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I have just returned from an adventure. In order to find the finest poets for the Literary Café Poetry series, sometimes I must venture into the deepest, darkest recesses of our continent. Only the most exotic and talented poets can stand up to Cleveland’s standards and they have to be even more special if they are to stand side by side with one of our own in the Coliseum of words. Yes, to find a worthy partner for Lou Suarez, I battled tropical heat, slapped bugs that slapped back, had to devour wild pork ribs with a side of brisket. And then, while following the treacherous river Missouri, I found the goal of my safari. There a scantily clad native of the tribe CAN-zuhss Seetee was twirling a hula-hoop like a six foot pixie. From the tribe council I found that she was called Kateekaboom, which meant “she who can recite poetry.” She agreed to come to Cleveland this Thursday, August 13 at 9:30pm.
Katie Kaboom is like a modern day Tarzan. She goes by her aristocratic name Kathryn Erlinger when she is civilization. Katie just recently graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City with a degree in English, but is still selling booze at a liquor store when she is not writing, reading, or making stuff. She has been published in Off Beat Pulp, Zygote In My Coffee, and has a chapbook entitled "Explosive Devices for Girls". This is her second visit to Cleveland in that she was a feature at the Zygote in my City poetry festival show last November. She was a member of the now defunct poet group, the Beards (don’t ask).
Meeting the “Kaboom” is the courageous Lou Suarez. For 30 years, until he retired in June 2006, Lou taught writing and philosophy at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. His native grounds were right here in Canton, Ohio and he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in English at Kent State University with further graduate work at Ohio State in linguistics and education and at Cleveland State University in philosophy. In 1995, Lou was named Ohio Poet of the Year by the Ohio Poetry Day Association and has won several poetry prizes and twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Lou has published a book, Ask (Mid-list Press, 2004) and three chapbooks, Losses of Moment (Kent State University Press, 1995), The Grape Painter (Frost Heaves Press, 2001), and On U.S. 6 to Providence (Red Mountain Review, 2006). He is currently completing a second book manuscript, tentatively titled Traveler.
Come down to the Literary Café this Thursday August 13 at 9:30pm to hear these two strikingly different examples of mid-American verse as we parade the wild and exotic and the civilized and sophisticated in a match made by a slightly insane poetry organizer. The Literary Café is located at 1031 Literary Road in the jungle neighborhood of Tremont in Cleveland.
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