Sunday, July 04, 2021

your firecracker annogram

Dear annogrammers, Happy Fourth of July! I hope you are able to celebrate with joy, barbecue, and some fireworks for a memorable post-Covid holiday.


annogram Anniversary


Thanks to Darrell Laurant for “The annogram Keeps Growing,” (scroll down) on the phenomenon of this newsletter. It’s been 15 years, and if you would like to promote your events, publications, or readings, email me the month before we go live. I’m honored to share the stellar recognition the following writers have received—each has been personally generous to the creative community, including me among many, and that may be one vital secret behind their success.


Charles Alexander Wins Coveted CLMP Award


Publisher of my translation, The Hero (Chax Press, 2018), Charles Alexander received the Lord Nose Award for lifetime achievement in literary publishing at the CLMP Firecracker Awards Ceremony. The extraordinary Charles—book designer, poet, and poetry advocate—is also a kind person who has brought dignity and grace to our field for more than 40 years. Upon receiving the award, Charles thanked his family, and Chax authors and supporters, adding “I'm feeling very fortunate today.” So are we, Charles!


Sarah Bracey White’s Stage Debut in “Transcendence”


Sarah Bracey White
Last month, in two sold-out performances, Sarah Bracey White starred in “Transcendence” based on her much-loved memoir, Primary Lessons (Cavan Kerry, 2013), at Peekskill’s Paramount Theatre. Sarah wow’d her audience in this premiere featuring classical/rock violinist Daisy Jopling, the Peekskill High School City Singers, and a gospel choir. The musical, produced by a well-known Hollywood director, may be developed into much more. Stay tuned, and congratulations to our radiant Sarah!


“Camp Cook” Premiere in Voices of Color Festival


If that wasn’t wonderful enough, Sarah’s play, “Camp Cook,” also taken from Primary Lessons (Cavan Kerry, 2013), made its debut the same weekend as “Transcendence.” Directed by Misha T. Sinclair“Camp Cook” featured a sensitive and vulnerable performance by Maiysha Reilly as Sarah—alert for someone to “discover” her! The ensemble cast worked seamlessly to tell Sarah’s compelling story of racial divisions at a New England summer camp in the 1960s.


Darrell Laurant and We Who Create


Darrell Laurant
A 30-year veteran journalist, Darrell designed We WhoCreate to counteract creative isolation
and increase our promotional opportunities. Curated from 100+ newsletters, WWC combines stories about creatives with event listings. In this space, creatives may converse, local art galleries and bookstores will be featured, and—if Darrell’s dream comes true—an annual convention. Help his generous mission by clicking the website’s “follow” button—which simply quantifies how many of us visit.

A Happy Trans Girl


Fran Sisco
Congratulations to filmmaker Fran Sisco on these festival selections: “It’s an Italian Thing. No, It’s a Black Thing!”, Miami Indie Film Awards; “Carousel Girl”, New York Lift-Off Film and International Film Festivals; “Stonewall Thanks” International World Film Award and Paris International Short Festival finalists; and “Our Friend Wendy, It’s Her Birthday!” and “Happy Trans Girl Like Me”, 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival finalists. In June, Fran also performed “Happy Trans Girl,” with Baron Raymonde on sax, at The Stonewall Inn (NYC) in an Imperial Court of NY show benefiting Hudson Pride (NJ).  

New and Recent Releases

Leah Johnson, Bindweed (Cherry Grove Collections)


John F. McMullen, My Life in 26 Poems (Independently published)


Laura Morelli, The Stolen Lady (William Morrow) (pre-order)


Pedestal 88


Jay Shulman, producer, “Alan Shulman - The Tattooed Stranger” (Bridge Records, 2021)

Frank Vitale, “The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable” (Amazon Prime, Google Play, You Tube Movies)


Creative Calls


Bordighera Press Lauria Frasca Poetry Prize – by July 11


Mom Egg Review open call on “mother figures” – poetry, fiction, prose, hybrid – by July 15


Open Door Poetry Magazine – call for poems on war – by July 11


Pure Slush Press – call for poetry, fiction, and essays on love – by August 31


VIA: Voices in Italian Americanaopen for submissions


Creative Workshops

Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, every second Wednesday


Mini Tutorial on Poetic Meter thanks to Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen


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


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, every second Saturday


Under The Microscope: A Poetry Workshop at Maine Media College featuring Kevin Pilkington, July 19-23


July Readings and Events – ET


"Dragonfly" by  Meg Lindsay
July 1-31, Irvington Public Library, virtual gallery exhibit, “Painting and Poetics” by Meg Lindsay


July 1-31, Upstream Gallery, 2021 Juried Paperworks Show


July 8, 8pm (7pm Central), Mutabilis Press poets Chip Dameron, Patricia McMahon, Gregory Maguire, Scott Chalupa, Michael Baldwin, Carla Hagen, Leroy Sorenson, Gabrielle Langley, Maria King Illic; register here


July 8, 7pm, Andrew Delbanco, Rebecca Makkai; July 15, Cleopatra Mathis, Matthew Olzemann, Sue Miller; July 22, Benjamin Garcia, Tom Barbash; July 29, Jeff Sharlet, Ivy Pochoda; Canaan (NH) Meetinghouse, LIVE


Michael Baldwin
July 10, 7pm, Poetry Box, Meg Lindsay; click here 5 mins before show (id: 915 5122 5053code: 643061)


July 10, 5pm, Lit Balm: Timothy Donnelly, Valzhyna Mort, Danielle Blau, Chase Twitchell; register here


July 14, 7pm, Ellen Bass, Arthur Sze; register here


July 18, 6pm, The Industry Bar, The Imperial Court of New York Christmas in July Show featuring Fran and Kelly Sisco to benefit Bailey House


July 21, 7pm, Katie Farris, Emily Lee Luan, and Isabella DeSendi; register here

Mary Newell

July 28, 7pm, Silvina López Medin, Jennifer Militello, and Jennifer Stewart Miller; register


August 31, 3:30pm, Garrison Public Library, Mary Newell book launch Re-Surge (Trainwreck Press)


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

Beth’s Gluten-Free Hurricane Sandy Cake

Art historian and translator Beth Gersh-Nesic shares the recipe she created to use up eggs and butter when she lost power during Hurricane Sandy but still had her gas oven working. This dense chocolate cake is perfect for a picnic—it slices like pound cake and tastes even better. So yummy. Thanks, Beth!

1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup clear sugar

6 eggs

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

2 ½ cups (1/2 lb) Trader Joe’s Almond Flour

½ or 1 whole package chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a microwave-safe glass bowl: Melt butter in microwave oven. Stir in sugar. Mix in whole eggs. Add cocoa, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon, and salt. Add almond flour. Add chocolate chips to taste. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and then line with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan. Bake 40-45 minutes. Check with knife for doneness. Bon Appétit!  


̓Round the Net

Poet and novelist Regi Claire on having work in The New European, The Best New British and Irish Poets 2019-2021 (Black Spring Press), and issue 96 of The Rialto.


Writer Barbara Dickinson and photographer Margie Herrick on the debut of their Wishing Wisdom blog


Last month's eclipse

Translators Chen Du and Xisheng Chen on translations of poet Yan An in Interim Poetics and The Momentist


Poet Terry M. Dugan for this article on punctuation as a tool in Black activism


Editor Larry Faltz for the best amateur astronomy newsletter this side of the Ort Cloud


Art Historian Beth Gersh-Nesic on discovering artist Wan-Ting Chiu, who taps her own anxiety as inspiration for “bold, beautiful and poignant” work


Artwork by
Wan-Ting Chiu

Poet and memoirist J. Chester Johnson for this Guardian article on the Elaine Race Massacre and gifting Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and A Story of Reconciliation to Johnson House Juneteenth celebrants


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for sharing this post on framing experience in poems


The New York Public Library
on restoring full service to all of its branches on July 6


Cellist and musical archivist Jay Shulman on the release of “Alan Shulman - The Tattooed Stranger” (Bridge Records, 2021), a CD he produced of his father’s 1940s R.K.O. film scores

James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Poet and artist Linda Simone on San Antonio’s new poet laureate, this beautiful reflection by poet Naomi Shihab Nye on her home, and this 1979 interview with James Baldwin that never aired


Studio Theater in Exile for Artist Recognition Month


Filmmaker Frank Vitale on his award-winning film, “The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable,” now available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and You Tube Movies


I will be taking off August, so send me your news for September, and enjoy your summer!


Until next time,