Selected Books

The Orchard Street Press is very pleased to announce the release of Stronger When We Touch, the remarkable and engaging collection of letter-poems exchanged by Cathy Cultice Lentes and Wendy McVicker (both of Southeast Ohio) during the time of the Covid pandemic.

About Stronger When We Touch, Richard Hague, author of Public Hearings and its sequel Continued Cases, writes: “This heartfelt volume of letter-poems stands out among the many records—poems, essays, memoirs, stories—arisen during the quarantine times of the pandemic, not only intimate glances of constrained daily life, but reflections of the plight of mothers, wives, and children, the life challenges of achieving selfhood as women and writers, vividly aware of the woods, the seas, the flora and fauna of their world.”

Pauletta Hansel, author of Friend and Heartbreak Tree, notes: “These letter-poems are remarkable for both their intimacy and accessibility, reaching into the joy and pain of memory and speaking of the loss, uncertainty, and political unrest from which they grew, but always with the awareness of the miracles around us…”

Wendy McVicker and Cathy Cultice Lentes admired each other’s work from afar before becoming good friends and have often published in the same literary journals and anthologies, most recently, I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices (Sheila- Na-Gig Editions, 2022).

Stronger When We Touch is available for $17 both online and via the mail from:

The Orchard Street Press

P.O. Box 280
Gates Mills, Ohio 44040 ; (web)

“I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing” — Ohio’s Appalachian Voices” is an anthology focused on the unique culture of Ohio’s Appalachian population. A one-of-a-kind collection, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Published by Sheila-Na-Gig Inc. March 1, 2022

Mark Halliday, Director of Creative Writing, Ohio University writes:

“This abundant anthology encompasses many styles and vantage points and backgrounds, creating a richly detailed tapestry of human experience in Appalachian Ohio. There is a pervasive sense of stoical courage in dealing with the rough edges of life; and many poems recognize and honor that struggle in the lives of past generations. The cumulative evocation of imaginative persistence in wooded valleys and on winding hilly roads and in hundreds of towns is seriously moving.”

Dinty W. Moore, Author of The Mindful Writer writes:

“I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices brings to life the graceful rolling hills, the pockets and valleys, the generous souls, the vivid fruits and plants and birdlife that make Appalachian Ohio so entirely unforgettable. This diverse collection of precise, evocative poems sings the praises of a singular place and a people. A truly wonderful book.”

Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility

Published: April 30, 2019
Cynren Press


2019 SILVER Winner for Women’s Studies

Are there moments in your life when your femaleness is a source of power or hardship? When does your voice ring its clearest? When have you been silenced?

Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility brings together international poets and essayists, both award winning and emergent, to answer these questions with raw, honest meditations that speak to women of all races, nationalities, and sexual orientations. It is an anthology of unforgettable stories both humorous and frightening, inspirational and sensual, employing traditional poetry and prose alongside exciting experimental forms. Feminine Rising celebrates women’s differences, while embracing the source of their sameness–the unique experience of womanhood.

Buy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Bookshop

Praise for Feminine Rising

Feminine Rising embraces less frequently heard voices, including those of rural and working women, and does what the best anthologies do: builds force through its collective wave. For all the pain here, there’s solace in the book’s very act of reinvigorating an ongoing conversation.

Karen Rigby (May/June 2019) Foreword Reviews

Getting the Mail

Getting the Mail

Published: June 20, 2016
Finishing Line Press

A celebratory and compassionate collection of poems by Cathy Cultice Lentes that “explores the magic of everyday living,” and the sacred connections to be made between people, places, and the natural world.

Getting the Mail  is available from Finishing Line Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, and other national and local booksellers.

Praise for Getting the Mail

From the unexpected blessing of an Elvis impersonator to the delight of circling chimney swifts at a soon-to-be-abandoned country schoolhouse, Lentes explores the magic of everyday living.  With these poems, we are joyfully reminded of “secrets deep in denim pockets” and “mysteries put up in Mason jars.”

Denton Loving, author of Crimes Against Birds

In the world of Getting the Mail, machines eat mountains; dead streams run orange with mine waste, and “flood torments.” But Lentes’ powerful sense of connection—to her Appalachian homeplace, to community, and to her students—sings through it all. She has taken “The Road Marked Poetry,” and we are privileged to travel it with her.

George Ella Lyon, author of Many-Storied House
Kentucky Poet Laureate 2015-2016

In Getting the Mail, the ordinary becomes sacred, the small becomes large, the page fills with light in these beautifully crafted poems. Common things–frost, horses, the past–are seen with insight and compassion, and metaphor is contained in bright force, offered without sentimentality and with real tenderness.

Cathy Lentes gets it right when she sees the boy who does not see as others do, or when she hears the drum of walnuts on the barn roof, or even when she finds rare reflections as she washes windows. She is fetching the mail for us, and along the way, helping us notice the daily simplicities and the people who live them. In these poems, she is carrying for us the messages of what is real, laced with gentility and great affection.

Anne-Marie Oomen, author of Love, Sex and 4-H

Writing Menopause: An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry and Creative Non-fiction

Published: April 26, 2017
Inanna Poetry and Fiction Series

The Writing Menopause literary anthology is a diverse and robust collection about menopause: a highly charged and often undervalued transformation. It includes over fifty works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, interviews and cross-genre pieces from contributors across Canada and the United States that break new ground in portraying menopause in literature. The collection includes literary work from award-winning writers such as Roberta Rees, Margaret Macpherson, Lisa Couturier and Rona Altrows. Emerging voices such as Rea Tarvydas, Leanna McLennan, Steve Passey and Gemma Meharchand, and Cathy Lentes.

Buy from Amazon, and Inanna Publications

Every River on Earth
Writing from Appalachian Ohio

Published:  January 1, 2015
Ohio University Press

Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio includes some of the best regional poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from forty contemporary writers, both established and up-and-coming. The wide range of material from authors such as David Baker, Don Bogen, Michelle Burke, Richard Hague, Donald Ray Pollock, and others, offers the reader a window into daily life in the region. The people, the landscape, the struggles, and the deepest undercurrents of what it means to be from and of a place are revealed in these original, deeply moving, and sometimes shocking pieces.

Buy from Amazon and Ohio University Press

Listen to a review

Praise for Every River on Earth

Everything I wrote fell flat and lifeless on the page until I finally began to set my fiction in southern Ohio. As I kept writing about it, I began to see the place in a new light, which is, I think, one of the chief things that art is supposed to do.

From the foreword by Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time

Throughout [Carpathios’] poems and stories almost as much attention is paid to our land as to plot andcharacter, from sycamore trees and foothills to the exploded hillsides lining our highways…They are intertwined and interdependent and, as this is writing from the Appalachian foothills, it simply could not be any other way.

Middle West Review