Monday, February 12, 2018

Women, Poetry, and the Cult of Youth

This post from Jacqueline Saphra, "The Slow Game: Women, Poetry and the Cult of Youth", suggests that "people talk about the demographic of the poetry workshop and the high percentage of middle-aged or older women". Is this true? And, if it is, why should this be bad?

26 women poets. (Image from womenyoushouldknow.net)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How to write love poems--

"I once responded to a girlfriend’s love poem by critiquing its imagery. That relationship didn’t last long...."

photograph of a flower (image by Geoffrey A. Landis)
photo by GL
With Valentine's day coming up, the Poetry Foundation asks Adrian Blevins, Rebecca Hoogs, Cyrus Cassells, and Craig Arnold how to write love poems

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cleveland Public Poetry continues (plus, Q&A with Ohio poet Khaty Xiong)

Photo by GL
With the start of a new year, Cleveland Public Library has begun another season of Cleveland Public Poetry, the open mic poetry reading series.  Since 2012, Cleveland Public Poetry (CPP) has presented some of Ohio’s most honored, established and emerging poets. A featured poet reader is presented quarterly, while every month, CPP offers an open mic to aspiring poets–and to anyone wanting to read their favorite poem aloud.  It’s a wonderfully creative outlet for those wanting to celebrate written and spoken word poetry. 
logo of Ohio Center for the BookPlease join us for our next open mic event: Cleveland Public Poetry, Poetry of Love, Wednesday, February 14, at 12:00 p.m. Come share an original or classic poem that celebrates the romantic tradition of Valentine’s Day. 
Cleveland Public Poetry is sponsored by the Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library.
Read more (and check out the question & answer with Ohio poet Khaty Xiong) here:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Calling All Haikuists!

Haiku Master Ray McNiece (red) faces off against contestant Geoffrey Landis (behind) at the2 017 Haiku Death Match  

Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Christine Howey writes:
Attention all Haiku Master Wannabes!  Heights Arts' 2018 Haiku Death Match will take place April 21 at Ensemble theater.  Application for the Death Match is now open. You  can find more information as well as the application and all the rules and regs here:

Only 10 poets will compete - first come, first served - so get on it!
Winner gets a cheesy trophy and the title of Haiku Master, plus no-commission sale of their books/chapbooks in the Heights Arts Gallery for a year. And, of course, the adulation of the public. Will YOU be the next Haiku Master?


Tickets for the 6th Annual Haiku Death Match will go on sale to the public in March, 2018.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Paying to Play

Image from Jody A. Virgan, from twitter

I hate reading fees, and refuse to submit to any journals that require you to pay for them to consider your work.  John Burroughs pointed out this article from The Millions to me, where Rachel Mennies explains some of the reasons that this is not a good thing.

image courtesy pexels

I refuse to submit to markets or contests which require a reading fee as a matter of principle, since I believe it is damaging to the field, squeezing the people who can't afford to pay out of their entry into the field.  
However, these days in the literary field, so many 'zines do it that it is getting to be unexceptional.  I sympathize with them; they are running on shoestring budgets and unpaid labor already, I can see how a small reading fee can be so very tempting.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

New from Wick

...and the latest news from the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State:

Happy Holidays from the Wick Poetry Center,

On behalf of the Wick Poetry Center staff and students, I want to wish you all a joyful holiday season with peace, love, and poetry. We are filled with gratitude for you, our remarkable community, for all of the support you have given us this year. Poetry, like community, does not exist in isolation—it is the means by which we connect with others, with the larger world, and with a deeper sense of ourselves.

With your unwavering support and advocacy for our programs and outreach, we are thrilled to announce the opening of the Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders exhibit, which will be be launched on a three-year national tour at Summit ArtSpace in Akron, Ohio, January 19-February 17 (Gallery Hours: Thursdays & Fridays, 12-7pm, Saturdays, 12-5pm). The exhibit and community workshops were made possible by a $250,000 matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, one of the largest grants for poetry in the country.

The interactive exhibit is free and open to all, and we hope that you will visit and witness the work that we have done in the North Hill community with participants at the International Institute of Akron, Project Learn and Urban Vision, many of whom are refugee and immigrant newcomers to Akron.
Again, we wish you all the very happiest of holidays, from our Wick family to yours.
   In peace and poetry,
   David Hassler
   Wick Poetry Center

Friday, December 8, 2017

New from CSU

The Cleveland State University Poetry Center sends along their most recent update on their activities this year:


We’ve had a wonderful year at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, and as the days get shorter and the air gets chillier, we’d like to bring you some of our most exciting news and updates. If you’re inspired by what you see below and would like to donate to our cause of publishing 3-5 collections of contemporary poetry, prose, and translation a year in addition to running The Lighthouse Reading Series and providing pedagogical and outreach opportunities for CSU students please know that your support is what allows us to continue publishing and programming throughout the year.
James Allen Hall’s collection of essays, I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well, appeared on SPD’s bestsellers listQNotes’ “Ideas for the LGBTQ book lovers on your holiday gift list;” and Anomalous Press’ “Books to Watch Out For.” Hall was interviewed by Alex DiFrancesco at the CSU Poetry Center blog and appeared on Woodstock Book Talk in October. Colorado Review says Hall handles fraught topics “deftly, with a sly sense of humor;” Newpages writes that “a collection of essays has never been so utterly tragic and full of truth;” and Queen Mob’s Tea House says I Liked You Better “takes the cool, intellectual quality of conceptual writing and poetics and turns it in on the self, allowing for experimentation while maintaining intimacy.” More can be found at American MicroreviewsReviews by Amos LassenHunger Mountain, and The Rumpus.

In Entropy, Carrie Lorig writes of Jane Lewty’s second book, In One Form to Find Another, that “Lewty feels through the body’s ferocious, complex response to trauma while refusing to create a linearity and narrative arc which names or details the transgressive / traumatic event.” Lewty’s collection was named “Book of the Week” at the Volta and excerpts can be found at La Vague and Verse Daily.

Sheila McMullin’s first book of poetry, daughterrarium has been beautifully reviewed at Forward ReviewsSouthern Indiana ReviewHeavy Feather ReviewGalatea Resurrects, and So To Speak, where Kristen Brida writes that, “McMullin focuses and reveals the many ways the feminine body is exploited, is overpowered in the patriarchal schema of the world.”

You can also find new books, poems, reviews, or interviews by Leora FridmanAllison TitusLo Kwa Mei-enPhil MetresDora MalechRebecca Gayle HowellZach SavichSandra SimondsElyse FentonLee Upton, and Lily Hoang. Shane McCrae, author of Mule (CSU Poetry Center, 2010) ) was recently the winner of a Lannan Literary Award and a National Book Award finalist for his newest collection, In the Language of My Captor, published this year by Wesleyan. Congrats, Shane!

The CSU Poetry Center offers graduate assistantships in small press editing and publishing for CSU-based students in the NEOMFA (Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing). If you or anyone you know is researching MFA programs in creative writing you might consider Cleveland State where we’re lucky to host the Lighthouse Reading Series, Playwrights Festival, and Whiskey Island Magazine, among other exciting writing programing. The NEOMFA is the nation's only consortial MFA program in the nation and boasts four schools’ worth of creative writing faculty and a great visiting writers series (this year includes CAConrad, Kelly Link, Emily Mitchell, Rob Handel, and Adam Gopnick). Application deadline: January 15th. 
The CSU Poetry Center invites queries regarding book-length volumes of poetry in translation for a new occasional series. Please send 1) A cover letter describing the project and confirming any necessary permissions; and 2) a sample translation of at least 20 pages. Full manuscripts are welcome. Email materials to associate director Hilary Plum at h.plum [at] csuohio [dot] edu. Submissions will be open until December 31, 2017.
This year’s Lighthouse Reading Series has hosted Abraham SmithHayan ChararaSheila McMullin, and Eric Fair, all of whom absolutely blew our audiences (and us!) away. Spring readers include Yona Harvey and James Allen Hall (2/9/18), and Dave Lucas and Renee Gladman (3/30/18). If you live in Northeast Ohio, we hope to see you in the spring!
Copyright © 2017 Cleveland State University Poetry Center, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a lover of poetry, prose, and innovative literary publishing.

Our mailing address is:
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
2121 Euclid Avenue
Rhodes Tower, Room 1841
ClevelandOH  44115 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Semifinal Slam

One Mic Open is having the first of the Semi-Final competitions for the Youth Poetry Slam Team at the Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern, Friday, December 1 from 8 to 11 PM. Donation to attend is $5/$3 students, but free to compete (if you're age 13 to 19)-- in fact, all youth of eligible age (13-19) will have no cover charge for the Semi Finals Pt. 1, 2 or Final stage, even if they don't compete. 
If you've never been to a poetry slam, this is something worth experiencing. Not for the aficionado of subtlety in poetry, a slam is in-your-face competitive poetry with a bad attitude. Miss this one? Look for the second Semi-Finals, January 5 at the Happy Dog.
Know any teenagers with a way with words and who wants to rumble?  Let them know! (Here are some tips.)

One Mic Open says:
One Mic Open is a grass roots youth literary arts education program geared towards bridging the gap between adults and youth, by having both share their work in a safe space at our open mic and slams. The ultimate goal of the slam series is to put together a four-six person team to compete at an international festival called Brave New Voices, sponsored by YouthSpeaks.
One Mic Open was created to reach the youth of not only Cleveland, but surrounding suburbs, in an effort to create a sense of community among the youth in North East Ohio. By sharing their talents, not limited only to poetry, at the open mic, we feel that they are creating a space in which they are free to be themselves in the most complete sense.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gordon Square Review!

Gordon Square
The Inaugural issue of Cleveland's new literary magazine, Gordon Square Review, just came out. Editor-in-chief Laura Maylene Walter writes about "the energy and sense of urgency that run throughout Gordon Square Review’s inaugural issue" in the editor's letter:
Whether it’s a poem like Scrapbook or a short story like Beasts Headed Home from the Party” by Hannah Lackoff (“We are young, we are wild, we are richer than we know”), our first issue glimmers with artful language, startling content, and innovative form. Watching this issue take shape confirmed that there’s not only room for a new online journal like Gordon Square Review, but that the depth of talent, both here in Northeast Ohio and beyond, demands it.
The zine rates a feature review by Michael Barron in Culture Trip:
The launch of the Gordon Square Review is a sign that literary journals might not be dying out after all. Cleveland is a literary city and Cleveland knows it. It was here that the literary theorist Fredric Jameson was born, here that writer Adelle Waldman first cut her teeth as a journalist, and here the novelist Sherwood Anderson had the nervous breakdown that led him to become a writer...
--and also a review by Anne Nickoloff in Cool Cleveland:
"It's really fascinating what kind of bizarre aesthetics emerged from our selections. Things that really surprised me, that I never would have had in my head when I went to start reading submissions," said Walter. "I think there are a lot of exciting pieces."
The review received more than 800 submissions, from Northeast Ohio... but also places as far away as Canada, Malaysia, the U.K. and India.
The lit-zine is sponsored by Cleveland's newest lit organization, Literary Cleveland.
"39 Planets (with Large Black Hand)" by Chris Pekoc
from Gordon Square Review, Nov. 2017
But, is there poetry in the issue?  But of course!  Poets featured include
--not to mention the contest winner, "On the Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings" by Mimi Plevin-Foust

And Gordon Square itself just got featured in none other than the New York Times as the hottest new thing going in Cleveland, at least in the arts. If it's the reason Cleveland's star shines according to the venerable NYT, maybe Gordon Square is something you should check out (come for the theatre... stay for the poetry! So don't forget to go up the road another mile and drop in at the Bowled over by Poetry at Mahall's reading, every first Monday of the month).


Friday, November 10, 2017

The City in Autumn

With the first hints of snow frosting the grass and asphalt of the city, the autumn issue of Kathy Smith's The City, a Cleveland 'zine of poetry and art, is out.
Worth a look!
image by Steven B. Smith for The City Autumn 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Poets for Puerto Rico

More than 30 artists will take part in "Poets for Puerto Rico" 6-9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 29, at The Happy Dog at 5801 Detroit Road, in Gordon Square.
Organized by Daniel Gray-Kontar and Twelve Literary Arts, the benefit is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

44th Anniversary Reading of the Cyril A. Dostal Poetry Workshop

Wow, the Poets' League of Greater Cleveland poetry workshop-- recently renamed the "Cyril A. Dostal Poetry Workshop" in honor of its founder and long-time moderator, the poet-curmudgeon Cy Dostal ("I'm here to calm down trouble, if people make trouble, and to stir up trouble, if nobody makes trouble") is 44 years old! and the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (the current home of the workshop) is celebrating on Sunday, October 22, from 2 to 3:30 pm.
They write:
Join us as we celebrate one of the oldest public writing workshops in the nation as well as its official renaming in honor of founder Cyril A. Dostal. Enjoy poetry readings by past workshop participants and stay afterward for refreshments and conversation.

So, come hear some poems, and celebrate Cleveland's oldest poetry workshop!

photo of the library

Now moderated by legendary Cleveland poet Bob McDunough, the workshop is still going strong, still free, and still open to the public, meeting every third Thursday of the month at 6:30 in the Porch meeting room of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library.  Bring 20 copies of a poem, and you'll be welcome too!

44th Anniversary Reading:
 1 Marilyn Schraff Subbing 100%
2 Jill Lange Zinnias
3 Rebecca Ferlotti Short North
4 Geoffrey Landis Shout
6 Kathryn Brock Aunt Kittie's Silver
7 Fred Schraff Settling
8 Len Seyfrid Junipers
9 Roberta Jupin Stone
10 Rick Ferris Comrades
11 M.A.Shaheed Conclusions
12 Arlene Ring Karma and Grace
13 Mary Turzillo Earth, Wind, Air, Fire
14 Chris Franke Re t Con Volution
15 Adrian Schnall Conversation
16 Carolyn Ritchie Uncelebrated
17 Doc Janning Together
18 Jim Bolce September 1942
19 Dail Duncan Blessed Are the Slow of Speech
20 Bob McDonough People Who Live on Dirt Roads

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Call for Applicants: City of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate 2018-2020

Heights Arts Announces Search for Next Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate

Heights Arts has begun the process of selecting the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate who will serve from April 2018, to March 2020. The term of Christine Howey, the current Cleveland Heights poet laureate, will end on March 31, 2018.

Poets across the northeast Ohio region are encouraged to apply. Candidates are not required to live in Cleveland Heights, but must demonstrate a strong connection to the city.

Applications will be accepted at the Heights Arts website (www. heightsarts.org) from mid-October, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Detailed information about the responsibilities of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate are available on the Heights Arts website. The Heights Writes Committee of Heights Arts will review applications and conduct interviews in January and February. They will make a final selection by March 2018.


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