Saturday, March 30, 2024

your spring annogram

Dear annogrammers, Hello again! We are welcoming spring with National Poetry Month events, literary opportunities, readings, and scientific data that art is good for you. Throw in some delectable risotto, and finish with a pivotal moment for F. Scott Fitzgerald.

More Sanguinetti

Hélène Sanguinetti
Congratulations to Hélène Sanguinetti, on the reissue of Et Voici La Chanson (Éditions Lurlure) in March! She and I are excited about the debut of Alparegho, like nothing else from Beautiful Days Press this fall. This vibrant new press just selected the Seattle-based Asterism Books as its distributor.

Art of Kindness

Here at annogram, we subscribe to kindness and now there’s a podcast on the topic. Host Robert Peterpaul interviews artists, writers, directors, filmmakers, and others in the entertainment industry to discover how they promote kindness. For starters, Lin-Manuel Miranda shares how to achieve dreams.

National World War I Memorial

Sculptor Sabin Howard has worked years on A Soldier’s Journey, a bronze frieze that this September will be the centerpiece of the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. The nearly 60-feet long and 10-feet high sculpture, featuring 38 human figures, which will depict an American going to war across five scenes. Follow Howard’s progress on the memorial here.

Phillis Wheatley Peters
First African American Poets 

Enslaved poets Jupiter Hammon (1711-1806) and Phillis Wheatley Peters (1753-1784) were the first Black Americans to have their work published. On April 18, at 6:30pm, historian David Waldstreicher will explore their amazing lives. Register here for this free Preservation Long Island event at the Cold Spring Harbor Library or via Zoom.

Your Brain on Art

That’s the title of a book that asserts that enjoying or creating art lights up the brain’s pleasure centers, improves cognitive function, reduces stress, and improves longevity—among many other benefits! Thanks to field agent Linda Simone for sharing this article that affirms what we have intuited all along. 

Creative Opportunities

Bronx River Books, all April; come into the bookstore, recite a minimum 14-line poem from memory and receive a $5 gift certificate

Bethany Arts Community's 2024 Fall Multidisciplinary Residency for writers, performers, artists—any and all artistic mediums, by April 10

The Cardinal Prize for poets over 40, by April 29

Pure Slush Press, call for work on theme “older,” by April 30

Rhino, open for poetry, by June 30

Solstice, open for fiction, poetry, translation, graphic lit, by May 31

National Parks Artist Residencies

New and Recent Releases

John Amen, Dark Souvenirs (New York Quarterly Books)

Adele Annesi, What She Takes Away (Bordighera Press)

Adele Annesi, Liminal Space: Where Story Happens (podcast)

Jan Boulware, et al, eds., Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You’ve Been Told about Black Women 

(Black Lawrence Press)


Jim Daniels, Comment Card 

(Carnegie Mellon University Press)

Barbara Dickinson and Margie Herrick, Your Life, Your Path Oracle Card Deck for Your Most Fulfilling Life and Your Life, Your Path | How to Use Our Oracle Card Deck (Independently published)

First Literary Review-East

C. Francis Fisher, trans., In the Glittering Maw: Selected Poems by Joyce Mansour (World Poetry Books)

Pamela Laskin, Trellises and Thorns (Dos Madres Press)

Heller Levinson, The Abyssal Recitations (Concrete Mist Press)

Geoffrey Olsen, Nerves Between Song (Beautiful Days Press) available May 4

Pedestal 93.5


Alice Yang, trans., Abounding Freedom by Julien Gracq (World Poetry Books)

Creative Workshops

Writing Poetry Book Reviews, April 10, 6-8pm, a workshop with book review editor Amanda Shaw; for fee and to register, email

Maine Media Workshops, July 22-26, The Teacher on the Bookshelf: A Poetry Workshop with Kevin Pilkington; register here (limited spots—register SOON)

Racoco Productions, Tuesdays (Zoom) and Thursdays (Live), improvisation classes; email

Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, second Wednesdays

Mahopac Writers Group, 6:30pm, Thursdays

ModPo, University of Pennsylvania’s free poetry course and global community

Norwalk Poetry Workshop, first and third Mondays, 6:30pm; email to register

The Peekskill Writing Table, serious critique for writers, second and third Tuesdays via Zoom; email 

The Poets Salon, led by Ed Ahern and Alison McBain of Fairfield Scribes Press, 10am, every second Saturday

Writers and Artists Lunch Conversation, second Fridays, noon

Yorktown Poetry Workshop, 6pm, fourth Wednesdays 

April-May Events – ET

Upstream Gallery
, Nine Stories (artists) through April 21; Goldberg/Spitzer, May 23-June 16; opening reception May 26, 2-5pm

Molloy University Poetry Series, April 7, 2pm, Christina Rau; also FB event:

Bilingual Poetry Zoom, April 13, 2pm, hosted by Marta López Luaces and Nuria Morgado; featuring annogram poets Janet Kaplan, Heller Levinson, and Mary Newell

Saturday Afternoon of Poetry at Scarsdale Public Library, April 13, 3pm; refreshments

Writers in Conversation at the Norwalk Public Library, April 18, 6:30pm; Laurel Peterson hosts historical mystery writers David Rich and Andrea Penrose

Cold Spring Harbor Library, April 18, 6:30pm, historian David Waldstreicher discusses enslaved poets Jupiter Hammon (1711-1806) and Phillis Wheatley Peters (1753-1784); register here for this free event also on Zoom

San Antonio Botanical Garden, April 20, 10am, Linda Simone,  Jim LaVilla-Havelin, Eddie Vega, Mobi Warren, and Arrie Porter read original haiku and offer tips on writing haiku

Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival, April 19-21

Elana Bell, Pamela Laskin, 
and Aracelis Girmay at the
Annual Spring Poetry Festival

Ruby City, April 27, 10am, San Antonio’s 4th Annual National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Reading

Greenhaven Open Studios (Rye, NY), April 28, 11am-6pm, including painter Suzanne Sumien among 19 artists

Unnameable Books, May 4, 7pm, book launch of Geoffrey Olsen’s Nerves Between Song (Beautiful Days Press)

High Mountain Meadow Poetry Reading Series, May 5, 2pm, Christina Rau and open mic, Wayne Public Library (NJ)

The 52nd Annual Spring Poetry Festival (NYC), May 10

San Antonio Central Library, May 18, 1pm, Linda Simone and other Stone in the Stream poets read original work inspired by Norma Jean Moore paintings—poems and artwork on display through June 15

Studio Theater in Exile, May 18, 7pm, and May 19, 3pm; There Is A Message in Our Movement, choreographed by Sharon Simmons-Wright; purchase tickets here

Monthly Readings – ET

First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)

Second Mondays, 6:30pm, BACCA Poetry Chats with host Christina Rau

Every Tuesday, 2pm, Spoken Word World (Paris)

Every Tuesday, 7pm, Curley’s Diner

Third Fridays, 7pm, Hudson Valley Writers Center Open Mic – click third Friday for details

Frequent Saturdays (check Facebook), 5pm, LitBalm 

Spring Vegetable Risotto

This takes a little effort but is worth all the stirring.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/3 inch thick

5 cups Not-Chick’N™ or vegetable stock

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

Dash fresh pepper

Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add zucchini, lower heat; cook until soft and lightly browned, 18-20 minutes. Simmer stock in pan large enough to hold asparagus. Add asparagus; simmer 3 minutes. Remove asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces, and place in bowl with peas, 1/4 cup of the cheese, and 1 tablespoon of basil. Keep stock simmering.

Once zukes are cooked, stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon basil. Add butter and rice, increase heat to medium high; cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes. Add wine and stir until evaporated, 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup simmering stock; stir until liquid has been absorbed, 2 minutes. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock at a time, until rice is barely tender and mixture is creamy, 17-20 minutes. Rice mixture should be bubbling. Stir in contents from bowl, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

ʼRound the Net

The Atlantic for its Best American Novels list

Beautiful Days Press on selecting Seattle-based Asterism Books as its distributor

Poet Susana Case on being interviewed by Grace Cavalieri for The Poet and the Poem 

Poet Suzanne Cleary on having a poem recently featured in Verse Daily

Guitarist and songwriter Michael Cefola for letting us know about the first Gibson Guitar store (“Gibson Garage”) in London

Translators Chen Du and Xisheng Chen on their Yan An poem in Tab Journal

Elizabeth Hulse

Art historian and translator Beth Gersh-Nesic on her Bonjour Paris article, “Picasso in Fontainebleau” 

Pianist and Fitzgerald Fan Bob Gironda for sending annogram a book on dear F. Scott

Poet Cindy Hochman, one of 35 poets in Nūr Mélange (Quitab Editions), a ghazal anthology forthcoming this summer

Music educator, and my uber-talented niece, Elizabeth Hulse on participating on a SXSW panel celebrating Austin City Limits’ 50th anniversary

Poet and essayist J. Chester Johnson on being named to the Board of Advisors for the Poetry Outreach Center of the City College of New York; and on his poem, “Night,” in the Carnegie Hill Village blog

Poet and author Marilyn Johnson on recent work in Plume

Comedians John Lehr and John McCray for the annogram shout-out, including my favorite guitarist Michael Cefola, in their hilarious podcast, Intro to Anthro with Two Humans 

Poet Heller Levinson for this in-depth review of his work in Sulfur Surrealist Jungle 


Poet Maria Lisella on receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2023 Ginsberg Poetry Awards

Guitarist Trev Lukather on the People feature on his band The Effect

Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for this article on Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Poet Mary Newell on work in Interim and a Singing Apple Press video, “Bee Adjacency,” in Singing Apple Press

Poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen for introducing annogram to the work of German film director Volker Sclöndorff

Bassist Larry Schwartzman for this James Cotton Band video featuring Luther Tucker

Poet Margo Taft Stever on being nominated for a Pushcart Prize for “Horse and Rider, Falling,” in The Red Wheelbarrow 16

Sarah Bracey White

Poet Eddie Vega on being named the Poet Laureate of San Antonio 

Poet and memoirist Sarah Bracey White on her essay in Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels (Black Lawrence Press), Black Westchester interview, Mercy University Black History Month talk, and quote on the wall at the Briarcliff Manor Library (at left), “Libraries showed me the world beyond my limited horizons.”

Sustained Imagination

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thanks to the gift of a book on F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), I learned he wrote Gatsby in a room above a garage in a rented house in Great Neck, NY. I was moved by his struggle to create something different, evident in this [slightly edited] letter to his editor:

I feel I have enormous power in me now, more than I’ve ever had in a way but it works so fitfully because I’ve talked so much and not lived enough within myself to develop the necessary self reliance…. In my new novel I’m thrown directly on pure creative work—the sustained imagination of a sincere and radiant world. So I tread slowly and carefully and at times in considerable distress. This book will be a consciously artistic achievement and must depend on that as the first books did not…. Please believe me when I say that now I’m doing the best I can.

Wishing you that sincere and radiant world.

Until next time,