Friday, September 6, 2019

Touring with Kansas City Poet Jeanette Powers This Month!

art/photo by Jeanette Powers
Finally home from the first of three trips to the east coast this month. I will spend today and tomorrow catching up on a million things, including hundreds of emails, a stack of bills, packaging and mailing books, running to Akron to pick up the 2nd printing of Nicole Hennessy's Gypsy Queen, mowing the lawn, getting a pdf proof for Nick Gardner's forthcoming Crisis Chronicles Press book (So Marvelously Far) to him and cleaning my house. Then Sunday, 9/8, in Toledo I will meet up with one of my favorite poets/artists/humans, Jeanette Powers of Kansas City, where we will have the privilege of reading with Barbara Sabol and Clarissa Jakobsons for Uncloistered Poetry at Calvino's Restaurant and Wine Bar.

After that, I will emcee two readings featuring Jeanette in the Cleveland area:

And then Jeanette's tour will continue as we head to the east coast for these events:

Then we'll drive back to Cleveland, Jeanette will fly home, and at the end of the month I'll drive east again to read with U.S. Beat Poet Laureate Paul Richmond and others on 9/28 and 9/29 at the Word Stage at Garlic & Arts Festival in Orange, Massachusetts.

And if that wasn't enough, in October, I'll be heading to Maryland, Kansas City and North Carolina, among other places.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Rattle & Numb: Selected & New Poems, 1992-2019 (OUT NOW!)

Cover painting by Emma Anderson
I am beyond excited to see that my new book—Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019—is now available. This is by far my biggest book yet, and my first hardcover. It features all my best poems from the past three decades, including a healthy helping of new, previously unpublished work. I absolutely love the cover art by Cleveland's own Emma Anderson. I am so grateful to her and to Venetian Spider Press editor William F. DeVault. I feel incredibly honored to join the VSP family.

Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 is now available from many of your favorite independent bookstores, as well as from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You may also procure a signed copy of Rattle & Numb directly from me on my 2019-2020 book tour, which so far features appearances in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, and a bunch of venues across Ohio.

I'm always interested in adding more events. So if you're interested in having me read/talk/hang out at your university, bookstore, library, festival or literary happening, please contact me at

Artist Emma Anderson and me
[photo by Marty Snyder]
"In Rattle and Numb...John Burroughs has chosen some very strong pieces that propel the reader through a life-arc, while artfully revealing the person behind the poetry. His trademark wordplay is evident throughout, as in Ataraxis be bloom/be lilt/be boom/be wilt and Out (Not Fade Away) But in spite of it I wrote on/rode on/right on/wry dawn/rite yawn. Classic Burroughs poems—John Cage Uncaged and Engaged, Low Kay Shun, Lens—anchor the narrative, while new and newer poems create fresh mythologies, tackle the facelessness of Facebook, brood over the flow of rivers into Lake Erie, promise flaming postcards/from the conflagration. Rattle and Numb is both, and neither; it is a confessional collection that promises and delivers to whomever it may concern."
—Dianne Borsenik, author of Raga for What Comes Next, publisher at NightBallet Press


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Hoot feat. Robert Carr & John Burroughs, 9/4 in Portsmouth NH

Robert Carr
Next week, following the National Beat Poetry Festival in Connecticut, I'm also thrilled to be returning to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on September 4th for a reading with Robert Carr.

Join us at 7 p.m.
Café Espresso
800 Islington Street,
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Portsmouth is at the center of one of my favorite poetry regions in the country and I'm so happy to be returning!

For more about Robert Carr
, not to be confused with the 1st Earl of Somerset, please visit

Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019 National Beat Poetry Festival - 8/30 thru 9/1 in Connecticut

*Copied from the National Beat & International Beat Poetry Festival Bulletin Board*

The National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. will host their annual 3 day, National Beat Poetry Festival, one of the largest gatherings in the US, of Beat Poets from the US and worldwide.

Master of Ceremonies: Darlene Fernandez.

Locations & Times:

Friday, August 30, 2019, Noelke Gallery, 15 Water Street, Torrington, CT, starting at 7:00pm. Readings and spoken word. Music by Podunk Throwbacks. Plus an open mic.

Saturday August 31, 2019, The Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library, 10 Center Street, New Hartford, CT, 2:00pm-6:00pm. Ten new Beat Poets Laureate will be named and honored at a special awards ceremony for their dedication and contributions to their respective communities for their love of writing, poetry, spoken word and the arts.
Music by Tony Vacca. Plus an open mic.

Sunday September 1, 2019, Farm River Cafe, 526 Main Street, New Hartford, CT from 2:00pm to 5:00. Readings, spoken word, and musicians should plan on coming to share their talents. Plus an open mic.

All aficionados of Poetry, Music, & the Arts are cordially invited to attend this cultural enriching three day event.

Books and merchandise from many different artists will be available for purchase all three days and at all three event venues.

Poets will be reading their poetry all three days from our newest poetry anthology called, We Are Beat from Local Gems Press [pre-order here].

This years award recipients are:

Paul Richmond: National Beat Poet Laureate USA (2019-2020)

Donna Anne Allard - International Beat Poet Laureate, Canada (2019-2020)

Dr. Chryssa Velissariou: Greece Beat Poet Laureate - (2019-Lifetime) from Larisa, Greece

John Burroughs - State of Ohio Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

BLW (Babs) McGrory - State of Delaware Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

Ron Whitehead - State of Kentucky Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

Richard Wayne Horton - State of Massachusetts Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

William David Sovern - State of Indiana Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

Kate Lamberg - State of New York, Long Island Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

Nordette N. Adams - State of Louisiana Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

I would like to express my gratitude to Debbie Tosun Kilday and Colin Haskins of the National Beat Poetry Foundation. You may contact them with any questions about this and/or future events at: NBPF15@GMAIL.COM.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A Poetic Farewell to Vertigo Xi'an Xavier, Friday 8/23 in Akron

Please join us tomorrow (Friday 8/23) in Akron to celebrate the life and legacy of our dear friend Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
5:30 to 8:30 pm at Polymer City Records, 730 Portage Trail Extension W, Akron, OH 44313.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Next appearances: 8/16 in Cleveland and 8/17 in Monroe, Michigan

8/16 in Cleveland, Ohio
The Power of Word featuring Dianne Borsenik and John Burroughs at SAYMO Collective + Gallery, 16205 Lorain Avenue, hosted by Georgia Reash.

8/17 in Monroe, Michigan
Madhouse & Firefly present: HEAT featuring William F. DeVault, John Burroughs Leo Todd Jarret, Dan Denton, Michelle Williams, Melvin Douglas Johnson, Damon Aker, AE Audamatic Harris, Leo Jarret, Gwen Jerris, Rebel Jones, Chris Curan, Jesse Eagle, live painting by Erik Steiger and musical guest Lucian Townes at Serendipitous Vintage, 403 E. Front Street.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Next Performance: CLE Uncorked 8/13/2019 at CLE Urban Winery

Tuesday 13 August 2019, CLE Uncorked, Voices and Vines on Lee will happen again, hosted by Jason Patrick Meyers. I will again have the honor of being one of their featured performers, this time along with Kansas City poet Sara Minges and musical acts Sam Hooper, Cameron Schnell, Brian Alan Hager, Simon Kenneally, Erica Wise and Bridget Davis.

CLE Uncorked happens the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month at CLE Urban Winery, 2180 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118.

Find more information at and

Sunday, August 4, 2019

moCa, CLE Urban, SAYMO and Serendipitous in the next two weeks

People have asked where else I'll be poeticizing in the next couple of weeks, but I usually don't have my calendar with me and can't remember the exact dates to tell them. So while I have it with me, here they are.

8/13 at CLE Urban Winery with Sara Minges and others, part of CLE Uncorked: Performers Showcase, hosted by Jason Meyers.

I'll be doing totally different stuff at each of these events. So come to them all!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Fair thee well, Vertigo Xi'an Xavier

Stunned and heartbroken. I just learned that my friend Vertigo Xi'an Xavier passed away unexpectedly. Vertigo (real name Chris Draime) was one of the first people I met in the NE Ohio poetry scene. As head of The Poet's Haven, he gave me my first featured reading. He published two of my chapbooks. And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. Vertigo was one of the hardest working people in poetry, always generous with his time and talents. I want to say more, but I'm still in shock. Sending love and my deepest sympathies to his family and all who know and care about him.

Geri Lynne Burroughs, Vertigo, me and Marlana-Patrice Pugh Hamer in May 2009
at the Barking Spider Tavern in Cleveland [photo by Ken Kitt]

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Ohio Poetry Showcase at the Ohio State Fair, August 1st

I am honored to have the opportunity to share poetry this Thursday, August 1st, at the Ohio State Fair! From the press release: "The afternoon will begin with the Ohio Poetry Out Loud reading, emceed by Chiquita Mullins Lee of the Ohio Arts Council. Then at 3:30 some of Ohio’s finest poets will take the stage for a reading emceed by Fred Andrle. Featured poets include Geoff Anderson, John Burroughs, Cathryn Essinger, Barbara Fant, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Pauletta Hansel, Furaha Henry-Jones, Mark Sebastian Jordan, Susann Möeller, Karen Schubert, and Kerry Jensen Trautman. Finally, Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas will bring the evening to a close."

Many thanks to the Ohio Poetry Association!
For more information, please visit

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Crisis Chronicles at the 2019 Inkubator Saturday 7/27

It's time for the 2019 Inkubator, organized by Literary Cleveland. The Cleveland Inkubator is Northeast Ohio's largest free annual festival for writers and readers! This year the conference will be held in coordination with the Cleveland Public Library's 150th anniversary celebration. Join us for writing workshops, craft talks, panels, readings, and a resource fair featuring all the greatest local bookstores, presses, lit journals, writing groups, and literary organizations.

On Saturday, I'll be manning the Crisis Chronicles Press table from 8:30 am to 3 pm, and then attending Hanif Abdurraqib's 3 pm keynote address. See the full Inkubator schedule and register for FREE today at

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Now Curating Poetry+ in Lakewood

I am happy to announce that I am now curating the monthly Poetry+ reading series at Art on Madison in Lakewood, Ohio. I'd like to thank previous longtime curator Timothy Gaewsky for the marvelous job he has done creating and maintaining the series and consistently bringing in excellent writers, and I wish him all the best as moves forward. I'm also grateful to Ivan Kende, Vanessza Wright and Art on Madison for being supportive of the local literary community and affording me this opportunity to take the baton and run with it.

Poetry+ has traditionally aimed to shine "the spotlight on a single writer, providing that writer with the platform and time necessary to present a body of their work and to connect with their audience." I plan to maintain that spirit, but expand a bit to feature two writers each month, ideally one great out-of-town writer paired with one great local/Ohio writer. I want to experiment with including a tight but inclusive open mic as well.

Usually Poetry+ takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, though for September 2019 ONLY we will hold it on the 2nd Tuesday. We have some fantastic featured poets coming up, and I hope you'll come out and show your support! 

July 16: Poetry Plus Presents Jeremy Jusek

August 20: Poetry+ featuring Philip Terman & Sandra Feen

September 10: Poetry+ featuring Jeanette Powers & Dianne Borsenik

October 15: Poetry+ featuring Matt Hart & Nicole Hennessy

November 19: Poetry+ featuring Steve Abbott & Leonard Kress

For more information, please visit our website: