets' group in Lincoln, NB Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe, Decatur, IL
Cafe 164 at Leeds Gallery & at Cafe in York, UK Self-stocked libraries in RI

♦     Due to the widening perimeter of the Origami Poems Project we are hard pressed to replenish the many locations that have previously visited the (primarily) RI locations.  We are happy to send a sampling of chapbooks for a display but cannot "stock" them on an ongoing basis.  We are grateful for your understanding.  If you wish to volunteer to support a location, please ask...   origamipoems(at)gmail(dot)com  

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