The Old Masterson Place

Though barren for years, still it crowns the knoll,
walls weathered gray, roof a gaping hole,
windows like empty sockets in a skull.




B.J. Omanson’s poems in this issue are from a col­lec­tion of poems about the Spoon River val­ley in Illi­nois where he was raised. Other poems from this col­lec­tion have appeared in The Hud­son Review, The Sewa­nee Review, Shenan­doah & else­where. Most recently he wrote the anno­ta­tions for the poems of a “lost” WWI poet whom he redis­cov­ered, John Allan Wyeth, whose book of poems, This Man’s Army: A War in Fifty-odd Son­nets was repub­lished by the Uni­ver­sity of South Car­olina Press in 2008, with an intro­duc­tion by Dana Gioia. Omanson’s cur­rent project, Where the River Dark­ens: An Exper­i­ment in Auto­bi­og­ra­phy & Poetry, can be seen at