Established in 2016, The Heartland Review Press publishes 2-5 books per year.


In addition to our bi-annual literary journal The Heartland Review,

annual poetry chapbook prizes are offered.

We are honored to host the Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize

whose winners and finalists will appear in the following

spring issue of The Heartland Review.


The Heartland Review Press

600 College Street Road

Elizabethtown, KY 42701



Adam Valentine

They Say You See What You Want To


If it rains, park where the Sunday paper bubbles yellow,

soggy, and pink like throw-up on the pavement.

You might not catch a full sighting. An owl flying

over the road dangling a snake, but you’re still in the car

so it don’t count. Put your boots on and leave your bucket.

Step around the cotton balls and cut-in-half straws.

The lady at the last mailbox said nothing grows here

anymore, but people come to dump trash or sneak

through the empty house until they’re scared.

And because the bigfoot sketches are spitting image

first try. Keep walking, past a gave-up pick-up truck

and the bellies of garbage spilling from its bed

in bags full as skins, leaning, tumbling, piled up

like puppies pushing to milk between the axles.

Runts to the side bloated or sagging. What you

came to get don’t go by weight. A wild blackberry,

big as a glimpse, a pawpaw leaf pinned to the dusk.

Hike to the bridge and stop for a few push-ups. Makes

your eyes ready. Scout where the vampires painted

the concrete with stars and dripped wax and ate off

napkins. Feel the rebar yearning loose? Ditty bags

and pint bottles hanging there like meat curing.

Hear the bluebirds checking the place for tautness.

Look up. You came to see the smokestacks’ lather

and watch the buzzards gathering like stubble on the sky.



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THR Press publications are generously funded by Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) , subscriptions to The Heartland Review and  contest or general donations. As a non-profit, proceeds are used to support contests and publications thereof,  go toward scholarships, travel and conference fees for ECTC's creative writing students, and  bring readers to ECTC's campus to give our students a better understanding of the writerly world and enhance their college experience.