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!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Wallowing in Poetry: Next Week, Tim Staley and Indie Fest Maryland!

This weekend, I'm feverishly preparing for two looming mega-events: 

Wednesday, October 12, at 7 pm at Mac's Backs in Cleveland Heights, New Mexico performance poet Tim Staley arrives for his first Cleveland reading!  I'm honored to be sharing the stage with this dynamic and engaging poet, and I'm proud to say that NightBallet Press will be publishing a new book for him, The Most Honest Syllable Is Shhh, next year.  As for me, I'm working on some new and different material for the event, wink, wink.  Join us for a delectable evening: a jug of wine, a loaf of cookies, poetry and thou...what could be better?

Then, on Friday, October 14, NightBallet Press will be road-tripping to (and participating in) the storied Indie Fest in Frostburg, Maryland!  John Burroughs of Crisis Chronicles Press and Dianne Borsenik of NightBallet Press will be bringing Ohio to the campus of Frostburg University, along with books by Lyn Lifshin, George Wallace, Margie Shaheed, R. A. Washington, Alex Gildzen, Bonné de Blas, Jim Lang, Christopher Franke, D. R. Wagner, M. J. Arcangelini, and many, many more!  This event continues on Saturday, October 15, from 10 am t 6 pm.  Take time to stop by the tables and smell the sweet wafts of poetry plattered thereon!

Yes, it's gonna be a blast!  Join me in this whirlwind week of poetry, won't you?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Buffalo! Bocchicchio! Burroughs & Borsenik! and Hertneky! Reading in Cleveland!

This coming Friday, September 24, 2016, the Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective from Buffalo joins forces with local poets Burroughs & Borsenik and Bocchicchio to present a very special evening of fun, friendship, and word-slinging!

Where?  Mac's Backs Paperbacks, 1820 Covington Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
When?   6:30pm to 9:30pm Friday September 24, 2016
Who?    This "Small Press Poets Read Their Poems" reading will feature:

Nathanael William Stolte
Julio Montalvo Valentin
Mistral Khan-Becerra
Joseph Bocchicchio
Dianne Borsenik
John Burroughs
One surprise poet!

Aaaand, as a special treat, there will be an appearance by author Paul Hertneky. Paul is on tour for his new book Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood.

John is the editor in chief of Crisis Chronicles Press.

Dianne is the creative genius behind the expansive NightBallet Press

Nathanael, Misty, & Julio are CWPCollective Press

This rare event is not to be missed...all this and it's free!  It will only be made more wonderful by your being there, so do join us, won't you? <3

Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Poems Just in Time for Words & Wine!

I've written three new poems since my trip to Buffalo two weeks ago!  Since I'm not normally a prolific writer, I'm inordinately pleased about having three new poems in such a short span of time, and just in time for my feature reading this coming Tuesday, August 2, for Words & Wine in Painesville, Ohio!

Who, When, Where:

Words & Wine w/ Dianne Borsenik
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
6:30 PM
Bistro 70
70 N. St. Clair St.
Painesville, OH

hosts Margie Delong and Tobin Terry

Words & Wine is one of my very favorite reading series: the atmosphere is groovy, the audience delightful, the hosts charming.  I can't wait to read in the new venue, Bistro 70! 

I'd love it if you could join us for a night of poetry, great friendship, sweet wine, and tasty vittles.  I'll have my new book, Age of Aquarius: Collected Poems 1981 - 2016 with me, and if you buy one, I'll give you a free copyyour choiceof either Corpus Lingua (my chapbook about getting older, my relationship with James, and memories of my hippie days) or Bad Ink (my audacious, irreverent, naughty, sexy, profane chapbook)! 

As for the three new poemsa skinny poem, a haibun, and a free verse featuring the Thursday Word of the Day, virguleWords & Wine will be the first place I've read them aloud. I've already submitted two of them (one to Rattle, one to Slipstream), and I'm working on getting the third one out.  I'll also read some of my "Road Tripping" poems from the Kansas City trip last April, and I'll be reading from Age of Aquarius.  The theme of the reading?  Sin, Sweat, Summer!

This Tuesday, it's a poetry roundup in Painesville! Why not ride on out, grab some grub, cop a squat, and hang with (pun intended, lol) some mighty fine folks for an evening of poetry, food, and fellowship?  It's gonna be beautiful!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Burning for Buffalo!

I'm honored and excited to be performing my poetry this coming Wednesday at Burning Books in Buffalo, NY, alongside best friend and road trip partner John Burroughs, NBP poet extraordinaire Joey Nicoletti, and our friend from Snoetry, George Guida!

We'll be reading from
5 pm to 6:30 pm at
Burning Books,
420 Connecticut Street
Buffalo, NY

(photo courtesy of Burning Books Facebook page)

I'll be reading from my new collection, Age of Aquarius, as well as some poems from my completed manuscript Raga for What Comes Next (which is actively looking for a home). 

And as editor and publisher of NightBallet Press, I'll be releasing Joey's new chapbook Counterfeit Moon at the reading!

(cover photo by Geoffrey Landis)

I'd be thrilled to see you there!  Please join us as we shake the rafters and fan the flames of poetry at Burning Books!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Next Saturday, a Very Local Appearance by Yours Truly!

Next Saturday, May 21st, I'll be reading from my new collection Age of Aquarius in  downtown Lorain.  John Burroughs, my poetry partner and best friend, is a co-feature, along with the acclaimed poet Bruce Weigl, performer extraordinaire Tom Adams, local favorite Ryan Sagert, author Robert Moore, and poet Liz Delgado.  As far as I know, this will be my only Lorain County appearance for the rest of the year.  The evening is going to rock!  Please join us in joyous celebration of the spoken and sung word!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!

I am thrilled, ecstatic, and over the moon to announce
the official publication of my new book -
Age of Aquarius: Collected Poems 1981 - 2016 by Crisis Chronicles Press!

I recently turned 61 years old, and I've found it to be a time of reflection, gratitude, and anticipation.  I am extremely grateful to, and humbled by, the many journals, anthologies, newspapers, magazines, and chapbook publishers that have given homes to my poems, lyrics, and haiku over the years.  The poems chosen for inclusion in this collection are a good representation of my body of work the past 35 years, while offering glimpses into the life, mind, and crazy times of this former flowerchild and current redhead.

Age of Aquarius: Collected Poems 1981-2016 is exactly that, a 150-page collection of my most popular and enduring poems, including

Lovechild (make incense from the flowers, dance naked in the light...)
Incontinence (Oh my god, you're leaking! Can you tell?...)
Fortune Cookie (Fortune, smile upon this blue-eyed, tie-dyed, cloudy skied wild child...)
One Peachy Day  (smear the white juice of crushed sunlight over my breasts...)
These Places (- sound like some astronomer's wet dream: labia majora, clitoris...)
Serious Flannel (It's ten degrees outside, and though warmer inside, she's breaking out...)
Cupid (Cupid at long last is dead/I shot that bastard in the head...)
Few Dollar Man (My Cleveland, I don't mind him being a blue collar, few dollar man...)
Pink Hell (the other day, I read where someone had written that hell was not black and hot, after all...but pink, and wet)
Making Scents (the smell of you, the coming closer tell of you...)
Going Braless (she's spent too many decades defined by edges, now she's taking...)
HardDrive/SoftWear (sit you down on my laptop, baby, make love to my motherboard...)
Pools of- (evening's window/setting sun bleeds...)
Got Soul? -"The City Poem" (Cities have souls too, you know, some...)

Also included in this collection are the poems I wrote as BeatStreet Cleveland and Snoetry invocations, the poem for which NightBallet was named, the poem I wrote for Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin if we ever find ourselves alone together in an elevator (lol), eulogy poems for when Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Arthur Lee, and David Bowie died, the poem that's permanently housed in the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, 2 poems co-written with John Burroughs, and 7 never-before published poems, one of which is my only experimental concrete poem, plus 2 that are new for this year of 2016. 

Please visit Crisis Chronicles Press - check out the official announcement and the entirety of their impressive catalog, slow down and smell the poetic roses that grow there, and support Burroughs' fine press.  Deep gratitude to John Burroughs of CCP for his tireless work and deft touch on this collection - it means a lot to me.

You may also preorder (the book is currently at the printer) Age of Aquarius here, now, through PayPal, and I'll get it in the mail to you the moment the books are in my hands!   At CreateSpace, it lists for $15 plus postage, but you can get it from either CCP or me for only $12 (plus $3) postage.  And thank you, my dear friends, for giving audience to my poems. I appreciate you.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nominated for the Pushcart Prize!

Wow, what an incredible honorwhen I awakened this morning, I discovered that Crisis Chronicles Press has nominated my poem "Let's Get It On" for the esteemed Pushcart Prize!  I am beyond thrilled.  Thank you, John Burroughs, editor/publisher of CCP, and congratulations to the other five nominees:  Kevin Ridgeway, Susan A. Sheppard, John Dorsey, Michael Ceraolo, and Tracie Morell! 

I wrote "Let's Get It On" for this year's Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest (held in Erie, PA back in January 2015) and it's included in the CCP NineSense Series chapbook Thunderclap Amen. The title "Thunderclap Amen" comes from a phrase in the poem...full kudos to John Burroughs for picking it out and making it the title of the chapbook.

You can read the original CCP announcement about the nominations HERE.
You can order a copy of Thunderclap Amen HERE.
You can read the original CCP book release announcement HERE.

Once again, thank you, Crisis Chronicles Press! I'm doing the happy dance!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What An Incredible Year This Has Been!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I realize what an incredible year this has been for me, and how thankful I am for friends and poetry family. 

Right around the time of my birthday in February, Richard Robert Hansen of Poems-For-All accepted my poems and then gifted me with stacks and packs of little micro books that he created using my poem Dia de los Muertes and three winter haiku. I'm truly honored to have my little books counted among the astonishing number and caliber of his poetic creations.  I must also thank John Dorsey for introducing me to Richard and his wonderful little books.

In April, to celebrate Poetry Month, the Cuyahoga County Library had their Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry; Diane Kendig chose my poem Pools Of for Day 13.  You can read all the poems here: Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry.

In June of this year, 48th Street Press published two sets of limited edition broadsides featuring my poems The Color of Oxygen and Sonar Readings. Thank you, Christopher Byck, for doing such a lovely job with them! 

My haiku appeared in Modern Haiku and bottle rockets, two beautiful publications, and I was given the opportunity to compete in my first Haiku Death Match.  Although I didn't win, it was fun to participate in it, and I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Also this summer, Karen Schubert offered the opportunity to submit ekphrastic poetry to a Lit Youngstown competition, and to my astonishment, I won.  I am totally thrilled that my poem Disco appeared on the gorgeous violet-and-lime tote bags given away at the 2015 Youngstown Festival of the Arts.  Then Lit Youngstown put Disco on their tee-shirts!  I'm on a tee-shirt...I feel like a rock star! 

Crisis Chronicles Press published a new chapbook for me, Thunderclap Amen, as part of its NineSense Series.  The nine poems included are Cue Brick, or How I Learned to Stop Loving the Bomb and Start Worrying, Karma Café, Let's Get It On, Polar Vortex, Happy Hour, 'S No More, Transcending Gender, Around the Block, and Mother Tongue.  Once again, editor/publisher John Burroughs created a beautiful book for me, and I'm proud to be one of his press' published poets.

Jameson Bayles, a poet in Kansas City, invited me to come read in KC as part of a mega-poetry event next year, in April of's going to be the Kansas City Poetry Throw-Down!  As a buildup to the event, Asinimali Publications published a collaborative chapbook, A Case for Ascension, containing three of my "ascension" poems.  The other collaborators (ooh, that sounds sort of criminal!) are John Burroughs, Jameson Bayles, Joan Koromante, and Michelle Roberts.  I'm thrilled to be included in this poetry band of brothers and sisters!

From the moment I first laid eyes on Great Lakes Review, I fell in love with the publication, which showcases writers across the Great Lakes region.  I'm very honored to say that four of my poems appear in the current issue, and I'm especially pleased that two of them are ekphrastic poems and two of them are performance pieces. 

I also had work accepted for two very different anthologies:  Inspired by Gandhi, published by, and Quarried-Three Decades of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel (Dos Madres Press).  Ten of my most requested poems appear in The Poetry of S.O.U.L. An Anthology of Selected Works from Poets Around the World

I participated in SPACES Pedestrian Poetry, where I sat at a booth in an art fair across from Cleveland's famed West Side Market, and went waaay outside my comfort zone by writing poems "on the fly" for strangers who approached me and requested a poem.  It turned out to be a wonderful and rewarding experience!  In November, I participated, as NightBallet Press, in the "Meet the Presses" event hosted by Lorraine Cipriano at the Sanger Branch Library in Toledo. It was a wonderful afternoon!

I had the glorious opportunity to travel to several different poetry events, both with friend and poetry partner John Burroughs, and solo.  We hit Toledo for a reading at the  West Toledo Branch Library, and encountered rain and wind on a biblical level.  Yes, I wrote a poem about it.  I read at Youngstown State University during their Festival of the Arts, and also read at SUNY at Fredonia, NY as part of the International Beat Poetry Festival.  John and I traveled several times to Farmingon, MI, just outside Detroit, for readings at their S.O.U.L. events, and we both read in Lorain, Ohio, during the Lorain Arts Council's Soul Speak event.  We also closed out the 3rd Thursday at the Root Café series.  We are very sorry to see the series end, and I thank you, Barbara Sabol, for the opportunity to be a part of it.

These are only some of the poetry things that have kept me going through a personally difficult year.  I've been honored to publish several more talented and deserving poets through NightBallet Press.  BeatStreet Cleveland was one of the high points of my life, getting to hear so many exciting poets and musicians in one place!  You can learn more about NightBallet Press and BeatStreet Cleveland at those websites.

Make no mistake about it, I realize that I am lucky and blessed to have had so many opportunities and experiences.  I love spending time with my extended poetry family. I cherish my poetry friends, and I cherish all the things we do together to celebrate the spoken and written word.  I thank you, dear brothers and sisters, I send you hugs and wish you all this best Thanksgiving 2015.