About The Dewdrop: Who We Are

Vanessa Able - Founder and Editor-in Chief

Vanessa Able
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Hello and thank you for reading The Dewdrop.

The Dewdrop is a digest of reflective and powerful writing focused on reading, writing and being. We are immersed in poetry, essays and book excerpts that draw on classic texts as well as contemporary writing.

Grounded in Zen Buddhism, The Dewdrop is interested in every faith background as well as writers who don’t identify with any formal tradition. Humanists, agnostics, scientists, atheists and Jedis are most warmly welcome.

I am a Zen priest, writer and editor. As such, this site is the coming together of my three biggest interests. The material on The Dewdrop is in part taken from already existing publications, and is in part submitted by current and emerging writers, published in the ‘Featured Writers’ section.

All the posts on The Dewdrop are loved and published here in the spirit of sharing and promoting these wonderful writers and their works and ideas. If you see your work here and you would like it taken down, please contact me and I will do so right away.

Thank you to everyone for reading and supporting the effort. If you’re enjoying the drops, do sign up for the Saturday newsletter which contains a summary of the week’s posts.

Deep bows and all the good stuff,


Nicholas Trandahl is a U.S. Army veteran, poet, newspaper journalist, and outdoorsman. He lives in rural Wyoming with his wife and three daughters, where he is a short jaunt from vast wild country.

A seeker and explorer, Nick is enamored with learning new things, traveling to new places, eating new food, and meeting new people. He prays equally to saints and bodhisattvas, and prefers to spend his Sundays trudging alone up some ribbon of trail in the wilderness. He enjoys eating bison, drinking hot tea, listening to Spanish guitar, and smoking pipe tobacco.

Nick began writing poetry as a soldier in the Middle East, and once he was out of the Army, he pursued writing as a career. A lifelong bookworm, he is most fond of the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, and Walt Whitman, but is also an avid reader of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Raymond Carver, Dante Alighieri, Robert Frost, and countless other poetic and historical works.

His poetry collections are Pulling Words (Winter Goose Publishing, 2017), Think of Me (Winter Goose Publishing, 2018), and Bravery (Winter Goose Publishing, 2019). His novel Good Brave People, a story about finding love and belonging in Spanish Basque Country, was published by Winter Goose Publishing in 2020.

Trandahl’s poetry collection Bravery was the recipient of the 2019 Wyoming Writers Milestone Award. His poems have been published in various literary journals and anthologies, including but not limited to the James Dickey Review, Sky Island Journal, The Dewdrop, High Plains Register, and in a forthcoming anthology from the New York Quarterly themed around spirituality and faith.

Additionally, Nick serves as the Chairman of the annual Eugene V. Shea National Poetry Contest.

Ellis Elliott

Ellis Elliott
Editor, Way-Seeking Mind

Ellis Elliott is a writer, teacher of ballet, and leader of online writing groups. She has a blended family of six grown sons and lives with her husband in Juno Beach, FL.

She likes to divide her time, as much as possible, between the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and the ocean.  She is a contributing writer for the Southern Review of Books and recently completed her MFA at Queens University.

Ellis has been published in Literary Mama, Signal Mountain Review, Evening Street Review, Women of Appalachia Project Anthology 2021, and others.