Saturday, June 22, 2019

100 Ways Poetry Is In Your Life

Seth Abramson tells us, 100 Ways Poetry Is In Your Life

... I grabbed myself by my collar and shook myself from my complacency -- and considered how poetry suffuses my life in a way nothing else but sleep and dreaming has ever done in such quantity and with such persistence. And suddenly, as I drove my car down Gorham Street in Madison, I realized that there is rarely a moment in my life that is not profoundly touched by poetry, or in which I'm not seeking to infuse my life with poetry, whether or not I've recently written a poem with which I'm satisfied. So I thought I'd come home and enumerate some of the ways poetry is in my life...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hessler Street Fair Winners!

The winners of the 2019 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest have been announced!  Congratulations to Valentina Ventura, first place, for her poem "The Sound of Emptiness."
Valentina Ventura reads "The
Sound of Emptiness" at the
Hessler Street Fair poetry
contest reading
 (photo by John Burroughs)

As well as:
  • First place, Valentina Ventura, for "The Sound of Emptiness."
  • 2nd place, Georgia Reash, for "Me and Mother Nature"
  • 3rd  place (tie), Kevin Frederick Smith, for "Among the Roots"
  • 3rd  place (tie), Tam Polzer, for "Rust in Peace"
  • Honorable mention, Hannah Gates, for "Hiatus"

The winning poets received cash prizes, and will read their poems from the Hessler Street Fair stage on Sunday, June 2nd at 12:45 p.m. All stage events, poetry and music will be broadcast live on WRUW-FM.

This 2019 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest reading felt extra special since the entire fair will be on hiatus after this year. It took place at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Cleveland Heights. Over half of the 60 poets published in the book read and participated in the event. 

The Hessler Street Fair Poetry book has just been published by Writing Knights Press, and is available now and will be on sale at the 50th Annual Hessler Street Fair on June 1st and June 2nd (at the Hessler t-shirt booth) or at Mac's Backs Books on Coventry. All proceeds go to the Hessler Neighborhood Association, which has been sponsoring and funding the book and subsequent contest for about 20 years.

See you at the fair!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Juliet Cook answers questions

Juliet Cook of Blood Pudding Press has been doing a series of "poetry mini interviews"-- 5 short answers to 5 short questions, answering one question a week, conducted by Thomas Whyte.
*and if your problem with interviews is that you like them think they go on too long, you're in luck! These answers are indeed very short!

Check it out:
      All five parts

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Vision of the Gypsy Queen

Flier art by Lauren Dulay
Join Cleveland writer and journalist Nicole Hennessy as she celebrates the release of her new book, Gypsy Queen, via Crisis Chronicles Press.

The opening is on Saturday, May 4th from 6pm-10pm, with book signing and poetry reading at 8pm. Sarah Cuturic will also be joining us for the opening to perform original songs from her band, Napsack.

To accompany Nicole's book release there will be a three week long poetry/art event, curated by Nicole with several poems written by women that have been illustrated by women in a variety of media. A section of the show will also include Rocky River High School girls from a writing club called Driftwood. The art show will run for 3 weeks, through May 25th. Hours: Wed. through Sat. 1-6 p.m. Also open by appointment.

More details at  https://www.facebook.com/events/390866121702315/.

The Good Goat Gallery
17012 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Queer Community Read - April 17th at St. John's in Ohio City

The largest gathering of queer readers northeast Ohio has seen in years, Queer Community Read promises you an evening of our top queer poets, storytellers, and spoken word performers.

Eris Eady
Elaine Schleiffer
John Burroughs
Lou Barrett
EF Schraeder
LS Quinn
Bonné de Blas
Ezhno Martín
Rowan Pappenhagen
Emily Lane
Sarah McIntosh
Hannah Zipple
Natasha Smith

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Wed. 17 April 2019

Read more about this special event in the new issue of PRIZM: https://www.prizmnews.com/2019/04/amplifying-queer-quills/

Sponsored by:
the Cleveland Bisexual Network
Crisis Chronicles Press
Reading Room CLE
the LGBT Center
the She Collective
Dreamhouse Marketing

St. John's Episcopal Church
2600 Church Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

This event is free to the public. It will be in St. John's Parish Hall, the building next to the stone chapel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Call For Haikuists: the Haiku Death Match

Heights Arts Logo

Kathleen Cerveny writes:

Attention all Haiku Master Wannabes! 

Heights Arts' 2019 Haiku Death Match will take place August 3rd at Cain Park's Alma Theatre.  The Application to be a Death Match contestant is now open through May 15th. You can find the application and all the rules and regs at:

Haiku Death Match logo
8 poets and 2 alternates will be chosen by lottery to compete.

Winner receives: a cheesy trophy, title of 2019 Haiku Master, a $200.00 commission from Heights Arts for 10 Haiku to use in future programming like the poetry squares that are being installed at Cleveland Heights Libraries, and, of course, the adulation of the public. 
Final Four Receive: beautiful hand-crafted gift from a local artist.
Alternates: while not competing, alternates will present Haiku between rounds for the audience. 
All Participants Receive: A $100.00 participation stipend, publicity and promotion through Crowd Funding, website, ENews, and Social media prior to the event - as well as the program insert on the day of the event. Heights Arts will also sell poets' chapbooks or other publications in our store throughout the year.

Either way, mark your calendar, and pass this along to your friends so they can cheer you and the other contestants on!

Will YOU be the next Haiku Master?

2017 Haiku Death Match winner Ray McNiece (image courtesy Heights Arts)

Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest announced

Deadline is coming right up on Monday, so I thought I'd repost this to remind everybody to send their poems in!
Note the change from the originally planned date-- the reading is now set for May 11.

Hessler street fair 2019 poster

Writing Knights has announced the 2019 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest.

The Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest is one of the longest-running poetry events in Cleveland, it features cash prizes, and it's free to enter.
The best of the poems submitted are selected and printed in the Hessler Street Fair anthology, and the poets are invited to read their poems at a reading in May to select the winners.  The top poets will earn a slot to read on the main stage at the fair (simulcast on the radio), June 1 and 2, 2019.
Contest submissions close on April 15, so get your poems in now!
The reading for the contest top places will be held at Unitarian Universalist Society on May 11, 2019 at 7pm. 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. 

Publishing Poetry in Northeast Ohio: Roundtable, Readings, Book Fair

Join in a lively discussion with regionally and nationally known poetry publishers on Saturday April 13th at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

12:30-2:00 Roundtable
Representatives from Bottom Dog Press, Cleveland State University Press, Crisis Chronicles Press, NightBallet Press, Poet’s Haven, and University of Akron Press will share their thoughts and insights about publishing poetry and answer questions from the audience. Moderated by Bonné de Blas, an MFA Candidate in the Northeastern Ohio Master of Fine Arts program at Kent State University.

2:00-2:15 Break
Enjoy free refreshments while you browse the book fair, talk with local publishers, and check out their publications.

2:15-3:45 Readings
Several authors published by presses in today’s roundtable will read from their work. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Readers will include Phil Metres, Ray McNiece, Rikki Santer, Holli Rainwater, Robin Mullet, Larry Smith and more.

3:45-4:30 Book Fair
Browse the book fair, talk with local publishers, and check out their publications.

Cuyahoga County Public Library
South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch
1876 South Green Road
South Euclid, Ohio  44121
Phone 216-382-4880

This event is FREE and open to the public. Please RSVP at http://attend.cuyahogalibrary.org/event/1408538.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Traveling Stanzas / Lakewood Public Library Poetry Contest

Poetry Contest
Submissions accepted between Monday, March 4, 2019 and Monday, April 22, 2019 at 9:00 p.m. To submit a poem, visit the Traveling Stanzas exhibit and use the theme, Immigrant Voices, to compose your work. Poems will be judged by local poets. Winners and two runners up will be selected from the following age groups: K-8 grade, 9-12 grade and over 18. The contest will culminate with a poetry reading by the winners. Submissions accepted at any Library service desk or can be emailed to events@lakewoodpubliclibrary.org. Please include your name, contact information and age group.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Ohio Poetry Day Contest

Once again, the Ohio Poetry Day Association has sent out the flyer announcing twenty-six contests for 2019.
I don't usually like contests with entry fees, but the entry fee on this one, $10.00, is so absurdly low for twenty-six contests (of course, you don't have to enter them all) that it's pretty clear nobody's making money on this. It's a bargain.

No URL-- OPD is purely old school; paper submissions only.  Postmark by the May 15 deadline.
And, if you want a little mini-vacation to Troy in the autumn, mark your calendars for the Ohio Poetry Day celebration October 18 and 18.

Pages of Ohio Poetry Day flyer, with the list of poetry contests

Pages from Ohio Poetry Day contest, announcing the contest and with the entry form

Page from Ohio Poetry Day flyer, with format for poem submissions

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Words On Fire: A Remembrance of the Cuyahoga River Fire now online

Freighter on Cuyahoga. Photo by GL.
The Cleveland Lit sponsored a staged reading, Words On Fire: A Remembrance of the Cuyahoga River Fire, as part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival, with poems celebrating the Cuyahoga or Cleveland or commemorating the 50th anniversary of the great Cuyahoga River fire, with contributors from Alberto Montero, Amy Phipps, David J. Adams, David Lee Garrison, DT McCrea, Gail Bellamy, Geoffrey Landis, Jeremy Mark Ritch, Jill Sell, Josh Davis, Lee Chilcote, Maria Wolfe, Marsha McGregor, Mary Turzillo, Melissa Warren, Meredith Holmes, Theresa Gottl Brightman, Toni K. Thayer, and Vince Robinson.

logo of Literary Cleveland

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month logo
Once again, the calendar has rolled around to April, and tomorrow will be the start of National Poetry Month. And that means that the Cuyahoga Public Library is celebrating with their month-long Read+Write: Thirty Days of Poetry. For every day of the National Poetry month, you can expect a new poem by a Northeastern Ohio poet, along with a poetry prompt, and a daily challenge. Sign up now!  

logo for Cuyahoga Library Read+Write event

National Poetry Month poster

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Jim Lang Book Club at Cleveland Clinic

Lerner Research Institute  
Jim Lang Book Club
Local Author Series

Please join us to hear Dr. Bilgere read Jim Lang's poems in celebration of the inaugural Jim Lang Book Club, a series that will feature local authors. Dr. Bilgere has published seven poetry collections, and his poems have also appeared in many distinguished journals and several anthologies. His collections and individual poems are award-winning, garnering the Devins Award for Poetry, the May Swenson Poetry Award, the Midland Authors Award, and a Pushcart Prize, among others. In 1991 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and he was later named a Witter Bynner Fellow, a prestigious honor bestowed in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Dr. Bilgere was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature in 2003 and received a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cleveland's Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in 2014. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council have also recognized and supported Dr. Bilgere. In addition to teaching at John Carroll University and writing, he hosts a popular weekly WJCU radio program, Wordplay, that explores the craft of poetry and celebrates the spoken word.

Jim Lang passed away in 2017, but his presence is still felt by those who knew him during his more than 25 years as the LRI Photographic Services Core Director. Jim was much more than our resident photographer – he was a friend, poet, artist, philosopher, potter, scholar, and above all, a true humanitarian. He had the unique ability to light up any space with his love of life and literature. He willingly shared his knowledge on a wide variety of topics and his expertise in many areas, and he instilled in us a deep appreciation for all that enriches our lives beyond our chosen professions and everyday responsibilities. Jim organized poetry slams in his early days and book clubs most recently, so we will continue the book club in his honor.

Hosted by Vince Tuohy, PhD and Justin Johnson, Dept. of Inflammation and Immunity
Monday, April 1   3:00 pm    LRI Commons
Light refreshments will be provided.

Cleveland Clinic - Lerner Research Institute
9620 Carnegie Avenue (N building)
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Monday, March 11, 2019

Words On Fire: A Remembrance of the Cuyahoga River Fire, 1969

For the third consecutive year, Literary Cleveland will host a free staged reading of original work by Cleveland writers at the Cleveland Humanities Festival
This year's performance, titled “Words On Fire: A Remembrance of the Cuyahoga River Fire, 1969,” will be held Saturday, March 16 and Sunday March 17 at 7pm in Cleveland State University's Student Center Ballroom (2121 Euclid Ave, Cleveland), in partnership with the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. 
And, check out an interview with the show's director, Chennelle Bryant-Harris on the lit Cleveland blog.
Cuyahoga River Fire Nov. 3, 1952. Courtesy of Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State University Library

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Celebrate Indy Bookstores!

photo of shelves at Loganberry Books
Loganberry Books - Photo by Stu Spivack
photo of Mac's Backs bookstore
Mac's Backs - Photo by GL
photo of Appletree Books bookstore
Appletree Books - photo by Lute Q.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Ohio Haiku Anthology Call for Submissions

The Ohio Haiku Anthology is an anthology celebrating contemporary English Language Haiku haiku written by Ohio poets, past and present.

The closing date for entries is March 31, 2019. Poets selected will be announced by June 30, 2019.

Poets selected for the anthology will be paid one copy of the anthology.

Your submission should comprise of 5-10 haiku and senryu. We are specifically looking for poems that follow the contemporary English Language Haiku format as described by The Haiku Society of America.  (http://www.hsa-haiku.org/archives/HSA_Definitions_2004.html)  While we will not reject poems that are 5-7-5 outright, they must follow the other HSA guidelines for haiku.
We are primarily looking for poems that have been previously published by leading haiku journals and presses. After each poem, please indicate the publication name and date. While we will not reject unpublished poems outright, the emphasis for this anthology is on previously published work.

Your submission should be in English and must be entirely your own work. You must have reprint rights for your poems. By submitting your poems, you are agreeing that you have reprint rights.
Your name and e-mail address should appear on the top of your submission. A cover sheet should include your name, address, email address, and your relationship to Ohio. If you are currently living in Ohio, please let us know where. If you are a past resident of Ohio, please let us know when and where you lived in Ohio.

Entries must be sent by email.

Email entries should be sent to CuttlefishPoetryBooks@gmail.com. Electronic manuscripts and cover sheets should be sent as MS Word or PDF files attached to the email.

Copyright remains with the authors. For previously published poems, Cuttlefish Books will seek Anthology Reprint Rights for the purposes of this anthology. For unpublished poems, Cuttlefish Books will seek Anthology Rights.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Russell Vidrick comes to Mr. Smith's Coffeehouse

We are pleased to host Russell Vidrick as our featured writer for the March 16th Reading at Mr. Smith's Coffeehouse in Sandusky....Sponsored by the Firelands Writing Center and Bottom Dog Press. Come on out and enjoy the lake and the beauty of Sandusky in the winter....Russell will warm you as will the good drinks at Mr. Smith's...Open mic to follow....2 - 3:30 pm

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Daniel Thompson: One Tough Poet

Documentary - Daniel Thompson: One Tough Poet (2019)
Daniel Thompson at Cafe Noir, 2003
foto © Steven B. Smith, agentofchaos.com
This new film, directed by Jim Wolpaw, is the culmination of a twelve-year effort to document the life of a cultural hero. Daniel Thompson was a fearless poet and social activist. In 1992, he was proclaimed the first poet laureate of Cuyahoga County. The resolution states, “Daniel Thompson has distinguished himself as one of Cuyahoga County’s most colorful, talented and concerned citizens.” Well-known for his humorous, playful and poignant work, Thompson’s legacy lives on in the Northeast Ohio poetry community. 

Two showings:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 7 p.m.
2345 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 932-3600

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
15425 Detroit Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
(216) 226-8275

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

South Euclid Poet Laureate to launch Second Sunday Poets open mic

[From John Burroughs:]

My next reading is March 10th at 3 p.m., where I'll have the honor of being the first featured poet for a new monthly series curated by M. A. "Doc" Janning, Poet Laureate of South Euclid, OH, at the Cuyahoga County Public Library's South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch. I hope you'll join me in supporting Doc in this new endeavor and bring something to share at the open mic.

William N. Skirball Writers' Center
Cuyahoga County Public Library
1876 South Green Road
South Euclid, Ohio 44121

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Coming Up at the Lakewood Public Library

This spring Lakewood Public Library and Wick Poetry Center will be presenting an interactive poetry exhibit with a plethora of supporting programs focusing on poetry and the immigrant experience. Here are a few highlights:

Exhibit ─ Traveling Stanzas: Immigrant Voices
Presented by The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University
Main Library Second Floor Gallery  
Lakewood Public Library and Wick Poetry Center present Traveling Stanzas: Immigrant Voices, an interactive exhibit including creative writing tools and activities. Acknowledging the unique experiences of immigrants in our community, this public display engages a dialogue through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry. The exhibit is open to visitors from March 1, 2019 through April 30, 2019, with supporting programs throughout the spring and summer.

Poetry Contest
Submissions accepted between Monday, March 4, 2019 and Monday, April 22, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
To submit a poem, visit the Traveling Stanzas exhibit and use the theme, Immigrant Voices, to compose your work. Poems will be judged by local poets. Winners and two runners up will be selected from the following age groups: K-8 grade, 9-12 grade and over 18. The contest will culminate with a poetry reading by the winners. Submissions accepted at any Library service desk or can be emailed to events@lakewoodpubliclibrary.org. Please include your name, contact information and age group.

Traveling Stanzas: Immigrant Voices Opening Gala
Featuring: David Hassler, Director Wick Poetry Center; Katie Daley, Teaching Artist Wick Poetry Center and a performance by Global Connections
Friday, March 8, 2019 music starts at 6:30 p.m., opening remarks begin at 7:00 p.m.
Main Library Grand Reading Room
We invite you to celebrate the opening of Traveling Stanzas: Immigrant Voices. David Hassler will speak about the history and impact of the Traveling Stanzas exhibits, and Katie Daley will speak about leading workshops in our community to create poetry featured in our exhibit. The poetry created in these workshops is directly reflected in this public display. There will also be a performance by Global Connections and a poetry reading.    

Poetry Workshops
Led by Leanne Hoppe
Thursdays: March 14, 2019; March 28, 2019; April 11, 2019 and April 25, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesdays: March 19, 2019 (18 and younger only); April 2, 2019 and April 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Main Library Second Floor Gallery
From the Italian, stanza means a room—a place to pause. Indeed, Traveling Stanzas offers individuals moments of pause, with which to reflect on their lives, their city and a shared experience of their community. Leanne Hoppe, local teacher, editor and translator will lead workshops in the Traveling Stanzas Exhibit to give attendees a structured moment to explore the interactive tools. Tuesday, March 19, 2019 is reserved for individuals 18 and under.  

WordStage- Give Me Your Tired: Expressions of Immigration
Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
Poet Emma Lazarus wrote, “The New Colossus”. Its most iconic line reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. Join us for this performance featuring immigrant stories through the poetic voice. The poems featured will come from community members and influential poets. WordStage is a chamber music reader’s theater dedicated to the presentation of works with special literary, historical and musical merit.

Traveling Stanzas: Immigrant Voices Poetry Contest Reading
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
The Traveling Stanzas: Immigrant Voices Poetry contest will culminate in a poetry reading featuring the winners and two runners up from each of the three age categories. The winners will be selected by a panel of local poets. Each submission is inspired by the Traveling Stanzas Exhibit, exploring the theme of immigrant voices and reflecting on the impact of immigration in our community. Join us to hear from the winners as well as from a local poet.

For details on these and additional programs, visit lakewoodpubliclibrary.org.

Lakewood Public Library

15425 Detroit Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
(216) 226-8275


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