Carolyn Raphael

Stephanie Dancing

In memory of Stephanie Davis

She moved through air and made it glow—
her body chronicled the joy.
When music beckoned, fast or slow,
she moved through air and made it glow.

The lucky ones who watched her know
the grace that time could not destroy.
She moved through air and made it glow;
her body chronicled the joy.

While You're Away

For my husband on the eve of his surgery

While you're away I'll shun the rose,
the cool night-breeze that sweetly blows,
the trilling of the cardinal's song.
Somehow it suddenly seems wrong
to revel when the pleasure goes.

And yet my tree hydrangea grows
with daily confidence. Who knows?
Perhaps I also can be strong
while you're away.

Without your buoyant smile that shows
the spirit of the man I chose,
without your often off-key song
that strives for Wagner (not too long),
I'll mimic coping, I suppose,
while you're away.


Carolyn Raphael retired from the English Department at Queensborough Community College, CUNY, after more than thirty years of teaching. She is the author of The Most Beautiful Room in the World (David Robert Books), Dancing with Bare Feet (Kelsay Books), and two chapbooks, Diagrams of Bittersweet (Somers Rocks Press) and Grandma Poems—Not Too Sweet (Kelsay Books). She has published, among other places, in Blue Unicorn, The Formalist, The Lyric, and Oberon. She is the poetry coordinator of Great Neck Plaza in Great Neck, New York. Her project, “Poetry in the Plaza,” places a poem each month on local bulletin boards and on the village website, much as “Poetry in Motion” places poems on the subway. She also coordinates the annual Great Neck Plaza Poetry Contest.


Kris Beaver
Catherine Chandler
Mary Cresswell
Catherine Fitzpatrick
Nicole Caruso Garcia
Katie Hartsock
Jean L. Kreiling
Diane Lee Moomey
T. R. Poulson
Catherine Esposito Prescott
Carolyn Raphael
Claudia Schatz
Leslie Schultz


The Poetry by the Sea Spring Celebration is available for viewing on Youtube as a permanent memorial and tribute to Mezzo Cammin's founder, Dr. Kim Bridgford (1959-2020). Click here to watch.

The 2022 Poetry by the Sea conference will run May 24-27 2022.

My work contributes to the dialogue among feminist writers, historians, critics, and artists to define a space for creative work and agency for women. Through my figurative paintings, I challenge notions about the female body, redefine myths, and recover the lives of historical women. I draw upon my knowledge of art history, symbolism, and iconography to create rich stories about the women I paint. By projecting my own likeness into many of the portraits I create or by using models, I identify with the women I paint and explore my own sense of being an artist and woman in relation to accomplished women across centuries and cultures.

Here we see the pages from my newest artist book, I Wake Again, based on the life of Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet, Elizabeth Siddal. The poems are written by Kim Bridgford, who was a dear friend for 30 plus years. The pages are printed in lithography and the initial letter of each poem is done in silkscreen. The font of the poems is Morris Font. The ink color is graphite. I have reimagined key moments in Elizabeth’s life, such as her birth, her writing poetry, reading, painting, and her death. Each book contains red hair and has been bound by Maureen Cummins.

32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
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