Best of the Net Nomination!

I was happy to learn recently that Certain Circuits nominated me for a Best of the Net award, a prominent national prize for authors in poetics and other literary forms. It was for my poem, “Pussy Chant”, which appeared in Certain Circuit’s online and print publications. See their list of other nominees at this link: I am grateful to be among them!

If you’re a writer or artist, Certain Circuits is a great journal to check out. They do great pairings of visual and literary works.


Welcome to the Poetry Olympics!

Who would have thought that Poetry Slams dated at least as far back as 384 B.C.? earn about the link between poetry and sports, mind and body as you explore the Poetry Olympics–NPR’s new Poetry Games! Check it out at the link, where you can play the audio file.

Poetry Games illustration

We needed a shade tree for our garden…

“Crape” or “crepe” myrtle?

Crape, it seems, according to the American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia. It is evidently one of the most commonly misspelled words in gardening. Still, who gives a crape? We found our crape myrtle at a garden store in Chestnut Hill and they somehow managed to get all seven feet of it into our car. And, in doing so, the staff left a piece of our car interior on the ground nearby… thus necessitating another trip back to Chestnut Hill at ten o’clock at night. Beauty has its costs.

At a growth rate of five feet per year, it will take a while before we get much shade. Still, I can’t wait to see our new crape myrtle in full bloom…

Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann

The fireworks would have been adequate - no cannon fire was needed to punctuate the "1812 Overture."

Who knew the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra was such a comedian? Saturday night we enjoyed the music of his ensemble at the Mann Center for Performing Arts. My friends and I dined al fresco on picnic blankets on the lawn as the orchestra tuned up. Come nightfall, we were delighted to such classics as “Flight of the Bumblebee”, “Ride of the Valkyries”, “Waltz of the Flowers” and “The William Tell Overture” (better known to me as a kid ad the Lone Ranger’s theme). There were even fireworks at the concert’s end! Thanks to Amy Tarr for the tickets. Great to hang out with her, Billy Edwards and good ole John Cawley.
For more on the Mann, visit the Inquirer at

From July 8th, 2012–New Philadelphia Inquirer Column

Shazam! My new column in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Shazam! Thought I would share some good writing news: The Philadelphia Inquirer asked me to contribute columns to their Sunday edition. The first one debuted July 8th. Future columns will likely cover topics as diverse as baseball, gay parenting, the Philly poetry scene and serving as a wedding officiant for a friend’s wedding. I’ll be rotating with a few other local writers. Here is the link:

Photos courtesy of Eric Moran, The Smoke. You can read about his homemade movie-making and cosplay activities he and his friends do by clicking on the Inquirer link above.

Poets Project by Montgomery Maxton

A while back, I met Montgomery Maxton, handsomely pictured here. He’s a recent arrival to Philadelphia… a funny, talented, warm fellow. We instantly hit it off when we started attending poetry readings together. Montgomery is a National Geographic photographer and as well as a writer with some prose projects coming soon from Sibling Rivalry Press (watch for ’em!). For a while now he’s been collecting pics of poets he meets from various online sources and posting them online–a literary time capsule of our time. You can visit his growing collection here:

I was flattered that he had me join the collection when we met up with writers Brian Teare, Karl Woelz, and Kyle Conner recently in the green splendor of the garden at the Morris Hotel for cocktails. We had so much fun we didn’t even mind the near-100 degree Philly heat!

My WordPress Blog Begins!

Hello, universe!

Recently the Philadelphia Inquirer did a big write up on The Philly Poetry Scene, 2012—A Garden of Many Delights. The article is by John Timpane, and it features me reading my poem “First Dog” via video at this link:

I read my poem to represent Press 1, a great international literary zine edited by Valerie Fox, a terrific poet in her own right and author of The Glass Book, which you can read about at The text of “First Dog” will remain on the Inquirer site for a while and will later be archived in an upcoming issue of Press 1. Press 1 also published an earlier poem of mine in 2011 called “Finish This Poem”. While that poem is about the difficulty of finishing things, I’m happy to say this has been a good year for poetry for me with other—finished!—poems appearing in Certain Circuits, Painted Bride Quarterly online and elsewhere.

What made the Inquirer article extra special is that one of my former students, Tamara Oakman, was also featured reading a very fine poem. Tamara is a founding editor of Apiary, a Philadelphia-based journal dedicated to discovering new writers.

Okay, I know the blog is lean at this point, but hey, it’s brand new. I will try to fancy it up soon.