Sunday, November 17, 2019

Poetry Plus to Feature Steve Abbott & Leonard Kress on 11/19 in Lakewood

Acclaimed poets Steve Abbott and Leonard Kress

Poetry Plus at Art on Madison will triple your pleasure on November 19th with readings by two acclaimed featured poets - Steve Abbott (Columbus, OH) and Leonard Kress (Toledo, OH) - plus an open mic. Doors open at 7 pm, with poetry to begin promptly at 7:30.

Leonard Kress has published poetry and fiction in Missouri Review, Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, etc. His recent collections are The Orpheus Complex, and Walk Like Bo Diddley. Living in the Candy Store and Other Poems and his new verse translation of the Polish Romantic epic, Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz were both published in 2018. His latest book, Craniotomy, will appear soon (if it hasn't already). He teaches philosophy and religion at Owens Community College in Ohio.

Columbus native Steve Abbott has been a community activist, alternative newspaper writer and editor, criminal defendant, delivery truck driver, courtroom bailiff, private investigator, PR flack, and college professor. He was a founding member in 1984 of The Poetry Forum, now Ohio’s longest-running poetry series, and continues to co-host the weekly event. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in English of Columbus State Community College. His poems have appeared in dozens of literary journals as well as in several anthologies. He received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award in Poetry in 1993 and an OAC residency the following year at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. 

He has six poetry collections: five chapbooks, A Short History of the Word (1996) and Greatest Hits (2004), both from Pudding House; The Incoherent Pull of Want (NightBallet Press) and Why Not Be Here Now? (11thour Press) in 2016; and Kicking Mileposts in the Video Age (Moria Poetry, 2017). He has also recorded a live reading on CD titled Stardust in Franklin Park. He edited the anthologies Cap City Poets (Pudding House, 2008), a collection of 74 central Ohio poets, and Everything Stops and Listens (OPA Press, 2013), containing work by members of Ohio Poetry Association. His full-length collection A Green Line Between Green Fields was published in 2018, and a collection of ekphrastic poems, A Language the Image Speaks, was released in September. He also edits Ohio Poetry Association's annual journal Common Threads, and in 2015 he represented the OPA on the Ohio Arts Council panel selecting Ohio’s first Poet Laureate.

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

Poetry+ happens on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please visit:

Upcoming Poetry+ features:

11/19 - Steve Abbott (Columbus) & Leonard Kress (Toledo)
12/17 - Ray McNiece (Cleveland) & Michelle R. Smith (Cleveland)
1/21 - Chuck Salmons (Columbus) & Renay Sanders (Peninsula)
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, November 14, 2019

Eight Events Coming Up Quick

Lots of great poetry happenings in northeast Ohio in the next 10 days or so! Here's where I'll be:

11/14 - Broadsides & Ephemera feat. Dianne Borsenik at Loganberry Books in Cleveland.

11/16, 2pm - Borderlands Poetry Reading feat. Dianne Borsenik & me at Main Street Books in Mansfield.

11/16, 7pm - Concrete Wink Poetry Reading, Mac's Backs-Books on Coventry in Cleveland Heights.

11/17 - Tongue In Groove Poetry Music Jam featuring Steve Abbott in Cleveland.

11/19 - Poetry+ featuring Steve Abbott & Leonard Kress at Art on Madison in Lakewood.

11/21 - Ohio Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs, plus Mic-Less Open Mic at Roxy's Emporium in Elyria.

11/23 - Streetlight Imaginations with Crisis Chronicles & NightBallet at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Crisis Chronicles Press will officially debut Nick Gardner's So Marvelously Far at this event.

11/25 - Timothy J Richards and I will be Writers in the Window at Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights.

Then I'm off until mid-December. Well, not off exactly because I'll still be working on poetry, since Crisis Chronicles Press intends to publish another two books by the end of this year.

We couldn't do this without you! So thank you, and I hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Borsenik and Burroughs this Saturday, 11/16, in Mansfield

Dianne Borsenik
I'm thrilled to be reading with the inimitable Dianne Borsenik this Saturday afternoon, 2 pm, at one of my favorite bookstores, Main Street Books in Mansfield, Ohio. My Crisis Chronicles Press had the honor of publishing five volumes of Dianne's poetry over the years. These include Blue Graffiti [2011], Age of Aquarius: Collected Poems 1981-2016 [2016], and the collaborative volume Oct Tongue 2 [2017].  But I suspect she'll be reading mostly newer work, including selections from her two latest books, Raga for What Comes Next [2019, Stubborn Mule Press] and Heaven We Haven't Yet Dreamed (with Jeanette Powers, Puma Perl & Juliet Cook) [2019, Stubborn Mule Press]. I'll be reading from my Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [2019, Venetian Spider Press]. An open mic will follow our readings!

Borderlands: Poetry on the Edge
featuring Dianne Borsenik & John Burroughs

Main Street Books
104 N. Main Street
Mansfield, Ohio
(419) 522-BOOK

Friday, November 8, 2019

Featured at Read/Write/Local on November 9th in Avon Lake

On Saturday 11/9, I'll be one of the Avon Lake Public Library's featured authors at their annual Read/Write/Local - A celebration of readers and writers! The show runs from 10 am to 4 pm, with our poetry panel scheduled for noon. The day's other featured authors will include Christopher Johnston, Kelly Boyer Sagert, Lara Lillibridge, John Bruening, Monica Babcock and more. I'll have copies of my new book - Rattle & Numb: Selected & New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press] on hand.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Shawn Pavey, Jason Baldinger and My Book Release Party 11/8 at Visible Voice

So looking forward to reading with two fine gentlemen and poets, Shawn Pavey and Jason Baldinger, this Friday, 11/8, at Visible Voice Books in Cleveland! It will be my first full reading in Ohio since the publication of my new book - Rattle & Numb: Selected & New Poems, 1992-2019 - by Venetian Spider Press.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Jason is coming all the way from Pittsburgh and Shawn is coming all the way from Kansas City. Even if you've had enough of me, you won't want to miss these two!

More info:

Visible Voice Books
2258 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Thursday, October 31, 2019

We're in this week's Smoky Mountain News

Selfie 10/29/2019 outside
Tiny Cabin, Big Ideas in
Creston, North Carolina
“My early poetry began kind of as a form of therapy. I wasn’t really trained or anything, I just started writing from my heart,” said Burroughs. “Later on as I became an adult, my work was heavily influenced by music—hip hop, jazz and my love for the beat poets.” You can read the entire article here:

Thank you, Cory Vaillancourt, for the write up!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Heading to North Carolina for a Residency and Readings

Monday the 28th, I'll head down to the mountains of western North Carolina for a week-long writing residency. While there, I will be part of two events with award-winning poet Beth Copeland:

Friday November 1st - John Burroughs and Beth Copeland in Conversation w/ a reading at Foggy Pine Books in Boone, NC

Saturday November 2nd - John Burroughs & Beth Copeland Poetry Reading at City Lights (City Lights Bookstore) in Sylva, NC

My first ever readings in that state! All part of my ongoing Rattle and Numb Poetry Tour!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Three poems from Rattle & Numb nominated for the Pushcart Prize

self portrait b/w Rattle & Numb front cover (art by Emma Anderson)
Honored to learn that Venetian Spider Press has nominated THREE poems from my new book, Rattle and Numb, for The Pushcart Prize! They are "Hampuy (Come)," "Rough Cure," and "Birther." I am most grateful for everyone who has picked up a copy so far! 

Also available from
Barnes & Noble / Amazon

Sunday, October 20, 2019

CLE Photo Fest reading 10/25 at Mac's - and looking for more OH gigs

I am looking for more Ohio (and vicinity) gigs in support of my new book this fall/winter/spring, especially in cities where I've not read before (though I'm also happy to return to cool places I've already been). I only have 2 more out-of-state readings scheduled this year (Nov 1 & 2 in western North Carolina) and then I'm sticking close to home through March. All suggestions/offers welcome! Here's what I have scheduled so far:

10/25 in Cleveland Heights OH - Altered Landscapes: poets interpreting surrealist landscape photography (part of Cleveland Photo Fest) at Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry. (6 to 8 pm).

11/1 in Boone NC - John Burroughs and Beth Copeland in Conversation w/ a reading.

11/2 in Sylva NC - John Burroughs & Beth Copeland Poetry Reading at City Lights.

11/8 in Cleveland OH - Poetry Reading: Burroughs / Baldinger / Pavey at Visible Voice Books.

11/9 in Avon Lake OH - Read/Write/Local Authors Event at Avon Lake Public Library.

11/16 in Mansfield OH - Borderlands: Poetry on the Edge at Main Street Books.

11/21 in Elyria OH - Rattle & Numb with open mic at Roxy's Emporium. (6:30 pm).

11/25 in Cleveland Heights OH - Writer in the Window at Appletree Books. (10 am to 12 pm).

12/18 in Painesville OH - Words & Wine at the Steele Mansion Inn & Gathering Hub.

1/6/2020 in Lakewood OH - Monday at Mahall's Poetry and Prose Series.

1/8/2020 in Youngstown OH - At The Soap Gallery.

6/13/2020 in Amherst OH - Poetic Expressions from the Heart at Arabica Coffee Bistro.

9/4-6/2020 in New Hartford CT - National Beat Poetry Festival.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

What's Up with Crisis Chronicles Press?

People keep asking me what's up with Crisis Chronicles Press. Here's the short answer:

Our 2019 titles so far
1) EVENTS: A) We'll be in Kansas City this weekend (October 11-13) for Fountainverse: KC Small Press Poetry Fest. B) On November 23rd, we will team up with NightBallet Press to present readings by our Class of 2019 authors during Streetlight Imaginations with Crisis Chronicles & NightBallet at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. C) I am also hosting (at least through March 2020) the Poetry+ reading series on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Art on Madison in Lakewood, Ohio.

2) BOOKS: It's hard to believe we published 5 wonderful books (by John Dorsey, Mindi Kirchner-Greenway, Elaine Schleiffer, Cat Russell and Nicole Hennessy) in the first four months of 2019 and we haven't published a new one since (I've been too busy with a million things). But over the summer several of our recent titles did go into second printings. We still have eight books in our committed-to-publishing queue. We intend to publish three of them (So Marvelously Far by Nick Gardner, Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore and Alex in Movieland by Alex Gildzen) by the end of 2019. We'll space the final five out over the course of 2020.

3) SUBMISSIONS: In the past week I've written to dozens of people declining their unsolicited submissions. Technically we haven't even been open for submissions in years, though I sometimes bent that policy for a project I just couldn't pass up. For a while (years?) I flirted with (and at times seriously considered) the idea of reopening submissions after I got caught up. But I never caught up. Now I'm becoming more and more inclined just to wrap up the press for good after I complete my current commitments.

It's been an incredible ride. I've had the honor and privilege of working with some fantastic writers and people. And it's not over yet. Eight phenomenal books are coming. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Meanwhile, there's still time to complete your collection at

Gratefully yours,