Grand Developments – This Joust In Vol 1 Issue 4

By Writing Knights Press

It is with a heavy heart I write these words.

We did not get the minimum number of entries for the Grand Tournament, so unfortunately, we have to cancel the competition.

*pause for effect*


We are not canceling the event festivities. We still reserved part of the downtown Canton area for vendors, the venues are booked and we want to have some poetry events.
So in an effort to rebrand while not confusing people, we’re calling it:

new banner pending.

So here’s the plan:

Friday July 27th from 7pm to 9pm

We will have one show (with the option to expand) at Makeshift Makerspace.

Saturday July 28th will be the big day.

We will have the following shows (with the option to expand):

12pm to 2pm show at IKON Art Gallery;

3:30pm to 5:30pm show at Makeshift Makerspace;

7pm to 9pm the final show of the event at Avenue Arts/Kathleen Howland Theatre.
We will be posting the official schedule of performers today.

There will still be vendors along Court Avenue from 3rd street to 6th street,
so bring some cash to get items, food, etc.

This being said, we are going to need performers.

Poets, Fiction/Nonfiction, Acoustic Music, Comedy or an amalgam of styles and genres.

We are looking for 10 minutes with potential for more time on the mic with our inevitable cancellations.

Performers who have to travel more than 100 miles will be offered two sets (a total of 20 minutes).

Performers will be invited to sell their works during the event alongside the established vendors.

Hosts of the events will be Skylark Bruce, Marissa Hyde, JM Romig and Azriel Johnson.

We will be collecting “love” offerings at each show.
If you don’t quite love us, call it a “you’re not half bad” offering.

We will be sending personal messages to performers we want to join us, but feel free to message us first if you’re interested.

See you all in July,
Azriel Johnson & Skylark Bruce

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Grand Showcase 2018 – Event Rights and Expectations *subject to change*

By Writing Knights Press

Grand Showcase Performers and Attendees have certain rights which will be honored and enforced as judiciously as possible.

These rights include, but are not limited to, and may be added to:
1. Every performer, attendee, judge, vendor, sponsor, host, assistant, organizer has a right to a safe and fun event. Anyone who compromises this safety by making another feel threatened will be expelled/disqualified from the event. Attendees will forfeit any money they have donated as offering for admission. Offenders who refuse to leave the premises will be subject to the discretion of the local police department.

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Grand Showcase 2018 – Vendors & Sponsors

By Writing Knights Press

We are looking for Vendors who can cater to the creative minded. Our attendees will likely be people who appreciate comedy, music, the written word and especially spoken word, so if you have products which deal with any of these, or are adjacent to these subjects, please join us!

Deadline for registering as a vendor is July 15th. Vendors who register by July 1st will be put into a drawing for a free space at next year’s event.

We will have a PayPal button available as soon as we can. Vendor cost will be $20 for a 10’x10′ space. You provide your own canopy.

If you have not received a personal invitation, but wish to participate, please email with the subject line: “(Vendor/Sponsor) Request” and we will send you the PDF to get back to us.

We will accept payments via PayPal or in person with that information divulged in the invitation.

Events like this take money and promotion and sometimes we need sponsors to help us with the green energy necessary to keep things running smoothly, pay security, etc.

We will be offering two tiers of sponsorship.
Tier 1 – For $100, a sponsor will be mentioned once per program (and once during the Sonnet Slam and Haiku Joust). Additionally, Tier 1 sponsors will be put on the schedule flyers for the events.

Tier 2 – For $200, a sponsor will be mentioned twice per program (and twice each during the Sonnet Slam and Haiku Joust). Tier 2 sponsors will be put on the schedule flyers. Additionally, Tier 2 sponsors will have a banner posted in each venue, and during the final program will have all three banners present.

These sponsorship dollars may be translated in different ways.
For example, we will need someone to cater our “Hosts Dinner” if that catering comes to about $100, we’ll put you under the $100 sponsor tier, likewise if it is $200.

Sponsors will also get a free advertisement in a coordinated litmag release set for the event.

That’s the most dire need we have at the moment. Depending on the alternate offering, we might be able to work something out for different services as they translate to usefulness at the Grand Tournament.

Source:: Writing Knights Press

THE UGLY SIDE OF THE LAKE by Jason Baldinger & John Dorsey!

By Dianne Borsenik

NightBallet Press is delighted to announce the publication of The Ugly Side of the Lake, by Jason Baldinger and John Dorsey!

I was approached by Jason Baldinger and John Dorsey after our reading together in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, last April and they asked if NightBallet Press would like to see a new, very short manuscript of poems. I love the poems that Baldinger and Dorsey write, and the idea of a collaboration intrigued me, so I said sure, why not? This book is a result.

The Ugly Side of the Lake is a wild road trip through the Midwestern rust belt, with memorable pit stops and epiphanies along the way. The poems by Baldinger and Dorsey are printed alternately, with the stories they tell opposite each other, so the reader can see the same scene through two different pairs of eyes. As I worked on the book, I felt like I was buckled in beside them, going along for the ride!

The Ugly Side of the Lake is twenty pages long and contains twelve poems (appearing Baldinger, then Dorsey):

Postcard from Belle Missouri
At Popeyze Bar & Restaurant
J & J’s
J & J’s Café on a Sunday Afternoon
Oscar’s Diner
At Oscar’s Classic Diner
The Glory Hole
At the Glory Hole
Postcard from Rolla Missouri
What Happens in Baltimore

These poems are new and powerful, and except for the occasional post on Facebook, have not appeared elsewhere!

Doing this book for Baldinger and Dorsey also gave NBP the opportunity to showcase a new and gifted artist: Matt Borczon of Erie, Pennsylvania, who graciously allowed us to use his brilliant collage, “Hellbilly,” for the cover.

John Dorsey is the author of around fifty books and chapbooks; two of his most recent are Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016). His work has appeared in more than two thousand magazines and anthologies around the world. From 2003 to 2012, he served as an Artist-in-Residence at the Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo, Ohio, and in 2015, was awarded a Visiting Artist Residency by the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri, where he currently resides. In 2017, Dorsey was appointed Belle’s Poet Laureate by Mayor Steve Vogt, and he has founded the city’s first literary publication, Gasconade Review.

Jason Baldinger is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Recent publications include the chaplet Fumbles Relevations (Grackle and Crow), Unconditional Surrender: An Anthology of Love Poems (Low Ghost Press), Rusty Truck, The Dope Fiend Daily, Lilliput Review, Nerve Cowboy, Zombie Logic Press, The Ramingo’s Porch, Blue Mountain Review, and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance (online). Forthcoming is Fragments of a Rainy Season from Six Gallery Press in early 2019. You can hear Baldinger read some poems on recent and forthcoming releases by Theremonster and Sub Pop recording artists The Gotobeds, as well as at

The printer was running hot yesterday with an initial print run of 120 copies, and The Ugly Side of the Lake is available for immediate mailing! NightBallet uses PayPal, the secure way to pay. Get your copy now for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling!

Source:: NightBallet Press

Coast Line: Poetry Reading Series

By Juliet Cook

One week from today, Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 P.M., Blood Pudding Press editor and poet, Juliet Cook, will be participating in this Coast Line: Poetry Reading Series at Lakewood Public Library

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

The Good, The Bad, The Lorraine by Lorraine Cipriano

By Writing Knights Press

$10.00 USD
(plus Free PDF)

feeling it deep down in her core
flowing streams of words
washing away like white sand
all of the dreams spoken of
sadness sparks aflame the ocean red
blowing out the dangerous fire
completely by herself
wanting it to be different
needing someone to embrace fully
a Lorrainaholic existence

About the author: Lorraine Cipriano has just written a steampunk haiku across your heart and it is starting to infect you with its octopus tentacles. She can be typically found hanging out in a whimsical world of haiku, tanka and poetry where she is the gatekeeper to a large collection of Buddhist, feminist, steampunk and horror filled imagery scrolled in purple.

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Highlights of the Knight – sWord Fight Promo (May 11, 2018)

By Writing Knights Press

Click Read More to read the transcript of the video.

Azriel: I’m Azriel Johnson, founder and director of writing knights
as many of you know I’ve been looking for a way to make the poetry scene more vibrant and more appealing to the casual observer
I think I’ve finally come up with a way to blow the roof off of the poetry scene


Azriel: Uh oh

Skylark: you’re going to need more volume

Daria: I have this on full blast and it’s not loud enough.
We’re going to have to work on this budget okay, this is not going to be enough for the sound
you do realize mardi gras was in february

Azriel: I forgot, I’m not even catholic

Daria: So, you’re going to introduce me right?

Azriel: Yeah, everyone welcome Daria Quinn

Daria: So, you know this whole blow the roof off of the poetry thing, see for a long time now, we’ve had a hard time with the attendance, we’ve got what, 12 people here? this is actually good for one of these shows and we’ve got to do something about it. Who better to do something about this than me, Daria Quinn, Writing Knight, queer feminist, all around creative genius.

JM: Okay white Kanye

Daria: Excuse me

JM: Dial down the ego, you’re gonna save poetry?

Daria: I am, well it needs saved from something otherwise everyone’s gonna fall asleep

JM: I think we’re doing fine, we don’t need you

Daria: You see this? This says, I’m better than you

JM: Actually it says Chris Jericho

Daria: You wanna come up here and say poetry’s just fine, maybe you should prove it

JM: Let me draw you
a Venn Diagram:
This circle represents the sum total of my beeswax.
It’s solid, most of it.
Some of it, not so much.
All of it is mine.
This circle,
way over here,
is your beeswax.
Notice how the circles do not overlap.
We are not beeswax partners.
We are not in beeswax together.
We are not even in the same beeswax separately.
Yours is your own.
Mine is mine.
So why are you all up in my beeswax?
Got your nose tilted up in the air
looking down on my beeswax?
I did not invite you to poke, sniff, lick
or otherwise analyze my beeswax.
I don’t crowdsource my beeswax criticism.
But as long as we’re talking shop,
lemmie say this:
I handle my beeswax.
My honey is golden and sweet.
My hive is healthy.
You need not worry about me.
My beeswax is good.
You, on the other hand.
I can see from here
your honey is dim and almost burnt orange.
Your hive is on the brink of colony collapse.
You should worry
because none of that is good for beeswax.
I would suggest you take preventive measures
In short, mind your own,
tend your garden, as they say.
But I won’t meddle any further.
As I said before,
my beeswax
is none of yours.

Daria: There used to be a heart in here
When words were said they held their meaning
Nowadays words fall like rain
Nothing is said and no one’s listening
They’re all too busy chasing miley or bitching about Kanye West
They never take time to notice that art is dead
and we all killed it
We used to create works of passion
Songs and pictures that convey feelings
I can’t believe we have fully lost that
But I don’t believe that art is dead

Azriel: Let’s give it up for Daria Quinn and JM Romig.
So that was a preview of what we’re going to try to do. Writing Knights on July 13th will present their first sWord Fight.

Crowd: It’ll be better in Writing.

Azriel: Anyway, our first competition will be JM Romig VS Daria Quinn, JM Romig
Anyone interested in competing should let me know.

Source:: Writing Knights Press

NEW Interview! Backstory of the Poem “ARTERIAL DISCOMBOBULATION” by Juliet Cook

By Juliet Cook

“…Was that a bodily tremor or
a body bag streamer?”
Juliet Cook is delighted to be included in Chris Rice Cooper’s Backstory of the Poem, which focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.
Cook’s poem focused on is “Arterial Discombobulation”.

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

And the Hessler Winners are… – This Joust In Vol 1 Issue 3

By Writing Knights Press

Greetings and Salutations everyone!

Azriel Johnson here with the results of the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology Contest.

Before I reveal to those who have not seen the show, I just want to thank everyone again for showing up and sharing themselves. We had amazing work shared. According to the judges the decisions were difficult to make and I’m certainly glad I was the host, rather than one of the judges.

If you want to watch all of the performances for yourself, here is the video:
(click Read More to see it and the results)

If you want to watch the video and also spoil it, keep reading. 🙂

Third place and winner of $25 – Mary Turzillo
Second place and winner of $50 – Ross Martyn Hayes
First place and winner of $100 – Sy Castells

This is one more reminder about the Grand Tournament submissions being open until June 2nd. Here is the link to the Entry page. Questions can be directed to WK Pressman on Facebook or

There will be a second part to this newsletter probably this weekend. It will go over changes being made to the Wayward Sword as well as the new competition Writing Knights is putting together. We will also include photos from the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest reading.

Thank you for reading and we’ll see you again this weekend!
Azriel Johnson

PS – If you’d like to be made aware of upcoming Newsletters, send an email to with the subject line “Add Me to the Newsletter”

Source:: Writing Knights Press

NEW in The Rising Phoenix Review – “Signs of the New Sun God” by j/j hastain and Juliet Cook

By Juliet Cook

The dead snake skin came back to life and bit me.

It wasn’t a poisonous weapon. It was a form
of unique reconstructive surgery
created by my own mind

or someone else’s.

from the poem “Signs of the New Sun God”, by Juliet Cook and j/j hastain, in The Rising Phoenix Review
more HERE –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press