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