April 30, 2016 — RHINO at The Bookstall Celebration of National Independent Bookstores Day

the book stall
We’re so pleased to celebrate National Independent Bookstores Day at The Book Stall.  From their website: “Please join us for a day of prizes and surprises including give-aways, author conversations, snacks and games….in short something for readers of all ages.”


811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL

3-4:00 RHINO Booth

RHINO Writes! Poems To Go. Three RHINO editors will be on hand to write poems on demand for a small donation of $5! Also, pick up your fresh copy of RHINO 2016, along with free RHINO swag, buttons, and bookmarks. Learn more about our ongoing events join our email list.


4:00-4:30  Reading from RHINO 2016 contributors and RHINO editors
RHINO Reads! Book Stall

J. Max Barry is an Evanston native currently working, writing, and folding origami in Chicago. A poem of his was included in the anthology, A Writers’ Congress: Chicago Poets on Barack Obama’s Inauguration. He has recently written a critical analysis of hand imagery in Emily Dickinson’s poems.


Virginia Bell is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press 2012).  Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and have appeared in Fifth Wednesday, Rogue Agent, Gargoyle, Cider Press ReviewSpoon River Poetry ReviewPoet Lore, and other journals and anthologies.  She was a finalist for the 2016 Lamar York Prize in Creative Nonfiction and she is a Senior Editor with Rhino Poetry, an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago and DePaul University, and the recipient of a Ragdale Foundation residency. 


Gail Goepfert – Gail Goepfert is a poet, amateur photographer, and teacher.  Currently, she is an associate editor of RHINO Poetry and teaches online English courses for Rasmussen College.  Her first chapbook, A Mind on Pain, was released by Finishing Line Press in early in 2015.   Twice she’s received Pushcart nominations.  Recent publications include Blue Lyra, Crab Orchard and Jet Fuel Reviews, Florida English, Examined Life Journal, and Room Magazine.  Her photographs appear online at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Olentangy Review, 3Elements Review and on the cover of February 2015 Rattle.  She lives, writes, and snaps photos in the Chicagoland area.  


Ann Hudson‘s first book, The Armillary Sphere, was chosen by Mary Kinzie for the Hollis Summers Prize and was published by Ohio University Press. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Chautauqua, Cider Press Review, Crab Orchard Review, North American Review, Orion, Rhino, Spoon River Poetry Review, Seattle Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Evanston, and teaches at Chiaravalle Montessori School.


Dipika Mukherjee’s poetry publications include “The Third Glass of Wine” (Kolkata: Writer’s Workshop, 2015) and “The Palimpsest of Exile” (Edmonton: Rubicon Press, 2009). Her work appears in publications around the world including Asia Literary Review, World Literature Today, Rhino, Chicago Quarterly Review, Postcolonial Text and South Asian Review. She has won multiple awards for her fiction, including the Virginia Prize for Fiction for her second novel “Shambala Junction” (UK, 2016), The Gayatri GaMarsh Award for Literary Excellence (USA, 2015), and the Platform Flash Fiction Prize (India, 2009).  She is Contributing Editor for Chicago Quarterly Review and Jaggery and curates an Asian/American Reading Series in Chicago.


Angela Narciso Torres’s first book, Blood Orange, won the Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Kyoto Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Colorado Review, and Drunken Boat. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Illinois Arts Council, and Ragdale Foundation. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she serves as a senior poetry editor for RHINO, a publicity coordinator for Woman Made Gallery Literary Events, and a reader for New England Review.

RHINO Celebrates 40 Years | Haki Madhubuti Receives 2016 Paladin Award

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Susanna Lang reads a poem by Helen Degen Cohen.

Susanna Lang reads a poem by Helen Degen Cohen.


Tina Boyer Brown

Tina Boyer Brown


DSC_0937 Aricka Foreman

Aricka Foreman

Teresa Dzieglewicz

Teresa Dzieglewicz


Katie Hartsock

Katie Hartsock

Ann Hudson

Ann Hudson

Sarah Jefferis

Sarah Jefferis

Sarah Kim

Sarah Kim

Simon Mermelstein

Simon Mermelstein

Pamela Miller

Pamela Miller


Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee


Mike Puican

Mike Puican


Kenyatta Rogers presents Haki Madhubuti with the 2016 Paladin Award “for outstanding contributions to poetry in Illinois.”


Beth McDermott reads “For the Consideration of Poets” from Haki Madhubuti’s book Run Toward Fear.


(from left) Valerie Wallace, Carol Eding, Virginia Bell, Jacob Saenz, Haki Madhubuti, Rochelle Jones, Jan Bottiglieri, David Jones, Deborah Rosen, Angela Narciso Torres, Ralph Hamilton, Gail Goepfert, Kenyatta Rogers, Lisa Croneberg, Beth McDermott.


Photos by Marc Monaghan.

Check our Facebook Album RHINO 2016 Release Party for more photos!

April 17, 2016 RHINO 2016 Release Party in Chicagoland


Help us celebrate the release of RHINO 2016!



2 – 4:00 PM

at the home of Ralph Hamilton:

      630 Clinton Place, Evanston, IL


Featuring these local poets from RHINO 2016

Tina Boyer Brown

Teresa Dzieglewicz

Aricka Foreman

Katie Hartsock

Ann Hudson

Sarah Jefferis

Sarah Kim

Simon Mermelstein

Pam Miller

Dipika Mukherjee

Mike Puican

plus more RHINO poets at the open mike!*

We will award poet, publisher, writer, teacher, and activist Haki Madhubuti the 2016 Paladin Award for outstanding service to Illinois poetry.

RHINO 2016 & other delicious publications and accoutrements

will be available for purchase & perusal.


*Poets who have appeared in RHINO and one poem limit, please!

Sign-up sheet will be at the door.

rhino cookies

“Poetry is often an antidote” – a note from the editors, and preview to RHINO 2016


December 2015


Dear friends,


Most of us stand inarticulate at some crucial moment, unable to find the words to coax understanding, to offer solace, to fire courage, to convey regret or forgiveness, to affirm love. Moreover, there are things we simply fail to “see” because we have no name for them, things we fail to “feel” because we don’t have words ready to express the currents of emotion that flow deep within us. And some occurrences are so dazzling or so horrendous as to render us mute.


Yet poetry is, in Eliot’s phrase, “a raid on the inarticulate.” It continually pushes against the limitations of language. Thus poetry is often an antidote to all that shuts us down, that makes life meager, thinner, more numb, more complacent, less meaningful. Poems can magnify our sense of presence in the world, open us up to the mystery and wonder, no less than the troubled reality and robust beauty all around us.


For 40 years RHINO has sought to be such a “raider,” providing an annual selection of the best contemporary poetry in English. This anniversary year’s edition is no exception.

Some of this coming issue’s poems bring to life the ordinary, fugitive, often plangent details of dailiness:


I insert the otoscope in the patient’s right sound cave. A’s and H’s cling to the tympanic membrane like tiny fruit bats                                 

Max Barry


A bird I did not see struck / the glockenspiel in her throat.                                                                      

– Malisa Garlieb


Where the water / touches the land just // to leave it, scared of salt / and every last boot heel, // unsure of what to / wear to interviews.        

– Michael Estes


Other poems capture life’s small and large incongruities, some comic, some provocative:


capitalism troubles me especially / dear aliens / when I think about supply and /how I demand toile patterned trousers                                

Doug Paul Case


When the businessmen meet / by the coat check, it’s summer // and the farthest stars’ final light / passes through the astronomer’s telescope.      

John Gosslee


Of course, many poems give voice to the transitions, trials and abiding struggles of life:


nothing there son, he seems to say / looking at me, a word loosening/ in him barely audible, parched, / his tongue running along the dryness / of his lip. We’re past forgiveness.  

– Adam Chiles


shorty shine shonuff but she got issues / shellshocked from block showdowns   glocks & shotguns / chiraq’s finest   minus shrapnel

& shit    

– t’ai freedom ford


The evening lamp in her hand gleams lambent through the fog; / Her voice merges into the howling wind. With abundance, desolation.                 

– Dipika Mukherjee

Foxes will fox in various ways and hedgehogs curl fetal, / the one good trick they  know. And still, the question of how to live / with no filter…

– Mathew Landrum


At 40 years old, RHINO remains committed to producing a beautiful and compelling print journal. Yet this year we also grieve the loss of Helen Degen Cohen, the singular poet, Senior Editor, and one of RHINO’s founders. In keeping with Helen’s vision, we continue to foster and support Illinois poetry and poets with workshops, readings, events, awards, resources, and information, including our monthly RHINO Reads! poetry series and The Poetry Forum workshop series.


We have also expanded our online resources for local, national, and international poetry audiences. RHINO’s website and Big Horn Blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter posts, support our print publication and local events. The blog features essays, articles, interviews, audio poems, photos, and online publication of prize-winning poems. Six months after print publication, all published poems are now presented online, with placement occurring throughout the year. Our website receives more than 7000-8000 unique visitors per month.


Rhino-GivingImageThanks to you—our readers, fellow poets, our friends, and family—RHINO continues to thrive. As an independent, all-volunteer journal, we rely on you for your support. Your contributions and subscriptions continue to make up 75% of RHINO’s income. We thank you for making RHINO possible for the past 39 years.`


Wishing you peace, poetry, and inspiration for 2016 and beyond,
The editors of RHINO


Virginia Bell     Jan Bottiglieri     Lisa Croneberg     Carol Eding
Gail Goepfert     Ralph Hamilton     David Jones
Beth McDermott     Kenyatta Rogers     Deborah Nodler Rosen     Jacob Saenz
Angela Narciso Torres     Valerie Wallace

Donation Levels

Pablo Neruda   –     $25
Elizabeth Bishop   –    $35*
Dante Alighieri  –   $50*
Rumi  –   $100* +

*Donations of $35 or more include a complimentary copy of RHINO 2016

Donations accepted online through our secure JustGive portal: http://rhinopoetry.org/donate/
or mail your donation to RHINO, PO Box 591, Evanston, IL 60204

RHINO 2016 will ship in April, 2016
All contributions are tax deductible.


RHINO Reads! Open Mic and Featured Readers Quraysh Ali Lansana & Dipika Mukherjee 4-24-15



Open Mike        6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Readers        6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Brothers K

500 Main St.



Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, a children’s book, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute and the Red Earth MFA Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma City University. He is also a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The Walmart Republic w/ Christopher Stewart (Mongrel Empire Press, September 2014) and reluctant minivan (Living Arts Press, May 2014).

Dipika Mukherjee‘s fictional and academic work has focused on Southeast Asia, and especially Malaysia. Her debut novel Thunder Demons (Gyaana, 2011) is based on the current socio-political situation in Malaysia and was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize. She has edited two anthologies of Southeast Asian short stories: Silverfish New Writing 6 (Silverfish, 2006) and The Merlion and Hibiscus (Penguin, 2002). Her poetry, The Palimpsest of Exile, was published by Rubicon Press in Canada in 2009. She won the 2014 Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Award for Literary Excellence and the Platform Flash Fiction competition in April 2009. She is Contributing Editor of Jaggery (A Desilit Arts and Literature Journal) as well as a founding member at Asia Pacific Writers & Translators. She curates an Asian/American Reading Series for the Guild Literary Complex, Chicago.  She now teaches Sociolinguistics at Northwestern University.