Saturday, March 29, 2014

April is the most poetic month, says Joanna

If signing up the Cuyahoga Public Library's 30 days of poetry isn't enough for you, Joanna Connors at the Plain Dealer tells us April is the most poetic month.

If you need suggestions for how to celebrate, she has a few.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thirty Days of Poetry

April is coming... and that means National Poetry Month.
Between today and April 1st, the Cuyahoga County Public Library is promoting its National Poetry Month site with emails that encourage people to sign up to receive daily posts, and the chance to win tickets to the April 8th reading by Robert Pinsky. Please share the link with your friends:

How's that: A poet a day till the beginning of May! Each day in the month of April, the site will feature a prompt, a poem by a Northeast Ohio poet, and a link to a poetry site (some related to the national celebration, but most related directly to Ohio poetry or Northeast Ohio poetry). Read-write-poetry!

--or, if you want to see a poet laureate but can't make the library April 8, Kent is your place: how about celebrating National Poetry Month with Ted Kooser? The Wick is bring Kooser to Kent on April 10 at 7:30 pm.

Or, if Lorain is your place: celebrate National Poetry Month with the Lorain Public Library's Third Annual Poetry Slam and Open Mic Readings on Thursday April 10 at 7 pm. Audience members are welcome to perform their original works or favorite poems for the open mic session. Location: Main Library - Room A - 2nd Floor, 351 W. Sixth Street, Lorain.

  • Know of more happenings for National Poetry Month?  Post them to the comments!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

EKPHRASTACY - A Call for Poets


HeightsArts, a nonprofit arts organization in Cleveland Heights announces the launch of
EKPHRASTACY: Poets Respond to the Visual Arts.

This new program seeks poets interested in writing and reading poems inspired by the curated exhibitions that are presented six times a year in the HeightsArts Gallery.  The Gallery is located on Lee Road, next to the Cedar-Lee Theater.  HeightsArts will sponsor a public reception and reading during the run of each exhibition showcasing the featured artists talking about their work and the poets who have created ekphrastic responses to that work. 

Poets chosen to participate in each EKPHRASTACY program will have access to images of the artwork prior to the mounting of each exhibition, and will have a few weeks to view the installed works in the gallery before the public reception and reading.  Completed poems must be submitted at least a week prior to the reception and reading, and will be posted adjacent to the responded artwork the day of the EKPHRASTACY reception.  A small brochure containing the poems will be available to the audience following the reading.

Four-to-six poets will be selected and invited to participate in each EKPHRASTACY program.  Selection will be made by the Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, who is appointed by Cleveland Heights City Council and sponsored by HeightsArts. 

Interested poets should email and attach a word document with three-five representative samples of work.  Poems and flash fiction are both open to consideration.  

HeightsArts is also considering a regular reading series and inviting poets to read before each of the concerts in its Close Encounters subscription concert series, which features musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, among others.  Poets who respond to this call will be considered for those opportunities as well.

2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Go MIdwest: the new American literary hot spot

photo by GL
In Flavorwire, Jason Diamond praises literature of Ohio (and the other parts of the country sandwiched between the two coasts):
"How can you think so little of the middle west when you take into consideration everything that is coming out of places like Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa? The writers... lit journals like PANK, the presses like GraywolfTwo Dollar RadioCurbside SplendorDzanc, and Hobart — all of these things make it hard to deny that the Midwest has become a region of serious literary importance. Combine all that with the fact that the cities are actually livable, and it might not be long until you start seeing trend pieces declaring places like Giffels’ Akron the new American literary hot spot."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pounding Advice

In a short essay in 1913, Ezra Pound made a list of A Few 'Don’ts' For Writing Poetry.
"It is better to present one Image in a lifetime than to produce voluminous works."

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Gambler

The Gambler is an odd little internet 'zine, founded by Kelly Jones, with an even odder method of editing: it's a gamble.  Yes, they edit using a strong element of chance: using a lottery, or cards, or dice to pick what's in the 'zine and what isn't.  They say:
"Work is selected by using a method that relies on chance. Submissions are collected and numbered in the order they arrive and then a random selection of numbers decides what work goes up. Those randomly selected winning numbers may come from anywhere: a Powerball ticket, an editor’s social security number, or numbers that are divisible by nine. Why nine? Why not?"
Actually, what they choose ends up being pretty interesting-- who would have thought it?
So, my poem "What if you die--" was one of the lottery winners in the most recent issue (dang-- if I'da knew I waz lucky, I woulda bought a Mega-millions.)
Ya feeling lucky, punk?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Great Bookstores of Cleveland

Sam Allard, in Cleveland Scene, writes

Where to Find the Gospel of the Written Word in Cleveland

I remember Booksellers. I remember when Joseph Beth opened in Shaker Square. It's been a cold winter for bookstores all over, but handful of quirky independents have weathered the storm. 

Wouldn't today be a good day to go visit a nice bookstore?

Mac's Backs.  Photo by GL

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Believe it or not, spring is coming, and you know what the means: the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest is looking for entries!

Celebrate the Hessler Street Fair!!!
2014 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest & Book

1st Place Winning Poet receives $100
2nd Place Winning Poet receives $50
3rd Place Winning Poet receives $25

Mac's Backs on Coventry road will host the Poetry reading of entries for the 2014 Hessler Street Fair Poetry contest.

The rules for 2014

  • Submit up to 5 original poems. Only selected poems will be included. Each poem must have your name, street address, city, state, zip code, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Open to ages 14 and up.
  • Shorter poems of one page or less will be favored.
  • Poets published in the book may purchase one copy of the Hessler 2014 Poetry and Prose Annual from the Hessler Street Fair Booth at Hessler Rd. & Hessler Ct. during the days of the 2014 Fair for half price. Full price will be charged for additional copies at the Fair Booth or at Mac's Backs paperbacks, 1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH - 216-321-2665
  • Emailed entries are strongly preferred. Entry deadline is April 6, 2014. Book will be released in early May.
  • A qualifying round of readings will be held at Mac's Backs Books on Coventry on Wednesday May 14th, 2014 at 7pm. About 20 minutes after all poets have read, the winners will be announced and prizes will be handed out. If you have won in the last three years you can submit to the book but will not be eligible to win a prize. To receive a prize you must read on the designated day 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.

All entries should be emailed (no snail mail entries please) to:

Monday, March 3, 2014

The City in Winter

Lake Erie and Cleveland, Winter 2014
Sam Hubish
(used with permission)

The most recent issue of Lady Smith's 'zine The City Poetry is out, a theme issue on winter. It's a beautiful 'zine, as much art as it is poetry.  Worth checking out just because it's gorgeous, but I will point out that it also has (among works from many poets) a handful of haiku and a tanka from me.

cities have souls too, you know,
some malignant and ugly,
sneering, full of derision;
some benign and beautiful,
some merely indifferent
and uninviting, bland, lacking
ambiance, pizzazz, character.
some cities spit dust.
some cities swallow without chewing first.
some cities rust out before their time,
arthritic and osteoporotic,
empty windows, crumbling bricks,
wasted motion.
 --from "Got Soul"
Dianne Borsenik

It Can; It Will, by Adam Brodsky
(used with permission)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

We only come out at night...

Vertigo Xi'an Xavier at Poets Haven is putting out a series of miniature chapbooks, small enough to carry in a shirt pocket. His latest, We Only Come Out at Night, features poetry and fiction about vampires and werewolves. If you're a vampire-fan, check it out-- it includes, among many others, some poems by me, and by Mary. --no sparkles, I don't think, though. Sorry!


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