ISSUE 56: JUNE 2015 



Matt Warren, contributor and Gene's son

Once upon a time in 1998, Gene Warren Doty published a collection of his poems, Zero: Thirty Ghazals.  In those days, the Twin Towers were bustling with accountants, Apple was a has-been struggling to survive, and the ghazal was a poetic form little known in English and very vaguely defined.

Zero was the last of Gene's ten published compilations of his own poetry.  The literary efforts of his remaining years were devoted mainly to presenting the works of others in The Ghazal Page (then at, starting with just three ghazals by two poets in August 1999. Nearly 16 years later, the English ghazal is much more widely known and has taken a more definite yet flexible form, informed by Classical tradition and by the explorations of scores of excellent poets.

Although by 2014, Gene had decided to retire from The Ghazal Page, he was always open to the possibility that someone else would take it on. Had his health not declined so much during his final year, he would likely have pursued this possibility more vigorously. As a sometimes-contributor and as his son, I am glad to see The Ghazal Page continue under the leadership of Holly Jensen; I believe that Gene would also have been pleased.

Changes are to be expected with new management, as Gene well knew. But some things remain the same: The Ghazal Page will still host good new poetry and ongoing experimentation within the ghazal form. I am grateful to Holly (and to others who have helped out) for renewing my father's most prominent project; like many others, I wait eagerly to see the new Ghazal Page take flight.

Matt Warren, 2015


Holly Jensen

Issue 56 teems with 50 poems by writers from four continents. You'll find traditional Persian ghazals of every variation, experimental ghazals (in particular, Karla Linn Merrifield prods, pushes, and plays with conventions and Dawn V. Randall further fragments the form), tercetfree versehybridand even a collaborative poem...  [READ MORE]



August, Judith Skillman
 Shimmering Substance," Jean L. Kreiling
Honor, Siham Karami
Beautiful, Michele Waering
Download 43: “Letter from a Very Horny Bitch," Postmarked 1971, Karla Linn Merrifield
Kid, Michele Waering
Finding Rumi in a Wine Bar, Barbara Lydecker Crane
Ghazal for a Hunter, Liùsaidh
In Isfahan at Hasht Behesht, M. Shayne Bell
Constabulary Note, Antonia Clark
Villanghazalle with fauna, Esther Greenleaf Murer
Hypatia's Revenge, Beatriz F. Fernandez
Ghazal from Cuba, Linda Umans
Ghazal 1, Sana Shah
Paraclausithyron, Antonia Clark
Welcome Wagon, Dawn V. Randall


In Egypt, Siham Karami
Aaylah Writes to Her Lover, Janice D. Soderling
Inflammation, Judith Skillman
Eagle Eye, Dawn V. Randall
Ghazal for Ten Bad Dates, Liùsaidh
The Blow-Up Doll Blues, Tom Hennemann
Goodbye to Once Before, Pattie Palmer-Baker
Ghazal Upon Hearing of a Mutual Friend's Death, Beatriz F. Fernandez
Fire Ghazal, Ellen Pickus 
Solar Ghazal, Karla Linn Merrifield
Lines on My Backhand, Roger Sedarat
Deceased Gods, Alison Armstrong-Webber, Antonia Clark, Mignon Ariel King, Esther Greenleaf Murer & Terry Ofner
Ghazal Underneath, Deborah Kreuze
I Dance Macabre, Lukas DeVries
Ghazal for the Vultures, Linda Umans
Once, Suzanne Herschell
Ghazal 4, Sana Shah


Back Then, William Dennis
Years, Matt Warren
Februrary 21, Tracy Fiebiger
Forgiving Tree, Dawn V. Randall
Prime Mover Ghazal, Jean Syed
Ghazal 3, Sana Shah
Twinned, Judith Skillman
Our Appetites Devoured Us, Sita Inas Mere Nada
Rules, Esther Greenleaf Murer
The Ghazal Ghazal (Or How to Write a Ghazal), Beatriz F. Fernandez
Ghazal of the Contrary Poem, Antonia Clark
It, Barbara Lydecker Crane
Inside Out, Barbara Lydecker Crane
The Four-Master's Constellation of Sails (Fore to Aft), Karla Linn Merrifield
Evening, Mohammad Zahid
Dreams, Mohammad Zahid
Night, Mohammad Zahid


In Search of the Contemporary Ghazal
A review of R.W. Watkins' anthology, Contemporary Ghazals
Holly Jensen
Contemporary Ghazals belongs in the library of every ghazal lover 

Pithy, punchy, potent, and complete, the ghazal's couplet is the original tweet... [READ MORE]