Finding Your Audience: Marketing Your Poetry

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Do you have poems, but still need an audience? Learn techniques for marketing your poetry, finding your fans and keeping them engaged with your work. Presented by Peter M. Gordon, who has published over 60 poems and two collections, and helped found the Orlando Area FSPA chapter, one of the largest in the state.

2.11.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

“Love is real. Real is love.” Those were the terms breathily reinterpreted by new-wave breathers Dream Academy via John Lennon as I walked down the aisle at the Acre in College Park on Feb 14, 2015 with my (then) soon-to-be husband Tony Mauss. I blubbered and my shirt came untucked and I bit my lip and I forced my way through the emotional cloud that a gathering of 300 people implies, finally arriving upon a stage – a romantic plateau if you will – face to face with my future and Orange/Osceola circuit judge Bob LeBlanc. It was on.

Marriage equality had only become the law of the land one month earlier, and, given the Google Docs and weekend meetings and vodka and online invitations and planning that are wrapped into a control freak’s idea of a wedding, we did a pretty good job. All our favorite dignitaries and dirtbags, family, friends and freaks were there, the sky was as clear as our right to marry and our vows were the towering beams of overstatement and poetry required to signify our shift in our time. We were legal within moments; we’ve been happy every day since.

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Gay Iranian poet flees to Israel

By : Wire Report
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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Payam Feili, a gay poet, fled his native Iran last year because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality. Now, he has made a years-long dream come true – he is visiting Israel, Iran’s archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays.

But the 30-year-old Feili stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.

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Play backed by Rosie O’Donnell and Cynthia Nixon cancelled

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – The world premiere of MotherStruck! – a play written and performed by Staceyann Chin – was canceled just two days before it was to start performances.

Allan Buchman, the artistic director of the off-Broadway company Culture Project, said that the play – directed by Cynthia Nixon and produced with help from Rosie O’Donnell – would not go on as planned, citing a lack of resources to produce it “in the manner in which it deserves.”

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“Heather has Two Mommies” author Lesléa Newman talks about poetry and the updated version of her classic book

By : Gregg Shapiro
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Lesbian writer Lesléa Newman writes in many different literary genres. She is perhaps best known for her children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies, first published in 1989, which has the distinction of being a consistently challenged and banned title.

Over time, the subject matter—lesbian moms raising a child—has become less shocking than it was more than 25 years ago, but there will always be someone there to make a fuss. A new edition of Newman’s Heather Has Two Mommies (Candlewick, 2015) was recently published and features updated artwork. Newman’s other new title releases this year is I Carry My Mother (Headmistress Press, 2015), a book-length poem.

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Fringe Preview shows talent coming to Festival

By : Danny Garcia
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The Orlando International Fringe Festival held their annual Fringe Preview at the Shakespeare Theater on April 13.

The event consisted of various acts performing two minute previews to the audience.

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Screened Out – Interstellar

By : Stephen Miller
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Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Topher Grace, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalame, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow

Interstellar is a melodramatic sci-fi quest that taps into our fears of self-destruction and our hopes for redemption. Certain scenes occur in a cornfield; this entire flick has some corn sprinkled throughout it.

I admit I wasn’t expected this sort of sappiness from Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception). He always makes thought-provoking pieces; Interstellar is no exception. However, this space epic also has quite a bit of emotional drip about it, too – poetry quoting, repeated apologizing. The acting is committed, and the scenery and technical aspects amazing. Yet Interstellar – at 2 hours and 49 minutes – tries too hard to make us cry. Repeatedly.

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Metro’s LGBT Welcome Center opens its doors

By : Aaron Alper
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St. Petersburg – The Grand Central District has a new resident, one it has been expecting for quite some time. Larry Biddle, director of the Metro Wellness and Community Center’s LGBT Welcome Center Development, announced this week that the unique project’s doors are open for business.

The center, located at 2227 Central Avenue, is a historic home that was physically relocated to the site last spring. Besides that history, the new center has a deep connection to the local LGBT community.

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Gay college student recites spoken words from the heart

By : Staff Report
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One gay college student shared his feelings about his first crush, while describing what it was like to come out 20 years later, in a unique way — through spoken word.

Steven Boyle, a poetry student,came out to his class, friends and complete strangers through a spoken word poem titled “I Hit Send, or Modern Meltdown.”

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Watermark’s 2014 Orlando Fringe Reviews: Jem Rolls’ Off the Tongue

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Dressed in nothing more than just a T-shirt, khaki slacks and some brown dress shoes, Jem Rolls took the stage. But when this British export of a performer took the stage Rolls’ booming accented voice, constant hand movements and use of the entire stage made his poetry performance come to life. Considered a Fringe legend to see, Jem Rolls: Off the Tongue was a show with a “set list” of poems and spoken word for an hour of inventive word play, political puns and even love poems.

He had energy for days, shouting with passion many of his words (at times almost red in the face) and even walking into the crowd as he recited one of his poems. “The Day Died Very Old” was about tourism, where Rolls slowly “dies” throughout his poem as he figuratively waits in line with tourists in a condemnation he brought himself to — a poem a many of us here in Orlando can relate to. He brilliantly recited “How to Rule the World in 10 Easy Lessons,” where at the beginning Rolls calls Machiavelli a “softy.” He then proceeds to do a poem pointing out 10 lessons that can be taken from Machiavelli’s works (and if I recall from my European history class, many lines incorporated his work The Prince).

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Meet Richard Blanco, the nation’s first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet

By : Wire Report
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Miami (AP) – The Miami neighborhood where inaugural poet Richard Blanco grew up, in many ways, resembles Cuba his family left behind. Down the street, a man sells avocados from a small table. His favorite bakery, a few blocks north, serves guava pastries and cafe con leche.

As a child and even as an adult, this was home. But it wasn’t necessarily what he imagined as America.

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Screened Out – Gravity

By : Stephen Miller
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Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Utterly mind-blowing: Gravity is one of those rare films that grants two huge wishes: it gives us an experience we’ve never had before, and it makes us feel deeply. Most flicks – even great ones – can only achieve either one goal.

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