Just announced this month: Robert Miltner‘s Hotel Utopia has won New Rivers Press‘ annual poetry competition.  I first discovered (and became a fan of) Miltner’s work when he, I and several others were invited to read at the Imagine Peace benefit at The Lit in Cleveland on March 20th 2009 (obviously, I was very late to the Ohio poetry scene).  It was a fantastic gathering of poets, and Robert’s reading was the best part for me.  As soon as I went home, I befriended him on Facebook and began collecting and devouring his works — which only made me appreciate his artistry more.

I’ve been a fan of Wendy Shaffer‘s work even longer, having first discovered it in the Cleveland Poetry Scenes book Bottom Dog Press published in 2008 (I told you I was late to the scene!).  Soon after, I met her and Jean Brandt at one of the 2nd Saturday readings hosted every month at the Brandt Gallery in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.  Wendy’s writing and delivery blew me away.  But since Jean didn’t read that day, it would be a month or two later (at another venue) before I discovered how good her poetry is.  Fast forward to this year — participants in Snoetry, the “Winter Wordfest” Lix and Kix produced in North East, Pennsylvania, agree that Shaffer’s and Brandt’s joint performance was among the highlights of that long, wonderful day of poetry.

I take great pleasure in inviting you to see and hear Robert Miltner, Wendy Shaffer and Jean Brandt during the Lix and Kix Poetry Extravaganza on Wednesday, May 19th 2010 (7 p.m.) at the Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Cafe, 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.  Dianne Borsenik and I will be your emcees, and an open mic will follow.

poster by Dianne Borsenik