Friday, December 26, 2014

Crisis Chronicles Press releases #ThisIsCLE: An Anthology of the 2014 Best Cleveland Poem Competition

cover photo by Steven B. Smith
Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the imminent publication of #ThisIsCLE: An Anthology of the 2014 Best Cleveland Poem Competition on 5 January 2015. 

The second annual Best Cleveland Poem Competition was held on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at the Willoughby Brewing Company.  #ThisIsCLE features contest highlights including poems by Geoffrey Landis, Theresa Göttl Brightman, Jeffrey Bowen, Mary Turzillo, JP Armstrong, Anita Herczog, Danya Eichhorn, Michael Murray, Steven B. Smith, Frannie Lograsso, S. Renay Sanders, two-time Best Cleveland Poem winner Dianne Borsenik and competition emcee Ray McNiece.

The book is 40 pages, perfect bound, 6x9" and a steal at only $10 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111.

Available now by mail and online — and soon from particular independent bookstores across the country!  Please join us for the official #ThisIsCLE release party on January 5th 2015 during Mondays at Mahall's Poetry and Prose series at Mahall's 20 Lanes, 13200 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.  Meet and hear many of the contributors there. 

Project editor for #ThisIsCLE: Dianne Borsenik 

Executive editor: John Burroughs

For more information about the annual Best Cleveland Poetry Competition sponsored by attorney Tim Misny, please click here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2nd edition of my Electric Company released with three new poems added

The self portrait I took is in color, but we ultimately
chose to use black and white for the book cover

I hear that the folks at Writing Knights have just released the 2nd edition of my classic 2011 chapbook Electric Company. Merry Christmas!  This version includes three new bonus* poems that appear nowhere else.  I've also revised a couple of the book's other pieces.  Here's the new order of poems:

I Hear Change 
For One*
Out and In Audible
Strongsville Coffee
More, Man*
Mercy Less
Cannot Believe William S. Burroughs is Dead
Zzzz Bra
Plus Sighs*
Tell Them I Am Sent You
Think You Very Much
Come Pass
A Poem Like John Dorsey
Alarm Blocks
Electric Miasma

Speaking of order, click here to get your copy of the new 2nd edition of Electric Company for $8 from Writing Knights Press.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ohio Poet Laureate Established

You may recall that I was one of several Ohio Poetry Association members who testified at the Ohio Statehouse earlier this year in support of Senate Bill 84.  I am now pleased to report that the General Assembly has passed the bill and created the position of Ohio Poet Laureate. 

Read Senator Kearney's announcement at the Minority Caucus Blog.

An excerpt from the bill (as passed by the House):

Sec. 3379.12. (A) The position of Ohio poet laureate is hereby created. The Ohio poet laureate shall be appointed by the governor from a list of not less than three candidates recommended by the Ohio Arts Council based on qualifications developed by the arts council under division (F) of section 3379.03 of the Revised Code. The arts council shall submit its list of candidates to the governor not less than ninety days prior to the beginning of the Ohio poet laureate's term of office.

(B) The term of office for the Ohio poet laureate shall be for two years. The initial term shall begin on January 1, 2016.

(C) In the event of the death, resignation, or any other vacancy or inability to perform the duties of Ohio poet laureate during an individual's unexpired term of office, not later than sixty days after the vacancy occurs, the Ohio arts council shall recommend a candidate to the governor to serve as poet laureate for the remainder of that unexpired term of office.

(D) An individual may be reappointed to subsequent terms of office, at the discretion of the governor.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday at Mahall's to feature Jeffrey Bowen & the #ThisIsCLE anthology release

The Monday at Mahall's Poetry Series and Crisis Chronicles Press will kick off the new year with a special event on Monday January 5th at 7:30 p.m. at the now 90-year-old Mahall's 20 Lanes, 13200 Madison Avenue, in Lakewood, Ohio.

Cleveland poet/musician Jeffrey Bowen will perform. Plus Crisis Chronicles Press will release #ThisIsCLE: An Anthology of the 2014 Best Cleveland Poem Competition. Book contributors will also read. An open mic emceed by John Burroughs will follow.

Jeffrey Bowen’s poetry has been published by ArtCrimes, Cicada, Cool Cleveland, Crisis Chronicles, CSU Poetry Center, Dimensions, Doan Brook Watershed, Excursions, Green Panda Press, Hessler Street Fair, Procrastination Press, Poet’s League of Greater Cleveland, The City, The Cleveland Reader and Whiskey Island Magazine. He is one of six poets profiled in the 1995 documentary, “Off the Page”. Four of his poems are featured on Cleveland Tumbadors, an album of Traditional Afro Cuban Music and Latin Jazz on Fame City Records. Jeffrey is the resident poet & conga player with the band, Cats On Holiday, and his poetry appears on their CD, Holiday in a Box from COHTONE Records. In addition to his poetic work, Jeffrey’s writing has appeared in Call & Post, City News, Cool Cleveland, EcoWatch, Elephant Journal, Girl Scout News, GreenCityBlueLake, Live Cleveland, Neighborhood News, Nonprofit Notes, Sun News and various Habitat for Humanity publications.

For more information about the Best Cleveland Poem Competition, sponsored annually by Tim "I'll make them pay" Misny, click here.  To check out last year's book, Songs in the Key of Cleveland: An Anthology of the 2013 Best Cleveland Poem Competition, click here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Video of my reading at the Writing Knights Apocalypse last night

Thank you, Writing Knights!  And thanks to Journey Art Gallery and the evening's other featured artists: Zach, Andi Line and Styles83.

My set list:

Poetry [by Christian O'Keeffe]
(Dis)quiet Illusion
Plus Sighs
In Due Season
Milk Stout
Need Not

Thursday, December 11, 2014

GTK Creative Journal #2 Out Now!

photo by JB
Guide to Kulchur Press has recently published volume two of the GTK Creative Journal edited by Krystal Sierra, and I feel honored that two of my poems ("No" and "Aye, Pod") appear in it.  It's a lovely book, with cover art by Marlee Pickles.

Other contributors include Bree, Zena Smith, Holly Jensen, Michelle R. Smith, Pedro Sarsama, Miles Budimir, N.I. Nicholson, John Dorsey, Joel Allegretti, Patrick Falconi, Carly Haufe, Kushal Poddar, Alan Cliffe, Matt Margo, Howie Good, Sarah Marcus, Molly Fuller, Mary Owen, Doug Mathewson, Rob Jackson, Lynn Brearley, Steve Kleptetar, Robert Beveridge, Alissa Nutting, Jason Wright, Barton Smock, Janet Veil, Christopher Quinn, Judith L. Harper and Patricia Harusame Leebove.

The GTK website says the journal is published in a handcrafted edition of 200.  That means you should probably get yours soon while you still can. 

Guide to Kulchur: Text, Art and News
1386 W. 65th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44102 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Knotted and Nominated - The Eater of the Absurd!the-eater-of-the-absurd-a-book-review/c14qm
cover design by Dianne Borsenik

Thank you to Kristen D. Scott for her new review of my book The Eater of the Absurd (from NightBallet Press) in the Fall 2014 issue of Knot Magazine.  Among other things, she calls me "bodacious, and at the same time graceful, a gentleman and a conveyor of no nonsense tolerance."  I hope I can live up to that.

I'm also pleased to report that The Eater of the Absurd has been nominated for an Ohioana Book Award, as has Songs in the Key of Cleveland: An Anthology of the 2013 Best Cleveland Poem Competition (published earlier this year by Crisis Chronicles Press).

Click here to read Kristen's full review of The Eater
Click here to buy the book and decide for yourself.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My last Ohio reading for a long time

This is the last Ohio reading I'll be giving for a long time, and I hope to make it a doozie.  This is the third Apocalypse I've read for - and this time it's in a new (for me) and exciting location.  Andi Line, styles83 and Zach will also be featured performers.  Check us out Friday December 12th, 7 pm, at the Journey Art Gallery in Canton, Ohio.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Primacy in the Vending Machine

My new poem "Primacy" appears in the book Vending Machine: Poetry for Change Volume 5, to be released Saturday 11/22/2014 by the Poet's Haven. To get a free copy, take a food donation to the launch event at at Karma Cafe in Canton, Ohio, at 6 p.m.  Featured performers will be Akeem-Jamal Rollins, Mark Sebastian Jordan, Nikann Charney and Nikie Decay.  For more details, see the  Facebook event page.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Big Bang, Oh-my-wow - Bree's New Book Published by Crisis Chronicles Press

We are thrilled to publish a new chapbook-length poem by the inimitable Bree!  It's a big bang, multiverse, oh-my-wow of a work that blew me away. I bet it will you, too. 

Get I Don't for $7 US from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111 USA.

Out 15 November 2014, 20+ pages, hand assembled, recycled paper, black end papers, saddle staple card stock bound, featuring cover art by Smith.

ISBN: 978-1-940996-12-7. 1st ed. 59 copies.

Bree vibes at the Lix & Kix Poetry Extravaganza
(photo by JC)
Bree's work has been published by Arthur Magazine, ArtCrimes, Big Bridge, Big Hammer, Bottle of Smoke, Bottom Dog, Cleveland State University, Deep Cleveland, Ecstatic Peace, Iniquity, Jawbone, Kirpan, Miser, Muse, Ronin Press, Split Whiskey, Temple, The City, The Literary Underground and countless precious mags. She is the author of Some Hiatus: Tucky Poems (2014); A Leg to Stand On (2013); The Rainbow Sweater & My Mother (2012); Let Cupid Know (Ronin Press 2012); Laying Pans (Ecstatic Peace 2009), Sleeping with the Sun In His Eyes with Akol Madut, the story of one Lost Boy of Sudan, and how he found his home in Cleveland, OH; (2009); was chicken trax amid sparrows tread (Temple 2009); Awol culinary poems (Ptrint /P2Begin, Cleveland 2009); and many titles thru her Green Panda Press, began in 2001, which puts out anthies, collections and ephemera, produces poetry fests and events assembling the small press community, getting poets who face each other on pages in the same room for a bit of company.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I was quoted in reference to my student loan travails in this recent issue of the Lorain County Community College Collegian:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My next three poetry performances

Friday 11/28 (2 to 6 pm) - Amherst, Ohio
Cemetery Arts Productions presents: poetry and music by Ryan Sagert, Ruben Escandon, Jeremy Ryzhevski, John Burroughs and more TBA at the Arabica Coffee Bistro, 254 Park Avenue, Amherst.

Friday 12/5 (8 to 10 pm) - Erie, Pensylvania
Friday Night Writes featuring John Burroughs at Poet's Hall. Evening includes an open mic. Poets' Hall, 1136 E. Lake Rd. in Erie.

Friday 12/12 (7 to 10 pm) - Canton, Ohio
Writing Knights Apocalypse featuring John Burroughs, styles83, Andi Line and Zach.  $5 cover, catered event, proceeds go to the artists. Open mic included. Journey Art Gallery, 431 4th Street NW, Canton.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Crisis Chronicles Press releases brilliant new Elise Geither chapbook November 3rd during Monday at Mahall's featuring Writer's Root

cover photo by Steven B. Smith

Poet/playwright Elise Geither is one of my favorite Ohio writers, and has been for years. So I'm excited to announce the release of her new Crisis Chronicles Press chapbook, HOLDING STORIES in YOUR HANDS. This book is 25 pages, loving handbound with ivory cardstock cover and black endpapers.  Highlights include "The End of Once Upon," "How to Fold a Woman" and "Into the Woods We Go."

Get yours for $7 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111 USA.

ISBN 978-1-940996-11-0.  1st edition: 100 copies. 
Join us for the official release and meet Elise at 7:30 pm on 3 November 2014 during Monday at Mahall's featuring Writer's Root, 13200 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.  

Elise Geither at the Lava Lounge in Cleveland, 2014 - photo by JB

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My "Smoker" in the new Pressure Press anthology

My "Smoker" appears in this mighty fine book edited by Ron Androla of Pressure Press

Click here to get your copy while it's hot off the presses!

Contributors include Adrian C. Louis, Patrick Mckinnon, Cheryl Townsend, Bree, Jeff Weddle, John Korn, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Bart Solarcyzk, Dave Roskos, Tom Blessing, John Burroughs, Greg Brown, Jeremiah Walton, Joyce Chelmo, Liz Minette, Marisa Moks-Unger, Coleen Shin, Carter Monroe, Sheila Murphy, Peggy Eldridge-Love, Didi Menendez, Barbara Moore, Mike Boyle, Bud Backen, Joan Papalia-Eisert, Jim Chandler, Belinda Subraman, Andy Darlington, C.F. Roberts, Chuck Joy, Mark Hartenbach, Cee Williams, Matt Shaw, Danny Baker, Mike Castro and Jeff Filipski.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crisis Chronicles Press Publishes City of Tents: Poems About the Occupy Movement and Other Items Taken From the News (CC#57)

Cover photo by Steven B. Smith
Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to publish Martin Willitts, Jr.'s latest chapbook, City of Tents: Poems About the Occupy Movement and Other Items Taken From the News, in October 2014.  According to the author, "This is a collection of poems based on protest and social issue concerns. The poems start with the Occupy Movement, and include forced slavery, forced migrations, disenfranchised people, and other subjects. I question a lot in this book. As a Quaker, I find many things troubling in this world. I scold my own generation who had protested war, for women and minorities. Where are they? They should have joined Occupy, not the Tea Party."

City of Tents is a 38 page, handmade, 8.5 x 5.5", saddle-stapled chapbook featuring 22 poems including "Occupy This," "Hell for Plants," "If Pull Down the Empty Sky, "The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti" and much more.  ISBN 978-1-940996-10-3.  Available for only $7 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111 USA.

"Willitts calls out the irrationality of the put-on soundbite, of cruelty and greed. He asks of us and society to do the uncomfortable work of self-examination.

"At times he's in anguish at the scale, ledgers a litany of injustice with the grief of an exhausted exhale. Some of Willitts's lines are like skipping ahead steps in a math problem: 'smoking cigarettes of last chances.' He recognizes the nebulous: 'the type of nothingness nobody understands.'

"After we're wrung wet, he offers sparing notes like plates of sunlight: 'joy as temperamental as a geyser' and 'a cautionary song of Amazing Grace.'"
Kathy Smith, co-author of Oct Tongue -1 and founding editor at The City Poetry

"There are two pervading themes braided throughout City of Tents: 'He could have been any of us' and 'Words can…be an unlit match.' Willitts confronts oppression and imprisonment in its many varied guises, including poverty, bullying, ignorance, and war.  He also offers hope:  'I open envelopes of promises—heritage seeds…small changes begin.' City of Tents is a demand for political and socio-economic awareness.  Heed its call!"
Dianne Borsenik, author of Blue Graffiti and founding editor at NightBallet Press 

“'Like many things it had no beginning'—yet, even a trauma, a seeking, a quest with no beginning can be brought to some wholesome end. However, this Picardy-third-like sound alighting the grid, causing fractals to sing across Indra’s net, would only ever take place by way of the body. 'Where is the body going?' ('sinkholes of a woman’s sorrow,' into 'the disquieted spirit')—

"This is a grief book, a human emotions book, a book-length rhetorical question capable of leading the body into an activist martial stance in the street, among a gathering of tents. Willitts gives us a long hard look at 'the type of nothingness nobody understands.' As the 'floating world' sink[s] it is an excess of belief that keeps us afloat. Will we be able to tow its weight? Can we adjust these norms by taking the sinking weight of a world on our shoulders?

"What is being modeled for us—what it is that we inherit: 'to take things apart and not necessarily put them back together.' Yet, through these poems, these proposals, the pulse being pumped into a desire for peace and rightness, he (we) are willing to stand up for this! We are actually how the things get put back together."

j/j hastain, author of xyr and secret letters

Martin Willitts, Jr. receiving the Dylan Thomas
International Poetry Award in Swansea, Wales

Martin Willitts, Jr. is a retired librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He currently evaluates Prior Learning for SUNY Empire State College. He is a Quaker. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He was nominated for 5 Pushcart and 4 Best of the Net awards. He provided his hands-on workshop “How to Make Origami Haiku Jumping Frogs” at the 2012 Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

Martin has 5 full-length books and over 20 chapbooks including Art Is Always an Impression of What an Artist Sees (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House) and Swimming In the Ladle of Stars (Kattywompus Press).  He is the winner of the inaugural Wild Earth Poetry Contest for his full length collection Searching for What is Not There (Hiraeth Press).  He won the William K. Hathaway Award for Poem of the Year 2012 and he won the Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award in 2014.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Crisis Chronicles Press at LevyFest 2014

"LevyFest is a poetry festival and conference celebrating Cleveland poet, publisher, and artist d.a. levy (1942-1968) and his influence upon small press publishing, print and book arts, and the poetry communities of Cleveland, Ohio, and beyond" [quotation from the Cleveland State University website].

Crisis Chronicles Press is happy to be participating in LevyFest 2014 as the celebration returns to Cleveland on October 24th through 26th. We'll be one of several small presses with a table set up at CSU's  Michael Schwartz Library, 1st Floor East Wing, from 12:30 to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Among the many legendary poets and publishers coming into town for this event will be D.R. Wagner, whose new book The Night Market was recently published by Crisis Chronicles.  I hope you'll come out and meet him at some point.  D.R. will be reading Friday night at the Spotted Owl, participating in a historic panel Saturday morning at the Schwartz Library and reading again Saturday evening at the Literary Cafe.  Other CC Press authors will be making appearances at other times and places during LevyFest 2014, including Saturday evening at the Lava Lounge.  For a complete listing of on-campus events (Saturday) click here.  For a complete listing of off-campus events (Friday through Sunday), click here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lord Lucky Maximus Burroughs, a.k.a. Mr. Lucky Strike, 2006-2014

14 February 2006 - 3 October 2014
We will always love you, sweet boy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My "[ ]ending" in this free e-book

My short poem "[ ]ending" appeared in the book VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change volume 4 last year. Now it's just been made available as a free e-book by The Poets Haven.

Meanwhile, there are a still a couple of days left for you to get your submissions in for this year's volume (and support a good cause). 

Call for Submissions - VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change volume 5.

P.S. In Crisis Chronicles Press' recent collaborative book Oct Tongue -1, I mention two senryu I wrote at my dying mother's bedside last year. "[ ]ending" is one of those two.  Though I mention it in Oct Tongue, it doesn't appear in that book. It's only in Vending Machine 4.  However, two Vending Machine 4 poems DO appear in Oct Tongue: "Pants Day: May 1970" by Shelley Chernin and "It's Changing" by Steve Brightman.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monday at Mahall's hosts Lipsmack release 10/6 with NightBallet Press

This month Monday at Mahall's Poetry & Prose Series is partnering with NightBallet Press to celebrate the book release of Lipsmack!: A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year 3.  Four fine featured poets (and Lipsmack! contributors) - Jennifer Hambrick (from Columbus), Andy Roberts (Colmbus), Jason Baldinger (Pittsburgh) and Dan Smith (Cleveland) - will read, followed by our ever-interesting open mic.  Beer bowling and balderdash optional.  I'll be emceeing, joined by NightBallet editor/publisher Dianne Borsenik.  And we'd love to see you there!

It all happens Monday October 6th 2014, 7:30 p.m., at Mahall's 20 Lanes, 13200 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio.

Event page on Facebook

NightBallet Press: 

Jennifer Hambrick has been published in Pudding Magazine, WestWard Quarterly, Common Threads, the anthology Everything Stops and Listens, the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s Ides of March anthology, and the Ohio Poetry Day Best of 2011 prizewinners’ collection. Her first chapbook of poetry, Unscathed, was published in 2013 by NBP. Hambrick enjoys a lively schedule of featured poetry readings around central Ohio, and is a classical musician, public radio broadcaster, producer, and blogger.

Andy Roberts lives in Columbus, Ohio where he handles finances for disabled veterans. His poems and stories have appeared in hundreds of small press journals over the last 25 years, including Atlanta Review, Coal City Review, Fulcrum, Hiram Poetry Review, Ilya’s Honey, Lake Effect, Mudfish, Plainsongs, San Jose Studies, Slipstream, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and many others. Roberts has three Pushcart Prize nominations for his work. The Green World is his fourth chapbook, and his first from NightBallet Press. Another book from NBP is planned for 2015.

Jason Baldinger has been writing poetry for over twenty years and just recently got around to performing it publicly. His latest books are The Lower 48 (Six Gallery Press) and The Studs Terkel Blues (NightBallet Press, 2014). His work has appeared in The New Yinzer, Shatter Wig Press, and Blast Furnace, and others. Check out The Lady Pittsburgh (Speed and Briscoe Press), his first solo collection, in audio at

Dan Smith, author of the epic poem "i am down with you crooked river," is widely published. His speculative poetry has been nominated for the SFPA Rhysling Award, and his NBP November, 2013 speculative poetry book The Liquid of Her Skin, the Suns of Her Eyes, was nominated for the SFPA’s Elgin Award. His spoken word cd, Matinee Motel (2012) is described as "surreal urban poetry...paired with the music of the Deep Cleveland Trio, from jazz to rock to noise." Smith's previous chapbook, Crooked River, was published by Deep Cleveland Press in 2005.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Irises Made of Moth Wings by Christian O'Keeffe

cover foto by Steven B Smith

Free poetry you need to read! 

Crisis Chronicles Press presents an inspired 26-page chapbook by the late Christian O'Keeffe (1991-2012).

The first time I met and heard Christian, at the Jawbone poetry festival, I found myself greatly moved and told him I’d love to publish a book of his work. He said he’d be honored and would work on sending me some poems. A year later, he gave me these cut and pasted, photocopied and (when he had revisions) pasted again galleys, a sort of handmade chapbook called Irises Made of Moth Wings, saying this is what he had in mind. I loved the poems. But before we made time to work together on the book, he was gone.  

I had mixed feelings about how to proceed. It was hard. I couldn’t consult Christian, so I set it aside. It took nearly 2 years before I knew what to do. I would photocopy his hand-created galleys, leaving them totally as is, come up with an appropriate cover to bind them, and disseminate his poems freely, as he did.

Irises Made of Moth Wings is offered at no charge in a saddle stapled edition, 8.5" x 5.5", with white cover stock, crimson endpapers and white photocopied pages.  1st edition of 99 copies published 14 September 2014.  ISBN 978-1-940996-09-7.  If you would like a copy, send your address to or via snail mail to Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio.  The book is free.  But if you'd like to send a couple dollars to cover postage, I would be grateful. 

Christian O’Keeffe lived in Kent, Ohio. His influences included the river, Jim Carroll, Maj Ragain, Jack Micheline, Bob Kaufman, moths, deer, blue heron, Kurt Cobain, Arthur Rimbaud, and that ecstatic act of walking.

Find more of his work online at

Christian O'Keeffe at Jawbone, 6 May 2011 - photo by JB

Friday, August 29, 2014

Remaining August in August

This has been an extremely busy month for me - but I guess that's par for the course.  I've had to run my grandson to appointments with his pediatrician, neurologist, neurosurgeon, occupational therapy, GI specialist and ENT specialist (I may be leaving something out) on top of his having to spend 24 hours in the hospital for multiple procedures at one point.  The good news is we now have a clearer idea what's causing his issues, and it seems these can be treated non-invasively.  I've also had several readings: 8/4 I hosted Monday at Mahall's in Lakewood. 8/5 I featured at Your Vine or Mine in Painesville.  8/15 I read at Voices from the Viaduct in Erie.  8/25 I attended Crisis Chronicles Press author Leah Mueller's reading in Canton.  And 8/27 we had our Oct Tongue -1 book launch at Mac's Backs in Cleveland Heights.  It's Crisis Chronicles' biggest book to date (by seven authors: Mary Weems, John Swain, Steven Smith, Lady, Shelley Chernin, Steve Brightman and myself), and getting it published in time for the event took up a lot of the first half of the month for me.  I've also been preparing for future events, including 9/1's Monday at Mahall's featuring Ray McNiece and Mary Weems.  I finally have the Mahall's lineup finalized through the end of December, and I'm really excited about it (more on that in a later post).

August also saw the official release of another big Crisis Chronicles Press book: The Night Market (poetry by D.R. Wagner with art by ReBecca Gozion).  I'm really proud of both of these books.  The Night Market took about a year and a half to publish. Oct Tongue -1 took nearly a year.  But both are well worth the wait.  I'm currently working on half a dozen other great books that are behind schedule (more on those in a future post).  And then I've had some minor car trouble.  I took my car in for an oil change and found out I had a nail in my tire and needed some kind of air filter replaced.  Then somebody walking down the street bashed my windshield with a hunk of black top.  Altogether, there went another $300.  I've only had the car slightly over a year and I've already had to invest nearly $2000 in repairs - something I had hoped to avoid when I got rid of my 1993 Buick for a 2013 Mustang.  And then, back to August, there's my on again off again job search, assorted other family needs, and I could go on and on.

The good news is I keep plugging away.  I owe you work or an email I will get to it as soon as I can.  Don't give up on me.

Much love....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Book! Oct Tongue -1 by Weems, Swain, Smith, Lady, Chernin, Burroughs and Brightman to Be Released August 27th at Mac's Backs in Cleveland Heights

cover foto by Smith
Like seven 31-page chapbooks in one!

Published August 27th by Crisis Chronicles Press, Oct Tongue -1 is a collaborative book by Mary Weems, John Swain, Steven Smith, Lady [Kathy] Smith, Shelley Chernin, John Burroughs and Steve Brightman.  This book is our biggest yet, 300+ pages, featuring 217 poems (31 by each author), all written in response to the editor's October 2013 poem-a-day challenge.  [He borrowed the idea from a poem-a-day book called February 03 by Todd Colby, Alex Gildzen, Thurston Moore and Matthew Wascovich (published in 2003 by Slow Toe in Cleveland).]  Oct Tongue -1 is  a 6x9" paperback, ISBN 978-1-940996-08-0, available for $15 (now only $10) from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111.  See October through the eyes of seven fine and quite different poets!

Please join us at these special launch events!

8/27/2014: Official Oct Tongue -1 Book Release at Mac's Backs in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
9/1/2014: Monday at Mahall's featuring Ray McNiece and Mary Weems in Lakewood, Ohio
...and perhaps more to be announced soon

About the authors:

Dr. Mary Weems is a poet, playwright, imagination-intellect theorist, social/cultural foundations scholar and former Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights. Weems is the author and/or editor of twelve books and five chapbooks, most notably white (Wick Poetry Chapbook Series) and Tampon Class (Pavement Saw Press). Two of her books were full collections of poetry: An Unmistakable Shade of Red and the Obama Chronicles (Bottom Dog Press, 2008) and For(e)closure (Main Street Rag Press, 2012), both finalists for Ohioana Book awards.

John Swain of Louisville, Kentucky, is the author of several acclaimed books including Rain and Gravestones (2013, Crisis Chronicles), White Vases (2012, Crisis Chronicles) and Prominences (2011, Flutter Press). His latest, Ring the Sycamore Sky, is forthcoming in the summer of 2014 from Red Paint Hill Publishing.

Steven B. Smith was born, is living, will die. He's been a poet 50 years, artist 49 years, the publisher of ArtCrimes, editor of, he blogs on, and sings at Smith & Lady published his bio Stations of the Lost & Found, a True Tale of Armed Robbery, Stolen Cars, Outsider Art, Mutant Poetry, Underground Publishing, Robbing the Cradle, and Leaving the Country in 2012 via The City Poetry Press.

Lady, a.k.a. Kathy Ireland Smith, is a poet, publisher, artist and surreal photographer from northeast Ohio. She and her husband Smith spent 31 months of traveling in 10 countries on 3 continents from 2006-9, and you can follow their ongoing adventures at Kathy is also founder and editor of The City Poetry (, a cutting edge art and poetry zine based in Cleveland.

Shelley Chernin is a freelance researcher, writer and editor of legal reference books and a ukulele enthusiast. Her poems have appeared in places like Great Lakes Review, Scrivener Creative Review, Rhapsoidia, Durable Goods, Big Bridge, and the Heights Observer. She was awarded 2nd Place in the 2011 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest.  Her chapbook, The Vigil, was published in 2012 by Crisis Chronicles.

Steve Brightman lives in Kent, Ohio. He firmly believes in two seasons: winter and baseball. His most recent chapbooks include 13 Ways of Looking at Lou Reed (2013, Crisis Chronicles Press), In Brilliant Explosions Alone (2013, NightBallet Press); Like Michelangelo Sorta Said (2013, The Poet’s Haven), Absent The (2013, Writing Knights Press) and Sometimes, Illinois (2011, NightBallet).

John Burroughs is the founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press and hosts the Monday at Mahall’s Poetry and Prose Series in Lakewood, Ohio.  He is the author of It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change (2013, The Poet’s Haven), The Eater of the Absurd (2012, NightBallet Press), Barry Merry Baloney (2012, Spare Change Press), Water Works (2012, recycled karma press), Electric Company (2011, Writing Knights) and more.