Andrena Zawinski

Andrena Zawinski

Andrena Zawinski is the author of multiple poetry and short story books. Her first poetry book, Traveling in Reflected Light, was a Kenneth Patchen Competition winner. Her books Something About, Landings, Born Under the Influence, and Plumes & Other Flights of Fancy Flash Fiction, have all received amazing feedback and won awards such as, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Her individual poems are also greatly applauded, with them appearing in Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, Nimrod, Slipstream, Rattle, Many Mountains Moving, Pacific Review, Psychological Perspectives Journal of Jungian Thought, The Progressive Magazine and numerous others. Zawinski also founded the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and became the editor for Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down, an anthology they released. Visit their website

Review of Zawinski's work by Associate Editor, Taylor Sutton 

When I read poetry I always end up looking intently at the author’s word play and word usage. I always love when an author is creative and uses word play to truly enhance the story. Andrena Zawinski’s wording in her poems stuck out to me immediately. Her imagery and ability to make the reader feel that they are in the poem feeling the emotion with the characters made me fall in love with her work immediately. I instantly felt connected to the characters in the poem. I felt their every emotion and their intent behind every action with Zawinski’s ability to bring the poem to life. Every twist and turn in her work is so perfectly detailed and thought out that the reader can’t help but be impressed. 

Read a sample of work from WR Vol. 19, "Empathy and Entropy" below.


Three’s A Crowd

He slams down a bargain bouquet

on the checkout conveyor belt

broadcasts it’s the third time

this month she kicked him out,

this urban cowboy sporting

an anchor beard and black stetson

leaning into the, muttering

he forgot his ring last night.


Fourth deep in line, arms brimming

with a New Year’s resolution in celery,

carrots, kale, Lucky Supermarket’s

“3’s a Crowd” banner flags above heads.

She scans the scandal rag rack for

the latest celebrity downward spirals

down laws, hoping for a new line to open.

Then those Snickers, nearly forfeiting her

fitness pledge.


He stretches past her for a Coke and

Mentos, pushes nearly spent blooms up

against her produce, asks what she thinks

about jealousy. She announces she is no

Dear Abby of the Checkout, eyes his sad

bouquet, then advises he go for Godivas

and Mum. He flips through Cosmos’ “Ten

Sexy Tips for Bedroom Bliss.”


On the way home, her sister Rosie

phones whining about her boy-

friend, the latest with the live-aboard

sloop, complaining he was out all night,

star-studded promise ring in the soap

dish swears his roses won’t fix this one,

not even dancing barefoot onboard

the Bronco’s slick deck, in her arms her

cowboy with a sailboat, then cute the



Just then he lets himself into the

apartment, cellophane wrapped

roses in hand, neon clearance tag still

affixed. She plunges them headfirst

down the Insinlerator, petals flying

up against her flushed cheeks, shoves

him out the door, yelling: “The third

and last time this month,” jamming a

chair under the knob.


Digging through her cedar Hope Chest

turned giant junk drawer, she swaddles

herself inside a crazy quilt grandma

made celebrating graduations and

great jobs, all those weddings and

births. Breathing in the long woody

scent fixed in it, she flops onto the bed,

thinking three times really is a charm,

the crack and smack of thorny roses

still spinning inside the disposal drain,

the whir of them a deliriously wild and

final beautiful noise.