Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bring on the Dark

photo by Neil Herbert
The winter solstice issue of the New York Times had an essay about darkness by Clark Strand.  The whole essay is lyrical, but I seem to be seeing poems everywhere these days, so I pulled this sonnet out of it:

Bring on the Dark

There is, of course, no need to fear the dark,
much less prevail over it: not that we could.
Look up into the sky on a starry night,
if you still can, and you will see that there is
a lot of darkness in the universe.

There is so much, it simply has to be
the foundation of all that is.
The stars are only an anomaly
 the planets an accident.

Is it evil or indifferent?
I don’t think so.
Our lives begin in the womb
and end in the tomb.
It’s dark on either side.

--(after Clark Strand)

I hope you all have a happy solstice, and wish you all the best in your celebration of the festival of lights, and darkness.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shopping Away from the Malls

Coventry Christmas - Passport to Peru.  Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis

It's coming up fast toward Christmas!  When it comes time to look for holiday gifts, instead of hitting the big-box stores and being mauled at the malls, take a thought to check out some of the local independent stores in your neighborhood.

Our town is full of quirky little shops.  I can't even name all of my favorites--

Coventry-- the whole thing, from the library up to Mayfield.  Start out at Mac's Backs, take a lunch at Tommy's, then check out the toys at Big Fun, which has all that stuff you saw advertised in the back of comic books but your parents woudn't let you buy.  Did you know they were named by Playboy as one of the “coolest stores” in all of America? Then browse the street-- Passport to Peru (OK, I admit it: that's where I did my shopping this year.  Don't tell my family, it's a surprise), and around to City Buddha*, for cool stuff.

Over to the west, in Berea try the Shoppe for gifts, and then wander over to Kidforce Collectables to shop for the younger set, and check out their games and comics. Then, if you're over 21, stop for a craft beer at Cornerstone Brewing on the Triangle. Hey, a growler of Seven is always the right thing to bring to a Christmas pot-luck!

Over to the east, check out the arts, antiques and consignment shops in the Larchmere area, starting with Loganberry Books.

Gordon Square: stop for a movie at the Capitol, and right next door you're find Guide to Kulchur.

And don't forget street fairs and festivals. This week, Coventry Holiday Festival is December 13.

And that's barely more than the surface-- there are thousands more. Look, this year, when black Friday comes, make a resolution: don't shop in the big boxes. They don't need your business. Go for the independents. Support your neighborhoods!

What's your favorite?

For a different view, see:

*What makes City Buddha unique? Interview.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Page A Day Poetry

Writing Knights just released their anthology of 365 poems: a poem a day for 2015, including eight of mine. Check it out here: https://www.createspace.com/4927522

Monday, December 1, 2014

Authors in December!

Coventry snowflake. Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis
December's here!
Joanna Conners points out: Lots of author readings in December.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Indies First Celebration at Bookstores Around Town This Weekend

Christmas at Mac's. Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis 2014.
November 29 is the "Indies First" celebration: a nationwide bookstore extravaganza.  Need to start your shopping for holiday gifts? Skip the black Friday malls-- you can get your gift-shopping done, and meet local authors at the same time. 

Joanna Connors writes about the Indies First Celebration, pointing out that bookstores all around Cleveland are participating:
Mac's Backs – Books on Coventry
1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-321-2665, macsbacks.com
Mac's Backs will have holiday refreshments and nine local (or native) authors on hand throughout the day on Saturday, Nov. 29.
Each author will hold court for an hour, signing books and suggesting titles, starting at 10 a.m. In order of appearance, they are: Deanna Adams, Anne Trubek, Ben Small, Jane Turzillo, Les Roberts, Shelley Costa, Tricia Springstubb, Joyce Brabner and John Paulett.
Loganberry Books
13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights, 216-795-9800, loganberrybooks.com
Loganberry will host authors on Friday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 29, during the Larchmere Holiday Stroll. Starting each day at noon, authors will chat and sign books for an hour each. On Friday, look for (in order of appearance): Suzanne McGinness, Les Roberts, Jennie Jones and Derf Backderf. Saturday, look for (in order): Tricia Springstubb, Laura and Barney Taxel, Gail Ghetia Bellamy and Charlie Mintz.
The Learned Owl
204 N. Main St., Hudson, 330-653-2252, learnedowl.com
On Saturday, Nov. 29, The Learned Owl will offer refreshments and special deals on featured titles. Author Nancy Christie will sign books from 1 to 3 p.m. And you can enter a raffle to win a Christmas Story Leg Lamp, with proceeds going to the Hudson Food Pantry.
Appletree Books
12419 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-791-2665, appletree-books.com
Appletree will give away special Indies First tote bags, emblazoned with the motto "Shop Small," to purchasers.
Fireside Book Shop
29 N. Franklin St., Chagrin Falls, 440-247-4050, firesidebookshop.com
On Friday, Nov. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m., local author Sandy Philipson and illustrator Jenny Campbell will sign the new chapter book, Wings. On Saturday, Nov. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m., local editor Laura Gorretta will sign the revised version of Chagrin Falls: An Ohio Village History.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lake Erie Ink teen open Mic December 13

If you want to hear what younger poets are about, here's your chance.  Lake Erie Ink is sponsoring an open Mic for teen poetry on December 13 at 1854 Coventry Road [formerly Phoenix, next to Bodega], part of the Coventry Holiday Fest.

'Tis the season!
  • Lake Erie Ink (located right next to the Coventry library), is a "writing space for youth" with programs and creative expression opportunities for young people in the Greater Cleveland area.
  • Programs
  • Coventry Holiday Fest facebook page
"We believe in the transformative power of creative expression."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Cleveland's Belt magazine is getting some ink!
"Belt is a small independent publishing house that tells stories of the industrial (and post-industrial) Midwest, from Pittsburgh to St. Louis. It published its first book, Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology, in 2012, and it launched an online magazine last fall that grew out of the Cleveland Anthology and a successful kickstarter campaign."
"...The result is a selection of stories and essays that often offer fresh insight into regional issues and challenges and that stoke smart conversation. Discerning readers in Greater Cleveland are not the only ones to notice. The Paley Center for Media has chosen Belt Magazine to present at its "The Next Big Thing in Media and the Innovation Economy" conference..."
"'We see ourselves doing independent Rust Belt journalism, and we're the only ones doing it.' Apparently, tiny Belt is seen as big enough to disrupt."
"The Slumlords We Love," by Robert Langellier

Kurt Landefeld and JACK'S MEMOIRS: OFF THE ROAD, A NOVEL will be featured at the Beat Reading 7 pm Wed. Nov. 12th at Mac's Backs Books...Join the poets and readers who connect with the Beat Movement as it lives on.Bring a favorite Beat poem to share.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bree's first novel Pigskin In a Blanket

Green Panda Press announces its first work of full-length fiction. Pigskin in a Blanket is an existential-buddhist-romantic-comedy written by the formerly Cleveland poet Bree (now Kentuckian) in a period of six weeks that followed a string of curses. the novel is set in Cleveland, OH. it features Anya, who marries her twice-senior plastic surgeon and schemes to become the woman people take most seriously, and former Browns player Harry who might just be some kind of poet; he battles an obscure liver disease while slinging meats and cheeses for a local purveyor. 260 pgs TP.

the book plus shipping is $12 via paypal to greenpandapress@gmail.com and comes with a copy of Bree's latest paperback poetry Some Hiatus: Tucky Poems.

or order thru amazon or the link below. thanks! read and pass along.....

luv and hugs, Bree

Saturday, November 1, 2014

John Burroughs is coming to Sandusky for the Coffeehouse Reading Series
Sponsored by the Firelands Writing Center and Bottom Dog Press.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Hallowe'en!

For your spooky poetry pleasure, here's a cat ghost poem by John Philip Johnson:

And, once again, for those of you who do your ghosting with poets on Hallowe'en night, the annual Hallowe'en show of Ray McNiece and Tongue & Groove is at the Barking Spider, 8pm, at 11310 Juniper.
Tyrael.  Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis
photo by Geoffrey Landis

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Billy Collins Gives Ya Tips on How Ta Write Poetry!

Yeah, that's right-- Billy Collins!  And he's talkin' to you!
So you oughta listen.
Dozens of poets performed Friday at the Dodge Poetry Festival at Newark's New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Poet Yusef Komunyakaa and the Tomas Doncker Band were featured performers. (Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Russell Atkins: Celebrating the Living Legend

Diane Kendig reports from the East Cleveland Public Library event Russell Atkins: Celebrating the Living Legend.

R.A. with Honorary Doctorate

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ready for Levyfest?

Friday is Ohio Poetry Day, and here in Cleveland, this year that means one thing: first day of Levyfest

Ready for Levyfest?
As an added bonus, if the weekend-long Levyfest isn't enough poetry for one city, on Saturday afternoon the East Cleveland Public Library is sponsoring a celebration of Cleveland legend Russell Atkins, with a reception following for poets to view some of the Atlanta University Center archival materials and share their own memories of Atkins and his work.

Friday, October 24th - 6-9 PM: An intimate reading and publishers' mixer at The Spotted Owl in Tremont - Join us for cocktails, poetry, and the release of the Renegade Flowers anthology! Stick around afterwards for cocktails and conversation!

Saturday, October 25th - 9:30AM - 5PM: Festival events at Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library - Panels, readings, and discussions, including a curated tour of CSU's levy collections, documentary screening, and meet-and-greets!

Saturday, October 25th - 7:00PM - 10:30PM: The community reading series at Lava Lounge in Tremont, including readings hosted by The Writing Knights starting at 7:00pm (Knightmares Halloween show) and hosted by Deep Cleveland's Joshua Gage starting at 8 pm!

Saturday, October 25th - 7:00PM - Close: A knock-down, drag-out poetry experience at The Literary Cafe in Tremont hosted by the inimitable Steve Goldberg and Nick Traenkner, featuring several panelists and poets from the festival.

Sunday, October 26th - 10:00AM - 12:00PM: Levy memorial service at Edgewater park by the beach (Weather Permitting.)

On-Campus events at Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library) for Saturday are listed here: http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/levyfest/2014/campus/
Off-Campus events are listed here: http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/levyfest/2014/community/

 Not all of the readings have been announced yet, but Joshua Gage has posted the line-up for the readings at Lava Lounge, 2061 West 10th Street, Tremont, on Saturday night.  Watch for:
  •  8:10 Mary A. Turzillo
  • 8:20 Jill Riga
  • 8:30 Geoffrey A. Landis
  • 8:40 Marissa Hyde
  • 8:50 John Burroughs
  • 9:00 Batya Weinbaum
  • 9:10 dan smith
  • 9:20 Elise Geither
  • 9:30 Ryan Sagert
  • 9:40 Marie Lillian Vibbert
  • 9:50 Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
  • 10:00-10:30 Open Mike
See you all there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Laura Moe writes, Confessions of a Failed Poet.
"The title intrigues, the words themselves glitter the page, yet ultimately the poem is vapid; it is a mannequin in the store window wearing a great outfit you want to try on, and the first few lines seduce you, but in the end the zipper is stuck, or the pants are too short. Failed poems do not deliver on their promise... 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Renegade Flowers: LevyFest 2014


"For the first time since 2006, Cleveland will be host to levyfest, which honors the city’s own alternative publisher and poet d.a. levy, as well as his contemporaries in the Mimeograph Revolution.  This festival will celebrate the history of small press publication and poetry in Cleveland and from around the world. It will include guest panels, readings, community and publishing events, and other programming" [info swiped from the HydeOut Press blog].

Here's the listing of On-Campus events (at Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library) for Saturday, October 25th:

Information on Off-Campus events can be found at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/levyfest/2014/community/

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cleveland Heights, Looking for a Laureate

Want to be poet laureate?  Know somebody who would?  Live in Cleveland Heights?
Now's your chance: Cleveland Heights is looking for nominations for the next poet laureate.
Nominations are due by the end of October.

2011 Poet Laureate Cavana_Faithwalker

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall: Leaves Fall

photo by Geoffrey A. Landis
Fall: leaves fall.
Fall leaves fall.
Fall, leaves, fall.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Art Interactions Here and Now, feat. Clarissa Jakobsons 10/11 at CMA

Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106
October 11th, 2014, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Ohio Poetry Association's Ekphrasis 3-C series continues this fall on Ohio's north coast. Clarissa Jakobsons will present “Art Interactions Here and Now.”

Participants are invited to enter conversations with displayed artwork and bring them to life via words. We will begin with warm-up exercises, examples, and a variety of ekphrastic approaches. There will be a brief docent tour, as well as alone time to observe and allow specific artwork to inspire our words. To conclude, there will be a read-around to celebrate our new poems.

Clarissa Jakobsons instructs a variety of art and writing classes at Cuyahoga Community College and at the Sage program at Akron University. She weaves art and poetry into artist books, which are internationally exhibited. A series of Camille Claudel artist books have been shown at the Cleveland Museum of Art - Ingalls Library. In another life, she taught art in the schools and initiated integrative art and writing programs for children and adults. Sample publications include Hawaii Pacific Review, Glint Literary Journal, The Poetry Forum, Kattywompus, Ruminate, Qarrtsiluni, Tower Magazine, Van Gogh’s Ear, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and others.

Upcoming free exhibits at the Cleveland Museum of Art:
  • “The Believable Lie: Heinecken, Hope, and Feldmann”
  • “Surrealist & Dada Photography”
  • “Epic Systems: Three Monumental Paintings” by Jennifer Bartlett
  • “Forbidden Games: Surrealist and Modern Photography”



This event is free and open to the public. Participants will meet in Classroom A.
Workshop is limited to the first 24 registrants. Register by September 30, 2014. Send an email with your name and contact info to Chuck Salmons at charles@ohiopoetryassn.org or call (614) 829-5040.

If using museum parking facilities, participants will have to pay for parking. Directions & Parking: http://www.clevelandart.org/visit/directions-and-parking.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Artist Talks and Ekphrastacy at Heights Arts on September 25th

Join us for an evening with Isabel Farnsworth, associate professor of sculpture at Kent State University, and Hui-Chu Ying, professor of printmaking at University of Akron, who will share insights about their works on view in the gallery, artistic process and vision.

Poets Dianne Borsenik, John Donoghue, Sarah Gridley, Susan Grimm, and Mary Quade will also read new works inspired by select sculptures and works on paper in the exhibition. FREE. 

Heights Arts 
2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118
(216) 371-3457


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