About TCR

With not much fanfare, and even less experience,


We began publication of The Café Review in the Fall of 1989. Our purpose, at that time, was to put into print some of the poetry being read at open readings held at a certain cafe in Portland, Maine.


In 1993, The Café Review shifted from being a monthly publication to a quarterly journal. Part of the reason for the change was to allow ourselves more time to organize and present some of the visual art that has become such an important feature of the review. The art that has appeared in the review over the last few years has truly graced the issues. They provide for the poems space. And the eye a place to rest.

Such were the early successes of this fresh publication that it was not long before we expanded to include poets from beyond our small city by the sea. Time went as it is want to do. And twenty-five rapid years later we find ourselves having read and published thousands of poems from the most diverse of locales. We have met many great poets and artists, and made many friends.

We forever search for new, strong voices in poetry. And insist upon returning to those before and with us, presenting estimable works of the established literati. By this we pursue our persistent desire to “serve the muse,” and along with poetry she has taught us diligence, patience, and independence.

The Café Review has never sought, nor received any grant or foundation money. We have never had any affiliation with an academic institution. This journal came from and maintains its grass roots beginnings. Our support comes from one source– kind, educated people with a genuine interest in some of the world’s best poetry – people who look to keep the idea of quality small press poetry from extinction. We create a very limited run on each issue we produce.


We have always considered the contributors to be an extended family. One with whom we intend to remain in touch. To all our contributors and subscribers we say THANK YOU!!! It has been a wonderful twenty-five years and we look forward to many, many more.

—Steve Luttrell, Founder and Publishing Editor