Sunday, December 31, 2017

Amazon revokes my selling privileges though they make as much or more than I do on many books I sell

Amazon has revoked my selling privileges because I have failed to "valid tracking" numbers on at least 95% of my shipments, and my account is "under review." Here's my conversation with them, followed by an example of how they rip off small publishers and independent sellers like me.

Their message to me:

Your Valid Tracking Rate is below the goal of 95% in the following categories: Book

As a result, you may no longer sell merchant-fulfilled items in the affected categories on Your listings for those categories have been removed from our site.

My response:

Dear friends,

Many of the books I sell are thin and light and that means the post office allows me to send them as "large envelopes" instead of as parcels, saving me money on shipping charges. As such, they do not come with free tracking.  When I sell a book, you (Amazon) are in many cases already making as much off it as I am (thanks in part to your phony $3.99 shipping charge, because none of my books really cost 3.99 to ship). If I pay extra for tracking, I make even less than you do. So it does not always make sense for me to pay extra for tracking on a small book.

In other cases, with bigger books, I send them via media mail, which does provide free tracking, but these comprise far fewer than 95% of my sales.

Their further response:

Your account is still under review. We ask for your patience while buyers leave feedback for you.

We will send you an email when our review is complete. Until then, we may not reply to further emails about this issue.

The numbers:

Here's just one example: I sell Elliot Nicely's Crisis Chronicles Press chapbook The Black Between Stars for $4.99 in the Amazon marketplace. Amazon makes the buyer pay an additional $3.99 for "shipping." So the buyer is charged a total of $8.98. Then Amazon takes their fees:

Closing fee:
Per-Item Fee
Referral Fee on Item Price:
Shipping commission:

After all that, Amazon gives me, the publisher, $4.84. But then I have to [pay to] ship the book. Because this is a small and light chapbook, it only costs me 70 cents to mail as a "large envelope."  So of the $8.98 the buyer was charged, I end up with $4.14, the post office gets $0.70 and Amazon gets $4.14. They receive exactly what I do on the transaction. And they didn't have to publish the book.  But now they insist I pay extra for tracking on top of this?

And no other book I sell is as light in weight and small in dimensions as The Black Between Stars.  Here's another example: I don't just sell books I publish on Amazon. I also sell used books I pick up here and there. Last week I sold a copy of Diana Gabaldon's The Fiery Cross for $4.99 on Amazon.  The numbers for it were exactly the same as the numbers for selling Nicely's, except for the fact that The Fiery Cross is a much heavier book. So in this case, the least expensive way for me to mail it was Media rate, which cost me $3.12. At least I got free tracking with Media rate. But again, Amazon made WAY more than I did overall.

And now they want to burden the independent sellers and small presses they're ripping off even more by forcing us to pay more to provide tracking on every single book. For shame!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

NE Ohio Poetry / Literary Calendar Updates

I just spent three-plus hours updating the Northeast Ohio literary calendar at If your event is an hour's drive or less from Cleveland and needs added or updated, please let me know.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Interstellar Poetry 21 November 2017 in Hamden, CT

Crisis Chronicles Press and Sol's Path Writing Center present an evening of poetry featuring Leslie McGrath, Krysia Jopek, Meg Harris and (all the way from Cleveland, Ohio) John Burroughs at The Outer Space, 295 Treadwell Street in Hamden, Connecticut. We will celebrate the release of two new Crisis Chronicles Press books, Harris' Inquiry into Loneliness and Jopek's Hourglass Studies. Please join us for this out of this world event. Free admission, and an open mic will follow the features. 

Click here to RSVP.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Oct Tongue 2, feat. 8 more of my fave poets

Achtung! Crisis Chronicles Press is pleased to present the long-awaited Oct Tongue 2, our biggest book yet (it's like eight books in one!). See October (and so much more) through the eyes of eight of America’s finest poets: George Wallace, Lyn Lifshin, Mark Sebastian Jordan, Juliet Cook, Kathleen Cerveny, Dianne Borsenik, Margaret Bashaar and Eric Anderson.

Where Do You Want It?

Each of these eight writers wrote and submitted at least 31 poems in response to editor John Burroughs' October 2014 poem-a-day invitation. Life intervened and it took awhile to get this fine collection into print, but we believe it is well worth the wait.  Oct Tongue 2 features 258 poems on 328 pages, and is 6"x9",  perfect bound, with cover photo by Chandra Alderman. ISBN: 978-1-940996-47-9. It will make you laugh, make you cry, make you angry and make you glad you read it.

Available for $15 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134 USA.

Please join us for a special book launch event Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 2 to 4 p.m. during the Borderlands: Poetry on the Edge series at Main Street Books, 104 N. Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio 44902.

About the authors:

Eric Anderson is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poetry has appeared in The Sun, Connotation Press, Prairie Schooner and other journals. His novella, Isn't That Just Like You? (Cleveland State University Press) won the inaugural Ruthanne Wiley Memorial Novella Contest. His "A Couple of Scars on My Back" earned a Lantern Award for best poem from The Lit. And his first full-length collection, The Parable of the Room Spinning, is available from Kattywompus Press.

Margaret Bashaar’s first book, Stationed Near the Gateway, was released by Sundress Publications in 2015. Her poetry has also been collected in four chapbooks and dozens of literary journals and anthologies. She co-organizes the annual event FREE POEMS with Rachael Deacon. And she lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her partner, her son, and her kitty cats, and edits Hyacinth Girl Press (

Dianne Borsenik is active in the northern Ohio poetry scene and regional reading circuit. Her work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, including Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Rosebud, Slipstream, Lilliput Review, The Offbeat, Chiron Review, Poems-For-All, A Rustling and Waking Within (OPA, 2017), and Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems for the Resistance (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017). Crisis Chronicles Press published her first full-length collection, Age of Aquarius, in 2016. She won first place in the Best Cleveland Poem Competition in 2013 and 2014, and Lit Youngstown put her poem “Disco” on their tee shirts, which makes her feel like a rock star. Founder/editor at NightBallet Press and producer of BeatStreet Cleveland, Borsenik lives in Elyria with husband James and dogs Bodhisattva and Michel-Angelo. Find her at

Kathleen Cerveny, has been a working artist, an award-winning producer for Cleveland Public Radio, and Director of Arts Initiatives for the Cleveland Foundation. Her poems have appeared in the Southern New Hampshire University journal Amoskeag, the e-journal Shaking Like a Mountain, and in several Pudding House anthologies, as well as in in Future Cycle Press’ international anthology Poems for Malala Yousafzai. In 2014 Kathleen received the Robert Bergman Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize and she served as the 2013-14 Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights. Her first collection, Coming to Terms, was published by NightBallet Press in 2015. Kathleen’s blog, Pay Attention, can be found on her website, She currently teaches arts management in the Conservatory at Baldwin Wallace University.

Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in a small multitude of magazines, including Arsenic Lobster, Diagram, Diode, FLAPPERHOUSE, Hermeneutic Chaos, Menacing Hedge and Reality Beach. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, recently including Red Demolition (Shirt Pocket Press, 2014), a collaboration with Robert Cole called Mutant Neuron Codex Swarm (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015), and a collaboration with j/j hastain called Dive Back Down (Dancing Girl Press, 2015), with more forthcoming. Cook's first full-length individual poetry book, Horrific Confection, was published by BlazeVOX and her second full-length individual poetry book, Malformed Confetti is forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press. Her most recent full-length poetry book, A Red Witch, Every Which Way, is a collaboration with j/j hastain published by Hysterical Books in 2016. Find her at

Mark Sebastian Jordan is a refugee of the corporate business world, where he spent a decade in packaging purchasing. Finding himself compulsively writing and creating to escape the unfulfilling day job, he fled when a corporate buyout ended his position. Since then, he has only worked jobs that offer personal fulfillment and creativity. He has written three full-length plays, several one-acts, and four books. He covers concerts of the Cleveland Orchestra for Seen & Heard International and performs widely as a director, actor, storyteller, and improv comedian. His humorous mystery Slammer, Private Dick was published by Sinister Hand Media in 2017.

Lyn Lifshin won the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss the Skin Off, the Paterson Poetry Award for Before It’s Light, and the Texas Review Award for The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian. She’s been praised by Robert Frost, Ken Kesey, and Richard Eberhart, and is the subject of the award-winning documentary film Not Made of Glass. Lifshin earned the distinction “Queen of the Small Presses” for her dedication to the small presses which first published her, and for surviving on her own apart from any major publishing house or academic institution. Her most recent books include Femme Eterna (Glass Lyre, 2014), #AliveLikeALoadedGun (Transcendent Zero Press, 2016) and Little Dancer: The Degas Poems (NightBallet Press, 2017). Find her at

George Wallace has been described as ‘a kind of Max Ernst stuck in the up-down elevator of America’ (A.D. Winans) and a poet who ‘navigates between high and low diction with generosity, elegance and power’ (Angelo Verga). “If you want to know what America feels like in your mouth, read his poems out loud,” writes Huffington Post’s Robert Peake. The editor of Poetrybay, co-editor of Great Weather for Media and author of 31 chapbooks, George is a fixture on the NYC scene and travels internationally to perform, lecture and teach workshops. Poet Laureate, Suffolk County, LI NY (2003-2005). Writer in residence, Walt Whitman Birthplace (2011-2017).

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Oct Tongue 2 book release Saturday 11/18 in Mansfield (plus pre-order info)

This month, Crisis Chronicles Press will celebrate/release the long-awaited collaborative book Oct Tongue 2, featuring at least 31 poems each by Lyn Lifshin, George Wallace, Dianne Borsenik, Eric Anderson, Juliet Cook, Mark Sebastian Jordan, Margaret Bashaar and Kathleen Cerveny during Borderlands: Poetry on the Edge at Main Street Books in Mansfield, Ohio. At least five of the authors will read. Hope to see you there!

To pre-order Oct Tongue 2, send $10 (plus $3 for shipping) to Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134.

Where Do You Want It?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Writer in the Window at Appletree Books November 1st thru 4th

photo swiped from their Facebook page
For the next four days (November 1st thru 4th), I will be "Writer in the Window" from 10 a.m. to noon at Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights.  Hope to see you there and/or get some writing done!

12419 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
(216) 791-2665

Monday, October 30, 2017

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Hourglass Studies by Krysia Jopek

Crisis Chronicles Press is very pleased to announce the publication of Krysia Jopek's stunning new poetry chapbook, Hourglass Studies, on 31 October 2017.

"Krysia Jopek’s poems in Hourglass Studies are not so much linear as Möbius: they twist back upon themselves in ways hauntingly familiar, while offering surrealistic flashes of the outré. Reading this book is like having your own Tarot cards read: you find yourself spellbound, immersed in questions and answers, hints and predictions, that all make sense in the end."
     —Dianne Borsenik, NightBallet Press publisher and
     author of Age of Aquarius, Collected Poems 1981-2016

Where Do You Want It?

Hourglass Studies is available for only $7 US from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134. ISBN: 978-1-940996-46-2. Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5". Perfect bound. Cover design by Dale Houstman. 26 pages featuring 12 poems / studies.
Read sample poems from Hourglass Studies at Meta/ Phor(e) /Play.

Please join us for the official book release party November 21st, 7:30 p.m., at The Outer Space, 295 Treadwell Street in Hamden, Connecticut.

Krysia Jopek’s poems have appeared in The Great American Literary Magazine, Crisis Chronicles Cyber Litmag, Gone Lawn 19, Split Rock Review, The Woven Press, Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Phoebe, Murmur, Artists & Influence, and other literary journals. She has written reviews of poetry for The American Book Review. Maps and Shadows, her first novel (Aquila Polonica 2010), won a Silver Benjamin Franklin award in 2011 in the category of Historical Fiction.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

After Turning 51

Many thanks to everyone who reached out to me for my birthday. Because mine is the 17th and Geri's was the 14th, we always celebrated them together. Needless to say, with her gone this year I didn't feel much like celebrating. Indeed I couldn't wait for the days to be past. I was invited to do lots of cool things on my birthday but decided instead to stay in and get as much work as I could done, though I did go catch a sunset on Lake Erie before bed. But through it all I saw your messages, comments and other kindnesses and your love helped get me through the day okay.
I am most grateful.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Inquiry into Loneliness by Meg Harris

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Meg Harris' highly anticipated poetry chapbook, Inquiry into Loneliness (CC#94), on 17 September 2017.

"Meg Harris gives us snapshots into a wildly imagined ordinary universe with rich metaphor turning everything she touches into an extraordinary occurrence. In Inquiry into Loneliness, 'the wind has winter in its mouth' and 'the stars fly / from fingertips.' Linger on each page for a glimpse into a beautiful and mystical world."
      Amy King, author of The Missing Museum

"In Inquiry into Loneliness, Meg Harris regards the divine like a lover, noting even its smallest incarnations, overlooking nothing. In a somber funeral notice for a sandpiper, we are reminded of our own human inconsequence, yet the world is constant magic. Stars are 'mercury rolling,' a child’s newborn skull bears the imprint of the place it was first loved. These poems are generous and welcoming, even of pain’s inevitability. Meg Harris says yes, 'Yes to divine intervention / Divine anything.'"
     —Leslie McGrath, author of Out from the Pleiades

Where Do You Want It?

Inquiry into Loneliness is available for only $7 US from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134. ISBN: 978-1-940996-45-5. Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5". Perfect bound. Cover art by the author. 34 pages featuring these 22 poems: "Yariguíes Brush-Finch," "Origins," "Inquiry into Loneliness," "Memory," "Apnea," "Paradise Lost," "Symbiosis," "Bird Sanctuary," "Hoboken 2012," "Vulture," "For Nonbelievers," "Sloth," "Poseidon," "Travel," "Vestigial," "A Rose from Roger," "Madonna and Child," "Yes, to Ghosts," "Starlet," "Crystal," "Heartbreaker" and "My Name."

Meg Harris is a writer, poet and teacher. Her work has appeared in Upstreet, Numero Cinq, Whiskey Island, River River, Pirene’s Fountain, and others. She lives in a magical place called Sol’s Path where she offers guided-writing workshops in the Patchwork Farms’ Writing Process. Meg Harris serves on the Connecticut State Independent Living Council and is the Managing Editor at the recently launched Diaphanous Press Journal of Literary and Visual Art, which will release a second issue in November of 2017.  She is an avid amateur photographer, miniaturist, and activist. She is most passionate about ending descriptor-discrimination because she believes everyone deserves their adjective. Round, white, feminist, witty, aging, empathic, Meg is well known in her family for both finding things lost and fixing things broken. She earned her MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Snap, poems by Dion N. Farquhar

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Snap, a powerful new series of poems by Dion N. Farquhar.

Only $7 US. Available 31 August 2017 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134.

Where Do You Want It?

28 pp. 5.5" x 8.5". Perfect bound. Cover photo by the author. Contents include "Chronic Edge," "Humanities 2.0," "Break," "Difference Within," "Path," "Contingency," "Branded," "Lost," "Unsustainable," "Loopy," "Zuccotti Park," "New Year" and "Climate Change." ISBN: 978-1-940996-44-8.

Dion Farquhar has recent poems in Birds Piled Loosely, Local Nomad, Columbia Poetry Review, Shampoo, moria, Shifter, BlazeVOX, etc. Her second poetry book Wonderful Terrible was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in 2013, and her second chapbook Just Kidding is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She works as an exploited adjunct at two universities, teaching mostly composition, but still loves the classroom.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Concrete Meat Press Recommends

Concrete Meat's Adrian Manning says, "The latest poet to be added to Concrete Meat Press Recommends page is the awesome John Burroughs. Check out his words and those of many others here:"

I'm tickled that he selected my poem "Dish Work," from Water Works, to be featured there.  It was written several years ago about a time in 1986 when Geri and I were working together at Columbia Hills Country Club and just getting to know each other.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Uncaged Low Kay Shun: Burroughs Live at the 2017 Underground Lit Fest

Many thanks to Bill Yarrow for recording me reciting two poems during the Underground Lit Fest hosted by the Literary Underground at the Uptown Arts Lofts in Michigan City, Indiana. The poems are "John Cage Engaged and Uncaged" and "Low Kay Shun." Please forgive my flubbing the line about Dick Van Dyke and my assaulting our host's innocent cup of coffee.

Monday, August 7, 2017

My "Abbreviate" featured 7/7 in Winedrunk Sidewalk

I am honored to report that my short poem "Abbreviate" was recently featured (day 169 - July 7th) in Winedrunk Sidewalk. Many thanks to editor John Grochalski!

Because the day it was published was the day I departed for my cross-country trip I'm just now blogging about it.

For daily resistance poems, follow

Permalink to just my poem: here.

And they're still accepting submissions of poems and art as we speak.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Underground Lit Fest this weekend in Michigan City, Indiana!

Crisis Chronicles Press and I are thrilled to be part of this year's Underground Lit Fest, August 4th through 6th, at the Uptown Artist Lofts, 717 Franklin Street in Michigan City, Indiana.

Among other grooviness....
*Friday 11am-5pm: Crisis Chronicles Press will be part of the Small Press Book and Zine Fair.
*Friday 7-10pm: Crisis Chronicles Press authors Dianne Borsenik, Juliet Cook and John Burroughs will be among the featured poets during the evening Speakeasy.

Full details of the weekend festivities can be found at

Friday, July 7, 2017

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Diary of a Feminist Thug by Lyz Bly

Crisis Chronicles Press is ecstatic to team up with Guide to Kulchur Books to present a new Lyz Bly masterwork, Diary of a Feminist Thug, Volume I: His[tories] of Her Land.

Diary of a Feminist Thug is a poetically written narrative that is replete with stream-of-consciousness thoughts and original journal images of a white GenX grrrl-woman, growing up in rust belt America in the late 20th century. Bly’s text is memoir meets deposition, revealing the subtle and explicit ways in which patriarchy, misogyny, and toxic masculinity crush the psyches and abuse the bodies of women, even white, heterosexual, cisgender middle-class women of Generations X and Y, who grew up amid the promises of the 1960s and 70s social “revolutions” for gender and racial rights and equality. 

The 2016 election of trump reminded women how much they are despised, yet tolerated for their role as progenitors of racial identity and paternal “family” names. Bly’s Diary of a Feminist Thug reveals the insidious psychosis at the heart of heterosexual relationships and white middle-class families and the emotional and physical toll those they take on women who appear to be “just fine.” While there are obvious privileges connected to whiteness and heterosexuality, these privileges still come with a cost; Valerie Solanas once said, “He who won’t slit your throat will torture you to death slowly, often with diamonds.” 

Bly’s generational cohorts will relish her writing style, which varies from erratic to bitingly ironic, as well as her cultural references to GenX icons and defining historical moments. Millennials will get a glimpse into what may lie ahead for even the most privileged among them in these trump-era apocalyptic times.

Where Do You Want It?

Diary of a Feminist Thug by Lyz Bly is 70 pp, perfect bound. Design by Maggie Halm. Printing by Guide to Kulchur. Dimensions: approximately 5.5" x 10". ISBN: 978-0-998-1104-9-3. Available in July 2017 for $10 at the Guide to Kulchur Grand Re-Opening (July 8th in Cleveland) or from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134.  Please add $2 for shipping in the US (plus $3 more for overseas orders).

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My July and August Poetry Tour Schedule

In my first 49 years of life I had never been west of Auburn, Indiana. That changed in April 2016 when I finally crossed the Mississippi River to participate in a poetry festival in Kansas City. Fast forward to July 2017 and I'm about to embark on my first ever trek to the west coast of the United States. Many thanks to all the friends and strangers who've offered me a place to read or sleep on my way or are otherwise supporting the effort. I don't expect I'll have much time to blog until I get home. But I plan to post periodic updates on my Facebook page.

7 July at 8 pm in Madison, Wisconsin 
Madtown Poetry Open Mic featuring John Burroughs at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 1101 Williamson Street in Madison.

14/15/16 July in Portland, Oregon  
*Friday: at the TRUST Art Collective.  
*Saturday: at Backyard Social (John Burroughs will be one of the features). 
*Sunday: at the Water Trough Saloon (Crisis Chronicles Press author Leah Mueller will be one of the features).

18 July at 7 pm in Oakland, California 
Get Lit #26 at Ale Industries featuring John Burroughs and others.

19 July in Oakland, California  
The Octopus Literary Salon featuring D.R. Wagner, M.J. Arcangelini, John Burroughs and Matt Cook.

25 July in Denver, Colorado  
Frankie Metro and John Burroughs attack. More details forthcoming.

26 July at 9 pm in Kansas City, Missouri 
Poetic Underground presents Bill Moran with guest appearance by John Burroughs at the Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway, Kansas City 64111.

28 July at 6 pm in Eureka Springs, Arkansas 
Thirst-quenching poetry featuring John Burroughs and friends at Brews, 2 Pine, Eureka Springs 72632.

4/5/6 August in Michigan City, Indiana 
Underground Lit Fest at the Uptown Artist Lofts, 717 Franklin Street, Michigan City 46360. 
*Friday 11am-5pm: Crisis Chronicles Press will be part of the Small Press Book and Zine Fair.
*Friday 7-10pm: Crisis Chronicles Press authors Dianne Borsenik, Juliet Cook and John Burroughs will be among the featured poets during the evening Speakeasy.

11 August at 7 pm in Canton, Ohio 
Take the Knight Off - Inspiration Showcase featuring John Burroughs, Alicia Young, The Derrick Terrill Project and more at The Local, 135 N. 6th Street in Canton.

13 August at 6 pm in Toledo, Ohio
Punch Through the Envelope: How to Make Editors Notice Your Work, a workshop with editors Dianne Borsenik (NightBallet Press) and John Burroughs (Crisis Chronicles Press) at the Art and Performance Center of West Toledo, 2702 W. Sylvania Avenue.

13 August in Toledo, Ohio
Poetry Uncloistered featuring John Burroughs, Dianne Borsenik and Andy Roberts at Calvino's Restaurant and Wine Bar. More details forthcoming.

26 August at 7 pm in Cleveland, Ohio 
Poetry for the People 3 hosted by Twelve featuring Christine Howey, John Burroughs, Akeem Jamal Rollins, Eva Barrett, Ephraim Nehemiah and Dominicque Smith in Public Square downtown.

Click here to see my full 2017 poetry tour schedule.