In the spirit of community – guest blog post by Diane Frank, Chief Editor of Blue Light Press

Blue Light Press, along with being a publisher, is a community. We are dedicated to the publication of poetry and flash fiction that is imagistic, inventive, emotionally honest, and pushes the language to a deeper level of insight. We are a group of poets, artists and musicians based in San Francisco. We like each book to be a work of art, along with what is written there. 

Along with publishing books by poets we love, we offer an on-line poetry workshop three times a year, with 8-week sessions.  I host a reading series in San Rafael called Blue Light at the Gallery, where we feature local and nationally known poets, along with musicians from the classical and folk music communities. Our publishing adventure is a labor of love – the only ones paid are our book designers. Everyone on our editorial board and our web designer volunteers their time.

If you want to become more familiar with our press and what we publish, the best way is to read the poets we publish. For a generous helping of poems we love, I suggest reading River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century. This bestselling anthology features more than 100 poets, mixing the best voices of our generation with the grass roots. You will find poets who have won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, along with lesser known poets who also deserve to be read. It’s like a box of chocolates for poets. From the Reviews…  “Congratulations on this fantastic coming together of voices.” – Jane Hirshfield

In the spirit of community, we offer advice to all poets who have just published a book and are ready to take their poems out into the world. Here is a Crash Course in Shameless Book Promotion.

Twice a year, I have the delight of calling the winning poets to let them know that we will publish their book. Getting published changes people’s lives and connects the poet more deeply with the community of writers and readers. We receive about 300 mss. every year, and among the stack, there is always gold. If we have the resources, we often choose more than one winner. For guidelines, email Yes, we have a reading fee but 100% of what we collect is used to publish the winning books. Inside tip: Send us your best work! We read chapbooks in the spring and full length manuscripts in the fall.

Taking you behind the scenes… Five poets are involved in the process of choosing the winning book, and we have a great time discovering the work. By the final round of a contest, we have 3 to 5 books under serious consideration. More than the others, one ms. will shine. The winning ms., as we read … yes, yes, yes … every poem – Wow! Each line makes me eager to read the next. The language is powerful, elegantly crafted, often gorgeous. As I keep turning the pages, what I read makes me grateful to be alive on this crazy planet. Those are the books we publish.

Breaking news: We are gathering poems for an anthology of San Francisco poems by poets who live or work in San Francisco – now or in the past. Send an email if you would like guidelines –  No fee to send poems for this book.

Do you have something say about poetry? An essay on being a poet, tips for poets, or poetry you love? is now accepting pitches for guest blog posts. 

Contact me here if you are interested! 

Diane Frank, Chief Editor of Blue Light Press, is author of eight books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400 mile trek in the Himalayas. Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines received honors in the San Francisco Book Festival. Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place takes you on a 400 mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas with stories, poems, and 55 color photographs. Diane teaches at San Francisco State University and Dominican University. She also plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony. For more information about her books:

4 replies »

  1. I have studied with Diane for several years and my writing has been enriched through the experience. She is a supportive and creative teacher and guide through the creation process.

    Liked by 1 person

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