Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018 (Borczon, Swazuk, Carter-Jones, Hazo & Cvetic)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 29, 2018

Featured Readers 
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Standing L-R: Jimmy Cvetic, Sheila Carter-Jones, Kathleen Trew Swazuk & Joan Bauer
Seated L-R: William Rock, Matthew Borczon & Samuel Hazo 


Jimmy Cvetic Opens the Show 

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

Matthew Borczon is a poet and Navy sailor from Erie, Pa. He served in the busiest combat hospital in Afghanistan from 2010-11. He writes about war and his struggles with PTSD. His book A Clock of Human Bones won the Yellow Chair Review chapbook contest in 2015. In 2016, his book Battle Lines was published by Epic Rites Press. His book Ghost Train was published by Weasel Press in 2017. He continues to publish widely in the small press. When he is not writing, Matthew is a nurse to adults with developmental disabilities. He has a wife and four children. 

Matthew Borczon - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

William Rock taught himself to sculpt and paint by visiting museums around the world. He has had the opportunity to study, as well as teach with, Tibetan and Chinese monks as well as artists, writers, and poets of the various spiritual and philosophical disciplines. His art has been exhibited within the USA, as well as internationally, where he has spoken and taught extensively on the nature of creativity, mysticism and art. Rock is the founder of Art and Inspiration International, a non-profit organization that promotes the arts, creativity, education, dialogue and cross-cultural collaboration.

William Rock - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

Kathleen Trew Swazuk was 19 years old and a junior in nursing school when she joined the Army Student Nurse Program.  Two years later she was an Army nurse at the 93rd EVAC Hospital in Long Binh during her 1969-70 tour of duty in Vietnam. She hid the memories and her pain of that time in the poems closed in a drawer. Joining Art and Inspiration International she began to unearth the poems of her past. They were published in a book called Wartorn Heart: Poems and Art Inspired by the Vietnam War (2014). Kathie retired from the VA as a Nurse Practitioner taking care of the veterans she loved.

Kathleen Trew Swazuk - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

Sheila Carter-Jones has been described by Herbert Woodward Martin as one who writes with "immediacy of tone, voice and language." Much of her work to date charts in images and music the lived experiences of a small-town girl brought up in a house across from the boney dump of Republic Steel Coal Mines outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been published in Pennsylvania Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Tri-State Anthology, Blair Mountain Press and Flights. Grace Cavalieri, producer and host of "The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress" says that Sheila's recent book Blackberry Cobbler Song premiers a narrative poet in the greatest tradition of American storytellers. She is currently working on a new poetry manuscript and a memoir.

Samuel Hazo is the author of poetry, fiction, essays, various works of translation and four plays. Governor Robert Casey named him Pennsylvania’s first State Poet 1993. He served until 2003. From his first book, through the National Book Award finalist Once for the Last Bandit, to his newest poems, he explores themes of mortality and love, passion and art, courage and grace in a style that is unmistakably his own. As the founder and Director/President of the International Poetry Forum, Dr. Hazo brought more than 800 poets and performers to Pittsburgh. Dr. Hazo is a former captain in the Marine Corps and the McAnulty Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Duquesne University. He has received twelve honorary degrees, is an honorary Phi Beta Kappa member, and has been awarded the Hazlett Award for Excellence in Literature from the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Forbes Medal, the Elizabeth Kray Award for Outstanding Service to Poetry from New York University, and the Griffin Award from the University of Notre Dame. His book, Just Once, received the Maurice English Poetry Prize.

Open Mic 

Jimmy Cvetic has been writing and performing poetry all his life. A retired county police officer and often described as 'Bukowski with a badge,' Jimmy for many years was director of the Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League, and is founder and director of the Summer Poetry Series at Hemingway's Cafe in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. His poems have appeared in the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, City Paper and other publications. He appears in the film, Warrior, and in 2012, he read his poetry at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA with his actor-friend and poet, Nick Nolte. In 2010, Jimmy's book of poetry, The Secret Society of Dog was published by Awesome Books/Lascaux Editions, and a second volume, Dog Unleashed, was also published by Awesome Books in 2012. Jimmy, his boxing gym and trainers were recently featured in the Esquire cable TV show, “White Collar Brawlers.” His most recent book of poetry, Dog is a Love from Hell, was published in 2017 by Lascaux Editions. 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018 (Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 22, 2018

Featured Readers 
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 Standing L-R: Jimmy Cvetic, Alyssa Seneni, Stuart Sheppard, Timons Esaias & Gene Hirsch
Seated L-R: Aaron Novick, Michael Wurster, Ziggy Edwards & Joan Bauer

Michael Wurster Introduces the Poets 

Michael Wurster - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

Ziggy Edwards is friendly. She knocks herself out as editor/co-founder of Uppagus and as a poetry editor and co-founder of Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Her chapbook, Hope’s White Shoes, was published by Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange in 2006. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as 5 AM, After Happy Hour Review, Dreams and Nightmares, Illumen, Main Street Rag, and Paper Street. 

Ziggy Edwards - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

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 www.timonsesaias.com

Timons Esaias - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

Gene Hirsch is a retired academic and activist who has taught human values and the emotional care of sick and dying people, to doctors and medical students for many years, and conducted poetry workshops widely for health professionals. He volunteered (20 years) at Cleveland Medical Free Clinic and founded the Cleveland chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He initiated a writing program at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC where he has taught for 22 years. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Pharos (Medical Honor Society), Hiram Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Journal of the American Medical Association and in the anthologies Kenyon Review Workshop Anthology, Tyranny of the Normal and Crossing Limits (African Americans and American Jews), among others. He produced Freeing Jonah, poets of western North Carolina (5 volumes) and has written two books of poetry.

Gene Hirsch - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

Aaron Novick is a graduate student in history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. His poetry has appeared in Notre Dame Review, New Orleans Review, Third Wednesday and Shot Glass.

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

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.

Michael Wurster - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

Open Mic 

Open Mic - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download  

Jimmy Cvetic Reads We Lost the War

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

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Words & Vibes (Ashburn, Irwin, Vicari & Gibb)

Words & Vibes
May 19, 2018

Words & Vibes is a reading curated by Jason Irwin and hosted by Valerie Bacharach. It was held at the White Whale Bookstore. All of the readers are familiar to regular attendees of the Hemingway's Poetry Series.

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 Standing L-R: Aaron Davis (musician), Justin Vicari, Jason Irwin, Robert Gibb & Jen Ashburn

Jen Ashburn is the author of The Light on the Wall (Main Street Rag, 2016), and has work published in numerous venues, including The Writer’s Almanac, The MacGuffin and Whiskey Island. Recently, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book selected her poem “Our Mother Drove Barefoot” for the 2018 Public Poetry Project. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, and lives in Pittsburgh.

Jen Ashburn - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

Jason Irwin is the author of A Blister of Stars (Low Ghost, 2016), Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008), winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award, and the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014), & Some Days It's A Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005). He has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. He grew up in Dunkirk, NY, and now lives in Pittsburgh.  

Jason Irwin - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

Born in New York City, Justin Vicari was raised in Pittsburgh where he currently lives. In Search of Lost Joy, his second poetry collection is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. Vicari'sfirst collection The Professional Weepers (Pavement Saw, 2011), won the Transcontinental Award. He is the author of six books of film, literary and cultural theory, including Mad Muses and the Early Surrealists (McFarland, 2012) and Nicolas Winding Refn and the Violence of Art (McFarland, 2014), and also the translator of works by Paul √Čluard, J.-K. Huysmans, Octave Mirbeau and Philippe Soupault. 

Robert Gibb was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania. His most recent collection include Among Ruins (Notre Dame Press, 2017), & After, his 11th collection and 2016 winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.He earned a BA from Kutztown University, an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD from Lehigh University. He is the author of The Homestead Trilogy, a cycle of poems detailing the history and culture of a steel-working town. The trilogy consists of the poetry collections The Origins of Evening (1997), selected by Eavan Boland for the National Poetry Series; The Burning World (2004); and World over Water (2007). 

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15, 2018 (Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop)

Hemingway's Poetry Series
May 15, 2018

Featured Readers 
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  Standing L-R: Ann Curran, Don Krieger, Randy Minnich, Arlene Weiner & Jimmy Cvetic
Seated L-R: Joseph Karasek, Christine Doriean Michaels, Joanne Samraney, Rosaly DeMaios Roffman & Joan Bauer

A Congregation of Squirrels 
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 Standing L-R: Joseph Karasek, Ann Curran, Don Kreiger, Randy Minnich, Arlene Weiner, Joan Bauer & Shirley Stevens
Seated L-R: Ziggy Edwards, Christine Doriean Michaels, Joanne Samraney, Rosaly DeMaios Roffman & Nancy Esther James

Note: There is muddy sound for the first two readers. The problem does not persist for the entire reading.  

Arlene Weiner is the author of two poetry collections: City Bird (Ragged Sky, 2016) and Escape Velocity (Ragged Sky, 2006), of which Poet Joy Katz wrote, “I want to keep my favorite of these beautifully alert, surprising poems with me as I grow old.” A MacDowell Colony fellow in 2008, Arlene has been a Shakespeare scholar, a cardiology technician, a college instructor, an editor, and a research associate in educational applications of cognitive science. Her poetry has been published in journals including Off the CoastPleiadesPoet Lore, and U.S. 1 Worksheets, anthologized, and read by Garrison Keillor on his Writer’s Almanac. She also writes plays. Her play Findings was produced by Pittsburgh Playwrights Company in March 2017.  Arlene will be reading an excerpt from a play-in-progress at City Theatre (South Side)- Saturday June 2 at 4 p.m. 

M. Soledad Caballero is associate professor of English at Allegheny College. Her published scholarship focuses on British women's travel writing to South America. Her poetry has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Mississippi Review, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review as well as other journals. She is working on her first collection of poetry titled "Immigrant Confessions".

M. Soledad Caballero - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download  

Joanne Samraney, author of the poetry chapbook, Grounded Angels, which won the 2001 Acorn-Rukeyser Award and co-author of Breaking Bread with the Boscos, a collection of family memoirs and recipes has poems in many literary magazines and journals such as Main Street Rag, Verve, Voices in Italian Americana, Loyalhanna Review and most recently in Hudson View, Earth Daughters and Steam Ticket. Her poems have also appears in both Along These Rivers and the Sandburg-Livesay anthologies. Her latest chapbooks, Remaking Driftwood (2010) and Split (2017) were published by Finishing Line Press.

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. A new chapbook, Irish Ayes, was published by Main Street Rag in 2017. 

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman, a native New Yorker, taught creative writing, Classical Literature, World Mythology, and founded a Myth/Folklore Studies Center at IUP. She co-edited the prize-winning Life on the Line, and is the author of Going to Bed Whole, Tottering Palaces, The Approximate Message, and In the Fall of a Sparrow. She has read her poems in Ireland, Greece, Mexico, Israel, Spain, and Bratislava and has collaborated on 20 pieces with composers and other artists. Her work has been published in journals, magazines, and anthologies. She as received grants from the National Endowment and the Witter Bynner Foundations and was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award in the Arts at IUP. She is the facilitator of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop. In 2012 Tebot Bach published her latest book of poems, I Want to Thank My Eyes. 

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download 

Joseph Karasek performed as an actor and violinist with The Theater Within, an improvisational theater group in New York City. A former violist with the National Orchestral Association, he created school orchestras on the elementary and secondary levels, and taught music composition and music theory at Long Island University. Living in Pittsburgh, PA since 1991, he has taught philosophy at the Academy for Lifelong Learning at Carnegie Mellon University. He also led a study group on James Joyce's Ulysses there. His poetry has been published in Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Arts), and Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets (Tebot Bach), and Signatures (Osher, Carnegie Mellon). His two books of poetry, Beyond Waking and Love and the Ten Thousand Things, were published by Tebot Bach in 2009.

Joseph Karasek - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download  

Pam O'Brien began writing poetry at Allegheny College. Her career has included grant writing, community organization, public relations and advertising, and teaching Spanish. She currently holds a lectureship in the English Department of the University of Pittsburgh where she serves as the Associate Director of Public and Professional Writing. She was a 2012 finalist for the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award and recipient of teaching excellence awards from the College of General Studies in 2008 and 2011. She has published three chapbooks, Kaleidoscopes, Paper Dancing and Acceptable Losses. Her full-length poetry book, The Answer to Each is the Same, was published in 2012.

Don Krieger is a biomedical researcher living in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry has appeared online at TuckMagazine, VerseWright and Uppagus, and in print in Hanging Loose, Neurology, Poetica, and The Taj Mahal Review.

Randy Minnich is a retired chemist, now focusing on writing, environmental issues, t’ai chi, and grandchildren. A member of the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop and Pittsburgh Poetry Society, he has published two books, Wildness in a Small Place and Pavlov’s Cats. His work has also appeared in U.S. 1 Worksheets, Main Street Rag, Uppagus, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other publications.

Christine Doreian Michaels came from England in 1971 and is a retired psychologist living in Regent Square. She was an invited reader at the James Wright Poetry Festival, and is published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Exchange, Taproots, Songs For The Living, Signatures 2001, 2003, 2006, and the international anthologies, No Choice But To Trust and Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami. She won first poetry prize in The Labyrinth Society's annual contest 2007 and has a poem in Along These Rivers, an anthology celebrating Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary.

Open Mic 


Jimmy Cvetic Reads The Secret 


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