Friday, August 16, 2013

your august annogram

Happy August—the air is cooler, sun a touch more gold, sky a richer blue.  Or maybe it’s all the good happening.  For starters, my new web site attracted more than 11,100 hits in June alone!  Be sure to explore it, especially Toolkit, a section for poets.  You may have also received a postcard from me. If you haven’t, and would like to be on my snail-mail list, please contact me through my web site.

September 12 reading                     

Please come hear me read at the Go Cat Go Poetry Reading Series, hosted by the inimitable Peter Chelnik, at Gracie's Corner Diner, 352 East 86th Street, at 6:45 p.m. on September 12.  There is an open mic afterwards, so bring poems to read.   Hope to see you!

More good news

Editors Martin Elwell and Jenn Monroe have accepted my poem, “Running with Delilah,” for their upcoming anthology of running poems, Bearers of Distance (Eastern Point Lit House).  And UK editor Daniele Pantano of em review will publish my translation of “Victory” from Hélène Sanguinetti’s Le Héros (Flammarion, 2008). 

Anthology updates

Editor Larry Carr just sent me A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley (Codhill Press), and I am happy to see it features “Geechee Daughter” by the late Brenda Connor-Bey.  Buzz is also building around Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (Poets Wear Prada), as editor Joel Allegretti collects impressive cover reviews.

Jeanne Carbonetti and Crow Hill Gallery

Crow Hill Gallery
What a pleasure this month to explore Jeanne Carbonetti’s beautiful gallery deep on a wooded Vermont hillside!  The landscape, a feast of green, features an occasional Buddha or sculpture perfectly aligned in the natural setting.  When we visited, the award-winning artist generously critiqued the watercolors that my poetry pal Linda Simone had painted and then captured on a smartphone. 

Linda and Jeanne talk painting

Amazing to meet this creativity guru—whose Making Pearls (Watson-Guptill, 1998) and The Heart of Creativity (Eden Center Press, 2009) always inspire.  In Heart, she writes about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech—which connects to our next item. Thank you, Jeanne Carbonetti, for your gorgeous watercolors and open heart!

March on Washington

Dr. King at the 1963 March
Did you know this year is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington?  To commemorate this historic event, Stuart Marwell, CEO and President of Curtis Instruments, is sharing his collection of March memorabilia at Greenburgh Town Hall’s Madeline Gutman Gallery. As a young man, Marwell attended the March, where he heard Dr. King give his famous speech.  On display are a commemorative button Marwell wore that day; a portfolio of March reflections by Dr. King, Roy Wilkins and Whitney M. Young Jr. among others; and an evocative collage series by Louis Lo Monaco.  See this rare exhibit Monday through Friday, 9-5, before it closes September 4.

Back to school

Professor Al Filreis
If you’re a poet, you might be interested in the free online course, Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo) with University of Pennsylvania Professor Al Filreis (right).  Go to to sign up for the next session starting September 7.  A walloping 36,000 people have taken the course!  For more intimate focus on your own work, consider Robert McDowell’s e-course on forms of poetry which starts August 21.

Raves for Quick Draw

Quick Draw cast
Feel like there’s nothing on TV?  Try Quick Draw on Hulu Monday nights.  The New York Daily News calls this comedy “hilarious” and TV Guide “funny and fresh.”  Follow Sheriff John Henry Hoyle and Deputy Eli as they apply forensics to hunt Wild West criminals. Congratulations to co-writers John Lehr and John McCray on their wickedly inspired series.

Doggone it

The Sopranos meets Marley and Me with a twist: That's how Louis Spirito describes Gimme Shelter, his memoir  chronicling how his efforts to rescue a timid pit bull helped him get a handle on his chronic anger.  To repay his canine therapist, Lou is donating 10% of book profits to rescue organizations and inviting them to his live events—including Malibu Pet Companions, Linda Blair Worldheart FoundationSt. Martin's Animal FoundationCanine Adoption Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) and Animal Advocate Alliance. Learn more at

Rockabilly and Ira Munn Hedges

Finn and the Sharks
In the early 80s, John Mellencamp and Marty Stuart among others electrified rockabilly, a driving sound blending rock, blues and country traditions.  Leading that wave was Finn and the Sharks, who earned an MTV award, played CBGB’s frequently and enjoyed a huge following in their home county, appropriately named Rockland.  Billy (upper right) and Steve Roues (second left), my friend Cindy’s brothers, formed the band with guitarist/vocalist James Finnen (far left), drummer Ed Steinberg (center) and rhythm guitarist Ira Munn Hedges (lower right). 

While Ira’s aristocratic family practically founded New York State, Ira was unassuming.  Blond and lanky with an easy smile, he exuded goodwill.  Besides a gifted vocalist and guitarist, Ira was a natural athlete who loved tennis and golf.  He had the good judgment to marry Cindy, and together raise three strapping sons.   His natural charm also made him successful in business.

Ira Munn Hedges
In June, Finn and the Sharks performed a tribute to Ira, who passed away this year.  The extraordinary performance left attendees speechless.  Vocalists Lisa Best and Big Jim Wheeler joined the Sharks for poignant songs such as “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”  Thanks to the Sharks, we can celebrate Ira’s musical legacy and contribution in rock history:  Here’s Ira playing “Come On Everybody” in 2011.

 ‘Round the Net

Thanks to the following people who shared these fascinating links:

·     Photographer Carol Booth on this moving video about photography and healing

Poet Linda Nemec Foster
·     Poet Linda Nemec Foster (left) for her Poets & Writers blog in response to Detroit’s bankruptcy

·     Poet Gary Glauber for his poem “Look Before,” “First Semester,” three in Radical Dislocations and more in Otis Nebula 8

·     Art director Abby Raeder for her blog, “A Monument to Love,” about a cairn sculpture in Vermont (right)
·     ADA advocate Dave Schwartzkopf for The 60s Official Site

Ms. Black
·     Cellist Jay Shulman for this clip of Paul McCartney performing “Mr. Kite”, and this article on Paige Morton Black (left) who sang the Chock Full O’ Nuts jingle

·     Artist Angela Virsinger for this video on the work of Korean artist U-ram Choe

·     Westchester Amateur Astronomers for this sci-fi movie trailer “Europa Report” on space travel

Wishing you a ripe, rich and full end to summer!

Until next time,