Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in the Cleveland edition of the global 100 Thousand Poets for Change phenomenon.  Thanks to organizers Catherine Criswell and Claire McMahon; to all who participated in word, song or presence; and to host Visible Voice Books for making the event such a success!  The only thing that wasn’t a success: my webcasting of the event. I hadn’t used Ustream in over a year (since the last Lix and Kix) so I didn’t realize my webcast producer tools and drivers needed updated. I got to the venue early to make sure I was set up in time. But a slower-than-at-home wi-fi connection — and the need to download things I didn’t expect to need to download — had me still scrambling to get the feed going when the featured band began playing to open the event.  Then my laptop computer wouldn’t recognize my web camera. It recognized the microphone that’s IN the camera, but kept saying my camera wasn’t connected.  Well, the microphone in it was never that great (remember that at Snoetry 2, even when we had great video using this camera, the audio kept giving us the fits). I kept trying to refresh the feed while making adjustments, trying to get Ustream (or my computer) to recognize my camera – but everytime I hit refresh it took seemingly forever to reload because of the wi-fi signal.  And then, still, only the sound would work (poorly), but not the video. Finally, I gave up and set the stream to audio only — which seemed to improve the sound slightly — and pulled out my other camera (incompatible with Ustream but much better for recording), thinking I’d just broadcast audio but record video for later uploading.  That worked for a while until the battery on my insufficiently charged video camera died (I never expected to need to use it because I didn’t know my webcam — still mostly new, though not used in a year — would malfunction).  Later, when I got home and listened to the archives, I realized the stream quality was even worse than I thought and the camera was irreparably broken (which I assume must have happened during our recent move from Elyria to Cleveland).  So goodbye, Logitech orbit webcam!  Our love-hate relationship is over.

The good news is that NightBallet Press just published a delicious looking book called Lipsmack: A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press, Year One 2012 — and editor/publisher/friend Dianne Borsenik has (unsolicited) offered to donate the proceeds from this gorgeous anthology to my Crisis Chronicles webcam replacement fund.

Lipsmack includes almost all brand new poems by all the authors NightBallet Press has published chapbooks for during its first year.  The impressive list of contributors includes Jim Lang, Lady K Smith, Chansonette Buck, George Wallace, Alex Gildzen, Lyn Lifshin, Kara Johnston, Bonné de Blas, John Dorsey, Jack McGuane, Elise Geither, T.M. Göttl, Steve Brightman, Heather Ann Sukha-Prajna, Terry Provost, Russell Salamon, Ralph La Charity and Zach Ashley.  You can buy it here — — or via Amazon.  This looks like a great book, and I look forward to reading it.  I hope you’ll get a copy and check it out, too.