Thursday, August 16, 2018

"What Kids Are Scared Of" Anthologized in Crack the Spine 17

Crack the Spine Literary Magazine proudly prevents their latest anthology featuring the stand-out poetry, stories, and essays from their digital publications! If you've read my story, there is a plethora of other fine work.

Authors: Robert Fillman, Jay Vera Summer, Jamie Elliot Keith, Amanda Barusch, Moss Ingram, Alle C. Hall, Christina Dalcher, Karen Zey, Eli T. Mond, Jim Breslin, Linda Boroff, Blake Kilgore, Domenic Scopa, Timothy Gager, Perle Besserman, Lynne Marie Houston, Jules Gates, Michelle Dotter, Wendy J. Fox, Madeline Anthes, Stephen C. Middleton, Joe Ponepinto, Jessica B. Weisenfels, Jessamine Price, Cathy Porter, T.E. Wilderson, Christina Wiseman, Mariah Perkins, Devon Balwit, Christina Kapp, Sarah Broussard Weaver.

What Kids Are Scared Of  originally appeared in Crack the Spine last January 17th, in their 229th on-line issue. Today I'm pleased to announce that it was selected to appear in their print anthology, roman numeral XVII. It can be purchased HERE

It's a fine looking issue too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

2018 Boston Poetry Marathon is a gigantic event Aug. 10-12

I'm honored to be reading 8/11 at 12:16 PM, but this event is  all weekend Aug. 10, 6 PM-Aug. 12, 630 PM. Check out all the blocks of really wonderful and talented poets.

Kudos to the organizers

Bridget Eileen

Suzanne Mercury

Gillian Devereux
Darren Black

The Boston Poetry Marathon is a poetry reading festival in which 100+ poets read their work, each for 8 minutes apiece. The festival has occurred for over 20 years (with a few breaks here and there). Readers come from far away or just down the street. The festival is open to the public. The event is free but donations are welcome and appreciated.

VFW Outpost 186,

186.5 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, Ma

all weekend Aug. 10, 6 PM-Aug. 12, 630 PM

FRIDAY NIGHT, AUG 10 6pm-10:30pm


What better way to celebrate the summer than with 21 hours of poetry? Join us! Boston Poetry Marathon will take place over three days at Outpost 186:

Friday, August 10th
In Memory of Lucie Brock-Broido, 6:00-6:50
Eileen Cleary, Beatriz Del Rio, Jenny Grassl, Amanda Hope, Tanya Liu, Pam Matz, Pamela Bailey Powers
Laura Green 7:00
Kythe Heller 7:08
Jean Dany Joachim 7:16
Kacy Cunningham 7:24
Jordan Davis 7:32
Jack Miller 7:40
Kevin Gallagher 8:00
Audrey Mardavich 8:08
Jackie Wang 8:16
Jess Mynes 8:24
Steph Burt 8:32
Julia Story 8:40
Tim Suermondt 9:00
Kevin McLellan 9:08
Amy Lawless 9:16
Pui Ying Wong 9:24
Shirley Jones-Luke 9:32
David Blair 9:40
Kayla Cash 10:00
Zachary Bos 10:08
Mary Bonina 10:16
Michael Todd Steffen 10:24
Judson Evans 10:32
-End of Friday Night-
Saturday, August 11th
Gale Batchelder 12:00
Anthony Febo 12:08
Timothy Gager 12:16
Mickey Coburn 12:24
Valerie Loveland 12:32
Michael Gottlieb 12:40
KH van berkum 1:00
Alifair Skebe 1:08
Olivia Thomes 1:16
Christina Liu 1:24
Chad Parenteau 1:32
Danielle Legros Georges 1:40
Zoe Tuck 2:00
Brittany Billmeyer-Finn 2:08
Mark Pawlak 2:16
Shari Caplan 2:24
Aaron Kiely 2:32
Clay Ventre 2:40
In Memory Of Marthe Reed
Mark Lamoureux 3:00
Kenning JP Garcia 3:10
Trace Peterson 3:20
Maria Damon 3:30
Adeena Karasick 3:50
Heather Hughes 3:58
Jeffrey Pethybridge 4:06
Steven Riel 4:14
Lori Lubeski 4:22
Jade Rei Sylvan 4:30
Mairead Byrne 4:52
Sam Cha 5:00
Nausheen Eusuf 5:08
Anthony Cueller 5:16
Fanny Howe 5:24
-dinner break-
Michael Peters 7:00
Joe Elliot 7:08
Simeon Berry 7:16
Uche Nduka 7:24
Heather Treseler 7:32
Ruth Towne 7:40
Jennifer Marie Bartlett 8:00
Jim Stewart 8:08
Karen Locascio 8:16
Mitch Highfill 8:24
Martha McCollough 8:32
Gilmore Tamny 8:40
Darren Black 9:00
Brenda Ijima 9:08
Christina Strong 9:16
Douglas Rothschild 9:24
John Mulrooney 9:32
Suzanne Mercury 9:40
Brendan Lorber 10:00
Jessica Bozek 10:08
Ben Mazer 10:16
Claudia Amador 10:24
-End of Saturday Night-
Sunday, August 12th
Russell Bennetts 11:00
Lisa Maria Martin 11:08
Eliza Jerrett 11:16
Keith Jones 11:24
Jennifer Martelli 11:32
J.D. Scrimgeour 11:40
Hannah Larrabee 12:00
Alyssa Mazzarella 12:08
Colleen Michaels 12:16
Danielle Jones-Pruett 12:24
Catherine LeBeau 12:32
Tracy Marks 12:40
January O’Neil 1:00
Lloyd Schwartz 1:08
MP Carver 1:16
Lisa DeSiro 1:24
James Stotts 1:32
In Memory of Gerrit Lansing
Ruth Lepson 1:50
Abigail & Samuel Cook 2:00
Jim Dunn 2:10
Amanda Cook 2:20
Sean Cole 2:30
James Cook 2:40
Carol Weston 3:00
Dara Wier 3:08
Christine Tierney 3:16
Janaka Stucky 3:24
Dennis Nurkse 3:32
Sawako Nakayasu 3:40
Bridget Eileen 4:00
Kathleen Lake 4:08
Carol Berg 4:16
Darcie Dennigan 4:24
Richard Hoffman 4:32
William Orem 4:40
Tom Daley 5:00
Serina Gousby 5:08
Frannie Lindsay 5:16
Robert Carr 5:24
Rebecca Roach 5:32
Gillian Devereux 5:40
Rob Chalfen 6:00
Oni Buchanan 6:08
Meia Geddes 6:16
Dan Wuenschel 6:24
~*~Finish Line~*~

Online at:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

All of the final Dire Literary Series features booked

August 4, 2018,7 PM
The Center for the Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave. Somerville, Ma
J.D. Scrimgeour
David S. Atkinson
Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Saturday September 1, 2018, 7 PM,
The Center for the Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave. Somerville, Ma

Sonya Larson
Michael C. Keith
Marguerite Bouvard


Friday October 12, 2018, 7 PM,
The Center for the Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave. Somerville, Ma

Elizabeth Graver
Amy Dresner
Rusty Barnes
Nadine Darling
Doug Holder
Hannah Larrabee
Renuka Raghavan

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Dire Location History...where to find us Aug 2018-Oct 2018 (plus a funny thing happened on the way to being canceled)

A funny thing happened at our last event at the Middle East Corner. They forgot to call and cancel us for the World Cup viewing there. They did accommodate us,giving us a private party at Zuzu (which was scheduled to close at 3 PM), which was awesome. I got to be the douche that told people, "Hey, this is a private party." Much thanks and gratitude to The Middle East.  So here's the Dire history--location only, as we wrap it up at the Center for Arts at the Armory, Somerville.


February-March 2001 - First Tuesday reading at Cantab Underground                              2

June 2001-Aug 2002- First Friday, Out of the Blue Art Gallery                                          15
                                    168 Brookline St., Cambridge

Sept 2002-Oct 2011-First Friday, Out of the Blue Art Gallery                                         110
                                    106 Prospect St., Cambridge

Nov 4, 2011-                -First Friday, Yarrow                                                                        1
                                    106 Prospect St., Cambridge

Dec 2011-Sept 2014-First Friday, Out of the Blue Art Gallery                                          34
                                    106 Prospect St., Cambridge

Oct 2014-Nov 2017-First Friday, Out of the Blue Too                                                       38
                              541 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge 

Dec 2017-June 2018 First Saturday Afternoon, The Middle East Cafe
                               480 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge                                                    7

July 2018 -                  First Saturday Afternoon, Zuzu
                               480 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge                                                    1

Aug 2018-Oct 2018 First Saturday Night, First Friday too
                                 Center for Arts at the Armory
                               191 Highland Ave., Somerville                                                             3


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dire Memories, article by Doug Holder, about Dire Literary Series' swan song.

  Doug Holder and I go way back, almost as far back as The Dire Literary Series. It was nice to sit down and talk to him (in link or see below) for The Somerville Times, about both of those phenomena. Doug has published me, interviewed me various times, on television, or in print, co-produced a writers festival, and remained a supporter of my writing and writing, in general. Many, including myself, can say that their first poem ever published was through Doug, or Ibbetson Street Press.

The longer version about the end of the series is that it just seemed to be time. Between looking for new event locations twice in the past six months, many author/poet cancellations, and having features booked through October--sometimes there is patterns in coincidences. It was very generous of The Middle East to house the series December-July, but being told by the bartender rather than the owner that the room would cost $200 after July, was the icing on the cake. I challenge the assertion that they would do a better food business from 3-5PM on a Saturday, as the guests, and audience for Dire in the last 6 months, ate, drank during that time. I think it's all about his afternoon drinking buddies being hushed because an event is happening, in which, they are being rude by talking over it. I am a little melancholy about the end of the series, and I'm sure the final event will be very emotional for me. The final line-up is still being confirmed, as I write this.

     The article also mentioned what I'll do next. I'd like to confirm, that yes I'm looking for an agent for my next book, but the synopsis given, certainly doesn't allow for the optimal hook--so here it is:

      Joe The Salamander  follows a man Joe, from birth through age thirty-five, who is on the Asperger spectrum (I never use the word aspergers, or autistic, even Joe is diagnosed once by a Dr. Ogden. His mother trashes the letter received from him). Raised by a logical, inflexible father,  and an open, strong, and liberal mother, Millie, Joe, a people-pleaser, only wants to say the word, "Yes," the perfect word, to everyone, except Mille, who he has unconditional trust with. The other women in his life, Laura, the nurse on-duty at the time of his birth, becomes a life-long friend of his, and his family, is fascinated by Joe.
       Joe, overwhelmed by loud or extreme stimuli gets through life by wearing various costumes and worships Superman in his various television/movie forms . As it gets older, he finds comfort by wearing a Superman costume under his regular clothing. With the help of his parents, Laura, along with his own strategies and adaptations, survives his teenage years. It is only after his parents die tragically on 9/11 that Joe stops using the Superman strategy, as even Superman couldn't prevent that.

     Throughout the novel, Joe's inability to successfully read life's sights and sounds, combined with his singular word language use, causes him to be placed in situations which work out in ways, not intended. His mother tried to increase Joe's independence so he could eventually survive on his own, but after her death, Joe is left to figure things out on his own.  

     Later, entirely by desperation, he looks for a bigger, and better Superman costume, but Superman's outfit has been moved by Shades Creek, owner of a costume shop, and founder/promoter of The Phoenix Salamander Festival. Joe, who only says "yes,' to Shades is forced to wear the Salamander as his suit of armor.
 Joe The Salamander, takes a sensitive, and human look at what it is like when the sights and sounds of the world are challenging, and how misunderstood and beloved people are within the Autism Spectrum. 
Here's the article, and check the Dire Literary Series website for any updates.:

Timothy Gager talks about writing and the swan song of the famed Dire Literary Series.

 By Doug Holder

As you know my usual home away from home is in the Bloc 11 Cafe in Union Square, Somerville. But on this day I was to meet with an old friend Timothy Gager, at the Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. The Diesel, although a sister store of the Bloc, has a decidedly different vibe. The space is larger and the crowd seems more eclectic. The baristas seem to dress more radically, and there is almost a friendly but militant sensibility to them –pardon the oxymoron.

On this morning in June, Gager (Who I founded The Somerville News Writers Festival with back in the day), joined me at my well-appointed booth. His arm was in a sling from an athletic injury, and he had a fashionable stubble on his chin—with touches of gray.  Gager looks like a man who always seems to be on the cusp of a joke—but make no mistake—Gager is a serious dude.

For 18 years he has directed the Dire Literary Series—which started at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge,and then at the Out of the Blue Gallery, when the gallery was located in several spots in Cambridge. It is currently held at the Middle East Restaurant in Cambridge; its last readings will be in the Arts Armory on Highland Ave. in Somerville. The swan song, the final act, the reading where the fat lady finally sings, will be Oct 12, 7PM. I am honored to be one of the readers—the others will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Dire Literary Series is on the tip of many writers and poets tongues in the region and even across the country. Gager has curated a wide-range of novelists, essayists, fiction writers and poets over the last 18 years. The list is impressive including, Steve Almond ( Who now has a column in the New York Times), Tom Perrotta, Jennifer Haigh, Sue Miller, Alex Beam ( Boston Globe Columnist), DeWitt Henry ( Founder of Ploughshares Magazine), and the list goes on.

But the times are changing, and it's wind has swept into the protective cove of Gager's series. There are higher costs and the transient nature of the venues, as well as other factors that made Gager think that it is time to call it quits.

I asked Gager about any memorable moments he had at the Dire. He reflected and smiled to himself, “There was this writer Gary Kadet, who wrote an S&M novel. He use a long whip as a prop. When he cracked it, Tom Perrotta almost jumped from his seat.”

Gager, who was the publisher and editor of the Heat City Literary Review, and the Wilderness House Literary Review, revealed the pleasure he feels when an emerging writer who started out in his open mic—then published a book of his or her own, comes back as a featured reader. He stated, “ It is really gratifying to see people grow in their writing.”

I asked Gager about changes in the writer's scene. He reflected, “ People don't seem to have the attention for longer fiction—it is more flash fiction these days. He continued, “Also—I see the inequality for women writers has lessened. Years back it was much more male - dominated. Men read men's novels and publish each other's work. Now that these inequalities are being pointed out—adjustment are being made."

Gager told me that his first two readers were writer Alex De Suze and Nick Zanio. He revealed that he has hosted 200 reading and hundreds of writers during his tenure at the series.

Gager told me he will not go gently into the night. He will actively concentrate on his own work. He wants to secure an agent. I asked him about the latest novel he is working on. He said, “It concerns a guy who has Asperger's, a bunch of strong women, and a host of insensitive men.”

Gager, a man with a busy schedule had to take leave from the Diesel. So we parted ways, shaking hands—silently noting our history of literary citizenship.