Saturday, December 18, 2021

Video of our 12/16/2021 Neuronautic Institute reading

I'm sorry I haven't blogged much lately. Just getting over a two-week sickness. If anyone missed our reading the other day, here's video. I was still a little sick and not at my sharpest, but it was still a great time. Many thanks to my co-features William Taylor Jr and Martina Salisbury, to all who watched and/or participated in the open mic, and to Matthew Hupert, Meghan Grupposo and NeuroNautic Institute / Neuronautic Press for hosting.

The poems I read all come from my book Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press]. They include:

Odd Missive
Cover Girl
A Taste of Heaven
Piss on Arson
Slipping Backwards into Blue Eden
Mark This

Monday, November 29, 2021

Two of my poems in the new issue of Common Threads

Common Threads is the annual member journal of the Ohio Poetry Association and I'm proud to have two short poems, "Sprouting Onion" and "Food for Thought" in their just-published 2021 edition, alongside work by a number of terrific poets. Edited by Steve Abbott. You may order a copy for $12 at

While you're at it, please consider making a donation to the Ohio Poetry Association for #GivingTuesday2021. You may do so at

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Next reading: Goldberg, Kress, Audamatik & Burroughs live in Toledo on 12/11

I look forward to sharing the stage with three artists I love during Uncloistered Poets Live! on Saturday  11 December 2021, from 4 to 7 p.m. Eastern at The Switchboard, 912 Monroe Street in Toledo Ohio.

Our esteemed host Jonie McIntire says:

"Cleveland meets Toledo among the art of Just Jerry’s at The Switchboard when we feature Toledo’s own Audamatik, our favorite retiring professor Leonard Kress, Cleveland’s Steve Goldberg, and beat poet extraordinaire John Burroughs!

Features followed by open mic (no more than 5 minutes per reader). Snacks provided but you are invited to bring food as well. And the bar is outstanding - fantastic drinks you should definitely try!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Palm Springs Point of View interviews author Alex Gildzen

Check out this interview! My Crisis Chronicles Press had the distinct privilege of publishing Alex Gildzen's Alex in Movieland (1943-1973) in February 2020, right before the pandemic ground live lit events to a halt, so this is the first time I've heard him read from it. Sharing the video on Facebook, Gildzen says:
I have never read more than a few lines from "Alex in Movieland" in public because it's not an easy work to present. however in this interview I read a section that I hope gives some sense of the work.
& once again my unending thx to John Burroughs for publishing the first installment of this important work of which I'm so proud.
Video permalink:
If you've been sufficiently tantalized, you may buy the book here.

US or Elsewhere?


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Yugen Archive (1958-1962)

Ever since I read How I Became Hettie Jones a while back, I've been wanting to read Yugen, the literary magazine she and Amiri Baraka (then known as LeRoi Jones) edited between 1958 and 1962. So I am thrilled to have discovered this online resource, where one can download scanned copies of all 8 issues of Yugen

In its pages you'll find work by Philip Whalen, LeRoi Jones, Diane Di Prima, Jack Micheline, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Tuli Kupferberg, LeRoi Jones, Gary Snyder, William S. Burroughs, Peter Orlovsky, Charles Olson, Frank O’Hara, Michael McClure, Jack Kerouac, John Wieners, Robert Creeley, William Carlos Williams, Barbara Guest, David Meltzer, Jerome Rothenberg, César Vallejo, Philip Lamantia, Tristan Tzara, Kenneth Koch, and so many more.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Two more in-person featured readings this year: 12/11 in Toledo, 12/17 in Erie

Yesterday, I mentioned my final Zoom featured reading of the year: NeuroNautic Institute Presents - 12/16/21. I also have two remaining in-person readings this year. I hope you'll mark your calendars and attend/participate in one (or all) of them if you can:

12/11 (4 pm) in Toledo, OH with Steve Goldberg at the The Switchboard, hosted by Jonie McIntire.
12/17 (7:30 pm) in Erie, PA for Express Yourself, hosted by Mabel Howard.

Friday, November 12, 2021

12/16: Neuronautic Institute presents John Burroughs, Martina Salisbury and William Taylor Jr, plus open mic, on Zoom and Facebook Live

My final Zoom / Facebook Live reading of the year! On December 16th at 7 p.m. Eastern, I'll have the honor of reading with William Taylor Jr. and Martina Salisbury for this excellent series hosted by Matthew Hupert and NeuroNautic Institute / Neuronautic Press out of New York City. I'd love to see your faces and hear your words at the accompanying open mic.

Watch here. And send a private message to
Matthew to sign up for the accompanying open mic.


Sunday, November 7, 2021

Richard Brautigan with a Switchblade: A Review of John Dorsey’s Poetry

by Nelson Gary:
The hoo-ya! energy of the here and now streams as John Dorsey’s lines in Triple Threat and Afterlife Karaoke. The insights in these books are sharp and funny. Dorsey is Richard Brautigan with a switchblade. The moves of Outlaw Poetics are here in terms of subversion, but as is frequently the case in this movement, there are elements of academia, the establishment. In terms of line arrangement, indentation, Vladimir Mayakovsky haunts a significant number of the lines of Triple Threat and Afterlife Karaoke. The variable foot of William Carlos Williams is certainly in step in these volumes. The well-read Alec Silverman told me he thought Dorsey’s poetry was reminiscent of Robert Frost’s. While he might be right in his analysis, I myself entirely disagree. Dorsey may be Richard Brautigan with a switchblade, but unlike Frost, he never chased his family around with an ax for making too much noise when he was writing. 
I know John a little, not well, but well enough to know he never did or would do anything like what Frost did. One thing that Dorsey and Frost share in common is they are all-in all the time (or as much possible) to write poetry. For all these luminous names mentioned, Dorsey’s poetry is most informed by Todd Moore and Charles Bukowski, the godfathers of present-day Outlaw Poetry. Moore, whose father ran with Dillinger, never earned an MFA in Creative Writing, but he spent his working life as a librarian and teacher; he had a life of books: God rest his soul with his guts to be read in his books. I was fortunate enough to write the essay about Moore for The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.
I got to know Moore after he gave a glowing review of my award-winning Cinema. It was the first I had ever heard of Moore, The Chiron Review, and Mayakovsky (Todd mentioned him in writing about my work). Over the years, I developed a friendship with the Outlaw Poetry godfather, and we remained tight until he died. There is a considerable amount of material in Pharmacy Psalms and Half-Life Hymns—for Nothing (Mystic Boxing Commission), my upcoming book, about him. After ordering the Dorsey books from poet-publisher John Burroughs’ Crisis Chronicles Press, I communicated with Dorsey on a great many subjects. One of them was Todd Moore. He said that Moore was a “father figure” to him. Because I knew Moore well, what I can say, with neither doubt nor reservation, was that Todd would have loved these books by Dorsey, been proud of them as the godfather of present-day Outlaw Poetics.
There are more than a few standout poems in both of Dorsey’s volumes. “I Want to Murder the Moon” from Triple Threat is a howl against nature for allowing divinity to touch the skin in transcendental experiences. At the end of this poem, Dorsey remarks, “The night is slow / like bloody murder.” These lines inform much of the terrain both books cover. Dorsey writes about the slowness of life that can be violently stultifying internally relatively often in the pages of these volumes. There are lines that jump out at you with the humor of Brautigan, such as the following: “Alice was a finger fucking champion” in the poem “The Rabbit Hole Conspiracy.” “Jimi Hendrix of New Paltz, New York” conjures images of a hustler in a simultaneously cruel and empathic way: “Stars burn / for your albino eyed street hustle / like a Hudson Valley rent boy.” In these poems from Triple Threat, there are mentions of sex, violence, and drugs, even if the violence is only toward that “punk,” the moon, “for bringing divinity / on our skin.”
What I loved most about Afterlife Karaoke, which is dedicated to poet Jack Hirschman, is the “Trailer Park Songs” that unify the poem cycle and the elegy for Scott Wannberg, an Outlaw Poet I may have known even better than Todd Moore. I strongly recommend both these books of John Dorsey’s, mostly, of course, for the poetry, but also for the beautifully assembled layout and design by John Burroughs’ Crisis Chronicles Press. The front cover art of Afterlife Karaoke by Steven B. Smith is positively magnetic. What I love most about Dorsey’s work (and these are not the first books of his I’ve read), is its Nirvana-like energy, a band he refers to more than once in these volumes, and his ingenious black humor and and meaningful empathy about the “quiet desperation” (Thoreau) of the multitudes.
Buy John Dorsey's Afterlife Karaoke.
Buy John Dorsey's Triple Threat.
Buy both together and save:
Buy Both and Save
 * * * * *

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.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Appearing at the Avon Lake Public Library's Read Write Local on 11/6

I only have three more events scheduled for this year, and here's the next one:

I will have the honor of participating in Read Write Local, an annual event at the Avon Lake Public Library, on November 6th 2021, where over 30 Northeast Ohio authors will be up and down the library's indoor "Avenue" to meet you, sell books, and sign them. There will be two sessions, each featuring different authors. The morning session will run from 9:30 a.m. to noon and the afternoon session (where I'm scheduled) will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Avon Lake Public Library
32649 Electric Boulevard
Avon Lake, Ohio 44012

Questions? Contact Gerry Vogel at

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Tongue-in-Groove Poetry Jam featuring John Burroughs, Sunday 10/24

Next up! It's always fun to see Ray McNiece and the band perform (both by themselves and with other writers). And this month I get the honor of being their featured poet. Hope to see you there this Sunday! Please bring something (maybe spooky) to share during the open mic. Sunday 10/24/2021 at 6 p.m. Eastern.

From the press release:

Tongue-in-Groove Poetry Jam is back live at the Fillmore. Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece will host, with Al Moses on guitar, Nick Marino on bass, Michelle Clark on percussion and Tim Lachina on harmonica. Ohio Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs will be our featured poet. Bring a poem to share (backed by the band if you wish) during the open mic.

Burroughs serves as the State of Ohio Beat Poet Laureate (2019-21). A nationally touring writer, his most recent books include Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [2019, Venetian Spider Press] and Loss and Foundering [2018, NightBallet Press]. John recently curated the Poetry+ reading series in Lakewood, Ohio, and since 2008 has served as the founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press.
[Photo of John at the Fillmore taken in 2019 by Sandra Feen.]
For more info on the Tongue-in-Groove Poetry Jam, contact Ray at
Millard Fillmore Presidential Library
15619 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44110

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Video of Last Night's SpoFest Event

If you missed last night's SpoFest Poetry and Prose reading, here's the video. Many thanks to James Bryant, Jose Faus, Rick C. Christiansen and featured poets Su Flatt, Judy Turek and Polly Alice McCann. All three of your readings were phenomenal. It was an honor and pleasure reading with you.

The poems I read all come from my book Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019, published by Venetian Spider Press. I had been avoiding reading "Lens" and "Unfounded" for the past two years until this event. My entire set list:

Round 1:

Round 2:
A Wrinkle in Time

Round 3:
Slipping Backwards into Blue Eden
Rough Cure

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Audio of tonight's Ketchupedia Poetry Radio show

Tonight I had the pleasure of talking with Polly Alice McCann and Richard Parrilla on Ketchupedia Poetry Radio. I may sound sleep-deprived and overcaffeinated, but I had a great time. If you missed it live, the show's already available for listening online. Thank you Flying Ketchup Press and One Kansas City Radio!

Listen at

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Will be on Ketchupedia Poetry Radio this Sunday!

I'll have the honor of being on Ketchupedia Poetry Radio, broadcast on One Kansas City Radio (KONN-LP 100.1 FM) this Sunday, October 17th at 7 p.m. Eastern. Listen at


From the press release:

Sunday, listen to a live interview with Ohio Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs with Polly Alice McCann and Richard Parrilla.

JOHN BURROUGHS serves as Ohio's Beat Poet Laureate (2019-21). A nationally touring writer, his most recent books include Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [2019, Venetian Spider Press] and Loss and Foundering [2018, NightBallet Press]. John has hosted numerous reading series in the Greater Cleveland area and currently moderates the Cleveland Poetics blog and online Northeast Ohio Literary Calendar. Since 2008 he has served as the founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press, publishing over 100 books by esteemed poets from around the world.

Flying Ketchup Press® was founded in 2018 to champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. Our dream, to share worlds of wonder and delight.

Ketchupedia is an outreach we began in 2020, a grassroots network to connect KC & regional writers podcast, live poetry radio, and events--making room poetry, personal narrative that empowers, heals, and unites diverse audiences.

RICHARD PARRILLA, is the voice of 100.1 FM Radio, sound tech, producer, and sometime poet--formerly hailing from San Antonio by way of Atlanta--now Kansas City.

POLLY ALICE MCCANN, poet, artist, speaker, writing professor, founder, and managing editor of Flying Ketchup Press. Find her books at

ONE KANSAS CITY RADIO unites the multicultural voices in the Kansas City Urban Core through programming and community services that entertain, educate, inform and inspire. Our vision to provide a platform where people of all ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds feel welcomed and respected...we seek to unite all its listeners and followers through music, programming, and events that reflect the beauty of diversity. One Kansas City Radio KONN-LP 100.1 FM.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Poetry Bonanza with Brewer, Baldinger, Plummer & Friends: 10/17 at Visible Voice

I'm happy to be joining these out of town poets for a reading on Sunday, October 17th, 1 p.m., at Visible Voice Books in Cleveland.

From the press release:

Join Brooke Nicole Plummer, Tony Brewer, Jason Baldinger, John Burroughs, Jeremy Proehl, Tom Raithe and more for a Sunday afternoon poetry bonanza. Open mic to follow!

Tony Brewer is a poet, live sound effects artist, and event producer. He is executive director of the spoken word stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival and president of the National Audio Theatre Festival. His books include: The Great American Scapegoat, Little Glove in a Big Hand, Hot Type Cold Read, Homunculus, and The History of Projectiles. Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over a decade, and he is one-third of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods.
Jason Baldinger is from Pittsburgh and looks forward to roaming the country writing poems again. His newest books are A Threadbare Universe (Kung Fu Treachery Press) and The Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press). A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010-2020 (Kung Fu Treachery) is forthcoming later this year. His work has been published widely across print journals and online. You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on lp’s by The Gotobeds and Theremonster.

Brooke Nicole Plummer is a poet from the Midwest. Here are some items listed in a newly developed faceted classification scheme that you may borrow from her “library”: (3D Printing Pen: +H1 :T1 =A1), (Camera: +H2 :T2 /O1), (Gardening Kit: +H3 =A2 /O2), (Green Screen: +H4 :T3), (Hiking Gear: +H5 =A3 /O3), & (Laptops with Hotspots: +H6 :T4). She is the author of Flyover, Compiled Nothings, Shaggy Frog, and Ceremonious, which was opportunistically released early while on a reading tour in Ohio (10/16-17 — many thanks to Tony Brewer & Tim Heerdink).
Visible Voice Books
2258 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Thursday, October 14, 2021

My email is (hopefully) working correctly again

I've been using GoDaddy for email since 2007 (and loved it at first), but in the past year or more it's had more and more reliability problems. Now teamed up with Microsoft 365, GoDaddy today retired their old email platform and switched me to Outlook. Though this is a bit of an adjustment for me and I'm still learning to navigate, I'm optimistic that my issues with lost and never received emails will now be behind me. Oh, and my email addresses haven't changed, just my server and platform. If you've sent me an email in the past few months and I never responded, I probably never received it. But if you resend it now, I probably will. Fingers crossed.

P.S. No, Crisis Chronicles Press is not accepting submissions currently. But if that changes, I will update our submissions page at

Sunday, October 10, 2021

SpoFest 10/19 to feature Burroughs, Turek, Flatt and McCann (online)

My next reading is October 19th via Zoom for SpoFest Poetry and Prose. I'm thrilled to be sharing a mic with fab writers Judy Turek, Su Flatt and Polly Alice McCann. Hosted by James Bryant with special co-host Jose Faus. Begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Watch live at or on Zoom.

For more information, click here.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Afterlife Karaoke by John Dorsey

Crisis Chronicles Press is back (and catching up)! From May 2019 through September 2021 we only published 3 titles. But now we have at least three titles coming out between now and the end of 2021. Here's the first:

Crisis Chronicles Press is very happy to announce the publication of John Dorsey's new poetry chapbook, Afterlife Karaoke. Dorsey is widely esteemed as one of the best poets in America and his work is unique and essential. He has dedicated this book to the late, great Jack Hirschman.
Afterlife Karaoke is 32 pages, perfect bound, 6" x 6". Contents include "A Dry County," "Easy on the Eyes," "A Chicken Strip in the Shape of a Seahorse," "Walt Disney and Richard Branson Will Meet Again at Freedom Mausoleum," "For Scott Wannberg, Gone 10 Years" and so much more. ISBN: 978-1-64092-951-7. Front cover art by Steven B. Smith. 150 copies in print.
Afterlife Karaoke is available for only $10 (includes postage) from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA. 
Join us for the Afterlife Karaoke release party on October 16th, 4 p.m. at The Attic, 1791 Adams Street in Toledo, Ohio, where John Dorsey will also be joined in reading by esteemed poets from around the country.
U.S. or Elsewhere
John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015), Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016), Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017), Your Daughter's Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), and Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at
[Author photo by Dianne Borsenik.]

Friday, October 8, 2021

Video: I read two poems at Visible Voice Books on 10/6

Many thanks to Charles Cicirella for capturing this footage of me reading on the patio of Crust Pizza and Visible Voice Books during the M.J. Arcangelini and Friends event on October 6th. In it I read two poems, "Judas Priest" and "Odd Missive" from my book Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [Venetian Spider Press]. You may notice that I used as many Judas Priest album titles as possible in the first poem. It was a privilege and pleasure to read alongside so many poets whose work I respect and admire.

Video permalink:

You may also view my poor photos of this wonderful event on Facebook.