I used to pride myself on never missing a poetry event I was scheduled to read at or host, whether it meant driving hours in a blizzard, wearing a mask while wiped out with the flu or even going without sleep for several days. But there are more important things than poetry events.
On April 28th I had to cancel a reading in Mount Vernon at the last minute (luckily, Dianne Borsenik was available to read in my place) and on June 12th I couldn't go to the big Crisis Chronicles Press book launch in Erie (Dianne was available again to make sure Tracie Morell's books got there in time). On June 1st, I had to leave my monthly Mahall's event after 20 minutes (fortunately, Ray McNiece was there as guest host for the evening). And now I've withdrawn from the Lake Effect Poetry team that is scheduled to represent northeast Ohio this weekend in Rockford, Illinois. Team "Slaministrator" Vertigo Xavier knew this was a possibility and is prepared to step into my slot since he's making the trip anyway.
While I always hate to let my friends and fellow poets down, it is more important for me (and to me) to stay close to home for the time being while a loved one is having health issues and needs me near. I realize that's vague, and I'm sorry, but I can't be more specific publicly and still respect that loved one's wish for privacy (which I hope you too will respect).
So I won't be taking on any more out of state readings for the near future, though I am hopeful that I will still be able to keep my upcoming Ohio reading commitments since they don't require me to be as far from home for as long.
All this has also played a role (though it's not the only factor) in my recent decisions to hand off the reins to the Monday at Mahall's poetry series to Terry Provost this fall and to wind down the breakneck pace of Crisis Chronicles Press by the middle of next year, by which time I expect I will have fulfilled all our pending publication commitments.
More soon (maybe). I remain grateful for your patience, support and good wishes.
Peace, love and poetry,