After 6 weeks of almost constant travel, I'm back in my beloved Toledo. A quick recap of where I've been and the incredible people I've seen:
May 31, 6pm at King Road Library in Sylvania, Ohio - WritersShop Poetry Series - Where to Begin, writing workshop lead by me - a small group but full of ideas! This was the first in a new workshop series hosted by me, but featuring a new leader and topic each month. We start at King Road Library and will stay 3 months, then move on to another branch, meeting at each for three months, hitting every corner of Lucas County.
June 2, 7pm at Visible Voice Books in Cleveland, Ohio, poetry reading with United States Beat Poet Laureate, John Burroughs, and Library of Cincinnati Poet-in-Residence, Pauletta Hansel.
June 4, 7pm at Barb's Books in Belle, Missouri, read as part of Barb's Books Presents Koniecki, Koniecki, McIntire, Lime, Clevenger, Gierke and Clayton. Belle holds a special place in my heart, not only because the unstoppable John Dorsey is there and Osage Arts Community does so much hard work supporting artists of all kinds from everywhere, but because it has the mid-west rolling nature gorgeousness that makes you want to linger. Special thanks to John Clayton who was the most gracious host and to Agnes Vojta who took pictures of the event.
June 5, 8pm at Swordfish Tom's in Kansas City, Missouri, The Speakeasy presents Adrian Lime and Jonie McIntire. What an amazing space! Special thanks to Nettie Zan for hosting us and introducing us to KC.
While we were traveling, we learned of the passing of one of the most important Toledo poets, Melvin Douglas Johnson, who has supported and inspired generations of artists, writers, and activists. He was with Uncloistered Poetry since the beginning of the reading series over 6 years ago, a truly loving and gracious man and community leader. It is difficult to imagine our community without him in it.
June 11, 4pm at Uncloistered Poetry Live here in Toledo, Ohio at The Attic on Adams. Poets from all over came to read here... Karen Wolf of Toledo, Jason Blakely of Akron, Holly Brians Ragusa of Cincinnati, and Sara Minges of Nashville, TN
June 12, 2pm at Columbus Arts Festival in Columbus, Ohio, Word is Art Stage - A beautiful day in Columbus and I got to share the stage with poets from all over the state.
June 12, 6pm at home, Uncloistered Poetry Online... an incredible online community comes out for these and they are worth racing home to host. Patricia Carragon in New York, Mary Austin Speaker in Minneapolis, and Sean Kelbley in southeast Appalachia Ohio were able to join us as features.
June 17, 7pm at Stuart's Opera House, Women Speak reading by Women of Appalachia Project. So many gorgeous and varied voices. And it was the first time I had a chance to meet some truly incredible women who became beloved friends during the pandemic. Special thanks to Stephanie Kendrick for hosting me and showing me around Athens. This event was recorded and you can watch it here.
June 18, at 9pm in Toledo, Madhouse Sessions in a backyard in the Old West End. A crazy mix of music and performance, Toledo's best young and seasoned poets sharing a mic. And a beautiful night in my favorite city.
June 23 - 26, NFSPS (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) National Convention in Lewis Center, Ohio. Hosted by Ohio Poetry Association, it was truly an honor to be a part of this hybrid event, offered both online and in person. On Thursday night, I was a part of an incredible reading of I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing. And on Friday, I was part of a panel of poets laureate (or poet laureates, both are commonly used) from all over Ohio. Presented by Steve Abbott, The Power of Literary Citizenship panel consisted of some of Ohio's most active poets and civic leaders... Jeremy Jusek of Parma, Ray McNiece of Cleveland Heights, Doc Janning of South Euclid, Wendy McVicker of Athens, Yalie Saweda Kamara of Cincinnati, and John Burroughs formerly Beat Poet Laureate of Ohio but now named Beat Poet Laureate of the United States. This panel was incredible! Showing how wide a range the role can be, how important literary cheerleading is as well as trailblazing for performers and poets who don't normally get a voice. And we started the hard work of connecting to each other, to Ohio Poetry Association, and to the wider poetry community, brainstorming ideas of how to support each other and build.
And then I returned home again...
June 28, 6pm at King Road Library, WritersShop Poetry Series lead this evening by Don Cellini, focusing on Metaphor and Meaning.
July 9, 4pm at the Attic On Adams in beautiful, sunny Toledo, Uncloistered Poetry live with Susanna Lang from Chicago, Cindy Bosley from Toledo, Chris Bowen from Cleveland, and Lawrence Coates from Bowling Green. Another incredible reading.
So here we are, at June 10th, just hours away from Uncloistered Poetry Online, with a bursting line-up of firecrackers: Cathy Essinger, Rusty Barnes, Karen Craigo, Leah Martin, and Laura Grace Weldon. Features are followed by open mic. Be sure to register for the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/.../tZEqfu6oqz4iGNEFjBwoyyn7l...