Friday, April 03, 2020

your april annogram

Warm Greetings

Hello everyone. I hope this annogram finds you safe, at home, and well—working remotely or diving into a creative project. Here’s a virus overview from a doctor on the frontlines here in New York; an Israeli video on how it spreads; ways to safely bring food into your home; and a heads up that national crises increase domestic violence. This guided focusing meditation can help introduce some calm.

Poetry Month

April is the time we celebrate poetry, and I am grateful for work in Presence 2020, Bewildering Stories, Heat the Grease We’re Frying Up Some Poetry (Gnashing Teeth Press), and acceptances in S/Tick, Mother Mary Comes To Me (Madville Publishing) and What But the Music (Gelles-Cole Publishing).

Bishop in Key West

As reported by Poets and Writers, the Key West Literary Seminar (KWLS) has purchased Elizabeth Bishop's former residence in Key West, Florida. The site will become a public literary venue as well as KWLS headquarters. Arlo Haskell, executive director of KWLS, says the timeless residence still “feels like Elizabeth Bishop’s house.” 

Planet Word

An interactive museum dedicated to words and language is planned to open this year in Washington, DC. Planet Word will focus on the spoken, sung, and written word—such as a 22-foot-tall Word Wall with 1,000+ voice activated words,lighting up and explaining their arrival in the English language. The 51,000-square-foot site will be inside the historic Franklin School in the heart of DC.

Fav San Antonio Artists

"Lungs of the Earth"
by Lucia LaVilla-Havelin

Congratulations to textile artist Lucia LaVilla-Havelin on her recent exhibit at Aanna Reyes Gallery. Lucia creates needlework on canvases such as “Lungs of the Earth” to raise environmental awareness.

"Amazon Parrot" by Linda Simone

Kudos too to watercolorist Linda Simone on exhibiting at Kapej Gallery. Linda combines watercolor and ink on recycled tea bags for a gorgeous, antique-like patina—which you can see  @teabagartsa on Instagram

New Releases

Heath Brougher, ed. Concrete Mist Press Anthology (Concrete Mist)

Kevin Crookes, Snoff the Sloth (Independently Published)

Carrie Greenlaw, Dark Garnet (L+S Press)

Kerrin McCadden, Keep This to Yourself (Button Poetry)
Kevin Pilkington, Playing Poker with Tennessee Williams (Black Lawrence Press)

Jean-Luc Pouliquen, Itinéraire poétique en étoile (Independently Published)

Martina Reisz Newberry, Blues for French Roast with Chicory (Deerbrook Editions)

Geoffrey Woolf, Fontaine’s Golden Wheel Fortune Teller and Dream Book (Dos Madres Press) 

Creative Opportunities

Bob Heman
Catholic Literary Arts is sponsoring a poetry contest; submit by April 30

Clown War, aka CLWN WR, edited by poet Bob Heman, enjoys an archive that goes back to 1974

The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is open for submissions.

Matter Press will send a free book if you are quarantined: email your snail mail address to

Morning Mahopac Writers Group and Business of Writing and Publishing Group via Zoom; email

One-on-One Poetry Workshop with Arthur Vogelsang

Pedestal Magazine call for poems around “laments for the earth” or “songs of resilience”

Poetry Spoken Here is launching Open Mic of the Air; send five-minute or less audio recording of your poems and it will edit into podcasts

Rhino poetry and reviews for your reading pleasure

Blender Cornmeal Waffles

Here’s comfort food that’s easy to make—three large waffles:

1 egg
3/4 cup organic or plant-based milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat waffle maker. Place ingredients in blender. Cover and mix at med-high speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-blend. Pour 1/2 cup batter over grids. Close waffle maker gently and bake until steam no longer escapes, about 3-5 minutes. Remove waffle with a fork and serve.

Online Poetry Events (EST)

Christina Rau
April 4, Noon, Susanna Case on her book Body Falling, Sunday Morning (Milk and Cake Press)

April 5, 2pm, Ceremony and Reading, Christina Rau named Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet of the Year

Charles Alexander
April 5, 4-5:30pm, "As We Keep Our Distance" with Laurel Peterson, Van Hartman, Jane Ormerod

April 5, 5pm, Lit Balm: An Interactive Livestream Reading Series
with Jonathan Penton, Larissa Shmailo, Marc Vincenz

April 8, 8-9pm, launch of Geoff Woolf's Fontaine's Golden Wheel Fortune Teller and Dream Book

Charles Alexander and Eli Goldblatt on the Chax YouTube channel
Distāntia Remote Reading Series 

ʼRound the Net

Sarah Bracey White (far right)
with fans at AWP
Poets Ed Ahern and John McMullen on work in The Creativity Webzine

Memoirist Sarah Bracey White for selling all her copies of Primary Lessons (CavanKerry) at AWP

Poet and Open Mic Host Bill Buschel on the perks of being a pirate

Author Kevin Crookes on his new YouTube channel for kids

Art Historian Beth Gersh-Nešić for her fantastic article on Degas (1834-1917) and salute to Notre Dame as we near the April 15th anniversary of its burning

Poet Cindy Hochman on having work appear in the new Concrete Mist Press Anthology (Concrete Mist)

Heller Levinson
Poet Heller Levinson on editing Alligator Zine (Belgium) and praise from the Los Angeles Review

Poet and artist Meg Lindsay on recent painting exhibit, “Mostly New,” at the Irvington Library

YA Novelist Alison McBain on her debut novel The Rose Queen (Fairfield Scribes) becoming a Wishing Shelf List finalist

Poet Mary McCray for sharing this look into the new world of mega-online meetings

Poet John McMullen for this article on the never-ending poem

Poet Ralph Nazareth for reminding us of one of the most timely and poignant lines in poetry

Poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen on being featured on the January 9, 2020 and June 6,  2019 broadcasts of Les poètes

The New York Public Library for Books You’ve Always Meant to Read

Jorge Luis Borges
Poet Christina Rau on being named the Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet of the Year

Musician Larry Schwartzman for sending us this roundup of 2020 poetry reads

Poet and artist Linda Simone for the story behind Good Night Moon

Scholar Ilan Stavans for this animated short on Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)

Writer Alison Stine on the financial and physical barriers to AWP attendance

Filmmaker Frank Vitale on his film, “The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable”, at the Sarasota Film Festival

Poet Neal Whitman and photographer Elaine Whitman on respective work in Immagine e Poesia (Italy)

Special thanks to Dr. Steve Guggenheim, Marie Morris RN, Bill Buschel, and Barbara Dickinson for the sharing the helpful virus-related videos above

Some Indoor Treats

Christopher Kimball has an online guide to its list of live-streamed music, and past shows

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street is offering free cooking courses through the end of April

2,500 museums can be visited virtually courtesy this article shared by Beth Gersh-Nešić

Nike dropped subscription fees for its NTC Premium services that stream 185+ workouts

Coursera is offering Yale’s popular course, The Science of Well-Being, for free

(C)Ovid and Metamorphosis

Ovid (43 bce - 17 ce)
What a bizarre few weeks! I was finishing The Metamorphoses while life around me seemed to transform. An old school salesman shook my hand after a purchase, and I thought, “He’s not afraid,” then “Is that my last handshake?” Rome faces a plague at the end of Ovid’s volume of beloved and often disturbing myths. The oracle instructs elders to bring back Asclepius, the god of medicine, from Greece, and the city recovers. Could part of our cure be here already—slowing down, spending time with family, focusing on immediate needs, and savoring fresh air outdoors? Something profound is shifting, sprouting feathers, growing wings. Hold on, keep connected, and wait for whatever takes shape.

Be safe, be creative!

Until next time,