Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


by Maryann Corbett

Students in India mourn the Pakistani students lost in the Peshawar school attack last week.

And as the alto line shoulders its ache
of dissonance against the calm soprano,
I think, Always the same mysterium:

The moment when at last the milk-drunk infant
droops against the breast, and the new mother
sighs into sleep, is darkened by the knowledge
that soldiers from a foreign empire are quartered
in the next street, while a strongman in the hills
clings to to his shreds of power. When he strikes,
we wake to scenes of the bloody slaughter of children.

For them there are few carols, rarely sung.

                        remembered on 28 December,
                        Feast of the Holy Innocents

Maryann Corbett's poems, essays, and translations have appeared in Southwest Review, Barrow Street, Rattle, River Styx, Atlanta Review, The Evansville Review, Measure, Literary Imagination, The Dark Horse, Mezzo Cammin, Linebreak, Subtropics, Verse Daily, American Life in Poetry, The Poetry Foundation, The Writer's Almanac, and many other venues in print and online, as well an assortment of anthologies, most recently Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century. She has been a several-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, a finalist for the 2009 Morton Marr Prize, the 2010 Best of the Net anthology, and the 2011 Able Muse Book Prize, and a winner of the Lyric Memorial Award, the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award. Her third book, Mid Evil, is the Wilbur Award winner and is forthcoming from the University of Evansville Press.