Blue Fifth Review
ISSN: 1538-8735


The name of this online journal, Blue Fifth Review, has its origins in jazz: the mysterious third blue note, the blue fifth. This is the note that Thelonious Monk spent his entire musical life in search of on the piano.

Sam Rasnake began Blue Fifth Review in the winter of 2001, and from then until 2010 BFR appeared twice yearly in journal format, adding a themed supplement issue every other year. A quarterly Broadside series was added in 2006. In 2011, Michelle Elvy joined as an editor and BFR moved its online site to WordPress, launching the Blue Five Notebook Series. The format and number of issues broadened to include flash, while limiting the selections to five written works and a single piece of art per issue. In 2015, Bill Yarrow joined as non-fiction editor, as we also began to include reviews and essays. As of 2018, BFR shifted to a Biannual schedule -Spring and Fall – while continuing the Broadside series, poetry and fiction specials, and the Blue Collection issue.

The purpose of BFR is to present a variety of writers and artists, both established and new, to a broad audience. Tastes here are eclectic. Poetry and artwork that take chances, that show the unexpected, are welcome, but all forms – both traditional and experimental – are necessary. This forum seeks a community of writers and artists who know their own voices and vision, who listen to the muse, who let their pens and brushes weep.

BFR presently publishes:

Biannual Issues
Poetry Issues
Flash Issues
Featured Writer Issues
Broadside Series
Blue Collection Series


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Banner Art

Each year, we feature an artwork from the previous year as our header art. We thank these artists for sharing their work with us and our viewers.

In 2018, we are pleased to have Phaniel by Daniel Ableev as our header art [Fall Quarterly 2017]. Ableev, a certified strangeologist and Selectronix engineer from Bonn, Germany, is co-editor of DIE NOVELLE – Zeitschrift für Experimentelles.


the-pathIn 2017, we are pleased to have an untitled by piece by Maria Pierides as our header art [Broadside #45, Fall 2016]. More about Pierides’ art can be found at her website.


claire beynon-lightIn 2016, we are pleased to have an untitled work by Claire Beynon as our header art [Poetry Special, March 2015]. More about Benyon’s art can be found at her website.


leaf-in-a-pattern-robin-grotkeIn 2015, we are pleased to have Leaf in a Pattern by Robin Grotke as our header art [Poetry Special, March 2014]. More about Grotke’s photography can be found at her website.


letterrr-acceptedIn 2014, we are pleased to have Leterrr by Eleanor Bennett as our header art [Blue Five Notebook, May 2013]. More about Bennett’s photography can be found at her website.


Bottles & Branches (1 of 1)In 2013, we featured Bottles and Branches by Jo Ann Tomaselli [Blue Collection 2, Summer 2012]. More about Tomasellis’ photography can be found at her website: Jo Ann Tomaselli.


The background for our site is an untitled piece by Robin Grotke [Summer Quarterly 2017]

Previous backgrounds include

Lake Bones by Robert Bharda [Summer Quarterly 2016]

At Muriwai by Bernard Heise [Summer Quarterly 2015]

Gellage 107 by Michal Macku [Spring Supplement 2006]

9 Responses to About

  1. LindaSW says:

    CONGRATS Michelle! It’s nice to see you on the masthead! You have a great colleague here, Sam! Peace…

  2. Doug Bond says:

    Ditto on Linda’s comment…great add, Sam. Looking forward to seeing the terrific work you and Michelle will be showcasing each month. Congratulations to you both!

  3. What is the progress on the Barbara Jane Reyes, codeswitching issue?

    • Thanks for the comment, Sean. Because of web host issues and technical problems, I’ve had to move the active operations of Blue Fifth Review from its 10-year site at angelfire to WordPress. The archives for 2001-2010 will remain acitive, so readers may access all past issues. The move did require a different format and approach.

      My present plan is to release the codeswitching issue, guest-edited by Barbara Jane Reyes, as blue collection #2. The blue collection is special series that began last year. Because of the format and length of the codeswitching issue, its web location will need to be in angelfire, and will be released. I don’t have a scheduled release date yet – but my goal is to have the issue online by March. I am working on building the pages, but that has become a major obstacle at the old site.

      I’m very sorry for this delay. Keep checking here for the issue’s release – as well as the angelfire site. Also, look for the latest information at the Blue Fifth Review groups in Facebook and Twitter.

      Sam Rasnake

  4. Khaula Nazir says:

    That is a pretty awesome online journal.
    Just that I don’t see much replies to people’s comments here.

  5. Kelly Cherry says:

    Hi, Sam. I’m trying to send you the link to 9 poems herewith. SendToSamRasnake3. I bet that won’t work, though. Tell me where to send it.

  6. Richard Ratliff says:

    Are you accepting poetry submissions? Your submission page says no what’s up

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