Jul 6, 2015

Calendar of events

Disclaimers, denials, and definitions: Please confirm events using the contact info before traveling. Not responsible for canceled or discontinued events. All listings are in Indianapolis, unless otherwise noted. Bookmark this page, which will update periodically.

To submit: If you want to list your poetry event, email JL Kato at
jl.kato@sbcglobal.net. Put "Poetry event" in the header and leave a phone number or email address for follow-up. Allow four weeks for submitted items to appear.


Corrections and comments: Send to the email listed above.

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Monday, July 6

5 p.m. Poetry Lab at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. Prompts and writing exercises. Meets weekly in the cafe area. Moderator: Penny Dunning. Check Facebook for cancellation notices.


Tuesday, July 7

2-4 p.m. Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Co., 647 Virginia Ave. Poets meet for informal conversation and structured critiques. Free. Meets every Tuesday. Info: JL Katojl.kato@sbcglobal.net or 317-938-7026.

8 p.m. Poetry Salon at Indiana Writers Center, 812 E. 67th St. Conversation and critiques. Free. Meets every first and third Tuesday of the month. Free Info: Richard Pflum, drahcir@indy.net or 317-356-2048.

Thursday, July 9

7 p.m.-9 p.m.
 Poetry open mic at 10 Johnson Ave every Thursday on the deck of Irving Theatre. Free. 

7 p.m.-9 p.m. Kafe Kuumba, sponsored by Midtown Writers Association. Open mic at the Harrison Brook Center, 4002 Cornelius Ave. Every Thursday. $5, but $3 for open mic participants. Info: 317-895-4919.

Friday, July 10

Poetry Workshop With Fran Quinn. Through July 12. For info and registration, click http://www.franquinnworkshops.com/workshops.html.


6:30 p.m. Last Stanza Poetry Association meets at Elwood Hospital, 1331 South A St., Elwood. Meets the second and fourth Friday of the month. Info: Jenny Kalahar, jennykalahar@hotmail.com.

9 p.m.-11 p.m. The Green House Affect, an open mic, at Geneva's Barber and Beauty, 3041 E. 38th St. $10, includes food, wine, and soda. Meets every other Friday. For info: 317-443-2608.

Saturday, July 11

Today is Lisa Kwong's birthday.

2 p.m. Paul Goldman will be sharing poetry from his new book, Upon Your Canvas at Bookmamas, 9 Johnson Ave. Goldman shares his ecstatic poetry and life transformation after open-heart surgery.

7 p.m.-10 p.m. Localmotion welcomes musicians, singers, MCs, poets, comedians, actors and storytellers to the open mic at Fletcher Place Arts and Books, 642 Virginia Ave., every second Saturday of the month. $7.

Sunday, July 12

7 p.m. An Evening With the Muse at the Indiana Writers Center, 812 E. 67th St. Featured poet is Chatter House Press publisher Penny Dunning. An open mic and book-signing follows. Free. Info: Richard Pflum, 317-356-2048.

Monday, July 13


5 p.m. Poetry Lab at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. Prompts and writing exercises. Meets weekly in the cafe area. Moderator: Penny Dunning. Check Facebook for cancellation notices.

Tuesday, July 14

2 p.m.-4 p.m. Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Co., 647 Virginia Ave. Poets meet for informal conversation and structured critiques. Free. Meets every Tuesday. Info: JL Katojl.kato@sbcglobal.net or 317-938-7026.

7 p.m.-9 p.m. The Frankenstein Poem: Unusual and Interesting Ways to generate Ideas.
Instructior: David Blomenberg. Location: Indiana Writers Center, 812 E. 67th St.
Cost: $38; $26 for IWC members; $22 for members who are students, teachers, senoir citizens or in the military. Description: Have you ever felt like writing, but didn't know what to write about? Is inspiration sometimes hard to get? Have you written a line to a poem, but not known where to go from there? This session will give you plenty of techniques professional writers use to generate ideas for writing. Go to http://www.indianawriters.org/collections/all-classes-workshops to register.


Wednesday, July 15

5 p.m.-9 p.m. Spoken Word Wednesday at Unity of Indianapolis, 907 N. Delaware St. Writing workshop and open mic. $5. Meets every first and third Wednesday of the month.

Thursday, July 16

Today is Mari Evan's birthday.


7 p.m.-9 p.m. Poetry open mic at 10 Johnson Ave every Thursday on the deck of Irving Theatre. Free.

7 p.m.-9 p.m. Kafe Kuumba, sponsored by Midtown Writers Association. Open mic at the Harrison Brook Center, 4002 Cornelius Ave. Every Thursday. $5, but $3 for open mic participants. Info: 317-895-4919.

7:30 p.m. Poetry and Prose Night at Tater and Joe's CafĂ©, 423 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute. Open mic. five minutes per slot. Free.  Advance sign-up encouraged. Contact Zann Carter at zanncarter@gmail.com or 812-236-2841. Meets every third Thursday of the month.


Jul 4, 2015

Healing, Inspiring, Empowering: How Literary Therapy Transforms the Soul

This is an article submitted by Helen Gaynor:



Healing, Inspiring, Empowering: How Literary Therapy Transforms the Soul
We sit down, and open the pages of a well-loved book. From the first sentence, we are transported into a world where our senses are set on a heightened sense of awareness; our hearts and minds are instantly engaged, and soon this brave new world we are venturing into will become our universe in concept and absorb our psyche as we journey with our protagonists. Literature, popular fiction, non-fiction, poetry – our interconnectedness with the writing world is so intimate and infinite that books will always be a ritual from which we never part. But it’s not just about providing a pleasurable escape, a leisurely pastime, or even the inciter of revolutions and testament to manifestos – literature guides us in so many ways, and is often the door through which we travel in order to gain a greater understanding of ourselves. For what greater medium of expression of the very thing which makes us human is there than art?

We find ourselves unconsciously unraveling our own psychological experiences when we turn to books. Our protagonists disclose an overwhelmingly personal experience and as we travel with them, we too undergo revelations, pain, beauty, loss, rebirth. And perhaps this is why an art form as fluid as poetry in particular is such an ideal medium – as well as great writing – for literary therapy, or what is also known as bibliotherapy.

The Power of the Written Word
Used as a holistic, psychoanalytic, and cognitive form of therapy, bibliotherapy entails the use of books to help individuals work through particular mental and physical challenges like anxiety, depression, and PTSD by accessing a “safe” world through which they can express their struggles as well as find resolution within the text itself, and help specialists to identify particular problems. This can be used as a stand-alone therapy, but is also extremely effective in accompaniment with other treatments by helping individuals to work through their emotions and develop coping techniques, as well as provide a safe outlet which can be accessed infinitely.

Literature is a very unique outlet where we confide in ourselves. The malleability of words and their connotations release them from their inhibitions which is why novels, short fiction and poetry in particular are more “accessible” to people who struggle to express their emotions with more conventional word use. We explore words, we explore ourselves – without the confines of definition. Because of this, we can use bibliotherapy as a means to help understand and work through our emotions by reading and opening up a safe, inclusive discussion, and we can also harness the power of creativity itself and release ourselves through writing. The process of writing itself – one which has the potential to become a remarkable catharsis – is how many writers have burst through their own psychological cocoons and emerged, raw and beautiful, into a fresh new world ready to bear the light.

The Resonance of the Spoken Song
We can even venture further and give our voices a stronger appeal – poetry slams are powerful gatherings where social change takes place alongside personal epiphanies and experiences of pain and beauty. Performance poetry is bare, exposed, and it makes us vulnerable, and our experiences all the more poignant. And just as importantly, it opens up the floor for dialogue. When we have a safe environment to share our emotions with others and talk about them, then we have the chance to move through with recovery. And this is why creative communities are so vital – whether it’s online forums dealing exclusively with mental challenges, or expressive therapy venues themselves. We find like-minded people with diverse experiences, we forge friendships, we have a chance to speak, and we are supported as well as given the chance to show support for others. It’s this sense of community where individuals find solidarity with one another, whether it’s about confronting issues of abuse, race, religion, sexuality, the environment, and more.

While Indiana’s own poetry slam scene is not as emergent as it was a few years ago, it still retains a strong community within the greater arts spectrum with organizations such as VOCAB promoting great events throughout the region. And Indiana’s community for literature and therapy is building – from offering comprehensive literary programs to encouraging discussion about literature’s capacity as a therapeutic tool itself. Indiana – already heralded on the map as one of the most esteemed destinations when it comes to creative writing – is a great place to re-engage with this discussion.

Of course, it is difficult to argue against literature as therapy. From that integral moment when we open a book, our minds have already begun to transform. We have already begun to release ourselves, to lose ourselves in the wonders, the contours, the echoes and colors of words and meter, of how they dance and come to life, and how this beautiful new song resounds in our own hearts.

Jul 1, 2015

Butler's Visiting Writers Series 2015-2016.

According to Butler University's website, the 2015-2016 lineup of the Vivian Delbrook Visiting Writers Series will include Nikky Finney, Gerald Stern, and Anne Marie Macari. Denis Johnson, who also writes fiction, will appear. No dates announced.

http://legacy.butler.edu/mfa-creative-writing/delbrook-series/

Tom Spencer Obituary

Received news that Tom Spencer, past president of Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, died June 30, 2015.

Obituary: http://hosting-24975.tributes.com/obituary/show/Thomas-J-Spencer-102621229

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nwitimes/obituary.aspx?pid=175201688

Jun 24, 2015

UPDATE: Poetry Contest to Benefit Humane Society in Madison County

5/28/15: Poetry Contest to Benefit Humane Society in Madison County, Indiana

Editor Stacy Savage is seeking submissions for a poetry contest. Poems can be up to 40 lines and must be about an animal – be it domestic or wild. No limit on number of entries submitted. Previously published works are acceptable. There is a $1 per poem entry fee. All proceeds will go to The Humane Society of Madison County in Anderson, Indiana, to help with medical and cleaning expenses due to a virus that spread in ...the shelter that made many dogs very ill. (To read a news story about the sick dogs in the shelter, go to http://www.wthr.com/…/dog-virus-closes-madison-county-human….) Send submissions, along with the entry fee and a cover sheet with name, address, email address, and titles of poems submitted, to: Animal Poetry Contest, 3121 Mounds Road, Anderson, Indiana, 46016. First place winner will receive a copy of the 1870 antique book: The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume II, a one year subscription to The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poems, a complimentary copy of the July/August 2015 and September/October 2015 issues of Creative Inspirations, a Humane Society of the United States Christmas blanket, and $20. Second place winner will receive a one year subscription to The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poems. The deadline is June 15, 2015.

UPDATE: From Stacy Savage's Facebook page (1:46 p.m. Wednesday, June 24):

I presented the donation to The Madison County Humane Society today. $350 was raised from the proceeds from the animal poetry contest that I held for two weeks. They were thrilled to receive it! The woman holding the checks is an employee of the shelter and the one who helped us with the adoption of our dog when we adopted Gracie from there a few months ago. She said all the dogs are doing well now but they are still paying on vet bills from when they were ill. I was glad to hear that the dogs recovered and I am honored to help them out with the donation. If you guys know of another charity that is in desperate need of donations, let me know and I will keep them in mind for a future contest.

May 28, 2015

Call for Christmas poems

Call for Submissions for Christmas Poetry Anthology

Submissions are now being accepted for a Christmas poetry anthology. Poets may submit one to two Christmas poems, up to 32 lines each, for consideration. The editor is looking for poems that embrace the Christmas spirit. Poems about soldiers at Christmas are also welcome since the proceeds from the book will be going to Operation Gratitude – an organization that sends care packages to U.S. Military. Previously published poems are acceptable. The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2015. Complimentary copies will not be given to contributors since the proceeds and copies of the book will be going to Operation Gratitude, but copies will be available at a reasonable price. The title of the anthology will be chosen from one of the poem titles featured in the book. Email submissions to stacyrsavage@yahoo.com or mail to: Christmas poetry book, 3121 Mounds Rd., Anderson, IN 46016.

May 21, 2015

New poetry venue in Irvington?


Rumor has it that a new restaurant/coffee house will occupy space the space of the former Lazy Daze Coffeehouse at 10 Johnson Ave., in the Irvington neighbor on Indy's Eastside. It would be across the street from Bookmamas.

Does any one have solid information?

May 20, 2015

Wendy Vergoz

Wendy Vergoz
Dan Grossman of Nuvo writes about a poet Wendy Vergoz, who collaborated with painter Sofiya Inger in reimagining the Jacob's Ladder tale. This is an off-shoot of the Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminars:

http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/climbing-jacobs-ladder-with-words-paint-and-friendship/Content?oid=3179866