Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, December 21, 2018


by Penelope Scambly Schott

The Oregon state legislature passed a law that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, that will allow the city and state to work together to clear camps under an intergovernmental agreement. In many cases, local officials are better equipped to help connect people with needed services like shelters and affordable housing. The partnership will also make clearing camps that exist on neighboring city and state property more streamlined. Under the agreement that Portland City Council approved Dec. 19, officials will give people at least 48 hours notice, and up to 10 days notice, to move from Oregon Department of Transportation property. That timeframe will significantly speed the process of sweeping encampments on ODOT property. Photo credit: Joe Riedl. —Willamette Week, December 19, 2018

Winds gust.
Rain slashes.
Douglas firs bend.
Pine cones pound my metal roof.
Have I mentioned how much I love my roof?
Have I described cardboard over sleeping bags?
Shopping carts stuffed with wet belongings?
Did I specify how bitter tonight’s rain?
In our whole city there is not
enough hot soup.

Penelope Scambly Schott, author of a novel and several books of poetry, was awarded four New Jersey arts fellowships before moving to Oregon, where her verse biography A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth received an Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Several of Penelope’s books and individual poems have won other prizes. Her individual poems have appeared in APR, Georgia Review, Nimrod, and elsewhere.