Saturday, October 02, 2021

your october annogram


Dear annogrammers, Happy October! Hope you get outdoors to sip some hot cider as you pick out a pumpkin or a farm-stand apple pie. The cooler weather makes me hungry for good things, and I hope you find a few here.

When the Pilotless Plane Arrives


My chapbook, When the Pilotless Plane Arrives (Trainwreck Press) debuts this month. Pilotless taps into 1950s sci-fi/horror film narratives as metaphors for the perils of writing poetry—you will recognize sometimes cringe-worthy scenarios that publisher John C. Goodman calls “great fun.” You can order your copy here.



Et voici la chanson in print


Congratulations to Hélène Sanguinetti, whose amazing book, Et voici la chanson [And here’s the song] (Lurlure) is once again in print:


In this “song” the ear sees and the eye hears. [Its characters] Joug and Joui are day and night, moon and sun, water and thirst, Eros and Thanatos, but also the Evil and Mercy of narrative. And here's the song is their story, where writing leads the dance and sings in a broken voice. Stay alive, exist in the here and now in these volts, entanglements, momentum, and fractures.


Wow! And I have a completed translation of this book. Hello, publishers? What are you waiting for?



Cousin Brucie and ‘Come and Get Your Love’


I was mind-blown when Cousin Bruce called out “Cousin Ann Cefola” and played
“Come and Get Your Love” –agreeing “a great song” on his Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party (09-18-21, 95:07). That song, on many of your playlists, is helping drive this petition to get the Native-American Redbone into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.



How to Up Your Poetry Game


I loved, loved, loved John C. Goodman’s Poetry Tools and Techniques: Writing Engaging Poetry (Gneiss Press). This slender volume covers everything in a tone worthy of an etiquette manual, giving the reader confidence to develop his or her own poetic. It’s a compassionate response from an online journal editor who witnessed the missing knowledge which could afford new poets more deliberate and powerful writing.



Lit Balm Reading


Such a pleasure to attend Lit Balm last month featuring Ralph Culver, Bob Heman, DeWitt Henry, Cindy Hochman, and Jon Wesick. The 5pm ET Zoom/Facebook global reading is hosted by poets Marc Vincenz, Cassandra Atherton, and Jonathan Penton. Tune in this week for Hannah Sullivan, Kathleen Ossip, Julia Story and Peter Campion with guest MC David Blair.



Video Reactions


You’ve likely seen The Twins review Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight,” which boosted Collins’s music sales a whopping 1100 percent last year. Michael and I spent a Saturday night binging reactions, such as DramaSydETV on the Zombies’ “Time of the Season.”  Rolling Stone says this trend bridges cultural divides, as young reviewers encounter metal, country, and classic rock songs for the first time.



New and Recent Releases


Clara Mae Barnhart, Susie Susequehana and The River Valley Blues (Main Street Rag)

John Bradley, Hotel Montparnasse, Letters to César Vallejo (Dos Madres Press)

Pamela Laskin, The Lost Language of Crazy (Atmosphere Press)


First Literary Review – East, September issue


Laurel Peterson, The Fallen (Woodhall Press)

Sanguinetti, Et voici la chanson (Lurlure)


Anthony Seidman, trans., Contra Natura by Rodolfo Hinostroza (Cardboard House Press)

Joann Smith, A Heaven of Their Choosing (7.13 Books)


Pedestal 88.5



Creative Workshops


All-Genre Writers Group, 6:30pm, Thursdays


John McMullen Poetry Workshop, 6pm, fourth Wednesdays


Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, second Wednesdays


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


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


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


Stealing from the Poet’s Toolbox: A Fiction Writers Workshop with Estha Weiner (LIVE), October 22, 10am-4pm


Writers and Artists Lunch Conversation, second Fridays, noon



October Readings and Events – ET


Laurel Peterson
October 2, 3pm, Norwalk Public Library, Laurel Peterson book launch, The Fallen; email for Zoom link

October 3-4, 10am-5pm, The Brooklyn Book Festival


October 3, 3pm, A Conversation with Naomi Shihab Nye & Pádraig Ó’Tuama; register here


Jerry T. Johnson
October 6, 6:30pm, Norwalk Public Library, Laurel Peterson hosts Writers in Conversation: Brian Cordell and Jerry Johnson;email for Zoom link 

October 17, 4pm,
Katonah Poetry Series, Forrest Gander, $15, register here


Pamela Laskin

October 24, 9pm, Chax Press reading series: Yan An, poet; and Chen Du, and Xisheng Chen, translators

November 3, 7pm,
Wordup Books, Pamela Laskin book launch, The Lost Language of Crazy



Monthly Readings – ET


First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


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


Every Saturday, 5pm, Lit Balm



Zucchini Patties


When grabbing last tomatoes and corn at your local farm, get some zukes for this easy recipe—a mainstay chez Cefola and often seen here:


2 cups coarsely grated zucchini

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup minced onion

¼ to ½ cup all-purpose flour, as needed

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and black pepper

Vegetable oil

One lemon


Place zucchini in strainer and press out as much moisture as possible. Mix zucchini with eggs and onion in a large mixing bowl. Combine flour, cheese, baking powder, and seasonings and add to the zucchini mixture. Shape into four or more patties. Heat oil over medium heat, and fry patties until lightly browned on both sides. Drain the cooked patties and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve immediately.



ʼRound the Net


Chard Deniord
Poet Susanna Case on her new book, The Damage Done, forthcoming from Broadstone Books


Poet Chard Deniord for producing Nora Jacobson's 
film on Vermont poet Ruth Stone (1915-2011)


Poet Bob Heman on sharing the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death

Kathleen Jamie

Poet Kathleen Jamie on becoming Scotland’s new Makar (Poet Laureate)

Poet Heller Levinson for this wonderful review of his book Lurk (Black Widow Press)

Author Laurel Peterson for her guest post, “Writing Race” on the It’s Not Always a Mystery blog


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for his September 24th letter to the New York Daily News, “Psst — poems don’t have to rhyme, and The News should not be furthering a misconception that turns young readers away from poetry” (Bravo, John!)

Tom (1937-2014) and Ray Magliozzi
of "Car Talk"

WBUR on the
 end of “Car Talk”



Send Me Your News


About a month in advance. Add any pertinent links to books, publishers, and reading or exhibit venues—and extra brownie points if you attach them to book titles and/or events, etc. Your success inspires and helps others, so sharing is an act of generosity. Be creative, be productive, be heard and seen!


Until next time,




Friday, September 10, 2021

your see-you-in-september annogram


Dear annogrammers, Welcome to fall, although not officially here…we all feel the promising coolness in the air! Hope you had a great summer. I spent it editing the Spanish translation of my first book, Face Painting in the Dark, gorgeously rendered by Ligia Yamazaki. There’s more good news to read and savor as always.



New Chapbook from Trainwreck Press


Trainwreck Press will publish my chapbook, When the Pilotless Plane Arrives, next month. The Canadian press, which has published Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, Christopher Smart’s Jubilato Agno, and most recently Mary Newell’s Re-SURGE, celebrates “the innovative, the non-conforming, the radical, the alternative, the avant-garde, the non-linear, the abstract, the surreal, the visual, the concrete, the experimental.”  I am deeply honored to be a Trainwreck author!



New from Chen Du and Chax Press


The work of Yan An, one of China’s premier poets, is readable in English thanks to Chen Du and co-translator Xisheng Chen. They have translated his
A Naturalist’s Manor (Chax Press), and the John Dryden Translation Competition has longlisted another Yan An translation. Chen Du’s poetry also appears in Art in the Time of COVID-19 (San Fedele Press) and Rappahannock Review, and a wonderful interview in the latter. Hear Yan, Chen, and Xisheng read October 24 at 9pm in the Chax Press reading series. Congratulations to all!



Newell and Chernicoff Reading


Last month, Mary Newell debuted Re-SURGE (Trainwreck Press) at the Desmond-Fish Library—poetry that tracks a delightful friendship between a mermaid and gardener/poet, and their issues of awkward embodiment and ecological distress. Birgit Huppuch ably read the mermaid's part. In a perfect complement, Billie Chernicoff whose Amoretti (Lunar Chandelier Collective) explores a mermaid theme, also read. A wonderful outdoor and Crowdcast event!



‘Come and Get Your Love’


This 1974 song hit No. 5 on the pop charts. Written and performed by Redbone, “one of the first Native-American rock bands in the album era” (WSJ), the song begins with tribal chanting and dancing. Michael, who saw Redbone at Fillmore East, said additional teepees and smoke drove the audience wild. The drum-driven tune anticipates disco’s arrival a few years later and its message—to a girlfriend—is “you are fine just as you are.” Sign this petition to help get them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.



New and Recent Releases


Yan An, A Naturalist’s Manor translated by Chen Du and Xisheng Chen (Chax Press)


Big Bang Poetry Summer 2021 Newsletter


Chax Press Fall 2021 Newsletter

Jim Daniels, Gun/Shy (Wayne State University Press)


Kaleidoscope Summer/Fall 2021


Mary K. O’Melveny, Dispatches from the Memory Care Museum (Kelsay Books)


Natalie Safir, In the Guesthouse of My Body (Dos Madres Press)



Creative Calls


Mid-Atlantic Poetry Chapbook Series – for first-time poets from District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, or Pennsylvaniaby October 1


The Poet open call on adversity – by Sept. 30


Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry open submissions until October 1


Pure Slush – call for anthology Appointment at 10:30


Rhino Founders’ Prize Poetry Contest – by September 30



Creative Workshops


Estha Weiner
All-Genre Writers Group, 6:30pm, Thursdays


John McMullen Poetry Workshop, 6pm, fourth Wednesdays 


Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, second Wednesdays


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


Navigating the Literary Journal Submission Process with Katy Carl – September 27, 8pm (7pm CT)


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

One-on-One Poetry Workshop with Arthur Vogelsang, register by September 20


Poetry Pollinator Workshop with Mary Newell and A. Anupama, September 25, 10am-1pm


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


Stealing from the Poet’s Toolbox: A Fiction Writers Workshop with Estha Weiner (LIVE), October 22, 10am-4pm


Writers and Artists Lunch Conversation, second Fridays, noon



September Readings and Events – ET


September 11, 5pm, Lit Balm: DeWitt Henry, Bob Heman, Cindy Hochman, Ralph Culver, Jon Wesick; via
Zoom or Facebook


September 26, 2pm, Chax Press: Habib Tengour with translations by Pierre Joris and Cole Swensen;  Sarah Riggs with translations of Marie Borel and Jérémy Robert; register here


Pamela Hart
Keeler Tavern Museum Gardens, Ridgefield, CT, 6:30pm outside, bring lawn chair or blanket; also streamed via Facebook: September 14, Joan Kwon Glass, James Diaz, Barb Jennes; September 21, Philip F. Clark, Benjamin Grossberg: September 28, Margaret Gibson, Pamela Hart



Monthly Readings – ET


First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


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



No-Knead Bread


One of the best cooks I know, Linda Simone, says this is easy and delicious. Give it a try!


2 2/3 cups bread flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon “rapid rise” yeast

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water

⅛ teaspoon clear vinegar

Extra bread flour, for dusting


Mix flour, salt and yeast in large bowl with your hands. Combine water and vinegar; add to bowl. Stir with hand until sticky, shaggy ball forms. Roll ball around bowl 30-45 seconds until most dough is part of the same large ball. Scrape your dough-covered hand to get dough into bowl, then invert a deep medium metal or glass bowl and place large bowl on top, tapping to ensure a tight seal. Let dough rest 12-18 hours at room temperature until it appears bubbly and wet.


Wipe out moisture inside medium bowl. Dust dish towel on one side with bread flour, then line medium bowl with towel, floured-side up. Generously flour your work surface. Sprinkle flour around dough edges in large bowl, then tilt bowl over floured work surface, using fingertips to ease dough out.


Using one hand, work gently to avoid deflating dough. Reach with fingertips, stretch dough, and fold to center. Repeat more three times until each side has been folded over top. Using sides of your hands, not fingertips, and extra flour to prevent sticking, flip dough over. Gently tuck dough underneath until top is smooth and taut. Place smooth-side up into towel-lined bowl, and dust lightly with bread flour. Cover bowl with large baking sheet and let rise 2 hours until doubled in size and it doesn’t spring back when poked. Meanwhile, wash out large bowl and have it ready.


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle and preheat oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Invert bowl and baking sheet so dough is lying on the sheet. Lift off bowl and towel. If it sticks, be gentle to minimize loss of gases trapped inside. Splash water inside the larger bowl, then invert onto baking sheet over dough. Transfer whole thing to oven, reduce temperature to 450 degrees; bake 25 minutes. Using mitts, remove bowl and bake 15-25 minutes longer until loaf is as dark as you’d like. Remove bread, transfer to cooling rack, and cool completely before cutting.



ʼRound the Net


Ed Ahern
Poet Ed Ahern on being interviewed by The Poet Magazine


Poet and memoirist Sarah Bracey White on her reading in the Westchester Poet Laureate’s Emergence Poetry Project, interview on Poetry Spoken Here podcast, and Read650 September 9, 2021 podcast


Poet Lynn Clague on his poem, “A Reach,” appearing in Grey Sparrow Journal


Wish Mavens Barbara Dickinson and Margie Herrick for generous insights on their Wishing Wisdom blog


"Chin Support" by 
Margaret Fox
Photographer Margaret Fox on winning the LaRuth Gray, Vanessa Smith and Anonymous KMAA Award at the Cladogram: 2ND KMA International Juried Biennial, at the Katonah Museum through September 19


Art historian and translator Beth Gersh-Nesic  for her insightful article on Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon in Bonjour Paris


Poet Cindy Hochman for her poetry in the great weather for MEDIA anthology Paper Teller Diorama


Author J. Chester Johnson on being interviewed on LitHub’s Keen podcast about his book, Damaged Heritage; and his Bar Crawl Radio podcast, “Poetry: What Is It Good For?” with Cornelius Eady on 9-11 poetry


Writer Lisa Krohn on her new article in Ageist on eight steps to move forward after failure

Maria Lisella

Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella for this lovely tribute to her late partner, poet Gil Fagiani


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for this video of Benedict Cumberbatch reading Kurt Vonnegut’s letter to 2088, Ralph Nazareth videos (below), and this remembrance of journalist Pete Hamill


Ralph Nazareth
Poet Ralph Nazareth for his poems, “Centerpiece,”  “Sunday Morning with Walt,” “Victor Jara’s Hands,” and “On Missing My Brother in Nazareth”


The New York Public Library for this list of contemporary retelling of cherished classics and 15 books to celebrate disability pride


Poet Christina Rau on being named a full professor of English at Nassau Community College

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University for screening this great Frida Kahlo documentary


Music archivist and cellist Jay Shulman on the MusicWeb International review of his father’s film score CD, “Alan Shulman - The Tattooed Stranger” (Bridge Records, 2021)


Poet and artist Linda Simone on her essay which will appear in Diane Lockward’s The Strategic Poet: Honing the Craft (Terrapin Books) next month—already an Amazon #1 poetry book in pre-order!


Poet Margo Taft Stever on her third book, The End of Horses, forthcoming from Broadstone Books


Translator Judy Tsai on the launch of her new website


Neal Whitman
Poet Neal Whitman on his poem, “Marc Antony and Me,” in Open Door Poetry Magazine’s August issue on war



Remembering Stephen Dunn


Stephen Dunn (1939-2021)
My first significant commitment to poetry was attending the Mt. Holyoke Summer Writers Conference as a thirty-something; registrars suggested a workshop with the future Pulitzer Prize winner. Dunn got into poetry a little late too, so he understood my self-consciousness. When I shared I was clueless about the canon, he slid his copy of Poulin’s Contemporary American Poetry across the table to me.


Some memorable teachings: Don’t be a dilettante—a “sometime” poet; don’t write the expected, i.e., pity for a homeless person—turn that upside down by suggesting maybe the person deserves the worst; and combine sensorial detail with the abstract, i.e., “cinnamon and despair.” He comically called on the “the poetry police” to arrest overused words. 


A former basketball player, he shared his friend Larry Levis’s
“The Poem You Asked For” to show how poems can have their own physicality and willfulness. Forever grateful to this wonderful poet and teacher, I see Dunn slam-dunking golden spheres—and lyric.

Until next time,