Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 (Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 22, 2017

(Yeah, this was Monday night, not Tuesday night. The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team scheduled an important playoff game on Tuesday without consulting us so our venue was likely to be overrun with boisterous fans. Discretion . . . etc.)

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 Standing L-R: Joan Bauer, Stuart Sheppard, Alyssa Seneni, Joe Kaldon, Aaron Novick & Don Krieger
Seated L-R: Roberta Hatcher, Michael Wurster, Kathy McGregor & Jimmy Cvetic 

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 Michael Wurster Presents the Prestigious Owl Award for Poetry to Joan Bauer

Michael Wurster Introduces the Readers - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

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) was published in 2016.

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

Joe Kaldon lives in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and is the author of Rust Belt. He works as a product manager for a steel company and is a graduate of Penn State. He enjoys writing, ranging from letters-to-the-editor to essays to poetry, and this web site is his latest effort. His poetry has appeared in Taproot Literary Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Brentwood Anthology edited by Judith Robinson and Michael Wurster. 

Joe Kaldon - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download) 
Don Krieger is a biomedical researcher living in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry has appeared online at and in print in Hanging Loose (1972), Neurology (Fall, 2017), Poetica (Fall, 2017),  and The Taj Mahal Review (December, 2016).

Kathy McGregor grew up among coal patch towns and farms in Western Pennsylvania. She’s been an English teacher, union organizer, non-profit director, headed a consulting business and currently owns/operates a specialty native plant nursery. She lives in Greenfield with her partner, Bob, is the mother of a police detective and grandma of twins. Her poems have appeared in the Brentwood Anthology, Signatures and the Mill Hunk Herald. She is a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange.

Kathy McGregor - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Aaron Novick's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New Orleans Review, Third Wednesday, and Notre Dame Review. He is a graduate student in the History and Philosophy of Science department at the University of Pittsburgh, studying the relationship between contemporary developmental genetics and evolutionary theory.

Aaron Novick - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Squirrel Hill native Stuart Sheppard graduated from Kenyon College, and has worked on Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and as a management consultant.  In 2003 he published a well-reviewed novel, Spindrift.  Stuart writes theatre, art, and book reviews for the Pittsburgh City Paper, and serves on the board of the Animal Care and Assistance Fund.  His most recent work can be seen in U.S. 1 Worksheets, the Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and other publications. 

Stuart Sheppard - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Alyssa Sineni is a writer and metalsmith. She is a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange, The Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh, and works as the Programming Director for a local non-profit, which features artists and writers. She also writes for two blogs and co-hosts a podcast that highlights the arts.

Alyssa Sineni - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Open Mic

Jimmy Cvetic Reads Have I Sinned

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 16, 2017 (Beatty, Vollmer, Ochester)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 16, 2017

Standing L-R: Jimmy Cvetic & Joan Bauer
Seated L-R: Jan Beatty, Ed Ochester & Judith Vollmer 

Jan Beatty's fifth full-length book, Jackknife: New and Collected Poems, was published in January, 2017 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her last book, The Switching/Yard, was named one of ...30 New Books That Will Help You Rediscover Poetry by Library Journal. The Huffington Post named her as one of ten women writers for "required reading." Other books include Red Sugar, Boneshaker, and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Beatty is host and producer of Prosody, a public radio show on NPR affiliate WESA-FM featuring the work of national writers. Beatty worked as a waitress for fifteen years, and as a welfare caseworker, an abortion counselor, social worker and teacher in maximum-security prisons. She directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and teaches in the MFA program.

Judith Vollmer's fifth full-length collection, The Apollonia Poems, the 2016 Four Lakes Prize of the University of Wisconsin Press was released in March 2017. A  recent volume, The Water Books, was published in 2012 by Autumn House Press, and previous collections have received the Brittingham, the Center for Book Arts, and the Cleveland State publication prizes. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her essays and reviews are included in The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire and elsewhere. She was a founding editor of the literary journal 5 AM.  Vollmer teaches in the low-residency MFA Program in Poetry & Poetry in Translation at Drew University.

Through his writing, editing and teaching, Ed Ochester has been a major force on contemporary letters for more than three decades. He edits the Pitt Poetry Series and is general editor of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for short fiction, both published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. From 1978 to 1998 he was director of the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and was twice elected president of the Associated Writing Programs. He co-edited the poetry magazine 5AM, and lives in a rural county northeast of Pittsburgh. His recent books include Snow White Horses: Selected Poems 1973-1988 (Autumn House Press, 2001), American Poetry Now: Pitt Poetry Series Anthology (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007),Unreconstructed: Poems Selected and New (Autumn House Press, 2007) and Sugar Run Road (Autumn House Press, 2015). Poems just published or forthcoming in: American Poetry Review, Agni, Chiron Review, Great River Review and Nerve Cowboy.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017 (Pittsburgh Poetry Society)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 9, 2017

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Standing L-R: Jimmy Cvetic, Jeen-Shang Lin, Sally (Sara) Davis & Joan Bauer
Seated L-R: Beth Voltz, Judy Yogman, Christine Aikens Wolfe & Nancy Esther James

Sally (Sara) Davis’s chapbook, Spent, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. Her work has been anthologized in LavandariaA Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Words, published by City Works Press, Voices from the Attic, Riverspeak, Threads, Broad River Review, Evening Street Review, and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and is forthcoming in Blueline Magazine.

Sally (Sara) Davis - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download) 

Jeen-Shang Lin currently teaches civil engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He wrote poems in his youthful days during college. Only in the past few years did he start writing again, an indisputable living proof that inhaling enough Pittsburgh air is a sufficient condition for becoming a poet. However, he only has a small repertoire; it could be that his professional writing is smothering the poetry in him, or more plausibly, he simply writes at the pace of a snail crawling.

Jeen-Shang Lin - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Beth Voltz is a recently retired English teacher. She has always enjoyed reading poetry but attributes her interest in the writing of it to two distinct events that helped her develop her skills in this genre. The first event was becoming a Fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project in 1995. This experience helped her shed some of her inhibitions about constructing poems. The second event was taking poetry writing classes at Carlow University's Madwomen in the Attic Writing Program. At Madwomen she gained the confidence to share her poetry aloud. 

Christine Aikens Wolfe is a reading specialist with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Christine has published poems in Sonnetto Poesia, a bi-lingual quarterly out of Ottawa since fall 2006.  Her poetry, fiction, and articles have appeared in the publications of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, including Parachute, the WPWP Bulletin, Riverspeak, and Threads, and in the Pittsburgh Poetry Society's  bi-annual magazine, The Potter's Wheel.  Her poetry has also been published in Woman Becoming and Poetry Magazine, and the multi-media book, Fission and Form. She is the co-editor of The Poetic Classroom (Autumn House Press) and currently serves as president of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society. 
Christine Aikens Wolfe - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

Judy Yogman is a retired ESL teacher. She enjoys trying new poetic forms, misses Anita Byerly's little workshop and recently became a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society. Though lazy about submitting poems, she has submitted work that has appeared in the Post-Gazette and in various anthologies, including Out of the Rough: Women's Poems of Survival and Celebration, Along These Rivers, and Written on Water: Writings about the Allegheny River. She is married, with three sons and three granddaughters.

Open Mic

Jimmy Cvetic Reads Monkey House

Jimmy Cvetic - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download)

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017 (Madwomen In the Attic)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 2, 2017

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Standing L-R: Doralee Brooks, Lori Wilson, Anne Rashid, Lisa Alexander & Kara Knickerbocker
Seated L-R: Sarah Williams-Devereux, Susan Sailer, Jan Beatty, Jimmy Cvetic & Joan Bauer

Lisa Alexander holds an MFA in Poetry from Drew University and is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshop. A finalist for the 2016 Tupelo Quarterly Prize in Poetry, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including Tupelo Quarterly, 5 AM, BLOOM and The Burnside Review among others. She's a sound engineer for Prosody, NPR-affiliate WESA's weekly show featuring the work of national writers.

Lisa Alexander - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download) 

Doralee Brooks's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Voices from the Attic, Dos Passos Review, and the Paterson Literary Review. Her chapbook, When Damballah Laughs was a finalist for the 2017 Coal Hill Review prize. She holds an MFA from Carlow University.

Doralee Brooks - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download) 

Kara Knickerbocker is a writer and world traveler from Saegertown, Pennsylvania. Her poetry and essays appeared in or are forthcoming in: The Blue Route, Scrawl, Construction, Longridge Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Thought Catalog, One Sentence Poems, Uppagus, Avatar Review, Broad River Review, and the anthology Voices from the Attic, Vol. XXII, among others. Her poetry collection “From This Side of the Sun” won first place in its category at the 2016 Sigma Tau Delta International English Convention. Her debut chapbook Next to Everything that is Breakable is forthcoming. Knickerbocker lives in Pittsburgh, where she works at Carnegie Mellon University. You can find more of her at

Kara Knickerbocker - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download) 

Anne M. Rashid is an associate professor of English and director of Women’s & Gender Studies at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. She has published poetry in Adagio Verse Quarterly, Lit Candles: Feminist Mentoring and the Text, The Metro Times, Pittsburgh’s City Paper, Forum, Paterson Literary Review, Broad River Review, Walloon Writers Review and The Fourth River. She was a finalist for the Rash Award for Poetry and the Sandy Crimmins National Award for Poetry.

Susan Sailer is the author of two poetry books, The God of Roundabouts and Ship of Light, and one chapbook, Coal. Her manuscript, Birdsong, is currently seeking publication. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Damfino; Ishka Bibble, Book of Desire Supplement; Paterson Literary Review; and Switched-on Gutenberg. Her reviews have been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, and Kestrel. After retiring from the English Department at West Virginia University, she completed an MFA degree in poetry from New England College. She lives in Morgantown and teaches poetry writing courses through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Sarah Williams-Devereux’s poetry has appeared in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, Sampsonia Way Magazine, Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Love Stories, and WESA-FM’s Prosody. She leads poetry workshops for the Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Workshops at Carlow University. She is certified in Writing Group Leadership from Amherst Writers & Artists, and certified in Transformative Language Arts Foundations from the TLA Network.

Lori Wilson is the author of the poetry collection, House Where a Woman (Autumn House Press, 2009). Her poems and reviews have appeared in Women’s Review of Books, Southern Poetry Review, Salamander, The Laurel Review, Cimarron Review and elsewhere. A graduate of the Drew University MFA Program in Poetry, she received the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she works as a software developer and teaches a satellite poetry workshop in affiliation with the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University.

Open Mic

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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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