VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change

The Poet’s Haven will hold the third annual “VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change” event on November 17th at Canton’s Karma Cafe with music by Kate Westfall and featured poets Robert Miltner and Lori Ann Kusterbeck.

“VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change” is a special poetry anthology published annually by The Poet’s Haven themed around Gandhi’s quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  The book is edited by T.M. Göttl and Vertigo Xavier, and features poetry from authors not only in north-east Ohio but from all around the globe.  The book is not available for sale, but is instead offered in exchange for non-perishable food donations to the Poetic Provisions Food-Drive at a special open-mic show held the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  This year’s show will be at Karma Cafe (4339 Dressler Road NW, Canton, OH) on November 17th at 7:00 PM.

Kate Westfall performs as a solo vocalist, layering digital loops to create styles steering from primitive to tribal to pop to lounge. Sometimes aggressive, sometimes soulful, it can be heard that her range of musical travels has begun with confident footing. The music for Westfall’s debut album, “VoKate”, was created by layering a series of looping vocal melodies and sound effects, all of which were created organically by her. Rhythms were made through body-actions of the feet, hands, arms, mouth, collarbone, and bracelets. Westfall’s live performances include live vocal looping and digital rhythms with occasional hand drums and spoken word. The appearance of digeridoo, washboards, or marimba is not to be unexpected.  (

Robert Miltner is the author of “Hotel Utopia,” winner of the New Rivers Press book award, and a finalist for the Ohioana award in poetry. His work has been published in “Diagram,” “Sentence,” “Pleiades,” “LIT,” “New York Quarterly,” and “Bellingham Review.” He co-edits “Quickly,” “Buried Letter Press,” and “The Raymond Carver Review.” “Two Trains Too Many,” a collaborative recording of Miltner’s poems and original guitar compositions by Erin Vaughn, was recently released by Blue Caboose Music. (

Lori Ann Kusterbeck studied philosophy at Baldwin-Wallace College, completing her bachelor’s degree in 2006, and at Cleveland State University, receiving a Master of Arts in 2008.  She now teaches philosophy and humanities classes at Cuyahoga Community College.  Her first poem was published at age 12, and during her teens she had over a dozen poems featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Since that time, her work has appeared in “The Mill” (Baldwin-Wallace) and “The Sign in the Window” (Y-City Writer’s Forum). (

The Poet’s Haven is a small press and online lit journal established in 1997 and based out of Massillon, Ohio. In addition to publishing chapbooks and poetry anthologies, they also organize several open-mic events around north-east Ohio, including Stardust Poetry at Karma Cafe and the Canton First Friday Poetry Spectacular, the poetry slam held each month during the Canton First Friday art festival.

The Poetic Provisions Food-Drive originates with several poetry shows throughout north-east Ohio that took part in 2010’s Music for Meals food-drive.  In 2011, the poetry shows decided to band together once again to help feed the hungry by collecting donations for Foodbank.  Donations to this year’s food-drive will be divided between the Canton Sunday Picnic and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.  The Canton Sunday Picnic is a grassroots meal, organized by volunteers, that feeds the homeless and those in need each Sunday at Market Square Park.  The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank provides food and other essential items to member agencies in Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Wayne counties.

This is an ALL-AGES/UNMODERATED event, meaning kids are welcome to attend and participate, but parents should be aware that some performances may include explicit language.

The Poet’s Haven is also still seeking submissions for this year’s “VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change” anthology.  Submissions must be received by October 13th!


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 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 Canton Sunday Picnic and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, we are unable to provide contributor copies.

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 2013.

Submissions should be e-mailed to: