Friday, September 16, 2016

Distant Replay

Two years ago Jimmy Cvetic recorded a poem titled A Conversation With God. This poem received raucous approval at the time but the copy he read from has gone missing. If it turns up he will make a fresh recording. Until then, the original will suffice. 

Here it is, as recorded at Hemingway's on June 24, 2014.

A Conversation With God

Friday, September 9, 2016

Poems From Jimmy

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Jimmy Cvetic has hosted the Hemingway's Poetry Series for decades. Lately he has been recording his poetry for archival purposes. The first poem presented here was "tossed off" (as he would say) on the day it was recorded. Not a word was revised after it hit the page. It exemplifies the fertility of his imagination and the abundance of his gift.

The second poem appeared in Secret Society of Dog. It recounts one of his experiences as a police officer. He is reading it here for the first time.

In the photograph, Jimmy stands beside a memento of his recent reading in Los Angeles. Fans there presented it to him as a gesture of their appreciation and esteem.

My Girlfriend Likes Explosive Surprises
My Girlfriend Likes Explosive Surprises - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Leon and the Laugh Box
Leon and the Laugh Box - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016 (Ellis, Mendez, Gegick, Wentworth, Gainey, Grochalski, Korn, Collins)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
July 26, 2016
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Post-Reading Photos
Standing: Richard Gegick, Don Wentworth, Kristofer Collins, John Grochalski & John Korn
Seated: Angele Ellis, Celeste Gainey, Joan Bauer & Jimmy Cvetic

Angele Ellis is an editor, poet, fiction writer, and reviewer who has authored three books, and appeared in over fifty publications and ten anthologies. She is coauthor of Dealing With Differences (Corwin Press), named as a top multicultural classroom resource by The Christian Science Monitor, and author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery Press), whose poems won her an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors' Choice Chapbook). Angele feels that writing and performing her work combines two of her childhood dreams--to be an archaeologist and a lounge singer. She lives in Friendship, whose Quakerly spirit soothes her hot-blooded nature.

Jason Mendez is an educator, author, interdisciplinary theater artist, and father of 3. He received his Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum, Culture, and Change and a Graduate Certificate in Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests include urban education, critical race studies, cultural studies, arts as social justice, Boricua identities, and South Bronx culture and history. As a South Bronx Puerto Rican writer focusing on lived experience, notions of home, and the power of voice, his work critically reflects a common struggle with identity construction and the process of becoming. Currently, He is working on a memoir titled, The Search for the Golden Glow, which vividly details his coming of age as a Puerto Rican kid from the South Bronx. He is also working on adapting his manuscript into a one-man performance, called Manida.

Richard Gegick is from Trafford, PA. He lives in Pittsburgh where he writes and waits tables for a living.

Don Wentworth is a Pittsburgh-based poet whose work reflects his interest in the revelatory nature of brief, haiku-like moments in everyday life. His poetry has appeared in Modern Haiku, bottle rockets, Frogpond, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Rolling Stone, as well as a number of anthologies. He is the author of Past All Traps and Yield to the Willow, with forthcoming volumes from Six Gallery and Low Ghost Press.

Celeste Gainey is the author of the full-length poetry collection, The GAFFER (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2015), and the chapbook In the land of speculation & seismography (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011), runner-up for the 2010 Robin Becker Prize. The first woman to be admitted to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) as a gaffer, she has spent many years working with light in film and architecture.

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out, Glass City, In The Year of Everything Dying, Starting with the Last Name Grochalski, and the novel, The Librarian. Grochalski lives in Brooklyn, where he constantly worries about the high cost of everything.

John Korn lives in Pittsburgh. He is the author of a book of poetry titled Television Farm which can be purchased on He has worked as a mental health social worker for many years now. He was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, one for his poem "14 young women" and another for his poem "Yellow lamp shade head." He didn't win either of these prizes and he is not even sure what those prizes are.

Kristofer Collins is the Books Editor at Pittsburgh Magazine, as well as being a frequent contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is the publisher of Low Ghost Press and Coleridge Street Books. He also manages Caliban Book Shop in Oakland (and owns Desolation Row Records located inside). His latest poetry collection Local Conditions was published in 2015. He lives in Stanton Heights, a hidden gem in Pittsburgh’s east end with his wife Dr. Anna Johnson and their three cats.

Open Mic

Jimmy Cvetic Reads Two Poems

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016 (Brice, Carson, Curran, Esaias, Lee, Robinson)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
July 19, 2016
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Post-Reading Photo
Standing: Jimmy Cvetic, Jay Carson, Judy Robinson, Tim Esaias & Joan Bauer
Seated: Charlie Brice, Ann Curran & Mary Soon Lee

Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (WordTech Editions, 2016) His poetry has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Avalon Literary Journal, Icon, Barbaric Yawp, The Quotable, The Paterson Literary Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Writing Disorder and elsewhere. He has been named an International Merit Award winner in the Atlanta Review’s Poetry 2015 International Poetry Competition.

Jay Carson earned his doctorate in English/Rhetoric from Carnegie-Mellon University. A seventh generation Pittsburgher, he taught creative writing, literature, and rhetoric at Robert Morris University for many years, where Jay was a University Professor and a faculty advisor to the student literary journal, Rune. More than 70 of his poems have appeared in local and national literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. Jay authored a chapbook, Irish Coffee, with Coal Hill Review. A full-length book of his poems, The Cinnamon of Desire, was published by Main Street Rag. Jay considers his work Appalachian, Irish, accessible, the problem-solving spiritual survival of a raging, youth - and just what you might need.

Ann Curran is author of two books of poems, Me First (Lummox Press, 2013), Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge (Lummox Press, 2016) and the chapbook Placement Test. She is former longtime editor of Carnegie Mellon Magazine and staff writer for the Pittsburgh Catholic and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her poetry has appeared in Rosebud Magazine, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Main Street Rag, Off the Coast, Blueline, Third Wednesday, Notre Dame Magazine, Ireland of the Welcomes, Commonweal Magazine and others, as well as the anthologies: Along These Rivers: Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh, Motif 2 Come What May and Motif 3 All the Livelong Day, Thatchwork, and Surrounded: Living With Islands.
Timons Esaias is a poet, satirist, essayist, and writer of short fiction whose works have appeared in twenty languages. He has been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the 2005 Asimov's Readers Award for poetry. Literary publications include 5AM, New Orleans Review, Connecticut Review, and Barbaric Yawp. His Louis Award-winning full-length collection, Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek, was released by Concrete Wolf earlier this year. For more, go to

Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but has lived in the East End of Pittsburgh for the past twenty years. She has had over a hundred poems published, including work in the Atlanta Review, American Scholar, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Uppagus. Her poem "Interregnum" won the 2014 Rhysling Award for Best Long Poem. She has a husband, two children, two cats, and an antiquated website: Her book of epic fantasy in verse, Crowned, was published in 2015 by Dark Renaissance Books.

Judith R. Robinson is the author of three poetry collections: The Blue Heart  (Finishing Line Press), Orange Fire (Main Street Rag) and Dinner Date (Finishing Line Press). She is also the author of The Beautiful Wife and Other Stories (Aegina Press).  She is the poetry editor of Signatures (Osher, Carnegie Mellon), 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012 and The Poetry of Margaret Menamin, (Main Street Rag, three volumes) as well as Living Inland (Bennington Press).  She co-edited  Along These River: Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh (Quadrant Publishing, 2008) and Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami  (Rupa, Inc. and Bayeux Arts, 2005), and most recently, co-editor of The Brentwood Anthology (Lummox Press, 2014). She currently teaches poetry for Osher at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. For music video featuring Judy's poem "Carousel":

Open Mic

Jimmy Cvetic Reads Identity Theft and the Vanity of Your Worth

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016 (Andrews, Bashaar, Berry, Khoury, Smith)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
July 12, 2016

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Post-Reading Photo
Standing: Jimmy Cvetic, Jennifer Jackson Berry, Margaret Bashaar, Kelly Andrews & Joan Bauer
Seated: Erin Elizabeth Smith & Jill Khoury

Kelly Andrews' poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PANK, Prick of the Spindle, Pittsburgh Poetry Review Menacing Hedge, Lime Hawk, Rogue Agent, IDK Magazine, and Weave Magazine, among others.  Her chapbook, "Mule Skinner," is available from Dancing Girl Press (2014).  She is a poetry co-editor for the online journals Pretty Owl Poetry and Hot Metal Bridge and has a hand in creating B.E. Quarterly, a community-based Pittsburgh xine. She also curates the Pretty Owl Spotlight reading series held at Classic Lines bookstore. For more, go to her website: 

Margaret Bashaar's first book, Stationed Near the Gateway, was released by Sundress Publications in 2015. She also has three chapbooks, Barefoot and Listening (Tilt, 2009), Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel (Blood Pudding Press, 2011), and Rungs written with Lauren Eggert-Crowe (Grey Book Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in journals such as Caketrain, New South, Rhino, PANK, Copper Nickel, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. She edits Hyacinth Girl Press and co-runs FREE POEMS with Rachael Deacon.

Jennifer Jackson Berry’s first full length collection of poetry The Feeder is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2016. She is also the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Her poems have appeared in journals such as Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. Poems also appeared in various anthologies, including New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press, 2015), We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), and By the Slice (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2014). She has been featured on Prosody on WESA-FM. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University’s MFA program. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pittsburgh Poetry Review and an Assistant Editor for WomenArts Quarterly Journal. She lives in the Braddock Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Jill Khoury is the author of Suites for the Modern Dancer (Sundress Press, 2016). Jill is interested in the intersection of poetry, visual art, representations of gender, and disability. She is a Western Pennsylvania Writing Project fellow and has taught writing and literature in high school, university, and enrichment environments. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Copper Nickel, Inter|rupture, and Portland Review. She has also been anthologized in Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, Pudding House Press released her chapbook, Borrowed Bodies, in 2009. For more, go to 

Erin Elizabeth Smith, originally from Lexington, South Carolina, holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University, an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Illinois,and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Tennessee. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections as well as a chapbook. Smith lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where she coordinates weekend workshops for writers in the Knoxville area. In 1999, Smith founded Stirring: A Literary Collection, now one of the oldest continually-published literary journals on the internet. A year later, she founded Sundress Publications, a literary organization that publishes several online journals as well as chapbooks and full-length poetry collections in both print and electronic formats. Since 2006, Smith has edited the Best of the Net Anthology, also published by Sundress.

Open Mic

Jimmy Cvetic Reads Too Tall Tommy

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 5, 2016 (Matcho, McNaugher, Jakiela, Newman)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
July 5, 2016

Exhibit A:
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 Exhibit B:
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Post-Reading Photos (You Decide)
Standing: Dave Newman, Adam Matcho, Heather McNaugher & Jimmy Cvetic
Seated: Lori Jakiela & Joan Bauer

Adam Matcho is an obituary writer and contributor to The New Yinzer. He is a former technical writer, novelty shop clerk, basketball coach and gas station attendant. His chapbook, Six Dollars an Hour: Confessions of a Gemini Writer, was published by Liquid Paper Press and his essay collection, The Novelty Essays, was published by WPA Press. When not writing death notices, Adam tries to write about life. He lives in a former craft shop with his wife, two sons and too many animals. As Dave Newman has said, "Adam Matcho has more talent than most corporations have profits, and his vision of America is tragic and brilliant and hilarious.”

Heather McNaugher is the author of System of Hideouts (Main Street Rag, 2012). She teaches poetry, nonfiction, and literature at her alma mater, Chatham University, and is poetry editor of Fourth River. Her work has appeared in 5 A.M., The Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Leveler, and The Cortland Review, and on the radio show, Prosody. Her chapbook, Panic & Joy, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. She worked as a house cleaner and barista in Seattle, as a dog walker in Brooklyn, and then got her Ph.D. in English from The State University of New York at Binghamton. While working for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, she almost became a librarian. She's tried living elsewhere, but keeps coming back to Pittsburgh.

Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoirs Miss New York Has Everything (Hatchette, 2006); The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (C&R Press, 2013 and WPA Press, 2015); and Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Atticus Books, 2015). She is also the author of Spot the Terrorist (Turning Point, 2012), a collection of mostly narrative poems about her years as a flight attendant. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and more. She is the recipient of the 2015 City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Prize, a Golden Quill Award for column writing, and many Pushcart Prize nominations. She co-directs the summer writers festival at Chautauqua Institution and teaches in the writing programs at Pitt-Greensburg and Chatham University. She lives in Trafford with her husband, the author Dave Newman, and their children. Her author website is

Dave Newman is the author of five books, including The Poem Factory (White Gorilla Press, 2015), the novel Two Small Birds (Writers Tribe Books, 2014), and the collection The Slaughterhouse Poems (White Gorilla Press, 2013), named one of the best books of the year by L Magazine. He works in chronic pain research, serving elders, and lives in Trafford, PA, the last town in the Electric Valley, with his wife, the writer Lori Jakiela, and their two children.

Open Mic

Jimmy Cvetic Reads A Poem For Shine

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 28, 2016 (Hatcher, Krygowski, Stupp, Wray, Wurster)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
June 21, 2016

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Post-Reading Photo (Nobody Snuck Out Early!)
Standing: Joan Bauer, Jimmy Cvetic, John Stupp, Roberta Hatcher & Lawrence Wray
Seated: Nancy Krygowski & Michael Wurster

Roberta Hatcher’s poetry has appeared in The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, St. Petersburg Review, Storm Cellar, Rune, Pittsburgh’s City Paper, and the Post-Gazette, among others. She has been a finalist for the Patricia Dobler Award, was runner-up for the Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Use of Language in Poetry, and her poem French Lesson #3 was nominated for Best American Poets 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently tutors candidates for citizenship at the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. Her chapbook French Lessons (Finishing Line Press) will be published this summer.

Roberta Hatcher - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Nancy Krygowski‘s book of poems, Velocity, won the 2006 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. She’s received grants from the PA Council on the Arts and from the Pittsburgh Foundation, plus residencies at the Jentel Foundation and The Kimmel Nelson Harding Center for the Arts. She works as an adult literacy instructor.

John Stupp is the author of the 2007 chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend both by Main Street Rag. His new book How Tuesday Began will be published by Finishing Line Press. Recent poetry has appeared or will be appearing in SHARKPACK Poetry Review, The White Whale Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, SHARK REEF Literary Magazine, By&By Poetry and on the radio show Prosody. He lives in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Lawrence Wray’s poems have appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, Heart, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and Cider Press Review, among others. His poem “At the Moment of Passing, Clocks” is included in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette anthology of art and poetry called Verse Envisioned. Lawrence studied Comparative Literature at Binghamton University, English at Duquesne University, and is a member of an annual meeting of poets which grew out of the Frost Place. Conte and Weave nominated his work for a Pushcart Prize. His collection of poems, The Night People Imagine, was a finalist for the Patricia Bibby Memorial Prize at Tebot Bach Press, and for the Brighthorse Poetry Prize, as well as the Antivenom Prize at Elixir Press.

Michael Wurster has lived in Pittsburgh since 1964 and is a founding member of Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange. For 17 years, 1993-2010, he taught at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts School. In 2009, his book, The British Detective, was published by Main Street Rag. His two previous poetry collections are The Cruelty of the Desert (Cottage Wordsmiths, 1989) and The Snake Charmer's Daughter (ELEMENOPE, 2000). He is co-editor, with Judith R. Robinson, of the anthology, Along These Rivers: Poetry & Photography from Pittsburgh (Quadrant Press, 2008), and The Brentwood Anthology (Lummox Press, 2014). In 1996, Wurster was an inaugural recipient of a Pittsburgh Magazine Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts Award for his contributions to poetry and the community.

Open Mic

No Open Mic this week

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