Saturday, April 07, 2018

your poetry month annogram

PEN World Voices Festival

Come celebrate National Poetry Month with me at the PEN World Voices Festival.  I will read from and sign copies of Free Ferry at the Upper Hand Press booth 4-4:30pm on April 20.  The Press Fest event, sponsored by CLMP, will allow me to meet my publisher, the extraordinary Ann Starr!

National Poetry Month at Chappaqua Station

Chappaqua Station Café
You can also hear me read at Chappaqua Station Café with featured poets Laurel Peterson, Van Hartman, Jane Ormerod, Bill Buschel, and host Jerry Johnson. Join us April 13, from 7:30-9pm, or be one of 15 poets to sign up to read at the open mic from 6:45-7:30pm. Free!

St. Petersburg Review and more

Thanks to Libby Hodges for publishing my translation from The Hero by Hélène Sanguinetti in St. Petersburg Review.  Charles Alexander of Chax Press is preparing galleys for the book’s debut in June, and Lynne DeSilva-Johnson of The Operating System announced my translation,  Alparegho, Like Nothing Else, as part of its 2019 catalog. Exciting!

Extraordinary planetary travels

Photo from the Mars Rover

Last night, Westchester Amateur Astronomers got a treat! Carter Emmart, director of astrovisualization, American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Alexander Bock demonstrated open-source software streaming the latest, sometimes live, satellite images of planets. Emmart can zoom in at angles on mountains for an accurate if rarely seen view of planetary landscapes. We traced an Apollo mission in an astonishingly close-up way. Emmart shows these exhilarating fly-bys Sunday eves at the Hayden Planetarium.

Nile Rodgers Front and Center

Niles Rodgers
What a pleasure to hear legendary producer Nile Rodgers talk about his creative journey on PBS’s Front and Center. I loved when he shared how his mentor challenged his view about Top 40 music—that’s worth watching the episode right there. Other reasons: stories behind his hits, “Everybody Dance,” “Good Times,” and “Le Freak.” You will find that Nile Rodgers is the one who’s chic.

The lovebird that got away

Our good friend Mary Wasacz will be a featured storyteller in the second annual Tales from the 'Dale and Beyond, April 12 at 7:30pm, at the Heathcote auditorium. Discover how she lost her lovebird Shirley, and how she got her back! You can also hear Mary at the Scarsdale Public Library Festival of Writers, April 15 at 11:00-12:30pm, and 1-2pm. Break a line, Mary!

Poetry in America

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Thanks to avid reader and Francophile Susan Seligman for telling me about this new half-hour program that focuses on hearing, reading, and interpreting a single American poem. Hosted by Harvard Professor Elisa New, Poetry in America gathers distinguished interpreters from all walks of life to explore and debate 12 unforgettable American poems. Related online Harvard courses are available too.


New Releases

How to be a Poet by Jo Bell, Jane Commane guest writers (Nine Arches Press, 2017) 

Pedestal 81

Creative opportunities

Manhattanville College, The Art of The Pitch Workshop, agent Katharine Sands/editor Ron Hogan , April 21, 10am – 4pm, register here

Rhino is open for submissions through July 31

Cahaba River Literary Journal, Soap Stone Creek Literary Journal for Kids, Mothering With Imagination, and Writer’s Bi-Monthly Review invite submissions to

Cauliflower Kung Pao – wow!

Dear friends Linda and Joe Simone have come over to the green side as vegetarians, and they bring delicious recipes! This one is a winner, healthy and tasty all at once.

1 large cauliflower head, cut into small floret pieces
1 red organic pepper, diced
1 yellow organic pepper, diced
1 orange organic pepper, diced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 scallions, cut 2” in lengths
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 tsp pepper flakes, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb rice noodles 

2 tbsp tomato ketchup
4 tbsp soy sauce, gluten free
1/4 cup water
3 tsp arrowroot powder, or cornstarch

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Mix sauce ingredients in small bowl; set aside. In large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, place olive oil. Add cauliflower, stirring occasionally 5 minutes until cauliflower is cooked a bit but not thoroughly. Take our cauliflower and set aside. Add diced peppers to skillet; cook 3 minutes. Add cauliflower back to skillet and cook with peppers, stirring occasionally, another 5 minutes until veggies are nearly cooked but not mushy. Add garlic, ginger, cashews; cook 2 minutes more. Add sauce to skillet and cook 1 minute over high heat or until thickened. Add onions and serve over warm noodles.

Poetry readings

Laurel Peterson
Barnes and Noble Stamford, April 9, 7:15pm, John McMullen

Curley’s Diner, April 10, 7:30pm, Van Hartman

National Arts Club, April 10, 7pm, PSA Awards, Ron Padgett, Jennifer Chang, Molly Spencer, Kevin Prufer, Brian Tierney, and Elizabeth Knapp
Janet Kaplan

Chappaqua Station Café, April 13, 7:30pm, Laurel Peterson, Van Hartman, Jane Ormerod, Bill Buschel, Ann Cefola, and host Jerry Johnson

Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop, April 19, 7:30pm, Steven Alvarez, Adam Deutsch, Lauren Hilger, Janet Kaplan, Joanna C. Valente

Poetry Institute, April 19, 7pm, Marilyn Nelson

Jerry Johnson
Pen World Voices Festival, Upper Hand Press, Washington Mews, April 20, 4pm, Ann Cefola

HVWC, April 20, 7:30pm, Open Mic, Featured Brandon Rumaker, $5

Masters School, Westchester Poetry Festival, April 21, 12noon, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Chris  Campanioni, Andrés Cerpa, Nicole Sealy, Anya Krugovoy Silver

Alice Tully Hall, Poetry and the Creative Mind, April 25, Terrance Hayes, others $45-$75

ʼRound the Net

Ursula LeGuin
The American Literary Translators Association on being shortlisted for the London Book Fair International Excellence Award

Poet and publisher John Amen on the 17th anniversary issue of The Pedestal Magazine

Poet Bill Buschel for his essay, “How Helen Hated the Yankees,” in Writer Advice

Poet Terry Dugan for shaing this incredible interview with author and poet Ursula LeGuin

Photo by Sarah Bracey White
Photographer Sarah Bracey White whose work made the cut into the juried Westchester County Amateur Photo Contest

Art Historian Beth Gersh-Nešić for her beautiful interview with artist Christina Thomas

Guitarist Johnny Moses on performing with Cyril and Gaynielle Neville

Poet Ralph Nazareth for this article on Poems While You Wait

The New York Public Library for sharing its top picks for April
Linda Simone

Outdoor retailer Orvis for this video on the Art of the Mini-Adventure

Record producer Nile Rodgers on being inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame

Poet Jimmy Santiago Baca on starting his fourth year of writing workshops

Poet Linda Simone for the acceptance of her book The River Will Save Us by Aldrich Press and for letting us know about the new poet laureate of San Antonio

Gratitude for Claire Barre

Claire Barre
In the literary world, unknown people often open doors, connect a person to a publisher, suggest a residency—and quietly help establish authors. Such a person was Claire Barre, an English-language expert who, for two decades, reviewed my translations of Hélène Sanguinetti’s books. Claire, with her eye for nuance, provided invaluable comments. In person, she was kind, generous, gracious—with a sparkling laugh. Her recent loss seems impossible, as if something as delightful as champagne had evaporated. I am grateful for her friendship and commitment to Hélène’s work—which is catching fire now in the States. In Claire’s honor, I am including a poem of mine she and Hélène translated at the beginning of our journey together. Merci, chère Claire!

Until next time,


Je ressemble à la grenouille des bois
qui vit sa vie, tête au-dessus de l'eau, tranquille.

Qui plonge, au passage d'un vieux camion soulevant la poussière,
dans l'humidité rassurante de la vase et de la feuille éteinte.
Je me suis souvent demandé quelle était ma vraie maison :
celle de la pluie se rassemblant au printemps en ruisseaux clairs

ou celle de l'air ensoleillé, baigné par la moiteur des pins.
La grenouille préfère l'eau et moi j'ai besoin d'air. Mais certains jours,

parfois accompagnée de sourds grondements de tonnerre
et d'éclairs pareils à un soleil artificiel,

l'eau tombe du ciel. Alors la grenouille chante,
gorge déployée, béate, et moi aussi.

Traduit par Claire Barre et Hélène Sanguinetti


I have been like the woodland frog
who lives life, head above water, still.

Diving, when an old truck disturbs the dirt road,
into the watery safety of silt and colorless leaf.

I have wondered where my true home is,
where the spring rain collects in clear streams

or air sun-illumined and punctuated by moist pine.
The frog preferring water as I need air. But there are days,

sometimes accompanied by low rumble of thunder
and bursts of lightning like unnatural sun,

when water falls from the sky. Then the frog sings
open-throated, amazed, and so do I.

Ann Cefola

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

your nor'easter annogram

The Operating System to publish Alparegho

The Operating System has selected Alparegho, like nothing else, my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s third book, for its Unsilenced Texts series. The OS, named among the Best of 2017 Presses by Entropy Magazine, will publish a dual-language version in 2019. Many thanks to publisher Lynne DeSilva-Johnson for making this timely and heart-wrenching quest for identity available to English readers!

Free Ferry in Transatlantic Conversation

In Transatlantic Conversation About Art and Poetry, art historian Beth Gersh-Nešić and French poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen engage in fascinating dialogue on poet and art critic Andre Salmon (1881-1969). As part of their conversation, they also discuss Free Ferry, which Pouliquen calls "A very original concept." The two talk about my workshop at Gersh-Nešić's Purchase College class last fall and the importance of getting poetry out into the world. Highly recommended if you love poetry and art!

Free Ferry Half Price for Women’s History Month

Thanks to Upper Hand Press Publisher Ann Starr, Free Ferry is half-price until April 20. So take advantage! I am also honored to have the book recommended by one of its reviewers, James Lee Lord Parker, on Facebook. Please continue to build those five-star reviews on Amazon!

Translation in Transference

Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585)
Delightful to find Ann Lauinger’s translation of Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) in the latest Transference!  Her four translated Sonnets à Hélène are both contemporary and smart, as only a poet-scholar like Ann could achieve. Transference features another Hélène, my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s “Yoke 1” from her book, Et voici la chanson (Éditions de l’Amandier, 2012). Thanks to Editor Molly Lynde-Recchia, who welcomes submissions for the next issue – see Creative opportunities below.

Bowie at the Brooklyn Museum

David Bowie (1947-2016)
David Bowie is, an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, runs March 12-July 15. Straight from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the exhibit features more than 400 objects including album artwork, handwritten lyrics and original correspondence from Bowie's teen years through his death in 2016. Whaddya say?  Put on your red shoes and let’s dance!

Norwalk LitCrawl Honors National Poetry Month

The fifth annual Norwalk LitCrawl will meet on April 3rd at the Wall Street Theater at 5:30pm and move from 6:30 to 8:00pm to the restaurants Peaches, the Banc House, Fat Cat Pie Company, and Aji 10. They will provide free appetizers and cash bar. Buy a ticket online by donating $10 to Norwalk Reads. Want to participate? See Creative opportunities below.

Astrovisualization at WAA in April

Carter Emmart
Carter Emmart, Director of Astrovisualization at the Hayden Planetarium, will speak at the Westchester Amateur Astronomer (WAA) meeting, April 6 at 7:30pm. Emmart, a leading computer software expert, creates detailed video imagery from digital astronomical data. He was recently featured in the NY Times and here you can see some of his spectacular video imagery.  The lecture will take place in Lienhard Hall, Pace University in Pleasantville, NY.

New releases

Patricia Carragon, The Cupcake Chronicles (Poets Wear Prada, 2017)  

Patricia Carragon, Innocence (Finishing Line Press, 2017)  

Jim Daniels, The Middle Ages (Red Mountain Press, 2018)

Beth Gersh-Nešić and Jean-Luc Pouliquen, Transatlantic Conversation About Art and Poetry (CreateSpace, 2018)

Transference, the translation journal of Western Michigan University, Vol. 5, Fall 2017

Leafy Greens on Baguette with Gruyère

Scrounging around the kitchen one evening, I created what could only be considered a healthy pizza. So delicious I have to share it:

1 pound organic spinach, swiss chard or kale, rinsed with stems removed
1 organic garlic clove, crushed and peeled
1 organic baguette (look for three to four ingredients – yeast, water, salt, flour)
6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
extra virgin olive oil

Cut baguette in half, and then slice lengthwise into thirds or halves. Arrange slices on toaster oven tray, drizzle with olive oil, broil until golden, and repeat until all are toasted. In large frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic clove. Pile in the greens, turning them until wilted; remove from heat. Arrange greens over toast, drizzle with olive oil and top with Gruyère. Return slices to broiler until cheese melts, a minute or two. Great with sautéed organic mushrooms too.

Creative opportunities

Belmont Story Review – submit fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and narrative journalism on music, publishing, creativity, collaboration, faith and culture, by April 1 to

Norwalk LitCrawl on April 3 – to participate in the restaurant-to-restaurant reading, identify the 3-minute work you will read, include 1-2 line bio,  and email to Christine Bradley at by March 23

Poetry Networking and Critique Group – Fairfield Public Library, second Saturday mornings of the month, 10-12pm; discussion of poetry events and publication possibilities followed by constructive critique of work by the first eight or so persons who sign up.

Transferencesubmit up to four poems in translation by May 31 for 2018 issue

One-Day Graphic Novel Writing Conference – Purchase, NY on March 24; adult workshops with Paul Levitz, past president, DC Comics;  youth (10+) workshops, Barbara Slate, author, You Can Do a Graphic Novel; and free talk by Colleen Doran, illustrator of Neil Gaiman's Troll Bridge; workshops $75.

Maine Media Workshops + College – August 12-18, Make Your Poems Stand Out from the Crowd of Submissions, weeklong workshop taught by award-winning poet Kevin Pilkington; info here

Poetry / literary events

Gemma Mathewson
Barnes and Noble, March 12, 7:15pm, Janet Krauss – second Monday of each month, Barnes and Noble at Stamford Town Center, featured reader/open mic; free

Scarsdale Public Library, March 14, 7pm, the Poetry Caravan Celebrates Women’s History Month; Loretta Cornell, Lisa Fleck, Ruth D. Handel, Linda Levitz, Marjorie Mir, Ann van Buren; free

The Poetry Institute Series, March 15, 7pm, Gemma Mathewson and open mic – third Thursdays each month in New Haven, CT, featured reader/open mic. Doors open 6:30pm, reading at 7pm; free

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
HVWC, March 16, 7:30pm, feature Bob Zaslow and open mic, $5

JCC on the Hudson, March 18, 1:30-3:30pm, Maxine Silverman, Rachel Barenblat and Jay Michaelson

CUNY Graduate Center, March 19, 4pm, Rms 9204-9205, P(l)athography: Sylvia Plath's Biographers; Heather Clark

CUNY Graduate Center, Martin E. Segal Theatre, March 20, 6:30pm, Lost and Found VII Launch: work by Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Toni Cade Bambara, Julio Cortázar, Paul Blackburn, and Jack Forbes

Charles Alexander
University of Houston-Victoria (Texas) Center for the Arts, Book Arts Expo, March 23-24, poets Kevin Auer, Charles Alexander, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., C.J. Martin; letterpress printing, binding and artists' book workshops; readings 7pm. Reception 5 p.m. March 23 and closing exhibit 7 p.m. March 24

HVWC, March 25, 4:30pm, Martha Rhodes, Molly McCully Brown, Carol Moldaw, $10

Kelly Writers House, March 26, 6:30pm, Bernadette Mayer; RSVP

Katonah Public Library, April 8, 3:30pm, Mónica de la Torre, $10

ʼRound the Net

Beth Gersh-Nešić 

Poet and “trouble maker” Terry Dugan on her excellent interview on the JohnMac Radio Show

Art historian and author Beth Gersh-Nešić for her Bonjour Paris article on Purim in Paris and this commentary on last month's Michelangelo exhibit at the Met

Poets Cindy Hochman and Bob Heman on their collaborative poems in Otoliths and Geocities

J Journal on its new website

Engineer Matt King, a great person I worked with at IBM, for making Facebook more accessible

Poet Mary McCray for her survey of online courses on the history of American poetry, and her poet-centric and mind-nourishing blog

Frances Mayes and Laura Morelli
Poet John McMullen on his TV interview and this article on a founding father who wrote poetry

Art historian and author Laura Morelli on her evening with best-selling novelist Frances Mayes

Poet Ralph Nazareth for sharing Amanda Gorman’s poem, “Old Jim Crow Got to clear”

The New York Public Library Staff Picks for February and March, and its book-for-every-state tour

Outdoor retailer Orvis for promoting dogs in the office in this charming video

Poet Kevin Pilkington, whose poetry collection Where You Want to Be: New and Selected Poems (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) has just gone into second printing

ScienceDaily’s article on the creative brain being wired differently

Poet and artist Linda Simone on life-changing books cited by 23 TedTalks women

Memoirist Donna Zucker on her new cooking blog, full of delicious smoothie recipes

I want to express my gratitude to all the faithful annogram readers! You’re a vibrant global community of literary and visual artists, dancers, musicians, actors, and performers. Do you realize this is the 103rd annogram to be published? I wish we could throw some virtual party. Instead, please continue to send me your news, your book releases, readings, and achievements—and that will help us all celebrate our true path in this world, our creativity with its enormous power and mystery.

Until next time,