Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


by Ed Werstein

At concerts in Rockefeller Center
sensitive ears can still hear the cries and wails
of the Ludlow miners
and their wives and children
slaughtered on the picket line in Colorado, 1914.

Without opening a book,
keen eyes can read
the lost lives of unschooled steel workers
on the facades of thousands of libraries,
part of the Carnegie bequest.

And who remembers
the abandoned artistic ambitions
of the aluminum smelters, the oil riggers,
and the bank tellers who labored
so the Mellon family could endow
the National Gallery of Art?

Ed Werstein, Milwaukee, spent 22 years in manufacturing and the last 15 years as a workforce development professional helping job seekers. Ed practiced writing sporadically over the years, but only recently has started to write more regularly and to submit his work to public scrutiny. Ed's work has appeared in the 2009 Mark My Words collaborative art show in LaCrosse and in the collection Vampyr Verses published by Popcorn Press.