Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We'll be having a good time in the old place this day

We'll be having a good time in the old place this day.
Raising some issues and opening some doors
on the issue of Women's Rights.
Laura is a pro and a fine performer.
Open-Mic to follow on this day of National Poetry Month

Monday, March 30, 2015

Edible Books this Saturday!

at Loganberry:
11th Annual Books 2 Eat
Edible Books Festival
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12:00PM
~ annual event ~

Booklovers, bookbinders, cooks, and craftspeople of all ages are invited to participate.  Actual books displayed with the edible entry are encouraged.  Prizes include Most Literary, Most Appetizing, Best Binding, Best Pun, and of course, Best of Show.  Here’s the time table:
  • 12:00  artists should deliver their creations and set them up
  • 1:00  all entries must be here, and Voting opens
  • 2:00  Prizes awarded, immediately followed by eating the books!
It is free to participate and enjoy the show.  Voting and Eating privileges cost $3 and ensure future festivals.  The International Edible Books Festival started in 2000 and has been gaining popularity each year.  Loganberry Books and Strong Bindery have co-sponsored the Cleveland event since 2004, and give out hand-made miniature book pins to all contest entrants and book awards to contest winners.  Why do we do all this? Because it's a lot of fun.  I hope you’ll join us.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's all because of Joan Baez...

One of Northern Ohio's most celebrated writers is Bombay-born Thrity Umrigar, who just published her seventh novel, The Story Hour.

So, how did she end up in Ohio, anyway? Thrity Umrigar speaks.
"I was sitting in my living room in Bombay, checking off a list of American universities that offered a M.A. in journalism, when my eyes fell on 'Ohio State University.' There was a Joan Baez record playing on the turntable and right then, her song, Banks of the Ohio, came on. I looked up and thought, 'It's a sign,' and decided to apply there."

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology and Contest

It's time to submit to the 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. If your poem gets chosen for the book, you'll be invited to read it 5/13 at Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry. Immediately after the reading, three winners will be selected. Winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to read live and on the radio during the Fair itself.  But even if you don't wish to compete, you are welcome to submit to the book.

The rest of the story:

Submit up to 5 original poems to hesslerpoetry@crisischronicles.com. Please include your name, street address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number with your submission. (No snail mail entries, please.) Word docx preferred. Otherwise, in the body of the email is acceptable.

Entry deadline is April 20th, 2015. We will let you know by April 30th if your work is accepted for the anthology. On Wednesday May 13th, 2015 at 7pm, a qualifying round of readings by those whose poems have been selected will be held during the book's release at Mac's Backs Books on Coventry. About 20 minutes after all poets have read, prize winners will be announced and prizes will be handed out.

1st Prize $100
2nd Prize $50
3rd Prize $25

Open to ages 14 and up.

Poets published in the book may purchase one contributor's copy of the 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology the evening of the release at Mac's Back's or from the Hessler Street Fair Booth at Hessler Rd. & Hessler Ct. during the days of the 2015 Fair for half price. Full price will be charged for additional copies.

If you have won in the last three years you can submit to the anthology but will not be eligible to win a prize.

Prize winners are also expected to read on the designated day (May 16th or 17th) 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.

Once again, all entries should be emailed to hesslerpoetry@crisischronicles.com. Happy writing!

1820 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 321-2665

For more about the Hessler Street Fair, established in 1969, please visit hesslerstreetfair.org.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrate Spring with The City!

Celebrate the equinox-- spring is here!

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” 

The long march homeward
cannot happen until you
leave, then turn around.

Heights Arts presents Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond

Cleveland Heights, OH - On Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m., the community is invited to join an evening of conversation with Daniel Levin, associate professor of photographer at Cuyahoga Community College and guest curator of Impermanence, on view at Heights Arts through April 18.  Showcasing the works of 11 Cleveland photographers, Impermanence celebrates Cleveland’s changing urban landscape—from Tremont to the Heights inner ring suburbs—through pairs of photographs showing the same view of a site at different historical times.  Levin and exhibition photographers will discuss “rephotographic survey,” the concept and process behind Impermanence, as well as the stories behind the creation of their images.

Image: "The Vogue Beauty of Lola," 1995 Beverly Conley / 2015 Mark Holz

In an interesting twist to the standard curator’s talk, Heights Arts also invites regional poets to respond to the works on view as part of the evening. Hear from Cleveland Heights’ incoming Poet Laureate Meredith Holmes, plus poets Bunny Breslin, Diane Kendig, Robert McDonough, Jill Sell and Catherine Wing, who will read original poems created in response to these photographs of our city. A reception is held prior to the talk; all are encouraged to come early and enjoy refreshments while viewing the exhibition.

2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cleveland Heights names Meredith Holmes as Seventh Poet Laureate

Presentation ceremony to be held at Cleveland Heights City Hall on April 6

Cleveland Heights, OH – The City of Cleveland Heights and Heights Arts welcomes its seventh Poet Laureate, Meredith Holmes, and thanks outgoing Poet Laureate Kathleen Cerveny, in a special ceremony on Monday, April 6, 2015 at 7:30pm. Held at Cleveland Heights City Hall, the community is invited to attend and hear both poets speak.

Meredith served for one year as the first Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate in 2005 and will serve her second one-year term from 2015 to 2016. Her poems have been published in journals, including, most recently, Flyover Country Review and Literary Mama. Meredith’s poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Bad Times; the Kattywompus Press collection While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem; Awake at the End, published by Heights Arts and Bottom Dog Press; and the upcoming How Higher Education Feels, edited by Dr. Kathleen Quinlan.

Initially established by Heights Arts with the approval of the City of Cleveland Heights in 2005, the purpose of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate is to celebrate and elevate the art form of creative writing for the benefit of the community’s residents. Cleveland Heights is the first Ohio city to establish the office of Poet Laureate.

For more information about the City of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate program, visit www.heightsarts.org or call 216-371-3457.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why are Squirrels so Dang Poetic?

Wergle Flomp is probably the best-ever contest for funny poetry: multiple cash prizes and no entry fee. (It started out as a contest for awful poetry, but soon enough the winning poems were ones that were so awful that they were artful, and from there it just became a funny poem contest).
photo by James Marvin Phelps
Last year, judging assistant Lauren Singer read 4,484 submissions.  From her experience, she had this to say about what doesn't work (from the Winning Writer's Newsletter):
Parodies based on Poe, "The Night Before Christmas," Yeats, and Frost: If you are going to have a "With Apologies To..." poem, it needs to be clever enough to back up the fact that it is based on a famous original. So many of these poets jumped ship somewhere in the middle and did not utilize any clever parodying qualities, and merely wrote poems that were completely separate from the originals. Just stealing the voice of a dead poet does not a good poem make!

Poems that I found particularly arduous to read:
Poems about pooping, farting, vomiting, getting fat, having saggy boobs, tricking your husband so that he would stay with you, tricking your wife so that she would leave you, wrinkles, chocolate addiction, unoriginal limericks that began "There once was a man from Nantucket" that ended with "f*** it!", poems that invented their own language without a glossary and just translated as wan gibberish.

Poems that were offensive: Ones that embraced a pro-rape culture (there were more of these than you might think, and it was quite disheartening); poems that described women as objects; poems that led the reader to believe they were about women and then turned into poems about an object (odes to a car, boat, La-Z-Boy, golf club, burger, guitar, etc.); homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, racist poems, of which there were many; poems that mock a lifestyle in attempts to undermine it (making light of stay-at-home moms/dads, that sort of thing); poems that made light of mental illness, addiction, and recovery, in an offensive way as opposed to a self-deprecatingly humorous way.

"I'm getting so old" poems: These were by far the highest number of poems submitted in 2014. These have the ability to be funny, but more often than not there is SO much overlap. "I used to be so attractive, thin, energetic. Now I'm fat, wrinkly, and don't have sex. I can't bend over anymore, I can't sit up without grunting, I can't eat fried foods, I can't enjoy life because I'm over 60." These become tiring and disheartening after a while. There were a few that embraced an original voice and those made the cut, but the vast majority of poems about aging were nearly indistinguishable from each other.
Feeling squirrelly: There were well over a hundred poems solely about squirrels. This is merely a side note, as some of them were quite funny, but out of sheer curiosity, what the hell was it about squirrels this year? What is this obsession? Why are squirrels so dang poetic? Any squirrel poems that ended in a pun about nuts generally didn't make the cut.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ray McNiece Coming to Sandusky--March 14th

Ray McNiece Coming to Sandusky--March 14th
Coffeehouse Reading Series...2 pm. followed by Open-Mic
Ray McNiece
 Sponsored by The Firelands Writing Center

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cleveland poetry events now on Poets and Writers Calendar.

photo of Aztec calendar stone

I have to give kudos to John Burroughs for doing the work of keeping up the clevelandpoetics calendar.
The Poets & Writers site has a literary events calendar, and an app that works with it.  At my query, their web wizard Jason Chapman just set it to import data from the clevelandpoetics calendar.
So, you can now follow Cleveland Poetry Events on the Poets & Writers Calendar.


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