Thursday, May 25, 2023

Dianne Borsenik & John Burroughs visited Muskingum University

On March 29th, Dianne Borsenik and I had the pleasure and privilege of visiting Muskingum University. We spoke with the talented students of Dr. Jane Varley's "Modern and Contemporary Poetry" class, who had been studying our works, and then gave a reading for faculty, staff and the student population at large.

Here's a recent Muskingum News write-up about it: Dr. Varley Brings Poet Laureates to Class.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

"I Am Not Ready to Die" featured by Poets Against Racism and Hate USA

Deep gratitude to Poets Against Racism & Hate USA for the work they do. A poem I wrote in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd is featured on their website today. Read it here:

The poem, "I Am Not Ready to Die," originally appeared in Common Threads (2020, in an earlier version) and The Wrest of the Worthwhile

Friday, May 19, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Three new anthologies from New Generation Beat Publications

I'm thrilled to have a poem in each of these three recent National Beat Poetry Foundation anthologies from New Generation Beat Publications. [To procure yours, click on the photos below.]

Earth: Dig It - New Generation Beat Poets Laureate: An Anthology
[includes my poems "With a Clatter," "Elohim," and "If You Need a God, Make It Earth]

Natural Words: An Environmental Anthology of Poems
[includes my poem "Hampuy (Redux)"]

Beat Style Love Poems: A NBPF Anthology
[includes my poem "Cover Girl"] 

Many thanks to the NBPF and editor Debbie Tosun Kilday.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

5/27 in Columbus and Online: Special Beat Poetry Workshop featuring Burroughs and Feen

May 27th, Ohio Beat Poet Laureate Sandra Feen and U.S. Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs will present "You've Got the Beat," a unique Beat poetry workshop sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association. Attend either online or in person at the Cooperative Chess Cultural Center in Columbus, Ohio. Please register at

Friday, April 28, 2023

Local Gems Press publishes Ohio Bards anthology

My poem "Unwinding" appears in this new Ohio Bards anthology published by Local Gems Press.

They're having two launch events this weekend in Ohio:

Saturday, April 29th at 7:30pm at
Hilton Garden Inn Columbus-University Area
3232 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43202

Sunday April 30th at 5:30pm at
Courtyard by Marriott Cleveland Independence
5051 W Creek Rd, Independence, OH 44131

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Video: Young, Chernin and Burroughs live in Belle, Missouri, hosted by John Dorsey at Barb's Books, 4/22/2023

If you missed our reading Saturday 22 April at Barb's Books in Belle, Missouri, here's video. Thanks so much to my co-features Scot D Young and Shelley Chernin, our host John Dorsey, and of course the Osage Arts Community
Scot begins reading around the 9 minute mark; Shelley, around the 32-minute mark; and yours truly, around the 57-minute mark. An open mic (featuring Agnes Vojta, Ray Swaney, and Steven Bridgens) follows.
I read the poems "Loveshot," "Slipping Backwards into Blue Eden," "From Genesis to Exodus," "Revolutionary Sentiments" (a cento comprised of phrases culled from James Baldwin's Another Country), "Faith Without Works Is Dead," "A Hierarchy of Needs," "Through a Glass Darkly," "Dog Day," and "Lens."

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Florida, Indiana and Missouri in the Next Two Weeks

I'll be on the road again soon and am very much looking forward to being part of these events:

14 & 15 April 2023 in St. Augustine, Florida
2nd Annual St. Augustine PoetFest at Flagler College. On 4/15 at 6:30 p.m., John Burroughs and Jonie McIntire will present their words and work elevating Rust Belt writing. Also on 4/15 at 12:30 p.m., Larry Jaffe, Rosa Sophia, John Burroughs, and Robert Waldner will present a lunchtime Labor Poet Showcase. Both events will take place at the Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street, 32084.

18 April 2023 at 8 p.m. Eastern in Evansville, Indiana
Poetry Speaks will feature John Burroughs and Sara Minges plus open mic at the Bokeh Lounge, 1007 Parrett Street, 47713.

22 April 2023 at 6 p.m. Central in Belle, Missouri
Barb's Books presents readings by John Burroughs, Shelley Chernin and Scot Young, plus open mic. 124 S. Alvarado Avenue, 65013.

23 April 2023 at 7 p.m. Central in St. Louis, Missouri
Spine Bookstore and Café presents open mic poetry featuring John Burroughs. 1982 Arsenal Street, 63118.

24 April 2023 at 7 p.m. Central in Jefferson City, Missouri
The Gumbo Bottoms Single Pot Still Poets Society presents a reading by John Burroughs followed by open mic at Gumbo Bottoms Alehaus, 221 Madison Street, 65101.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Far Queue Press publishes John Burroughs' The Wrest of the Worthwhile: Unselected, Uncollected and New Poems, 1983-2023

The Wrest of the Worthwhile: Unselected, Uncollected and New Poems, 1983-2023
by U.S. National Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs is a poetry book 40 years in the making.

Over 340 pages! Hundreds of poems! Perfect paperback, 5.5" x 8.5". ISBN: 979-8-88596-991-8. To be released by Far Queue Press (a one-off imprint of Crisis Chronicles) on 6 April 2023 at the Cuyahoga County Public Library's Self-Publishing Roundtable.

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The Wrest of the Worthwhile
includes new and rare work in three sections:

The entirety of his two quickly-sold-out limited edition 2022 chapbooks, You Can't Trust It to Remain (originally published by Between Shadows Press) and Dogging Catastrophe (The Grind Stone), as well as revised/completed versions of the rest of his July 2022 poems from the Tupelo Press 30/30 project.

Previously unselected poems from many of his earlier chapbooks (everything not already included in the 2019 volume Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019, from Venetian Spider Press). Said chapbooks include Bloggerel (2008, Crisis Chronicles), 6/9: Improvisations in Dependence (2009, Crisis Chronicles), Electric Company (2011, Writing Knights, expanded in 2016), Water Works (2012, recycled karma press), The Eater of the Absurd (2012, NightBallet), Barry Merry Baloney (2012, Spare Change Press), Oct Tongue -1 (2014, Crisis Chronicles), Beat Attitude (2015, NightBallet), and Loss and Foundering (2018, NightBallet).

Back and Forth
Never-before seen new poems and forty years worth of uncollected poems from various online and print journals going all the way back to his 1983 high school litmag and up through March 2023.

Cover art: Animal Locomotion, plate 332, by Eadweard Muybridge [1887] (Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington).

Available for $25 (includes postage) from Crisis Chronicles Press,  535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143.

John Burroughs
of Cleveland is the U.S. National Beat Poet Laureate for 2022-2023. A widely touring writer and performer, Burroughs previously served for two years as Ohio's Beat Poet Laureate. His previous books include Rattle & Numb: Selected & New Poems, 1992-2019 [2019, Venetian Spider Press] and The Eater of the Absurd [2012, NightBallet Press]. Since 2008, Burroughs has served as the founding editor and publisher for Crisis Chronicles Press.

Meet John at one of these upcoming events.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Self-Publishing Roundtable, April 6th in South Euclid

This Thursday, 6 April at 7 pm, join us at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for A Self-Publishing Roundtable featuring panelists

* Juliet Cook (Blood Pudding Press publisher and co-author of Short Poems About Violence and Chickens),

* Michelle R. Smith (Literary Cleveland Programming Associate and author of The Vagina Analogues), and

* myself

Books (including my brand new The Wrest of the Worthwhile) will be available for sale and signing. This is a free event and there are seats still available. 
Please register here:

1876 S Green Road
South Euclid, Ohio 44121

A Gathering of Laurels: Six Poets Laureate, April 8th in South Euclid

This Saturday, 8 April at 2 pm, join us at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for A Gathering of Laurels. Poets Laureate from around the area will read from their work, emceed by Doc Janning, the Poet Laureate of South Euclid. Books (including my brand new one, The Wrest of the Worthwhile) will be available for sale and signing, and we'll celebrate with light refreshments. This is a free event and there are seats still available.

Poets reading will include:

Doc Janning, Poet Laureate of South Euclid
Honey Bell-Bey, Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County
Siaara Freeman, Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights & University Heights
Mary Weems, Poet Laureate Emerita of Cleveland Heights
Jeremy Jusek, Poet Laureate of Parma
John Burroughs, U.S. Beat Poet Laureate

Please register here:

1876 S Green Road
South Euclid, Ohio 44121

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Video: Reading and The Legacy of the Beats, 3/24/2023 in Dansville

I had the privilege of sharing poetry at two great venues in upstate New York this past weekend.

Here I am at the first, reading poems and discussing the legacy of the Beats on March 24th during the monthly Finger Lakes Arts Series at the MacFadden Coffee Company in Dansville. This clip (which begins with my third poem) was recorded by host and discussion moderator George Guida.

My full set for the evening consisted of the following poems:

John Cage Engaged and Uncaged
Tide to the Oceans
Random Rules
Redux Isn't Pronounced Ray Do, But That Hasn't Stopped Me
Dog Day
So Much for Saving
Alarm Blocks
Odd Missive

Friday, March 24, 2023

Going Upstate, Y'all!

So looking forward to sharing poetry at two great venues this weekend:

3/24 at MacFadden Coffee Co. in Dansville, NY

3/25 at The Bundy Museum of History & Art in Binghamton, NY

A full schedule of my 2023 appearances at

Monday, March 20, 2023

New York, Ohio, Florida, Indiana and Missouri in the Next Five Weeks

The next month is gonna be super busy for me, with (among many other things) a new poetry collection coming out and all these poetry events. I hope to see you somewhere soon down the line:

3/24 at 6 pm Eastern - The Finger Lakes Arts Series at MacFadden Coffee Co. in Dansville, New York.

4/6 at 7 pm Eastern - Juliet Cook, Michelle R Smith and I will lead a Self Publishing Roundtable at the Cuyahoga County Public Library's South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch.

4/8 at 2 pm Eastern - A Gathering of Laurels will feature six Poets Laureate from the Cleveland area at the Cuyahoga County Public Library's South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch.

4/14 & 15 - St. Augustine PoetFest - 2nd Annual in St. Augustine, Florida.

4/18 at 7 pm Central - Poetry Speaks at the Bokeh Lounge in Evansville, Indiana.

4/23 at 7 pm Central - At Spine Bookstore & Café in St. Louis, Missouri.

4/24 at 7 pm Central - At Gumbo Bottoms Alehaus in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Reading my poems from the I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing anthology
on 3/17/2023 during the Appalachian Studies Association Conference at
Ohio University in Athens [photo by Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour]


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Appalachian Studies Association Conference this weekend in Athens, Ohio

This weekend, I'm heading to my alma mater, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, for the 2023 Appalachian Studies Association Conference.

I'll perform there on the 17th at 10:30 a.m., sharing poetry & touching on my journey from being born in Richwood, WV, raised in Ohio, bullied relentlessly for my accent and heritage and learning to hide it, to finally as an adult embracing where I came from with joy and renewed pride.

Then at 2:30 p.m., also on the 17th, I'll be one of many contributors to I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio's Appalachian Voices (edited by Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour) sharing our poems from that monumental anthology.

At the end of next week I'll be sharing poetry in Dansville, NY (the 24th), and Binghamton, NY (the 25th).

In between, I hope to have copies in hand of my new c. 300-page book, The Wrest of the Worthwhile: Unselected, Uncollected and New Poems, 1982-2023 [which collects all my published work that did not appear in Rattle and Numb, as well as some stuff no one has seen before].

Then in April, I'll be part of events in Florida, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. More on those in the near future. But click here to see my regularly updated event schedule.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Yearning to Combine in Columbus

Saturday 11 March, I had the privilege of participating in an event called Call and Response: Intersections of Art and Poetry, hosted by the Ohio Poetry Association at Pennington Custom Art in Columbus, Ohio. I believe sixty poets wrote ekphrastic work for the gallery's current exhibition (which will be up through April for your viewing pleasure) and more than three dozen of us were able to be there and read our poems for the event.

The piece that inspired my poem is Call and Answer, a stoneware sculpture by Jim Bowling (seen above with my poem displayed near it). I wish I'd taken more photos of it from different angles, because each different perspective you view it from reveals something new and wondrous. If I had time, I would have liked to have written a whole series of poems about my experience of this piece.

Thanks to Ohio Beat Poet Laureate Sandra Feen for taking this photo of me reading.

And finally, here is my poem:

Yearning to Combine
after Call and Answer by Jim Bowling

So much felt
clear in my bones,
though I lacked eyes
to see and appeared
to be little more
than a detached
with a gaping mouth.

I wanted to take
your mouth and all
into mine and keep you
safe from heartache,
horror and more,
but the larger mouth
of Time loomed heavily,
waiting to swallow us both.


Thursday, March 2, 2023

March 17th: Dual Performances at AppalachiaFest: From Surviving to Thriving

I am very much looking forward to being part of this special event on March 17th at AppalachiaFest, the 2023 Appalachian Studies Association Conference, in Athens, Ohio. I'll also be doing a deep-dive one-hour solo performance ("Hampuy: The Circle Returns") there that same day at 10:30 a.m.

I remain so grateful to Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour for creating this wondrous anthology and including a couple of my poems in it.

Click here to buy I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio's Appalachian Voices.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

March 11th: Call and Response in Columbus

Next up: I'm privileged to be one of the many Ohio poets sharing new ekphrastic work at this special event hosted by the Ohio Poetry Association on March 11th at Pennington Arts in Columbus. More info:


Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Many thanks to Scot D Young and Rusty Truck for publishing my recent poem "Unwinding" recently!

You may read it at

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Crisis Chronicles Press publishes Pocatello Wildflower by John Dorsey

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of our second title of the year, Pocatello Wildflower by John Dorsey. Pocatello Wildflower is a monumental sequence of around 350 original poems created by Dorsey through a process of erasure using selected works by undersung Idaho poets as source material. 
Pocatello Wildflower is c. 380 pages, 4.25" x 7", perfect bound paperback with cover art by Elena Samarsky.  Shipping on 14 February 2023. ISBN 979-8-88596-992-5. Available for $15 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA.

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John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of numerous 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), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival (Spartan Press, 2022). 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. You may reach him at