This poet needs our help: SPOON JACKSON, imprisioned for 41 years for a crime he committed at 19 is still writing poetry and now asking for help to get commutation

c Spoon Jackson

“We make our world with words! No one knows this truth better than the Poet, the wordsmith crafting perception of moments into bite sized pieces of sound—line, verse, phrase, sentence; meaning and its absence.” Longer Ago, Poems by Spoon Jackson, Feeling is a footpath to the heart of the world, Rootfolks MORE

c Spoon Jackson / photo with family, friends, teachers

“I have found that prisons are created internally and are truly found everywhere.” Spoon Jackson (realness network)

In the interest of time, I’m sharing this from Wikipedia.  The petition needs to go to the governor tomorrow, October 15.  As this post goes up,  there are only 1,651 signatures. 2,500 are needed. The petition is HERE. Please feel free to reblog this post.

“Spoon Jackson (Stanley “Spoon” Russell Jackson) was born August 22, 1957 in Barstow, California. He began serving a life without possibility of parole sentence in 1978.[1] He has served time in more than a half-dozen California state prisons. He is currently in California State Prison, Los Angeles County.

“Spoon began writing poetry during his years at San Quentin State Prison in the 80’s. He enrolled in a four-year poetry workshop run by Judith Tannenbaum and discovered himself as a writer. Spoon played Pozzo in the 1988 production of Samuel Beckett‘s play Waiting for Godot directed by Jan Jonson which brought him international attention. A short documentary was produced about the making of the play by John Reilly and Global Village for The Beckett Project. Spoon served over 12 years in California State Prison, Sacramento (New Folsom), where he was active as a teacher’s aide and later had his own writing classes in the Arts In Corrections programs. Since then, Spoon has written plays, poetry, novels, fairy tales, short stories, essays, memoir and he frequently writes articles for magazines. Along with friends from Sweden, Spoon started the “Peace Gang” in order to spread and share his poetry. In October 2016, Spoon took part in a 15-week creative writing classes in a maximum-security yard at California State Prison, Los Angeles (Lancaster), run by Los Angeles Poet Laureate and renown author Luis J. Rodriguez.

“In 2003, Michel Wenzer produced a documentary in Sweden entitled Three Poems by Spoon Jackson. The film included recordings of Spoon reciting his poems, taped from telephone calls. Michel Wenzer completed a full-length documentary (2011) about prisoners in the Art in Corrections program at New Folsom Prison: At Night I Fly. The title comes from one of Jackson’s poems, he also features in the film. At Night I Fly won the Swedish Guldbagge Film Award for best documentary of the year 2011. A documentary titled Spoon, by Michka Saäl, premiered in 2015.

Words of Realness, a suite for chorus and orchestra by Swedish composer Stefan Säfsten based on Jackson’s poems, premiered on October 5, 2008 in Kista, Stockholm.

“More recent music productions are the album The Prison Music Project (2015),produced by Zoe Boekbinder and Ani DiFranco, and Die Jim Crow (2016) produced by Fury Young.” courtesy Wikipedia

By Heart: Poetry, Prison and Two Lives. New Village Press, 2010. A two-person memoir written by Judith Tannenbaumand Jackson.

Longer Ago: Poems by Spoon Jackson. 2010.

Bo Osdrowski/Tom Riebe (Ed.): Spoon Jackson. Versensporn – Heft für lyrische Reize Nr. 11, Edition POESIE SCHMECKT GUT, Jena 2013, (including a DVD with a short film by Michel Wenzer Three Poems by Spoon Jackson).

Too Cruel Not Unusual Enough. 2013. Anthology

Philosophers Imprisoned. 2015. Anthology

Felsentauben erwachen auf Zellenblock 8. 2017. Poems translated to German by Rainer Komers, edited by Jürgen Brôcan.


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Competitions, and Other Information and News

“I dream of lost vocabularies that might express some of what we no longer can.” Jack Gilbert, The Great Fires


Opportunity Knocks

AJI MAGAZINE will open for submisson of poetry, stories, and essays in November. Details HERE.

CLOCKHOUSE, a national literary journal by Clockhourse Writers’ Conference in partnership with Goddard College is open through December 1 for submissions of fiction, poetry, and dramatic work. Details HERE.

CONSEQUENCE MAGAZINE, an international literary journal focusing on the culture of war opens for submission from May 1-August 31, 2019. Mark your calendar.  Publishing interests are: short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, interviews, visual art, and reviews. Compensation: Poetry: $25 per page; Prose: $10 per page ($250 maximum); Translations:$15 per page ($250 maximum). Details HERE.

HORROR ADDICTS opens it call for submission to be considered for inclusion in its 2019 A Horror Anthology with “What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future? When technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we have created? Artificial intelligence, robotics, bionics and cybernetics, clones, and virtual reality.” 2,000 – 7,000 words. No payment. $10 fee for digital copy. Deadline: October 31, 2018, 11:59 pm Pacific Standard. Details HERE.

GUERNICA, a magazine of global arts & politics is open for submissions of short form and long form nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. No flash fiction. Details HERE.

PLEIADES, Literature in Context (University of Central Missouri) has an open call for submissions for it upcoming fiction folio celebrating Afro-Latinx/Afro-Caribbean Fiction. Deadline: October 20. Any genre. Any subject. Any theme. Details HERE. See the same link for regular submission which open in December. Mark your calendar.


BELLVIEW LITERARY REVIEW publishes creative nonfiction and poetry with a $5 reading fee that is waved for subscribers. “The BLR remains committed to publishing superb writing on themes of health, healing, illness, body and mind.” Details HERE.

LUNCH TICKET, a publication of the Creative Writing MFA program at Antioch College, is open through October 31 for submissions of poetry. Details HERE.(Scroll down on the page.)

SALMAGUNDI, a publication of Skidmore College, will open for submissions of poetry, fiction, personal essay and cultural criticism on January 1 (mark your calendar) publishes poetry. Details HERE.

The Poet by Day


Response deadline is Monday, October 15, at 8 p.m. Pacific. Poems are on theme are published on this site on Tuesday, the October 16. Details HERE.


The BeZine

Call for submissions for the December issue.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the December issue – themed A Life of the Spirit – close on November 10 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific .

Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text. Send submissions to

Publication is December 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.

No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples. 

  • December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted IF you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art for consideration. 


Opportunities Knock

EVERY WRITER 50 WORD $500 HORROR STORY HALLOWEEN CONTEST. Deadline: October 28, 2018 Details HERE.

GAIL B. CRUMP PRIZE IN EXPERIMENTAL FICTION is open through October. Cash award. Publication Pleiades, Literature in Context. $20 submission fee. Details HERE.

WRITER’S DIGEST POPULAR FICTION AWARDS closes tomorrow midnight (Eastern time, I believe), October 15.  Cash awards. Publication. Categories: Mystery, Crime, Horror, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, and Young Adult. Details HERE.


Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.

The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career or status. Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.

The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers. Due to other weekend commitments, this post will often go up late.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  

Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.

YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything.Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.



PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two emails.

Often information is just thatinformation– and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.






Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton