Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Sad Loss for Ohio...

A sad loss for Ohio: I just got the news that Vertigo X Xavier, proprietor of The Poet's Haven, just passed away.
His bio on Goodreads said
Founder/publisher/editor of The Poet's Haven, slamministrator of the Lake Effect Poetry Team, founder of Envelit (a subscription-box program featuring poetry chapbooks), 2016 Presidential candidate (on the Nemesis Party ticket), and would-be world-conqueror.
Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
--but Vertigo was more than that. He was the center of a whirlwind.  Carla Thompson once called him "the hardest working man in poetry", and, for a while, he sure seemed to be-- he was everywhere; organizing the poetry community in Canton and Akron with readings and shows and slams, driving all across northern Ohio to set up the man with the sound system at readings organized by others, publishing a series of poetry anthologies and chapbooks, promoting (and attending) other peoples' readings, selling books at the Cleveland Ingenuity festival and elsewhere, administrating the Lake Effect Poetry slam team, and above all, keeping his website The Poet's Haven going for decade after decade.*
Surprisingly, in a community filled with poets of enormous ego and even larger self-promotions, Vertigo all about promoting other peoples' poetry--he was tireless in setting up readings, but very modest about his own poetry-- on rare occasion you might persuade him to read one of his own poems (and some of them were quite good), but much more commonly he was out front promoting everybody else.
He loved poetry, and devoted his life to promoting it in every way he could.
He will be remembered.
He will be missed.

Some appreciations:

*(I once heard somebody claim that The Poet's Haven was the second-longest-running poetry site on the web; but Vertigo corrected me on that: fourth-longest. I wonder what the longest running one is?)


Jen Pezzo said...

Thanks for this, Geoffrey.

christina said...

He will indeed be missed. The kindest and most supportive person i've met in poetry. He was that way to everyone. I can't say this about everyone that has ever come into my life but I feel blessed to have known him. A truly good person.
Both Jen Pezzo and Theresa Gottl Brightman have also posted rememberances you might also wish to link here.

Chrisina B.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Thanks! I just put up a new post with their remembrances.

Mary_Turzillo said...

I will miss Vertigo forever. He knew so much about music. Once he sang me a whole bunch of songs which stole their melodies from Pachelbel's Canon


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