Category Archives : Publisher’s Blog

2011 Chapbook Bundle Offer – FREE SHIPPING!!!

I’ve updated the 2011 Chapbook Bundle! Get all six books published by The Poet’s Haven this year, “Getting There” by Jacob King, “Street Corner Poetry” by Andrew Tobias Line, “Seasons of Discontent: Spring & Summer” by Jeff Kosiba, “Interfaces: Drilling Deeper” by Ben Bartman, “The History of Chickpeas” by Laraine Seidl, and “A Thousand Voices: A City Shaman’s Notebook” by C.M. Brooks with FREE SHIPPING! Plus, place your order by Wednesday, December 14th and the books will ship in time for X-mas!

Please help spread the word about this!

December 17th – Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven!

While I’m still working on the new event calendar for Poet’s Haven, I wanted to get word out about December 17th’s Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven show. The featured poets will be none other than ZACH ASHLEY from Ferndale, MI and Cleveland’s own AUTUMN AKI! We’ll also be launching C.M. Brooks’ chapbook, “A Thousand Voices: A City Shaman’s Notebook” and collecting donations for the Poetic Provisions Food-Drive!

This will be the last show where you can get a copy of this year’s “VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change” anthology in exchange for a food-drive donation.

This will be the FINAL show where the open-mic is recorded for podcasting! (See my blog post from November 10th for a full explanation of what’s going on with the podcasts.)

After playing around with a couple open-source event calendar programs, I finally decided to just do what everyone else is already doing and use a Google Calendar. I’m still tweaking some things, and will be adding events to it in the days ahead.

Oh, and did I mention that the Canton First Friday Poetry Slam will return in January at our new location? Did I mention that the new location is Cable Hall at the Canton Cultural Center? 8-D And did I mention that the First Friday slam is now partnered with Lake Effect Poetry? Meaning that poets competing in the First Friday slam will earn points towards qualifying for north-east Ohio’s official National Poetry Slam team?

Also, keep an eye out for another big announcement regarding a new poetry open-mic series in Canton! I’m hoping to be able to make the announcement at December 17th’s Poet’s Haven event. :-)

See you soon!!!

Poet’s Haven Events

FYI: Some changes are being made to the event pages at Some things are going on, some locations are being updated, and some new events will be added to The Poet’s Haven’s lineup. ;-) (Before anyone starts up rumors or makes ASSumptions, no *I* won’t be emceeing any additional events. Poet’s Haven will be helping with promotion and planning, but I do not have time to be the lead on any new poetry series.) Please be patient while the pages are updated.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s coming up:

Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven
Phoenix Coffee
(4441 Mayfield Road – South Euclid, OH 44121)
December 17, 2011: 7:00 PM
featured poets TBA
includes open-mic
NOTE: This will be the FINAL show in which the open-mic is recorded for the “Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven” podcast. (Only the features will be podcast from future events.)

Open-Mic and Podcast Decisions…

It’s no secret that I am MASSIVELY behind on getting podcast episodes done. No excuses, I just haven’t had enough time to keep up with everything, and work on the podcasts has been the thing that has fallen by the wayside. However, with over a two-year backlog of recorded shows, I’ve been thinking about the future of the podcast series. I’ve reached some decisions:

The Vending Machine event on November 19th and the Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven event on December 17th will be the FINAL shows where the open-mic is recorded for podcasting.

We will continue to record the feature performances at the Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven shows and any of our other events that use the same format (IE: Vending Machine).

The “Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven” podcast series will end when the open-mic recording backlog is finished.

The remaining “Saturday Night With…” podcasts will not include feature performances, they will consist entirely of open-mic performances.

A new podcast series will be introduced, the exact title of which is yet to be determined. (I’m thinking of simply calling it “Poet’s Haven Live,” though that may imply they are live broadcasts rather than edited and cleaned up recordings.) This new series will consist of feature performances from the live Poet’s Haven events. Episodes with featured musicians will include a complete set rather than just one song per episode. The new series will be released at a higher bitrate than the current series, resulting in better sound quality. (We’re talking 128 or 156 kbps as opposed to the current 80. It won’t be CD quality, but it’ll sound a lot better playing through the headphones you use with your iPod.)

While time will still be an issue in getting new episodes done, these changes will at least slow down the rate at which the backlog is growing.

Thanks for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Vending Machine event on the 19th!

Authors Appearing in VENDING MACHINE 2!

The following authors will be appearing in VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change volume 2: Autumn Aki, Lynne Albert, Dianne Borsenik, Steve Brightman, John Burroughs, Shelley Chernin, Catherine Criswell, Weldon Davis, Craig Firsdon (cover artist), T.M. Göttl, Shelly Gracon-Nagy, Marlana-Patrice Pugh Hamer, Amy Hikel, Timothy House, K– (Kristie LeVangie), Jackie Koch, Lori Ann Kusterbeck, Chris Lawrence, Marc Mannheimer, Jen Pezzo, Dan Provost, Tina Puckett, Andrew Rihn, Alexis-Rueal, Heather Ann Schmidt, Larry Smith, Teleri, Eva X, and Katherine Zaleski!

The Poet’s Haven presents VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change featuring Shelly Gracon-Nagy, Andrew Tobias Line, and the music of Glass Audrey

The Poet’s Haven presents VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change! This special open-mic event features music by Glass Audrey and the poetry of Shelly Gracon-Nagy and Andrew Tobias Line! We will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the Akron-Canton Foodbank as part of the Poetic Provisions Food-Drive. Bring a donation to this event to receive a copy of the “Vending Machine: Poetry for Change” anthology volume 2!

This will take place in the cabin at Letha House Park West, 5800 Richman Road, Chatham Township, Ohio 44256. PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE EARLIER 6:00 PM START TIME!!! We’re starting this event an hour earlier than our other Saturday shows due to the park closing at 10:00 PM.

After the features, there is an open-mic. The open-mic is recorded for the Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven podcast. Poets and musicians wishing to perform at the open-mic can sign-up at 5:30. The features will begin at 6:00. ALL TIMES LISTED ARE REAL-TIME, NOT “POETRY STANDARD TIME.” In other words, GET HERE BEFORE 6:00!!!

This is an ALL-AGES/UNMODERATED event, meaning kids are welcome to attend and participate, but parents should be aware that there are no restrictions on language. Some performances may (and most likely will) include coarse language.

Letha House Park’s cabin is fully wheelchair and handicap accessible.


Take I-71 South to I-480 West.
I-480 West becomes OH-10 West.
Take EXIT 3 towards US-83.
Turn LEFT onto Butternut Ridge Road.
Turn RIGHT onto OH-83 South/Avon Belden Road.
Follow OH-83 S/Avon Lake Road through traffic circle.
Turn RIGHT onto Garver Road.
Turn LEFT onto Richman Road.
Turn RIGHT into Letha House Park West.

Take I-76 West / I-77 North.
Take the ramp to follow I-76/I-277 West.
Follow the signs for I-76/US-224 West.
Continue on US-224 West when I-76 ends.
Turn RIGHT on Vandemark Road.
Take the first LEFT onto Kennard Road.
Turn RIGHT on Avon Lake Road / OH-83 North.
Turn LEFT on Spencer Lake Road.
Turn RIGHT on Richman Road.
Turn LEFT into Letha House Park West.

Take I-77 North to US-224 West.
Continue on US-224 West when it splits from I-277.
Continue on US-224 when I-76 ends.
Turn RIGHT on Vandemark Road.
Take the first LEFT onto Kennard Road.
Turn RIGHT on Avon Lake Road / OH-83 North.
Turn LEFT on Spencer Lake Road.
Turn RIGHT on Richman Road.
Turn LEFT into Letha House Park West.

Take OH-301 South.
Continue on OH-301 South through traffic circle.
Turn LEFT onto Smith Road.
Turn RIGHT onto Root Road.
Take the first LEFT onto Garver Road.
Take the first RIGHT onto Richman Road.
Turn RIGHT into Letha House Park West.

Take OH-21 North to I-76/US-224 West.
Continue on US-224 West when I-76 ends.
Turn RIGHT on Vandemark Road.
Take the first LEFT onto Kennard Road.
Turn RIGHT on Avon Lake Road / OH-83 North.
Turn LEFT on Spencer Lake Road.
Turn RIGHT on Richman Road.
Turn LEFT into Letha House Park West.

Change of Venue for November 19th VENDING MACHINE Event

Due to a scheduling conflict, the location of November 19th’s VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change event and Poetic Provisions Food-Drive has been moved to a different venue. The show will now take place in the cabin at Letha House Park West, 5800 Richman Road, Chatham Township, Ohio 44256. PLEASE TAKE NOTE THIS SHOW WILL START AT 6:00 PM!!! We’re starting this event an hour earlier than our regular Saturday shows due to the park closing at 10:00 PM.

We will also have a café set up in the cabin, with coffee, tea, soda, and some baked goods for sale. Proceeds will go to the Akron-Canton Foodbank, along with the collected food-drive donations. :-)

Time’s almost up! Get all 6 chapbooks for just $25!!!

The (newly expanded title) “Vertigo Needed a New Car and Needs New Speakers for Poetry Shows, a New Printer, and a Ton of Other Crap He Didn’t Want to Spend Money On Yet” sale will be ending on MONDAY! This is your last chance to get all SIX chapbooks published by The Poet’s Haven in 2011 for just $25 plus FREE SHIPPING!!! That’s like getting one of the books for free! Did I mention FREE SHIPPING!!! That saves you another six bucks! THIS OFFER IS OVER, KAPUT, DONE ON MONDAY!

Vending Machine: Poetry for Change volume 1 – NEW E-BOOK

2010′s “Vending Machine” anthology has now been released as a free e-book download!

Get it here!

Introduction by Zach
“Love Initiative Poem” by Bekey Hewit
“Singularity” by Geoffrey Landis
“Wet Down with Mother’s Spit” by Steve Brightman
“In These Times” by Kay Eaton
“For the Fifty (Who Made PEACE With Their Bodies)” by Phillip Metres
“Surfacing” by Marc Mannheimer
“Torches” by Michael Bernstein
“Vending Machine For Change” by Dianne Borsenik
“Leap of Faith” by William Merricle
“August of Now” by Cheryl A. Townsend
“Fun House Mirrors” by Michael D. Grover
“Refugee” by Tina Puckett
“Depth of an End” by Katherine Zaleski
“Sparrowz (A November Poem)” by Marlana-Patrice Pugh Hamer
“No Boundaries” by Christina Brooks
“Late Autumn” by Joshua Gage
“Evening Things” by Nabina Das
“Lets Go Fly a Kite” by Sarah Wells
“En Mass” by Michelle “Mikki” Williams
“Men” by Eric Odum
“Can It” by John Burroughs
“Love Is” by Arija Lee
“Whitman Knew” by Timothy R. Gates
“STORMS (It Is Now Time To Open Our Eyes)” by Leah B. Beck
“Corners” by Ann DiFrangia
“Speak a Revolution” by Katie Brown
“A Wish for Peace” by John A. Todras
“Meditations to The Max” by Amylia Grace
“Amina’s Field Trip” by Judith Fanny Rose
“Becoming Light” by J.E. Stanley
“Re Routed” by Chris Lawrence
“Journey of Change” by Jenna Arthur
“Virgin Mango Pickles” by Sivakami Velliangiri
“Embrace It” by Jen Pezzo
“Celebration” by Barbara Moore
“Busy” by Elisha Aglioit
“If I Were Hungry” by Peter Hessman
“Hard to Disagree” by A. Molotkov
“Solitaire” by Steve Thomas
“The Road” by Craig Firsdon

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: "Vending Machine: Poetry for Change" volume 2

The Poet’s Haven is seeking submissions inspired by the following quote:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

This is for the next “Vending Machine” anthology that will be released at a special Poet’s Haven show this November 19th, in conjunction with the “Poetic Provisions” food-drive. This event will be held at Sonnets Cafe in Wadsworth and will feature the music of Glass Audrey and the poetry of Andrew Tobias Line and Shelly Gracon-Nagy. Copies of “Vending Machine: Poetry for Change” volume 2 will be given FREE to anyone who brings a non-perishable food donation to the event. Donations are being collected for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.


POEM SUBMISSIONS MUST BE LESS THAN 60 LINES. Poems under 30 lines are recommended. Story and essay submissions must be under 500 words.

Submissions must be received by October 18th!

SUBMISSIONS MUST FIT THE THEME!!! If you can’t take the time to read the theme, we won’t waste time considering your work.

As this is a charity project to benefit the Akron-Canton Foodbank, we are unable to provide contributor copies.

Submissions should be e-mailed to VendingMachine[at]

While this is a Poet’s Haven publication, this project is separate from the online galleries and The Poet’s Haven Chapbook Series. Submissions for this project 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.

This anthology will also be published as a free e-book download in 2012.


UPDATE: Event Names, Feature Lineup

I have made the decision that only the events at Phoenix Coffee will be called “Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven.” This will make promotional language easier to write and understand. (I’ve always found it challenging to explain the multiple venue format in a fast manner. Now, its simply “SNWTPH events are held every other month at Phoenix Coffee in South Euclid.”) When we do have an event that uses the same format during the other months (such as November’s show at Sonnets), it will be promoted with its own title.

Speaking of November 19th’s Vending Machine: Poetry for Change event (see how easy that was), I am pleased to announce that the feature lineup will include Shelly Gracon-Nagy! She’ll be joined by Andrew Tobias Line and the music of Glass Audrey!

Bad Stuff, Good Stuff…

If you’re not connected to me on Facebook, you might not have heard… This past Friday, I was in an auto accident. I am okay, my only injuries were the ones caused by the airbags. (When will they finally give us a way to turn those blasted things off?) My laptop’s screen was damaged, but it is still under the warranty plan. My car, however, did not survive the impact. I do have full coverage insurance, but as my car was 12 years old I am not expecting a very large payment from them to go towards getting a new set of wheels.

So, I need to generate some cash, and fast. No, I don’t want donations, I don’t believe in money-for-nothing. What I do want is to sell some chapbooks!

For a limited time, The Poet’s Haven is offering all six chapbooks published in 2011 for the low price of $25.00 with FREE SHIPPING in the USA! That’s like getting one of the books for free!

Please pass this offer on to all your poetry-inclined friends, associates, and cohorts!

Poet’s Haven at INGENUITY FEST – Schedule of readings, signings, & performances

I need to preface this. There are DOZENS of poets I wanted to get on the schedule and a limited number of time-slots. Almost everyone on here was asked in real-time, either when I saw them at a poetry event or when they were signed on to Facebook’s instant messenger. I apologize to anyone who was hoping for an invitation to read that didn’t get one.

Friday and Saturday, readings and signings will take place at The Poet’s Haven’s booth. Sunday, readings will take place at the Coffee Shop Stage.

The booth will feature books from The Poet’s Haven, Crisis Chronicles, Deep Cleveland, Seven Beers and a Hedgehog, Writing Knights, and more! We’ll also have some CDs for sale, including new releases from Glass Audrey and Zach!

Here is the schedule of authors appearing and performing:

FRIDAY – Readings & Signings @ Poet’s Haven Booth
05:00 PM Jacob King *
06:00 PM Azriel Johnson
07:00 PM John Burroughs
08:00 PM Steve Brightman
09:00 PM T.M. Göttl
10:00 PM Joshua Gage
11:00 PM J.E. Stanley
12:00 AM Michael Bernstein

SATURDAY – Readings & Signings @ Poet’s Haven Booth
12:00 PM Christine Howey
01:00 PM (Steven B.) SMITH
02:00 PM Laraine Seidl *
03:00 PM AKeem Jamal Rollins
04:00 PM Ben Bartman *
05:00 PM Timothy House
06:00 PM Suspicious (Jessica Skrzypiec)
07:00 PM Jeff Kosiba *
08:00 PM Dianne Borsenik
09:00 PM Vladimir Swirynsky
10:00 PM Andrew Tobias Line *
11:00 PM Poets of “Brandt 21″ (Russ Vidrick, Tom Orange, & More)
12:00 AM Robert Miltner

SUNDAY – Poetry Performances @ Coffee Shop Stage
12:00 PM Miguel Sandoval
12:30 PM Gina Tabasso
01:00 PM Christina Brooks **
01:30 PM Catherine Criswell
02:00 PM Julia Jones
02:30 PM Caira Lee
03:00 PM Carla Thompson-King
03:30 PM Skylark
04:00 PM Lake Effect Poetry Slam

LAKE EFFECT POETRY SLAM INFO: Lake Effect Poetry is the new name for Cleveland’s National Poetry Slam team. This slam will be a qualifier for Cleveland’s spot at Individual World Poetry Slam next month. IWPS will be held in Cleveland October 12-15. This slam will consist of a 1-minute round and a 4-minute round. A sign-up sheet will be available in the cafe 15 minutes before the slam begins. If you want to compete, be there on time! The top four poets will get points and qualify to compete in the finals held 9/23 at the Root Cafe in Lakewood. The winner of that slam will be representing Cleveland at IWPS.

* = poets with books published by The Poet’s Haven
** = poet with book to be published by The Poet’s Haven

Ingenuity Fest is held on the lower level of the Detroit-Superior bridge. The Poet’s Haven’s booth will be located on the east side of the bridge, near the Doodle Bar. Visit for more info on the festival and for a map of the bridge. The Doodle Bar is the beer & cocktail vendor close to the eastern entrance.

I hope to see you there!


I’ve once again fallen behind posting on this blog, but this time you may understand why. I hate posting bad news, even if that bad news puts things in motion that lead to some wonderful news. Read on…

First, the bad news: The café that has been home to The Poet’s Haven’s Akron shows for the past two years has chosen to discontinue hosting our poetry events. It is their loss, and that is all I will say on the matter.

If you know me at all, you know that I do not allow things like this to be set-backs, that I find a way to turn them into opportunities. In other words, the rest of this post is good news. :-)

We will not be having a Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven event in September… Instead, The Poet’s Haven will be at INGENUITY FEST in Cleveland, September 16th through 18th! We will have a booth set up selling books, CDs, and more from not only The Poet’s Haven, but from other Ohio-based small presses and independent creators as well. Each hour of the festival Friday and Saturday, we will have a different author hanging out at the booth, reading some of their work and signing their books (or CDs) for anyone that buys one. Then on Sunday, the poets will take over the coffeehouse stage! The readings begin at noon, and will lead up to a LAKE EFFECT POETRY SLAM at 4:00! (Lake Effect Poetry is the organization formerly known as Dragon Inc.) This slam will be a qualifier event for Lake Effect’s spot at Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS)!

Speaking of IWPS… Our Cleveland shows will continue to be held at Phoenix Coffee in South Euclid every “even-numbered” month (February, April, etc.), with one exception: There will be no Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven event in October. Why? Individual World Poetry Slam is coming to Cleveland, and the finals are scheduled at the same time our show would normally take place. IWPS is one of the largest poetry events on the planet. It would be foolish to try to promote a poetry show up against that. Plus, I want to be there, cheering on Cleveland’s poets that will be in the competition.

November 19th will see a special Saturday Night With The Poet’s Haven event at Sonnet’s Café in Wadsworth! One of the featured poets will be Andrew Tobias Line! The featured musician will be Meganne Stepka, possibly with the rest of Glass Audrey! The second featured poet will be announced soon. This event will also include the “Vending Machine: Poetry for Change” food-drive! Bring a non-perishable food donation for the Akron-Canton Foodbank to the show and you will recieve a copy of “Vending Machine: Poetry for Change volume 2.” A donation to the food-drive is the ONLY way to get a copy of this anthology!

December 17th, we will resume our bimonthly schedule at Phoenix Coffee.

What is the plan for the “odd-numbered” months in 2012? At this time, I am planning to have the show go back its nomadic roots. However, rather than an open-mic show every month, I want to take The Poet’s Haven to more festivals and events like Ingenuity. Having the odd months free will allow me to do that.

The poetry scene is often described as incestuous. The same small group of poets frequent the same handful of shows every month, and the same poets make the feature rounds when they have new books or CDs to promote. In order to have the scene grow, we need to build our audience. We need to take poetry and put it in front of folks that have never experienced poetry the way it should be. That is what I want to do.

I’ll be posting the schedule of readings and signings Ingenuity in a few days. Stay tuned!

Poetry Gallery # 6 FULL! :-)

I’ve been so busy working on chapbooks and worrying about live events (more on that another day) that I’ve fallen quite behind on the online galleries’ submission queue. I was shocked to discover today that the Poetry 6 gallery had gone over 1000 pages!

The Poetry 7 gallery is now open and all new online poetry publications will be placed there. :-)

CD review: "Little Waves" by Glass Audrey

Glass Audrey vocalist Meganne Stepka featured at a Poet’s Haven event in 2009.  Since then, I’ve tried to catch as many of her performances as possible.  (In other words, yes, I am a fan.)  Now at last, she and partner Michael Roberts have completed Glass Audrey’s first full length album!

In the past I have described Glass Audrey’s sound as like Sarah McLachlan doing vocals for Pearl Jam.  I hereby retract that statement.  The complex lyrics and musical styling is much more akin to “Boys for Pele” era Tori Amos, with hints of influence from Siouxie and the Banshees, Heart, The Pretenders, and The Cure.  Each track takes the listener on an emotional journey, an auditory rollercoaster ride.

The one and only negative thing I can say about this album is that a few of the tracks use too much echo on the vocals.  Meganne’s voice is well suited to a raw, unfiltered sound, and the studio effects layered over her voice end up covering the nuances one hears in her live performances.

All said, the album gets my highest recommendation.  But don’t just take my word for it, listen to it yourself on Glass Audrey’s Bandcamp page and then order the full album download:

DRAGON INC. team hosting 24-hour poetry marathon fundraiser event!

Cleveland, Ohio’s DRAGON INC. is having a 24-hour poetry marathon event at Phoenix Coffee on West 9th Street in downtown Cleveland, starting at 8:00 PM this Friday! This is a fundraiser event, raising money to help Cleveland’s National Poetry Slam team get to Boston. Anyone can feature! Time on the mic is just $1 per minute, with a minimum of 10 minutes.

The event will be broadcast on Ustream, so poets performing here will be seen and heard by folks all over the planet (and possibly beyond). There will also be a big screen and computer set up so that poets not able to attend the show in person can perform live via Skype!

Performers of all types are welcome. If you would like to play music*, stage a play, or do an interpretive dance, time is available. (* Due to licensing restrictions, music performed must be original or in public domain.)

To reserve a time-slot, contact AKeem Jamal Rollins (Dragon Inc.’s coach). (There’s a contact form on the Dragon Inc. website, if you are unable to contact AKeem via Facebook.)

Event page on Facebook:

(Huge thanks and apologies to Scott Woods for allowing us to steal his fundraising idea.)

(And because I know someone will ask, I am assisting the Dragon Inc. team at this event, being their tech-guy. This is not a Poet’s Haven event.)