Monday, April 05, 2021

your bloomin' annogram

Dear annogrammers, April’s warmer temperatures and promise of a post-vaccine life seem especially precious this year. Shakespeare’s birthday arrives this month, and why not celebrate with a delicious zucchini cake with strawberries? Above all, pick up your instrument of choice and get creative—spring is blooming with possibility.


National Poetry Month


The Lions masked this year

You’ll see lots of local festivals and online readings below, and two creative offerings as part of San Antonio’s robust poetry program. Closer to home, the New York Public Library is also sponsoring free poetry events and online workshops. While we welcome these, remember—it’s always National Poetry Month chez annogram.


Authors Are Dangerous People


Write it how you feel it. All that is necessary for evil to flourish is that good people publish nothing. Viva la revolución! That’s the manifesto of Blood and Bourbon (Canada), where my three poems, "Grace," "Profile," and "Cape Revival,” will appear. Equally thrilled for upcoming publications of “Roofers” in Ancient Paths  and “Trackside Commissary” in Brought to Sight & Swept Away: A Poetry Anthology About Time (Vita Brevis Press).

Ekphrastic Poetry in San Antonio

National Poetry Month San Antonio 

Linda Simone poem at Culinary 
Institute in San Antonio

(NPMSA) sponsored an Ekphrastic Poetry Contest for youths and adults to write on specific artwork at four local museums. First, NPMSA offered mini workshops before selecting 20 winners from 125 applicants. San Antonio always has great poetry events (see below). Kudos to judges Jim LaVilla-Havelin, Octavio Quintanilla, and Linda Simone!


National Haiku Day – April 17

"Nesting Pair" by the Boxes
Poets Jim La Villa-Havelin, Linda Simone, Eddie Vega, and Mobi Warren will read their haiku, and some Basho and Issa, at the San Antonio Botanical Garden at 10 am. Attendees may also compose haiku in response to origami sculptures, by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box and others, placed throughout the garden.


Immersive Van Gogh

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit will debut at a super-secret location in the heart of NYC on June 10th. Wander through 500,000 cubic feet of monumental projections animating van Gogh’s oeuvre. Social distancing circles and strict sanitizing policies will keep you safe as you experience art like never before. Buy tickets here.


Community Read


This poetry month, some of us will be reading other life-changing work. The Scarsdale Safe Coalition is sponsoring a community read of Chanel Miller’s Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking). A 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award winner, the memoir confronts sexual assault and its aftermath. A Zoom discussion will follow April 21st, 7-8pm. For Zoom link, call 914-723-3281.


New and Recent Releases


Jerry T. Johnson
Jerry T. Johnson, Poets Should Not Write about Politics (Evening Street Press) pre-order


Janet Kuypers, Eternal Never Ending Now (


John McMullen, 2020 – The Year of the Coronavirus (Independently Published)

No Season for Silence (Kallisto Gaia Press) pre-order


Kevin Pilkington, Playing Poker With Tennessee Williams (Black Lawrence

Remembering Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Moonstone Press)


Lori Soderlind, The Change: My Great American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour (University of Wisconsin Press)


Creative Opportunities


Gnashing Teeth call for poetry, artwork, essays, and stories from female-identifying youth 8-18 for anthology, SHE: Seen. Heard. Engaged; deadline April 30


Darrell Laurant’s We Who Create website, and Bridge to New Facebook page to connect with others on the creative journey

Darrell Laurant

Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, every second Wednesday


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


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


The Poets Salon, led by Ed Ahern and Alison McBain of Fairfield Scribes Press, 10am, second Saturdays


Poets and Writers’ new Poets and Writer Groups that offer open writing groups nationwide

Ed Ahern

Pure Slush call for poetry and prose on conversations by April 6; and on friendship, starting April 15

Writers, Artists, Actors, etc. Luncheon, noon, every second Friday


April Readings and Events – ET

Vijay Seshadri
Fridays in April, Connecticut Poet Laureates Read, 7pm, YouTube link here


April 1-25, Upstream Gallery Celebrates 30 Years, anniversary exhibit

April 1-30, The New Orleans Literary Festival and Press Fair


April 5-9, Little Grassy Literary Festival


April 7, 7pm, HVWC, Indran Amirthanayagam, Rebecca Morgan Frank, and Vijay Seshadri, $10

April 8-11, Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival


April 9, 7pm, Moonstone Arts Center, Terry M. Dugan, Isabella Piacentino, Rob Wright; Zoom reading; meeting ID 827 6872 9107, passcode 896169


Reginald Dwayne Betts
April 10, 3pm, Hudson Valley Annual Westchester Poetry Festival featuring Reginald Dwayne Betts


April 12-30, New York Public Library World Literature Festival


April 14, 7pm, HVWC, Russell Banks and Sigrid Nunez, $10

April 17, 4pm, Kevin Pilkington Zoom launch for Playing Poker With Tennessee Williams (Black Lawrence Press)

Walt Whitman birthplace

April 18, 3pm, Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Jennifer Franklin, Margo Taft Stever; register here


April 28, 3:30pm, virtual tour of Walt Whitman’s Birthplace and the Pollock-Krasner House on Long Island, followed by 20-minute poetry writing session with poet Christina Rau; register here


April 30, 1pm, New York Public Library, Celebrating Indigenous Languages of the Americas


Monthly Readings – ET


First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


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

Every Tuesday, 7pm, Curley’s Diner


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


Zucchini Cake with Strawberries


Modeled after a classic strawberry sponge cake, this healthier version features hidden zukes, almonds, and a minimal yet perfect vanilla buttercream icing.



1 ½ cups self-rising flour

1 cup finely ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 large zucchinis, peeled and finely grated



10 sliced organic strawberries

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, ground almonds, and baking soda in small bowl. Using an electric mixer, combine eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until a creamy pale yellow. Add zucchini. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Divide between two nonstick 7-inch cake pans; bake 30 minutes. Cool fifteen minutes, remove from pans, and place on wire racks until cool. For icing: beat butter with spoonfuls of sugar, then add cream and vanilla until smooth. Spread thin layer on top of one cake; top with half the strawberries. Ice bottom of other cake, place icing-side down to sandwich strawberries;  ice top of cake, and arrange remaining strawberries on top. Enjoy!


ʼRound the Net


Llyn Clague
Memoirist Sarah Bracey White for this mesmerizing line animation timed to Beethoven’s Fifth


Poet Llyn Clague on having work accepted by The Poetry Porch


Poets Terry Dugan and Linda Simone on having poems in Remembering Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Moonstone Press)


Poet Suzanne Cleary on being a finalist for The Moth Poetry Prize

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Artist Kathe Gregory for this fascinating recreation of a Frank Lloyd Wright lost work


Poet and artist Bob Heman on three collages and four poems in Home Planet News


Poet Cindy Hochman on work accepted by great weather for MEDIA, the LIPS tribute to Lyn Lifshin, and recent LIVE MAG! reading with Andrei Codrescu and other poets

Author J. Chester Johnson on sharing the passing of Sheila T. Walker, a prominent figure in his memoir on racial reconciliation, Damaged Heritage (Pegasus Books)


Poet Jerry T. Johnson on winning the Sinclair Prize for Poets Should Not Write about Politics (Evening Street Press)


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for Maine Poet Laureate Stuart

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
by Debra Styer

Kestenbaums podcast on why you should read poetry, this arresting article on plagiarism, and useful piece on chapbook presses


Poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen for his research on Edith Wharton’s former home in Hyères, France


Cellist and classical music archivist Jay Shulman for advising on the passing of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Hanging Loose Press founder Robert Hershon

The Verrazano from Brooklyn
(2020) by Michael Holstein
Poet and artist Linda Simone for free, public domain images from museums and libraries


Journalist Gerald Smith on pandemic-inspired panic buying


Poet Margo Stever for Laurence Carr’s article on Slapering Hol Press


Lori Soderlind
Author Lori Soderlind on being a 2021 Lambda Literary Award finalist for
The Change: My Great American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour (University of Wisconsin Press)


Filmmaker Angela Virsinger for this video of brain expert Jim Kwik on optimal reading


A Master Architect Vindicated


Julius Gregory (1875-1955) and wife, artist
Mary Lovrien Price Gregory (1888-1972)

Last month my grandfather, architect Julius Gregory (1875-1955), won a victory. After a petition to destroy one of his homes had been denied, the applicants appealed. While one out of five criteria must be met for preservation, our town’s Board of Trustees came out swinging and affirmed three: the house contributes to broad patterns of history; embodies distinctive characteristics that possess high artistic value, and is the work of a master. Thanks to Columbia Professor Andrew Dolkart who, defending Julius, called him “among the most talented architects in the United States.”


Until next time,