Friday, January 20, 2017

Dear Still Crazy Writers and Readers:

With the January 2017 issue, Still Crazy is entering its tenth year of publication.

I have decided that it’s time for it to take a sabbatical and will not publish a July 2017 issue.
Next year, I will decide whether or not to continue publishing the magazine.

The reasons are both business and personal. The business part is that the magazine limps along but earns little more than enough to cover expenses. (I have never taken a salary. It’s been a “labor of love,” as they say.)  This is pretty much the way it is for most literary magazines, in particular, independent mags not associated with an institution or organization.

Some literary magazines have taken to charging a small administrative fee for submissions to cover their expenses. I have thought about that but resisted it. (If you’re interested in reading some pros and cons about submission fees, I have posted some articles on the Still Crazy blog, and I would be interested in hearing your comments.)

The personal part is that I would like to spend more time on my own writing—in particular, a novel that I am presently into for some 50,000 words.

Finances notwithstanding, Still Crazy has enriched my life in many other ways. I have met many wonderful writers (via email) and am amazed at the writing skills, the talents, and the variety of interests of over-fifty writers. I believe we have given some writers the encouragement to pursue future writing efforts and have published some pieces that might not have found a “home” elsewhere.

The January 2017 issue is available for purchase on the web site: Selected poems and excerpts from stories and essays can be found there, too. The current issue is some ten pages longer than usual.

My editor’s email will remain active, so you can reach me at with comments and questions.


Barbara Kussow

Monday, November 2, 2015

Still Crazy can now be purchased using credit cards (Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express). If you wish to use that method of payment, contact

Monday, September 14, 2015

Having just read a series of short story submissions that involve death and loss, I'd like to remind authors that a magazine that publishes too many pieces with these themes would be dreary and unreadable. I also think it is difficult to write about these themes in an artful way. In an essay that appears in Writing After Retirement; Tips from Successful Retired Writers (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), I consider themes in over-fifty writing and address this issue, in particular. To quote myself:
". . . I do not disregard the darker aspects of aging; I just do not want to overemphasize them. I have the feeling that this is the case even for magazines that do not focus on this age group."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Interview of Mary Barnet in Still Crazy

The interview below appears in the July 2015 issue of STILL CRAZY.


Carol Smallwood

Mary Barnet was nominated a second time for a Pushcart Prize for her recently published
86 Sonnets for the 21st Century (Casa de Snapdragon, 2015). Her books are accompanied by the artwork of Richard E. Schiff, a Life Member of the Art Students League of New York.
Mary is Senior Editor of, the longest continuously publishing poetry journal on the internet, founded in 1996.

1. Please describe your website and your duties as editor/writer:
I founded back in the web primitive days of the 20th Century, 1996, to be precise. That was when few webzines existed, and our advertising was primarily guerilla style; bumper stickers on walls all over New York City, ads in small periodicals as well as Poets & Writers. Early on, we introduced streaming video, and in 1997, we won a Webby Award for our streaming video. That got us a write up in USA Today by Sam Meddis, and we have grown steadily by the year. Our difference has always been the strict criteria we use to publish poets. We are not snobs, but we want to bring the best to our readership who have now come to expect that from us.

Over the years I have added to the mix of unsolicited submissions from which I choose, and then present. There are also Features by invitation by Andrena Zawinski; live poet interviews by Grace Cavalieri; reviews by Grace, Joan Gelfand, and others; and PoetryFilms by our own Richard E. Schiff.

2. Tell us about your career:
I began writing poetry as a small child, seriously at 16 years of age. I had reason, early on, to travel into South America at a time in the volatile days of the mid ‘60s. By 1968, I was living on my own in London, and there I put together the earlier writings and moved my work on. Nineteen sixty-eight was a pretty hip time to be in Britain, and I was in the middle of all that Piccadilly circus stuff in my man’s stovepipe hat and high boots and a wild Victorian embroidered cape I had picked up for a song. 

I returned to New York City in the early ‘70s and have written and published, since then, in many publications, including Crossroads, Gusto, New Worlds Unlimited, The New Jersey Poetry Society Anthology, Funky Dog Publishing, Recursive Angel, The Greenwich Village Gazette, The Poem Factory, Numbat, The Pittsburgh Review, and elsewhere .
Also, I was the Featured Writer in a special edition of Poet magazine. This was followed by my own chapbooks including Orchidia, Proud to be a New American, Landscape and Dad’s Shoes.  These lead to my books, The New American/Selected Poems (Gilford Press, 2006), Arrival (Casa de Snapdragon, 2010) and now, 86 Sonnets for the 21st Century (Casa de Snapdragon, 2015). Both of the latter were nominated for Pushcart Prizes.

3. Which recognitions/achievements have encouraged you the most?
My public readings that began when I was sixteen. I read at The Grace Church, Cage Figaro, and The Baggot Inn, all in Greenwich Village. Later, in 1970, I read at one of my now husband’s openings at the Avanti Galleries on east 72nd street.  I have also read recently at Princeton for the New Jersey Poetry Association.

In 86 Sonnets for the 21st Century (Casa de Snapdragon, 2015), my sonnets are written for the modern English language. Sonnets are poems, used by, among others, Plutarch, Michael Angelo and William Shakespeare with a specified rhyme scheme and meter. Grace Cavalieri (host of “The Poet and The Poem,” interviews presented by The Library of Congress) and Joan Gelfand (National Book Critics Circle) both admired their originality and readers found their modern presentation of an iconoclastic poetry form refreshing as well.
For a sample, here is one of my recent sonnets:

My Sum
When I find myself in some reality of pain
I know old age can cripple us;
still  there is no need to make a fuss.
I won’t be able to travel to Spain;
many are the places I’ll never visit by boat or plane.
I can’t climb the steps of a bus;
I go so slow some folk just cuss.
Oh ! How I wish I could dance in the rain!

But nothing is lost in my craft;
I write with more facility than in times past.
I’m so happy with this some might think me daft.
All are friends to whom I serve up my words’ repast;
glad will I be if my life is no more than my writing’s sum!
                        March 2015

4. What writers have influenced you the most?
I have never allowed myself to be overly influenced, as I began writing before my mind was full of poets and poems. Chinese and Japanese poetry had an effect on me; brevity is the hallmark of the Haiku, after all. Economy of words goes along with our ideals of wisdom. Doesn’t everyone want to be the person of the “least words”?

5. How has the Internet benefited you?
Well, it gave me the idea that with a www you can reach all the way around the world with your circulation, automatically! And not a single tree paid for the thousands of pages of poetry we have generated in the past 19 years!

6. What classes have helped you the most?
The writing workshops I took part in at what was then The New School, I think it was in the ‘80s, or early ‘90s when Robert Pinsky was there, were invaluable to me.
The Master Class I took with Gerald Stern when I attended a Writers’ Conference at Williams College was also very enlightening to me.

7. What advice would you give others?
Be your own muse and inspiration and remember poetry is an art and a serious craft, requiring you read poetry and write poetry, every day if possible. I say possible, and really as a poet I can barely keep myself from poetry. I am very lucky my husband fancies himself a chef. That gives me a little time to work, and I eat well every night.

8. What is your favorite quotation?
This says everything:
“Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.” – John Donne∎

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Does your life have a soundtrack?      Have you ever chafed when a store clerk assumed you were a “senior” or when a young whippersnapper called you ma’am?

These topics and more are explored in the July 2015 issue of Still Crazy.

This issue also contains the first interview published by the magazine. It features poet Mary Barnet, interviewed by Carol Smallwood.

Go to for ordering information.  Selected poems and excerpts from essays/stories are available for viewing on the site for both this issue and previous issues.  You must register to read them.

Still Crazy is an independent magazine that receives no funding from organizations or institutions. We appreciate your support, whether from subscriptions, single-issue purchases, or donations.

Yours truly,

Barbara Kussow


Still Crazy