December 15, 2010

This Saturday in Lakewood!

This Saturday, December 18, we close out 2010 with Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven at the Root Café in Lakewood, OH!  Our featured poets will be Rachelle Gallant and Jacob Oet!

Rachelle Gallant is a modern poet for the new world. With twenty-five years of formal English and literary training, Rachelle's poetry brings her uniquely poignant yet intimate look into the everyday human condition. Her signature fusion of poetry and photography strikes to the heart of life's randomness. Other artistic performances to her credit include; featured poet at the Tremont Art and Cultural Festival in 2008, 2009, and 2010, featured poet at the Literary Café in November 2008, featured poet at Club Alchemy in February 2009, and The Cleveland Playhouse in May 2010. (

Jacob Oet lives in Solon, Ohio and is currently a junior at University School. He has loved writing stories and poems since he was little. His favorite poets include e.e cummings, Mary Oliver, and Pablo Neruda. Jacob was a finalist in Playhouse Square's 2010 SlamU! program and looks forward to participating again this year. His poem, "Metamorphosis," was recently named a winner of the Poetry in the Garden competition, co-sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Jacob is also a champion chess player, taking first place three years running at the Ohio Grade Level Chess Championships. (

This is an ALL-AGES/MODERATED event. That means that language must be kept within PG-13 guidelines. (This show rating was the decision of The Poet's Haven, it was not requested by the venue. Our show last April at the Root Café saw a high number of younger children, usually with parents who were stopping for coffee while out shopping. For this reason, we decided to make this show a moderated event. This is NOT censorship. If you want to read material with explicit content at a Poet's Haven show, we're just asking you to save it for January or February.) Hint: If you have kids or siblings that don't get to go to many poetry events due to mature content, now's your chance to bring them along. The open-mic is open to writers of ALL AGES!

This will also be your LAST CHANCE to get a copy of "VENDING MACHINE: POETRY FOR CHANGE!"  We will be collecting canned food donations for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.  Bring a donation to get a copy of the "Vending Machine" anthology.  (Offer only good until we run out of books!) 

December 3, 2010

"Vending Machine" food drive at First Friday Poetry Spectacular!

The Love Initiative's "Music for Meals" food drive may have wrapped up (after collecting over 1,000 lbs. of food!), but the Akron-Canton Foodbank still needs donations!

If you missed out on getting a copy of "Vending Machine: Poetry for Change" at November's "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" event, you now have a second chance at tonight's Canton First Friday Poetry Spectacular!  "How do I get one?" you ask.  Why, it's simple!  Bring a non-perishable food donation to tonight's show (cans and/or boxes only, no glass jars) and you can trade your donation for a copy of this awesome poetry anthology.  Quantities are limited, so they will only be available until we run out.  The food donations will go to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

Tonight's Poetry Spectacular features Robert Miltner.  Robert Miltner teaches literature and creative writing at Kent State University's Stark campus. He is the author of "Hotel Utopia," selected by Tim Seibles as winner of the New Rivers Press book prize, and a dozen chapbooks, including "Against the Simple" (Wick chapbook award). Miltner has published poems in "Artful Dodge," "Barrow Street," "LIT," "Diagram," "Pleiades," "Prose Poem," "Sleeping Fish," and "Sentence," and short fiction in "Istanbul Literary Review," "Apple Valley Review," "Storyglossia," "Ophelia Street," "Perigee," and "Christmas Stories from Ohio." He is working on a novel, "Tempest," and edits "The Raymond Carver Review" (

Canton's First Friday Poetry Spectacular takes place at the Kathleen Howland Theatre, downstairs at the Second April Art Gallerie (324 Cleveland Ave. NW  Canton, OH  44702).  Sign-up time for the open-mic and poetry slam is at 7:00, with the open-mic starting promptly at 7:30.

See you there!  :-)

October 30, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: "Vending Machine: Poetry for Change"

Poet's Haven to Release New Magazine as Part of Food Drive on November 20
Massillon, Ohio, United States of America
October 30, 2010

The Poet's Haven announces the release of a new magazine as part of Love Initiative's Music for Meals food drive.

The Poet's Haven has teamed with The Love Initiative to bring the Music for Meals food drive to "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" on November 20th.  As an added incentive for donations, The Poet's Haven will be publishing a limited edition chapbook/zine titled "Vending Machine: Poetry for Change," that will be given FREE to anyone who donates non-perishable food items during the show.  Food donations will go to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

November 20th's "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" event will be at the Angel Falls Coffee Company in Akron, and will feature poets Steve Brightman and Eric "Verbal Influence" Odum.

Steve Brightman is 1/4 cup dijon and whole grain mustard, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup ground coffee, and 1/4 cup deep dark molasses. He lives in Kent, Ohio, with his pionus parrot and thinks that PNC park is the finest cathedral in North America. His poems have been featured in "Pudding House," "Kansas City Voices," "Origami Condom," "My Favorite Bullet," and he was included in the Ohio Bicentennial Anthology titled "I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems about Ohio."

Eric "Verbal Influence" Odum is a 20 year old poet hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. He has been part of Playhouse Square's SlamU! program for the past five years. He is a peer mentor, running workshops and working on a personal level with teens on performance and writing. He was part of Cleveland's National Youth Poetry Slam team for the past three years. He also runs a poetry group called Spit Poet Spit, which performed at Urbean Joe’s Coffee this past September. Eric is the founding member of an after school poetry group called New Age Poets. He started writing at the age of nine and began performing at fifteen. He has released one chapbook, "Unspoken Declarations," and has a CD in the works called "Verbal Therapy."

Angel Falls Coffee is located at 792 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44303, in Akron's Highland Square district.

October 25, 2010

Seeking Poetry Submissions! "Poetry for Change" benefits Foodbank

The Poet's Haven, in collaboration with The Love Initiative, is seeking poetry submissions inspired by The Love Initiative statement:

"The world doesn't change in one big sweeping moment.
It is a continual journey.
Humanity's awakening.
This journey starts not with thousands but with one.
The world of one person can change in an instant.
It just takes a minute.
This is that minute."

These poems will be published by The Poet's Haven as a chapbook titled "Vending Machine: Poetry for Change," and will be given FREE to all who donate non-perishable food items at the Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven event on November 20, 2010 at Angel Falls in Akron, Ohio. This project is part of the Love Initiative's regional "Music for Meals" holiday food drive.

Submission Guidelines:

- Poems must be no longer than 60 lines. Poems 30 lines or less are preferred.

- Deadline for submissions is November 7, 2010.

- E-mail submissions to VendingMachine [at]

- As this is part of a charity project to benefit the Akron-Canton Foodbank, we are unfortunately unable to provide contributors' copies.

Visit the Music for Meals event page on Facebook:

Additional notes (aka the fine print): While The Poet's Haven is publishing this chapbook/zine, this project is separate from the galleries. Submissions for this publication MUST be made to the above listed e-mail address, NOT to the online galleries. Authors retain the right to have their submissions published elsewhere, as long as the other publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights. Previously published material is acceptable though discouraged. The Poet's Haven retains the right to republish this material at a later date (IE: next year) as a free e-book download. Space is limited, and not every submission will be published.

October 23, 2010

Random Stuff, Site News

So, I'm on Facebook today, and under their "People You May Know" thing on the side of the page, I see a picture of a hot chick wearing very skimpy attire.  Being your A-typical hetero male, I click her name to see a larger photo.  Under said larger photo, Facebook asks me if I'd like to poke her.  You can't tell me that's not a sexual innuendo.


If you're not supposed to eat the brownie first, why do you have to take it out of the TV dinner tray half-way through cooking the rest of the meal?


There's been problems with the website going down on a regular basis.  Regular as in every freaking night, around about the same time.  HTML pages will still load, but anything that uses the SQL databases (like, say, the galleries) cannot be viewed.  There is nothing on Poet's Haven that would be causing this, which leads me to believe that something else on the shared server I rent from is causing it to go down.
 For this reason, I have decided to migrate servers once again.

This move should be quick and easy.  When it starts, I will close the site to submissions.  If you do not see the submission link as you browse the gallery, this is why.  When the move is complete, the site on the new server will be open to submissions.  This way, no submissions are lost in the transition.

This also gives me the opportunity to make some behind-the-scenes changes to how things are set up.  I've been wanting to shut down some other sites I no longer have need for, and this will allow me to make Poet's Haven the primary site on my account instead of dependent to a site I no longer use.

October 21, 2010

Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven in 2011!

After moving the show around the past three years, and then settling into a same-location-every-other-month routine this year, I have decided to find the show a home in Cleveland.  I am pleased to announce that next year's Cleveland shows will all be held at Phoenix Coffee in South Euclid, and our Akron shows will continue at Angel Falls!

For those who aren't aware, here's the details:  "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" takes place on the third Saturday of each month.  Odd-numbered months (January, March, May, etc.), the show is in Akron at the Angel Falls Coffee Company.  Even-numbered months (February, April, June, etc.), the show is in Cleveland (or, to be more precise, a few minutes east of Cleveland Heights) at Phoenix Coffee in South Euclid.  These shows start at 7:00 PM (real-time, not "poetry-standard-time") and will be ALL AGES / UNMODERATED events.  Each show will have featured poets and performers.  Watch this blog for announcements about who the features will be.

October 14, 2010

Thumbs Down - Common Grounds Coffee

I've been taking advantage of my mini-vacation this week to do some things that I've never gotten around to doing.  I FINALLY got to check out the Common Grounds Coffee Bar tonight.  I thought this place was in Cleveland's Ohio City district, but it was actually way out by airport, at the intersection of Lorain and Rocky River.  They are open 24-7-365!  How cool is that?  The place is small, but it could be made to work for a poetry show.  Cash only, no credit cards accepted, but that can be dealt with.  There was a Wallgreens across the street for access to quick cash.  The reason I walked out without getting anything and didn't come back?  It was 12:30 AM and the place was full of kids.  Not a problem.  Many of these kids were likely minors, out violating Ohio's curfew laws.  Okay, still not a problem to me, though I would be worried about the cops (who were out in massive force on Cleveland's east side tonight) coming in to hassle them.  The big problem?  Damned near every one of these kids is smoking.  The place is full of smoke.  You can see it in the air, it is seeping out the doors.  To my knowledge, Common Grounds is NOT a hookah bar.

Yes, I voted for the smoking ban here in Ohio, and yes, I'd vote for it again.  The many bars that closed, claiming it hurt their business?  News flash: It was the economy, stupid.  Smokers are the minority, and now the rest of us can patronize bars and cafes that we would have previously avoided due to smoke.  If your establishment ignores the law and allows indoor smoking, you will not receive my business.  Period.  I will walk out and go someplace else.

(For the record, though, I have no issue whatsoever with bars and restaurants that built enclosed patios for smokers.)

Common Grounds can be scratched off the list of places I'd consider setting up a show at.  For that matter, scratch them off the list of places that I'll attend someone else's show at.  So disappointing.

October 13, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: The Poet's Haven Celebrates Thirteen Years

The Poet's Haven Celebrates Thirteen Years
Massillon, Ohio, United States of America
October 13, 2010

The Poet's Haven, publisher of an online literary journal and podcast series and promoter of live poetry and music events in northeast Ohio, announces the thirteenth anniversary of the press's official launch and the upcoming event schedule.

The Poet's Haven started out as publisher Vertigo Xi'an Xavier's personal webpage on America Online back in late 1995.  Over the course of 1996 and early 1997, the small page began accepting and publishing submissions from other writers and artists.  By October 1997, it had grown to the point that it was relaunched at and The Poet's Haven made its official debut as an online press.  Today, features over 6,000 pages of poetry, stories, and artwork, and has published work from more than 2,000 creators.

Celebrating the press's tenth anniversary in 2007, the first "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" open-mic event was held, recording the live performances for a podcast.  A second event was scheduled in April 2008, a third the following June, and from there the shows eventually became a regular monthly event.  "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" shows are now held on the third Saturday of each month, rotating between Akron, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio each month.

The Poet's Haven has also taken over promotion of the poetry slam that is held during Canton, Ohio's First Friday festival.  The show has been expanded to include featured poets as well as the open-mic and slam competitions.  Arts in Stark sponsors the poetry slam, with $50, $30, and $20 prizes going to first, second, and third place in the competition.

Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven will be at Phoenix Coffee in South Euclid on October 16, featuring music from Nick Wilkinson and with featured poets Jill Riga and Lee McKinstry.

Nick Wilkinson began his music career sometime around his sophomore year of high school with a few friends. Playing bass and doing vocals, the punk-ish band was rocking the world, or at least small parts of Ohio. After that project dissolved, Nick began attending the University of Akron. Now wielding a beat up Johnson acoustic guitar and pretending he knows a thing or two about a thing or two, he writes and plays songs about those things or twos.

Jill Riga graduated in 2007 with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the first graduating class of the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program. She is also a fairly decent dancer and smells good. Her favorite shoe is the left one. Her poetry has appeared in Moonlit Magazine and in the drug-induced visions of used car salesmen everywhere.

Lee McKinstry is a 19-year-old Cleveland Native who has been writing, doodling, and somehow marking up papers since she was five.  She is currently a student at the College of Wooster.  She has participated in Playhouse Square's SlamU! program, and has been on Cleveland's National Youth Poetry Slam team the past two years.  She spends most of her time in flannel, looking for lost pens.

November 20's Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven event will be at Angel Falls in Akron, with featured poets Steve Brightman and Eric "Verbal Influence" Odum.

Steve Brightman is 1/4 cup dijon and whole grain mustard, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup ground coffee, and 1/4 cup deep dark molasses. He lives in Kent, Ohio, with his pionus parrot and thinks that PNC park is the finest cathedral in North America. His poems have been featured in "Pudding House," "Kansas City Voices," "Origami Condom," "My Favorite Bullet," and he was included in the Ohio Bicentennial Anthology titled "I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems about Ohio."

Eric "Verbal Influence" Odum is a 20-year-old poet hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. He has been part of Playhouse Square's SlamU! program for the past five years. He is a peer mentor, running workshops and working on a personal level with teens on performance and writing. He was part of Cleveland's National Youth Poetry Slam team for the past three years. He also runs a poetry group called Spit Poet Spit, which performed at Urbean Joe’s Coffee this past September. Eric is the founding member of an after school poetry group called New Age Poets. He started writing at the age of nine and began performing at fifteen. He has released one chapbook, "Unspoken Declarations," and has a CD in the works called "Verbal Therapy."

Canton's First Friday Poetry Spectacular will feature Trenchcoat Manifesto on November 5 and Robert Miltner on December 3.

Trenchcoat Manifesto is poet Tom Adams and artist/musician Richard Hearn. Adams and Hearn combine spoken word and audio samples (both found and manufactured) with original music and multi-media art for spinning tales culled from just-beneath-the-surface of everyday life and the abstract and sometimes bizarre depths of the human condition.  Tom Adams began developing his craft in the mid 1980's and has performed his work at open-mics and organized poetry events around the Northeast Ohio area and beyond, including Mac's Backs, Border's Books, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, the Barking Spider Tavern, Spaces Gallery, and Shakespeare & Company in Paris. Tom has published chapbooks of his work, including "Lament for The Fallen Soldier."  Richard Hearn has been involved in the Northeast Ohio art and music scene since 1980, playing in local underground "" bands of note - Uzizi and Breakfast In India, and working in the visual mediums of painting, photography and mixed-media sculpture. In the late 80’s, Richard worked on more experimental audio projects, including cut-up assemblages of field recordings and an early collaboration with Tom Adams, before forming his own band, Angst Café (1989-1995) which released the EP "Sad Venus." Besides performing at local clubs and regional festivals, Angst Café presented multimedia events at venues around Northeast Ohio that included performances by local poets and artists. During this period Richard also began to experiment with digital photography, at first by digitizing his 35mm film images for further treatment in PhotoShop, to working entirely in the digital realm, and later experimenting with analog/digital video loops.

Robert Miltner teaches literature and creative writing at Kent State Stark. He is the author of "Hotel Utopia," selected by Tim Seibles as winner of the New Rivers Press book prize, and a dozen chapbooks, including "Against the Simple" (Wick chapbook award). Miltner has published poems in "Artful Dodge," "Barrow Street," "LIT," "Diagram," "Pleiades," "Prose Poem," "Sleeping Fish," and "Sentence," and short fiction in "Istanbul Literary Review," "Apple Valley Review," "Storyglossia," "Ophelia Street," "Perigee," and "Christmas Stories from Ohio." He is working on a novel, "Tempest," and edits "The Raymond Carver Review" (

For more information on The Poet's Haven and Poet's Haven events, visit:


October 2, 2010

True story.

Starting with last night's First Friday Poetry Spectacular, we have changed the order of things so that the open-mic now starts first.  It is about 8:00, and a kid (I'll be nice and won't identify him here) arrives and walks up to me.

"I was here earlier, but didn't see the list.  Can I still go?"

"When were you here?"

"That guy was still going."

"What guy?"

"The headliner guy."

"You mean the featured poet?"

"Yeah, he was still reading when I got here earlier."

"Hmmm. That's strange.  'Cause he hasn't read yet."


"Yeah, we changed the order.  The open-mic starts first now."

"Oh, well, I guess I wasn't here then..."

"You can still sign up for the slam, the list is over by the sign."

He walks over to put his name on the list for the slam, and I duck back stage so nobody sees me cracking up laughing.

September 24, 2010

13th Anniversary Merch!

The Poet's Haven turns 13 this Halloween!  For a limited time, you can pick up special edition Poet's Haven "13" shirts in this new CafePress store:

Again, these will only be available for a limited time, so get your order in ASAP!

August 20, 2010

Tomorrow Night!!!

August 5, 2010

Canton's First Friday Poetry Spectacular - August 6, 2010

Random Blogness - Laughing at the Gas Station

I'm in line at the gas station earlier tonight.  There's a gal in front of me picking up a few items.  I glance at what she's buying, and have to force myself to keep a straight face.  She finishes paying and leaves.  As I place my coffee on the counter, I can't help it anymore.  I burst out laughing.  The cashier asks, "What's so funny?"

"That, there, was almost every man's dream."

She raises and eyebrow.  "What do you mean?"

"A chick who runs to the store to pick up cigarettes and condoms."

"Oh."  She chuckles.  "Almost every man's dream?  It's not your dream?"

"No," I reply.  "Rule number one.  I don't date smokers."

Rimshot!  Exit sliding door left!

July 17, 2010

July 4, 2010

Chalk the Walk and First Friday Poetry Spectacular photos

I've got some photos from First Friday and Chalk the Walk posted on Facebook.  They should be viewable to the public.  Others are posting more and better photos as I type this, so feel free to search and network. :-)

June 19, 2010

TONIGHT! Cat Listening and Alana Belle feature for Poet's Haven at W.9th Phoenix!


A word of warning to everyone: THIS SHOW WILL START ON TIME!  That's "REAL TIME," not the "poetry standard time" so many of us have become used to.  Unfortunately, the venue's hours are shorter than they were last time we did a show there, so time is precious.  You can sign-up for the open-mic at 6:30, and the features WILL start AT 7:00.  Trust me, you do NOT want to miss these features!

June 9, 2010

STREET TEAM NEEDED for July 2 (Literally!)

Attention all Canton First Friday Poetry people!  We need to assemble a street team for July's event.  Literally.  See, July's First Friday theme is "Chalk the Walk," and I've gotten the okay to have a team of poets write haiku and short poems on the walkways of downtown Canton.

Some rules will apply.  Everything's got to be all-ages appropriate, and certain areas will be off-limits.  (They'll be marked off with tape, areas for artists to do their sidewalk art.)  Original material will be welcome as well as pieces from poets of all eras.

Let me know if you want to join the team!

Final plans will be announced once I know how many people are on board.  I would like everyone meet beforehand with lists of poems and haiku that they plan to use, so we can make sure nobody duplicates any of the pieces.  We can also coordinate things on the map, assign certain areas to each poet so that we can be sure to cover the entire arts district.  Chalk will be provided.

This is in part inspired by my friend Christina Brooks, who recently began chalking poetry on the sidewalk in front of her home near Detroit.  :-)

Anyone that wants to join in is welcome to do so, just contact me so we can coordinate everything.  Also, if you are unable to take part in the actual chalking, we could still use help gathering up short poems for this project.



May 9, 2010

Canton's First Friday Poetry Spectacular - May 7, 2010

Friday night's Canton First Friday show went well. A HUGE thanks to Todd and Brennis from the Second April Gallerie for not chasing us out when we ran WAY past the time the show is supposed to be wrapped up. Vince Robinson delivered an awesome set to start the night. (I'll have to get Vince booked for a Saturday Night show next year so we can get him in the podcast!)

Something new we'll be doing: Since I started emceeing this show, folks have been asking if there is some way we can get a little more exposure for the slam winners. So, starting this month, we'll have a camera rolling during the slam and video of the winners will be posted on YouTube.

This month, Kedric Wolfe placed third and first place resulted in a tie between Blu and February Luv. To try to break the tie, we had a POETRY DEATH MATCH. (Yes, that has to be all caps, it is a rule.) Unfortunately, the POETRY DEATH MATCH also resulted in a tie. Since we didn't have time to go another round, it was decided that first and second place would be left tied, and the prize money for both was split down the middle.

Did I mention that Arts in Stark provides the prize money? And that BR Square sponsored the featured poet?

Anyway, here's the video of the winners. Due to YouTube's 10 minute time limit, the POETRY DEATH MATCH was uploaded separately, and can be viewed directly below this video.

May 4, 2010

Primary Election Day

While walking in to my local polling station today to cast my ballot in the primary election, I came to a realization.  The Democrats being represented by a donkey and the Republicans by an elephant are no longer accurate portrayals of the parties.  They both need new mascots.  Here's my proposal:


The Democrats have become the party of pussies.  Democrats won far and wide in 2008, because we the people wanted liberal change.  They won by large margins because us, the wide majority, wanted things to move back to the left.  Not just back to the center, but to the FAR LEFT.  Then a small but vocal minority started yelling and screaming and they chickened out.  Instead of "lets do what we need to do" it became "lets try to make the other side happy, too."  Now they have accomplished NOTHING.  They proved themselves to be a bunch of PUSSIES!  So I propose that the new mascot for the Democratic party be a vagina!

If the Democrats have become the party of pussies, the Republicans are a party of dicks.  All they want to do is fuck the Democrats.  They'll fuck the Democrats over health reform, they'll fuck them over civil liberties, they'll fuck them over financial reform, the list goes on and on.  It's only appropriate that the new mascot for the Republican party be a man's phallic member.

As I wrote this, I tried to find some pictures to attach.  Not photos, nothing of a pornographic nature.  I just wanted some simple black-and-white line drawings, like I remember from the health book back in high school.  No luck.  Even with safe-search turned on, everything I found was too detailed or graphic for this purpose.  Sorry, folks, words only here.

That aside...  Has anyone else wondered if the "tea baggers" know that "tea bagging" is when a male stripper bangs his scrotum up against the forehead of a patron?  The term was coined by John Watters in the 1990's for his movie "Pecker."

April 23, 2010

Is your book or CD on Amazon?

Attention all Poet's Haven contributors!  Do you have a book or CD published and is it available on Amazon?  If so, please contact me and let me know!

I'm looking for books and CDs by authors and artists that we have published both on and in the podcast.  I would like to add more items to the rotating Amazon ads appearing on the site, and have been considering a regular or semi-regular "Vertigo Picks" type thing posted here.  (Remember how the old Poet's Haven Newsletter e-mails had staff entertainment picks at the end of the message?  Ahhh, the good ol' days...)  While the "Vertigo Picks" thing might occasionally be something not on Amazon, I would like to try to keep it focused on things that we can get commission on.  (Hey, those commissions are what pays to keep the site up!)


Whoops... Forgot to post... Episode 34 online!

I just came here to post something else, and noticed that I forgot to post that podcast episode 34 was online!  It features poetry from Cavana Faithwalker and Allisun Hovater and music from Ramona Stone.  Go! Listen! Enjoy! :-)

April 6, 2010

Two new podcasts, now online!

Two new episodes of the Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven podcast have gone online!

Episode 32 features the poetry of Tangina Stone, Debbie Goings, Crutch, The Dude, and Marlana-Patrice, with music by Ramona Stone.

Episode 33 features poetry from Tangina Stone and Cavana Faithwalker with a poetry/music hybrid piece from AURAL Heather.

Stay tuned, more episodes are on the way!

April 3, 2010

Random Observations

Random Observations

Wearing compression stocking with shorts, I probably look like a dork.  But wearing shorts in our first 80+ day felt great. (Or did it hit 90?  It was 88 when I drove through downtown, and that was after 5:00.)

I had been working on a little blurb about "you know its spring when the poets read without shoes."  I even had a picture from last month's Deep Cleveland of a poet reading barefoot.  Walking around Canton's First Friday tonight, after the poetry show was done, I realized that you also know it is spring when drunk gals are wandering from bar to bar in skirts so short you can see what color panties they are wearing.  I suppose I should just be glad they were wearing panties at all.

It is sad that I've become the cranky old geezer complaining about chicks wearing skimpy clothes.


When I was a kid, I'd go with my mom to the Flower Factory for art supplies.  The place was awesome.  They had a whole room filled with nothing but painting supplies.  A whole isle filled with brushes, every size and shape of canvas one could want, and five or six isles full of paint.  They had thousands of bottles lined up, just of t-shirt paint.  I could go there and pick out specific SHADES that I wanted.  I never had to mix paints to make a color, I could just paint right from the bottle.  (Before anyone asks, I would use tracing paper to copy splash-page images from comic books, then crayon on the other side of the tracing paper to make a temporary transfer, iron the image to a shirt, and then paint it.  I was pretty good at it, even eventually modifying images into original poses and designing backs and name logos myself.)  I've recently found myself in need of some art supplies and sign-making items.  Not having a Flower Factory membership, I first went to Pat Catan's and Michael's.  Walking through isles of paints and drawing supplies and sketchbooks and the like, I really miss being in an artist studio, drawing and painting.  That aside, not finding what I needed at multiple locations, I decided to try to get in to the Flower Factory.  Turns out, they'll give anyone a membership now.  (You used to have to have a vendors license, which I did have at one point but didn't renew when I realized I didn't need one for the type of business I'm running.)  Unfortunately, the Flower Factory I remember from when I was a child no longer exists.  The store I found myself in looked like Dollar General meets a Michael's that's going out of business.  Their entire paint selection was half of one isle, and wasn't even 20% of what the smallest Pat Catan's I visited had in stock.  They also didn't have the display sign items I needed, but what they did have in that department made even Office Max's paltry selection look extensive.  Another memory of youth, down the drain.


On a forum question-and-answer thing, I saw the question "What is a normal allowance for a 10-year-old?"  Replies were in the $15 to $20 range.  When the hell did this happen?  Has inflation gone up that much that a ten-year-old needs twenty bucks a week?  When I was that age, I got a dollar a week.  When my little sisters were that age, they got a dollar a week.  When comic books went up to $1.25 each, I still only got a dollar a week.  Hell, as a teenager, I only got paid $12 for mowing the yard, and we had a whole acre!  Being generous, and using that same "cost of a comic book" guide, a kid's allowance should be no more than $5 a week.  Most comic books cost $3.99 each, so that'll leave room for the next round of inflation.  Not that kids can ride to the corner store and buy comics any more...


I think I have a thing for eyes.  Look at all the fliers I've designed over the past year.  Notice a frequent trend?  I tend to go for photos that highlight the featured poets' eyes.  Even the pic of Tabitha Katt on the ad logo highlights her eyes.  I don't know why this is, I just like it when the poets are staring out at you.  Perhaps something about the eyes, like a poet's work on the page, being a window to the soul.  Then again, my definition of "soul" varies pretty drastically from what a religious or spiritual person will tell you.


I got asked tonight, "Do you know of any other shows where I can read poetry?"  Oh, yes.  Do I!


People need to start posting shows on  It isn't my personal calendar, people.  Share, share, share!


My stack of poetry books near the computer has reached above eye level.  Methinks I need to get these things on a shelf.


I think I need to do more posts like this.  I come up with random crap I wanna say all the time, but the most I can ever manage to do with it is a Facebook status update.  I need to start collecting these thoughts for blog use.

That's all for now...

April 2, 2010

Tonight! First Friday in Canton!

Tonight!  Come check out the First Friday festival in downtown Canton, OH!  I'll be emceeing the poetry open-mic and slam at the Second April Art Gallerie.  The slam has CASH PRIZES for the winners!  $50 for first place, $30 and $20 for second and third places!  7:30 PM, don't miss it!

And coming in May, Arts in Stark and The Poet's Haven present Canton's First Friday Poetry Spectacular!  The show's start time will be moved a half-hour earlier, to 7:00 PM, allowing us to include a featured poet.  Our first featured poet will be Vince Robinson!  A huge thank you to for sponsoring this show!

March 21, 2010


A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to Angel Falls last night and made this our most successful show yet!  Standing room only, not only during Laraine's feature and T.M. and Zach's set, but well into the open-mic part of the evening. :-D

March 15, 2010

New poetry & story...

Just a note:  I spent some time today working through the submission queue.  One new story and 45 new poems have been added to the galleries.  There's more for me to get through, but my mind is starting to turn into marmalade.  Not the best way to review poems and stories, so the rest will have to wait for another night.

March 9, 2010

New Podcasts! April's Show Details!

After a few days of me chaotically bouncing around, trying to get too many things done at once, your patience is now rewarded. ;-)

Two new podcast episodes are available for your listening pleasure!  Episode 30 features poetry from Jason Floyd Williams, Dave Meyer, Amanda DiDonna, and Dianne Borsenik.  Episode 31 features poetry from Parker Amsel, Terry Provost, The Fidget, Steven B. Smith, and Jill Riga.  Both episodes feature music from Ramona Stone.  If you're reading this on my blog, you can download the episodes from the column on the right.  If you're reading this on Facebook, you can stream the episodes off my profile page.  You can also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes at (  Please, if you use iTunes, do subscribe!  The more subscribers we have, the higher ranked the podcast gets, and eventually they'll take notice and feature the podcast in the iTunes store.

Also, here's the flier for April's show.  I still have to get the event listing page updated on the site, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow.  April's show will be at the Root Café in Lakewood, Ohio, and we will be featuring competitive slam poet Suspicious and Cleveland poetry legend Vladimir Swirynsky!

March 5, 2010

April 17th update...

I can now confirm that one of the features for April 17th's "Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven" show at the Root Cafe in Lakewood will be Vlad Swirynsky! :-D

March 1, 2010

April's show... :-D

Just a note, I can now confirm that April's show will be at the Root Café in Lakewood. :-D


So, my internet connection has been sporadic of late.  As of right now, it works if we connect a computer directly to the modem, but the modem won't connect to any of our routers, so only one computer can be online at a time.  I seized control of the connection yesterday, and spent the last two days catching up on a week's worth of stuff.  Not fun.

I've also got some podcast work done.  If all goes according to plan, there'll be at least one new episode up for your listening pleasure this week.  May's show had some microphone problems, and tweaking the audio is taking a bit more time than normal, so no promises about a second episode.  I'm also going to try to get the audio from several more shows prepped for the podcast before I do more "block outs." (That's where I take all the pieces, written on little "blocks" of paper with the runtime logged on them, and plan what goes in to each episode.  Think how you've seen TV schedules planned out in movies.)  I know there's material recorded in August that I'd like to combine with material from June and material from July that might go well with material from May and... yeah, you get the idea.

This coming Friday, March 5th, come to Canton, Ohio for the First Friday Poetry Slam!  Downtown Canton has a big art festival every First Friday.  There's a poetry open-mic and slam competition, sponsored by Arts in Stark (and emceed by yours truly), at the Kathleen Howland Theatre, under the 2nd April Art Galerie.  You can sign-up to read or perform at 7:30 PM, with the open-mic starting at 8:00.  Also, come early!  The theater will be hosting a special reading of the poetry of Pablo Neruda at 6:30, organized by the Canton Symphony Opera.

Then don't forget about this month's Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven event!  March 20th, we'll be at Angel Falls in Akron.  The features are Laraine Seidl and T.M. Göttl with music by Zach!  This show is not to be missed!  (Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven is NEVER to be missed!)

Okay, now I find it is an hour later than I planned to have this finished.  Time to call it a night!

February 20, 2010

Don't Forget - Tonight: Poet's Haven at Blue Arrow Records!

Don't forget, tonight is Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven at Blue Arrow Records, featuring the music of Blackwell and the poetry of Miles Budimir and Azalea Tidwell!!!

Open-mic sign-up is at 6:30, with the features starting at 7:00.  There is NO COVER, but please spend some money in the record store.  FREE refreshments will also be available.  (PUNCH AND PIE!)

Blue Arrow Records
16001 Waterloo Road - Cleveland, OH  44110
(about a block away from the Beachland Tavern)

See you there!


February 15, 2010

New Poet's Haven Merchandise

Since I know I'll never find the time to screen print the Poet's Haven t-shirts I've been talking about for two years now, I've gone ahead and updated the old Cafe Press store with the new logo, and plenty of new merchandise.

Check it out!

January 30, 2010

Welcome to the new Publisher's Blog

This here marks the point where the new Poet's Haven Publisher's Blog goes live.

I've spent some time over the past several months checking out various blog programs, intending to keep the blog hosted on  There are many great programs out there, but none that had all the features I wanted to have already built in.  While I certainly could work on a program and add everything, I decided that time is an issue (or the lack thereof) and it would be best to simply take the easy route.  So, the new blog is here on Google's

I was selective in which old posts I imported here.  Many posts promoting shows or announcing a new podcast were left behind, along with all the posts (and all the newsletters from before the old blog was launched) talking about parts of the site that have been closed.  (How many posts would you want to read about the old chat room, which has been closed for several years?  lol)

So here we be.  This is where I'll now be posting Poet's Haven event promotion, podcast updates, and the occasional rant or bitching session.  Have fun!

January 27, 2010

More Updates...

For the first time in a VERY long time, the submission queue is all caught up.  Now it is time for me to get some work done on the site itself.

The review sections have been removed from the site.  These sections have never been terribly popular: Only two music review submissions have been received in the last six years. As part of the ongoing effort to streamline the site into something more akin to a literary journal, the movie, music, book, and game reviews have fallen outside the territory we want to cover.  If I want to throw an entertainment recommendation your way, don't worry, I'll do it right on the blog.

Speaking of: Everyone HAS to go see "The Lovely Bones" while it is still in theaters!!!  Why is "Avatar" collecting awards when this AMAZING piece of cinematic art is showing on a neighboring screen? I can count the films I've found truly moving on one hand, and "The Lovely Bones" has made that list.  (And since I know someone will ask, no, I have not read the book, though I may pick it up if I see it at Mac's Backs or HPB.)

Okay, back on topic...

The next thing to go will be the message forums.  As soon as the blog has been moved, this will happen.  If you need to collect any work or drafts out of the "Work in Progress" forum, get it done ASAP.

I've been asked why the forums are being closed.  When the internet was a new thing for most people, having a community discussion on a poetry site worked.  However, as time has gone on, the community discussions have moved away from sites like this and taken up residence on sites like Facebook.  Again, efforts are being made to focus on the core of poetry, stories, and art that have made popular these past thirteen years, leaving the mass-media chit-chat and skewed polls to the social networking sites.

Work is underway on more podcasts.  Three new episodes were released earlier this month, and two more are nearing completion.  Unfortunately, due to time limitations, the podcast work had to take a temporary pause while I worked through the submission queue.  There's one more big change on the way for the presentation of the podcasts, something that I think everyone will love to hear.  big_smile  Keep listening.

Our live event schedule is right on track!  Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven shows will now be held on the third Saturday of every month.

February 20th, we'll be at Blue Arrow Records in Cleveland, with featured poets Azalea Tidwell and Miles Budimir and featured musician Blackwell!

March 20th, we're at Angel Falls Coffee in Akron, with featured poet Laraine Seidl and a featured poetry/music set by T.M. Göttl and Zach!

April 17th's show is in the works, and won't be what was expected. big_smile  Then May 15th, we're at Angel Falls with John Dorsey and Christina Brooks!

Also, be sure to check out the Canton First Friday Poetry Slam!  The first Friday of every month, a huge art festival fills downtown Canton, Ohio.  Come to the 2nd April Art Galerie (downstairs in the Kathleen Howland Theater) at 7:30 for the First Friday Poetry Slam.  The show starts with an open-mic to warm everyone up, then we have the competition.  First place takes home $50, second and third take home $30 and $20.

Okay, back to work I go...

January 10, 2010


Three new podcast episodes have finally gone online!  Changes are underway in the format and presentation of the episodes that will help me produce the episodes faster while giving them a bigger-budget sound.  You'll hear some of the initial changes across these three episodes, with more changes in the weeks ahead.

Episode 27 features Jason Floyd Williams, Ramona Stone, Gina Tabasso, T.M. Göttl, and Timothy House!

Episode 28 features the poetry of Parker Amsel and Lisa Vicious, with the music of AURAL Heather!

Episode 29 features Lisa Vicious, Ramona Stone, Jake from (Me) vs Them, Christopher Franke, Jen Pezzo, and Anne McMillen!

Download episodes directly at:

Or subscribe to the podcast through iTunes at:

The Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven open-mic series will be happening on the third Saturday of every month through 2010.  Odd-numbered months (January, March, etc.), we will be at Angel Falls in Akron, Ohio.  Even-numbered months (February, April, etc.), we will be at various venues across Cleveland.

January 16th, we will be featuring poets Michelle Sinsky and February Luv at Angel Falls!

February 20th, we will feature poets Azalea Tidwell and Miles Budimir with hip-hop artist Blackwell at Blue Arrow Records in Cleveland!

Please note:  I will be closing the forums on this site in the not-too-distant future.  I will be moving this blog to a traditional blogging program (complete with RSS feeds, etc.).  Anyone who has work posted in the "work in progress" forum that you do not have saved elsewhere, you should get it copied to your own system ASAP.  Or, y'know, finish it and submit it to the poetry gallery.  (AHEM... Riske...)