Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Thursday, March 05, 2020


by Joan Leotta

Photo of Fiesole by Sailko at

Boccaccio and his friends
escaped to the hills of Fiesole,
well above miasma of air
of Florence, for even her beauty
could not hold back the plague.
At last, among his friends
breathing the clean air of country living,
these friends staved off
even fear of infection
with stories—
Now, who will gather up little ones
from the close quarters of their cages?
Who will hold them close,
breathe light and love to clear
the air in their tight spaces?
Who will write a Decameron
to stave off
their fears and tears?

Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage. Her poems have been published in the Ekprhastic Review, Pinesong, Anti-Heroin Chic, Ovunque Siamo, Fourth River,  Silver Birch, and many others. She performs personal and folk tales of food, family, and strong women. Her first chapbook is out from Finishing Line Press: Languid Lusciousness with Lemon.