Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Gratitude This Thanksgiving

I'm feeling very grateful this November. Since my post in September, a number of groovy things have happened. 

(photo by Kari Gunter-Seymour)

On October 15, I traveled to Coshocton, Ohio, to participate in the final I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio's Appalachian Voices reading at the gorgeous Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum. I also spent some treasured time with two very dear and generous friends, Robin and Dick Mullet, and their sweet little Nora. 

James and I have been celebrating autumn: we had delicious meals at White Oaks and Antica and enjoyed a clambake at Jake's on the Lake.


November's Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival was fabulous beyond words! It was so good to see so many dear friends and to make so many new ones. The programming was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed the readings and presentations I attended. Much gratitude to Karen Schubert for making it all happen. I was honored to participate by giving my "NAG the Competiton: A Guide to Titles and Marketing" presentation. Next year's Festival is already on my calendar! 

(photo by Melanie Buonavolonta)

My poem "Up the Mountain" is in this copy of Slipstream. Many thanks to editors Robert Borgatti, Livio Farallo, and Dan Sicoli. It's such a beautiful magazine. This is their Bread-Blood-Beats themed issue. "Up the Mountain" includes the line Blood doesn't always call to blood.

I'm overjoyed to report I received a message that my poem "In the Thick of It" will be included in the upcoming issue of Pudding Magazine! Thank you, C.W. Everett, Kathleen Burgess, and Rose Smith for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Pudding's final issue.
HOORAY! I finished my Winking Lizard Tour of Beers and got my Winking Lizard jacket (and a $25 Winking Lizard gift card)! Why am I so excited about it? It was one of my goals for the year after I retired in 2020. That —ah—didn't work out. It's nice to finally achieve what I set out to do almost three years ago. For the record, it took one hundred different beers over the course of the year (2022)!



For something different, James and I went to the Empty Bowls by the Lake event at the Avon Lake High School this past weekend. It was fantastic! For a donation of twenty dollars each, we received our choice of a pottery bowl and unlimited soup and bread. There were twenty-one different (and oh, so savory!) soups from local restaurants and bars, and there were multiple tables of pottery bowls to choose from. In addition, there was live entertainment and a very impressive array of baskets for silent auction. All proceeds were to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank and other local food banks. I couldn't get enough of Rocky River's Market's "Signature Chicken Paprikash" and James loved the shrimp and lobster chowder from Avon's Longhorn Steakhouse. 

James chose the "flame" bowl, and I chose the pastel one. Kudos and many thanks to the artists who created them.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and James and I will be enjoying a tasty take-out turkey dinner from Fat Cat's in Tremont. We both are truly grateful for all of you who make our world a better place with your love, generosity, friendship, encouragement, assistance, and acceptance. Salute!
                                         ("Borsenik's Law," Speak of the Devil, October 2022) 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Update on Summer and Fall Festivities 2022

  At the Ohio State Fair, August, photo by Sandra Feen

Best of all this summer, I’ve been overjoyed to connect with new friends and to reconnect with dear friends I’ve missed seeing for two and a half years.

  Jack & Kathleen Burgess, Chilicothe, OH, July

  Jonie McIntire

Jo Ann Buzulencia & her photograph (I wrote an ekphrastic poem about it)
Youngstown, July

 Nik Macioci & Sandra Feen

 Sandra Gill

  John Burroughs (the U. S. Beat Poet Laureate)

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The Poetry Intensives I’m attending each month in Youngstown has turned me on to a lot of new adventures in poetry, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to meet so many new friends.

                *     *     *

Inkubator in Cleveland was fantastic. I attended the sessions

Word Weaving and the Web by Diane Kendig, Jeremy Jusek, Raja Belle Freeman & Laura Kincer

The Music of Poems by Robert Milter & Molly Fuller  

How to Grow a Multi-Faceted Diamond: Writing the Poem Sequence by Rikki Santer, Rose Smith, Sandra Feen, & Linda Fuller-Smith

All three sessions were fascinating and informative.

I’m really looking forward to Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival next month (October) — I’ll be presenting a talk on ways to be inventive when giving poems and books titles. All of the sessions sound interesting. I’d love to see you there!

                *     *     *

I’m happy and grateful to have poems accepted for the following publications; many thanks to the editors for giving my poems a home!

Slipstream — “Up the Mountain”
Gasconade Review —  “Ice Cubes”
                                         “What You Need”
An as-yet-untitled David Bowie tribute anthology (Sybaritic Press) — “Serious Moonlight”

                *     *     *

I was thrilled to have been a part of these events — a huge thank you to the hosts for inviting me!

The Edith Chase Symposium Birds of the Cuyahoga reading — KSU Architecture Building, Kent, OH

Lit Youngstown Celebrates 40 Years of the Women’s Artist Show at the YWCA, Youngstown, OH

Visible Voice Books, Cleveland, OH — featured reading along with Diane Vogel Ferri, Steve Thomas, and Barbara Marie Minney

Noise Complaint at The Warehouse in Portsmouth, OH

The Poetry Showcase at the 2022 Ohio State Fair  

30th Annual Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival as part of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Erie, PA   — Thasia Lunger had the brilliant idea for the "slide" photo!                                

and two I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing readings, one in Marietta, OH, and one in Lewis Center, OH, with one upcoming in Coshocton, OH, next month (October)


                *     *     *

I was amazed to discover (through Google; yes, I Google myself) that I have an IMDb listing! It’s because I contributed some photographs to the documentary “Twisted Sisters - Go to Daddy.” Sadly, they were of a local woman who was murdered by her mother. The young woman had read at open mic for the Lix & Kix Poetry Extravaganza (co-hosted by John Burroughs and me) some years ago, and you know me — I’m always taking photographs.

               *     *     *

DLKB books at Visible Voice, Cleveland, June

           *     *     *

I’ve continued to write poems for my manuscript titled Flight of Honey, including the titular poem, along with two ekphrastic poems, a poem about Elyria (where I live), and a poem about my husband having an “otherworldly experience.”  Who knows where my mind will wander next?

I leave you with this sage observation:

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The New Dianne Borsenik

Behold the new Dianne Borsenik, post-retirement, post-pandemic, post-redhead! I still do a double-take when I look in the mirror, but I like having long silver hair. 

I have settled quite comfortably into retirement, and I don't miss anything about work except seeing my friends every day. There wasn't much to report in my poetry life for the past two years, but here in 2022 things are looking great and it's time to update!

I'm delirious with joy to report I just received my copy of I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio's Appalachian Voices in the mail, containing my poem "Fall Out." Edited by Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour and published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, this gorgeous anthology contains poems by dozens and dozens of fine Ohio poets, and I want to read it cover to cover. (You can purchase your own copy here.)

I'll be reading from this book at three scheduled readings:

April 14, 2022, 7 -9 pm at the McDonough Auditorium at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 
June 23, 2022, 8 - 10 pm at the National Federation of State Poetry Societies conference in Lewis Center, Ohio, sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association. 

October 15, 2022, 2 - 4 pm at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, Ohio

(For more detailed information, or to see the other readings that are scheduled, go here.)

I haven't read to a live audience in over two years, so I'm really looking forward to getting out and about and seeing my mid-Ohio and southern Ohio friends again!

I found myself unable to write during 2020 and 2021, right up to December 4, 2021, when my poetry came back to me with a vengeance. Since then, I've written sixteen poems, and sometimes it seems as if my fingers won't type fast enough to keep up with the vision in my head.

One of my new poems, "Up the Mountain," has been accepted by Slipstream for inclusion in their Bread/Blood/Beats issue, to be published this summer. Slipstream is a beautiful journal, and I'm excited and grateful to be a part of it.

"Up the Mountain" has also been chosen by Lit Cleveland for a staged reading during the Cleveland Humanities Festival at the Cleveland Public Library, April 9, 2022, at 3 pm. This staged reading examines the theme of "How Do We Talk to Each Other?" and will feature professional actors performing the chosen pieces. I can't wait to see the actor(s) "do" my poem. 

I've been active in other poetry events, as well. I'll be judging a "lilac poem" contest for Lorain this spring. I wrote a blurb for Alex Gildzen's new book Arroyo Chamisa: poems rescued from a blog, I submitted a proposal to Lit Youngstown for their Fall Literary Festival, I submitted a specially-themed poem for the Edith Chase Symposium in Kent, Ohio. and I have several poems out to various journals for their consideration. Freed from the constraints of being on call for my employment, I joyfully signed up for and am attending the monthly Poetry Intensives series of workshops conducted by Lit Youngstown. These workshops are great! Many thanks to Karen Schubert for hosting them, and to the various workshop leaders for sharing their writing insights. 

I've missed seeing my friends and I hope to catch up with YOU, soon!

I love my time being my own. So many possibilities and opportunities abound . . . viva retirement!