Sunday, April 24, 2016

Troubled poems

Poet Susan Grimm writes about troublesome poems: (a partial follow-up to her earlier post, How I Thought/Think About Poems I Write):
  • The poem that is there but in disguise... The poem that is not yet there...
What do you do when the poem's giving you trouble? Tough love? Let it go? Give it more attention? Try to ignore it?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ohio Poetry Day 2016 Contests announced

The Ohio Poetry Day contests have just been announced on the Ohio Poetry Day blog:

24 contests on a variety of themes and forms, with a (postmark) deadline of May 31: time to start getting your poems written!

Ohio Poetry Day will be celebrated at Heidelberg University in Tiffin this year, with Friday evening contests and prompts on October 14, and the Evan Lodge workshop Saturday mornnig and the Ohio Poetry Day celebration Saturday afternoon on October 15.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Five Myths about Writers...

My friend Ferrett writes: Five Myths About Writers That Non-Writers Don't Get
  • Hard Work Does Not Equal Talent.
  • Talent Does Not Equal Success.
  • A Talented Writer Does Not Produce Consistently Talented Works.
  • Love Does Not Equal Quality. 
  • We Are Not In Competition With Each Other.  
Important points, all of them.  Check out the article.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Things that Fly: Art and Ekphrastacy at the Heights

Kite Vista (detail)
Kite Vista (detail), courtesy Lori Kella. On view in Things That Fly, April 21-June 4, 2016.
Things that Fly: Art and Ekphrastacy at the Heights

anticipating our new exhibition, Things That Fly, which will not disappoint your imagination. With this exhibition comes our first Ekphrastacy program with Christine Howey, newly appointed Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate, as poetry curator:

Things That Fly

Opening Thursday, April 21 6-9pm

Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond

Thursday May 19, 7pm

  • Curated by Heights Arts board member Sharon Grossman, Things That Fly brings together seven Northeast Ohio artists whose works examine the concept of flight. Seven artists--Stephanie Craig, Maggie Denk-Leigh, Lori Kella, Peter Larson, Lynn Norwood Lofton, Lynn O’Brien and Christopher Owen Smith--look to the skies in seven distinct and inspiring ways. Join us for a THURSDAY opening reception.
  • And following month, art meets poetry, in the Heights Arts' continuing "Ekphrastacy" series: Join us for an evening with art and poetry.  Cleveland Heights poet laureate Christine Howey brings together the Things That Fly exhibition artists with local poets AKeemjamal Rollins, Geoffrey Landis, Erin Gay, Azriel Johnson, Skylark Bruce, and Terry Provost, to respond with original verse inspired by select objects in the exhibition. It’s always an interesting night; come a bit early to get a seat and enjoy refreshments! FREE, Thursday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m.


Heights Arts logo

2175 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Spring Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-9:30pm
Saturday: 1:30-9:30pm
Sunday-Monday: closed

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016

30 Days of Poetry: Day One, Amit Majmudar

Celebrating national poetry month, the Cuyahoga County Public Library's 30 Days of Poetry has started, with day one featuring a poem from the new Ohio Poet Laureate, Amit Majmudar.

Amit Majmudar has recently been named the first Poet Laureate of the state of Ohio. In addition to two acclaimed novels, he has published three award-winning poetry collections, 0°, 0° (TriQuarterly Books, 2009), Heaven and Earth (Story Line Press, 2011) which won the Donald Justice prize, and Dothead (Knopf Doubleday, 2016). Raised in Cleveland and educated in Northeast Ohio at the University of Akron and Northeast Ohio Medical University, he did his medical residency at University Hospitals in Cleveland. Now as a novelist, poet, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist, he writes and practices in Dublin, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and baby daughter. Poet's website.

In addition to featuring a poem a day from Ohio poets, 30 days of poetry encourages you to write a poem a day.  Subscribe to the e-mail or read the website every day for a new writing prompt!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Beachwood Library Kicks Off National Poetry Month with the Traveling Stanzas Project

On Thursday April 7 at 7 pm, The Beachwood Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, 25501 Shaker Blvd, is exited to kick off National Poetry Month with a program showcasing the Kent State University Wick Poetry Center Traveling Stanzas project. Join poets from Wick to explore the conversation of poetry through the new interactive Traveling Stanzas website. Participants will be able to create a video poem featuring a poem written in this interactive workshop, or record a poem written by a favorite poet. Teaching poets  will provide writing prompts, poems and ideas. Free and open to all! Please RSVP here or call 216-831-6868.

Thirty Days of Poetry Starts on Friday!

Diane Kendig writes:

Dear Poets:

The CCPL project which you all helped me pioneer for National Poetry Month is in its third year, starting this Friday. What some said would "never go" because "no one reads poetry" registered 400 readers the first day, which came up to 600 for the first year and now is up to 1200 registered readers with an extremely high rate of email openings. A book is coming out with an article by CCPL librarian Laurie Kincer on the success of the endeavor. Here are three updates for you on the project:

1) With the new Writers Center in the South Euclid Library, there has been shuffling of the web. If you thought your page had been disappeared, take heart. The library has remounted the 2014 and 2015 sites, where you can find your poem and continue to link/share it:

2) Registration is now open to receive daily emails for this year's 30 poets/poems/prompts. If you registered in previous years, you are still registered. If not, or if you have new friends, classes, or relatives who would be interested, please share the link to get registered:
3) Finally, you are invited to attend the two live events associated with this year's project:
If you have any questions about the month's events, feel free to contact me or our terrific librarian Laurie Kincer.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Christine Howey: the New Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights!

Heights Arts has announced the news poet laureate of Cleveland Heights: Christine Howey.
Christine is quite well known in the local poetry community, participating in readings and on the Lake Effect Poetry slam team, and author and performer of the one woman play/poetry performance "Exact Change," which debuted in Akron, ran in Playhouse Square last summer, and then played in New York last fall.
Horray for Christine!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Teen Open Mic and Writing for Change coming up at Lake Erie Ink

For more info on these and their other programs, please visit lakeerieink.org.

Lake Erie Ink
2843 Washington Blvd
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
(216) 320-4757

We also recommend following Lake Erie Ink on Facebook.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest & Anthology

During the month of March 2016 Crisis Chronicles Press is accepting submissions for the 2016 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest and its corresponding anthology. Contest is free to enter and open to anyone age 14 and up. Winners will receive cash prizes and get to read their poems live at this year's Fair.
  • 1st Place winning poet will receive $100
  • 2nd Place winning poet will receive $50
  • 3rd Place winning poet will receive $25


When and where:

Submissions will be accepted from March 1st to March 31st 2016. We will let you know by April 30th if your work has been accepted for the anthology. Poets will be invited to read their accepted works during the contest reading. The poetry contest reading will take place May 7th, 3 pm, at the Barking Spider Tavern, 11310 Juniper Road, near the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Shortly after the reading, our panel of judges will select three winners to receive cash prizes and read live at the Hessler Street Fair itself.

The 2016 Hessler Street Fair will take place May 21st and 22nd from 11 am to dusk, rain or shine, on Hessler Road and Hessler Court in Cleveland. The exact time of winning poets' reading will be announced soon.


Before you submit, please read these guidelines:

  • Submit up to 5 original poems or 5 images of your own original art via email to hesslerpoetry@crisischronicles.com (no snail mail entries, please).
  • Please include your name, street address, city, state, zip code, telephone number and e-mail address with your submission(s).
  • Please remember the deadline is midnight on March 31st. We will not have time to consider works submitted later than that.
  • Poets and artists published in the book retain all rights to their work.
  • Any accepted art work will be printed in black and white.
  • Unpublished work is preferred. But previously published work is acceptable if we love it (let us know who the original publisher is so we may include them in our acknowledgments).
  • The contest reading will be held at the Barking Spider Tavern on Saturday May 7th, 2016 at 3pm. About 20 minutes after all participating poets have read, the winners will be announced and prizes handed out. If you have won 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place in the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest in the last three years, you are welcome to submit to the book and read your poem, but you will not be eligible to win a prize. Prize winners are also expected to read on the designated day during the Hessler Street Fair.


Contributor copies:

Contributors to the 2016 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology will be able to purchase a copy of the book for half price from the Hessler Street Fair Booth during the Fair, or at Mac's Backs Books, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights (216-321-2665 / macsbacks.com). We regret that we cannot afford to provide free contributor copies in print at this time. However, we will make a free pdf version of the book available to the public in late 2016.


FCC Guidelines:

Poetry has always been an integral part of the Hessler Street Fair, sometimes having its own stage on the street and sometimes combining with music on the main stage, but always doing something interesting. The top three winners will be given the opportunity to read from the stage at the Hessler Street Fair, simulcast on live radio and the web, during the Fair. Poetry read on air must not include any words designated to be obscene language by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

We welcome a diversity of styles and subject matter. Poems that don't meet the FCC guidelines can still be submitted and may be accepted for publication in the book. But they won't be eligible to win a prize since the winning poems will be read on air.


Special thanks to:

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest

The Poetry Forum
24th Annual
William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest

$100 and a Featured Reading May 2, 2016

1-year membership in Columbus Salon monthly poetry workshop/critique
$50 Gift Certificate for books
$25 Gift Certificate for books

Submission Guidelines:

  • · Submit 3 typewritten or Word document poems.  One poem per page.
  • · Maximum 50 lines per poem.
  • · Surface mail entries should have name, address, phone number, and email address on back only of each poem. Send entries postmarked by March 14 to The Poetry Forum c/o 91 E. Duncan Street, Columbus OH 43202. Poems will not be returned. No SASE required.
  • · Email entries to abbott4949@gmail.com as single Word document with poems as separate pages & no identifying information, with name, address, phone, and email on separate first page.
  • · Previous first-place winners, Poetry Forum featured readers since January 2014, and previously published poems are ineligible.

Deadline:  March 15, 2016

The Poetry Forum thanks the following for their support: Bossy Grrl’s Pinup Joint, 90.5 WCBE-FM, our featured poets, open mic participants, audiences, and generous patrons.

Bossy Grrl's, 2598 N. High Street in Columbus
Visit our web site columbuspoetryforum.com
Information: 614/268-5006

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cleveland: A Premier Literary Destination

Poets from all over hear (or already know) about the lively Cleveland area literary scene and look forward to coming (and coming back) as soon and as often as possible.  This week is no exception, as several well-regarded out-of-state poets will be here to share their literary wares. Two of the more notable events will happen Saturday 2/27 at Mac's Backs and Sunday 2/28 at Guide to Kulchur.  So whether you're an east-sider, a west-sider, or the more adventurous sort who enjoys the best of both, you have something to look forward to. It won't be the same reading twice, but it will be supremely worth your while both times.  The visiting poets will include: 

Jason Ryberg is the author of nine books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in residence at The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and an aspiring b-movie actor. His latest collections of poems are Motel, Diner, Liquor (co-authored with John Dorsey, Jason Hardung and Seth Elkins, Spartan Press, 2014) and Beauty Parlors,Train Yards and Everything In Between (co-authored with George Wallace, David Smith and Charly Fasano, Spartan Press, 2014). He lives in Kansas City, Missouri with a rooster named Little Red and a billy goat named Giuseppe.
Shawn Pavey has delivered newspapers, mowed lawns, bagged groceries, cut meat, laid sewer pipe, bussed tables, washed dishes, roofed houses, crunched numbers, rented cars, worked in hotels, worn an apron at Kinko's, and been paid to write everything from résumés to music reviews. Currently, he earns a living as a Technical Recruiter in Mission, KS where he lives with his fiancée and three worthless but adorable cats. He is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Press, 2008) and Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (2015, Spartan Press), Co-founder and former Associate Editor of The Main Street Rag Literary Journal, and a former board member and officer of The Writers Place, a Kansas City-based literary non-profit. His poems, essays, and journalism appear in a variety of national and regional publications. He's hosted poetry readings in bars, coffee shops, haunted houses, bookstores, libraries, front porches, and abandoned warehouses. A graduate of the University of North Carolina's Undergraduate Honors Creative Writing Program, he likes his Tom Waits loud, his bourbon single barrel, and his basketball Carolina Blue.

Jameson Bayles: A side effect of the military industrial complex, Jameson Bayles was born at the hospital at Forbes Field AFB just south of Topeka, KS. By the age of eighteen, Jameson had participated in a refueling mission with F-16s over the skies in South Dakota, stood atop of an active missle silo, and was the bait in a counter terrorism exercise with Air Force Special Forces at Whiteman AFB. After watching Krist Novoselic obtaining a head injury at the 1992 MTV music awards, Jameson decided to pursue the path of becoming a poet and eventually crawled into a dimly lit coffeeshop in dowtown Topeka in 1997 participating in his first open mic. Jameson Bayles is the senior editor of Asinimali Publications based in Kansas City, MO and the curator of The Cellar Poetry Series at the Weston Wine Company in Weston, MO. Jameson has been published in numerous literary journals and magazines and currently, his work can be found in three books. “The Cataman Years”, published by Mistop Publications, “The Artistic Muses” published by True Color Press and the collaborative reader "A Case For Ascension" by Asinimali Publications. Jameson resides in Kansas City, Missouri and can be reached at jamesonbayles@gmail.com.

And they will be joined by two Cleveland favorites:

Dianne Borsenik is active in the northern Ohio poetry scene and regional reading circuit. Her poems have appeared in Great Lakes Review, Slipstream, Rosebud, and many others; upcoming publications include Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Dirty Chai, and The Stars Look Very Different Today: A David Bowie Tribute (Poems-For-All). Her poem "Disco" was chosen to be printed on the 2015 Youngstown Summer Festival of the Arts tote bags and on Lit Youngstown tee shirts. In 2011 she founded NightBallet Press, and in September 2015 produced BeatStreet Cleveland as part of the International Beat Poetry Festival. She lives in Elyria with husband James and dog-sons Bodhisattva and Michel-Angelo. Find her at www.dianneborsenik.com.

John Burroughs was born in West Virginia, raised in Elyria, Ohio, and now lives and works in Cleveland. Along the way, he won the first poetry competition he entered as a high school student, served for several years as playwright-in-residence at Marion Correctional Institution, became a number one blogger on MySpace, won his first-ever poetry slam in his 40s, has hosted several esteemed reading series, and co-founded the annual Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest. John's poetry volumes include Beat Attitude [2015, NightBallet Press], It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change [2013, The Poet's Haven], The Eater of the Absurd [2012, NightBallet], Barry Merry Baloney [2012, Spare Change Press] and the collaborative book Oct Tongue -1 (with Weems, Swain, Smith, Lady, Chernin and Brightman). Since 2008, Burroughs has run Crisis Chronicles Press, publishing fine indie writers from around the world.

So please join us this weekend and give our visiting artists a warm Cleveland welcome!

February 27th at 7 pm - KC & CLE: A Case for Ascension at Mac's Backs
Mac's Backs - Books on Coventry
1820 Coventry Road
Cleveland, Heights, Ohio
(216) 321-2665

February 28th at 7 pm - Guide to Kulchur Red Room Reading Series
Guide to Kulchur: Text, Art & News
5900 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio

(216) 314-4644

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Kozo Reading Series at the Morgan

Cleveland author Christopher Bowen and the folks at The Morgan Conservatory have set up a four event reading series for this year at the eastside facility.

More information, as well as the availability of slots for an April 8th reading, can be found at the event's webpage here.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Political Poetry - Trump and Palin

Woody Guthrie’s landlord was none other than Donald Trump’s dad! Their relationship made for some interesting lyrics, reports The New Republic. “Guthrie lived for two years in a Brooklyn apartment the elder Trump owned, but grew upset at the racist policies that the real estate developer used to exclude blacks from his property.”
Writing in Raw Story, [scholar Will] Kaufman quotes some song lyrics Guthrie wrote to denounce “old man Trump”:
I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project
As Kaufman notes, both Fred Trump and his son would be investigated by the government for allegedly racist leasing practices.
Gawker has more from Kaufman himself:
In 1979, 12 years after Guthrie had succumbed to the death sentence of Huntington’s Disease, Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett published a two-part exposé about Fred and Donald Trump’s real estate empire.
Barrett devoted substantial attention to the cases brought against the Trumps in 1973 and 1978 by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department. A major charge was that “racially discriminatory conduct by Trump agents” had “created a substantial impediment to the full enjoyment of equal opportunity.” The most damning evidence had come from Trump’s own employees. As Barrett summarizes:
According to court records, four superintendents or rental agents confirmed that applications sent to the central [Trump] office for acceptance or rejection were coded by race. Three doormen were told to discourage blacks who came seeking apartments when the manager was out, either by claiming no vacancies or hiking up the rents. A super said he was instructed to send black applicants to the central office but to accept white applications on site. Another rental agent said that Fred Trump had instructed him not to rent to blacks. Further, the agent said Trump wanted “to decrease the number of black tenants” already in the development “by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere.”
Guthrie had written that white supremacists like the Trumps were “way ahead of God” because
God dont know much about any color lines.
Guthrie hardly meant this as a compliment. But the Trumps – father and son alike – might well have been arrogant enough to see it as one. After all, if you find yourself “way ahead of God” in any kind of a race, then what else must God be except, well, “a loser”? And we know what Donald Trump thinks about losers.
One thing is certain: Woody Guthrie had no time for “Old Man Trump.”


Palin's Song: Her Speech Endorsing Trump, Compressed Into Short Poems

 The Soviet artist Vagrich Bakhchanyan hoped to subvert his government by using its own language against it in his art: “He made works on paper in which appropriated texts and images were combined and layered using transfer techniques, some utilizing official notices by Soviet administrators—the terse, usually handwritten flyers that punctuated the everyday life of Soviet citizens with warnings, admonitions, and exhortations. One such announcement scribbled on a page torn out of a logbook reads: ‘Comrade residents! On Monday the 19th there won’t be any cold or hot water. We ask you to close the taps and shut off the heating system.
We’ve known for a while that fairy tales are old, but only now have we discovered that they’re in fact really, really, really old—an important distinction. Stories like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Rumpelstiltskin” originated thousands of years ago, researchers suggest, in “prehistoric times, with one tale originating from the bronze age”: “Using techniques normally employed by biologists, they studied common links between 275 Indo-European fairy tales from the world and found some have roots that are far older than previously known, and ‘long before the emergence of the literary record.’ ”


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau