Thursday, March 30, 2023

your april annogram


Good Contrivance Farm
Reisterstown, Maryland
Dear annogrammers, Welcome to sun-inspiring spring, National Poetry Month, your news, my news, and creative opportunities for all. Lots of books, great events, a memory of the New York poetry scene, and, yes, quiche—so call on your appetite and get out your fork, if not pen and notebook. 


Hélène Sanguinetti and Domaine des englués


Hélène Sanguinetti 
Congratulations to Hélène on giving two workshops, “Dans les courants de la fleuve” (In the currents of the river), last month at the Museon Arlaten (France). Once again I’m totally intrigued in translating her latest book, Domaine des englués (La Lettre Volée, 2017), which includes a fascinating Q&A with Jean-Baptiste Para, former editor-in-chief of Europe, France’s leading literary review.


ModPo Creator Answers Our Questions


Al Filreis
Ever wonder if MFA programs are just cash cows for universities? What would a writing program director, in contact with some of the most innovative poets on the planet, say about poets’ use of social media? Get these answers and more from ModPo’s Al Filreis in my interview with him in the most recent Fast Flesh Literary Journal—a gorgeous online journal calling for work (see Creative Opportunities).


Jupiter Hammon Project


Joseph Lloyd Manor
Thanks to Terry Dugan for alerting us to this Preservation Long Island project. Poet Jupiter Hammon (1711- ca.1806), enslaved at the Joseph Lloyd Manor, was one of the first African American authors published during his lifetime. His writings offer powerful insight into slavery and freedom before and after the American Revolution. His legacy is preserved at the manor, today a National Literary Landmark.


Poetry X Hunger


Takudzwa Chikepe
Founded to bring poets to the anti-hunger cause, Poetry X Hunger has partnered with the United Nations, foodbanks, and arts councils to fight against hunger. Founded by poet Hiram Larew, the initiative recently collaborated with The Poartry Project to raise funds for Feed the Children. One collaboration includes How Far Are We from Food by Zimbabwean poet Takudzwa Chikepe.


The Dog We Fell In Love With


Sawyer depressed in the TV ad
Among all the Super Bowl ads, was your heart won over by the rescue dog who took apart his family’s house? His name is Sawyer and, in real life, he was rescued from the streets at eight months by his trainer. We hope he is getting royalties as Amazon shows its charming ad nightly! Here is his story, his owner’s story, and the auditions that took place for his starring role.


Creative Opportunities


Fast Flesh Literary Journal call for flash fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, interviews, craft essays, and hybrid or cross-genre work


Open Door Magazine, call for poems on envy, by April 30


The Pedestal Magazine, call for poems May 8-June 4


The Poet anthologies, call for poems on addiction, by April 30

Chartres Rosette North

Politics and Prose online class on Garcia Lorca, $130, April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 6-8pm ET


Catholic Literary Arts Sacred Poetry Contest, see artwork onsite to prompt poems, $25 fee, by
April 30


Wildhouse Poetry Chapbook Contest, $25 fee, by April 15



New and Recent Releases

Mary Calvi,
If a Poem Could Live and Breathe: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt’s First Love (St. Martin’s Press)


Dennis Daly, Psalms Composed in Utter Darkness (Dos Madres Press)


Fast Flesh Literary Journal

First Literary Review-East


Michael Gottlieb, Collected Essays (Chax Press)


Jerry T. Johnson, A Coldness (Finishing Line Press) pre-order


Hiram Larew, Patchy Ways (CyberWit Press, 2023)


Open Door Magazine


Pedestal 91+


Rachel Louise Snyder, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Sam Taylor, translator,
Picasso the Foreigner (Macmillan) by Annie Cohen-Solal


Meredith Trede, Bringing Back the House (Broadstone Books)


Joseph Zaccardi, Songbirds of the Nine Rivers (Sixteen Rivers Press)



Creative Workshops


Ethelbert Miller
Steve Almond, Writing into Deep Truth, May 4, 10am-4pm, $200; Craft talk How to Create an Irresistable Narrator, June 3, 5pm, $20; Good Contrivance Farm (Maryland), email to register


Ethelbert Miller, Catching One’s Breath: Reading and Remembering Before Writing the Memoir, May 6, 10am-4pm, $200; Craft talk The Writing Life and How to Write the Political Poem, May 13, 5pm, $20; Good Contrivance Farm (Maryland), email to register


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


John McMullen
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

Alison McBain, P.C. Keeler, and Ed Ahern
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



April+ Events – ET


Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Meg Lindsay’s painting, “Friends on Their Devices in the MoMA Sculpture Garden,” one of 49 art pieces at the juried show 
until April 1

Beyond Van Gogh (Long Island) and yoga with Christina Rau, April 1 or April 15, 9am; yoga routine that matches the animation and music, and then includes access afterward to the show; $72; register here

Joe Zaccardi
Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA), April 2, 4pm, (LIVE) poets Barbara Swift Brauer, Matt Monte, Joe Zaccardi


HVWC, April 2, 4pm, Susana Case, Tony Howarth, Lily Greenberg, Ann Lauinger, Lynn McGee, Margo Stever, Mervyn Taylor, Meredith Trede, Estha Weiner; (LIVE) $10 or (Zoom) free; register here

The Albertine Bookstore

The Albertine Bookstore, April 3, 6pm, Jonathan Galassi discusses Picasso the Foreigner (Macmillan) with author Annie Cohen-Solal (LIVE); register here


Centre for Poetic Innovation (Scotland), April 3, 12:15pm, poet Alexander Dickow; to register for Zoom link, email

Christina Rau

Christina Rau-led chats, April 10, 6:30pm, Let’s Write Some Poems, to register:; April 13, 7pm, Poet Laureate Poems, Facebook or Zoom (Meeting 851 8927 9519 PW: 319193); April 27, 7pm, National Poetry Month Prompt Party, Facebook or Zoom (Meeting: 890 5692 9134 PW: 670375)

Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, April 18, 7pm, Beth Gersh-Nesic, PhD on “Impressionism’s Women,” such as Marie Braquemond and her painting at left, “On the Terrace at Sèvres” (1880); Zoom event; register here, $25

Scarsdale Public Library, April 18, 7pm, No Visible Bruises: A Community Read with author Rachel Louise Snyder, Zoom event; register here

Norwalk Public Library, April 22, 6:30pm, Writers in Conversation hosted by Laurel Petersen; Victoria Buitron and Ronit Plank (LIVE)

Victoria Buitron

Sketchbook Brewing Company (Evanston), April 22, 3pm, Rhino Reads: Katie Hartsock and Dara Yen Elerath (LIVE)

Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, May 31, 4pm, Beth Gersh-Nesic, PhD on “Cubism and the Trompe L’Oeil,” Zoom event; register here, $10



Monthly Readings – ET


Ralph Nazareth hosts Curley's Diner

First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


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

Marc Vincenz, a LitBalm host
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



Sweet Potato Crust Quiche


Leave it to superb cook Linda Simone to share this recipe! Paleo, dairy free if you like, and Linda advises you can switch out the spinach for sliced steamed zucchini.



Photo by Linda Simone
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, finely sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper



14 ounces frozen spinach

4 eggs

¾ cup unsweetened coconut or other milk

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ cup grated Swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or coconut-oil a 9-inch pie plate. In fry pan, warm olive oil, add garlic and onion, and fry, stirring, until golden brown. Add spinach, cover, and reduce to low heat. Cook 15 minutes until spinach is tender. Salt and pepper. Peel potatoes, then use a mandolin slicer to finely slice. Arrange slices, careful to cover entire bottom. Cut slices in half for a flat bottom and crust border. Prebake potato crust 15 minutes. Spread cooked spinach over pre-baked potato crust. Set aside. In mixing bowl, beat eggs, coconut milk, and nutmeg. Salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture onto crust. Top with grated cheese or almond meal. Bake 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and cheese is grilled. Serve immediately.


ʼRound the Net

The Frame (1983) by Frida Kahlo

Guitarist and songwriter Michael Cefola on discovering shuffle dancer extraordinaire Sven Otten 


Writer and editor Larry Faltz on sharing this flash fiction by Frederic Brown--read especially if you are nervous about AI taking over


Art historian and translator Beth Gersh-Nesic on her eye-opening article in Bonjour Paris, “Frida in Paris: The Clothes, the Exhibition, the Affair”


Joy Harjo

Poet Joy Harjo on winning the 2023 Yale Bollingen Prize for American Poetry

Cindy Hochman
Cindy Hochman on
The Compulsive Reader’s review of Telling You Everything (Unleash Press); latest First Literary Review-East featuring Heath Brougher, Marge Piercy and Marc Vincenz; poems in SurVision Magazine (Ireland), which also includes Karen Neuberg poems; and in the upcoming anthology Play (Australia) with work by Bob Heman

J. Chester Johnson
Civil rights historian and racial justice advocate J. Chester Johnson, on being interviewed by Tavis Smiley, and for his recommended reading list for black-clear healing and reconciliation


Poet Hiram Larew on his interview on the Linda K. Sienkiewicz blog


Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

Poet Heller Levinson for this video of William Buckley interviewing Jack Kerouac and others on the “hippie phenomena”


Poet and artist Meg Lindsay on juried work at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery

Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for Steve Jobs’s advice on
living your best life and this article celebrating more women published for the first time 

Poet and novelist Kevin Pilkington for sharing the trailer for his new book, Taking On Secrets (Blue Jade Press)

Bassist Larry Schwartzman for this video of
David Bowie and Jeff Beck in 1973

Cellist and music archivist Jay Shulman on Peter Aaron’s Chronogram review of Alan Shulman: The Tattooed Stranger (Bridge Recordings)

Poet and watercolorist Linda Simone on having her artwork highlighted in San Antonio Report 

Writer and disability rights advocate Jim Sinocchi for this candid and insightful
podcast interview


Playwright, performer, and artist Fran Sisco on winning Best Music Video for Carousel Girl at the Cutting Room International Short Film Festival, and for the Zoom debut of her play, It’s An Italian Thing! No, It’s A Black Thing


Playwright, poet, and memorist Sarah Bracey White on having her play 
An Adventure in Greenswamp debut in the latest Westchester Review


YourAAA Today for this article, “8 Great Small Bookstores in the Northeast”



The New York Scene and Peter Chelnik


Bob Heman and Cindy Hochman
at Cornelia Street Café

New York in the early 2000s was a Golden Age of Poetry. There was the
Gotham Book Mart, there was Cornelia Street Café—which, as a poet reading there, felt like being an ingénue turning Hollywood and Vine; and in the mail Jackie Sheeler’s NYC Poetry Calendar on bright-colored paper, a menu of readings from elite university events to beloved hole-in-the-wall festivals. I would circle astonishing opportunities—such as hearing John Ashbury (1927-2017), Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), Galway Kinnnell (1927-2014), or Sharon Olds.


As part of this scene,
Peter Chelnik arranged his Prairie Fire readings everywhere from off-Broadway theaters with broken seats to delis where you had to pause when the meat slicer was in use. He featured musicians including my husband, guitarist Michael Cefola, doing a Delta Blues set with his best friend from childhood, bassist Larry Schwartzman, or a cello solo by our longtime friend Jay Shulman—a reunion of sorts as we all had attended high school with Peter. I loved reading alongside poets such as Austin Alexis and Evie Ivy. A Beat poet, Peter collected his work in Hey Girl (Little Sky Press, 2016). This year, we said goodbye to this relentless impresario, big-bear-of-a-poet who promoted so many—and I add my warmest gratitude too.


Until next time,