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Editor's note

in capite foraminis

Groundhog Day 2020 - Welcome to the first issue of Hole In The Head Review - a journal of art, photography, and poetry.

I’m writing this from my home in Portland, Maine, my hometown. Mainers have a well-deserved reputation for reticence. If Missouri is the Show Me State, Maine is the Let’s Just Wait and See What Happens State. For all of you visitors “from away” it may be Vacationland as is stamped on our license plates, but for us natives? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

What’s the first state in the U.S. to see the sun every day? Maine. AND, says the native Mainer, it’s the first state to get dark.

As the saying on the sign in the souvenir shop says, “If we can just get by, we’ll call it a victory.”

So this venture began with some reticence. While Hole In The Head Review wasn’t the first title I came up with, it did seem to best express my expectations - the world needs it like it needs a hole in the head...but we’ll see.

Other titles contemplated:

  • The Lark Review

  • You’re Doing What? Review

  • HaHa! Review

  • Why Bother Journal

On the other hand, we Mainers tend to be open to unexpected, inexplicable joy, beauty, inspiration. At 5 am on a winter morning, the first glimpse of sun over Casco Bay may break through and produce beautiful honey-tone clouds in the sky. Sea smoke rises off the frigid Atlantic swirling around buoys in the harbor. Crickets sing ‘til midnight in September - sometimes beyond. A March day that begins with freezing rain and snow squalls, may end with a pleasant walk on a beach at sunset.

This is just to say, we are open to what comes at us. As a friend used to say, stay open; adjust accordingly.

So I’m not surprised at the quality of the work we received from across the country and around the world. As we reviewed the work, we were listening for a strong and distinct voice in poetry and a clear vision in art and photography. That will continue in future issues.

A note of thanks to those who provided the financial support to get this off the ground. You can find their names on the masthead. Their generosity made the entire venture a reality. (By the way, you can still help us out by going to our gofundme page - )

Thank you as well to Associate Editors Bill Burtis, Jere DeWaters, and Nancy Jean Hill. 

I am grateful, too, to the brilliant painter Paul Brahms, who provided our stunning cover. You can learn more about Paul and his work at

A very special thank you to everyone who submitted work for consideration. There is so much wonderful work being done out there. 

If you like what you see, please share with your friends!

People have asked if our goal is to move to a print version. We’re taking it one step at a time and will continue to be online for the foreseeable future. Online “publishing” provides us with some real benefits. We don’t feel constrained to limit the number of works in an issue and we’re able to be flexible with presentation of photography and art. 

I’m considering a “best of” print issue at the end of the year. But you know, we’re in Maine so let’s just see what happens!



(Contact me at and let me know what you think of our first issue. You can be blunt. I can take it...just like I need a hole in the head.)

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