Saturday, March 06, 2021

your starry annogram


Wishing Upon a Star

Photo by Michael Cefola
Dear annogrammers, Mars visited the Pleiades this week, an amazing event, not to occur again until 2038, that follows the Jupiter-Saturn Grand Conjunction. I am grateful to my favorite astronomer, Michael, for urging me outdoors to see it. To feast on more fantastic images in the universe, you can also attend a star party. Our message: get outside, look up, and believe in your dearest wishes.


Latest News

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)
reading James Joyce
Thanks to editors of I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe (Milk and Cake Press) and journal Ancient Paths for acceptances; that Poets Speaking to Poets: Echoes and Tributes (ArsOmnia Press) will appear this fall; and that Chen Du’s April 2019 translation of my five poems won second place in the 2020 Reader's Favorite Award in Yan He (Yan River), a respected journal established in 1956, shortly after the foundation of the new China.


Sleepy Hollow Wishing Wall

Tim Grajek at work
Sleepy Hollow and Hudson River town residents came together recently to paint a Wishing Wall along the Riverwalk. Award-winning illustrator Tim Grajek, mural team member, encouraged community artists—from Girl Scout troops to a diversity of individual volunteers—to paint wishes and thoughts for a bright future. Thanks to longtime friend, photographer Margaret Fox, for sharing this inspirational community event!


More Wishing

How do you craft a truly effective wish? Find out in Barbara Dickinson’s and Margie Herrick’s new Questions and Answers about Wishing Workshop. Register for March 20, 11am-1pm (ET) or 7pm-9pm (ET). To attend, please donate any amount to help young girls in Ghana have higher education wishes come true via, and send a screenshot or confirmation copy to


Resilience at Mercy College

Sarah Bracey White
Congratulations to Sarah Bracey White on being selected to speak in the Mercy College Resilience Series this month. As executive director of Greenburgh Arts and Culture, Sarah will also address Beth Gersh-Nesic’s Black Lives Matter in Art class. She will discuss exciting and timely community projects—stay tuned!


New and Recent Releases

Gary Glauber, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing)


Mary K O' Melveny, Merging Star Hypotheses (Finishing Line Press)


Jan Zlotnik Schmidt, Foraging for Light (Finishing Line Press)


J. R. Solonche, The Dust (Dos Madres Press)


Thomas Vinton, The Package: Bomb, Money, or Drugs (Independently Published) and Sanctioned Treachery: Portrait of a Drug Informant (Picasso Publications)

Creative Opportunities

Ellen Bass, The Art of Revision, $300


Catholic Literary Arts Sacred Poetry Contest, by April 30


Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, every second Wednesday


ModPo, University of Pennsylvania’s free poetry course and global community


Norwalk Poetry Workshop, first and third Mondays, 6:30pm; email to register

Paraclete Poetry Prize for spiritual-themed poetry manuscript by May 1, 2021


The Poet (UK) poetry writing courses


Pure Slush (Australia) call for submissions on growing up and conversations


Rhino poetry, translations, and flash open-reading period, March 1-June 30

March Readings and Events – ET

Ruth Handel
March 4-28, John Maggiotto and Rachel Weatherford Whitlow Solo Shows, Upstream Gallery (Hastings)

March 9, 7pm, Poetry Caravan featuring Doretta Cornell, Alice Feeley, Ruth Handel, Sandra Hauss, Linda Levit, Deborah Maier, Rachel Cindy Simon, and Fran Sisco; register here

March 10, 7pm, Kazim Ali, Jill Bialosky, and Mark Wunderlich, HVWC, $10

Mary Newell
March 24, 8pm (7pm CT), Roof Books (New Orleans) presents Rodrigo Toscano, Kit
Robinson, Rodger Kamenetz; register

March 31, noon, Kelly Writers House (Philadelphia) Panel on Plants and Poetics featuring Lee Ann Brown, Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, Brenda Iijima, Mary Newell, and Evelyn Reilly


Monthly Readings – ET

Thanks to Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for this list:


First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


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


Every Tuesday, 7pm, Curley’s Diner


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


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


ModPo YouTube Channel


Wildly Popular Baked Feta Pasta

Last night, the news reported a feta shortage thanks to this Internet recipe. Apparently it emerged from Scandinavia three years ago and has taken the globe by storm. I have yet to try it but trusted test cook Linda Simone gives it the thumbs up:


14 oz  feta cheese

12 oz  pasta

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

2 ½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 1/3 lb cherry tomatoes

½ cup olive oil

sugar, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Add cherry tomatoes, five tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, most of thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large baking dish and mix well. Place feta in middle of dish. Sprinkle remaining olive oil and thyme over feta. Zest lemon over dish. Bake 30 minutes. Cook pasta in salted water, per package instructions. Drain and set aside. Remove baking dish from oven and stir to combine ingredients. Stir in pasta and serve immediately.

ΚΌRound the Net 

Jenni Baker (1984-2020)
Poet Jenni Baker, Found Poetry Review editor, remembered for her brilliant Pulitzer Remix (2013), where many of us met and became poetry pals across time zones—thank you, Jenni!

Poet Regi Claire for work in The New European, flash fiction in Ambit (video), prose in the anthology The Middle of a Sentence (Common Breath), and pandemic meditation in the blog What She Might Think

Translators Chen Du and Xisheng Chen for translating Yan An’s “A Bare-Handed Lightning Catcher,” “
Rocks Living in a Yonder Homeland,” and “Direction of Twilight in Ginkgo Manor” in the latest Pilgrimage

Art Historian Beth Gersh-Nesic for sharing this sculpture of books

Poet Gary Glauber for poetry and flash fiction in The Piker Press, his Pushcart-nominated poem in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, and his sixth book, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing)


Gary Glauber
Author J. Chester Johnson on Damaged Heritage (Pegasus Books) highlighted in this Times of Entrepreneurship article


Poet Janet Kaplan whose book Ecotones will be published this fall by Eyewear Ltd


Coeditors Mary Newell, Bernard Quetchenbach, and Sarah Nolan on having Poetics for the More-than-Human World (Dispatches Editions) listed as a finalist for the 2020 Big Other Award


Jo Pitkin
Poet Jo Pitkin on having work appear in The Poetry of Capital: Voices from Twenty-First-
Century America
(University of Wisconsin Press) and Multiplicity Magazine


Poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen for this recent Var-Matin profile


Poet Christina Rau, named the Oceanside Library Poet in Residence for a second year, for this clip of her reading


Poets Jan Zlotnik Schmidt and Mary K O’Melveny on the debut of their writing group’s website


Blues bassist Larry Schwartzman for Larkin Poe’s “She’s a Self-Made Man” and “Tennessee Waltz”


Playwrights James Sherry and Mark Wallace on reading their original play, “The Rapture”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Cellist and music archivist Jay Shulman for honoring Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021)


Poet Linda Simone for sharing MoMA’s poetic response to Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series


Fran Sisco with two of her sculptures
Poet-filmmaker-artist Fran Sisco for her reading at The Freak Show; wood sculptures in the Pelham Art Center courtyard; and a painting in the New Rochelle Council on the Arts "Struggle" Exhibit at New Rochelle City Hall through April 6


Art and music critic Ann Starr for this animated version of Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things”


Keep looking up!


Until next time,