We’ve celebrated three grandkids’ birthdays in the past month — the last being Dorian’s 7th yesterday.  Now comes April, National Poetry Month, and with it several more family birthdays, including my brother Mike’s, sister-in-law Pamela’s, step-dad Carl’s and of course my mom’s.  My birthday’s not until September, but I got an early present today when Mom came home from the hospital.  And on April 5th, my GI doctor plans to gift me with an EGD and colonoscopy.  So two days prior to that I’m gonna have to drink a gallon of icky-tasting stuff that will make me shit everything but my brains out — and for 48 hours I’ll be prohibited from consuming anything but clear liquids. (Yes, coffee is considered a clear liquid, thank heaven.  Beer is not.)

Oh, and I’m also gonna be poetrying my ass off this month, giving four featured readings/performances and co-hosting two additional events.  I’m especially excited about the features because they’re all cool, new experiences for me.

Toledo, Ohio — Artomatic 419 — Old West End Records Stage at 25 S. St. Clair
Saturday 4/2/2011 at 2:30 p.m. —
Sylvester Rodriguez IV, John Burroughs and Dianne Borsenik will perform poetry as part of Artomatic 419, a Toledo arts festival that happens over the course of three weekends in April.  Read this article from the Toledo Free Press to get a taste of how cool this event is.

Elyria, Ohio — Alumni Week — Lorain County Community College Bookstore
Thursday 4/7/2011 at 6 p.m. — Lou Suarez and
John Burroughs
will read poetry at LCCC’s new bookstore, located in the College Center
Building at 1005 N. Abbe Road in Elyria.  This event will include an
open mic if time permits — and will be the bookstore’s first ever poetry event.  LCCC was my first alma mater (Class of 1990).

Fostoria, Ohio — Lix and Kix Get Adventurous — Adventures in Books
Saturday 4/16/2011 at 1 p.m. —
John Burroughs and Dianne Borsenik will read poetry at Adventures in Books, 125 S. Main Street, Suite 201 in Fostoria.  This store just opened in February — and I’ve never been to Fostoria. But I love bookstores and seeing new places.

Toledo, Ohio — Artomatic 419 — Old West End Records Stage at 25 S. St. Clair
Saturday 4/16/2011 at 5:30 p.m. —
John Burroughs and Dianne Borsenik will perform poetry again on the closing evening of this year’s Artomatic 419 festival.

And then there are this month’s Lix and Kix (which I co-host with Dianne Borsenik) and Avon Lake Public Library events, both of which promise to kick poetic ass:

Lakewood, Ohio — Lix & Kix Poetry Extravaganza — Bela Dubby
Wednesday 4/20/2011 at 7 p.m. — The Lix and Kix Poetry Extravaganza presents featured poetry by Dave Nichols (of Cleveland), Courtenay Roberts (Cleveland) and Connie Everett
(Columbus) at Bela Dubby Art Gallery & Beer Cafe, 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. An open mic will follow.  Dianne Borsenik and John Burroughs will emcee.

Avon Lake, Ohio — Poets of Lorain County — Avon Lake Public Library
Thursday 4/21/2011 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. — Poets of Lorain County present featured poets Lou Suarez and Susan Grimm, followed by an open mic, during their new monthly series at the Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd. in Avon Lake.