extended hiatus

Due to expanded commitments to my small press, I've been forced to cut down on some other projects. I would be delighted if someone else came forward to carry on this blog. Meanwhile, I hope some of the links and contacts herein are of some use.



Halloween Poetic/Performance Bash: Philly: 10/31/08

Friday, October 31, 9 PM: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents the first annual Halloween Poetic/Performance Bash BLAM! Poetic Arts Performance Project, featuring
Hal Sirowitz, Bob Holman, CA Conrad, Adam Meora, Rick Szybowski.

Produced by Adam Meora; hosted by Debra Morkun & Adam Meora.

$10 cover includes candy. Part of the proceeds go to Philabundance.

Costume Dance Party to follow.

Rick Szybowski was born on October 23, 1975, hasn't died yet and lives to compose, teach and perform music.

Adam Meora is the founder of Poetic Arts and Performance Project, a project based in Philly to bring a home to the poetic/collaborative/activist arts and to be housed at the University City Arts League beginning in November. The Poetic Arts Project's goal is to promote the poetic arts while raising money for charities and performing outreach in our community. He has been featured for his poetic performance in Philadelphia at the Tin Angel, Robin's Bookstore, Green Line Cafe, Milk Boy Cafe, Blue Marble Books and more. He has recently been published in The Bathroom, The Fridge Door, The Mad Poets Journal and has work upcoming in The Fox Chase Review. He is managing editor for NakedHowl.com, an online literary journal. Bob Holman said about his poetry performance, "He broke all rules of decorum." He plans to show off his hairy chest at this reading too. He is also known as DJ Naked Meora.

CA Conrad's childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He escaped to Philadelphia the first chance he got where he lives and writes today with The PhillySound poets. Soft Skull Press published his book Deviant Propulsion in 2006. Jack Kimball's FAUX Press recently published his new series of poems (Soma)tic Midge (samples from this new work can be seen in listenlight, MiPOesias, Sawbuck and COCONUT#9). The Book of Frank is forthcoming in late 2008 from CHAX Press. A selection of The Book of Frank was translated into German by Berlin poet Holger, and a bilingual chapbook is now available from Carrie Hunter's YPOLITA Press. A collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined: Philadelphia Poems, will be coming out in early 2009 from Factory School Press.

Bob Holman - Recently dubbed a member of the "Poetry Pantheon" by the New York Times Magazine and featured in a Henry Louis Gates, Jr. profile in The New Yorker, Holman has previously been crowned "Ringmaster of the Spoken Word" (New York Daily News), "Poetry Czar" (Village Voice), "Dean of the Scene" (Seventeen), and "this generation’s Ezra Pound," (San Francisco's Poetry Flash). From Slam to Hiphop, from performance poetry to spoken word, Bob Holman has been a central figure in the reemergence of poetry in our culture. The series he produced for PBS, The United States of Poetry, features over sixty poets including Derek Walcott, Rita Dove, Czeslaw Milosz, Lou Reed and former President Jimmy Carter, as well as rappers, cowboy poets, American Sign Language poets, and Slammers. USOP lives on as an anthology from Harry Abrams Publishers (in its second printing), a home video from KQED, and soundtrack CD from Mouth Almighty/Mercury Records, a label Holman co-founded. He has appeared widely on TV: "Nightline," "Good Morning America," "ABC News Magazine," MTV's "Spoken Word Unplugged," and "The Charlie Rose Show," among others. The NEA has announced major preproduction support for his new poetry media project, the World of Poetry, worldofpoetry.org, the world's first digital poetry anthology.

Hal Sirowitz is the recipient of a Frederick Delius Award and The Susan Rose Recording Grant for Contemporary Jewish Music. Hal Sirowitz is the author of three books of poems, including Mother Said, My Therapist Said (Crown). Mother Said will be released on CD with music composed by Alla Borzova, sung by Paul Sperry. John Flansburgh of the rock group, They Might Be Giants, has recorded him for Hello Records, and the group spoke about him during their Mother's Day interview for NPR's Studio 360. Garrison Keillor has read his work on NPR's Writer's Almanac. Sirowitz has performed on MTV's Spoken Word Unplugged, PBS's Poetry Heaven, and NPR's All Things Considered. Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a 2003 New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, Sirowitz is also the best selling translated poet in Norway, where Mother Said has been adapted for the stage and has been made into animated cartoons. Hal is the former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. He has a poem in Garrison Keillor's anthology, Good Poems, in Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (W.W. Norton), in Poetry After 9/11 (Melville House Publishing) and in 110 Stories: Writers Respond to 9/11 (NYU Press). He worked for 25 years as a special education teacher for the New York City public schools. Hal is married to the writer Mary Minter Krotzer.

Leslie Ann Mcilroy: Bloomsburg: 10/29/08

Wednesday, October 29, 7PM: The Big Dog Reading Series presents poet Leslie Anne Mcilroy, in a collaborative performance with guitarist Don Bertschman, in The Hideaway, Kehr Union Building, Bloomsburg University. Mcilroy will read selections from Liquid Like This (Word Press, 2008), the latest book from this Pittsburgh-based poet, writer, and editor. Mcilroy won the 1997 Slipstream Poetry Prize for her chapbook Gravel and the 2001 Word Press Poetry Prize for her book Rare Space.

“In Liquid Like This, she intensifies her talent for seeking and seeing both sides of truth, bridging the beautiful and the profane. Like Tom Waits’ baby sister and Neruda’s granddaughter, her new gritty narratives seduce as easily as they caution; soothe as easily as they trouble,” writes poet Terrance Hayes.

This event is free and open to the public. Call 570-389-4881 for information.

Allison Wittenberg: Philly: 10/28/08

Tuesday, October 28, 6 PM: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poet Allison Wittenberg.

Hosted by Justin Vitiello. Open reading to follow.
Thursday, October 23, 6 PM: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poets Christopher Casamassima, Ryan Eckes, and M. Magnus.

Christopher Casamassima is the Literary Arts Director at Towson ARTS Collective, and professor of English at Towson University - both in Baltimore. To shoulder a maternal metaphor, he has authored two books of poetry, the Proteus [Moria Books], and Joys : A Catalogue of Disappointments. His third book, Ore, is currently under production, and will contain thousands of appropriated lines from everyone between Aesop and Zukofsky, except his own, which have been dashed against the rocks or sold to his students.

Ryan Eckes lives in South Philadelphia. His poetry can be read in XConnect, Fanzine, Cue: A Journal of Prose Poetry, PhillySound, and in his chapbook when i come here (Plan B Press, 2007). He has an MA in creative writing from Temple University, where he currently teaches. Click here to visit his blog.

M. Magnus' book Verb Sap is out this fall from Narrow House of Baltimore. Much of this work, along with a few newer and older pieces, can be heard on his online radio show "MMm... Utterance" at blogtalkradio.com, ongoing throughout 2008. Magnus lives and writes in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mia Leonin: Bucknell: 10/21/08

Tuesday, October 21, 7 PM:

Mia Leonin reads from her poetry at Bucknell Hall on the campus of Bucknell University.

Leonin is the author of two books of poetry, Braid and Unraveling the Bed, both from Anhinga Press. A travel memoir is forthcoming from University of Arizona Press. She has received grants and awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Florida Arts Council, and the NEA/Annenberg Institute on Theater and Musical Theater. Leonin teaches creative writing at the University of Miami and writes extensively on theatre, dance, and culture in Miami.

This reading will be shared with Eduardo Corral.

Eduardo Corral: Bucknell: 10/21/08

Tuesday, October 21, 7PM:

2008 Philip Roth Resident Eduardo Corral will read from his poetry in Bucknell Hall on the campus of Bucknell University.

Corral’s poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, and Poetry Northwest. His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/ The Nation award and residencies from the Hall Farm Center, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. He was the 2007/08 Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Creative Writing at Colgate University. Corral holds degrees from Arizona State University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. As the 2008 Philip Roth Resident, he is spending the fall semester at Bucknell.

This reading is shared with Mia Leonin.

Pam Brown, Ron Silliman, Magdalena Zurawski

Sunday, October 19, 4PM: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poets Pam Brown, Ron Silliman and Magdalena Zurawski.

Pam Brown lives in Australia and is co-editor of Jacket magazine. She has published many books and chapbooks including Text thing (Little Esther Books, 2002) and Dear Deliria (Salt Publishing, 2003) which was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Poetry in 2004. She collaborated with Seattle-based Egyptian poet Maged Zaher on a collection of poems called farout library software (Tinfish Press, 2007). Her most recent book, True Thoughts, was published by Salt Publishing in September 2008. Her next collection, Authentic Local, is forthcoming from Papertiger Media in 2009. Click here to see her blog.

Ron Silliman's long awaited collection The Alphabet will be available for sale and for signing. He is the author or editor of twenty-six books of poetry and criticism, among them The Age of Huts (compleat), Tjanting, ABC, Demo to Ink, Paradise, R, What, Woundwood, and the memoir Under Albany. He edited the landmark poetry anthology In the American Tree, and he has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, two Fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, and three arts commission grants from the state arts councils of California and Pennsylvania. His widely read Silliman's Blog, a daily journal devoted to contemporary poetry and poetics, has become a major force in online literary criticism.

Magdalena Zurawski was born in Newark, NJ in 1972 to Polish immigrants. Her work has been published in American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Rattapallax, Talisman, and other magazines. She lives in North Carolina where she is working on her PhD at Duke University. The Bruise is her first novel and won the Ronald Sukenik Innovative Fiction Prize. Click here to visit her blog.

Leonard Gontarek & Arlene Ang: Philly: 10/19/08

Sunday, October 19, 1pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poets Leonard Gontarek and Arlene Ang.

Leonard Gontarek is the author of St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris, Van Morrison Can't Find His Feet, Zen For Beginners and Deja Vu Diner (Autumn House Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Joyful Noise! An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry, American Poetry Review, Blackbird, BlazeVox, Pool, Fence, Field, and as a tattoo. He has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize. A Pew Poetry Finalist, he received poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 1994 and 2004. He conducts poetry workshops at The University City Arts League, Robin's Bookstore, The Kelly Writers House and in the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership. He coordinates The Last Word Bookshop Reading Series and The Green Line Poetry Series.

Arlene Ang is the author of The Desecration of Doves (iUniverse 2005) and Secret Love Poems (Rubicon Press 2007). Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (a book of poems written with Valerie Fox) was recently published by Texture Press. She serves as the poetry editor of The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. She received the 2006 Frogmore Prize. Ang's poems have appeared in many journals, including Parameter Magazine, Stand Magazine, Envoi, Painted Bride Quarterly, Diagram, and Unpleasant Event Schedule. She lives in Spinea, in Italy.

Jack DeWitt - book launch: Kingston: 10/17/08

Friday, October 17, 8:15 PM: Paper Kite Press Studio & Gallery presents a book launch and reading by Jack DeWitt.

"There are only a few people working in this utterly unadorned, unsung blue-collar vein, and Jack DeWitt is the master of the genre." --Stephen Berg.

443 Main Street, Kingston, PA.

Jim Warner: Bloomsburg: 10/14/08

October 14, 7:30 PM: The River Poets will feature poet Jim Warner on Tuesday, 10/14 at Phillips Emporium, 10 East Main Street in Bloomsburg.

Jim Warner earned degrees in Psychology and English. He performs across the northeast, and is the long-time host for the Wilkes-Barre Barnes & Noble Poetry Series. Jim's work has appeared in various journals including HazMat Review and Word Riot, in the anthology In the Arms of Words: Poetry for Disaster Relief (Sherman Asher), and on numerous buses, phone booths and bathroom walls. Jim's first full length collection, Too Bad It's Poetry, was released in the fall of 2007 by Paper Kite Press. Jim Warner currently lives (with an oversized record collection) and works in Wilkes-Barre as Assistant Director of Graduate Creative Writing Programs at Wilkes University.

After a break, there will be an open reading.
MC: Tara Holdren.

Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Diane Lockward, JC Todd: Philly: 10/14/08

Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 PM: Poets Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Diane Lockward and JC Todd will give a reading at The Blue Grotto, 3500 Lancaster Ave in Philadelphia. All three poets are published by Wind Publications. Sally will read from Talking Underwater; Diane will read from What Feeds Us; JC will read from What Space This Body.

This event is sponsored by Mad Poets Society.

Check out Diane's web site by clicking here.

Tree Riesner & Guillaume Stewart: Philly: 10/14/08

Tuesday, October 14, 6pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poets Tree Riesner and Guillaume Stewart. More information to follow.

Group reading: Philly: 10/13/08

Monday, October 13, 6pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents a group reading: Avanti Popolo "Columbus Day" Reading Featuring Eight Poets:

Co-moderators: Al Taconelli and Rosemary Cappello
Readers: Maria Fama, Mary Ann Mannino, Rob Marchesani, Emiliano Maartin, Linda Pizzi, and Tad Tuleja.

Inspired by the book Avanti Popolo: Italian-American Writers Sail Beyond Columbus, edited by The Italian-American Political Solidarity Club ($14.95 Manic D Press). Italian American writers celebrate their hidden history in a literary tribute to fighting social injustice. With the current anti-immigrant sentiments filling up newspaper front pages, these writers respond with thought-provoking works that focus on breaking from mainstream tradition. On Columbus Day, instead of celebrating conquest, these poets and writers acknowledge those who stood up for justice and have fought for the rights of all immigrants, regardless of heritage. With new work by Diane di Prima, Kim Addonizio, James Tracy, Michael Cirelli, Michael Parenti, Thomas Centolella, and many others.

Anthology release reading: Philly: 10/12/08

Sunday, October 12, 4pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents a group reading: State of the Union: Political Poems for Our Times.

Readers will include CA Conrad, Dan Featherston, Ish Klein, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Bill Marsh, Frank Sherlock and Nathaniel Siegel.

This reading is in honor of a new anthology published by Wave Books, State of the Union: 50 Political Poems, edited by Joshua Beckman and Matthew Zapruder (Wave, $14.00). Readings will be in the spirit of the anthology: "From rough optimism to sharp criticism, fifty American poets present new work dissecting the current political climate in America. Wide-ranging writers bring their bold and urgent voices to this collection, which includes the work of John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton, Terrance Hayes, Eileen Myles, [the late] Reginald Shepherd and John Yau, among many others."

Related to the anthology and counting down the last fifty days until the election, this blog might be of interest: http://poetrypolitic.com/

Jack Veasey: Camp Hill: 10/09/08

Jack Veasey will be featured October 9 at the Crimson Frog Coffeehouse.

Veasey has published eight volumes of poetry, and his poems have appeared in the journals Painted Bride Quarterly, Experimental Forest, Fledgling Rag, and the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (2006). Veasey has been a journalist, editor, arts administrator, musician, writing teacher, and public radio host. He's produced two plays which were shown in Philadelphia and Lancaster. As a journalist, he's written hundreds of articles, conducting interviews with such as David Lynch, Laurie Anderson, George Carlin, and Joan Baez.

Jack Veasey writes poetry concerning the working class and individuals alienated as a consequence of economic class, race, and sexual orientation. He's studied with a number of poets, including Etheridge Knight, Alexandra Grilikhes, and Ted Berrigan.

David A. Warner, writing in The Philadelphia City Paper, says: "Jack Veasey's poetry lets you know from the outset that the poor are the people he sings about, and that's that. His strongest poems are spare, sympathetic portraits that reveal whole histories of loneliness in small details. These are deceptively simple, surprisingly resonant poems." An open reading will precede Veasey's performance. The Crimson Frog is located in the Cedar Cliff Mall. For more information: 761-4721.

three poems by Karen Lillis

PA Poet news:

Karen Lillis has three poems published at The Fifteen Project, an online journal. There's also a review of The Second Elizabeth, her forthcoming novel of poetic prose, here.

Susan Gardner: Philly: 10/06/08

Monday, October 6, 6pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poet Susan Gardner, author of Box of Light/Caja de luz (Red Mountain Press). For more information, see: http://www.robinsbookstore.com/events/100408.html.

Susan Gardner illuminates relationships and meaning from her environment, both human and natural. Her lyric poems, written in both English and Spanish, bridge the gap between the two languages with an unrivaled clarity and poeticism. "Moving between languages is moving between cultures," explains Ms. Gardner. "The poems are cousins rather than twins."

"Gardner’s poetry employs a loose, conversational cadence and open, precise language," says Red Mountain Press publisher R.D. Ross. "Her work reminds us of tanka and haiku in its choice of subject matter, musical feeling, and forceful simplicity of image." Black line drawings reminiscent of Asian calligraphy illustrate the concepts of Box of Light, transforming the words and images into a complete visual and auditory experience.

Susan Gardner is a painter, poet, and photographer. A native of New York, she now lives in Santa Fe. Other works include Stone Music: The Art and Poetry of Susan Gardner and Intimate Landscapes.

J.C. Todd & Alex Hartman: Camp Hill: 10/02/08

J.C. Todd and Alex Hartman are featured performers at the Crimson Frog's Poetry Thursdays series on Thursday, October 2, from 7-9PM.

Philadelphia poet J.C. Todd is author of What Space This Body (Wind Publications 2008), and two chapbooks, Nightshade and Entering Pisces, both from Pine Press. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, and Prairie Schooner, and on Verse Daily. Awards include two Leeway Awards for Poetry, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Poetry Fellowship, and fellowships to Schloss Wiepersdorf arts colony in Germany and the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Sweden. She has edited translation features on Lithuanian, Latvian and Slovene poetry for The Drunken Boat and is a visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.

Alexandra Hartman's Ethos is an experimental concept in music and poetry performance that fuses Louis J. Porsi Jr.'s soulful electric bass guitar rhythms with Hartman's topical and confessional spoken word poetry and prose. Hartman has been involved in poetry and independent film for the past decade. She recently earned a master's degree from Goddard College in embodiment studies and film; much of her poetry focuses on the body, and bodies that "disobey" by not conforming to societal norms.

Porsi is a multi-talented instrumentalist. He studied studio recording engineering and sound at Los Angeles Valley College. His musical endeavors span forty years and two coasts.

The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel hosts Poetry Thursdays, a weekly reading series at the Crimson Frog. An 7pm open reading will lead into the Todd-Hartman extravaganza. The Crimson Frog, 1104 Carlisle Road, Camp Hill, PA, is located in the Cedar Cliff Mall. For more information: 761-4721.