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: