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!