Saturday, January 18, 2020

Poetry+ to feature Chuck Salmons and Renay Sanders, 1/21 in Lakewood

Poetry Plus at Art on Madison will triple your pleasure in January with readings by two acclaimed featured poets - Chuck Salmons and Renay Sanders - plus an open mic. Doors open at 7 p.m.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Chuck Salmons is a poet and currently President of the Ohio Poetry Association. He earned a B.A. from Otterbein College and a M.A. from Northern Michigan University.

Chuck's poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Pudding Magazine, Evening Street Review, Olentangy Review, Common Threads, The Fib Review, Red Thread Gold Thread, Everything Stops and Listens, and Appleseeds. His chapbook, Stargazer Suite, was released in December 2016 and is available from 11th Hour Press. His second chapbook, Patch Job, was published by NightBallet Press in 2017.

He won the 2011 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest, sponsored by The Poetry Forum of Columbus, and has garnered awards from Ohio Poetry Day. Most recently, he is a recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for his poetry. Chuck regularly gives readings throughout Ohio, both solo and as part of the poetry trio Concrete Wink. He also leads workshops for various groups and audiences.

Chuck has worked in a variety of fields, including construction, education, and retail. He loves science, which often influences his poems, and is thrilled about the discovery of water on Mars and gravitational waves. He works as a science editor in Columbus.

S. Renay Sanders learned to love the spoken word amidst a family of storytellers. She began secretly writing her own stories as poems. She came out of the poetry closet in 2010 with a poem in the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. She subsequently had poems published in a variety of anthologies. Her most recent accomplishment is the publication of her first chapbook, Dancing in Place. Coming full circle, she has ventured into storytelling and proudly performed her story "Cemetery Run" in the Women of Appalachia Project, Spoken Word, 2019. Today she proudly lives the poetic lifestyle. Continuing to enjoy the local poetry scene as an open mic-er and occasional feature. A native Clevelander, her poems are inspired by the characters she encounters in life and the beauty of the Cuyahoga Valley, where she now resides.

Open mic to follow the features, emceed by Ohio Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs.

Please note: Poetry+ usually happens on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit our website at
Other upcoming Poetry+ features:

2/18 - Bill Yarrow (Chicago) & Laura Grace Weldon (Litchfield)
3/17 - Leah Mueller (Tacoma WA) & Rikki Santer (Columbus)

Art on Madison
14203 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Performing in Spoon River Anthology, Selected Poems on 1/19 in Erie PA

This Sunday, 19 January 2020, I will be part of a diverse cast in a staged reading of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, Selected Poems, presented by Erie County Poet Laureate Chuck Joy and the Erie County Public Library. You can call me Theodore the Poet.

More info:
Spoon River Anthology, Selected Poems

2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Erie County Public Library
H.O. Hirt Auditorium
160 E Front Street
Erie, Pennsylvania 16507

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My poem "Food for Thought" featured 1/15 in Winedrunk Sidewalk

I am pleased to report that my short poem "Food for Thought" is featured today (day 1092) in Winedrunk Sidewalk. It's another that I wrote at the Hill Billy Grill in West Jefferson, North Carolina, during my recent Tiny Cabin, Big Ideas residency. Many thanks to editor John Grochalski for including itand for keeping up the good fight!

For daily resistance poems, follow

Permalink to just my poem: here.

And they're still accepting submissions of poems and art as we speak. So send them something!


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Burroughs and Chernin to Read in Wadsworth this Saturday 1/18

I will have the honor of reading with Shelley Chernin again this Saturday at Manic on Main in Wadsworth, Ohio. Many thanks to Cat Russell and Kristin LeFever Beck for putting this special event together!  I have fond memories of Wadsworth from visiting family there on lots of weekends as I was growing up.

This will be part of my ongoing Rattle and Numb poetry tour. We'll also be celebrating the fact that my Crisis Chronicles Press has just reprinted Shelley's chapbook, The Vigil

Poetry Night & Open Mic
featuring John Burroughs & Shelley Chernin

Saturday 18 January 2020 at 7 p.m.

Manic on Main
136 Main Street
Wadsworth, Ohio 44281
(330) 245-6751

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Poet of the Week on the Super Highway

Honored that Jefferson Carter and I have been selected as Poets of the Week (January 13-19) by the Poetry Super Highway​! The poem they selected of mine ("Faith Without Works Is Dead") is a short one written at the Hill Billy Grill in West Jefferson, North Carolina during my recent Tiny Cabin, Big Ideas​ residency.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

John Burroughs’ 2020 Poetry Events (Scheduled So Far)

I'm starting to put together my 2020 Poetry calendar and I'd love to read for/with you if we can make it happen. Still touring behind my latest book, Rattle & Numb: Selected & New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press], I’ll read at your bar, festival, living room, bookstore, gallery, university or spacecraft - especially if you’re in Ohio (since I’ll still be the Beat Poet Laureate for our fair state through 2021), though I’m always open to travel for the right gig. For booking, please email

Saturday 4 January at 1 p.m. in Upper Sandusky, Ohio

Poetry reading and discussion with John Burroughs at Riddlehaven.

Monday 6 January at 8 p.m. in Lakewood, Ohio

Bowled Over by Holbrook/Burroughs, hosted by Terry Provost at Mahall’s 2o Lanes, 13200 Madison Avenue, 44107.

Wednesday 8 January at 7 p.m. in Youngstown, Ohio

Lit Youngstown presents John Burroughs & Shelley Chernin at The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion Street, 44503.

Saturday 18 January at 7 p.m. in Wadsworth, Ohio

Poetry Night and Open Mic featuring John Burroughs & Shelley Chernin at Manic on Main, 136 Main Street, 44281. 

Sunday 19 January at 2 p.m. in Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie County Poet Laureate Chuck Joy presents a staged reading of Spoon River Anthology, Selected Poems (including John Burroughs in the role of Theodore the Poet) at the Erie County Public Library 160 E Front Street, 16507.

Tuesday 21 January at 7 p.m. in Lakewood, Ohio

Poetry+ featuring Chuck Salmons and Renay Sanders plus open mic, emceed by John Burroughs at Art on Madison, 14203 Madison Avenue, 44107.

Thursday 13 February at 7 p.m. in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Ekphrastacy: Artists Speak + Poets Respond (to the Point Line Pattern Plane exhibit) at Heights Arts, 2175 Lee Road, 44118. More details forthcoming.

Tuesday 18 February at 7 p.m. in Lakewood, Ohio

Poetry+ featuring Bill Yarrow & Laura Grace Weldon plus open mic, emceed by John Burroughs at Art on Madison, 14203 Madison Avenue, 44107.

Tuesday 17 March at 7 p.m. in Lakewood, Ohio

Poetry+ featuring Leah Mueller and Rikki Santer plus open mic, emceed by John Burroughs at Art on Madison, 14203 Madison Avenue, 44107.

Friday 10 April at 7 p.m. in Buffalo, New York

Second Stage Writers at Grindhaus, 160 Allen Street, 14201. More info forthcoming.

Saturday 13 June at 5 p.m. in Amherst, Ohio

Poetic Expressions from the Heart featuring a workshop, John Burroughs, and open mic hosted by Debra Rose at Arabica Coffee Bistro, 254 Park Avenue, 44001.

Thursday 9 July at 7 p.m. in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Broadsides & Ephemera featuring John Burroughs, plus open mic, at Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Boulevard, 44120.

Saturday 25 July at 7 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio
Annual Cleveland Inkubator festival sponsored by Literary Cleveland at the Cleveland Public Library, Superior Avenue, 44114. More info forthcoming.

4 through 6 September in New Hartford, Connecticut

2020 National Beat Poetry Festival. More info forthcoming.

25 through 26 September in Youngstown, Ohio

Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival 2020. More info forthcoming.

Stay tuned. More to be added.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Chernin and Burroughs Return to Youngstown January 8th

On the second Wednesday of 2020, I will have the honor of returning to Youngstown to read with Shelley Chernin at The Soap Gallery as part of my Rattle and Numb poetry tour. Many thanks to Karen Schubert and Lit Youngstown for inviting us! Crisis Chronicles Press will reprint Shelley's 2012 chapbook, The Vigil, to honor the occasion. An open mic emceed by Rae McCann will follow our readings. And we'll be celebrating National Toffee Day! (Toffee is my favorite candy.)

John Burroughs & Shelley Chernin
Wednesday 8 January 2020 at 7 p.m.

The Soap Gallery
117 S. Champion Street
Youngstown, Ohio 44503

Hope to see you there! 

Though Youngstown is one of my favorite poetry cities, I've only read there two times before:
  • 4 May 2016 with Dianne Borsenik & Mathew Minicucci at Susie's Dogs & Drafts
  • 1 May 2011 with Dianne Borsenik, Shelley Chernin, Karen Schubert, Steve Thomas, Mindi Kirchner-Greenway and many more during the Ward Bakery Open Studio Reading.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Get Bowled Over by Sara Holbrook & John Burroughs at Mahall's, January 6th

My first reading of the new year will be alongside the fabulous Sara Holbrook at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood, Ohio, and I couldn't be more excited. A homecoming of sorts! Monday January 6th at 8 p.m.

The last time I played the role of featured poet for Monday at Mahall's was July 13th 2013 when Catherine Criswell still ran the series. JJ Haaz accompanied me on guitar. A lot has changed since then. I took over running the series in April 2014, when Catherine took a job in California, and enjoyed playing the curator for about a year and a half until my wife Geri got so sick I decided to hand off hosting duties to the wonderful Terry Provost in October 2015. Now Terry's still going strong as host and I'm thrilled to be returning as one of his first featured poets of 2020 in support of my latest book, Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press]. Did I mention it's with Sara Holbrook?!?

John Burroughs & JJ Haaz, 7/13/2013 at Mahall's
photo by Michael Spear

Bowled Over by Holbrook/Burroughs
Monday January 6th 2020 at 8 pm
Open mic will follow the features.

Mahall's 20 Lanes
13200 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Monday at Mahall's on Facebook:

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

My Last Reading of the Decade, 12/18 in Painesville, Ohio!

Join me December 18th during Words and Wine at the Steele Mansion, where I will share selections from my latest book, Rattle and Numb, Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press]. The evening will also include an open mic. Many thanks to host Margie DeLong!

Steele Mansion Inn & Gathering Hub
348 Mentor Avenue
Painesville, Ohio 44077

Side note: I've read for this series three times before (September 2016, August 2015, August 2014), when it was at other venues. It's been three years since the last time.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Rattle and Numb nominated for a 2020 Ohioana Book Award

Cover panting by Emma Anderson
I am honored to learn that my new bookRattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019—has been nominated for a 2020 Ohioana Book Award. I am super proud of this book. It features pretty much all of my strongest poetry—and publisher Venetian Spider Press and cover artist Emma Anderson made it look fantastic.

Given that there are so many amazing recently published books by Ohio poets, my chances of winning are likely quite slim. Still, it is a thrill to even have my work in the conversation.