Monday, July 16, 2018

Student Loan Free

There are so many sad and bad things in the world today, but I have a bit of good news. For the first time since 1987, today I am student loan free! 31 years ago when I was a student at Lorain County Community College, I borrowed $2058. It took me paying a total of $9425 over more than three decades to finally rid myself of this albatross. I'm grateful that Pell Grants, a Dean's scholarship and a supportive mom prevented me from having to borrow more. But my obligation was a mere drop in the ocean compared to what many of my friends have had to borrow to pay for their educations. Student loan reform is essential. And free college or trade school for young Americans is as doable as free high school if we only want to make it a priority.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

MAC Literary Night in Morgantown, West Virginia, 7/17

This Tuesday at 7 p.m. I will have the honor of reading in Morgantown with US Beat Poet Laureate William F. DeVault, Maryland Beat Poet Laureate Carlo Parcelli and West Virginia Beat Poet Laureate Daniel McTaggart. We'll also be celebrating the newly released book Stranger to Blue Water: A West Virginia Poetry Anthology.

Monongalia Arts Center
107 High Street
Morgantown, WV 26505

Video of Last Night's Inspiration Showcase in Canton, Ohio

Many thanks to Writing Knights for hosting us on July 13th at The Local. The evening began with a reading by Akron poet Paul Mangus. My reading (begins around the 17:30 mark on the video) was next, followed by Writing Knights' first ever "sWord Fight" (between JM Romig and Jamie Laubacher). Skylark Bruce served as emcee and Azriel Johnson ran tech. The poems I read were:

"Suite Melissa"
"From Genesis to Exodus"
"Inner Expedition"
"Tell Them I Am Sent You"
"Odd Missive"

Watch it all here:

All of these poems I read came from my recent NightBallet Press book, Loss and Foundering, except three: "Odd Missive" (new and unpublished), "Inner Expedition" (from Beat Attitude, NightBallet, 2015) and "Tell Them I Am Sent You" (from Electric Company, 2011, Writing Knights).

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Inspiration Showcase 7/13 in Canton

Thanks to everyone who came out to Visible Voice Books last night. Fine words and people! Smith was all that and more. If you missed it :( - or if you didn't but just want more :) - you can catch me at The Local in Canton this Friday the 13th, where Paul Mangus and I will be the featured performers, plus Writing Knights will host their first-ever "sWord fight" (between Josh Romig and Jamie Laubacher). They'll have an open mic as well. Take the Knight Off: Inspiration Showcase.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Comfest in Columbus 6/23 and Visible Voice in Cleveland 7/7

Saturday June 23rd at 5:55 p.m., Shelley Chernin and I will perform a joint set of poetry and ukulele in Columbus, Ohio, at the Peace & Healing Tent Stage during ComFest 2018 in Goodale Park. Central Ohio poets Betty Bleen, Susann Moeller, Beverly Zeimer and Alexis Rueal will also perform.

Then on Saturday July 7th at 7:30 p.m., Steven B. Smith and I will read from our new books at Visible Voice Books in Cleveland, Ohio. An open mic will follow, for anyone else who wishes to share.

Steven B. Smith is the author of Where Never Was Already Is [2018, Crisis Chronicles Press]. Shelley Chernin is the author of The Vigil [2012, Crisis Chronicles Press]. John Burroughs is the author of Loss and Foundering [2018, NightBallet Press]. All three of us are co-authors (along with Mary Weems, Kathy Smith, John Swain and Steve Brightman) of Oct Tongue -1 [2014, Crisis Chronicles Press].

For my full 2018 poetry event schedule, click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sock it to me, Alex!

Got part of a poem and part of a sock (in one) from renowned poet and mail artist and friend Alex Gildzen in yesterday's mail, "& when" I tried to put it on my foot it fit like so.

Read his whole poem here.
Then read more about his project here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My 2018 Climbing up the Neck of America Tour!

With my western poetry trip (which Dianne and I called our Stabbing into the Heart of America tour) and the Kleft Crisis festival and the Haiku Society of America's Spring Meeting behind me, I am preparing to head northeast for what I am now calling my Climbing up the Neck of America tour. But it begins this week in Cleveland.

8 May at 7 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio 
Incite: A Poetic Conversation: Dianne Borensik + John Burroughs. RA Washington discusses poetry, small presses and more with Borsenik and Burroughs at Guide to Kulchur Books, 5222 Lorain Avenue, 44102. 

10 May at 7 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio 
Broadsides & Ephemera w/ John Burroughs at Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Boulevard, 44120. Includes open mic, hosted by Paul Ryland.

17 May at 7 p.m. in Portsmouth, New Hampshire 
Beat Night featuring John Burroughs, Jeff Stern and Stephen Haven at the Portsmouth Book and Bar, 40 Pleasant Street, 03801.

19 May at 2 p.m. in Clinton, Connecticut
Len Fried, Alan Kleiman and John Burroughs will read at the Henry Carter Hull Library, 10 Killingworth Turnpike, 06413

20 May from 2 to 10 p.m. in Northford, Connecticut
Sol’s Path Launch featuring Leslie McGrath, Terry Blackhawk and John Burroughs, hosted by Meg Harris at the Sol’s Path Writing Center, 1785 Middletown Avenue, 06472.

22 May at 7 p.m. in Portland, Maine 
Loss and Foundering By John Burroughs at Longfellow Books, 1 Monument Way, 04101.

24 May at 7 p.m. in Woonsocket, Rhode Island
May Poetry Reading featuring John Burroughs plus open mic at Millrace, 40 South Main Street, 02895. [My appearance had to be canceled in favor of a funeral and will hopefully be rescheduled.]

26 May at 1:30 p.m. in Somerville, Massachusetts
Stephen Haven, Gloria Mindock, and John Burroughs at Arts at the Armory, Červená Barva Press Studio, Basement, B8, 191 Highland Avenue, 02143.

1 June at 1 p.m. in Nyack, New York
Write! hosted by Siwsan Gimprich at La Fontana, 95 S. Broadway, 10960.

1 June at 4:30 p.m. in Nyack, New York
Write! hosted by River River at the Carson McCullers House, 131 S. Broadway, 10960.

2 June at 3:30 p.m. at 7 p.m. in New Hartford, Connecticut
National Beat Poetry Festival featuring John Burroughs, Tchalla Williams, special guest William DeVault and musical guest George Porto, plus open mic at The The Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library, 10 Central Avenue, 06057.

3 June at 7 p.m. in Peekskill, New York 
John Burroughs and others will perform during the Bean Runner Open Mic presented by The Artist Collective at the BeanRunner Café, 201 S. Division Street, 10566.

4 June at 8 p.m. in Buffalo, New York
Poets Storm Nietzsche’s featuring John Burroughs, Dianne Borsenik, Julio Montalvo Valentin and Jennifer Skelton at Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen Street, 14201.

And stay tuned for more. To see my full, ever-evolving 2018 poetry event schedule, please click here.

Friday, April 27, 2018

4/30 Poetry Forum in Columbus

Monday at 7 pm I have the honor of reading for The Poetry Forum in Columbus, Ohio. With two 20-minute sets, I can go deep! The open mic there is always stellar. Plus the venue has a fine beer selection and brassieres hanging from the chandeliers. A perfect recipe for quasi-divine mayhem and poetic semi-madness. My last reading of April 2018! Watch me breathe fire or, if that fails, turn into John Burroughs right before your eyes.

The Poetry Forum featuring John Burroughs
at Bossy Grrls Pin-up Joint
2598 N High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43202

Reading will be followed by Monday Mayhem Burlesque!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Kleft Crisis 2018 Gratitude

The house is finally empty again. Kinda sad to see everyone go. But what a weekend of wonder! Many thanks to Frankie Metronome and Kleft Jaw Press for inspiring this blessed mess. Gobs of gratitude to our gracious hosts Guide To Kulchur Books, Main Street Books, and Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry. Special thanks to the featured writers of #KleftCrisis2018 who traveled from far and near to share their incredible work, including: Margie Shaheed, Jeanette Powers, Iris Appelquist, Gabriel Ricard, Austin Price, Ra Washington, Mark S. Kuhar, Steve Brightman, Nathanael William Stolte, Dianne Borsenik, Shelley Chernin, Christina M. Brooks, Juliet Cook, Steve Goldberg, Clarissa Jakobsons, Heather Ann Schmidt, Kathy Smith, Steven Smith, Azriel Johnson, Alice and, again, Frankie. I also wanna thank a number of other people who made this weekend even better in myriad ways, including James Borsenik, Mark Sebastian Jordan, Suzanne DeGaetano, Peggy Honeydew, Deva Lynn, Raymond McNiece, his Tongue-in-Groove band, Llalan Fowler, Nick Gardner, Cathie Joslyn, Mike Burroughs, Michael Salinger, Sara Holbrook, and I could go on and on. You all freaking rock and I love you. Now it's back to work until I head to Athens. Looking forward to Thursday 4/26, when Athens Poet Laureate: Kari Gunter-Seymour (author of Serving, just published in March by Crisis Chronicles Press) will read at Arts West. Cheers!

Check out

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kleft Crisis 2018 and Steven Smith Book Launch This Weekend!

This weekend, Crisis Chronicles Press (out of Cleveland) and Kleft Jaw Press (out of Denver) celebrate National Poetry Month by presenting a Friday/Saturday litfest you won't want to miss featuring authors from across the United States at three of the best bookstores in Ohio. Then Ray McNiece will follow it up on Sunday with a Tongue-in-Groove Poetry Jam featuring Cleveland art/poetry legend Steven Smith, whose new book, Where Never Was Already Is, was just published this month by Crisis Chronicles.

Friday 4/20, 7pm till ? at Guide to Kulchur Books
5222 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102
featuring readings by
Iris Appelquist (Kansas City, MO)
Steve Brightman (Akron, OH)
John Burroughs (Cleveland, OH)
Ryder Collins (Milwaukee, WI)
Azriel Johnson (Canton, OH)
Mark S Kuhar (Medina, OH)
Frankie Metro (Denver, CO)
Jeanette Powers (Kansas City, MO)
Austin Price (New York, NY)
Gabriel Ricard (East Northport, NY)
Margie Shaheed (Memphis, TN)
Nathanael Stolte (Buffalo, NY)
RA Washington (Cleveland, OH)

Saturday 4/21, 2pm to 4pm at Main Street Books

104 N. Main St,, Mansfield, OH 44902
emcee: Mark Sebastian Jordan
featuring readings by
Iris Appelquist (Kansas City, MO)
Frankie Metro (Denver, CO)
Jeanette Powers (Kansas City, MO)
Gabriel Ricard (East Northport, NY)
plus open mic

Saturday 4/21, 7pm to 10pm at Mac's Backs
1820 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
featuring readings by
Dianne Borsenik (Elyria, OH)
Theresa Brightman (Akron, OH)
Christina Brooks (Detroit, MI)
Shelley Chernin (Novelty, OH)
Ryder Collins (Milwaukee, WI)
Juliet Cook (Medina, OH)
Steve Goldberg (Cleveland, OH)
Clarissa Jakobsons (Aurora, OH)
Alynn Mahle (Mentor, OH)
Austin Price (New York, NY)
Heather Ann Schmidt (Oberlin, OH)
Margie Shaheed (Memphis, TN)
Kathy Smith (Cleveland, OH)
Steven Smith (Cleveland, OH)
Nathanael Stolte (Buffalo, NY)

Sunday 4/22, 6pm at the Millard Fillmore Presidential Library
15617 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44110
Tongue-in-Groove Poetry Jam
emceed by Ray McNiece
featuring a performance by Steven Smith
plus open mic (your chance to perform with the band)

Please come celebrate with us!