Call for submissions for Footsteps 步: A poetry anthology honoring homeless veterans

Footsteps: Poems for Homeless Veterans (due out on Cave Moon Press, 2016)

Footsteps: Poems for Homeless Veterans (due out on Cave Moon Press, 2016)

Since 2006, Cave Moon Press (CMP) – a family-owned publishing company out of Yakima, WA – has been “bridging global and local issues through the arts.” Solid Ground has been fortunate to partner with CMP over the past four years.

Editor Doug Johnson says, “The model of CMP is simple: We ask poets and artists to collaborate with the cause of their choice. Poets. Books. Community. Why such a simple model? Because complicated erases our humanity. There are so many causes it is easy to lose track of the people we are helping.”

Call for submissions for Footsteps

To celebrate 10 years of helping communities, Cave Moon Press will produce a new book to aid homeless veterans in 2016 and is requesting original poems centered around the theme of footsteps. They encourage poets to take license in interpreting whose footsteps you honor, and translations are welcome. To apply:

  • Submit poetry anytime between April to September 2015
  • Send to:
  • Subject line of email: Footsteps for Homeless Veterans-Poet Name
  • Include your name, physical address and email as a cover letter
  • Submit 2-5 poems in one MS Word document, and name the file with your name and the date you submit (ex: FirstLastName_041515)
  • Preferred fonts: 12 pt Garamond in Latin alphabetic languages; SimSun preferred in Asian Kanji

More about the Footsteps project

Doug writes, “This is a book of witness to the invisible. As a poet holds their duty to the page, soldiers hold their duty to serve. Others hold their duty to the environment. Cars wage war on the environment. Politics change like the newspaper wrapping fish. We all know of someone setting out on their quest without ever getting the homecoming of Odysseus. When duties disillusion, people wander. The invisible still wander. Write to honor the ignored. Write a poem. Help a friend.”

This book intends to honor people, not causes. After publication it is hoped that each accepted poet will combine readings around food and music with proceeds going to the local homeless network of their choice – e.g., your local VA, YMCA/YWCA, or nonprofits with programs that serve formerly homeless vets (such as Solid Ground’s Santos Place, etc.).

Cave Moon Press & Solid Ground

In 2011, CMP published Denise Calvetti Michaels’ Rustling Wrens, and she chose to donate a portion of sales proceeds to Solid Ground and also spread the word about Solid Ground during her readings. Similarly, when poet Esther Altshul Helfgott published Dear Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Diary & Poems in 2013 and Listening to Mozart: Poems of Alzheimer’s in 2014, she designated proceeds toward Solid Ground’s Penny Harvest youth philanthropy program (which her granddaughter participated in before the program sunsetted in summer of 2014).

As Doug puts it, “Poets write. Poets read. So far poets have found a home at Solid Ground, and CMP is grateful and happy to bring awareness to their great work.” He adds that, “CMP has been able to help other groups around the country. Each nonprofit and poet set up what works in their community. They know their needs. They have passions for their people.” With the publication of Footsteps 步 in 2016, CMP will continue their commitment to creating poetry and art partnerships that support social change.

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A poetic partnership: Rustling Wrens & Solid Ground

Rustling Wrens front cover

When you purchase Rustling Wrens by Denise Calvetti Michaels on, a portion of the proceeds will support Solid Ground. (Cover art, “Bloom V” by Christy Michaels Tremblay)

Poet Denise Calvetti Michaels is a teacher, a mother and a former children’s human services provider. While she has previously published many pieces in a variety of journals and publications, her first book of poetry has just hit the shelves: Rustling Wrens, published by Cave Moon Press. Her rich poetry depicts family life and the human condition through the vivid imagery of nature and the environment.

A published book is an enormous accomplishment in itself, but Denise has even greater aspirations for Rustling Wrens: She hopes to turn it into a vehicle to build community, inspire others to take the risk to put words on paper as a healing form of expression, and also help support Solid Ground’s work. To this end, a portion of all proceeds from her book sales will go to Solid Ground, and she plans to encourage her readers to donate to Solid Ground above and beyond the list price. (To support Solid Ground by purchasing Rustling Wrens, please visit

Denise connected with Solid Ground first as a supporter of our Statewide Poverty Action Network’s advocacy work – which builds grassroots power to end causes of poverty and create opportunities for everyone to prosper – and she felt a connection with the shared mission to address racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty. But Solid Ground’s direct services resonate with her previous work with families with children at various stages of homelessness. She says, “It really exposed me to the complexity for families; I realized from my experience how the important thing is to really create a community net.”

She chose Solid Ground for this creative partnership because, “I think this is where I need to be. I’m at a point in my life where it really matters to me if I feel an organization has certain pieces in place. Addressing racism, addressing inequities – that’s what’s really important.” Additionally, her publisher, Cave Moon Press, has the unique mission “to bridge global and local issues through the literary arts.” Denise says, “To feel that a book that you publish is not just about the writer – but also it’s about engagement with the community – just really made sense to me.”

Denise also received a 4Culture 2012 Artist Grant, which will enable her to provide poetry readings and writing workshops at local libraries, community centers and classrooms over the next 18 months. As part of this process, she eventually hopes to provide workshops for the Solid Ground community, including families who access our services. “Working with Solid Ground is an opportunity to come back and say, ‘This book that is a lot about family – and that I will be using to offer workshops for families – will also benefit Solid Ground.”

Denise is just now beginning to schedule readings and arrange workshops around King County. For books purchased directly from Denise at a reading or event, she plans to encourage buyers to make a donation to Solid Ground above and beyond the book price.

Tonight, Friday, September 7th, 5:30-8:30 pm, she’ll read samples of her poems along with other writers and artists sharing their work at the Artist Trust event: A Celebration of Washington Artists Reception at the Washington Convention Center (800 Convention Place, Seattle, 98101-3550).

For updates on her schedule, visit her blog, Rustling Wrens, poems by Denise Calvetti Michaels – or stay in touch with Solid Ground via Facebook and Twitter.

To purchase Rustling Wrens, please visit and a portion of the proceeds will go to Solid Ground. We are thrilled that Denise and Cave Moon Press have chosen Solid Ground for this unique partnership.


Luminous, delicate, sensual, mournful – Denise Calvetti Michaels’ first collection of poems transports us into the land of memory, juxtaposing Mediterranean and Southwestern geographers, with detours to other sites, from post-Katrina New Orleans to war-torn Iraq and Viet Nam. And while some of these locations remain mere ghost-like names of the places where loved ones have gone, the voice of the poet, lulling and relentless, roots them in the terrain of a past that must be recalled again and again. There is a dream-like, hypnotic quality to these poems, and the reader willingly surrenders.”

—EDVIDGE GIUNTA, author of Writing with an Accent
Contemporary Italian American Women Authors

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