Saturday, November 11, 2017

Versify (Krygowski, Daniels, Grandinetti & Terman)

November 11, 2017

Versify is a poetry series that was launched and curated by Bob Walicki. Most events were hosted by the White Whale Bookstore (previously known as the East End Book Exchange) in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Bob recently announced that the series has run its course. A new series (name to be announced) will be curated by Kayla Sargeson in the same space. All of us at Hemingway's congratulate Bob for a fine (frequently inspired) series of readings. The reading presented here was the second to last.

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Standing L-R: Kathy Fagan Grandinetti, Phil Terman, Jim Daniels, Bob Walicki & Nancy Krygowski

Nancy Krygowski’s first book of poems, Velocity, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. She is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, a Pittsburgh Foundation Grant, and several residencies. Krygowski teaches poetry workshops in Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic program in addition to her work as an adult ESL instructor at Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

Jim Daniels is the author of numerous poetry books, including his most recent, Rowing Inland, and the forthcoming Street Calligraphy and The Middle Ages. He edited Challenges to the Dream: The Best of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards. A native of Detroit, Daniels teaches at Carnegie Mellon.

Jim Daniels - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

Kathy Fagan Grandinetti’s fifth collection of poems is Sycamore (Milkweed Editions, 2017). Her first collection, The Raft, won the National Poetry Series; her second, MOVING & ST. RAGE, won the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize. Recent work appears in Poetry, Numero Cinq, The New Republic, Blackbird, Crazyhorse and The Adroit Journal. Fagan directs the MFA Program at The Ohio State University and serves as Series Editor of the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Poetry Prize.

Kathy Fagan Grandinetti - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

Philip Terman’s most recent book of poems is Our Portion:  New and Selected Poems. Other books include The Torah GardenRabbis of the AirBook of the Unbroken Days and The House of Sages. A selection of  his poems, My Dear Friend Kafka, has been translated into Arabic by the Syrian writer and scholar Saleh Rouzzak and published by Nimwa Press. Terman’s poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including PoetryThe Georgia ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewThe Sun Magazine, The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent. His poems have been set to music by the composer Brent Register and he performs his poetry with the jazz band, Catro. He teaches English at Clarion University and directs The Bridge Literary Arts Center in Franklin, PA.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tribute Reading for Jimmy Cvetic

Tribute Reading for Jimmy Cvetic
November 8, 2017

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.  

As Charles Deitch wrote in City Paper: He’s a former police officer and detective. He’s a boxing trainer. He’s a poet. He’s an artist. He’s the head of the Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League, a group that takes kids, mostly those at-risk, and gets them working out their aggressions through sports instead of on the streets. Finally, for hundreds of kids every year, he’s Santa. Cvetic, along with the other members of PAL, spends his year collecting toys, and cash to buy toys, for underprivileged kids at Christmas.

He knows everybody and everybody knows him. And he does the things he does for others, not for himself. Countless times over the years, he has asked not to be quoted or photographed, instead asking that the attention go toward the volunteers he works with, or the kids who are trying to make their lives better. 

On November 8, 2017, we congregated at Hemingway's Bar to pay tribute to Jimmy's many accomplishments and contributions. First some photographs. Then, readings by the featured poets. The entire unedited recording will also be available at the bottom of the page. 

Featured Readers
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Standing: Bob Ziller, Jimmy Cvetic, Gloria Sztukowski and S.A. Griffin
Seated: Adam Matcho, Joan Bauer, Lori Jakiela, Dave Newman and John Korn 

Featured Readers Plus Reinforcements
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Back Row Leaning Forward: Scott Silsbe and Bob Pajich
Standing: Bob Ziller, Jimmy Cvetic, Gloria Sztukowski and S.A. Griffin
Front Row Crouched: Jason Baldinger
Seated: Adam Matcho, Joan Bauer, Lori Jakiela, Dave Newman and John Korn
Contentedly Cradled In Lori Jakiela's Lap: Sylvia Catello

Jimmy Cvetic Opens the Event

Jimmy Cvetic - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download
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 SugarBoneshaker, 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.

Jan Beatty - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

S.A. Griffin lives, loves and works in Los Angeles. Author of Dreams Gone Mad With Hope (Punk Hostage Press) he is the co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (Firecracker Award) and editor of The Official Language of Yes by Scott Wannberg for Viggo Mortensen's Perceval Press. Father, husband, actor (Dramalogue Award, Kari Award), Carma Bum, Poetry Bomb progenitor, Vietnam era vet (USAF) and luckiest man he knows, S.A. is truly honored to be part of this tribute reading for Jimmy Cvetic.

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.

Adam Matcho was formerly employed as a gas station attendant, sandwich artist, novelty shop clerk, gold buyer, and obituary writer. Now, he tells people he is the poet laureate of Johnstown. His poems have been published in literary magazines and his books include: “The Novelty Essays” (WPA Press), “Six Dollars an Hour: Confessions of a Gemini Writer” (Liquid Paper Press) and “Love Songs From Flood City” (Low Ghost Press). 

Leslie Anne Mcilroy won the 2000 Word Press Poetry Prize for her full-length collection Rare Space. She also won the 1997 Slipstream Poetry Chapbook Prize for her chapbook Gravel, and first place in the 1997 Chicago Literary Awards judged by Gerald Stern. Leslie's poems are published in numerous journals and anthologies including American Poetry: The Next Generation, Connotation Press, Dogwood, Jubilat, The Mississippi Review, New Ohio Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose & Poetry, Poetry Magazine, PANK and Pearl Magazine. Leslie serves as Managing & Poetry Editor of HEArt (Human Equity through Art) Online. She works as a copywriter in Pittsburgh, PA, where she lives with her daughter, Silas. Her second full-length book, Liquid Like This, was published by Word Tech in July 2008. Her third collection, SLAG was runner up for the 2014 Main Street Rag Publishing Company Book Prize and was released in December, 2014.

Leslie Anne Mcilroy - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

Dave Newman is the author of the novels Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children (Writers Tribe Books, 2012) and Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight (World Parade Books, 2010), and the poetry collection The Slaughterhouse Poems.He’s worked as a truck driver, a book store manager, an air filter salesman, a house painter, and a college teacher. More than 100 of his poems and stories have appeared in magazines throughout the world, including Gulf Stream, Word Riot, Smokelong Quarterly, Rattle, Wormwood Review, Tears in the Fence (UK), and The New Yinzer. He has been the featured writer and on the cover of both 5AM and Chiron Review. Anthologies include Beside the City of Angels (World Parade Books) and The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Autumn House Press). Newman has won three chapbooks prizes. In 2004, he received the Andre Dubus Novella Award. He lives in Trafford, Pennsylvania with his wife, the writer Lori Jakiela, and their two children.

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.

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.

Lori Jakiela is the author of four memoirs, including BELIEF IS ITS OWN KIND OF TRUTH, MAYBE, which received the William Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University and was named one of 20 Nonfiction Books Not to Miss in 2015 by The Huffington Post.  Her most recent book is PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A BINGO WORKER, a collection of essays about work and the writing life, published in 2017 by Bottom Dog Press. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitHub, Electric Literature and more. In 2016, she received the City of Asylum Pittsburgh Prize, which sent her on a month-long residency to Brussels, Belgium. She is also the author of the poetry collection SPOT THE TERRORIST! and several limited-edition poetry chapbooks. A native of Trafford, PA, Jakiela now runs community writing workshops in her hometown and lives with her husband, the author Dave Newman, and their two children. 
Joan E. Bauer is the author of The Almost Sound of Drowning (Main Street Rag, 2008). With Judith Robinson and Sankar Roy, she co-edited the international anthology, Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Arts and Rupa & Co, 2005).  For some years, she worked as an English teacher and educational counselor and now divides her time between Venice, CA and Pittsburgh, PA, where she co-hosts and curates the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series with her friend Jimmy Cvetic. 
According to its web site, Attack Theater is "a company of artists, doers, thinkers, risk-takers, dancers, administrators, entrepreneurs, and makers. We make dance. We engage audiences. We inspire children. We interact with our surroundings. We crave adventure, a good challenge, and achieving something just out of reach. And we love the journey as much as the destination."

Here, they perform an excerpt from their upcoming production of Jimmy's work titled In Defense of Gravity.

Jimmy Cvetic Closes the Event

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

Full Length Recording of the Entire Event

Full Length Recording - Click to Play (Right-Click to Download

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