Thursday, December 31, 2020

My poem "Odd Missive" published in Polarity

Many thanks to editor George Wallace for selecting "Odd Missive" for publication in the Winter 2020-21 issue of his e-magazine Polarity.

Read the issue here.
Read just my poem here.

I wrote "Odd Missive" during a 2018 workshop in Connecticut led by Meg Harris. Around that time, there was a thing happening on Facebook where people were sharing what songs were number one on their fourteenth birthdays — and that was our prompt. The poem also appears in my book Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019.

More Polarity:

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Books I've Read in 2020

...or at least that I've finished in 2020. There are many more I'm still in the process of reading.


Circuit by John Greiner (2020, Whiskey City)
Death of a Selfish Altruist by Chris Stroffolino (2017, Iniquity)


Those Who Pray to Rice by Julio Montalvo Valentin (2019, NightBallet)
Dog Alley by Hugh Merrill (2018, Stubborn Mule)
Alex in Movieland (1943-1973) by Alex Gildzen (2020, Crisis Chronicles)


Looking Back at Elyria: A Midwest City at Midcentury by Marci Rich (2019, The History Press)
Radish Legs, Duck Feet by Sayuri Ayers (2016, Green Bottle)
The Beats: A Graphic History by Paul M. Buhle (ed.), Harvey Pekar et al (2009, Hill & Wang)
How I Became Hettie Jones by Hettie Jones (1996, Grove)


Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane DiPrima (1998 ed., Penguin)
The Rabbits With Red Eyes by Juliet Cook (2020, Ethel Zine and Micro)
One Evening by Yohji Izawa and Canna Funakoshi (1991, Marcel Dekker)
Sunshine State by Gregg Shapiro (2019, NightBallet)
A Quiet Ghost by M. J. Arcangelini (2020, Luchador)
typing with e.e. cummings by Lori Desrosiers (2019, Glass Lyre)
Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones by Hettie Jones (2016, Duke University)


Serving by Kari Gunter-Seymour (2020 revised ed., Crisis Chronicles)
Reflections by Hermann Hesse (1974 ed., Farrar Straus Giroux)
Artists in the Underworld by Richard Wayne Horton (2019, Human Error)
an extra doughnut permanently lent by Sara Adams (2020, Ghost City)


Autobiography by Morrissey (2013, Penguin Classics)
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (1972 edition, Washington Square)
The Gathering of My Name by Cornelius Eady (1991, Carnegie Mellon University)
A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca (2002 edition, Grove)
Dutchman & The Slave: Two Plays by Amiri Baraka (1971 ed., Harper Perennial)


How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (2018, Penguin)
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (2014, Graywolf)
The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems by Gwendolyn Brooks (1991 ed., Third World)
Actual Air by David Berman (2019 ed., Drag City)
The Bastard Children of Dharma Bums by Joshua Michael Stewart (2020, Human Error)
The 24 Hour Store Was Closed by Paul Richmond (2020, Human Error)


Some Tricks I Was Born Knowing by D. M. Spratley (2020, Ghost City)
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (2016, Bold Type)
Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods by Noelle Howey (2002, Picador)
The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa trans. by Sawako Nakayasu (2020, Modern Library)


How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (2019, One World)
The Can Book by Pascal Bussy & Andy Hall (1989, Harrow)


i saw god cooking children / paint their bones by John Compton (2020, Blood Pudding)
Fort Pitt Tunnel Blues by John Dorsey (2020, Maverick Duck)
Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore (2020, Crisis Chronicles)


Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA
by Jimmy Fallon (2015. Feiwel & Friends)


All Gates Open: The Story of Can by Rob Young & Irmin Schmidt (2019, Faber & Faber)
The Circus of His Bones by Steve Brightman (2020, Kung Fu Treachery)
Basho: The Complete Haiku trans. by Jane Reichhold (2008 ed., Kodansha)
The Vagina Analogues by Michelle R. Smith (2020, self)
Beowulf trans. by Seamus Heaney (2001, W.W. Norton)
The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac (1994 ed., Grove)

Friday, December 18, 2020

$1.3 Million In Pandemic Relief Funds Distributed By Arts Cleveland

I'm super grateful to be one of the individual artist recipients. This couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you, Cuyahoga County and Arts Cleveland!

Read more here:

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Police Detective Who Arrested Me in 1992 Has Been Charged with Rape

"ELYRIA — A retired Elyria police officer has been charged with 10 felony sexual assault counts.

Joseph Van Kerkhove, 78, of Grafton, was indicted Nov. 19 by a Lorain County grand jury on six felony counts of rape and four counts of gross sexual imposition. He was served with the charges Tuesday and was being held in the Lorain County Jail on $100,000 cash or surety bond...."

Read the rest in the 12/4/2020 Chronicle-Telegram:

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 Write! hosted by River River at the Carson McCullers House in Nyack, New York. On that particular day, one of the workshop prompts was "What they did [was]...." A couple of days later, 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.

[12/24/2020 UPDATE: When I originally posted this blog entry I said I began this poem during a workshop in Amherst, Ohio. I was wrong. Today, going through other old papers, I realized that while I had the date correct, I had misremembered the location. The poem was begun on 1 June 2018 in Nyack, New York, and I've corrected the paragraph above accordingly. Side note: this was the same day I wrote "Odd Missive," which is the final poem in my book Rattle and Numb.]

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.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Beat Goes On at the Bronx Book Fair on October 5th

Very much looking forward to reading with these fine folk as part of this year's virtual Bronx Book Fair on October 5th 2020 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Many thanks to Executive Director Lorraine Currelley!

Click here to register:

Featured poets: John Burroughs, William F. DeVault, Igor Goldkind, Deborah Tosun Kilday, Tammi Truax, Chryssa Velissariou.

The 2020 Bronx Book Fair runs from October 2nd through 5th. For more info and updates, please visit

Sunday, September 13, 2020

I Am Interviewed and Read Two Poems in Episode 6 of GAS

I am grateful to be part of the latest episode of GAS: Poetry, Art & Music, hosted by Belinda Subraman. The program also features work by Gail Newman, Sugar Whiskey (Dan Nielsen and Georgia Bellas), Peggy Rush, Ken Clinger, Jason O'Toole, Rigoberto De La Mora, and International Beat Poet Laureate Chryssa Velissariou. You'll find me around the 19:30 mark, where Belinda interviews me briefly and I read my poems "Flagging" and "Tell Them I Am Sent You."

Video permalink:

Monday, September 7, 2020

Video I Recorded for the 2020 National Beat Poetry Festival

In it I read three timely poems: "Food for Thought," "Faith Without Works Is Dead" and "I Am Not Ready to Die."

Video permalink:

You can also see me read the same poems live on the complete Day One video.

To see many more videos of participants and honorees from around the world, including readings by and interviews with this year's new Beat Poets Laureate, check out the National Beat Poetry Foundation's YouTube Channel.

Thanks again to Debbie Tosun Kilday, Chryssa Velissariou, Paul Richmond and Shaw Israel Izikson for outperforming Sisyphus and rolling this rockin' festival all the way up and over the top despite quasi-Herculean challenges.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

2020 National Beat Poetry Festival - Lineup for Days Two and Three

Day one of this year's National Beat Poetry Festival featured a number of memorable performances. Many thanks to Debbie Tosun Kilday, Shaw Israel Izikson, Chryssa Velissariou and Paul Richmond for all they have done (and continue to do) to make it happen.

The video from all three days will be found in the National Beat Poetry Foundation's Facebook group.

Saturday September 5th (Day Two) - 1 to 5 p.m.
Celebrating Newly Appointed Beat Poets Laureate

Anne Waldman - (2020 - Lifetime) USA
David Amram - (2020 - Lifetime) USA
James P. Wagner - US National Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2021)
Michael D. Amitin - International Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2021)
Gabor G. Gyukics - Hungary Beat Poet Laureate (Lifetime)
Randy Barnes - Official NBPF Historian (Lifetime)
Andy Clausen - State of New York Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Amelia Matus - State of Wisconsin Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Rich Ferguson - State of California Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Thom Woodruff - State of Texas Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Lorraine Currelley - Bronx Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Carlos Raul Dufflar - New York City Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Leo Jarret - State of Michigan Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)
Virginia Shreve - State of Connecticut Beat Poet Laureate (2020-2022)

Saturday September 6th (Day Three) - 1 to 5 p.m.
Celebrating Artists from Around the World at our Virtual Open Mic:

Michael L. Kilday
James P. Wagner
David K. Leff
Kenya Washington aka Kenya Thee Lotus
Ernest Brute and Object Echo
Howie Faerstein
Jack Sheedy
Karl Urso
Sandra Bishop-Ebner
Dianne Borsenik
Patricia Mason-Martin
Amy Lamprade
Meg Harris
Sandra Feen
Jon Wesick
Zachariah Shaskin
Angel Martinez
Ron Whittle
Pamela Twining
Benjamin Wiseman
Jim Finnegan
Joshua Corwin
Nigel Mitchell
Ian Gibbins
Christopher T Brame
Igor Goldkind
Frederic Iriarte
Lefifi Tladi
Igor Boyko
Ian Gibbons
Susanna Peremartoni
Tony Vacca
Chris Vannoy
Bengt O Björklund
Virginia Shreve
Paul Richmond
Carlos Raul Dufflar
Marino Zappellini
Juan Carlos Jimenez Borges
Marque Gilmore aka Inna.most
Santiago Jimenez
Rodrigo Passannanti aka Hypercube London

Thursday, September 3, 2020

2020 National Beat Poetry Festival - September 4/5/6 - Online - Day One Schedule

I am thrilled to be part of the National Beat Poetry Festival again this year. It happens every Labor Day weekend and features poets from around the world, usually all meeting in person in Connecticut. But this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival is happening online.

The legendary Anne Waldman and David Amram will be this year's special guests.

Our hosts will be Debbie Tosun Kilday and Shaw Israel Izikson.

Watch on the National Beat Poetry Foundation's YouTube channel and Facebook.

Here's just the first day's tentative schedule (I'll share the schedules for days two and three in a future post):

Day One - Friday 4 September 2020 - 1 to 4 pm Eastern
featuring 27 Past Awarded NBPF Beat Poets Laureate

1:00-1:05pm EST
Debbie Tosun Kilday introduces the start of the festival
• Host Shaw Israel Izikson

1:05-1:10pm EST
George Wallace, Long Island, 1st US National Beat Poet Laureate (2015-2016)

1:10-1:15pm EST
Chryssa Velissariou, Greece Beat Poet Laureate (2019-Lifetime)
1st International Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2018) - Greece

1:15-1:20pm EST
Bengt O. Björklund, Sweden Beat Poet Laureate (2018-Lifetime)

1:20-1:25pm EST
Aprilia Zank, Germany Beat Poet Laureate (2018 - Lifetime)

1:25-1:30pm EST
Daniela Voicu, Romania Beat Poet Laureate (2018-Lifetime)

1:30-1:35pm EST
David K. Leff, New England Beat Poet Laureate (2018-Lifetime)

1:40-1:45pm EST
Kate Lamberg, Long Island, NY Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

1:45-1:50pm EST
William F. DeVault, US National Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2018)

1:50-1:55pm EST
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate (2018-2019)
San Diego, California Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

1:55-2:00pm EST
Paul Richmond, US National Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2020)
Massachusetts Beat Poet Laureate - 2017-2019

2:00-2:05 EST
Donna Anne Allard, Canada, International Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2020)

2:05-2:10 EST
Ernel Grant, Connecticut Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

2:10-2:15pm EST
Carlo Parcelli, Maryland Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

2:15-2:20pm EST
Daniel McTaggart, West Virginia Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

Intermission (5 Minutes)

2:25-2:30pm EST
Debbie Tosun Kilday welcoming attendees to the 2nd half of the program.

2:30-2:35pm EST
Annie Petrie Sauter, Colorado Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

2:35-2:40pm EST
Viviana Duncan, New York City, NY Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

2:40-2:45pm EST
Ngoma Hill, New York State Beat Poet Laureate (2017-2019)

2:45-2:50pm EST
Darlene Fernandez, (Dee TruePoetry) Connecticut Beat Poet Laureate (2018-2020)

2:50-2:55pm EST
Tammi Truax, Maine Beat Poet Laureate (2018-2020)

2:55-3:00pm EST
Richard Wayne Horton, Massachusetts Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

3:00-3:05pm EST
Lori Desrosiers, US National Beat Poet Laureate (2016-2017)

3:05-3:10pm EST
Ron Whitehead, Kentucky Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

3:10-3:15pm EST
John Burroughs, Ohio Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

3:15-3:20pm EST
Nordette N. Adams, Louisiana Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

3:20-3:25pm EST
William David Sovern, Indiana Beat Poet Laureate (2019-2021)

3:25-3:30pm EST
Barry Graham, Michigan Beat Poet Laureate (2018-2020)

3:30-3:35pm EST
Larry Jaffe, Florida Beat Poet Laureate (2018-2020)


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Nelson Gary reviews Rattle and Numb

Rattle and Numb [2019, Venetian Spider Press]
Cover art by Emma Anderson

Written by Nelson Gary:

Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems 1992-2019 by John Burroughs, Ohio State Beat Poet Laureate, is a collection filled with the poet's powerful, pervasive energy. With it, he rebels against conformity to middle-class values while also showing the poet's medals and wounds as a result of that war. After World War II, especially taking the Holocaust into consideration, how poetry could be written at all, let alone with rhymes, was taken into major critical consideration on a moral and an ethical basis. How could the human soul be responsible for so much death and so much inhumane death at that? The very question of the existence of soul after the destruction of civilization, which was World War II, came into question.

On the dust jacket of Burroughs's collection, A.W. Graves writes that he does not like modern poetry much because it is "lifeless and soulless" as well as lacking "originality and intimacy." He goes on to say that he likes Burroughs's work because it is full of what most modern poetry lacks. I wholly agree with Graves about Burroughs's work as it pertains to certain poets today who have no motive, will, or design in depicting the "lifeless and soulless," other than sometimes imitating examples in terms of form (design) of preexisting works, be it under a teacher of a workshop or from the shelves of a library or university bookstore. What makes Burroughs's form lively and soulful is its rhythm, rhyme, and wordplay, which do, at times, come across as comedic, but it is comedic in a layered way that is akin to the moral outrage of Lenny Bruce and his brand of black humor: insightful, disturbing, and heartbreaking, if not tragic, not to mention, of course, funny. Intimacy on the page is created by the conversational tone of even the most philosophically profound poems in Rattle and Numb, and there are more than a decent number of them.

One could make an argument that Burroughs's free verse rhymes are anchored in a unique sense of the variable foot, and this would be an excellent argument, one which I would not deny the validity of, but it is really a surface point, though one necessary to make. One must consider the history and nature of rhyme, excluding off-rhyme, from the assessment. Rhyme has such a long and prolific use that the current value of it is not mainly the sight and sound of it at the end of lines or even in the middle of them, internally. The power of it is in how and why it connects thought, emotion, idea, image, alliteration, and rhythm. While it is much more difficult to make this connection (consistently at the end of lines) in accentual or syllabic verse and maintain intelligibility at the very least, it is difficult to make rhyme work on a technical basis in free verse, especially to do so and be taken at all seriously as a poet. Burroughs, a poet worthy of all taking seriously, makes rhyme work in a unique and visceral way through sheer instinct. I do not know his deeper reasons for doing this, but what it results in is an experience of body and soul, the at times excruciating and at times ecstatic dislocation and connection between them. Bob Dylan said that the best people carry themselves like boxers, and in this highly autobiographical work, this is how John Burroughs carries himself page after page.

Burroughs's style is inordinately powerful, elevating the work to a higher place than either comedy or tragedy: tragicomedy. His regular form, consisting of wordplay, rhythm, and rhyme, meets what is central to the best of Rattle and Numb's content at times in a discordant way, other times in a harmonious one, but in a way, that is altogether fulfilling to this reader. The centerpiece of this collection is "Identity Crisis." Ultimately, what Burroughs's work shows is the relationship between the one and the other in terms of the one's formation of identity in an in inimitable and memorable way.

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Nelson Gary
's works include
XXX (Dance of the Iguana Press), Cinema (Sacred Beverage Press), A Wonderful Life in Our Lives: Sketches of a Honeymoon in Mexico (Low Profile Press), and Twin Volumes (Ethelrod Press). His Pharmacy Psalms and Half-Life Hymns—for Nothing will be published by Rose of Sharon Press in 2021. Gary's poems and prose have been published in numerous journals, magazines, anthologies, and newspapers, including The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (Thunder's Mouth Press), Los Angeles Times, and Desert Sun. Gary, a former professional tennis player and instructor, was the Sports Editor at the Santa Monica Mirror. He read at Lollapalooza in 1994, had a residency with Ivan Neville's All-Star Band at The Mint, recorded his poetry with Elliott Smith ("Coast to Coast") on the latter's album From a Basement on the Hill. At Heroin Times, his journalism helped thousands, if not millions, of people addicted to opioids and their loved ones find recovery. Gary is a Beyond Baroque Fellow and has facilitated two writing workshops there. He has a bachelor's degree in English from California State University of Northridge and a master's degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Friday, August 7, 2020

Sunday 8/9 on Zoom: Awenites presents a reading by John Burroughs

"Doc Janning is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting."

Topic: Awenites featuring John Burroughs
Time: Aug 9, 2020 02:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 821 5751 7296
Passcode: 64S42a729R

Questions? Contact the event host, Doc Janning, Poet Laureate of South Euclid, Ohio.

To be notified about their future events, follow Awenites on Facebook.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Video of NeuroNautic Institute Presents 7/23/2020

screen capture by Sandra Feen
Last night I had the honor and pleasure of reading for my friend Matthew Hupert's NeuroNautic Institute series via Zoom. The other three featured poets were Robert Gibbons, Karen Hildebrand & Jane Ormerod, and an open mic followed.

Watch it all here:
Follow the NeuroNautic Institute / NeuroNautic Press page on Facebook to stay in the loop for their always fabulous events.

Friday, July 10, 2020

7/23 NeuroNautic Institute Presents Burroughs, Gibbons, Hildebrand & Ormerod

July 23rd 2020 at 7 p.m. Eastern, NeuroNautic Institute, hosted by Matthew Hupert, will present featured readings by three excellent New York City poetsRobert Gibbons, Karen Hildebrand and Jane Ormerod—plus me, followed by an open mic. The reading will be broadcast live on Facebook at the NeuroNautic Institute / Neuronautic Press page. If you would like to participate in the open mic, please contact Matthew soon.

This will be my first featured poetry reading since March 8th in Toledo, and my only one this summer, so I very much hope you'll tune in.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Beat Poet Shoe

I ordered these shoes in August 2017 for 40 bucks and now they're ready for retirement.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

June, July and August Events Cancelled

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating soon, all my previously scheduled poetry events for June, July and August are cancelled and/or postponed until further notice. I am seriously considering cancelling all my events for the rest of 2020 as well, but for now I remain in a wait-and-see holding pattern.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Video: Live at the National Beat Poetry Festival, 8/31/2019

Here I am on the second day of the National Beat Poetry Festival on Saturday 31 August 2019 in New Hartford, Connecticut. In this clip Debbie Tosun Kilday, the CEO of the National Beat Poetry Foundation, presents me with the Ohio Beat Poet Laureate Award for 2019-2021, and then I read two signature poems, "Bloodshot" and "Lens."

Video by U.S. Beat Poet Laureate Paul Richmond of Human Error Publishing.
Festival hosted by Shaw Israel Izikson & Debbie Tosun Kilday.

Video permalink:

photo by Tammi Truax
More videos are available and/or forthcoming on the National Beat Poetry Foundation's YouTube channel.