Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Staff Member! Emily Blair, Associate Editor

We are excited to announce that Emily Blair has joined cahoodaloodaling as an  Associate Editor!

Emily is a queer Appalachian poet and blue-collar scholar. Originally from Fort Chiswell, Virginia (you may have stopped there for gas once), she now lives in central North Carolina, where she teaches first-year writing, literature, and creative writing at a community college. She earned a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Virginia Tech and an MA in English from the University of Louisville before settling in the Tar Heel State, where she lives with her perfect precious baby cat Plum and all the houseplants that Plum has not yet managed to eat.

Emily’s first published chapbook, WE ARE BIRDS, explored queer relationships and intimacy. She is currently working on a collection of prose poems about queerness, Appalachia, body horror, and her family, all of which have more in common than she originally anticipated. She also writes a monthly column for Boshemia Magazine. More of her published works and information about her can be found on her website,

When she isn’t teaching, reading, or writing, she enjoys cooking, exploring North Carolina with her partner and their dog, and trying to find the best lox bagel in the south. She’s always up for recommendations on the bagel part.



cahoodaloodaling Turns Six!

cat birthdaycahoodaloodaling turned six this May and I can hardly believe it. We’ve been incredibly lucky, both with who has volunteered time on staff and the amazing submissions we’ve received for our themed calls. With 26 issues under our belt, we’re excited to move into our 7th year!

We’ve had some recent staff additions I’d love to take a second to brag about. Sam Singleton, our Assistant Poetry Editor, is pretty fantastic, but you don’t need to take my word on it. Rachel Nix, la capitana of the poetry team, interviewed Sam for our Queer Spaces issue this winter.

Then we snagged Tara Wood, who has been working furiously in the background reading prose submissions. Besides being a great reader, she’s a badass researcher working on Huntington’s Disease.

Wes Jamison, who guest edited our most recent issue on lyric essays, has decided to stay on and we’re quite tickled about having our very own Nonfiction Guru on staff. Rachel also recently interviewed him.

Chainsaw and Noodle

Chainsaw protects the apartment from wayward lizards under the steady guidance of his overseer, Noodle.

And finally, we scored Ann Bowler, who has helped behind the scenes with covers in the past and not only designed The Lyric Essay cover, but also supplied the artwork. She’s also my roommate in Baton Rouge, LA, and while I’m back in Santa Rosa, CA for the summer, she’s keeping me supplied with darling photos of her cats, who I have decided are the official mascots of cahoodaloodaling.

Another change is underway! Because so many of us are tied to the academic calendar, and because we have been so wonderfully fortunate to receive large numbers of submissions, we’ve decided to cut back to three themed issues a year: October 31st, February 28/9th, and June 30th. We’re already open for our 27th issue, Joy Sticks, guest edited by the phenomenal Alina Stefanescu. Slated for October 31st, we think an issue on Joy is the proper way to begin what promises to be a magical year. So here’s to seven! We hope you join us.

—Raquel Thorne


PPP&P #3 Spring 2017


PPP&P spotlights recently published work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.


Pretty Owl Poetry

In “Room of Rind and Pith“, Grace Arenas waxes about the ‘room of discord’ and the beauty found in decay:

     half-chewed and spat.
Room of weeks-gone bread
and rainfall, egg shell,
forsaken seedling

Choose a little glorified subject and wax poetic on its power.


In “The Sensorium of the Cyborg“, Laurin DeChae introduces ‘i’ the machine. Notice the tug between the familiar ‘I’ and the unfamiliar ‘i’.

where there is _______ i sees _______
now you see her, now, now,
i doesn’t want to be here.
i doesn’t want to be
but i was made to machine,

Redefine or introduce a conflicting doppelganger.


Rogue Agent

In “Timetable“, McKenzie Lynn Tozan talks of split second decisions that can mean experiences lost or g(r)ained.

I gazed at a tree
and knew if I didn’t start climbing,

I’d never get another chance.

Write of an instance where you ‘seized the moment’.


Alessandra Braya‘s “Rebirth” had me musing: How to render her line:

You flayed me and found a hummingbird perched as a
pendant amid my ribs,

Lean into a flight of imagination.



Andre Collard begins his “Elegy with a Red Wagon” with:

In floodwaters, the fire ants
of South Carolina will link their bodies
to form an island, floating
over drowning cars and streetlights
like a funeral.

This is such an evocative beginning, that I looked up this phenomenon. Now I am all ears for what the poem has to say.

Share a local phenomenon so the reader can vicariously travel.


In “J’aime La Règle Qui Corrige L’Émotion“, Michael Sandler‘s writing moves from

guise and form, billowing
to winged image then back to cloud

This perfectly matches the image which inspired this poem: George Braque ‘reviving wings’ in his illustrations.

Think Einstein’s love for music and physics and build a bridge between writing and a different art form. Contrast or draw a parallel.


Wicked Alice

Cassie Ciopryna provides a respite from the ordinary life with an astronomical statement in “That Would Be the Cure“:

meteors out of your skin onto mine

Put your telescopic ‘powers of 10’ lenses on to discover something anew.


In “I Lose Him Near the Lumber“, Amy Lee Heinlen shows both the highs and pitfalls of hazardous occupations in brief and simple language.

smell of potential
and death

Write a poem with a tone contrary to the subject.



Feel free to reply and share your responses to Prasanna’s prompts in the comments!


PPP&P #2 Summer 2016


PPP&P spotlights recently published work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.


Pretty Owl Poetry

Kami Westhoff‘s “No Thought of the Surface” has the lure and mystery of nature, enigma of La Belle Dame Sans Merci. I have found myself after talking to a friend, rushing to the cafeteria for coffee, and analysed why only to find that it was the bands of light brown and cream of her shirt that took me in coffee trance. It made me question who issues the commands here.

Think of an incident where you were surprised by what you did like you were in a trance. Make a poem of who or what was the influence.


Tyler McAndrew‘s “My Trip to the Zoo” is an internal dialogue in the face of limelight barrage. It took me to a moment in a science fair and make believe. A world where a cardboard can be fashioned to mean anything.

Think of a moment that resonates with this blurring of the real worlds and other, silence in commotion. Bring it out to the poetry world.


Rogue Agent

Steven Sanchez‘s “Califia” shows what it is for a human body machine to creak. There’s repair by Kintsugi and the repair within the body.

our bodies spend our entire lives
destroying their own cells,
its only method of healing.

We know our bodies only when they are off. Write of a time when you heard your body make itself known.


Heidi Czerwiec‘s “Doggerel” is a description of Puella pilosa a woodcutting in Monstrorum Historia by Ulisse Aldrovandi, in which the poet slides into the antique curio.

Write from a curio’s point of view.


Emari DiGiorgio‘s in “Elegy for the Old Thinking” does a thought duet with theoretical physicist James Gate, making parallels between birth of a baby and theory. Even though an elegy, the dark is crossed over and that weight is carried on by life.

the branches and roots cancel out each other

Bring out your best metaphor for the cycle of life and death.


Kathryn Paul‘s “In the Year of No Mother” brings a raw energy to the jaggy edges of a mother-daughter relationship, its swivel doors recalling maternal loss and yet still finding her presence in everyday life.

so I dump the overwrought bouquet
into the largest vessel I can find:
the jar from my blender,

Write a poem in the memory of a lost loved onebecause it says to.



Feel free to share your responses to Prasanna’s prompts in the comments below!


Help Support Fee-Free Awards!

Please visit the Tandem Reader Awards Fundraiser

TRA AD 2016 Final

Donating to their campaign has some really nice—and unique—perks! Including handwritten poems signed by the author from poets Kaveh Akbar, Heather Bell, Sarah Blake, Chen Chen, Siaara Freeman, and Megan Peak.

Ribbon Inverted Large cahoodaloodaling
Tandem Reader Awards is a FEE-FREE post-publication award for chapbooks, where the award will be given to both the author and editor of the winning chapbook. TRA began as an idea in 2015 when we noticed a deficit of reader awards for chapbooks and a similar deficit of reader awards for editors. As we discussed these needs in our community, we realized an additional and more prevalent need in our community for more accessible awards.

TRA believes it is important to acknowledge the hurdles, including submission fees, impeding accessibility to many awards in our creative community, especially for minority and marginalized voices. We asked ourselves: What if we could award the special relationship between writer and editor, while pledging our commitment to being broadly accessible within the literary community by maintaining fee-free nominations? The answer was clear: We can. These ideas work beautifully in tandem and you can help make it happen.

Our goal is to raise a minimum of $2,000 to cover the initial start-up costs: A PO box for mail nominations, a checking account, promotional materials, and registering for our 501c3. Additionally your contribution will go towards the $150 prize awarded each to the editor and the author of the winning chapbook, and will guarantee the first two years of the awards. Any additional funds raised over $2,000 will sweeten the prize pot; we hope to surpass the $150 prize amount for our winners and demonstrate community support and commitment to a more inclusive writer community, where we can honor the work first and foremost.

Donate Here


New Weekly Feature – TEEN TUESDAYS – Open Submission Call

Here at cahoodaloodaling we believe that young voices are an important part of our creative community!


We are starting up a new weekly feature through our Facebook page, #TeenTuesdays, to celebrate these voices. Unlike our quarterly issues, #TeenTuesdays will not be themed—any topic is fine with us as long as it’s your best work and you’re no older than 19-years-old.

For information on submitting, read our guidelines here.



Join Our Staff!

cahoodaloodaling banner 2015

cahoodaloodaling is an online quarterly journal founded in 2012. We publish in the months of January, April, July, and October. As a collaborative journal, our quarterly issues are shaped by an eclectic staff and a revolving guest editor. Our calls for submissions, molded by our guest editors, are based on either a theme or a writing style. As such, our issues are ever-changing and our style ever-evolving. New team members will have opportunities to interact and work with other members of our international staff, as well as our contributors and guest editors. We are looking for diverse voices to add to our staff in several positions, including Production Editor, Special Feature Editor, Social Media Maven, Book Reviewer, and Book Review Editor.

Minimum age requirement for all positions is 16; no maximum. Being bilingual or a polyglot is a plus, but not a requirement. Individuals working inside or outside of academia are welcome. You are welcome to think of these positions as an internship and I am happy, as managing editor, to write letters of recommendation for any staff who performs their duties.

We are a collaborative publication and are looking for individuals who, beyond their specified duties, engage in our creative community. All members are added to our Facebook group and offer feedback and input as a team. We hope that by extending our staff, we can grow both as a journal and as individuals.

We believe that experiencing publishing from both working behind the scenes at a journal and by submitting to journals is important for our team members. For editor positions, we do require that applicants have published work prior to applying.



Production Editor

We are seeking to fill one Production Editor position. Production Editor will work directly under managing editor, Raquel Thorne.

Our Production Editor will be responsible for building pages for each issue. As such, our PE must have excellent skills. We are looking for a creative and visual individual to help translate our accepted submissions to our online platform. Must work well under deadlines, as the turn-around from final cuts to issue publication are at most 6 weeks, and at times up to a few days, before an issue goes live. Although PEs are not responsible for the bulk of editing, copyediting skills are a must as our PE will be last in line for reviewing work before it goes live.

Position is a minimum one year/four issue commitment.


Special Feature Editor(s)

We seek to fill one to two Special Feature Editor positions to work directly with our managing editor, Raquel Thorne. Special Feature Editor(s) will be responsible for maintaining our special feature gmail account and incoming proposals as well as soliciting work for special features. As our tastes are eclectic, so are our special features, which may take the form of community projects, collaborations, round tables, etc. SFE will pitch ideas to managing editor, Raquel Thorne, but will have much creative control over what they publish.

We are interested in bridging gaps in our creative community, between what is considered “literary” and that which is considered “not,” as well as supporting under-represented voices and producing a safe space for our eclectic, and often marginalized, creative community. Previous special features have included collaborative projects from writing groups to showcasing work from a super hero universe.

We are looking for self-starters. Applicants must be able to meet deadlines and have experience working with sites. Reliable computer access and an internet connection is a must.

Position is a minimum one year/four special feature commitment.


Social Media Maven

Our Social Media Maven will be responsible for promoting our published work on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. We are seeking someone who is familiar with these platforms, and who can help us promote our brand. Ideally, we want someone who can redesign our Tumblr to help us reach a broader audience. We do not have, but are open, to developing an Instagram presence and reviving our Ello account. Reliable computer access and an internet connection is a must. If you are also familiar with additional platforms, please let us know.

Position is a minimum six month requirement. Most duties will be required in the month following issue publication.


Book Reviewer/Book Review Editor

We are seeking 1-3 dedicated book reviewers. At cahoodaloodaling we accept unsolicited book review requests. Reviewers would select books from our requests and are expected to give honest reviews.

If you are interested in being our Book Review Editor, please indicate so in your application. Our BRE would be responsible for working with our staff, including readers who also may elect to do reviews, and as such would be responsible for line editing.

Position is a minimum six month/two issue commitment for reviewers, or a one year/four issue commitment for editors.


Additional roles may be created to suit excess, promising applicants. All positions at cahoodaloodaling are unpaid. Prior to applying, please read our current issue on our front page



To apply for a position, email Managing Editor Raquel Thorne at with the position you’re applying for in the subject line, and address the following questions:

The basics: Name and preferred pronouns, as well as location (timezone). Also feel free to tell us any demographic information you feel comfortable sharing, which can include disability, age, ethnicity, religion, political party, etc. I assure you, we are open to anyone but Trump supporters. Do not feel the need to share anything you are not comfortable sharing.

What does good literary citizenship mean to you?

What is your specialty/specialties? Poetry, Fiction, Nonfction, Hybrid, Visual Artist, etc.

Please tell us who you are both inside and outside of the literary community (250-500 words). Also use this as a space to also link us to previous work you have published, including personal blogs, or any work that is applicable to the position for which you are applying.

What are your personal prejudices? As an example: Raquel Thorne, the managing editor, is strongly prejudiced against work that sentimentalizes individuals as “angels”. And ghost metaphors. But all the dinosaur poems get her vote.

Do you have any special skills you can bring to our group? For example, do you know how to set up advertising on our site and find appropriate advertisers (to our mission/creative community)? Or, do you know how to set up Google Translate so that we can reach a broader audience?


Interview with Guest Editor Meggie Royer

Rhiannon Thorne TRARaquel Thorne: First, I want to say thank you Meggie for working on this issue for us. Personally, while it has been extremely rewarding, I have been finding that the work has produced a mixed set of emotions for me—from feelings of cathartic release through tears and gratitude for our creative community’s trust, to anger and shock at bearing witnessing their myriad of triggering experiences, and everything in between. What has editing our Trigger Warning issue been like for you?

MeggieMeggie Royer: Thank you, Raquel. Editing this issue has been a pleasure, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it. I also felt enormous gratitude at our contributors’ willingness to share such painful and intimate experiences with us, and to trust us with keeping them safe and in good hands. A good deal of what I felt while editing this issue can best be summed up as awe: awe, particularly, at the ability of individuals who have experienced things most of us could never imagine to turn those experiences into something not only moving, but sometimes even beautiful. Anger was also a key emotion in my editing of this issue. I feel anger not only at the life circumstances that led to our contributors’ various traumas, and at the perpetrators who enacted those traumas, but also at the fact that many of our contributors had never been able to share their stories until now, or felt as if they couldn’t. I feel incredibly proud of cahoodaloodaling and this issue for taking an important step in helping people fight against the silence they feel that they have to maintain about their traumas (whether through shame or threats from perpetrators, etc.). I’m proud of our contributors, and I’m proud of us.

RT: I am a big fan of Words Dance Publishing, who publishes a lot of important and innovative work. Your full length, The No You Never Listened To, published by them last year, is a volume I deeply believe in. Can you talk to us a little about your experiences writing, compiling, and finalizing this volume? Also, what was it like working with Amanda Oaks? And, for those seeking a home for their own transformative work, what suggestions do you have? (And please share a poem from the collection with us.)

MR: Writing The No You Never Listened To was an experience unlike one I’d ever really had until that point. As one might imagine, the most difficult part of publishing the volume was writing it. Sexual violence is something that lends itself so easily to shame and embarrassment, and often to denial. Writing the volume was painful, because it forced me to return to memories I tried so hard to keep down, but it also did something powerful: it reminded me, and reinforced, that what was done to me did happen, that it mattered, that it will always matter, and that my truth is the only truth that exists, and the only one that matters. Actually finalizing the volume and sending the final manuscript off to Amanda was thrilling and terrifying, because it signified that my story was about to be told, in full, for the first time.

I have never once regretted writing the volume or working with Amanda. I remember the day it was released, a friend of my rapist who had supported me for quite a long time contacted me to say he didn’t believe it was right to “profit financially and artistically off of something that may or may not have happened.” Needless to say, that was the end of that friendship, but honestly, working with Amanda made the severing of that tie so much easier. Her constant support and empathy reminded me that writing out a trauma is never, ever self-indulgent or conceited or wrong or laughable. The day the book came out, Amanda contacted me to say she knew it would be a difficult day full of a great deal of emotion, and that she was there if I needed to discuss anything or someone to turn to. That idea reinforced that there will always be someone who believes survivors, despite the overwhelming number who don’t. In all honesty, Amanda was more of a friend than my former, disbelieving friend ever was. And that mix of business partnership and friendship is so important in publishing.

As far as advice for those seeking a home for their own work goes, especially work about trauma, I would say this: Choose someone to work with who lets you go at your own pace. If a publisher or agent is ever trying to rush you into creating something too quickly, or isn’t sensitive to your own needs, drop them. A publishing partnership should be mutually beneficial. If you feel stretched or overwhelmed and whoever you’re working with refuses to work around that stress, then it’s probably not a good idea to continue with them. Also, if you’re working on a book or project that is centered around trauma, the actual experience of working with the publisher who will publish that book or project should never, ever be more traumatic than the topic of the work itself.

I would love for you to share this poem from the collection:

Daughter by Meggie Royer

Republished from Words Dance

RT: Last year you also founded the online literary magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, a “lit magazine dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.” I know as an editor it’s hard to pick favorites (making those final cuts are hard enough!) but can you share a few of the pieces which most moved you, or were most personally transformative for you?

MR:Sati” by Aarohi Narain
Witch Trial” by Kelsey Schmitt
You Can Be As Clean As You Want to Be” by Kiki Nicole
Persephone” by Kathie Rogers

I was moved by these pieces by the way some of them, especially “Sati” and “Witch Trial” combined elements of historical narratives with the present, offering an enchanting and angering timeline of the way women have been treated throughout history. Kiki’s piece is so familiar, almost comforting, in the way it presents the reader with ordinary details of a life disrupted, and the way the owner of that life copes with this disruption. And “Persephone,” well, it was everything I wanted out of an art piece for my first issue. A lot of people mistakenly believe that the story of Persephone and Hades is a love story. It’s not. It’s a story of abduction and deceit, and Kathie’s art depicts Persephone’s trials beautifully and creatively through the eyes of her model.


Trigger Warning will be published April 30th.


New Staff Member! Tiegan Dakin, Feature Contributor

Tiegan Dakincahoodaloodaling is excited to announce that Tiegan Dakin is joining our staff as a feature contributor! Tiegan will be curating a quarterly interview series of spoken word poets focused on poetry which does important work with social injustices. Look for her first interview in our upcoming issue, Trigger Warning, due out April 20th!

Tiegan Dakin is an emerging teenage writer and artist currently residing in Australia. Her work has previously appeared in Blue Bonnet Review, Squawk Back, The Legendary, and Gravel Literary Journal. She has also been shortlisted for the Poetry Object 2014 and 2015 contests.

Tiegan blogs on her blog, Harbour, and writes articles for Perth-based Avenoir Magazine in between her studies.

If she’s not sitting in front of her computer at home, you will probably find Tiegan riding her bike around town or visiting the local library to borrow books like I’m Watching You by Karen Rose, or a more challenging literary classic.

Brenda Shaughnessy’s poem, “Artless,” perfectly sums up her life story.


New Staff Member! Prasanna Surakanti, Feature Contributor

IMG_1215cahoodaloodaling is excited to announce that Prasanna Surakanti, from our third issue, is joining our staff as a feature contributor!

Prasanna’s work has previously appeared in Terracotta Typewriter, Ignite, Orion headless, Urban Confustions, Magic Cat Press, The Applicant, The BluePrint Review, Spillway, cahoodaloodaling, the anthology Something’s Brewing (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014), and the collaborative chapbook The Motion in Motive, among others.

Prasanna’s reader self is best summed up by the first few paragraphs of Ben Dolan’s essay, “Crafting a Nonfiction Ending When Your Subject Isn’t Dead Yet.”

When she is not tweeting about something great that she just read, she is looking for that something that prompts her to write. To find out how those missions end, read our review of her collection Family Forever.

If you are in the Baltimore area Mid Feb-March, her collaborative work with artist Janet Little Jeffers in The Light Ekphrastic will be on display at David Mikow Art Gallery.



“Prasanna’s Parrot Picks & Prompts” will spotlight work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice.

Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.

Our first installment of “Prasanna’s Parrot Picks & Prompts” will be out at the end of the month!