The first annual Best Cleveland Poem Competition was held on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at the Willoughby Brewing Company. Songs in the Key of Cleveland features the best poems shared that day, including work by lit stars Catherine Criswell, Katie Daley, T.M. Göttl, Dianne Borsenik, Geoffrey Landis, Joshua Gage, Terry Provost, Jack McGuane, Ruth J. Coffey, Martin Snyder, Jeffrey Bowen, Mary A. Turzillo and competition emcee Ray McNiece.
cover photo by Michael Spear
John Burroughs, a.k.a. Jesus Crisis, is a northeast Ohio poet and publisher who co-founded the monthly Lix and Kix Poetry Extravaganza and yearly Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest. He is the author of one full-length poetry collection, The Eater of the Absurd (just published by NightBallet Press). It includes some of his best work to date, including the Pushcart Prize nominated performance piece "Lens."
He has also authored many chapbooks, including (most recently) It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change [The Poets Haven, 2013], Barry Merry Baloney [Spare Change Press, 2012], Water Works [Recycled Karma, 2012], Electric Company [Writing Knights, 2011], and (with Douglas Manson and Bree) Identity Crises [Green Panda Press, 2009].
For around a decade leading up to the turn of the millennium, John served as a full-time playwright and occasional music director in residence for the Ministry of Theatre at Marion Correctional Institution. In 2007, his blog was ranked number 1 in several categories on MySpace. After that, John won the first poetry slam he ever competed in, formed the association Poets of Lorain County, has contributed irregularly to the Cleveland Poetics and Ohio Poetry Association blogs, and is perhaps most proud of his work (since 2008) as the founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press.
You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or via snail mail at 3344 W. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111.
Cut Me Free is a brave and rich, lovingly handmade eighteen-page chapbook, a tasty word stew seasoned with a peppering of astute erasure, pregnant margin variation and other deftly applied spices/devices. Highlights include "Letter of Disaffiliation to Freedmans Lutheran Church," "Delivering the Eviction Notice, Christmas Eve," "Reconsidering the Single Father," "I've Got This Grin You'll See from Space When You Come Down" and "Songs from the Ruptured Amniotic Sac." Cut Me Free is in 8.5x11" format and sidestaple bound using high quality Hollo's card stock and faux ivory parchment paper.
cover foto by Steven B. Smith
NEW TITLES January: YES, but.... by Martin Burke (Belgium)
THE NIGHT MARKET by D.R. Wagner - illustrated by ReBecca Gozion
Bear in mind that much of the following schedule is indeed tentative, as I like to remain organic and flexible. Some books may take longer than anticipated to produce. And life is never entirely predictable. But I think we have a reasonable and fairly reliable guideline here. I am very excited about each and every one of these publications. I predict you're gonna love them as much as I do.
Sunshine Liar by Ryan Swofford (Oregon)
In Bold Blackness: Selections by Jami Tillis (Chicago)
Cut Me Free by Ben Heins (New Jersey)
Songs in the Key of Cleveland: An Anthology of the 2013 Best Cleveland Poem Competition
The Night Market by D.R. Wagner (California)
Bookmobile by David S. Pointer (Tennessee)
Oct Tongue -1 by Mary Weems, John Swain, Lady K Smith, John Burroughs, Steve Brightman, Shelley Chernin and Steven Smith
Balefire by Susan A. Sheppard (West Virginia)
Poem's for Explosion by John G. Hall (United Kingdom)
On the Outside by Catherine Criswell (Ohio)
The Road Unravelled to the Lakes by Wendy Webb (United Kingdom)
When You Don't Know Who You Are by Alinda Dickinson Wasner (Michigan)
City of Tents by Martin Willitts, Jr. (New York)
Contents under Pressure by Kevin Ridgeway (California)
god save your mad parade by Austen Roye (Texas)
The Leavings by Natalie Easton (Connecticut)
Special Watch by Richard M. O'Donnell (Ohio)
Of Friends & Liars & Intelligent Crows by Carolyn Srygley-Moore (New York)
Ship of Theseus by Christopher Willard (Canada)
Matilda's Battle Waltz by Tracie Morrell (Pennsylvania)
September through December and maybe into 2015:
[the following are in no particular order yet]
Fractured Fairy Tales by William Merricle (Ohio)
Field Notes by Heather Ann Schmidt (Michigan)
We by Michelle Williams (Ohio)
Inquiry into Loneliness by Meg Harris (Massachusetts)
Works (with yet-to-be-determined titles) by Steven B. Smith, Helen Shepard, Christian O'Keeffe, Dianne Borsenik and Christopher Franke (all from Ohio).
And we may have a few other surprises thrown in through the course of the year as well.
Soon we will reissue Mary C. O'Malley's 2013 chapbook Howl for My Family in April in a revised/enhanced edition. And sometime this year we will make several more of our titles - like Justin Hamm's The Everyday Parade / Alone With Turntable, Old Records - available in an e-format via Kindle. Stay tuned for more on that.
Most grateful for your support,
YES, but.... by Martin Burke (Belgium)
...from Crisis Chronicles Press. Read about it in yesterday's Plain Dealer.