Thursday, November 04, 2021

your grateful annogram

Dear annogrammers, In this month that closes on a note of gratitude, I am grateful for your amazing literary and artistic talents, our creative journey together, and the collegial friendship we enjoy. Speaking of journeys, this issue gives you ways to feel like you’re traveling—even back in time! Enjoy….

When the Pilotless Plane Arrives


When the Pilotless Plane Arrives (Trainwreck Press) is now available! Thanks to editor John C. Goodman for publishing my chapbook, and all of you purchasing it and going back for more copies for friends who are sci-fi films buffs. Pilotless taps into 1950s sci-fi/horror film narratives as metaphors for the perils of writing poetry—and makes a great holiday gift. You can order your copy here.



The TWA Hotel at JFK


With the Connie

Keeping with our airplane theme, the TWA Hotel is a total 1960s time capsule! A Chrysler Newport convertible and two-color VW van sit outside, and inside, an upbeat songs like “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” immerse travelers in that cultural period.


Hmm...a new career?

The renovated Eero Saarinen
(1910-1961) building, one of the “first space age” designs, features an exhibit of TWA stewardess uniforms, and access to the 1958 Lockheed Constellation plane, parked outside the airy lobby. The “Connie,” a bar lounge, once the jumbo jet of its time, requires climbing steps much like you see celebrities do—a fun photo op. 

Demanding more royalties

I got nostalgic seeing banks of dial pay phones. The site also features Saarinen’s “office” with blueprints, the “Pope Room”; several scenic designer bars, and iconic photos of stars such as Monroe and the Beatles exiting TWA planes. Go, and you too will be humming “Up, Up, and Away” when you leave.



Travels with Roger


Roger Weatherburn-Wells Baker
Thanks to dear friend Claudia Hammon for alerting me to the Luxe Travel Writer, a website by Roger Weatherburn-Wells Baker. You can pick just about any country, click on an image, and be immersed in a specific place—complemented by Roger’s literary narrative. Missing your home country? Planning an upcoming trip? Scroll and click your way through this beautiful website by an authoritative globetrotter.



Yan An Read by Chen Du and Xisheng Chen


When it’s 9pm in New York, it’s 9am the next day in Xi’ang Province, China. That’s the time my Chinese translator,
Chen Du, read work via Zoom by Yan An, one of China’s premier contemporary poets. Chax Press recently released his book, A Naturalist’s Manor, a translation by Chen and Xisheng Chen. We enjoyed hearing Chen, Xisheng, and US poet Norman Fischer read, followed by a fascinating conversation on Chinese poetry. Thanks to Chax publisher Charles Alexander for hosting this global event!



It’s an Italian Thing. No, It’s a Black Thing.

Playwright Fran Sisco’s
It’s an Italian Thing. No, It’s a Black Thing, which tests and circles cultural boundaries, debuted last month at Manhattan’s historic Guild Hall. The plot centers around Frankie, an Italian-American trans woman, played by Fran Sisco, who must meet Winnie, African-American mother of Frankie’s girlfriend, Tanasia. “[The dramedy] shows how much more alike we are than different,” said director Dakota Martin of Chill Bucket Productions. Congratulations to Fran, Dakota, producer Joe Rocco, and the cast!



Where Sonny Rollins Found His Muse


Sometimes you don’t have to go far for inspiration, only “up.” In 1959, sax virtuoso Sonny Rollins left the music scene to play in the clouds—atop the Williamsburg Bridge. High above the East River, Sonny answered tugboat horns, seagull cries, and rhythmic clacks of subway cars. Two years later, he recorded The Bridge, one of his most beloved albums. In Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge, Gary Golio tells this remarkable story—complemented by James Ransome’s illustrations—for the young and young-at-heart.



Creative Opportunities


Guggenheim Poet-in-Residence, deadline December 5


Hooking the Reader: Polishing Your First Line and First Page, a workshop with Laurel S. Peterson, November 4, 6pm

Moonstone Chapbook Contest, deadline November 5 

The National Park Arts Foundation, writer residencies – thanks to Christina Rau for this!

The Pedestal open call for submissions, deadline November 28


Poetry group forming at Scarsdale Public Library, email


Pure Slush accepting submissions for its Work Lifespan Vol. 5, deadline December 31


Upstream Gallery call for small works, deadline December 3



New and Recent Releases


Laura Bass, The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story
(Girl Friday Books)

Gary Golio, Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin)

Gary Metras, Vanishing Points (Dos Madres Press)

John McMullen, Collected Poems 2008-2010 (Scars Publishing)

 Paul Dickinson Russell, The Will of the Magi (Lulu)



Creative Workshops


Laurel Peterson

Hooking the Reader: Polishing Your First Line and First Page, a workshop with Laurel S. Peterson, November 4, 6pm


All-Genre Writers Group, 6:30pm, Thursdays


John McMullen Poetry Workshop, 6pm, fourth Wednesdays


Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, second Wednesdays


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


Writers and Artists Lunch Conversation, second Fridays, noon



November+ Readings and Events – ET


Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds

November 4, 8pm, Mutabilis Press’s Mutable Hour reading, register here


November 6, 1pm, 
Oceanside (NY) Library, Grief and Gratitude Panel and Performance with 
Poet-in-Residence Christina Rau; via Zoom meeting ID: 865 1903 1421; passcode: 186896; also a Facebook Event


November 11, 2pm, John McMullen Veteran’s Day Reading


November Saturdays, 5pm, Segue Reading Series, November 6, Rachel Levitsky, Anna Gurton-Wachter; November 13, Kamden Hilliard, Laura Elrick; November 20, Charles Bernstein; Geoffrey Olsen; December 4, Lila Zemborain, Justin Allen


November 4-28, Upstream Gallery, TB Ward and Luis Perelman Solo Exhibitions; artists’ reception, November 7, 2-6pm


Paul Dickinson Russell

November, all month, Studio Theater in Exile, Truth-telling: Voices of First People Exhibit featuring contemporary Indigenous artists Christi Belcourt, the late T. C. Cannon, Nicholas Galanin Yéil Ya-Tseen, Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, Margaret Jacobs, Rose B. Simpson, Duane Slick and Benjamin West

December 4, 11am, Fat Moose Comics (New Jersey), The Will of the Magi book launch with Paul Dickinson Russell



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 third Friday for details


Every Saturday, 5pm, Lit Balm



Pumpkin Hummus


Thanks to Linda Simone for another yummy and nutritious recipe—Linda, a poet and artist both in and out of the kitchen!


2 cloves garlic
15-oz can chickpeas, skins removed (optional, but makes hummus creamier)
15-oz can pumpkin
½-1 tsp salt, per preference
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Optional: pumpkin seeds for garnish


Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with pita bread slices, whole grain crackers, and/or sliced fresh vegetables. To store, place hummus in a sealable container in the fridge for up to 5 days.



ʼRound the Net


Sarah Bracey White
Bewildering Stories for its one thousandth issue last month


Memoirist Sarah Bracey White on her Morgan State University Soulful Centennial Literati interview


Translators Chen Du and Xisheng Chen on winning the Zachary Doss Friends in Letters Fellowship


Marcel Proust

Translator and art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic
for this French test of Proust savvy


Poet Cindy Hochman for sharing a LitBalm reading where she, Bob Heman, and Patricia Carragon read

Poet Heller Levinson for five new poems in No Materialism


The International Dark Sky Association for free event on limiting the growing problem of light pollution, “Under One Sky


Author J. Chester Johnson for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art blogon the Elaine Race Massacre, and his article on publishing during a pandemic for the Best American Poetry blog

Tony Bennett
Poet John McMullen for his new Medium newsletter


Poet Ralph Nazareth for sharing this clip of Tony Bennett performing at 95 despite the singer's Alzheimer’s diagnosis


Poets and Writers for its new series of online classes, “Five Things I’ve Learned

Fran Sisco

Poet and artist Linda Simone for this list of venues for hybrid and experimental work


Poet, playwright, actor, and artist Fran Sisco for hosting an Open Studio of her sculpture and paintings in last month’s New Rochelle (NY) Art Fest



Until next time,