Friday, February 05, 2021

your valentine's annogram

Valentine Greetings

Dear annogrammers, yes, you did just receive a newsletter from me. There was so much in the hopper that I had to follow it up quickly. Thank you for your generous response, and for support around preservation efforts involving my grandfather's work. We await a verdict this month. In the meantime, send me your news and be sure to include all related links. You are amazing, and you deserve love and chocolate for all your creative accomplishments. Happy Valentine's Day!

Readers’ Favorite in China


My Chax publisher, poet Charles
Alexander, and my translator Chen Du

Chen Du’s translation of my poem, “Amphibious,” has won second place in the 2020 Readers’ Favorite Awards in Yan He (Yellow River) where it appeared. Translator, essayist, and poet Chen Du has appeared in The Los Angeles Review,  Babel,  American Writers Review,  Waymark Literary Magazine,  Lunch Ticket, and Sinking Water Review. With frequent co-translator Xishen Chen, her translation of Chinese poet Yan An was a 2020 Gabo Award Finalist. I am honored to be translated by the prolific Chen Du!


Mother Mary Comes to Me


Thanks to Karen Head and Collin Kelley, editors of Mother Mary Comes to Me: A Pop Culture Poetry Anthology (Madville Publishing) for including my poem “Theokotos.” This “inspired” collection, featuring work by poets such as Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Denise Duhamel, received accolades in Amethyst Magazine. Sample it at the February 22nd, 7pm, reading from the Georgia Center for the Book.


More Gratitude


W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Thanks to Cindy Hochman for publishing “The Mole” in the September First Literary Review-East and “No one praises this monastic season” in November; Robin Barratt for “We Live at a Crossing” and “Postcards on a Passing World” in On The Road from The Poet (UK); and Bethany Rivers for “Beatitude,” “When I learned that Auden was alcoholic,” and “The last time I sit with you” in Spring 2020 As Above So Below (UK).


Black History Month


Amanda Gorman

We honor Black History Month with Youth National Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s fierce yet vulnerable Inauguration poem, “The Hill We Climb.” More ways to celebrate: tap into the New York Public Library’s author events that reach deep into Black History; view Jonette O’Kelley Miller’s “19th Century’s Stereotypes vs. 19th Century Realities,”; or read J. Chester Johnson’s Damaged Heritage and William Alsup’s Won Over.


The Little Island


Have you heard about the Little Island? Huge tulip-shaped pylons secure the two-acre floating island in the Hudson River and create its varying levels. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, creator of the Vessel, this island park at Pier 55 will boast three main lawns, lush varieties of trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials; boulders for climbing, a small amphitheater, and even a secret garden. The $250 million project—initiated in 2012 by Diane Von Furstenberg and her husband Barry Dillerwill open this spring.


Covid Ditty


Steve Greenstein and cast

What to do if you’re an actor out of work in the Bronx during Covid? Get creative! Steve Greenstein is producing his own series, “Covid Ditty,” a dramedy on life in the Bronx’s Kingsbridge section. He won my heart in the first episode when he entered a Carvel and the cashier began to imitate Tom Carvel! A few of us recall and treasure that gravelly voice. There’s a more complex storyline than that…so tune in.


New and Recent Releases


Heller Levinson and Will Alexander, Dialogics (Concrete Mist Press)


Laura Morelli, The Night Portrait (William Morrow Publishing)


Mary Newell, Quetchenbach, and Nolan, eds., Poetics for the More-than-Human World Anthology (Spuyten Duyvil Press)


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

Sarah Riggs, Eavesdrop (Chax Press)


Mark Saba, A Luke of All Ages / Fire and Ice (Adelaide Books)


Verdant (Truth Serum Press)


Dianalee Velie, Italian Lesson (Poetry Box)



Ellen Bass
Creative Opportunities

Ellen Bass, Living Room Craft Talks ($300; highly recommended)


Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, every second Wednesday


The Poet (UK) Poetry Writing Course (£70)



February Readings and Events – ET


Marilyn Nelson

February 4-28, “Imagination is Your Freedom,” Upstream Gallery Juried 2021 Photography Exhibit


February 7, 4pm, Carolyn Forché and Lori Soderlind, HVWC


February 10, 7pm, JP Howard and Marilyn Nelson, HVWC


February 17, 24; March 3, 10; 7pm, “The Art of the Virtual Exhibit,” Beth Gersh-Nesic at The Greenwich Arts Council


February 20, 8pm (6pm Tucson time), Brandon Shimoda and Tacey Atsitty, POG Arts Tucson, rsvp here

Queen Esther
in 19th Century depiction


February 22, 7pm, Mother Mary Comes to Me poetry reading, Georgia Center for the Book


February 24, 10am, “Queen Esther in Art,” Beth Gersh-Nesic at Learning in Retirement (Stamford)


February 24, 7pm, Alicia Ostriker, Roger Reeves and Jeffrey Yang, HVWC



Monthly Readings – ET


Thanks to Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for this list:


Bill Buschel, host of
HVWC Open Mic
First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


First and Third Mondays, 6:30pm, Norwalk Poetry


Every Tuesday, 2pm, Spoken Word World (Paris)


Every Tuesday, 7pm, Curley’s Diner


Second Wednesdays, 6:30pm, Mahopac Poetry Workshop


Layli Long Soldier
Every Thursday, 6:30pm, Mahopac Writers Group


Second Fridays, Noon, Writers, Artists, Actors, etc. Luncheon


Third Fridays, 7pm, Hudson Valley Writers Center Open Mic – click on third Friday for details


Chax Press YouTube readings: ecopoetics, Layli Long Soldier, Cole Swensen



Ann’s Broccoli Stalk Soup


With leftover stalks from Linda Simone’s Mac and Cheese, I made this faux cream of broccoli soup that proved outstanding:


Stalks from two organic broccoli crowns, peeled of outer skin as much as possible


1 organic onion, peeled and diced


1 organic potato, peeled and diced


2-3 celery stalks, preferably inner with leaves, chopped


1 quart vegetable or Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cube broth


1 Tablespoon butter


Nutmeg, salt and pepper


Sauté onion in butter in soup pot until translucent but not browned. Add broth, potato, and celery; bring to boil and simmer 30-45 minutes. Cut broccoli into chunks and steam until just tender and bright green. Remove from heat, cool, and cut into small pieces, removing any outer skin where possible. When broth is ready, add broccoli and seasoning. Remove from heat, carefully blend with stick blender until creamy, and serve immediately. Broccoli can get a sour taste if cooked too long, so add at last minute for an absolutely delicious soup.



ʼRound the Net


"Monk in Training"
by Carol Booth

Poet and publisher Charles Alexander for Poetry Talks Podcasts such as No. 6, “Why Whitman?”


Photographer Carol Booth on winning the Color Camera Club of Westchester’s award in Category C for her photo “Monk in Training”


Photographer Jeanette Briggs on winning first place for her photo, “Guys on Greenwich Avenue,” from the Art Society of Old Greenwich


Deaf Community Advocate Florence Camace for this video on Agatha Tiegel Hanson (1873-1959), first Deaf woman to graduate from the National Deaf Mute College (now Gallaudet)


Poet Terry Dugan on performing poems inspired by Mailer and Powell at Moonstone Arts Center’s Virtual Poetry Reading


Poet BK Fischer on being named the first Westchester County Poet Laureate


Art Historian Beth Gersh-Nesic for this fabulous blog on a new translation of Andre
Salmon’s book
on Modigliani


Poet Bob Heman for his tiny poetry collection, [Information] (Purgatory Pie Press)

Cindy Hochman and Bob Heman

Poet Cindy Hochman for her flash memoir poem, “Swan” in Litterateur (India) and having “Everything I Know” appear in The Long Islander/Walt Corner's


"Preparing Fruit for Market" by

Michael Holstein, whimsical
use of an old HO train set

Photographer Michael Holstein on winning the 2021 Hastings Calendar Cover Contest—a calendar that every Hastings (NY) resident receives (not photo at left)


Author J. Chester Johnson on Damaged Heritage (Pegasus Books) receiving this great review


Poet Heller Levinson on praise from critic John Olson in Tillalala Chronicles, and for his performance of the “Trombone” poem


Patent Attorney Alan McCollom for sharing this funny “critical” review of the classic children’s story, Good Night Moon


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen on having “Coronavirus: A Visit to the Vet” appear in The Trolley


Director Mara Mills for sharing Studio-in-Exile’s performance, “19th Century’s Stereotypes vs. 19th Century Realities,” by Jonette O’Kelley Miller


Poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen for this review of his latest book in Le Salon Littéraire

Christina Rau

Poet Christina Rau on being named Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet of the Year and Poet in Residence at the Oceanside Library


Poet Natalie Safir on her seventh book, In the Guesthouse of My Body, accepted by Dos Madres Press


Blues bassist Larry Schwartzman for Gary Clark Jr.’s “You Don’t Owe You a Thang”


Poet Linda Simone for her poem, “April Walk in the Time of Corona”, sharing top online
for short story writers, this Harvard Review article on translation, and, on a lighter note, this hilarious “Anti-Bacterial Girl” send-up


Filmmaker Frank Vitale on “The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable” chosen for the 2020 Cinequest Film Festival (CA), Reading Film Festival (PA), and American Fringe (Paris) selected by Richard Peña; and “A Night at the Carnival” at the 2020 Rockland in Motion Film Festival


Stay well and be sweet.

Until next time,