Congratulations to our Award Nominees!



As you can see from the above graphic (which will be the ad we run in an upcoming issue of Star*Line magazine), SIX poems published in The Poet’s Haven Digest have been nominated for Rhysling Awards! :-D

(from The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land)

2018 Rhysling Award for Short Poems:
Vince Gotera – “Astro-Archaeologist’s Log”
Mary A. Turzillo – “When the Aliens Come to Tea”
2018 Rhysling Award for Long Poems:
Deborah L. Davitt – “Shards of a Fractured Soul”

(from The Poet’s Haven Digest: The Distance Between Insanity and Genius)
2018 Rhysling Award for Short Poems:
Azriel Johnson – “Villain L”
2018 Rhysling Award for Long Poems:
Jen Giacalone – “She Dreams of Tigers, or Remembers”
Jesse Parent – “Sons of Fire and Clay”

Herb Kauderer‘s Flying Solo: The Lana Invasion has also been nominated for the Elgin Award!

Source:: The Poet’s Haven

Volcano by Connor Stratman

By Writing Knights Press

$6.00 USD
(plus Free PDF)
Coming Soon
Coming Soon
If anyone should betray me,
the heads on the sticks

should be raised as mountains.
The kids will carry us

to the hills and give us
glasses to peer through.

Five bucks a ticket,
the language is filmy.

— Empire

About the author: Connor Stratman is lives in Dallas, TX.
His work has appeared in journals such as Ditch, Counterexample Poetics,
Earl of Plaid, Etcetera, Backlash, Polari, Moria, Dead Snakes, Rasputin, and Otoliths.
He is currently teaching and working on his dissertation in American literature.

Other books and chapbooks:

Invisible Entrances (Erbacce Press, 2009)
An Early Scratch (Erbacce Press, 2010)
Some Were Awake (Plumberries Press, 2011)

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Changes: Grand Tournament, the Site, etc – This Joust In Vol 1, Issue 1 (formerly The Bard Newsletter)

By Writing Knights Press

This Joust In…

…it’s a funny pun. Thank you Andy Pear from Facebook!

If you’ve been to before you may notice a couple things have changed. First, the name of the newsletter has changed from “The Bard” (which, let’s face it, was bland) to “This Joust In” which, okay, cheesy pun, but hopefully you got a smile from it. Also, we’ve changed the name of the “Store” to “The Pawn Shop” (thanks Steve Brightman!). Again, cheesy pun, but still fun. When we get our MP3 stores up and running we’ll probably call them Knight Tracks (thanks Jack Smith).

Why all the Knight puns? … Why not? Words are supposed to be fun!

Banner by Eli Williams

The Grand Tournament 2018 entries are in full swing of acceptance. For those of you out of the loop, we are switching up the formula. Previous years had entries starting with the Page round where people would submit their manuscripts, then the best manuscripts would be chosen to perform in the Stage round. This year, we’re having the Stage round first and the top performances advance to the Page round where our judges will choose the top written pieces to advance into the final Stage round.

The idea here is a fest type atmosphere. We have three venues booked for July 27-28 in Downtown Canton AND we are looking for vendors to buy spots along Court Ave NW between 6th St and 3rd St.

Our current plans accommodate 120 performers over nine programs in Poetry, Music, Comedy and Storytelling in Fiction & NonFiction. We want to surpass that. If you know anyone or you are someone who would be interested: here’s the link for more information and entry.

Also, we might be partnering up with Oddmall in cross promotion as we are having overlapping events during that weekend.

Writing Knights’ Take the Knight Off – Inspiration Showcase has already done great things in 2018. Our February and March shows were brim full of amazing performers. Add to that, we are starting to edit the raw footage down to digestible video lengths for the casual viewer we imagine the shows will start ramping up.

March 2018
February 2018

April has an amazing line up with Michael Salinger, Carla Thompson and Grand Tournament 2017 Storytelling Champion: Aurora Stone Mehlman.

On Social Media, we are going to try to make our posts a little more conversational. Our “spammy” promotion of books and events is going out the window. Replacing it will be posts asking questions about the things we are trying to promote. I am not sure how exactly we are going to handle the promotion of books and events yet, but we will figure it out as we go, much like we usually do with Writing Knights Press as a whole.

In submission news:
— Writing Knights will be producing the Hessler Street Poetry Anthology again this year. It was a great experience last year and we are eager to do it again. Here is the link.
— Our next edition of The Wayward Sword: Break the Mold is accepting submissions. We have three specialization calls as well as the general call for poems which “put an end to a restrictive pattern of events or behavior by doing things in a markedly different way.Here is the Wayward Sword link to the submissions and the recent release of Vol 2, Issue 1: Heroes Villains Death.
— Less news and more of a reminder, Writing Knights is always accepting FourPlay submissions. If you are or know a new author looking to test the waters of written commerce: here is the link.

Finally, in book store news, if you haven’t noticed littered through this newsletter have been photos of our shelves. Our space at Avenue Arts in downtown Canton is getting pretty full. We need to start making more cash so we can get more space and put up more shelves, to sell more books, etc. So if you know anyone in the Canton Area who is looking to buy or donate used books, send them our way.

Additionally, once we get the LLC worked out we will start offering new books by mainstream authors in multiple genres.

That’s it for now. We are going to try to do this once a month (maybe making up for missing January and February). Check us out on Facebook (and our new Facebook Group), Twitter and Instagram.

Azriel Johnson
Director of Writing Knights

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Alex Gildzen is the SON OF HOLLYWOOD

By Dianne Borsenik

NightBallet Press is extremely pleased to announce the publication of
Son of Hollywood by Alex Gildzen!

“In memory of Capitol, Lincoln, and Rivoli, movie houses of Elyria, all gone,” Son of Hollywood is a delicious romp through decades of the Big Screen, Hollywood fantasies, and the musings of a true cinephile.
Of Son of Hollywood, Gildzen writes

“Alex Gildzen has been writing about Hollywood almost as long as he’s been writing. He’s has never had a Hollywood address until recently when he purchased his “final resting place” around the corner from Rudolph Valentino at Hollywood Forever, the cemetery next to Paramount Studios. If you like these poems he invites you to visit his spot (Cathedral Mausoleum, Corridor Valentino 2, Tier 5, Niche 7) and kiss his glass.


when I bought my niche
at Hollywood Forever
I was told
they regularly remove
lipstick from Valentino’s crypt

most men don’t wear lipstick
so the glass on my niche
will be easier
to maintain


Other poems include “Upon Jayne Mansfield’s Head,” “Reading Hafiz in Billie Dove’s Bedroom on a Rainy Morning,” “Carol Landis Come Rest Yr Head on my Lap,” and “If I Cd Be Joan Blondell for a Day.”

Alex Gildzen was born in Monterey, California, in 1943, and grew up in Elyria, Ohio. For many years he was curator of Special Collections at Kent State University Libraries, where he edited the d. a. levy issue of The Serif. He now lives in Palm Springs, California. For the past half-century, his poems have been appearing in such periodicals as Rolling Stone, The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle, After Dark, Hanging Loose, and MiPOesias. Collections have come from Abraxas Press, Ghost Dance Press, North Atlantic Books, Viscerally Press, Green Panda Press, and Crisis Chronicles Press. Son of Hollywood is his third book from NightBallet Press. Find his blog at Arroyo Chamisa.

Son of Hollywood is 64 pages long and contains 39 poems and 4 full-color photos. The cover is a pale ivory cardstock with a robin’s egg blue cardstock insert. The cover photo is of a younger Alex caught on film in his own life’s movie. The text is printed on creamy, textured pale ivory paper. Rub elbows with the stars as you read the poems in Son of Hollywood! Get your copy today for only $15 plus $4 postage/handling.



Source:: NightBallet Press

FourPlay Submissions Open Now!

By Writing Knights Press

(United States & Canada Only)

Submission Goal:
We will publish any and all accepted submissions. We are hoping to receive and release four at a time (so if you know anyone who is looking to test the waters of selling their product, send them our way). We are looking primarily for new writers (or at least new authors to Writing Knights).
Basically… send your best possible work…
Email Address:
Email Subject:
“FourPlay Submission – Pen Name”
Email Body:

Pen Name – Legal Name;

Email Address;

Titles of Pieces.

Email Attachment:
A combination of 4 pieces.

A piece consists of:

30 lines or less per piece of poetry;

200 words or less per piece of prose (fiction or nonfiction);

1 black and white word related image (approximately 4.5″ x 6″).

1 black and white Cover Image;

1 black and white Author image;

100-200 words About the Author, answer the question “Why do I write?”

DOC (97-2003) files Accepted ONLY – PDF files NOTaccepted, or .JPG (300 dpi) image files.
Note – If there are any issues with the file format, contact Writing Knights before submitting.

Simultaneous Submissions:
Not Accepted
Length of Publication:
Single release of 99 copies – will last in the online store until all are moved or until 12 months pass.
15 free copies; 1 free copy per 2 copies sold in the online store.
Author Copies:
50% of cover price + Shipping

(Shipping per fourplay reduces as additional units are purchased).

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Heroes Villains Death – The Wayward Sword

By Writing Knights Press

$15.00 USD
Coming Soon
Coming Soon
…Super Powered Vigilantes,
Masked Crime-fighters,
Gods, Mutants,
Aliens, Sports Stars,
Musicians, Lovers…
Winners, the Triumphant…


What if no matter
how hard they tried,
they just couldn’t win?
The odds, completely
in their favor
and they fall….
Only one enemy
can defeat anyone…

It is Death.

Also including Writing Knights’
2014 National Poetry Month 30/30
“Super Heroes/Super Villains”

About the author: With writing by:
David S. Pointer, Azriel Johnson, Lori Ann Kusterbeck, Jonathan Thorn, Malkiese Paythress, Ryan P. Kinney, D.R. James, Soumyadeep Bhattacherya, Daria Quinn, Michael A. Griffith

With images from:
Renea Dauntes, Ruth Sheldon, Andy Phillips, Ruth Morris, Marjorie Preston, Jesse James, Jessica Brumbaugh, Eric & Beau Macuski, Ryan P. Kinney, Mike MacWolff, Tiffany Rae, Kristin James, Karl Schembri, Cassy Grove, Lydia Dschankilic, Azriel Johnson

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Poetry Contest — Hessler Street Fair 2018

By Writing Knights Press

Hessler Street Poetry
Anthology 2017
Poetry Contest

2018 Poetry at the Hessler Street Fair

During the months of March and April of 2018 we will be accepting submissions for the 2018 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest and its corresponding anthology. Contest is free to enter and open to anyone age 14 and up. Winners will receive cash prizes and get to read their poems live at this year’s Fair.
  • 1st Place winning poet will receive $100
  • 2nd Place winning poet will receive $50
  • 3rd Place winning poet will receive $25
Host: Azriel Johnson
(Photo by AnitaKeys)

When and where:

Submissions will be accepted from March 15th to April 15, 2018. We will let you know by April 30th if your work has been accepted for the anthology. Poets will be invited to read their accepted works during the contest reading. The poetry contest reading will take place May 23, 2018, at 7 pm, at Happy Dog (11625 Euclid Ave). Shortly after the reading, our panel of judges will select three winners to receive cash prizes and read live at the Hessler Street Fair itself.

Here is the Facebook event for the Happy Dog Reading

The 2018 Hessler Street Fair will take place June 2nd and 3rd from 11 am to dusk, rain or shine, on Hessler Road and Hessler Court in Cleveland. The exact time of winning poets’ reading will be announced soon.

Before you submit, please read these guidelines:

Christine Howey Co-Winner in 2017
(Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis)


  • Submit up to 5 original poems or 5 images of your own original art via email to (no snail mail entries, please). Subject line: “Hessler Street Poetry Contest”. Previously published pieces are okay as long as you have the rights to them. .DOC format please (97-2003)
  • Please include your name, street address, city, state, zip code, telephone number and e-mail address with your submission(s).
  • Please remember the deadline is 11:59pm on April 15th, 2018. We will not have time to consider works submitted later than that.
  • Poets and artists published in the book retain all rights to their work.
  • Any accepted art work will be printed in black and white.
  • The contest reading will be held at Happy Dog 11625 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH on May 23rd, 2018 at 7pm. About 20 minutes after all participating poets have read, the winners will be announced and prizes handed out. If you have won 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place in the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest in the last three years, you are welcome to submit to the book and read your poem, but you will not be eligible to win a prize. Prize winners are also expected to read on the designated day during the Hessler Street Fair.
L-R 2017 Winners: Keely Aaliyah, Christine Howey,
Vince Robinson, Devlinbleu Chambers
(Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis)

Contributor copies:

Contributors to the 2018 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology will be able to purchase a copy of the book for half price from the Hessler Street Fair Booth during the Fair, or at Mac’s Backs Books, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights (216-321-2665 / We regret that we cannot afford to provide free contributor copies in print at this time. However, we will make a free pdf version of the book available to the public in late 2018.

FCC Guidelines:

Poetry has always been an integral part of the Hessler Street Fair, sometimes having its own stage on the street and sometimes combining with music on the main stage, but always doing something interesting. The top three winners will be given the opportunity to read from the stage at the Hessler Street Fair, simulcast on live radio and the web, during the Fair. Poetry read on air must not include any words designated to be obscene language by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Special thanks to:

Source:: Writing Knights Press

NEW in Windedrunk Sidewalk – “Flowers Are Worth More than Females” by Juliet Cook

By Juliet Cook

Do you understand how it feels to grow
without a real mother?
To extend your own hair
to the point of hitting the bottom
of an unknown land

and then watch someone else climb up,
drag you down to their level
and expect you to treat them
like they’ve given you the ultimate reward
by informing you that you belong to them?

When will you belong to yourself?
For years, you have hidden the blood
against your own scalp,
but then he tells you to cut off your hair.
He thinks the choice is his

from the poem “Flowers are Worth More than Females”, which appears in WINEDRUNK SIDEWALK: SHIPWRECKED IN TRUMPLAND today


Source:: Blood Pudding Press

Happy March! New poems in the Ohio Poets Issue of Glass: A Journal of Poetry AND new poems in the March Issue of Rogue Agent

By Juliet Cook Two poems by Juliet Cook appearing in two different wonderful literary magazines, surrounded by other poems!


“Out of my blood drenched trench where I’m not good enough at choosing between periods or question marks. I keep on trying to re-position myself into something new. “

inside the poem, “Not Settling Down” in Glass

read more here –


“White refrigerator filled with white needles. White bedding. White cage.”

inside the poem, “White Is My Least Favorite Color” in Rogue Agent

read more here –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

Grand Tournament 2018 – Questions *subject to change and addition*

By Writing Knights Press

We will be compiling a list of questions we are asked, to better serve everyone who is interested in competing.

Is this a Slam? How is it different?
The Grand Tournament is different in three primary ways. First, the Grand Tournament seeks work that appeals to people both on the Stage and the Page. The top scorers in the Stage round will have their manuscripts scrutinized by Page judges to determine the top scorers of their categories.
Second, the categories are not just poetry, they are Music, Storytelling in Fiction, Storytelling in Nonfiction and Comedy.
Third, performances will range between 3 and 5 minutes with time penalties for performers who go too long, but also too short.

Can I tell my friends and family about the Grand Tournament?
YES! Better, encourage your friends and family who might also be writers to enter the Grand Tournament. Nothing like a little friendly rivalry, right?

What is the Entry fee?
Entry fee for Individual/Group Performers: $5.
Entry fee for Teams: $20
Entrants will be given cards to signify they have paid. This payment will provide them access to the whole event, both dates, all programs.

What’s the difference between Teams and Groups?
Check out this link.

What is the moderation for entrants?
We believe in free speech in all its forms. However, we cannot and will not protect you if you start spewing hate speech on stage. If you violate the Entrant Rights and Expectations you will be removed from the event.

Is there an admission fee for nonentrants?
Yes, $5. This covers the admission for the whole event, both dates, all programs.
You will be able to buy tickets ahead of time.
The event will be happening regardless of inclement weather. No refunds will be given.
If a person doesn’t go into any of the venues during the performances they will not be charged, but really, why would you do that?

What is the accessibility for the venues?
All three venues have accessibility. Please see a host or organizer day of for any accommodations

What is the social media hashtag?
#GT2018 also promoting #writingknights #writingknightspress and tagging and following WritingKnights on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will help us.

Do you need help promoting? Judging? Or other jobs involved with the Grand Tournament?
Yes here is our list of Personnel we want/need to acquire by the Grand Tournament.

May I enter more than one category?

What is your prop policy?
You may incorporate 1 prop into your act. Musicians’ instruments do not count as their prop. If a non-musician wants to use an instrument as a prop, that’s okay, but please let us know by June 2nd.

Can I use previously published work?
Depends. No entries may be published in the previous 12 months. No entries may be previously published by Writing Knights in any capacity. Basically, we want your new stuff.

What are the time penalties like?
Entries must be between 3 and 5 minutes. There will be a 10 second grace period on either side (2:50 and 5:10 respectively). Pieces that fall under or over these grace periods will be subject to 1 point penalties per 5 seconds. Example: entries that run 2:49 will be subject to a 1 point penalty, likewise entries that run 5:11 will be subject to a 1 point penalty.
Also, entries that fall under 1 minute or over 6 minutes will be disqualified. Entrants that go over 6 minutes will be cut off from the mic.

As a music entrant, could I use instrumental songs?
There is no rule saying you can’t use instrumental songs, however, if you have no lyrics to provide, you will likely not win, even if you get a perfect score in the Stage round.

What happens if you don’t get enough entries for a category?
If any category has fewer than 5 entries by June 2nd, that category will be parlayed into one of the other existing categories. In other words, get your similarly creative friends to enter, too, so we can have five full categories.

What happens if I make a mess during the performance?
If an entrant makes a mess during their performance and does not clean it up immediately after their performance, they will be disqualified.

What rights do I have as an entrant?
Here is our ever expanding list of Entrant Rights and Expectations. To sum it up we are a safe space, but we are not an echo chamber. All ideas which do not threaten the safety of others will be tolerated and those who threaten that safe space will be removed.

What’s this I hear about vendors and sponsors?
Check out this link. The basics are, we are going to have vendors and try to get sponsors for the event, so if you know anyone send them our way. Also, bring some cash with you to help support those vendors.

Source:: Writing Knights Press