George Wallace and Walt Whitman Birthplace proudly present season two of POETS BUILDING BRIDGES: A TRIANGULATION PROJECT, inaugurated in March 2022 with the purpose of enhancing dialogue between communities of writers across the US and internationally. Based on a shared small-group experience, these Saturday zoom sessions engage three distinct and well defined communities of poets with each other to share work and foster further interaction. THIS IS A ZOOM ONLY EVENT.
Season One triangulated groups by location — from the US, UK, Italy, South America, the Balkans, the Near East and India.
In Season Two, POETS BUILDING BRIDGES will build on that experience, triangulating national and international groups based not only on location but additionally offering key small press publications an opportunity to form a participating group.
Live on zoom. archived on Youtube.
Cleveland: John Burroughs | Doc Jenning | Christine Howey | Shelley Chernin
John Burroughs is the author of John Burroughs of Cleveland is the author of Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 [2019, Venetian Spider Press], and more than a dozen chapbooks. He has curated several regular reading series in the Greater Cleveland area and currently moderate [2019, Venetian Spider Press], and more than a dozen chapbooks. He has curated several regular reading series in the Greater Cleveland area and currently moderates the northeast Ohio literary calendar at clevelandpoetry.com. Since 2008, John has served as the founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press. From 2019 to 2021 he was Ohio’s Beat Poet Laureate and in September the National Beat Poetry Association named him the U.S. Beat Poet Laureate.
Doc Janning is the 80-year-old inaugural Poet Laureate of the city of South Euclid, Ohio. He has created Ekphrastic Poetry for Heights Arts and for Cleveland Photo Fest. Doc is Moderator of First Wednesday Poets, Creator-Host of Awenites, and a featured reader for poetry events around the world, is included in twenty-five anthologies, has had individual poems published on La Hermosa Bruja, and by PoemHunter.com, and videos on YouTube from a variety of readings.
Christine Howey is a performance poet, stage actor and director, playwright, theatre critic and the former executive director of Literary Cleveland. Her one-person play about her transgender journey, Exact Change, consists of 40 poems. It premiered at Cleveland Public Theatre and was an official selection of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. She then adapted the play into a film, which was an official selection of the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in 2018.Christine has had four chapbooks of poetry published and was named Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for 2016-2018. She is also a slam poet and competed in the National Poetry Slams in 2013 and 2017, as a member of the four-person Cleveland team Christine was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship in 2014 from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council in 2016. She was honored to receive both the Illumination Award as the Transgender Leader of the Year in northeast Ohio for 2015, and the Torch Award for leadership on transgender issues from the Cleveland chapter of the Human Rights Campaign in 2017.
Shelley Chernin is an environmental activist and ukulele enthusiast who has been writing poetry on and off for most of her life. She is the author of The Vigil, published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2012. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Great Lakes Review, Scrivener Creative Review, Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal, Rhapsoidia, Durable Goods, Big Bridge, and Oct Tongue-1. She was awarded Second Place in the 2011 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest and received Honorable Mentions twice in the Akron Art Museum’s New Words Poetry Contest. Shelley has read her poems and played ukulele in many venues, including Mac’s Backs, Visible Voice Books, Mahall’s, The Beachland Ballroom, numerous libraries, coffee shops, parks, bars and street corners.
Wales: Ian Griffiths | Amanda Rackstraw | Rhian Edwards
Ian Grifffiths was born in Swansea Wales and lives in Shotley, county of Suffolk UK. Former chairman of the Suffolk Poetry Society, his first poetry collection was Conversations with Birds, published by Eye Wild Books. He lists his poeticinflurnces as Dylan Thomas, John Done, Robert Browning, Russian poets Afanasy Fet and Sergei Yesenin, and George Wallace.
Amanda Rackstraw comes from London. She trained at RADA and worked as an actor until relocating to Wales. Following an MA at Cardiff, she taught for the university until 2017. Her work has been published in Planet, Mslexia, New Welsh Review, Acumen, and Poetry Wales. She has been longlisted for the National Poetry Prize for five years and shortlisted for the Bridport in 2019. Amanda has written and performed her own work programmed at Chapter Arts Centre. She has also worked as a storyteller in various venues across Wales. She is working on a collection of her poetry.
Rhian Edwards is a multi-award winning poet. Her first collection of poems Clueless Dogs (Seren 2012) won Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013 and Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prizefor Best First Collection 2012. Rhian’s second full collection The Estate Agent’s Daughter (Seren 2020) was a National Poetry Day Recommended Read for 2020. Rhian also has two pamphlets of poems Parade the Fib, (Tall-Lighthouse 2008), which was awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice for autumn 2008. Brood (Seren 2017) is an illustrated pamphlet of bird poems, containing beautiful and original charcoal magpie drawings by artist Paul Edwards. Rhian is also the current winner of the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry, winning both the Judges and Audience award. She was also the first Writer in Residence at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from March to June 2013. Rhian’s poems have appeared in the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, New Statesman, Spectator, Poetry London, Poetry Wales, Arete, Prague Revue, the London Magazine, Stand, Planet Magazine, the New Welsh Review and the Lampeter Review. Rhian is a poet and musician and has delivered over 400 stage, radio and festival performances world-wide. She lives in South Wales with her daughter Megan.
Somerville Ma/Cervena Barva: Gloria Mindock | Andrey Gritsman Russia-USA | Flavia Cosma Romania/Canada
Gloria Mindock is editor of Červená Barva Press. She is an award-winning author of 6 poetry collections, 3 chapbooks and a children’s book. Her poems have been published and translated into eleven languages. Her recent book, Ash (Glass Lyre Press, 2021) has received 6 book awards and was translated into Serbian by Milutin Durickovic and published by Alma Press in Belgrade in 2022. Gloria’s work recently has appeared in Gargoyle, The James Dickey Review, 10 x 10, Ibbetson, Growth: Journal of Literature, Culture, & Art (Macedonia) and others. Gloria was the Poet Laureate in Somerville, MA in 2017 & 2018. For more information, visit her website at: www.gloriamindock.com
Andrey Gritsman A native of Moscow, Andrey emigrated to the United States in 1981. He is a poet, essayist and a physician. Gritsman have published ten volumes of poetry and prose in Russian and six in English. He received the 2009 Pushcart Prize Honorable Mention XXIII and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times. His poems, essays, and short stories in English have appeared and forthcoming in over 90 literary journals, including Nimrod International Journal, Cimarron Review, Notre Dame Review. His work has also been anthologized. Andrey received MFA in poetry from Vermont College and runs the Intercultural Poetry Series in New York City.
Flavia Cosma is a Canadian writer, poet and translator. Flavia is also a producer/ director for television documentaries. An author with more than 50 books, she has been published in various countries. Cosma’s poetry books Leaves of a Diary, Thus Spoke the Sea and The Latin Quarter were studied at Universities in Canada and USA. Flavia received numerous distinctions and awards for her literary work. Flavia Cosma is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, Union des Ecrivains du Quebec, Writers’ Union of Romania. She is the director of The Biannual Writers’ and Artists’ Festivals at Val-David, QC, Canada. www.flaviacosma.com
POETS BUILDING BRIDGES is produced by Poetrybay Productions for the Walt Whitman Birthplace.