Saturday, July 31, 2010

NEO Poet Field Guide: Dianne Lynn Keith Borsenik

Full name: Dianne Lynn Keith Borsenik. The First. Lol.

Age: eternal flowerchild, born 02/02/1955, year of the Sheep, sign of Aquarius

Habitat: in my skin, quite comfortably

Range: Borders Books, Visible Voice, Macs Backs , Regal, Cinemark, and Cedar Lee cinemas,
Carrabbas Italian Grill, Pier W, McDonalds, China Renaissance, Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Café, and on the road…again!

Diet: Robert Plant/Led Zeppelin, Devo, Rammstein, Monkees, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, apocalyptic movies, biographies, sunshine, vampires, British television, mojitos, coffee, asparagus, shrimp cocktail, steak, spaghetti, lobster, and yes, poetry- all kinds of poetry

Distinguishing Markings: HardDrive/SoftWear (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2009), The Magnetic Poetry Book of Poetry (Workman Publishing, 1997) , Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (Kodansha International, 1996), Voices of Cleveland (CSU Poetry Center, 1996), Ship of Fools , Nerve Cowboy, Naturally Magazine, Slipstream, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, S. A. Griffin's Poetry Bomb project, Jonathan Frid's Genesis of Evil, Cleveland's RTA poetry projects, Crisis Chronicles Online Library and Co-Host of the Lix & Kix reading series.

migraines, asthma, grass and hay fever allergies, procrastination, impatience, distraction

places I’ve never been, sights I’ve never seen, music I’ve never heard, books I’ve never read, food I’ve never tasted, things I’ve never experienced, words I’ve never known, and the deliciously perfect poem


on the roof
the drum of rain

on the bed
the drum of hearts

...raining harder, now

Contact info :,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Poems not a good fit with e-books

Billy Collins, one of the country’s most popular poets, had never seen his work in e-book form until he recently downloaded his latest collection on his Kindle.

He was unpleasantly surprised....

[Read the rest of the article here.]

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus to Collide

On Wednesday August 18th at Lix and Kix, Pittsburgh poets Nikki Allen & Renée Alberts bring their Cut & Run tour to Lakewood, Cleveland's beloved Kisha Nicole Foster gives a farewell performance, and Steve Abbott brings poetic fire from Columbus.

Lix and Kix offers featured poets, music, open mic, coffee, beer, art and assorted grooviness the third Wednesday of each month (7 p.m.) at Bela Dubby Art Gallery & Beer Cafe, 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio, hosted by Dianne Borsenik and John "Jesus Crisis" Burroughs.

Cleveland's own Kisha Nicole Foster, "Poet of the People," has been a member of the Cleveland Classic slam team and was honored in 2006 by Writers & Their Friends as one of the top 25 writers in Cleveland. Her work was recently anthologized in Cleveland Poetry Scenes (Bottom Dog Press, 2008). Kisha will be leaving the Cleveland area soon, and we are happy to feature her this second time before she does.

Renée Alberts listens to rivers and shortwave radio to create poetry, collage, sound and photography. Her poetry collection, No Water, came out in 2009, and her work has appeared in The New Yinzer, Encyclopedia Destructica, Pittsburgh City Paper, and Subtletea. She has given dozens of readings, including on WYEP’s Prosody, WRCT's A Live Show, and as a 2001 and 2004 member of the Steel City Slam Team. She organizes numerous poetry and music events, including the CLP Sunday Poetry & Reading Series, for which she edited Natural Language: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Sunday Poetry and Reading Series Anthology. She posts writing and art at

Nikki Allen is a 29 year old writer living in Pittsburgh. She’s been getting on stages for over 11 years and scribbling poems on homework, in notebooks and all over cocktail napkins for most of her life. She is the author of numerous chapbooks, including My Darling Since, Gutter of Eden, and Quite Like Yes. She competed on national poetry slam teams in Dayton and Pittsburgh from 2001 to 2003. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yinzer, Crash, Open Thread Regional Review Vol. 2, and Encyclopedia Destructica. She’s also performed with beatboxers, bucket drums and the Incredibly Thin Collective. She uses clothes pins for hair barrettes and lives to witness others doing what they love. Her work can be found online at

Steve Abbott is a native of central Ohio and was a co-founder and writer for the Columbus Free Press. He has been a courtroom bailiff, a private investigator, and director of communications for a social service agency. He was a founding member of The Poetry Forum at Larry’s, which has sponsored Monday night readings at Larry’s Bar in Columbus since 1984. An associate editor of Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry, Steve is also faculty advisor for Spring Street, the literary and arts journal at Columbus State Community College, where he is a tenured full professor and lead instructor of creative writing, teaches composition and creative writing, and hosts a twice-quarterly Open Mic Coffeehouse. He was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry in 1993 and an OAC residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1994. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Wind, Birmingham Poetry Review, and The Heartlands Today as well as the anthologies Prayers to Protest: Poems That Center and Bless Us (Pudding House Publications, 1998) and Coffeehouse Poetry Anthology (Bottom Dog Press, 1996). His history of the Columbus Free Press appeared in Voices from the Underground: Insider Histories of the Vietnam-Era Underground Press (Mica Press, 1991), which will be appear in an updated edition late in 2008. His chapbook A Short History of the Word was published in 1996, and his collection Greatest Hits, 1982-2003 was released in 2006. With Columbus poets Rose M. Smith and Connie Everett, he edited Cap City Poets, an anthology of Columbus and central Ohio poets, available from Pudding House.

To make your mark on our Facebook event page, click here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cleveland Food Not Bombs

I just received the following announcement:

Sunday, August 1st, Clefnb is planning on celebrating the life of Cleveland poet/activist Daniel Thompson. Daniel was a mentor of Cleveland Foodnotbombs and one who tirelessly worked for issues we find near and dear. This is also an event to focus and look back on Clefnb and our 15 years of community participation. The event will be held in the Public Square NW quadrant adjacent to Daniel's way from 5-7pm.

Music/poetry/puppetry will be on the lawn and food will be served nearby at the corner entrance at West 3rd and Superior where Clefnb has been serving for the past four months. Please Join Us. You can bring a prepared dish if you wish or just give us a hand.

Preparation of the meal will begin at 1pm at the Cleveland Food Coop and we will gladly accept any volunteer help offered. Or Contact Clefnb [at] gmail [dot] com if you need more info about participating.

Public Square NW Quadrant at "Daniel's Way (west 3rd street)
West 3rd and Superior

10:00 Main bread run and produce pick-ups (as normal)
12:00 Cooking starts at the Food Coop. This is a one hour earlier
than our usual start time.
4:30 Bread Run comes into Public Square, food set-up onto tables,
Drummers/musicians arriving. Drum circle forms
5:00 Simple ceremony to honor the bread in Daniel's name, simple
address regarding Daniel and his Public Sq. endeavors. Reading
of Daniel's poetry.
5:30 Clefnb serves... communal meal begins, if you have food you
wish to share with everyone please do bring it. (this can be
either potluck dish or produce/bulk food that we will help to
6:00 Organized Poetry and other music
6:30 Puppet show w/Michael Bradley
7:30 clean-up

Writing links

Sterling editing has a weekly round up of links of interest to writers. Some pretty good ones here. Holy cow-- did Susanna Daniel really spend ten year writing her first novel? (What took you so long?) Is Janet Fitch's list of writing tips really the best list of tips you've seen? What's the worst children's book title ever?
--and don't forget to check out some of the earlier lists of links, to hear Tim O'Brien talk about failure of imagination, or Mike Shatzkin's thoughts on where bookstores will be five years from now.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blind Review

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.

This week's offering is from a Clevelandpoetics the Blog contributor.

Finding Shelter

Wild gusts shook the house last night, crashing
at the windows as though the bungalow were floundering
on a turbulent sea, and I dreamed I was protecting my father
making the violent wind abate, giving him a place of calm.
I did not greet him in my dream; I could not see his face,
or feel his wiry hand on mine. I did not hear his voice or
the touch of his laughter, yet he was there, the uneven rhythm
of his breathing, his realization of this life, his constant presence
that is always there, whether he is or not, and I awoke
feeling differently but knowing I had always felt the same.
Moving into the day, the solid ground beneath my feet,
with each step an echo of gratitude.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Did u Send in yr Favorite Song Yet?

did u send in yr favorite song yet?

its easy. just make a list (of up to fifty of your top fave songss)
and email songs followed by artist/band that you like doing it best

so far mostly Cleveland poets have submitted.

um, but i dont think thassa bad thing babe.

dont forget to include a concise, one sentence bio on you and that you are or were a clevelander.


your list will appear on the blog and make u famous.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Poetry and Polka

What says Cleveland more than lively polka music, sausages - and poetry? They all come together at SNJP Farm, Sunday July 25th for "Poetry and Polka" an unforgettable day of music and the spoken word. It's the literary event of the summer. The area's best-known poets celebrate the people, places and traditions that make Northeast Ohio great:
Gail Bellamy,Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights
Katie Daley, Ohio Arts Council Award Winner
Rita Grabowski, CSU Poetry Center
Ray McNiece, Captain of two National Poetry Slam Championship Teams
John Panza, President of Heights Arts
Cindy Washabaugh, CSU Creative Writing Program
Bruce Weigl, Pushcart Prize Winner and Pulitzer Nominee

Poets on stage : 2:30
DonwHome Dinners 2-4
Polka Dance with the Al Battistelli Band ; 3:30-7:30
Bocce, beverages and sandwiches all day

Admission $6 per person. Under 16 free
SNJP Farm is at 10945 Heath Rd, off Chardon Rd (Rt.6) three miles east of Rt 306.

JAValencic@yahoo for more info

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Barking Spider Reading...Sunday at 6 pm

Joining the guys at this event at Barking Spider will be the area's new novelist Erika Meyers whose book Strangers in America won the Great Lakes Novel Award and was published by our own Bottom Dog Press this year. She will join Mike Faloon and James Jay who both have new books out on Gorsky Press.

Friday, July 9, 2010

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.

This week's offering is from a Clevelandpoetics the Blog contributor.

I planned to grow old and gracefully so.

Killed you off instead, which I’ll never get over.

There is blood on my teeth, in my mouth.

You can call it a choice but it wasn’t.

Call it my idea but it wasn’t.

When there’s a gun to your head

You’ll pretty much say anything.

At least, I did.

There is nothing I do not remember.

Discipline is the art of paying attention

To the present and I am

So very undisciplined.

I had other maps but I lost them.

We loved the borders and crossed them.

I am serving your sentence and mine.

Low tide, January sky.

Outside the pickup truck, the trees are bare.

It’s time to be getting back.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summertime collaboration

Now that it’s hot outside, let’s heat up the ClevelandPoetics Blog with another collaboration.

I’ve decided to try a ghazal for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I don’t need to know how to pronounce the word to write one on this blog. Seems no matter how I say ghazal, someone corrects me.

Thanks to Josh Gage for suggesting the ghazal form for a collaboration. Because each couplet is autonomous, it’s an ideal form for multiple poets.

But everywhere I look, I see different rules for ghazals. Like so many poetic forms that originated in languages other than English, I think the variations probably have to do with adaptation of the form to another language. So, if the rules I’m about to set for our collaboration don’t match the rules as you know them, tough.

For our purposes, we’ll be writing couplets. Each contributor will write an entire couplet. You may contribute more than one couplet to the poem, but not two consecutively. As I said, each couplet is autonomous. Not only should it not work off the previous couplet, but the order of couplets should be interchangeable and irrelevant – other than the first and last.

The first couplet, which I will provide to get us started, will set both a rhyme (qafia) and a refrain (radif). Both lines in the first couplet will contain the rhyme and the refrain. In subsequent couplets, only the second line must contain the rhyme and refrain. Personally, I like it when the first line also contains the rhyme, but I won’t insist.

In English, some poets insist that all lines have the same meter. Some just syllable count. To make this collaboration more accessible to more poets, let’s syllable count. 10 syllables per line.

Traditional ghazals deal with love, and in particular unrequited, illicit, unobtainable love and longing, either for another person or for a higher being. But let’s not limit ourselves. I’m more interested in hearing the full range of voices and subject that the form might inspire. As far as I’m concerned, any subject or theme is welcome.

We’ll need at least 5 couplets to be a ghazal. There’s no upper limit, so we can keep going until we’re sick of it.

The final couplet, known as the signature couplet or makhta, should contain the name of or somehow identify the poets who wrote the ghazal. We can figure that out together if and when we get there.

As an example, here are the first two couplets from the poem “Ghazal,” by Agha Shahid Ali:

I'll do what I must if I'm bold in real time.
A refugee, I'll be paroled in real time.

Cool evidence clawed off like shirts of hell-fire?
A former existence untold in real time ...

I’ll start the poem in the comments with the first couplet. The rhyme words are weigh and ray, and the rhyme comes at syllable 8. The refrain is the word light. Remember, after the first stanza, the rhyme and refrain only need to be in the second line of the couplet.

Please copy the previous stanzas into your comment whenever you add a new couplet.

Ready, set, go!


Oddly, the comments I post aren't showing up, not even the one posted about 7 hours ago, so I'll copy the first couplet here while I wait for the comment problem to resolve:

I step upon a scale to weight the light
that shines upon my skin. Each ray is light.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence day, everybody!

"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
~William Faulkner

Hope each of you, in your own way, is celebrating freedom-- whatever that may mean to you.

Friday, July 2, 2010


 From the CSU Poetry Center:

We are delighted to report that Cleveland State University Poetry Center is featured on the Front Page of today's Huffington Post, a major national current affairs and culture on-line newspaper, as the ninth of a list of fifteen exciting independent presses. To look at our profile and read the article, click on the link below. The article quotes Poetry Center Director, Dr. Dumanis and singles out three of our recent books.

Check it out 

Congrats from Clevelandpoetics the Blog!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New US Poet Laureat

From the AP:

WASHINGTON — A writer who stopped using punctuation in the 1960s and spent much of the last 30 years secluded in Hawaii will become the nation's next chief poet.

The Library of Congress is announcing Thursday that William S. Merwin will become the 17th U.S. poet laureate this fall. He succeeds Kay Ryan, who has held the post since 2008.

The 82-year-old Merwin is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He won in 2009 for "The Shadow of Sirius" and in 1971. He studied poetry at Princeton University and has written more than 30 books.

The one-year appointment as poet laureate is meant to raise national appreciation of poetry. It comes with a $35,000 stipend and a $5,000 travel allowance.

Most of the work will be conducted from Merwin's home in Hawaii.


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