Thursday, December 3, 2020

My poem "What They Did" featured 12/3 in Winedrunk Sidewalk

I am pleased to report that my poem "What They Did" is featured today (day 1416) in Winedrunk Sidewalk. 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:

Poem Process:

I wrote a lot of the first draft of this poem on 1 June 2018 during a Poetic Expressions of the Heart event at the Arabica coffee shop in Amherst, Ohio. Every month (pre-Covid) they had a workshop followed by a featured poet reading and open mic. On that particular day, one of the workshop prompts was "What they did [was]...." A couple of days later, at home, I edited the rough piece a little and added most of the section from "What they did was spit" through "white Jesus / made in our image." But it still didn't feel finished.

Fast forward to 2020. I found the unfinished handwritten piece while going through a pile of paperwork in my office, found it still unsettlingly relevant, and dusted it off to try out at a couple of Zoom readings. Finally, in late November I decided to transcribe it into a Word document and strengthen and (as much as possible) finish it. One glaring item was that my original ending had alluded to the then still-pending 2020 Presidential election. In the wake of Trump's loss, that ending no longer seemed to work, so I replaced it with the six final lines you now see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Loring Wirbel reviews Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors

We are grateful to Loring Wirbel for the following review he posted on Goodreads:

Carolyn Srygley-Moore's poetry collections are known for taking orthogonal pie slices through precise locations, times, and emotions for a unique specificity of images, even when steeped in surreality. Here, she takes us to a few brief months in 2012 surrounding the euthanasia of a beloved pitbull Evy. The fact that the poems all date from this period do not make them seem far away in time in the slightest, nor does the fact that she is working for animal rescue make this collection the slightest bit partisan or didactic. The simple thing to say is that this collection contains some of her strongest poems, but then again, we could say that about any of her works.

Since Srygley-Moore rarely gives us prose poems, it's interesting to see her open the collection with a powerful and distilled prose work, "A Place Like Brooklyn, Like Stonehenge." This is followed by the poem that gives the book its title, and the two works together set the stage for the passionate and unblinking works to follow. Three stunning poems serve as memorials to her father, a challenging figure in her life, and one whom she carries to safety in the heartbreaking "PTSD Hushabye."

Two poems in particular serve as memorials to both Horatio and Evy, "Dark, & Darker" and "Scattered Petals." There are several here that could provide a reader's favorite line, such as "Every homeland owns its slaughterhouse" in "An Angry Sad Poem," or "an idea in God's throat" in "Loves, Non-Loves, Anti-Loves." But don't let me steer you to particulars. As in her previous poetry collections, Carolyn Srygley-Moore astonishes the most when her work is swallowed in wholistic fashion. Do not worry about the book serving as a clarion call for animal rights, though that's important too. Accept the gift as just an unceasing marvel.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore was published in late 2020 by Crisis Chronicles Press

U.S. or Elsewhere?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Two new reviews of Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

Five stars each, recently posted to Amazon:

"Ms. Srygley-Moore's ability to capture moments of just how jarring random events are to a creature that doesn't comprehend, yet still remains loyal to those who have varying degrees of concern, from love to just something else to be processed, capture the heartbreak and confusion that must have been felt by Horatio, Evy and the others. The empathy shown at times make the tragedy of "if only" even more acute. We share so much with them and denying that identification makes for the sadness - and anger - that fuel the poet."

— Christopher Wetmore

"Here is a realistic poetry book about our world, parts of of it seen through a dog lover's bond with a pitbull named Evy, who has to be euthanized when Evy bites the author's 13 year old daughter's friend. The pitbull was a rescue and all efforts of love are made to avoid the kill shelter. Carolyn Srygley Moore finds through strong imagery that we are our own saviors. The power of her own heart rides deep into both her own childhood themes, past relationships and themes that correspond to her advocacy to save dogs from murder who are genuinely adoptable. The author will hit your heart. Expect to drop a tear or two on these pages."

— Paul Cordeiro  

U.S. or Elsewhere?

For more information about Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore, please visit


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Elizabeth Marino reviews Rattle and Numb

I am super grateful to Elizabeth Marino for her kind review of my recent book, Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press] on Goodreads:

"There is always the challenge to readers of poems heard in strong live performance to challenge the page work as print poems rather than transcriptions. This collection does not disappoint. Burroughs brings a strong understanding of structure to his work; there are many fully crafted pieces, and should not be seen as 'mere' beat musings. These are heartbeat poems, which have their own life on the page. Whimsy and rage, like the proverbial lion and lamb, find their places together here. Much cool stuff. Snap." 

Elizabeth Marino, author of Ceremonies, Debris, and the just released Asylum.

Buy Rattle and Numb from my favorite independent bookstore, or your own.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Lost Only $102.38

Some of our recent titles
The pandemic has been very tough on indie authors and small press publishers. In my case, running Crisis Chronicles Press in addition to buying and selling my own books (both those I've written and the used ones I buy cheap and sell online), with almost all of my paid gigs and book fair/reading events for this year cancelled, I'm lucky it hasn't been worse. This week, I did the math. From 1/1 through 11/11 of 2020, the "business" (I use that word very loosely) has lost only $102.38. Thank goodness for faithful poetry lovers, buyers and donors. It can't happen without you.

If you wanna help us break even (always a goal), we still have books to buy.

View the whole Crisis Chronicles Press catalog here. Email me at for bulk deals. You can find a Donate button in the right sidebar of this blog. You can also follow us on Facebook or rate/review our books at Goodreads. Every jot and tittle of support is greatly appreciated.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

Crisis Chronicles Press
is pleased to present our long-awaited latest title, Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors, a compelling collection of poetry by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

U.S. or Elsewhere?
Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors is 92 pages, perfect bound, 6x6" and illustrated. ISBN: 978-1-64092-948-7. Front and back cover photos provided by the author. Available now for only $12 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134 USA. A percentage of all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to support Rescue Dogs Rescue Soldiers, an organization that pairs shelter dogs with veterans and provides pet therapy programs.

"Carolyn Srygley-Moore’s poetry always enhances its relevance through specificity of coordinates in time and place. The poet has been a consistent fighter for animal rights and animal rescue services, tying them to imagery of human atrocities. In this collection, we go back to a specific era in 2012, and a specific friend named Evy, discovering the poems that illuminated the euthanasia of that dear friend. Her afterword essay is sure to bring tears. But that is Carolyn Srygley-Moore’s power."
—Loring Wirbel, writer and social justice activist

"A book of poems that takes you through meeting and instantly connecting with a beautiful pup, a snow white pit bull named Evy, coming to the awareness that this loving dog has issues that will be to its own demise, through no one’s fault. A book of poems on learning what it’s like to have that love and deep connection, yet coming to awareness and understanding that the ultimate choice had to be made — and the realization of actually having no choice, in reality, of having to surrender your animal to euthanasia. Walking down the road of having to come to terms with the fact that this loving dog could be/was a danger, especially towards children. Sweet Evy could be triggered at any moment in time, without warning, without any rhyme or reason, to become aggressive and dangerous and do severe harm to another body. This book is a roller coaster ride of emotions and mental anguish of having to euthanize this beautiful animal who you love so dearly."
—Judy Lynn Lustgarten Goldstein, activist

"Carolyn Srygley-Moore is a poet of enormous sensibility who combines confessional elements with a capacity to do what Heidegger said poets were for, which is to reveal the Being behind beings. Description of a whole array of things, however “poetic”, does not a poem make. Following a set of rules, merely emulating the constituents of a “canon of taste” will, almost infallibly, make “poets” crashing bores.

"We write, Heidegger reminds us, in “a destitute time” & “in default of God”. As an atheist, I am OK with this. Carolyn, however, does not like that “no god any longer gathers men & things unto himself.” Nothing shines any longer, it is night. The task of the poet is to find the wholesome. & the holy that relates to it, in the unholy that s/he depicts. This book deals with the subject of “euthanasia” of animals, in particular the “euthanasia” of one of the writer's dogs for alleged aggression. “Euthanasia” is far too frequently resorted to as part of the morally dubious treatment of pets in the USA, & it is remarkable that Carolyn deals with the subject with great restraint.

"Wherever Carolyn writes of that which is bad, the fact of her shows us what Hölderlin points out, that wherever there is danger there is also the seed of that which can save us. Because Carolyn is a great poet, the solution is not just hers, it is for Everyman. Although humans, or liars, as they are also known, work to destroy innocence, the poet in his or her poem points to where the future divinity will be found, or the future focus of being. It will not be in people, or anything anthropomorphic.
—David McLean, author of Flesh & Resurrection.

Carolyn Srygley-Moore
(C Leigh Moore) is a writer who has encountered a variety of issues in her career. She has been published in Red Fez, I Am Not a Silent Poet, and other venues. Ode to Horatio parallels the plight of humanity with the plight of dogs randomly placed on death row. Carolyn's falling in love with the pit bull was ostensibly the beginning of years advocating for victims of breed specific legislation, including all breeds deemed dangerous by landlords and insurance pitfalls. She found the greatest meaning in her endeavors as transporter from shelter to adopter to foster etc. from winter 2019 to 20. Carolyn has had two emergency craniotomies leaving her with the current inability to drive. As well as caring for her own rescued pets, this elegy is the writer’s current contribution to the cause. Carolyn is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where she recalls the night she fell passionately in love with language. Forty years later, that passion has lasted.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Moderating Cleveland Poetics and an Interview with Cat Russell

Michael Salinger created the Cleveland Poetics blog in 2008 and invited a bunch of local poets to be regular contributors. I was fortunate to be one of them, although life and other pursuits prevented me from contributing as much as I would have liked over the years. At some point a decade or so ago, Michael handed off his role of blog moderator to Geoffrey Landis. Our region owes both of these men an immense debt of gratitude for their generous and indispensable service to the project.

You probably know that Cleveland Poetics is also home to the Northeast Ohio Literary Calendar. Michael created that too. And though I did not contribute as much as I might have liked to the blog, I did early on embrace the role of the primary person responsible for maintaining the online calendar and keeping it as comprehensive as possible. Fortunately, I have had some help from others in the community who have admin rights and can add their own events. Cat Russell, for example, has been particularly helpful in recent months, having agreed to ensure that all of Literary Cleveland's events are included.

But back to the blog. A couple of months ago, Geoffrey Landis decided to hand off his moderator role and offered it to me. Now that I'm no longer as busy with caring for ill family members, publishing, event hosting, and so on, I have a bit more discretionary time and so happily accepted the task. That means I will be sharing more there. I also hope to recruit some more regular contributors.

One of my first posts in my new role there is an interview with the aforementioned Cat Russell about her new book, An Optimist's Journal of the End of Days and Other Stories. [2020, Venetian Spider Press]. I hope you'll check it out. And while you're at the Cleveland Poetics blog, give us your email address (you'll find "Follow by Email" in the right sidebar) so you can stay up to date on future developments, both on the site and around our northeast Ohio literary community. Finally, if you would like to contribute to the blog, feel free to reach out and let me know. 

Cat Russell and the End of Days: An Interview /

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Poems forthcoming in Gasconade Review and Common Threads

I am honored that three of my 2020 poems appear in this new issue of the Gasconade Review, edited by John Dorsey and Jason Ryberg. The poems are "Flagging," "Dissecting Me" and "Random Rules." I wrote all three for an Ekphrastacy program that Heights Arts hosted in February. During that exhibition, the poems were displayed next to the art works that inspired them. But The Gasconade Review Presents: Strange Days, Stranger Nights will mark the first time they've appeared in a publication. Buy it here.

I am also thrilled that my poem "I Am Not Ready to Die" (written this summer) will soon appear in the 2020 issue of Common Threads, edited by Steve Abbott and published by the Ohio Poetry Association. A copy of this annual journal is included in your O.P.A. membership (which is a very affordable $20 and comes with other perks as well). So please consider joining if you haven't yet.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Video of 10/17 SpoFest Laureate Reading feat. Bargen, Barnstone, Craigo, Burroughs, Gunter-Seymour

If you missed last night's SpoFest reading, here's the video. Hearty thanks to our host James Bryant! It was an honor for me to read with Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour, Missouri Poet Laureate Karen Craigo and former Missouri Poets Laureate Walter Bargen and Aliki Barnstone. I begin around the 1:27:00 mark.

Video permalink:

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

SpoFest Features Five Missouri & Ohio Poets Laureate on October 17th

I will have the honor of reading with Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour and three Missouri Poets Laureate - Karen Craigo (current), Aliki Barnstone (past) and Walter Bargen (past) - during a special online SpoFest event hosted by James Bryant on October 17th at 7 p.m. Eastern. I feel fortunate to be included as the current Ohio Beat Poet Laureate.

More details:

Enter our email drawing to win a copy of a book from one of the five featured poets (one book per winner) at Provide your first and last name. U.S. residences only. Your email will only be used for this email drawing. Five lucky winners will be drawn at the end of the event.

Follow SpoFest Open Mic Poetry and Prose on Facebook and Twitter.