Sunday, November 4, 2018

So THIS Happened!

So many fun and wondrous things happened recently, and I wanted to share them before they slipped away into the Holidaze!

A couple of Sundays ago, I was astonished to find my friend and NightBallet Press poet Andy Roberts reading his poetry on television! The reading was from 2014, and I thought it might be a one-time thing. But another Ohioana show was on this morning's television. If you want to check it out, it's WVIZ/PBS/Ohio Channel.

I had the pleasure of traveling with John Burroughs to hear Concrete Wink read in Mansfield in October -- Concrete Wink is Rikki Santer, Chuck Salmons, and Sandy Feen, all from the Columbus, Ohio area -- and they were fabulous! The poets displayed their wares, and it made my heart bubble with delight to see all the NBP books included. Rikki has a new book just out from Crisis Chronicles Press, Dodge, Tuck, Roll. The event was held at Main Street Books, hosted by the lovely Llalan. We all had a wonderful after-party at Cypress Hill Winery.

During the course of the reading, Sandra Feen surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of fall flowers as thanks for the book I released for her that day -- Fragile Capacities. My heart was truly touched by her kind words and generous gesture.


Then it was back to work at the press. These packages, mostly for subscribers to NightBallet Press, were mailed Friday. Another large package went out Saturday.

But I've found time to write, too! I have two poems in The Main Street Rag: "Grand Reflections" and "When You Read the Poems of the Dead." Many thanks to editor M. Scott Douglass for publishing my work.

And I have three poems, "This Can't Be Oklahoma," "Seeing Jim Morrison in Giant Eagle on the First Day of Autumn," and "Finding Myself Inside a Quentin Tarantino Movie in Cleveland at Four O' Clock in the Afternoon" in this gorgeous journal, Gasconade #3 - Gas Station Famous. It was just published, and I don't even have my contributor's copy yet. I can't wait to get my hands on it! Much gratitude to John Dorsey and Jason Ryberg for the honor and privilege to be a part of it!

I found time to do one more (sneaky) thing...I hand painted and lovingly detailed a "Day of the Dead" box for my husband James. It wasn't easy to surprise him, with him being around all the time, but I managed to keep it from him until November 1st. I painted the inside of the box with Glow-in-the-Dark paint, and added glitter. Oh, and it lights up, too.

October was a great month, filled with happy moments, good friends, and loved ones. Thank you, each of you, all of you, who were a part of it in any way. Big hug! Now, on to the Holidaze!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Western Maryland Independent Literature Festival 2018

Tomorrow, Friday, October 5, 2018, I'll be setting out bright and early to attend the 12th Annual Western Maryland Independent Literature Festival in Frostburg, Maryland!

I'm riding with John Burroughs, who will be representing Crisis Chronicles Press.  I'll be there as NightBallet Press with a table at the Book Fair, and NBP will be releasing a new book at the same time (for more information on the book, visit the NBP website after Monday, October 8, 2018. That's the day the publication will be posted.) We'll be spending the entire weekend, and will be enjoying not only the Fest and the Book Fair, but the Saturday event Frostoberfest...which sounds like a lot of fun!

James is going to be holding the fort while taking care of John's Leda...something he's really looking forward to! He has Big Plans for Sunday, as well, hitting both a model car show and Cinema Wasteland.

This will be my third Frostburg Indie Fest, and the second one with John. We'll meet up with friends old and new, and who knows what adventures we'll have on this trip?

I'm sure photos will post soon. It looks like the day will begin on a chilly note, but things heat up steadily over the course of the weekend, and Sunday promises to be a hot one. Oh, and you know what? I don't have to go to work on Monday...I'm on vacation!  Yeah, baby!

Friday, May 18, 2018


Well, to be accurate, it isn't really a tour, unless my driving from Elyria, Ohio, to Erie, Pennsylvania, and then, from Elyria to Cleveland Heights, counts. I have two upcoming readings that will incorporate several brand-new ekphrastic poems: one is today, Friday, May 18, 2018, and the other is next week, Thursday, May 24, 2018!

This evening, I'll be reading poems written especially for Erie Art Museum's current exhibition, the 95th Annual Spring Show, which "presents a juried selection of the best regional art from artists residing within 250 miles of Erie, PA."
The event has been described to me as two separate walking tours of the Art Museum, with us reading to the attendees about the pieces that inspired us. I'll be reading with several fine Erie poets, including Chuck Joy, who invited me to join them.

The poems I'll be reading are "Grand Reflections, " after "Grand Reflection," oil on canvas, 2017, by Lydia Owens, and "This Can't Be Oklahoma," after "Yoder Farm," watercolor on paper, by William Daniel Simon. "Grand Reflections" was recently accepted by Main Street Rag for publication, and tonight is the first time I'll be reading it to an audience. I did write a third poem, "Wearing Mail," after "Priority Male Dress Shirt 2018," a piece by Deborah Sementelli, but I won't read it aloud tonight - based on puns and wordplay, it's better on the page than on the stage.

The art in this exhibition is stunningly gorgeous, so if you can come out to see it, do so!  You won't be disappointed.

Erie Art Museum
411 State Street (enter on E. 5th Street)
Erie, PA
Friday, May 18, 2018
7 pm to 10 pm

Then, next week, I'll be participating in EKPHRASTACY: Artists Talk + Poets Respond, a series hosted by Heights Arts Gallery in Cleveland Heights, a "cross-pollinating public program that brings together visual artists and local poetry communities." This exhibition is composed of pieces by Heights Arts members, and runs from April 27, 2018 to June 10, 2018. The pieces are varied and wonderful; catch it if you can!

At EKPHRASTACY, I'll be reading poems about several pieces that really spoke to me. I submitted three poems for the show: "Tangled Up in Blues" after the digital print "Tangled Up in Blue" by Janet Mikolajczyk, "A Quotidian God" after "Quotidian Gauge," cardboard, paper, string, by Julianne Edberg, and "Women's World War" after the photo "Women's March on Washington, January,2017" by Joan Lederer. I also wrote "Raga That Plays In Between" after the painting my Diane Farr, "Marion, Waiting," but I wasn't satisfied with it at the time the poems were due, so I held it back. I've since revised and refined it, but I don't expect to read it next week.

I'll be reading with Eris Eady and Siaara Freeman, and we'll be hosted by the new Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate, Damien McClendon. Past EKPHRASTACY events were filled with fun and friendship, and I can't wait to do this one!

Heights Arts
2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Thursday, May 24, 2018
7 pm to 8:30 pm

I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to participate in ekphrastic readings; I've found visual art to be a great kickstarter for my creative flow. If you can, come out and dig the vibes tonight in Erie, and next week, in Cleveland Heights. Both evenings promise to be entertaining, enlightening, and filled with visual and vocal art. I'd love to see you there!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The 2018 Plunging Into the Heart of America Tour!

I'm extremely happy to report that I will be going on a reading tour this April
with my friend and fellow poet, John Burroughs!

The Plunging Into the Heart of America Tour
will take us to St. Louis, Missouri, Overland Park, Kansas, and Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
It will be my first time reading in St Louis, Kansas, and Arkansas. (When we read at Kansas City in April of 2015, it was in Kansas City, Missouri.)

Burroughs and Borsenik Foaming at the Mouth

3359 S. Jefferson Ave.
St. Louis, MO

Friday, April 13, 2018
7 pm

FountainVerse Poetry Reading

InterUrban ArtHouse
8001 Newton Street
Overland Park, Kansas

Saturday, April 14, 2018
6 pm

We will be joined at this reading by Jason Prue and Jeanette Powers.
Powers' new NBP book, Gasconade, will debut here.

Impromptu Riverview Reading

Miami, Oklahoma
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Brew-Zing II - Thirst Quenching Poetry by Burroughs and Borsenik

2 Pine Stree
Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Monday, April 16, 2018

I couldn't be more excited about revisiting old friends, meeting new friends,
and seeing the sights as we share our poetry across the heartland of America.
If you live near any of these places, please join us in celebrating National Poetry Month!


Sunday, December 31, 2017


Happy New Year's Eve! As 2017 closes its sleepy eyes, I have a few literary updates to share with you, dear friends.

I'm extremely honored to announce my poems appear recently in three wonderful publications!

Common Threads, the annual anthology published by the Ohio Poetry Association to showcase the work of its members, published two of my poems: "Paradigm for Unraveling" and "Sometimes, Ordinary."  A big thanks to Steve Abbott, editor, for the opportunity to appear in Common Thread's pages. The Ohio Poetry Association supports poets with publications, readings, contests, workshops, and more. You can check out their website here, and OPA's blog here.

Chiron Review, published by Michael Hathaway, arrived in my mailbox this past week with three of my poems between its covers:  "Hagiography," "The Same River Twice," and "Illumination."  Chiron Review is a truly handsome journal.  You can check out the website at

and Oct Tongue 2, a magnificent anthology from Crisis Chronicles Press, long anticipated and exceeding all expectations. John Burroughs, editor/publisher, did a beautiful job with it. Oct Tongue 2 is comprised of eight sections, each section authored by a poet who wrote a poem-a-day during the month of October, 2014. The other poets who participated are Kathleen Cerveny, Juliet Cook, Mark Sebastian Jordan, George Wallace, Margaret Bashaar, Eric Anderson, and Lyn Lifshin. Their poems are, as you would expect them to be, simply brilliant.

My section of thirty-one poems contains several "bookend" poems, looking at things from two different perspectives, and three "moon" poems where I play with the shape of letters to express the moon's changing appearance. Although about a fourth of the poems have been published in various journals and anthologies, this is the first time the collection has appeared intact; I think of my section as Two Moons Over Ohio. You can check it out and get your very own copy directly from Crisis Chronicles Press here!  (And yes, there was an Oct Tongue 1...check it out here.)

Much love and gratitude to all the editors who accepted and published my work this past year, and to the hosts of reading series, bookstores, and libraries, who invited me to come and share my poetry. To those of you who buy my books and read my poetry, please know how very much I appreciate you, now and always.

Image result for happy new year 2018 gif

It's exciting to think of 2018 and all the things that might. await in the coming months. Solid plans include:

Attending the opening of Lit Youngstown's Words Made Visible at the Soap Gallery in Youngstown, Ohio, on February 3 (2 pm to 5 pm).  My poem "Train, Loud, Lonesome, Leaving Without Me" will be on display as a broadside (designed by the Cranky Pressman).

Dressing one of the windows at Apple Tree Books in Cleveland Heights for April's National Poetry Month with NightBallet Press titles. The emphasis will be on Ohio poets.

Participating as a reader in Kleft Crisis 2018, a three day extravaganza of poetry (details

A trip to Kansas City in April for a Fountainverse feature reading with John Burroughs (and others to be announced). Details forthcoming. It will be my first time heading that far west since 2015.

On the non-literary front, I plan to curl up at home tonight with my husband James, our two dogs Bodhi and Angelo, and the big Red Lobster platter of shrimp cocktail we've ordered, to watch the ball drop on television.

However you plan to spend this evening, whatever plans you have for tomorrow and in the New Year, please stay warm and safe, and know that I'm sending love and light your way. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017



 This autumn is going to be busy...and filled with beauty! 

First up, on Friday, October 13, I'll be heading to Frostburg, Maryland, for the 11th Annual Western Maryland Independent Literature Festival, where NightBallet Press will participate with a display of tasty titles. Ohio poets will be well-represented by their books; other featured categories include Beat-Era, African-American Storytellers, LGBTQ, and Outlaw. It's a vibrant, well-attended festival with readings, panels, and roving groups of editors and publishers. On Saturday, October 14, at 2:00 pm, I'll be feature reading my own poetry, along with Crisis Chronicles Press founder John Burroughs. I'm really looking forward to the drive there and's the height of the change-of-seasons for the trees, and it was like driving through liquid gold last year.

Then, a week later, on Saturday, October 21, I'll be driving to Alliance, Ohio, for a featured reading at the Rodman Public Library, hosted by Byrun C. Reed. I'm honored and thrilled to be joining Molly Fuller, Mary Biddinger, Steve Brightman, Azriel Johnson, and Noor Hindi, and I can't wait to hear everyone's poems! 

November sees me cranking into high gear with three poetry events:

On Wednesday, November 8, I'll be "sitting in the window" at Apple Tree Books in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, to celebrate NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  Hosted by Jane Rothstein, I'll be there from 2 pm to 4 pm, writing my poetry "live and in person" for the passing public. Stop in, chat with me, and check out the wonderful Apple Tree bookstore!

Saturday, November 18 will find me driving down to Main Street Books in Mansfield, Ohio, for the last-ever Borderlands: Poetry on the Edge gathering at 2 pm.  Host Mark Jordan has said this popular (and one of my favorite) poetry series is ending...but it will go out with quite a bang!  Crisis Chronicles Press will co-emcee the long-awaited, long-anticipated release of Oct Tongue 2.  Five of the eight poets published in Oct Tongue 2 will be feature reading:  moi, Kathleen Cerveny, Margaret Bashaar, Juliet Cook, and Mark Jordan. The bookstore is a gem, and Llalan Fowler, who runs it, polishes it beautifully. Be sure to check out the "Ohio writers" shelves.

Then, right after Thanksgiving, on Monday, November 27, I'll be featured reader at Ohio's longest running poetry series The Poetry Forum at Bossy Grrls Pin-Up Joint, 7 pm, in Columbus, Ohio.  Hosted by Steve Abbott, I'll have two sets of readings during the evening, and I plan to do the two sets totally differently.  It's a relaxed, welcoming venue, and I can't wait to see everyone again!

The main thing in all of this is that I'll get to be with a lot of fun, fabulous, and very talented writers and friends, with whom I can share poetry, laughter, and beer.  I can't wait! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Borsenik's 2017 Boldly Going Car Trek Poetry Tour!

(photo by Jeanette Powers, 2016)
With summer coming fast upon us, I'm announcing
Borsenik's 2017 Boldly Going Car Trek Poetry Tour!

I'm spaced out about poetry, and I have a number of new pieces, written over this tumultuous past year. Some poems are actually about space.  Outer.  Inner.  Making.  Taking.  The space between us all.  (Yes, I'm referencing "Within You, Without You," one of my very favorite songs of all time.) 

Of course, I shall continue to be irreverent and naughty.

The following is a list of dates and venues where I'll be powered by poetry!

I'd love to hook up with all y'all for some summer grooviness, with poetry and hugs abounding!  The good times are gonna be...out of this world!

See the Upcoming Events page on this blog for the details about each event. 
(update, August 7, 2017: the events here have been completed, and were a blast!)
Tuesday, June 6 -- Words and Wine -- Rider's Inn --Painesville, OH
Saturday, June 10 -- The Killer Bs of Poetry Sting Sandusky! -- Mr. Smith's Coffee House -- Sandusky, OH
Thursday, June 15 -- A Decade of Poets! 10 Features -- Mac's Backs -- Cleveland Heights, OH
Saturday, July 8 -- 2017 Summer Festival of the Arts -- Youngstown, OH -- Kilcawley Center, Y.S.U
Saturday, August 5 -- 11am to 5pm -- Book & Zine Fair at the Indie Lit Fest
Saturday, August 5 -- 2pm to 4pm -- Sidewalk Pulp reading at the Indie Lit Fest
Saturday, August 5 -- 7pm -- Speakeasy reading at the Indie Lit Fest -- Michigan City, IN
Sunday, August 13 -- Workshop "Punch the Envelope: How to Make an Editor Notice Your Work" -- Toledo, OH
Sunday, August 13 -- Poetry Uncloistered -- Calvino's Wine Bar -- Toledo, OH
Friday, September 8 -- The Second Friday Fete -- Mikey's Late Night Slice -- Columbus, OH
Saturday, October 14 -- Frostburg Indie Lit Fest -- Frostburg, MD
Saturday, October 21 -- Rodman Public Library -- Alliance, OH

(update, August 7, 2017: the events here are upcoming, and are going to be a blast!)

Wednesday, November 8 -- Apple Tree Books -- Cleveland Heights, OH

Saturday, November 18 -- Poetry on the Edge with Oct Tongue 2 release --Mansfield, OH

Monday, November 27 -- The Poetry Forum -- Columbus, OH

Saturday, April 1, 2017

5th Not-Exactly-Annual Haiku Death Match! The Strawberry Stormbringer!

It's National Poetry Month, and this time next week, I'll be flexing my creative muscles and preparing for battle in the
5th Not-Exactly-Annual Haiku Death Match!

The Haiku Death Match, sponsored by Heights Arts Collaborative, Inc., will be held at the Dobama Theater, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 7 P.M.!

In this Death Match, eight poets will fiercely compete against each other with haiku (meditative, seventeen-syllable poems): "the audience votes for the poems they like best, competitors are eliminated, and the last poet standing is the winner. It's poetry, theater, talent show, and a jousting match rolled into one." 

"The poets in the ring will have to fight hard for the trophy.  In the first half of the Death Match, poets will read their contemporary haiku on the subjects: personal relationships, politics, animals in our life, the daily grind, and all things Cleveland.  Poets with the hightest scores advance to the second half, in which they will read only classical, nature -oriented haiku.  The winner of the classical round is declared the 2017 Haiku Death Math Master."

My competitive warrior name is the Strawberry Stormbringer, and I will be going up against some worthy and intimidating adversaries. Oh yes, and their blades will be wicked-sharp, I'm certain!  But the Stormbringer intends to huff, and puff, and blow down their houses!

"Returning champions and contestants include Dianne Borsenik, poet and founder of NightBallet Press, Michael Ceraolo, retired firefighter/paramedic and writer, Celeste McCarty, artist and performer, Ray McNiece, actor, poet, and former Haiku Death Match champion, Mary Turzillo, poet, science fiction writer, and fencing champion, Geoffrey Landis, NASA physicist, poet, and science fiction writer.  A few Death Match 'virgins' have entered the fray as well, including Christine Donofrio, artist, writer, and film maker, and Cordelia Eddy, 'zine writer and East Coast ex-pat."

(Quotes are from the event posting at Heights Arts.)

You can make a difference by voting for your favorite competitor through a donation to the cause, or you can buy a ticket and become a part of the Haiku Death Match by audience!  The funds will help raise money to support Heights Arts Poet Laureate program and its Ekphrastacy series.  Tickets ($15) can be purchased at the door, or online at Heights Arts.

This amazing and entertaining event will blaze across the Dobama stage next Saturday night...please come and support me, and join in the fun and fury of the 5th Not-Exactly-Annual Haiku Death Match!  I'd truly love to see you there!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Age of Aquarius Is Nominated for the Ohioana Book Award!

This morning, I am honored and thrilled by the news that Crisis Chronicles Press editor/publisher John Burroughs has nominated my book, Age of Aquarius: Collected Poems 1981- 2016, for the esteemed Ohioana Book Award! 

Ohioana Library, based in Columbus, Ohio, is dedicated to "Collecting, Preserving, and Celebrating Ohio Literature."  Ohioana gives the Ohioana Book Awards for outstanding books published each year in the  categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, juvenile literature, young adult literature, and books about Ohio or an Ohioan.

Tony Moffeit, the co-founder of the Outlaw Poetry Movement and winner of the Jack Kerouac Award for his volume of poetry Pueblo Blues, had this to say about Age of Aquarius:

“Age of Aquarius…is a gem…celebrating in poetry the popular culture Age of Aquarius as well as [the] zodiac sign, Aquarius. The title poem begins the volume ecstatically, charging the book with a special energy. The marvelous energy is continued in the poem, Disco, with the opening lines Earth. Air.  Fire.  Water./These are sequins/in the eternal disco. The eternal dance is continued in the poem Lovechild, with the ending lines chase the clouds/and catch them/then laugh!/and drink the rain. Continuing the incredible energy in a different kind of way is my personal favorite, Bad, Inc., an outlaw howl that begins with I keep bad company my posse is wild at heart and builds and builds to an exciting finish. The book is delicious! Hip! Sexy! Politically astute!...It is profound and it is fun!...Congratulations on a superb collected works!”

Many thanks to John Burroughs (a remarkable man, gifted poet and performer, and dedicated publisher) for nominating my book.  I am truly grateful and humbled by his confidence in my work.  Much gratitude to Tony Moffeit for taking the time to read and review Age of Aquarius. I appreciate everyone who has read, published, commented on, or otherwise supported my poetry. 

If you should wish to get your very own signed copy of Age of Aquarius, just click on the link HERE (Amazon).  And thank you!