Sunday, November 30, 2008

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Mary Biddinger

Age: 34

Habitat: Akron

Range: Musica, Mac’s Backs, #1 Pho, Arnie’s SRO, Facebook

Diet: Zbigniew Herbert, The National, Twin Peaks

Distinguishing Markings: Author of Prairie Fever (Steel Toe Books, 2007) and poems in Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, among others. Editor of the Akron Series in Poetry.

Predators: Abstractions, inconsistent punctuation, small spaces

Prey: Sweater vests, clementines, the color blue



You tried to wear it like a beard
that didn’t fit. You ransacked the pastry

case, said you were picking out a new
whore, even if she was ringed in almonds

and drunker than a ladyfinger could be.
We were under unusual circumstances.

The floors were never quite strong enough
to hold us, but we used them anyway.

It sounded like you said, Put your harm
around me, baby. That was before

our pinstripes outgrew us, trailed off onto
the bedspread and out the window.

It’s nothing that either of us predicted.
I could count all the times it didn’t

happen, like retention ponds you speed
past on the highway, knowing you’ll never

dive in, or fill your thermos with the murk.
How can you count what isn’t in pieces?

You asked for the key to my pajamas
so you could lose it, and beg for another.

Contact info: mb at marybiddinger dot com and

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.


The wind whips gentle circles taking the last vestiges of
The dying season and scattering them along the empty streets
The rustling along the garden gate now creaks with the sound
Of winter as it weaves its chill threads around me
The hardened frost crunches beneath my feet.
Time is the bandit now stealing minutes and hours
Precious grains of hour-glass moments
Swiftly slipping through the neck of oblivion
As I race to capture them, rescue them
I wonder how much time we really have, you and I
I wonder if you too will irreversibly
Slip away from me as all else has.
For I see the changes coming in our lives
How Fate races hard to separate us
How I cling tightly hoping to stem the tide
The stolen kisses and whispered promises
The furtive but passionate embraces
Our separate private yearnings always left unspoken
We try to keep them desperately from dying away.
So many words are left unspoken, so many
Unmet desires and dreams left like wads of paper on the floor
Written words just abandoned, not forgotten
Just displaced so sadly by life’s circumstances
Where is this going I ask myself? Where will this all end?
For it feels like time hastens for some conclusion.
So I wend my way through this chill change
Trying to keep step with time's quickening pace
Not know when or where the change will meet me
Bracing myself for winter but yearning hopefully for spring
And knowing all the while I am racing, racing
Winter’s silent beat as it brings the chill winds of change
Rattling at my hearts inner door.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guest Blogger John Burroughs

Saturday 22 November,


I had the privilege and pleasure of attending a benefit for the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland at The Lit. I suspect anyone who reads this blog regularly knows a bit about the Lost Boys and why this is an important cause, so I won't go into that here. But if you don't, you should, and I encourage you to check out their website at for more information.
Not lost anymore?

Being a relative newbie to the Cleveland arts scene after decades of writing primarily for the boxes in my attic (and living in Elyria and Marion), I didn't know most of the folks in attendance. But I did know the work of the poets who were slated to read, and even without the good cause to support, I was happy to brave the elements and drive 45 minutes each way to see and hear them. Bree of Green Panda Press not only did a fantastic job of putting this event together, she also read poetry and sent chills up my spine with her haunting rendition of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War."

Silent auction
Michael Salinger served as the evening's emcee. He almost effortlessly kept things moving at the perfect pace, while sharing some fine African poetry and sprinkling in some of his own work. I was particularly moved by a Sara Holbrook piece he read. Other featured poets included several of my favorites from Cleveland (or anywhere): Phil Metres, T.M. Göttl, Elise Geither, Ray McNiece, C. Allen Rearick, and Mary O'Malley. And as Salinger joked, how often do you see poets pay to read? Each was sponsored by a local business or organization that believes in "thinking globally and acting locally."

Elise Geither
But lest you think the night was all poetry, there was also a silent auction featuring work by some fantastic local artists including Jim Lang, George Fitzpatrick, Tom Kryss, js makkos, and Bree. Whole Foods Market provided some delectable yum yums for our tum tums. And there were plenty of cool, kind people to meet. The place was packed. And though I kept seeing Lit executive director Judith Mansour-Thomas and others coming in with more chairs, I believe they eventually ran out. But it's always encouraging to see folks willing to stand up for good poetry and a good cause. And according to a message Bree posted on the ClevelandPoetics Yahoo listserve, this event raised $1973 for the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland!

C. Allen Rearick
Here are a few (more) random photos I took that night:

Ray Mcniece
Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
Mary OMalley
T.M. Göttl
Michael Salinger
Suzanne DeGaetano
Steve Thomas
Judith Mansour-Thomas
Claire McMahon and Philip Metres

Jesus Crisis and Dianne Borsenik
I applaud everyone who played any role whatsoever in making this event a success! I encourage anyone who hasn't already to please visit the Lost Boys' website to find out more. Click here to learn about other ways you can help. And thank you for allowing me to play a very small part by writing this blog.

Peace and poetry,
John "Jesus Crisis" Burroughs

Poems of Peace

The issue
of writing poetry that is engaged with the struggles of the world is as old as verse itself, or maybe song. Poets in the Cleveland area seem to have no problem with this...from such early poets as Langston Hughes and Russell Atkins, through rebel poet d.a.levy and the mimeograph revolution of the 1960, up to more recent times with Daniel Thompson, Ray McNiece, Mary Weems, Terry Provost, and others. We poets write about what matters to us and the world.

That doesn't mean we don't write about Nature and our family and the immediate world around us. There is room for all types of poems, all ways of saying and witnessing. In the engaged poetry, say of Ohioan Kenneth Patchen, the work was immediate and yes often topical...yet the struggles of WW II, Vietnam, Iraq all seem to speak to each other, and to us. We learn to witness our world through the saying and naming, and hopefully the understanding we gain from this. There is discussion of this on my Blog... I invite you to join in the discussion.

In our recent Bottom Dog Press anthology Come Together: Imagine Peace, the poets were asked to image John Lennon did in his songs "Imagine." How they did that was left to them, but the results speak to what matters. When we lose the ability to imagine peace, we lose the ability to bring it into our or our children's lives. My wife Ann and I joined with Phil Metres in the vision and art of so many fine poets, it has been its own reward. But we do want to share it with others...May it spread.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Images of Peace Celebrated in New Book

“Come Together: Imagine Peace”
is the title and theme of this new anthology from over 100 poets beginning with Sappho, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. The collection includes such modern poets as Denise Levertov, William Stafford, Gary Snyder, and Allen Ginsberg, and a broad spectrum of contemporary voices ranging from Carolyn Forché, Jim Daniels, and Jane Hirshfield to Daniel Berrigan, Sam Hamill, and Diane di Prima. Co-editor, Larry Smith, has stated, “This was such a gifted project from the start, to render a poetic tradition of peace poetry and see it manifested in today’s writings.” Smith is the founder and director of Bottom Dog Press and professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University’s Firelands College.

The book’s editors Ann Smith, Larry Smith, and Philip Metres provide the prefaces and introduction to the 208 page collection. Metres’s introduction concludes:

“The work of peace-making, and the work of peace poetry, is at least in part to give voice to those small victories—where no blood was spilled, but lives were changed, justice was won, and peace was forged, achieved, or found. And words bring us there, to the brink of something new. Peace poetry is larger than a moral injunction against war; it is an articulation of the expanse, the horizon where we might come together.”

Metres is an associate professor of English at John Carroll University who authored Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941 (University of Iowa 2007).

Come Together: Imagine Peace is the Ohio press’s sixth anthology in their Harmony Series. Others include the award winning O Taste and See: Food Poems; Family Matters: Poems of Our Families; Evensong: Poets on Spirituality; America Zen: A Gathering of Poets, and Working Hard for the Money: America’s Working Poor. Ann Smith explains, “From the thousand poems that were submitted we were able to select and group them into: Poems of Witness and Elegy, Exhortation and Action, Reconciliation, Shared Humanity, Wildness and Home, Ritual and Vigil, Meditation and Prayer. It’s an affirmation of peace and hope.” Ann Smith is professor emeritus in nursing education at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Mental Health, and previous co-editor of the Family Matters book.

Sixteen Ohio poets are represented in the collection, including Alice Cone, Maj Ragain and David Hassler (Kent), Tom Kryss (Ravenna), Robert Miltner (Canton), Jack McGuane (Lakewood), Mary E. Weems, Geoffrey Landis, and Philip Metres (Cleveland), Michael Salinger (Mentor), Larry Smith (Huron), Steve Haven (Ashland), Richard Hague (Cincinnati), Jeff Gundy (Bluffton), Angie Estes (Worthington), and Jeanne Bryner (Newton Falls).

Publication of this book by is supported in part through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and by John Carroll University and Mr. William C. Wright.

A series of group readings are planned for around the country in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. In Ohio initial fall readings include: November 23 at 4 pm at The Thurber House for Writers’ Ink organization in Columbus, and December 7 at 2 pm at Mr. Smith’s Coffeehouse in Sandusky. The book may be purchased at on-line bookstores or by sending $18 to Bottom Dog Press, PO Box 425, Huron, Ohio 44839.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.


We have come to the edge
of this place, and there is no
stepping off that does not leave
something behind.

We chip away at morning to see
what lies beneath. Even the earth-
worm and the weed have infernal
engines that will not comply. Still,
we churn our garden, only to grow
things we think cannot die.
Everything has its end.

Even the mechanical jaw owes
its human hands – hands that plow
furrows deep in an earth that only
reveals the rocky strata of our myths
of ascent. The clay calls out beneath
our steel nests. When we sleep, we
remember when soft beds of hay
and a pennywhistle were enough.
Yet even with our cloven hooves,
we think it is us that have left
the light on.

Now our garlands hang high upon
towers of lilac and thunder, but it is
that strong wind that defeats us, always,
carrying the scent of all that we have

Monuments to nothing will fly and then
vanish. It is our hands that will remember -
plunged deep into a soil that gazes out
on a landscape with human eyes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full Name: Geoffrey A. Landis

Age: half a century. Call it about 1.6 billion heartbeats. So far.

Migratory, known to fly as far west as Chengdu, and as far east as Fiuggi, but nesting primarily in Berea, Ohio.

Often found at the watering hole of the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour in Strongsville, or at Mac's Backs, or at science-fiction poetry venues everywhere. Or on Mars.

Omnivorous. Devours poetical fare as varied as Tom Disch ("A New Religion Starts Tonight") to Wendy Cope ("Some Rules") to Joe Haldeman (Vietnam, and other Alien Worlds) to Warren Zevon ("Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"-- gotta love it!). And outside of poetry, everything from Michael Swanwick through Dave Barry and even Michael Chabon.

Distiguishing Markings:
Spotted. Most recently spotted in the pages of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction magazine (December, 2008) and Analog, as well as places as widely scattered as The City Poetry Zine and Bottom Dog's Imagining Peace. Soon to appear: the collection Iron Angels, from VanZeno.

Wandering black holes. Invaders from other dimensions, other
timelines, from places and times that never were, never could be.
Attacked by memetic viruses, and relentlessly stalked by the unstoppable force of geological time itself.
A steadfast foe to all the enemies of truth, justice, and the American way. Or at least the enemies of truth; sometimes justice and the American way seem rather more elusive.

Lives on sunlight. Devours words, and also sashimi (preferably
maguro or hamachi). Wouldn't turn down a good micro-brew, either,
thanks for offering.

Other characteristics:
Often seen in a herd with the Cleveland "Speculators" poetry gang.


flashing in a summer field against twilight sky-dark.
Drifting shifting sparkle flashes, ever-changing patterns of
writing in some unknowable language of streaks and flashes,
constellations blinking on and off.
Fireflies dance below us,
fireflies behind us
fireflies above us;
their silent mating calls a symphony of light.
A million flashes a minute, we are immersed
in a sea of flickering light.

Just so, the immortals look out across the universe, as stars and
flick into life
fade into dark.

(Originally published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine,
June 2008)

Contact Info:
or try geoffrey.landis at earthlink dot net

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sarah Vowell

was the last time you had to worry about the Fire Marshall at a literary event due to crowd size?

I recently attended an appearance by Sarah Vowell in conjunction with the Cleveland Public Library’s Writers and Readers Series and there was an overflow crowd in the Lois Stokes Wing Auditorium. Now fans of Ira Glass’ This American Life would recognize Ms. Vowell’s voice – as Ron Antonucci mentioned in his introduction of the author voice is taken in both classifications here, writing and spoken. The humorist is a bestselling author, contributing editor to the NPR program This American Life as well as the voice of Violet Parr, the teenage super hero daughter in Pixar’s academy award winning animated feature The Incredibles.

Before she took the stage the standing room portion of the crowd (itself a hundred strong) had to be reseated outside the auditorium where they viewed her very entertaining presentation via closed circuit television. It was nice to be a part a large gathering of such literary intent. It’s not often you hear Marge Piercy’s name dropped in conversation by the folks sitting behind you (even if it was in error – the couple were actually trying to recall Margaret Atwood’s name – she an earlier speaker in this series.)

Vowell took to the stage first reading from her latest work The Wordy Shipmates a book about the Puritans and their trials and tribulations in a new world. She’s short with cropped straight dark hair, almost anti fashionably dressed in that artsy too cerebral to worry about it kind of way and speaks with the deadpan voice of an extremely precocious little girl with perfect enunciation.

Now, one might not think that Puritans, the assassinations of US Presidents, U.S. election history or radio are the usual subjects of humor, but Vowell succeeds. The selections she read were clinically precise in language and description. In fact, her humor is derived from the almost over exactness and factuality of her prose. Delivered with a pokerfaced self effacing affect she had the audience busting a gut over subjects as diverse as the Magna Carter, the King James Bible and President James A. Garfield’s tomb.

She kept her set list of excerpts to read scrawled on the palm of her right hand which she glanced at occasionally as she moved through her set confidently while never appearing smug or too “smarty pants” as can happen when the subjects are research heavy. Vowell then took questions from the audience. When asked what she went as for Halloween, she replied an author on book tour – rings under eyes, wrinkled clothes, suspect odor…

There were no bad smells associated with this event though.

Kudos to Cleveland Public Library for this series, earlier this year I saw national Book Award winner Sherman Alexie and I am looking forward to more events at The People’s University. Oh yeah, this and the rest of the Writers and Readers Series is absolutely free.

Poetry reading cancelled, called 'blasphemous'

A poet
in Wales has been forced to launch his new collection in the street after a bookstore cancelled the event because of a campaign by Christian activists. Patrick Jones was due to sign copies at Waterstone's in Cardiff but the shop cancelled the event at the last moment. Christian Voice said the book was "obscene and blasphemous" and called on the chain to remove copies from stores.

The company said it was not a censor but felt it was "prudent" to cancel the event because of its duty to customers. "Darkness is Where the Stars Are" is a collection of 30 to 40 poems from the Welsh publishers, Cinnamon Press.

Mr Jones, the brother of Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers, had been expecting to launch the book at the Cardiff Hayes branch of Waterstone's on Wednesday night. But a few hours before, the poet from Blackwood in Caerphilly county, was contacted by the company to tell him the event had been cancelled "to avoid potential disruption to our store". Read the rest here.

Does this sound like the 1950s or something? What does it say about tolerance and freedom of speech in society, whether it's in Wales or the U.S. that this kind of thing STILL goes on?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whoa Three Weeks of Poetry!

i saw this in the margin of blogspot...clicked on the link. pretty wild.

BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- A middle-aged primary school teacher reciting a 1,300-year-old poem could become China's answer to an American Idol-type superstar thanks to on-line voting in a government-sponsored competition.

The 40-year-old from the eastern Anhui Province, Fang Baojiu, was leading the field of 179 performers one week into the three-week poetry recital contest with more than 38,060 votes as of Friday evening.

All the contestants have submitted videos of their recitals to the Ministry of Education, which has organized the competition and posted the performances on the official website,

Since the videos were posted on Nov. 7, the website has attracted an average of 19,933 votes a day and with the daily record of 54,306, including 676 votes from Hong Kong.

"As a Chinese language teacher, I always lead the recital in my class. Maybe that's why I began falling in love with the art of poetry recital," says Fang, in his brief introduction on his video.
He can be seen sitting beside a scenic waterfall near his home at Huangshan while introducing himself. His performance is accompanied by traditional music and footage to match his recital of "Moon-lit River on a Spring Night" written by Zhang Ruoxu who lived circa 660 to 720AD.
Wang Dengfeng, the ministry official in charge of the contest, said the level of public response had been a surprise.

"It was out of my expectation that the on-line voting would draw such attention," Wang said. "We thought young people might have lost interest in classical Chinese literature."
On the website and forums of many colleges and schools, young people had debated the performances and posted supportive messages for their favorites.
"The contestants have become stars," Wang said.

So popular has the contest been that Internet technology firms approached the ministry to host the on-line voting, but the ministry wants to keep the contest non-profit, said Wang.
"To guarantee fair play, we try our best to supervise the voting and prevent any manipulation," he said.

The annual nationwide contest began last year and is intended to raise awareness of traditional literature. The on-line vote, the first of its kind in China, will last till Nov. 30 as part of the preliminary contest. The result of this stage is to be decided by both on-line voting and a panel of judges. The contestants were divided into five groups: students; teachers; students of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese; foreign students and non-students. Ten of each group will enter the final and six of each are supposed to win the prizes.

The ministry said they have not decided what the prizes would be but an award is to be granted.
"It is a great pleasure to see more and more young people find an interest in traditional Chinese culture," Wang said.
Editor: Jiang Yuxia

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

You may have noticed we missed last week's submission. We were away from interent access cruising on the Nile. But today we return to the series.

Before sleep

A certain death versus
an existence dabbling
with the lower fragments
of the poverty line

My government
and My parents
made the obvious choice

I am 9,
and I wash dishes
with gutter water
as a part time job
A chemical factory
employs me
for more hours though

Everyday is an era
ups, downs, pushes
and shoves and slaps
from knowns and unknowns.
Crevices of my heart
are now filled
with a shaky jelly
of fear and pain

But (smiles) little whiffs
of joy do come
in childish and childlike fashion,
scattered in occurrence
and reminding,
me of my age.

I dream
of a time
when I don't worry about
the lost innocence
of the boys at the factory

But something immediate
scares my sleep tonight

My father,
feverish forever
ordered me to please the insides
of this monstrous black car
where two gentlemen
blow their horns

I know how
I know why

The generation
you are proud of,
is full of knowledge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

PD Haiku Contest Perpetuates 5-7-5 Myth

media perpetuates many poetics stereotypes against poetry, be it through their lack of book reviews and reading promotions to the idea that Billy Collins is the only person writing poetry in United States today. Monday's pdQ should be no suprise: the Plain Dealer posted the winners of their "haiku" contest. The complete article is here.

No commenting on the poetry (just yet), what is most troubling to me is the fact that the Plain Dealer did not take the time to research their article beyond the dictionary:

haiku. noun [Japan] A Japanese verse form, rendered in English as three unrhymed lines of five, seven, five syllables respectively, often on some subject in nature.

While this is vaguely true, the dictionary should not, can not, be the ultimate deciding factor in defining a poetic form, as dictionaries are reputedly descriptive as opposed to prescriptive. In other words, dictionaries explain how a word is commonly used, and rarely give a complete or absolute definition of a word. What makes this even worse is that, since 1973, the Haiku Society of America Definitions Committee has been working on and revising the definition of words like "haiku," "senryu," and related terms, all of which are much more detailed and accurate than a dictionary. From the HSA website:

A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.

Notes: Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables, with the middle line longest, though today's poets use a variety of line lengths and arrangements. In Japanese a typical haiku has seventeen "sounds" (on) arranged five, seven, and five. (Some translators of Japanese poetry have noted that about twelve syllables in English approximates the duration of seventeen Japanese on.) Traditional Japanese haiku include a "season word" (kigo), a word or phrase that helps identify the season of the experience recorded in the poem, and a "cutting word" (kireji), a sort of spoken punctuation that marks a pause or gives emphasis to one part of the poem. In English, season words are sometimes omitted, but the original focus on experience captured in clear images continues. The most common technique is juxtaposing two images or ideas (Japanese rensô). Punctuation, space, a line-break, or a grammatical break may substitute for a cutting word. Most haiku have no titles, and metaphors and similes are commonly avoided. (Haiku do sometimes have brief prefatory notes, usually specifying the setting or similar facts; metaphors and similes in the simple sense of these terms do sometimes occur, but not frequently. A discussion of what might be called "deep metaphor" or symbolism in haiku is beyond the range of a definition. Various kinds of "pseudohaiku" have also arisen in recent years; see the Notes to "senryu", below, for a brief discussion.)

A senryu is a poem, structurally similar to haiku, that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way.

Notes: A senryu may or may not contain a season word or a grammatical break. Some Japanese senryu seem more like aphorisms, and some modern senryu in both Japanese and English avoid humor, becoming more like serious short poems in haiku form. There are also "borderline haiku/senryu", which may seem like one or the other, depending on how the reader interprets them.

Many so-called "haiku" in English are really senryu. Others, such as "Spam-ku" and "headline haiku", seem like recent additions to an old Japanese category, zappai, miscellaneous amusements in doggerel verse (usually written in 5-7-5) with little or no literary value. Some call the products of these recent fads "pseudohaiku" to make clear that they are not haiku at all. See "haiku".

Some basic points:

  • Imagistic Language
  • the essence of an experience
  • nature linked to human condition
  • juxtaposing two images

Apply these basic criteria to the pieces presented in the PD article, and many come up short, yet the 5-7-5 myth continues, and poetry and poets suffer.

What can be done? I propose a radical haiku revolution for Cleveland, an intense two year project, the sole purpose of which is to awaken the citizens of the city not only to haiku, but to the contemplative energy which haiku, in one form, represents.

Step One: A small group of poets (no more than 12) gets together on a monthly basis to study and critique haiku. These poets have the task of writing one haiku a day for an entire year. Obviously, many of these haiku will be rough, and need to be reworked and revised, which is the purpose of the meetings. In addition, the group would make a conscious effort to learn what is happening currently with the form through readings and study, developing their own personal craft in the process. The members of the group would also make a conscious effort to publish their haiku, both locally, nationally and internationally, building a base of support and recognition for themselves and the city at large.

By the end of the year, each poet should have a body of published haiku, as well as a larger collection of solid unpublished work, all of which could be considered a "manuscript" of haiku.

Step Two: Funds are raised to publish twelve professional (perfect bound, ISBN numbers, etc.) books over a year--one a month? two every other month? three a quarter? and promote the books, both locally and nationally. This would include not only bookstore readings, but lectures, classroom readings, an educational campaign including free or low-cost classes to special interest groups (prisons, nursing homes, colleges, churchs, yoga studios, nature groups, etc.), billboards or public haiku displays, television commercials, etc. Essentially, a total saturation of Cleveland with haiku, spreading it's tako-like tentacles across the nation and the world, drawing the attention of the haiku community at large.

The end results would be not only be conferences, national recognition, increased tourism, but public awareness and openness, not only to haiku, but the potential of poetry to change one's life, if only for a moment.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 10, 2008


Sixteen Floors Above the Ground: a Benefit for the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland
will take place at the Lit, in the ArtCraft Building at 2570 Superior Avenue Suite 203 Cleveland, Ohio 44114

on Saturday, November 22nd at 7pm

Ten Poets! Michael Salinger, Mary Weems, Phil Metres, Elise Geither, Katie Daley, Ray McNeice, C. Allen Rearick, Mary O'Malley, TM Gottl & Bree will read their inspiring poetry.

Artworks by the Lost Boys themselves, plus painters George Fitzpatrick & Tom Kryss, potter Jim Lang, and book artists j.s. makkos & Bree, will be available via silent auction.

Refreshments are provided by Whole Foods market.
The poets have all been sponsored by local businesses and orgs, including Mac's Backs Books on Coventry, Lake Erie Craftsmen, Bottom Dog Press, John Carroll University, Clevelandpoetics (the blog), Spoiled & Pampered Doggy, Sisson's Flowers & Gifts, CORE Information Mgt., Cleveland Black Poetic, Amani Children's Foundation, and Insights Coffee & More.

Check out great local talent, and help raise money and awareness for the 29 Sudanese Lost Boys who are living in cleveland, OH. The first Lost Boys arrived in cleveland in February, 2001. They struggle with the American dream. Most came here with the hope of education. They wish to let people know they came here in peace, to love and be loved by their neighbors. This event, which steal's its name from Langston Hughes' 'Life is Fine' is intended to raise money for citizenship and education costs for these local Lost Boys.

The event was put together by Bree of Green Panda Press, Judith of The Lit, and Lara of the Friends of Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland. But it can only happen with YOU! So come on down, nibble, mingle and let your arm hairs to live poetry o my.

(a five dollar fee at the door, additional donations welcome)


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