Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lovers and Killers

Mary Turzillo's new book of poetry, Lovers and Killers, is out from Dark Regions Press, appropriately in time for Halloween & the Day of the Dead.
It just got reviewed in Pedestal:
         "Award-winning poet Mary Turzillo delves into the abyss of the human soul in her new book, Lovers & Killers, a departure from her clever science fiction and fantasy work. She utilizes plain language enhanced by poetic devices such as alliteration and consonance in most of these poems, also employing the sharp imagery for which she is known. Many poems address such themes as human loss and desperation leading to abhorrent acts, while others border on outright satire...
         "Turzillo’s words flow like a winding road, the mark of a master wordsmith. The women in Turzillo’s poems are sometimes real, sometimes mythical. Each one has human flaws and, unfortunately, human reactions. Lovers & Killers is an unusual book of poems bound to leave an enduring impression on the reader. And isn’t that the trademark of any good book?"

The book can be purchased directly from Dark Regions ($9.95), or copies are available at readings.

Mary will be the feature reader in several upcoming readings, including the Canton First Friday Poetry Spectacular on November 2 (the Día de los Muertos) and then at the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour on November 9, at MugShotz Cafe, 6556 Royalton Road in North Royalton.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hallowe'en Poetry Podcast

The moon is waxing, and the trees are starting to poke skeletal fingers into the sky... Hallowe'en is coming!  Are you ready to be spooked?  How about listening to some Halloween poetry to set the mood?  The SFPA's annual Hallowe'en Reading is now online.  It's an audio compilation of thirteen Halloween-themed poems, from:
David Kopaska-Merkel
Dennis M. Lane
David L. Summers
Linda D. Addison and Stephen M. Wilson
Bryan Thao Worra
Chris Vera
Jacqueline West
Michael A. Arnzen
Maria Alexander
Elissa Malcohn
Liz Bennefeld
Kath Abela Wilson
F.J. Bergmann

image credits
"Pacific Rim" by Deborah P Kolodji
"Werewolf Moon" by Geoffrey A. Landis

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ohio Poetry Day

The leaves are turning-- that means that Ohio Poetry Day is coming up.  Ohio Poetry Day comes on the third Friday of every October.

Coming up on this weekend will be the 75th Ohio Poetry Day, celebrated at Mount Union University in Alliance, OH.  On Friday, October 19, poets will gather at 7pm at the Hoover-Price Campus Center at Mount Union.  The OPD celebration usually includes readings, refreshments, impromptu workshops, and overnight poetry contests.  The next day, Saturday October 20, the doors open at 9am for the Evan-Lodge workshop at 10, where poems submitted to the Evan-Lodge poetry workshop will be discussed and critiqued.  During this time, the book room will be open, displaying and selling books by Ohio poets, as well as the chapbook by the Ohio poet of the year and the 2012 Ohio Poetry Day Best of Ohio book.  At noon will be lunch, and after the lunch, there will be a reading by the Ohio Poet of the Year, followed by readings of some of the Ohio Poetry Day contest winners and an open reading.

Come on over!
  • Next year's Ohio Poetry day will be held at Heidelberg University, in Tiffin, OH, October 18-19 2013.  Mark your calendars now!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thoughts on rejected poems...

The Indiana Review posted a list here of the Top 5 reasons they reject poems. Some of these seem obvious, and yet I know that they exist. Some, perhaps, I don't agree with, but thoughts on first lines, last lines and cliche are certainly spot on.

What do you guys think. Those of you who are editors, why do you choose the poems you do or why do you reject the poems you do? Those of you who are poets, how should editors rate or rank poems?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Every Now and then...

Received this note from a past student - I have removed the name to protect the innocent.

You probably won't remember me but my name is K. B. I was on the first Slam U team to represent Cleveland in San Fransico at the Brave New Voices poetry slam; along with, Chris Webb, Jessica, and Shawn Wright. I don't know if I ever told you thank you but I truly appreciate that experience and all the time you spent helping us to become better writers, speakers,thinkers, poets. What you taught me about performing is still embedded in me to this day.

This too was engrain in mind: "people's number one fear is speaking public . Number two is death."

Again thank you!!!!

K. B.
 That'll perk you up for a day or so.

Here's a picture of a squirrel just for the hell of it.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Death of the Death of Poetry

Donald Hall writes, with some amount of skepticism, about the so-called "Death of Poetry."  Edmund Wilson claimed that verse was a dying technique back  in 1928, and pundits have been declaring poetry is dead for, oh, about the last thousand years.  Yet somehow it keeps on being true that the previous generation of poets are classic-- the same poets whose work caused critics to say that poetry is "dead" a generation ago.
Hall calls these critics out.  Poetry is as alive as ever before; maybe more so.

(Grabbed from)
Death to the Death of Poetry

More than a thousand poetry books appear
in this country each year.

More people write poetry
in this country
     --publish it, hear it,
     and presumably
     read it--
than ever before.

Let us quickly and loudly proclaim
that no poet sells like Stephen King,
that poetry is not as popular
as professional wrestling,
and that fewer people attend poetry reading
in the United States than in Russia. Snore.
More people read poetry now
in the United States than ever did before.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Canton First Friday

One of the more interesting, although less well-attended, poetry readings in the Northeastern Ohio area is the Canton First Friday Poetry Spectacular, an event put on by PoetsHaven.  It's interesting because it's put on as a part of Canton's First Friday Arts Festival, which is (to quote their web page) "a monthly party in the downtown Canton Arts District featuring themed music, performance and visual arts events and always a few surprises for adults and children."  The First Friday is a lot of fun if you're turned on by art; the whole arts district of downtown Canton is converted into an arts fair, with music, galleries, painting on the sidewalk, and (of course) poetry.  I'd like to sincerely recommend that you check it out this month (October 5) or next (November 2), while the weather's still nice enough to hang around outdoors and enjoy the spectacle of being surrounded by art.
--if you're a poet, the First Friday reading is a good one for another reason: in addition to the featured reader and the open mike, it features a poetry slam open to anybody who wants to perform, and (pay attention here) the slam pays out cash prizes, courtesy of Arts in Stark.  A great place to try out your performance pieces, see how they work out, with the chance of a little bit a' booty to boot!
  • Facebook page for Canton First Friday Poetry Spectacular
Friday Oct. 5the feature will be John Gibson, "JG the Jugganaut"--plus (always) the open mike and slam.  The theme of the Canton First Friday will be "Once Upon a Time."

And, for the next month, first Friday comes on November 2, the day of the dead, so the theme of the Canton First Friday will be "Zombie Artvasion."  The spectacular feature poet will be Mary Turzillo.
  --Poetry opens doors at 7, but do come to Canton at 6, when the first Friday arts starts up!
November 2: celebrate Día de los Muertos with poetry from Mary A Turzillo (image: dappled dawg)

... and a tip o' the hat to the indefatigable impressario Vertigo XX, for putting on the show!


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