Saturday, March 29, 2014

your april annogram

National Poetry Month starts out with a bang—the news that Dos Madres Press will publish my first poetry collection, Face Painting in the Dark, this year.  But wait—there’s more! Dancing Girl Press poet Alyse Knorr, guest editor of Sugar Mule, has accepted my poems, “Wildlife” and “Vermont: Midnight,” for the next issue.  Could I be any happier?

St. Peter’s B-List at Cornelia Street Café

Come hear me read with poets from St. Peter’s B-List (Ave Maria Press, 2014), at Cornelia Street Café on Tuesday, April 1, at 6 pm. Mary Ann Miller, the book’s editor, will host Dean Kostos, Susan L. Miller, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, Christine Redman-Waldeyer, Susanna Rich and me for this fun and not-so-holy reading.  Hope to see you there—and, remember, GoodReads  is giving away 20 copies of the anthology through April 10!

Slant of Light at Hudson Valley Writers Center

I will also be at the Slant of Light (Codhill Press, 2013) reading at the HVWC on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.  Come hear me read with poets Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Lisa Fleck-Dondiego, Ruth D. Handel, Pamela Hart, Adrienne Hernandez, Ann Lauinger, Jo Pitkin, Natalie Safir, Margo Stever and Meredith Trede. In addition, Mervyn Taylor will read his beautiful elegy to the late Brenda Connor-Bey, one of the anthologized poets. 

Cake, prose and poetry

Kevin Pilkington
Enjoy an evening of prose and poetry with novelist Lucy Rosenthal and poet Kevin Pilkington on April 3 at 6:00pm at Cake Shop in New York. 

Poet Pamela Laskin, organizer and host of the NYC Poetry Festival (see below), will read at the CUNY Graduate Center, April 9, at 6:30 as part of the Turnstyle Reading Series

Hear local poets read from The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press, 2014) at Poets House on April 19, from 1:30-4:30 pm; and at Cornelia Street Café on May 25, 3-5 pm.

NYC/CUNY Chapbook Festival

The NYC/CUNY Chapbook Festival runs April 1 through April 3, celebrating the chapbook as a work of art and a medium for alternative and emerging writers and publishers.  Here’s the festival schedule at the CUNY Graduate Center.  The book fair, 10 am – 8 pm on Thursday, will feature these publishers.

NYC Poetry Festival and Contest

Poets Elana Bell and Aracelis Girmay will be featured at the Annual NYC Poetry Festival and Contest.  The festival will take place at City College, in Theater B of Aaron Davis Hall, 135th St. and Convent Avenue in New York, on May 9, 9 am - 5 pm.

Closing look at Lovrien

When I mentioned my grandmother, Lovrien Price Gregory (1888-1972), was one of the first female cartoonists at the turn of the 20th century, annogram readers were hooked.  You loved her story, and I thank you for honoring her achievements this way.  This Philadelphia Quaker-turned-Christian Scientist may be best remembered for this one comic strip.  

What no one knows is that the cartoon’s writer would become her brother-in-law.  Lester Lear (1897-1987) eventually married Lovrien’s half sister, Isadora Schmidt (1904-2000).  In addition, “The Pioneers” narrative was most likely inspired by Lovrien’s husband.  Julius Gregory’s (1875-1955) French grandparents crossed the country by Conestoga wagon to arrive in California at the height of the Gold Rush.

Commenting on the cartoon, artist Jim Rowe says it reminds him of the comic strip “Little Nemo” by Winsor McCay.  “Little Nemo,” which debuted 10 years earlier, ran about the same time as “The Pioneers.”  Ah, but now we must say adieu to Lovrien, cartoonist, muralist, portrait maker and abstract expressionist, saluting her ability to stretch her artistic talent in surprising ways.

Linda Simone
Writing Prompts

Thanks to Pushcart-nominated poet Linda Simone for sharing these prompts from Writer’s Digest:

Day 1:  Write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write.
Day 2:  Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for.
Day 3:  Write a setting based on the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.
Day 4:  Write a letter to an agent telling her how wonderful you are.
Day 5:  Write a 20-line poem about a memorable moment in your life.
Day 6:  Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other chapter and write a short story (no more than 1000 words) using those as bookends to your story.
Day 7:  Write a letter to yourself telling you what you need to improve in the coming 6 months.
Day 8:  Rewrite a fairy tale from the bad guy’s point of view.
Day 9:  Turn on your TV. Write down the first line that you hear and write a story based on it.
Day 10:  Go sit in a public place and eavesdrop on a conversation. Turn what you hear into a short love story (no matter how much you have to twist what they say).
Day 11:  Write the acknowledgments page that will be placed in your first (next?) published book, thanking all the people who have helped you along the way.
Day 12:  Gather everything you’ve written over the previous 11 days. Pick your favorite. Edit it, polish it and either try to get it published or post it on the Web to share with the world. Be proud of yourself and your work.

Chocolate Pavlova


Celebrate spring with this gluten-free recipe from Cook Yourself Thin (Voice, 2009).  This incredibly rich, exquisite tasting dessert is only 337 calories a serving, perfect for Easter or any special occasion.

For the pavlova
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

For the topping
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate
1/4 cup melted chocolate for drizzling

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites and salt on high speed until they hold their shape. Add sugar gradually until mixture stands in firm peaks. Add lemon juice and whisk just to incorporate. Sift cocoa powder into a small corner of the bowl and lightly fold it into the meringue using a plastic spatula. Do not overmix or you will lose the rippled effect.

Pour meringue onto parchment-lined sheet pan in an oval shape, roughly 3 by 5 inches and 2 inches high. Switch off oven without opening door and leave pavlova in turned-off oven for one hour. Remove and set aside.  Topping: Whisk whipping cream into semi-stiff peaks and spoon on top of pavlova. Sprinkle with raspberries and shaved chocolate before serving. Finish with drizzled chocolate.

Round the Net

Thanks to the following people for these links and/or announcements:

Clobberhead and grateful owner
Congrats to Sarah Bracey White on the third printing of her memoir, Primary Lessons (Cavan-Kerry, 2013)

Guitarist and songwriter Michael Cefola for the inspiring story of Clobberhead

Translator Roger Greenwald for this list of best translated fiction

Poet and civil rights essayists J. Chester Johnson for his four-part article on the little-known Elaine race riots

Translator Lucas Klein for his wonderful interview in Asymptote

Congrats to Anomalous Press on its first anniversary

Congrats to poet Maxine Silverman, on second printing of Transport of the Aim (Parallel Press, 2014)

Poet Linda Simone for this article on the disappearance of New York bookstores

Translator Willard Wood for these jokes translated from around the world

Filmmaker Frank Vitale for sharing Episode 4 of The Metropolis Organism

Wishing you a joyous Easter, Passover and poetry filled spring.

Until next time,

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