Updated: Sep 7, 2021
July and August were an absolute whirlwind of activity! So much so that every intention of letting you know about the action as it was happening, well… it just didn’t happen. So let’s try to recap…
I am now the extremely proud Poetry Editor at Of Rust And Glass which does an incredible amount of work, hosting an online journal, print journal, and anthologies. And my poem After You’ve Saved a Life has been nominated for Best of the Net by Waterwheel Review! Adrian Lime, Kerry Trautman and I traveled in mid-July to St. Louis and Belle, Missouri and had the incredible adventure of reading with an exploration of poets! (There’s a lot of discussion and discord around what to call a group of poets… I submit to you “exploration.”) A million thanks to John Dorsey, Poet Laureate of Belle, Missouri; to Daniel Wright of St. Louis; and to Osage Arts Community for hosting us!
Despite the ongoing pandemic and while being cautious and safe, we have started in-person readings here in Toledo, particularly the Just Be You open mic series I co-host with the always amazing Audamatik. Not only do we enjoy the talents of Toledo artists, but we have a gorgeous outdoor stage and we always bring Trunk Treats (a baker with an empty nest can be a sad thing indeed, but not if I have poets to feed!) We had the most outstanding kick-off to this series with a reading from the contributors to the Black Lives books that were made possible by an Accelerator Grant from The Arts Commission and a generous donation from Social B. Creative. Proceeds from the sale of the books have already raised $260 for Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo. And I am working on printing/putting together another set of books (which will be ready on September 17th.) If you are interested in purchasing a book, let me know. They are $20 (or donation of more is always welcomed) and all proceeds will continue to go to Community Solidarity Response Network, to help them with the good work they do.
On September 16th, we’ll have the kick-off of Momentum, hosted by The Arts Commission, with two sets of half-hour poetry readings at 6pm and 8pm. Thin slivers of the incredible talent here in Toledo. Please come out to support our poets! And at the end of the month, one of the best house parties in town, Madhouse Sessions is happening, hosted by Barry Graham. Again, an outdoor party because we are soaking up all the fresh air we can get while we’ve got it.
In addition to all that, my poems Smile and Democracy at Work were published in Red Fez, one of my poems has been accepted to be included in Women Speak, Vol 7, and I’ve somehow managed to get poems into recent and upcoming print issues of Alien Buddha… one poem in the September issue due out now, two poems in the October issue, and three poems in the upcoming November issue. And a poem will be in North of Oxford for their November offerings. Which is all extremely fortunate because writing anything new this summer has been difficult, to say the least.
We have a gorgeous September ahead of us and plenty of plans for a very active October, including a trip to Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival and a reading here in Toledo on the 16th including poets from all around the country. But I’ll tell you more about that later...
In the meantime, stay safe and do good!