Saturday, September 03, 2022

your welcome fall annogram

Wishing you wings
Dear annogrammers, Welcome back! Am I really seeing some leaves falling? Is there a touch of coolness in the air at night? Summer, ah summer! Hope yours was good. Here I am investigating a pilotless plane in Vermont.



When the Pilotless Plane Arrives


Thanks to Lou Spirito, author of Gimme Shelter, who generously wrote and posted this review of my Trainwreck Press chapbook on Facebook earlier this summer:


Just finished Ann Cefola's brilliant chapbook, When The Pilotless Plane Arrives. Each of the 20 poems makes a sly, if oblique connection between the poet's craft and B movies (okay, some are C or D cult movies) from the 1930s-70s. Yes, you have to work a bit to suss out the connections, but that's the fun of it. Thank God for writers with whimsy and the nerve to trust their readers.


Svengoolie Raging


My secret source for those films: Svengoolie, leading Saturday night ratings, as reported in the Wall Street Journal and kindly shared by sci-fi aficionado Bill Newell. What hooked me was the quality of acting, solid storylines, and delightfully cheesy effects; many films etched into our cultural psyche, such as The Day the Earth Stood Still. Host Rich Koz as Svengoolie adds wicked hilarity. If you love these films, you will enjoy both Svengoolie and When The Pilotless Plane Arrives.



To Be or Knott to Be


Bill Knott (1940-2014)
Bill Knott (1940-2014) has to be one of the pristine, remarkable poets of the past half-century. How to describe him? The economy of Emily Dickinson, bite of Philip Larkin, facility of Shakespeare. Thanks to his lifelong friend Thomas Lux (1946-2017) and literary executor, poet Robert Fanning, we can enjoy a fresh look at his work in I Am Flying Into Myself (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and a new translation in Italian, introduced by Charles Simic, Volarsi Dentro (Italic Pequod).



Naughty annogrammers


Kerrin McCadden
I go away for a month or two, and look what happens...poet Kerrin McCadden receives the Herb Lockwood Prize in the Arts, Vermont’s biggest arts award. Christina Rau gets named Cedarmere Poet in Residence. Filmmaker Frank Vitale gets honored at the Garner Art Center for achievement in film. And translators Chen Du and Xisheng Chen get nominated for a 2023 Best of the Net Award for a Yan An poem in The Ilanot Review. Troublemakers! Keep working your magic.



ModPo Anniversary


The global phenom, ModPo, or Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, an open online course, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a webcast September 11 at 11am, and a reading and launch for The Difference is Spreading (University of Pennsylvania Press) by ModPo founder Al Filreis and Anna Strong Safford. I am proud to be a ModPo graduate, and when a friend assumed it was easy, my immediate answer was “Hell no!” This is serious Ivy League brain-crunching, highly recommended.



Creative Opportunities


DzancBooks Short Story Collection Prize, by September 30


Lascaux Review Prize in Creative Nonfiction, by September 30


Lines+Stars Midatlantic Poetry Chapbook Series, for poets from Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, by October 1


Passager Journal call for poetry, memoir, and short fiction from writers age 50+, by
September 15


Pedestal Magazine call for poetry, September 5-9


Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, by October 30


Pure Slush call for stories, essays, and poems on “snatches from an aria,” by September 30


Rhino Poetry Founders Contest, by September 30


Women in Their 80s, octogenarian poetry and prose anthology;, by September 30



New and Recent Releases


Cagibi, Issue 16


Family (The Poet Magazine)


First Literary Review - East


Gary Glauber, Inside Outrage (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions) (pre-order)


John C. Goodman, Miniscule Repairs (Trainwreck Press)


Margaret A. Herrick and Barbara J. Dickinson, Your Path to a Fulfilling Life: Making Your Wishes Come True (Independently published), new in paperback


Heller Levinson, Jus’ Sayn’ (Black Widow Press) and Lure (Black Widow Press)


John McMullen, Absent Friends (Local Gems Poetry Press)

Pedestal, Issue 90


Kevin Pilkington, Taking On Secrets (Blue Jade Press)

Jean-Luc Pouliquen and Ivan Frias, Autour de la poésie 30 questions d'un philosophe à un poète (Independently published)



Creative Workshops

John McMullen
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 Peekskill Writing Table, serious critique for writers, second and third Tuesdays via Zoom; email


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 

September Readings and Events – ET


Kimiko Hahn
September 7-11, Arts Westchester, Visions 2022 Resilient and Renewed Exhibit; reception, September 7, 5:30-7pm; virtual exhibit via Google arts and culture September 8-December 31

September 7, 6:30pm, Tufts Downtown, fundraiser for Holding Up the Sky, film preview followed by panel discussion hosted by the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition

September 10, 11:30am, NYC Po Fest, Algonquin Stage, Rebecca Doverspike, Michael Quattrone, and Cindy Beer-Fouhy; 12:30pm, Margo Taft Stever, Susana H. Case, and Myra Malkin,


Beth Gersh-Nesic, PhD
September 13, 10:30am, Learning in Retirement, Temple Beth El (Stamford), Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, PhD on Pablo Picasso, André Salmon and  "Young French Painting" (ZaMir Press); register here

September 17, 10am-4pm, Good Contrivance Farm, Kimiko Hahn workshop, The Zuihitsu: What is This Genre and How to Write One; 6pm craft talk, Closure is Not the End; $200; register for this in-person event here


September 19, 6:30pm, Free Library of Philadelphia, Margo Taft Stever and Susana H. Case via Zoom; register here


Paula Curci
September 21, 11am, ModPo anniversary webcast with poets Herman Beavers, Julia Bloch, Mónica de la Torre, Tracie Morris, Ron Silliman, and Elizabeth Willis


September 21, 6pm, ModPo webcast and The Difference is Spreading launch with Herman Beavers on Amiri Baraka, Julia Bloch on William Carlos Williams, Mónica de la Torre on Erica Baum, Tracie Morris on Jayne Cortez, Ron Silliman on Gertrude Stein, and Elizabeth Willis on Rae Armantrout


September 25, 4pm, Samudra Yoga Studio (Garden City), yoga and meditation with Christina Rau, donations to Alzheimer's Association


September 28, 10pm, PoetryBridgeLIVE, Aaron Cayvedo-Kimura and Liz Marlow via Zoom; contact Susana H. Case for details


September 29, 6pm, Jefferson Market Library, Amy Barone, Susana H. Case, Lily Greenberg, Ann Lauinger, Margo Taft Stever, and Estha Weiner

September 30-October 2, Long Beach Short Play Festival featuring Nassau County Poet Laureate Paula Curci



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


Frequent Saturdays (check Facebook), 5pm, LitBalm



Double-Chocolate Zucchini Bread


This delicious annogram-tested recipe comes to us via King Arthur Flour. I substituted maple syrup for honey, and used Nestlé’s Dark Chocolate Chips which have no soy. Rave reviews on the KAF site merited!


2 large eggs

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, Dutch-process or natural

1 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed

1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat 350°F oven; lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. In large bowl, beat eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour, until well combined. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan. Bake 65-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, except light smear of chocolate from melted chips. Remove from oven, and let cool 10-15 minutes before turning out of pan onto rack. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.



ʼRound the Net


Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) and
James Joyce (1882-1941)
Essayist, filmmaker, and artist Jeanette Briggs on finding this interview with Sylvia Beach (1887-1962)


Wish maven and author Barbara Dickinson on the launch of her new blog, The Pipeline


Translators Chen Du and Xisheng Chen for poems by Yan An in DoubleSpeak, Family (The Poet Magazine), Mantis, and Sand; and a short story by Feng Jiqui in Delos


Art historian and translator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic for participating in the PEN live “get well” greeting to Salmon Rushdie


Poet Cindy Hochman on having her poem, “What the Sun Said Today,” in The Long Islander


Dr. James H. Cone (1938-2018)
Author and civil rights historian J. Chester Johnson for his article in History News Network on meeting the Father of Black Liberation Theology, Dr. James H. Cone (1938-2018); and addressing the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast last month on the Elaine Race Massacre


Poet Hiram Larew on having a poem translated into American Sign Language (ASL), and translator Eric Epstein discussing the process


Ada Limón
Poet Ada Limón on being named U.S. Poet Laureate


Poet and painter Meg Lindsay on having work in a juried show at Gallery A3 last month, and for sharing The Journal of Universal Rejection


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen on having a poem in the Brownstone Poets Anthology 2022; Joseph Carrabis’s interview with John; this article, “What is Poetry?” and this interesting electronic notebook you can write on


Lynn Nottage
Playwright Lynn Nottage’s must reading in Vogue


Poet and novelist Kevin Pilkington on having 12 poems translated into Russian, and for his online reading this summer via the American Center in Moscow 


Poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen for reviewing the extraordinary Pablo Picasso, Andre Salmon and “Young French Painting” (ZaMir Press) and celebrating Ruby Silvious’s enchanting watercolor miniatures; and for his mention in Le Figaro in an article exploring Robert Louis Stevenson’s time in Hyères, France


Music archivist, producer, and cellist Jay Shulman for the “best Beatle performance ever”


Nadine Valenti Beauchamp (1927-2022)
Poet and watercolorist Linda Simone for this video game that creates Emily Dickinson-inspired poems and for Artle, “Wordle” for paintings


Filmmaker and author Bob Zaslow for his American Film Institute award-winning documentary, Nadine Valenti: Portrait of a Painter (1976), collected at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and NYC Z Public Library


Only This One Thing


Paraphrased from Godly Play in Middle and Late Childhood (Church Publishing):


In Crow and Weasel, a picture book by Barry Lopez, the two animals journey together and stop at an old badger’s home. They enjoy good food and share stories of their journey. A wonderful listener, the badger coaches them as they tell the story, asking for more feeling or details. The next morning, as he wishes them farewell, he says

I would ask you to remember only this one thing: The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves.


Until next time,