Monday, April 11, 2005

Pie Cutters to Storm the Green Mill

That’s right; your slam team, the Bloomington Pie Cutters, is going to where it all started:

The Green Mill
Midwest Poetry Slam League bout
Bloomington vs. Evansville, Ind. vs. Grand Rapids, Mich.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
At 7 pm -- $6 cover

This is the toughest slam venue on the circuit. Very vocal, raucous, huge crowd. Just like that scene in the Blues Brothers where they end up playing the theme from Rawhide, only no chicken wire – damn it!

So you all (and I mean all of you) should caravan to Chicago to cheer us on.

Reading Brings Poets Out of the Wordwork

The Bathtub Gin Farewell to Bloomington reading was a great sendoff. Everybody was good and everyone was very loose and relaxed and familiar. Having the reading outside was the best: a beautiful night in Bloomington, and there’s no way you could have crammed all those people inside the Spoon anyway.

It kind of turned into a “celebrity roast,” with people telling stories about each other, including Antonia Matthew saying she has bad-hair days just like Andrew Kenower, and Chris Harter bestowing assistant editorship to John Gohmann after he literally tossed a submission out the window of a moving car.

And Rus Segety. Hadn’t seen him in about 4 years, even though he never left Bloomington and in fact works with ninrod_rules. Crazy, man. He wrote “Don’t turn into a bat” in my issue of Bathtub Gin #16 – ah, Rus, always with the good advice. Thanks. And Susan Yount came down from Chicago to participate. Check out what she’s doing now at Arsenic Lobster. I myself shall be submitting forthwith.

I ran around like a junior on yearbook day getting everyone to sign on his or her poem. Good times. Wait for it to pop up on eBay in a few years.

Chris H. isn’t actually leaving till August, so look for him to pop up more often, like most celebs do when they’re about to leave us. I’m working on putting together a recreation of the Six Gallery reading in San Francisco 1955, wherein “Howl” was debuted (this year is the 50th anniversary of its publication), and Chris has agreed to take part some how. More news as it develops.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

B-ton Slam Team Snatches 2nd Place from the Jaws of Third

Oh it wasn't that bad. Columbus did bring their heavy hitters (Scott Woods and Ed Mabry and Rose Smith? Christ, people, what'd we ever do to you?). And Sturgis rocked the home-field advantage with many team pieces and by gently pounding us with their greatness.

It was a spectacular slam. Great venue. Wonderful people. Even the pre-slam open mic was inspiring. Highlights include Steve-O, the Noir Guy (who seemed to be in costume even), and the hostess (can't remember her name!) who performed a great piece about her motorcycle. Mad props all around, as they say in the trade.

1st: Columbus Thunderpants 29 pts.
2nd: Bloomington Cutters of Pie 39 pts.
3rd: Sturgis MetaKnights 40 pts.

It was truly a slugfest; we were sweating bullets there once it became clear that Columbus was just gonna Milwaukee all over us and it was really down to who would take 2nd and 3rd.


Personal highlight: stepping forward sans mike for the cicada duet with Teri. I'm not a shouter (I prefer to get all intimate with ya through a microphone) but it's good to know I can still kick it olde skool, again, as they say in the trade.

Thanks much to Columbus for beating us, and to Sturgis for hosting and for having such a cool venue. Extra thanks to Kate from Sturgis for the organic spinach and taters, precious. "Will slam for food." And of course, thanks to Joe and Teri for the roadtrip jollies. That vibrating backseat made the four-hour drive fly by. Lawdy!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Pie Cutters Going to Sturgis

The Pie Cutters, Bloomington's only sanctioned poetry slam team, is traveling to

The MetaCafe in Sturgis, Michigan,
on Wednesday, April 6, 2005

to compete in a Midwest Poetry Slam League bout against Sturgis and Columbus, Ohio. We are currently 1-0 for the season (we won our first bout in Feb vs. Sturgis and Iowa City). This should be a slug fest. It's much harder to win in someone else's space, and Columbus are slam vets.

Traveling this Wed will be Joseph Kerschbaum, Teri Osborn, and your humble narrator.

Wish us luck!

(In a couple of weeks we're off to Chicago to compete at the famous/historic Green Mill, where slam began in the early 80s.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Cycle of Poets Broadcast on WFHB

A Cycle of Poets
is a half-hour poetry program produced and hosted by six local, diverse poets on a rotating schedule, and broadcast weekly on WFHB Community Radio 91.3 and 98.1 FM in Bloomington, Indiana.

This week, it's my turn, and my programs are co-produced by/with MATRIX.

My shows consist of live recordings at local and regional poetry readings and spoken word performances. To me it's all about the interaction with the audience.

Sunday, April 3, 2005
at 5:30 pm on WFHB

This program features highlights from the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam on June 25, 2004, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Last Call for Bathtub Gin

Chris Harter, founder/editor of Bathtub Gin, is moving! (along with with wife and child, of course) The Gin will continue but from its new home in Erie, Pennsylvania. Chris is also Bloomington's resident Beat lit scholar and curated a spectacular Beat Generation exhibit at IU's Lilly Library.

I once had the opportunity to participate in a live roundtable discussion with Chris, Jim Canary, and Mark Beebe on WFHB about Jack Kerouac on the occasion of the On the Road scroll coming to the Lilly for restoration. Good times. And Chris, while the Gin beat goes on, will be missed in the flesh.

See details on the farewell reading below.

Your truly appears in Bathtub Gin #10, so I'll be at the reading.

Event: Poetry/Prose Reading
Event Date: April 9, 2005, 7:00 pm
Event Location: The Runcible Spoon

Contact: Christopher Harter

"In mid-October 1997, the folks walking past 116 N. Grant Street in Bloomington, Indiana, probably had no idea what kind of literary mischief was being performed in the little basement apartment below what was then Nina’s Boutique...."

And so begins what will be the final Bloomington-based issue of
Bathtub Gin, the nationally acknowledged literary magazine founded in late

Editor Christopher Harter will be moving the magazine and its parent publishing house Pathwise Press to Erie, Pennsylvania, in August 2005.

Since its initial issue, the magazine has been proud to feature Bloomington area writers Andy Alphonse, Jon K. Benson, Tony Brewer, Christopher Essex, John Gohmann, Jenny Kander, Andrew Kenower, Joe Kerschbaum, Antonia Matthew, Marge Mueller, Mark Price, R. Leah Rieseberg, Rus Segety, Diane Singleton, Thomas Tokarski, Katherine Wills, Hiromi Yoshida and Susan Yount, as well as artists Lynn Bower, John Bower, and Jerry Herring.

The "Final Bloomington Issue" (#16) is an all-Bloomington issue with work from the writers listed above and will feature two different covers by two of the local artists who have contributed cover art for past issues ... one by Lynn Bower and one by Jerry Herring. Issues with both covers will be available at Howard’s Bookstore, Boxcar Books, and TD's CDs & LPs beginning April 8.

To celebrate the release of the issue, Harter will host a poetry/prose reading and art show featuring Gin contributors at The Runcible Spoon on Saturday, April 9. The reading will begin at 7:00 pm. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Christopher Harter
Bathtub Gin, Pathwise Press
PO Box 2392
Bloomington, IN 47402

Thursday, March 24, 2005

MATRIX Poetry Open Mic

Wednesday, April 6
7pm at Soma coffeehouse and juice bar
downstairs from the Laughing Planet restaurant
at the corner of Kirkwood and Grant
Bloomington, Indiana

Generally a good poet-to-crowd ratio. We have groupies :)
Most folks come to try out new stuff
or to work out performance aspects.
I hope to have some new stuff to throw down.

MATRIX is my baby, my second job, my tinderbox.
Get in the know at

This event occurs on the first Wed of every month.

Long-Time Lurker, First-Time Blogger

Okay, Innerweb, you finally have suckered me in with your sweet, sweet promise of maximum self-exposure. Be gentle.

Ahem. This is primarily going to be a place for me to advertise what I'm doing these days. What journaling I do ... do is either private or shortly becomes vocally public. However, peel slowly and see.

I suck at e-mailing invites and updates (to things other than parties), so y'all come on back reggalur-like and see where I'm reading/performing/broadcasting next. I'll most likely lay the occasional poem herein as well. Also, I tend to edit. A lot. So things may change, often, hopefully in beautiful ways. But I tinker. So sue me. Wait, no---