Sunday, April 26, 2015

The National Beat Poetry Festival Is Coming to Cleveland!

Exciting news!  The National Beat Poetry Festival is coming to Cleveland! 

The official mission statement of The National Beat Poetry Festival is:
 "The National Beat Poetry Festival, as a non-profit organization, is dedicated to hosting, collaborating, and fostering joint partnerships for Beat themed poetry readings, workshops, plays, radio shows and much more locally and across America...the Beat Generation's significant writings and history of its original prime movers lives on from its inception in the early 1940's, and its legacy continues today by way of new writers, poets and artists of disparate influences and means of expression. The NBFP is committed to not only supporting venues in existence, but also in developing new venues where cultural preservation and the works of new artists can show yesterday meeting the living voices of today. NBFP's activities promote literacy and open exchange dialogue which incorporates the Beat history and art at its base, to break boundaries and bridge cultures with new thought, ideas, and free expression."

Events will be happening throughout the month of September in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Indiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Long Island, New York City, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Berkeley, Fredonia, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Denver, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Luis Obispo, Chicago, Augusta Georgia, Charlotte NC, Newport News Virginia, Clearwater Florida, Venice California, Posznan Poland, Nigeria, Greece, Liverpool England, Bangalore India, Stockholm Sweden,  and Grabserberg Switzerland.  New events are added daily!
On Saturday September 19, 2015, Cleveland, OH will celebrate The National Beat Poetry Festival with the event BeatStreet Cleveland at the Barking Spider Tavern, 11310 Juniper Rd, from 3pm to 7pm, featuring poets and live music, with free admission.

YOU are invited to join us for this historic Happening!

Confirmed guests so far include:

Chansonette Buck  (Oregon) -- reading from her memoir Unnecessary Turns: Growing Up Beat

Chansonette Buck spent her childhood "on the road" as stepdaughter of a Black Mountain poet.  She holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and has won awards for her visual art, poetry, and teaching. In her poem "back then" from her chapbook blood oranges, she writes about riding in the back seat of the car with her brother and Peter Orlovsky, with Allen Ginsberg and her parents in the front. 

Alex Gildzen (New Mexico) -- published by d.a. levy in the Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle

Alex Gildzen is a poet and artist who uses film as the basis of his work.  He entered Kent State University in 1961, and while still an undergraduate had poems published in American Weave and Snowy Egret.  He met d.a. levy in 1965; Hugh Fox included him in his 1973 anthology The Living Underground.  His book Ohio Triangle has just been published by Crisis Chronicles Press to celebrate his 72nd birthday.  Find Gildzen at Arroyo Chamisa.

John Burroughs (Cleveland) -- poems include "Cannot Believe William S. Burroughs Is Dead" and "Allen Ginsberg Wants You"

John Burroughs is the author of The Eater of the Absurd and numerous poetry chapbooks, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Since 2008 he has been editor/publisher for Crisis Chronicles Press; he co-founded the annual Snoetry Winter Wordfest.  He performs his dynamic poetry throughout OH, MI, WV, and PA.  His new book Beat Attitude (from NightBallet Press) will debut at BeatStreet Cleveland.

Mad Anthony (Cincinnati)

Mad Anthony delivers "wicked dueling guitars and thunderous drums," "passion, unhinged energy and volume," "reckless abandon and relentless dedication," and "highly energetic songs with fun, quirky songwriting."  Their newest cd is Sank for Days.  Ringo Jones, Adam Flaig, and Marc Sherlock thrilled Cleveland in 2010 and 2011 with their sets at Lix & Kix, and are sure to blow the roof off any place they play.

Check out BeatStreet Cleveland the blog for more details and updated information! Go HERE
Stay tuned for exciting news as more poets are confirmed, and mark your calendars for this Very Special Event.  Cleveland's heart will BEAT brightly with BeatStreet at the Barking Spider in September!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tomas Tranströmer, 1931–2015

Below Freezing
Tomas Tranströmer
translated by Robert Bly
We are at a party that doesn’t love us. Finally the party lets the mask fall and shows what it is: a shunting station for freight cars. In the fog cold giants stand on their tracks. A scribble of chalk on the car doors.
One can’t say it aloud, but there is a lot of repressed violence here. That is why the furnishings seem so heavy. And why it is so difficult to see the other thing present: a spot of sun that moves over the house walls and slips over the unaware forest of flickering faces, a biblical saying never set down: “Come unto me, for I am as full of contradictions as you.”
I work the next morning in a different town. I drive there in a hum through the dawning hour that resembles a dark blue cylinder. Orion hangs over the frost. Children stand in a silent clump, waiting for the school bus, the children no one prays for. The light grows gradually as our hair.
Tomas Tranströmer, 1931–2015
He had been nominated for the Nobel Prize every year since 1993, and finally won in 2011. The Swedish Academy said in its citation that Transtromer had received the Nobel prize “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”.
Transtromer was left partly paralysed after suffering a stroke in 1990, which made it difficult for him to speak, though he continued to write.
Transtromer debuted at 23 with the collection Seventeen Poems, and later divided his time between poetry and his work as a psychologist.
In famous collections such as the 1966 Windows And Stones, Transtromer used imaginative metaphors to describe the mysteries of the human mind, while his other work addressed nature, history and death.
He is survived by his wife Monika and their two daughters Emma and Paula.
Today, we are re-reading such poems as “The Indoors Is Endless”;
Other poems:
Ten poems by Tomas Tranströmer
translations by Robert Bly
A Programme of Texts by Tomas Tranströmer
Nobel Lecture December 7, 2011
Tomas Tranströmer
One evening in February I came near to dying here.
The car skidded sideways on the ice, out
on the wrong side of the road. The approaching cars –
their lights – closed in.

My name, my girls, my job
broke free and were left silently behind
further and further away. I was anonymous
like a boy in a playground surrounded by enemies.

The approaching traffic had huge lights.
They shone on me while I pulled at the wheel
in a transparent terror that floated like egg white.
The seconds grew – there was space in them –
they grew as big as hospital buildings.

You could almost pause
and breathe out for a while
before being crushed.

Then something caught: a helping grain of sand
or a wonderful gust of wind. The car broke free
and scuttled smartly right over the road.
A post shot up and cracked – a sharp clang – it
flew away in the darkness.

Then – stillness. I sat back in my seat-belt
and saw someone coming through the whirling snow
to see what had become of me.
I have been walking for a long time
on the frozen Östergötland fields.
I have not seen a single person.

In other parts of the world
there are people who are born, live and die
in a perpetual crowd.

To be always visible – to live
in a swarm of eyes –
a special expression must develop.
Face coated with clay.

The murmuring rises and falls
while they divide up among themselves
the sky, the shadows, the sand grains.

I must be alone
ten minutes in the morning
and ten minutes in the evening.
– Without a programme.

Everyone is queuing at everyone's door.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Come to Sandusky's Mr. Smith's Coffeehouse for a fine reading event.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

National Poetry Month

(Guest post, from The Cauldron)

National Poetry Month

Timothy Cox

April is National Poetry Month, and for many poets — and a good number of poetry lovers and appreciators — it is a time to reflect on words and their beauty.
There are a number of ways to participate in the celebration.
The students of the poetry workshops offered by the Cleveland State University English Department come together for weekly classes to hone their craft and grow a greater love for the poetic word.
Organizations such as Speak Up!, a monthly poetry slam held at the university hosted by the Black Studies Department, bring together poets of the spoken word to do just that — speak up.
The many diverse voices you may encounter in the hallways of CSU or in the Black Studies Department are the backdrop for the amplification of the university's poets. As poets, we harmonize, and in the celebration of ceremony, turn verse to life and life to verse.
For National Poetry Month, find a poetry reading on campus, and open yourself to a reality you may not otherwise encounter — for the word is life, and all young people seek life in some form or another.
Try a poetry challenge — write a poem for each of the 30 days of April in celebration of the occasion, a feat of no meager means.
Young poets have taken to social media to challenge their fellows to dedicate themselves in celebration of National Poetry Month.
The challenge is to be vigilantly creative and steadfast to honor those poets who have done so throughout their careers — in the virtues of passion and discipline and little else. A daunting task turns into routine when one loves what one does.
Some may be turned away by words. Some may be turned away by language. Some may be turned away by art.
But what is more important is love — for poems and for those who write them. There is warmth in verses of poetry that is not found elsewhere in the realm of the arts.
Be as it may, the task of the poet has been to introduce, inculcate and conclude one's journey through the arts. It is a lifelong journey for some — for others, it may simply be an interesting semester.
This month, read Countee Cullen or Dylan Thomas, Saul Williams or Jack Kerouac. Read poetry.com. But you would be remiss not to read a poem this month.
Find what you enjoy and indulge, for there is much on the other side of the cover of a book of poetry.
And before you make it to the rear side of the book you will have breathed and blinked and grown and understood that there is much more to the written word than meets the eye. Celebrate a poem. Celebrate a poet. Celebrate National Poetry Month.

Timothy Cox

Timothy Cox is a senior English major at CSU.
Originally appeared in The Cauldron, Tuesday, April 14, 2015 
Reprinted with permission of the editors.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stark poetry

Are you having a great national poetry month?  Are you following the Cuyahoga Public library's 30 Days of Poetry series, featuring 30 poems by 30 Northeast Ohio poets (today's poet: Jack McGuane), and challenging you to write your own 30 days of poetry?

Meanwhile, the Stark county library is also celebrating Ohio poets:
To celebrate National Library Week, we asked seven Stark County authors to loan the library a passage of a previously published work that touched somehow on the theme of libraries, librarians, books, and/or reading. We also asked each of them to tell us what libraries have meant to them. Each day this week we are featuring the response of one of those writers among whom are a historian, a journalist, three poets, and two fiction writers. You can come here daily to read their offerings.

Keep watching all week, and don't miss some of the writers featured:
photo of Bonnie Jacobson
Bonnie Jacobson

Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 Ohio Poetry Day contests

first page of flyer for Ohio poetry day contests
The third Friday of every October is Ohio Poetry Day, and every year the Ohio Poetry Day Association sponsors a series of Ohio Poetry Day Contests, with prizes from five dollars to sixty dollars.  This year there are thirty contests, ranging from the annual "I hate you- let's have a drink!" contest, to the Crème de la Crème contest, open only to previous winners, and the Evan Lodge Workshop award, for poetry to be critiqued in workshop on Ohio Poetry Day.

Closing Date: May 31, 2015 (postmark)
Eligibility for all contests consists of payment of a single $10.00 fee sent with the poems and entry blank, which is required of all entrants. (For thirty contests, that's the cheapest entry fee you will find anywhere.) All poems must be mailed with fee at one time in one envelope. If more than two poems, mail flat in a 9x12 envelope. All poems should be mailed to Bill Reyer, Contest Chairman, Department of English, Heidelberg University, 310 East Market St., Tiffin, OH 44883.
Entries must be original, unpublished in any form and must never have won a state or national contest prize of over $10, or be submitted for publication elsewhere. Poems must be in English, typed, photocopied or computer generated; single spaced (except between stanzas); on one side of 8 1/2 x 11 white paper. No artwork except for contest #2, the contest for the cover of the annual book.
All poems must be titled, and title should not be the same as contest/theme title. Two clear copies of each poem must be sent, both containing number and name of contest in the upper left corner, and the second copy only containing in the upper right corner the name and address of the contestant. Ohio only contests should add "Ohio native" after out of state address if relevant. Address labels or rubber stamps may be used.
Poems should be separated into first ('judges') and second (ID) copies and stacked in numerical order with judges' copies on top. Only one poem may be sent to any contest (except "Welcome Aboard" and the "Evan Lodge Workshop Award" ), and no poem may be entered in more than one contest. No poems or artwork will be returned, so keep copies of your work. Entrants retain all rights to their work, except that prize-winning poems and art will be published in a copyrighted Best of 2015 book which will appear at Poetry Day and be for sale at and after that date. Any entries in contravention of these rules will be disqualified and fee forfeited. Awards will be made at the Ohio Poetry Day weekend, October 16 & 17, at the University of Mount Union.
Winners lists will be made available in late summer if #10 SASE is sent with poems. No other prior notification will be made. Those not present at Poetry Day will have awards mailed to them. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard if you wish verification of your entry packet. You may photocopy these rules.

--Oh, and mark you calendars for the Ohio Poetry Day itself!  This year the celebration is the evening of October 16 (social and workshops) and during the day on 17 (readings and celebrations) at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

So, Do You Want a Challenge?

Image of armored knight, from Wikipedia
I challenge you!
It's National Poetry Month, and poetic challenges are coming thick and fast.

If you want to write a poem a day, you shouldn't complain that nobody's challenging you!

Are you up for it?

Over on Cuyahoga County Public Library's 30 Days of Poetry site, the first challenge is up:

April 1: Think abou​t opposites:

  • If we could make April Fool’s Day into April Sage's Day, how would it be celebrated? Write a poem of decrees for such a day.

Meanwhile, the Writing Knights have set up their own challenge-a-day for the month of April. Their challenges will all dealing with "vestigal words".  The goal is to use the word in that day's poem:

Writing Knights April 1 challenge:

  • Today's word is: Agelast: a person who never laughs. Use the word in today's poem.
--e-mail your poem to Writing Knights, or post your challenge poem to their facebook page.

And, over at "Poetic Asides," Robert Lee Brewer kicks off another month of April poetry challenges:

PAD Challenge, day 1:

  • For today’s prompt, write a resistance poem. There are many forms of resistance, including militant resistance, resistance to new ideas, the resistance in exercise, and maybe even a little resistance to starting a new project. I hope you don’t resist the urge to write a poem today.
(Brewer' also gives a list of Poetic challenge tips-- worth reading even if you aren't doing the challenges,)
--Post your challenge poem to the comments of Poem A Day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

30 days of Poetry!

Icon for Cuyahoga County Public Library 30 Days of Poetry
Today the Cuyahoga County Public Library starts their celebration of National Poetry Month with "30 days of Poetry"!
They'll feature a poem from a different Northeast Ohio poet every day this month:
along with poetry writing prompts.
Or, sign up for to get their daily e-mail: to date, 1249 people have signed up to get the daily page! (That's even more than last year, when prizes were given away for signing up).
And, last year they didn't have a place for readers to post. This year you can comment on the day’s post, as well as tweet #readwritepoetry

image of an old National Poetry Month poster
Many thanks to 
for organizing it all!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We'll be having a good time in the old place this day

We'll be having a good time in the old place this day.
Raising some issues and opening some doors
on the issue of Women's Rights.
Laura is a pro and a fine performer.
Open-Mic to follow on this day of National Poetry Month

Monday, March 30, 2015

Edible Books this Saturday!

at Loganberry:
11th Annual Books 2 Eat
Edible Books Festival
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12:00PM
~ annual event ~

Booklovers, bookbinders, cooks, and craftspeople of all ages are invited to participate.  Actual books displayed with the edible entry are encouraged.  Prizes include Most Literary, Most Appetizing, Best Binding, Best Pun, and of course, Best of Show.  Here’s the time table:
  • 12:00  artists should deliver their creations and set them up
  • 1:00  all entries must be here, and Voting opens
  • 2:00  Prizes awarded, immediately followed by eating the books!
It is free to participate and enjoy the show.  Voting and Eating privileges cost $3 and ensure future festivals.  The International Edible Books Festival started in 2000 and has been gaining popularity each year.  Loganberry Books and Strong Bindery have co-sponsored the Cleveland event since 2004, and give out hand-made miniature book pins to all contest entrants and book awards to contest winners.  Why do we do all this? Because it's a lot of fun.  I hope you’ll join us.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's all because of Joan Baez...

One of Northern Ohio's most celebrated writers is Bombay-born Thrity Umrigar, who just published her seventh novel, The Story Hour.

So, how did she end up in Ohio, anyway? Thrity Umrigar speaks.
"I was sitting in my living room in Bombay, checking off a list of American universities that offered a M.A. in journalism, when my eyes fell on 'Ohio State University.' There was a Joan Baez record playing on the turntable and right then, her song, Banks of the Ohio, came on. I looked up and thought, 'It's a sign,' and decided to apply there."

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology and Contest

It's time to submit to the 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. If your poem gets chosen for the book, you'll be invited to read it 5/13 at Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry. Immediately after the reading, three winners will be selected. Winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to read live and on the radio during the Fair itself.  But even if you don't wish to compete, you are welcome to submit to the book.

The rest of the story:

Submit up to 5 original poems to hesslerpoetry@crisischronicles.com. Please include your name, street address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number with your submission. (No snail mail entries, please.) Word docx preferred. Otherwise, in the body of the email is acceptable.

Entry deadline is April 20th, 2015. We will let you know by April 30th if your work is accepted for the anthology. On Wednesday May 13th, 2015 at 7pm, a qualifying round of readings by those whose poems have been selected will be held during the book's release at Mac's Backs Books on Coventry. About 20 minutes after all poets have read, prize winners will be announced and prizes will be handed out.

1st Prize $100
2nd Prize $50
3rd Prize $25

Open to ages 14 and up.

Poets published in the book may purchase one contributor's copy of the 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology the evening of the release at Mac's Back's or from the Hessler Street Fair Booth at Hessler Rd. & Hessler Ct. during the days of the 2015 Fair for half price. Full price will be charged for additional copies.

If you have won in the last three years you can submit to the anthology but will not be eligible to win a prize.

Prize winners are also expected to read on the designated day (May 16th or 17th) during the Hessler Street Fair.

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 as stated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Once again, all entries should be emailed to hesslerpoetry@crisischronicles.com. Happy writing!

1820 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 321-2665

For more about the Hessler Street Fair, established in 1969, please visit hesslerstreetfair.org.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrate Spring with The City!

Celebrate the equinox-- spring is here!

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” 

The long march homeward
cannot happen until you
leave, then turn around.

Heights Arts presents Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond

Cleveland Heights, OH - On Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m., the community is invited to join an evening of conversation with Daniel Levin, associate professor of photographer at Cuyahoga Community College and guest curator of Impermanence, on view at Heights Arts through April 18.  Showcasing the works of 11 Cleveland photographers, Impermanence celebrates Cleveland’s changing urban landscape—from Tremont to the Heights inner ring suburbs—through pairs of photographs showing the same view of a site at different historical times.  Levin and exhibition photographers will discuss “rephotographic survey,” the concept and process behind Impermanence, as well as the stories behind the creation of their images.

Image: "The Vogue Beauty of Lola," 1995 Beverly Conley / 2015 Mark Holz

In an interesting twist to the standard curator’s talk, Heights Arts also invites regional poets to respond to the works on view as part of the evening. Hear from Cleveland Heights’ incoming Poet Laureate Meredith Holmes, plus poets Bunny Breslin, Diane Kendig, Robert McDonough, Jill Sell and Catherine Wing, who will read original poems created in response to these photographs of our city. A reception is held prior to the talk; all are encouraged to come early and enjoy refreshments while viewing the exhibition.

2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cleveland Heights names Meredith Holmes as Seventh Poet Laureate

Presentation ceremony to be held at Cleveland Heights City Hall on April 6

Cleveland Heights, OH – The City of Cleveland Heights and Heights Arts welcomes its seventh Poet Laureate, Meredith Holmes, and thanks outgoing Poet Laureate Kathleen Cerveny, in a special ceremony on Monday, April 6, 2015 at 7:30pm. Held at Cleveland Heights City Hall, the community is invited to attend and hear both poets speak.

Meredith served for one year as the first Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate in 2005 and will serve her second one-year term from 2015 to 2016. Her poems have been published in journals, including, most recently, Flyover Country Review and Literary Mama. Meredith’s poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Bad Times; the Kattywompus Press collection While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem; Awake at the End, published by Heights Arts and Bottom Dog Press; and the upcoming How Higher Education Feels, edited by Dr. Kathleen Quinlan.

Initially established by Heights Arts with the approval of the City of Cleveland Heights in 2005, the purpose of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate is to celebrate and elevate the art form of creative writing for the benefit of the community’s residents. Cleveland Heights is the first Ohio city to establish the office of Poet Laureate.

For more information about the City of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate program, visit www.heightsarts.org or call 216-371-3457.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why are Squirrels so Dang Poetic?

Wergle Flomp is probably the best-ever contest for funny poetry: multiple cash prizes and no entry fee. (It started out as a contest for awful poetry, but soon enough the winning poems were ones that were so awful that they were artful, and from there it just became a funny poem contest).
photo by James Marvin Phelps
Last year, judging assistant Lauren Singer read 4,484 submissions.  From her experience, she had this to say about what doesn't work (from the Winning Writer's Newsletter):
Parodies based on Poe, "The Night Before Christmas," Yeats, and Frost: If you are going to have a "With Apologies To..." poem, it needs to be clever enough to back up the fact that it is based on a famous original. So many of these poets jumped ship somewhere in the middle and did not utilize any clever parodying qualities, and merely wrote poems that were completely separate from the originals. Just stealing the voice of a dead poet does not a good poem make!

Poems that I found particularly arduous to read:
Poems about pooping, farting, vomiting, getting fat, having saggy boobs, tricking your husband so that he would stay with you, tricking your wife so that she would leave you, wrinkles, chocolate addiction, unoriginal limericks that began "There once was a man from Nantucket" that ended with "f*** it!", poems that invented their own language without a glossary and just translated as wan gibberish.

Poems that were offensive: Ones that embraced a pro-rape culture (there were more of these than you might think, and it was quite disheartening); poems that described women as objects; poems that led the reader to believe they were about women and then turned into poems about an object (odes to a car, boat, La-Z-Boy, golf club, burger, guitar, etc.); homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, racist poems, of which there were many; poems that mock a lifestyle in attempts to undermine it (making light of stay-at-home moms/dads, that sort of thing); poems that made light of mental illness, addiction, and recovery, in an offensive way as opposed to a self-deprecatingly humorous way.

"I'm getting so old" poems: These were by far the highest number of poems submitted in 2014. These have the ability to be funny, but more often than not there is SO much overlap. "I used to be so attractive, thin, energetic. Now I'm fat, wrinkly, and don't have sex. I can't bend over anymore, I can't sit up without grunting, I can't eat fried foods, I can't enjoy life because I'm over 60." These become tiring and disheartening after a while. There were a few that embraced an original voice and those made the cut, but the vast majority of poems about aging were nearly indistinguishable from each other.
Feeling squirrelly: There were well over a hundred poems solely about squirrels. This is merely a side note, as some of them were quite funny, but out of sheer curiosity, what the hell was it about squirrels this year? What is this obsession? Why are squirrels so dang poetic? Any squirrel poems that ended in a pun about nuts generally didn't make the cut.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ray McNiece Coming to Sandusky--March 14th

Ray McNiece Coming to Sandusky--March 14th
Coffeehouse Reading Series...2 pm. followed by Open-Mic
Ray McNiece
 Sponsored by The Firelands Writing Center

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cleveland poetry events now on Poets and Writers Calendar.

photo of Aztec calendar stone

I have to give kudos to John Burroughs for doing the work of keeping up the clevelandpoetics calendar.
The Poets & Writers site has a literary events calendar, and an app that works with it.  At my query, their web wizard Jason Chapman just set it to import data from the clevelandpoetics calendar.
So, you can now follow Cleveland Poetry Events on the Poets & Writers Calendar.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Youth Slam Finals at Spaces on 28 March

at Spaces Gallery
2200 Superior Viaduct
Cleveland Ohio, 44113

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meet the Author- Jack's Memoirs

This should be a strong event focusing on one of America's finest writers through the writings of another fine writer Kurt Landefeld. It's a work of imagination and dedication to a vision.  Come and share your Kerouac.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Private Workshop with Stephen Haven

Stephen Haven [photo by Celia Olsen]
Stephen Haven, award-winning poet and director of a university poetry press and MFA Program, will offer a private poetry workshop from his Shaker Heights home on eight Sunday evenings, 7:00-9:00 p.m., May 10-June 28. Interested writers must be accepted into the workshop by submitting a 10-page poetry manuscript by April 15 to shhaven@gmail.com.  The cost of the workshop is $600, paid by May 1. Enrollment is limited to 10 poets.  Email Stephen Haven for more details. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Philip Levine, 1928–2015

 The Paris Review on Phillip Levine

Philip Levine, 1928–2015

February 15, 2015 | by
We were saddened to learn that Philip Levine died yesterday at eighty-seven. The U.S. poet laureate from 2011 to 2012, he composed poems that were, as Margalit Fox writes in the New York Times, “vibrantly, angrily, and often painfully alive with the sound, smell, and sinew of heavy manual labor.”
Levine grew up in industrial Detroit during the Depression; the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he worked factory jobs for Cadillac and for Chevrolet. “You could recite poems aloud in there,” he told The Paris Review in 1988 of his time on the assembly line. “The noise was so stupendous. Some people singing, some people talking to themselves, a lot of communication going on with nothing, no one to hear.”
His time in those jobs would later inform one of his most enduring poems, “They Feed They Lion,” from the late sixties—you can hear him read it above. Levine explained the title in a 1999 interview with The Atlantic:
I was working alongside a guy in Detroit—a black guy named Eugene—when I was probably about twenty-four. He was a somewhat older guy, and we were sorting universal joints, which are part of the drive shaft of a car. The guy who owned the place had bought used ones, and we were supposed to sort the ones that could be rebuilt and made into usable replacement parts from the ones that were too badly damaged. So we spread them out on the concrete floor, and we were looking at them carefully, because we were the guys who’d then do the job of rebuilding them. We had two sacks that we were putting them in—burlap sacks—and at one point Eugene held up a sack, and on it were the words “Detroit Municipal Zoo.” And he laughed, and said, “They feed they lion they meal in they sacks.” That’s exactly what he said! And I thought, This guy’s a genius with language. He laughed when he said it, because he knew that he was speaking an English that I didn’t speak, but that I would understand, of course. He was almost parodying it, even though he appreciated the loveliness of it. It stuck in my mind, and then one night just after the riots in Detroit—I’d gone back to the city to see what had happened—somehow I thought of that line. “There’s a poem there,” I said. “But I don’t know what it is. And I’m just going to walk around for a couple of days and see what accumulates.”


In Levine’s best work, the political, the personal, and the poetical seem less intertwined than indivisible: his great subject may have been, as he put it, “the small heroics of getting through the day when the day doesn’t give a shit.”

American poetry needs this kind of advocacy more than ever—with Levine’s death, it’s lost one of its most intense, elegantly strident voices.



Where to Submit: February + March

Where to Submit: February + March

We’re going bi-monthly! Here’s an update of presses and journals with open reading periods during the coming two months...



(listings by Entropy Magazine for Presses, Chapbooks, Magazines, etc...)


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