FOUND POEM: “book-wrapt”

Photo by Zichuan Han on

The quintessential connection to books
a private sanctuary  programmed
for escapism.

delightful displayed in the home
they work wonders en masse
exuding breath of generations, 
nourish senses, slay boredom   
relieve distress.

read a passage and be inspired
all authors are alive  
where a jumble of books ends

we hold possibility  

as if desperately waiting an unused book
a library is never done

Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

#*found poem inspired and taken from (Dec 24, 2021) The New York Times article by Julie Lasky titled “How Many Books Does It Take to Make a Place Feel Like Home?

POEM: “paper journeys”

paper journeys”

Long lonely childhood days 
I lounged beneath the mulberry tree,
just Thisbee and me, 
waiting for Pyramus 
to take us away, I'd play 
host to Hermes and Zeus, 
coast wine-dark seas 
devour siren song, 
draw Labyrinthian threads 
through Minotaur’s home, 
and soar cornflower sky
beside Daedalus before 
my waxen wings would melt; 
lofty flight cut short by sun 
and seafoam, left alone 

in my room, immersed in biblichor, 
i buried myself beneath thin sheets,
knowing only myths’ allure: 
my escape into fantasy

i knew no other hope 
for awkward me,
so dreamed gods and heroes 
fell for my charms, left heaven itself
to save me from earthly woes,
protect me from those
i could not bear to face.

those travels served me well,
provided refuge--fiction and facts
to complement the lessons of experience: 
wilder girls braved the unknown;
Lois Lane endured without Superman;
Nelly Bly broke stories, wrote and made
history; the deaf and blind may see 
farther without the gift of sight; 
despite millennia, a woman's verse
survives in fragments of paper mache, 
and princesses are heroes too.

the old saying rings true:
the journey is more important
than the destination, though
each step needed to be 
to arrive at now. i needed 
to grow up to learn 
saviors exist outside books alone, 
adventures are not what we await 
but opportunities we create 
stepping outside our comfort zone: 

the heart of each encounter
when we brave enough
to rescue ourselves.


Next Friday, I’ll also post on my Patreon.  If you’d like to read about my progress and plans for this year, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

*Written for Cuyahoga Library’s Read+Write+Poetry writing prompt for April 2nd, 2021.

**The female heroes I refer to later in the poem (both fictional and real) are Laura Wilder, Lois Lane, Nelly Bly, Helen Keller, Sappho, and Wonder Woman.

**image courtesy of via Creative Commons Licensing.

CURRENT EVENTS: Books Read in 2021

photo inside of A1 Bookstore: 6067 Navarre Rd SW, Canton, OH 44706

Happy New Year! 

It’s that special time of year again…you know what I’m talking about: January! The month to make and break resolutions, recover from holiday hangovers, and of course that most important event of all–reviewing the books I’ve read in the past year! You know you’ve been waiting for it. 

Seriously though, several years ago I started keeping a list of the books I read as part of a local library challenge to read fifty books a year. For every fifty books, the library would put your name into a raffle to win a gift card. I’d never bothered to count the books I read before, so I started keeping track to enter the raffle, and lo! a post-holiday tradition was born. One of these days I’d like to be able to enter twice!

So, I hope that by sharing the books I’ve enjoyed–and a few I didn’t–you might find your next great read! I consume books in multiple genres and formats, so I’ll indicate which ones as well as link to where you can find them:  Amazon, Audible, local sources, or free/low cost downloads from other places. Since my appetite for books exceeds my ability to buy all the ones I’d like, many on my list are library holds, while others were purchased from local authors or indie presses; I try to spend my dollars where they’ll have the most impact and support content creators. Enjoy!


1 Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler (ebook via Humble Bundle)

2 Naked Toes: second edition by Sara Minges (Trade paperback)

uplifting and personal collection of poems about inner strength

3 Jacaranda by Cherie Priest (ebook via Humble Bundle)

4 Evidence of Starving by Sandra Feen <ebook unavailable. Email author at to buy a paperback copy for $7 (postage included)>

moving and vulnerable poems on the theme of consumption

5 Erotica Romana by Johann Wolfgang Gothenburg (ebook via Overdrive)

6 A Little History of Poetry by John Carey (ebook via Overdrive)

7 Paradise Lost by John Milton (audiobook via Overdrive)

this epic poem, arguably the best poem written in the English language, needs no introduction, so all I’ll say is if you haven’t read this yet, READ IT. It’s staggeringly beautiful.

8 THE GREAT COURSES: Life and Writings of John Milton (Prof. Seth Lerer) via AUDIBLE

9 City of Truth by James Morrow (ebook via Humble Bundle)

10 The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (ebook via Overdrive)

11 The Witcher: The Last Wish (short story collection) by Andrzej Sapkowski (ebook via Overdrive)

12 Black like Me by John Howard Griffin (ebook via Overdrive and The Ohio Digital Library)

13 In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (audiobook via HOOPLA)

14 Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick (ebook via Overdrive)

15 The Prestige by Christopher Priest (ebook via Overdrive)

16 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (ebook via Overdrive)

17 Limit Theory by Ronald E. Holtman & illustrations by Amanda Vacharat (hardback via Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Main Library)

18 Lock In by John Scalzi (ebook via Overdrive)

19 Head On by John Scalzi (ebook via Overdrive)

20 Damned novel by Chuck Palahniuk (ebook via Overdrive)

21 Doomed novel by Chuck Palahniuk (ebook via Overdrive)

22 The River Styx, Ohio, and Other Poems by Mary Oliver (hardback via Library)

23 I Bring the Fire: Wolves by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

24 I Bring the Fire: Monsters by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

25 I Bring the Fire: Chaos by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

26 I Bring the Fire: Fates by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

27 Whiskey Sweet by Sara Minges (poetry collection, ebook ARC via author)

28 Iliad by Homer (audiobook, 1st part of Audible book HOMER translated by WHD Rouse, read by Anthony Heald, ILIAD AND ODYSSEY)

29 Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara (AUDIBLE audiobook)

30 I Bring the Fire: Warriors by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

31 I Bring the Fire: Ragnarok by C. Gockel (ebook via NOOK)

32 Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly (ebook via

33 On the Bus with Rosa Parks by Rita Dove (hardback via Barberton Public Library)

34 Head to Toe of It by Rikki Santer (Trade paperback poetry collection)

35 Metamorphosis by Ovid (AUDIBLE audiobook)

36 BEASTARS VOLUME 1, story and art by Paru Itagaki (Graphic Novel via Library loan)

37 Dreaming of Babylon by Richard Brautigan (audiobook via HOOPLA)

38 The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (ebook via

39 Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (ebook via

40 Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster (ebook via

41 BEASTARS VOLUME 2, story and art by Paru Itagaki (Graphic Novel, paper)

42 The Prince and The Pauper by Mark Twain (ebook via

43 THE GREAT COURSES: English Grammar Boot Camp by Anne Curzan (AUDIBLE audiobook)

44 Ancient Greece 101: Greek History, Myth, and Civilization by Christopher M. Bellitto (AUDIBLE audiobook)

45 My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

46  300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

47 No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (Book Analysis): Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide (ebook via HOOPLA)

48 Y: The Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

49 Y: The Last Man, Vol 2: Cycles by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

50 Y: The Last Man, Vol 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

51 Y: The Last Man, Vol 4: Safeword by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

52 Y: The Last Man, Vol 5: Ring of Truth by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

53 Y: The Last Man, Vol 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

54 Y: The Last Man, Vol 7: Paper Dolls by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

55 Y: The Last Man, Vol 8: Kimono Dragons by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

56 Y: The Last Man, Vol 9: Motherland by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

57 Y: The Last Man, Vol 10: Whys and Wherefores by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

58 The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman (hardback via library checkout)

59 The Good Place and Philosophy: Get an Afterlife by Steven A. Benko (ebook via HOOPLA)

60 Feminism in Greek Literature by Frederick Adam Wright (audiobook via

61 The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers (gifted paperback)

62 Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes (ebook via Overdrive)

63 BEASTARS VOLUME 3, story and art by Paru Itagaki (Graphic Novel, paper)

64 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (ebook via Overdrive)

65 Hesiod: The Works and Days/ The Theogony/ The Shield of Herakles by Hesiod (audiobook via Librivox)

66 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (ebook via Overdrive)

67 Gawayne and The Green Knight by Anonymous/ Charlton Miner Lewis (ebook via Project Gutenberg)

68 College Hacks by Keith Bradford (paperback)

69 Evidence of Starving by Sandra Feen (paperback chapbook)

<Even though I read this in January as an ebook, I’m including it again, bc it’s a different format and therefore a different experience. Email author at to buy a paperback copy for $7 (postage included)>

moving and vulnerable poems on the theme of consumption

70 BEASTARS 4 by Paru Itagaki (Trade paperback)

71 Swim by Faryl and S.T. Hoover (ebook via Kindle app)

–(from my Amazon review) “This is the book I was reading when my son told me, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but stop reading and watch television with the family!” It’s absorbing, mesmerizing, and hard to put down.”

72 The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James Morrow (ebook via Overdrive)

73 Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge by Barbara Marie Minney (misspelled on cover as Minnie)

74 Whale Day and Other Poems by Billy Collins (hardback)

75 Storm Front: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

76 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (ebook via Overdrive)

77 Dear Youngstown by Karen Schubert (paperback)

78 Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (ebook via Overdrive)

79 Working Hypothesis by Charles Malone (paperback)

80 Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems by Rita Dove (ebook via Overdrive)

81 Woman with a Fan: On Maria Blanchard by Diane Kendig (paperback)

82 Versed in Country Things by Robert Frost (Photographs by B.A. King) <hardcover>

83 Miracles: The Wonder of Life by Walt Whitman <small hardback>

84 A Threadbare Universe by Jason Baldinger (paperback poetry collection)

85 I Will Pass Even to Acheron by Amanda Newell (chapbook via Rattle magazine subscription)

86 The Just City by Jo Walton (ebook via Overdrive)

87 Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

88 Grave Peril (Dresden Files #3) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

89 Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

90 Death Masks (Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)

91 Stopover by Rikki Santer (perfect bound book)

92 Blood Rites (Dresden Files #6) by Jim Butcher (ebook via Overdrive)



Dead Beat (Dresden Files #7) by Jim Butcher

As you may have noticed, I’m hooked on the urban fantasy series,the Dresden Files, which I started a month or two ago: Harry Dresden is a wizard working openly in modern Chicago while facing all sorts of supernatural threats and cracking wise. It’s packed with action, adventure, and a fair amount of silliness. Harry Dresden is a rogue that’s both action/superhero and comedian. The novels are mysteries that unpack a fantasy world that gets more complex with each novel. They’re so much fun. I love them!

Tachyon by William F. DeVault

The other book I am currently reading is Tachyon by U.S. Beat Poet Emeritus William F. DeVault. He writes romantic poetry that’s strong on form, beat, rhythm, rhyme, and imagery. Each poem is exquisitely crafted, and since I’ve loved his poetry in the past I know that I’ll love this book as well. I’m only a little bit into the book at the moment, since some poetry takes me longer to read than others. In general, I read poetry more slowly than fiction, because with poetry it’s important to savor the lines; good poems benefit from multiple readings. Fiction can be approached the same way, but poetry focuses on the form and nuance of individual lines. However, fiction is usually more concerned with plot and character. There is overlap too, which is always enjoyable! 


Next Friday, I’ll also post a companion piece on my Patreon, listing my favorite reads in the past year–including some I didn’t list here because they were not read from start to finish. If you’d like to read it, you can subscribe to my Patreon and support my work for just $1 a month! Until next time, stay safe and well, and read often!

*photo taken by myself of A-1 Books in Massillon, Ohio. The bookstore is located inside an old gas station and shares the building with a towing company.

First Two Chapters of Pinholes as a FREE audio!

Pinholes book cover

As a New Year’s gift to you all (which has absolutely nothing to do with book promotion), I’m making the first two chapters of my latest book, Pinholes: Traveling Through the Curtain of the Night, available as a free audio! Here is the link for its Internet Archive page below. Enjoy!



If, after listening to the first two chapters, you can’t wait to find out what happens next, you can buy Pinholes: Traveling Through the Curtain of the Night as a Kindle ebook for only $5.99! And if that still isn’t enough for you, I’ve included obligatory legal information to read below. You’re welcome.


*The sound effects were provided by

*The music was used via Free Music Archive: Kevin MacLeod’s Aurea Carmina and his Impact intermezzo via Creative Commons License. Both the sound effects and the music were modified for this recording, and their use does not imply endorsement by the creators.

*The book’s cover image was included purely for promotional purposes.

Cover Art: Stars Forming Like Pearls In A Clam

Cover Artist: Nona Lohr

CURRENT EVENTS: Books Read in 2020

Photo by Pixabay on

Happy New Year! Hopefully, 2021 will be less problematic than 2020. 

In the meantime, I’ll share the books I’ve read in the past year. Due to the recent interesting times, many of them are books I’ve read before. When I want a comfort read, I’ll often reach for old favorites: Cyrano de Bergerac and The Walking Dead graphic novels are among my favorites. Since the list is pretty long (I’ll reach 100 one of these years!), I’m listing them by title. If you would like me to go into detail about any of these books, just leave a comment or contact me on social media. I love discussing books!

If you’d like to read one of these selections yourself, I’ve included links. Many of the reads were ebooks and audiobooks via various platforms, often through local libraries. I’ve always loved digital format, but in the past year it’s been more important than ever. Enjoy the list! Maybe you’ll find something you’ll like too.


1 Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (audiobook via

So Marvelously Far (poetry collection) by Nick Gardner

3 The Ugly Side of the Lake (poetry collection) by Jason Baldinger and John Dorsey

4 Triple Threat (poetry collection) by John Dorsey

5 The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (ebook via Overdrive)

6 Our House on the Sand by Elaine Schleiffer (chapbook)

7 The Answer Is Not Here by Lisa M. & Sean Thomas Dougherty (chapbook)

8 Jigsaw Con Life 3 via Beautiful Blasphemy (ebook/ mini chapbook)

9 Siron: a Kaiju Thriller by S.T. Hoover

10 Mothmaw by Faryl (Hoover) (ebook)

11 The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley (audiobook via Audible)

12 Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (ebook via

13 Resident Evil volume 1: The Umbrella Conspiracy by S.D. Perry (ebook)

14 Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (audiobook via Overdrive)

15 ODD LOTS, SCRAPS & SECOND-HAND, LIKE NEW Poems by Will Wells (trade paperback/poetry)

16 The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (ebook via Overdrive)

17 Moby Dick by Herman Melville (Audible audiobook)

18 Paradise Lost by Milton (NOOK ebook)

19 The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (HOOPLA Digital ebook)

20 Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (ebook)

21 ETERNALS by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel via HOOPLA)

22 The Abortion by Richard Brautigan (Audible audiobook)

23 The Walking Dead vol 1: Days Gone Bye by various

24 The Walking Dead vol 2: Miles Behind Us by various

25 The Walking Dead vol 3: Safety Behind Bars by various

26 The Walking Dead, Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire

27 The Walking Dead vol 5: The Best Defense by various

28 Quintessence by William F. Devault (ebook)

29 Meat and Bone by Sandra Feen (paperback)

30 The Walking Dead, Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life

31 The Walking Dead, Vol. 7:  The Calm Before

32 The Walking Dead, Vol. 8: Made to Suffer

33 The Walking Dead, Vol. 9: Here We Remain

34 The Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We Become

35 A Bullet for Cinderella by John D. Macdonald (ebook read on NOOK app)

36 The Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear The Hunters

37 The Walking Dead, Vol. 12: Life Among Them 

38 The Walking Dead, Vol. 13: Too Far Gone

39 The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out

40 The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves

41 The Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger World

42 The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear

43 The Walking Dead, Vol. 18: What Comes After

44 The Walking Dead, Vol. 19: March to War

45 The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War, Part 1

46 The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War, Part 2

47 The Walking Dead, Vol. 22: A New Beginning 

48 The Walking Dead, Vol. 24: Life and Death

49 The Walking Dead, Vol. 25: No Turning Back 

50 The Walking Dead, Vol. 26: Call to Arms

51 Appalachian Frankenstein Vol 2 by John Dorsey (paperback poetry collection)

52 The Poems of Sappho: An Interpretive Rendition into English (ebook via

53 The Walking Dead, Vol. 27: The Whisperer War

54 F**K: An Irreverent History of the F-Word by Rufus Lodge (Kindle ebook)

55 The Walking Dead, Vol. 28: A Certain Doom

56 The Walking Dead, Vol. 29: Lines We Cross 

57 Ariel by Sylvia Plath (NOOK ebook)

58 A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca (ebook via Overdrive)

59 The Walking Dead, Vol. 30: New World Order

60 The Walking Dead, Vol. 31: The Rotton Core

61 The Walking Dead, Vol. 32: Rest In Peace

62 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (ebook via Overdrive)

63 Wonder Woman volume 4: War (graphic novel via HOOPLA DIGITAL)

64 Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Search ~ Issue 1 (graphic novel via HOOPLA DIGITAL)

65 Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Search ~ Issue 2 (graphic novel via HOOPLA DIGITAL)

66 Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Search ~ Issue 3 (graphic novel via HOOPLA DIGITAL)

67 Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (ebook via Overdrive)

68 The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura (ebook via Overdrive)

69 The Short Stories Volume One by Philip K Dick (ebook via Overdrive)

70 Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K Dick (ebook via Overdrive)

71 Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage (Audible audiobook) 

72 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / retold in modern prose, with prefaces and notes, by Jessie L. Weston. (NOOK ebook)

73 The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (NOOK ebook)

74 The Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (audiobook via Audible)

75 Drop Jaw by Rikki Santer (Trade paperback)

76 Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (NOOK ebook)

77 Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris) by Jim C. Hines (ebook via Overdrive)

78 Unbound (Magic Ex Libris) by Jim C. Hines (ebook via Libby)

79 The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (ebook via Libby)

80 Revisionary (Magic Ex Libris) by Jim C. Hines (ebook via Libby)

81 Orpheus and Eurydice: A Lyric Sequence by Gregory Orr (poetry collection ebook via Hoopla Digital)

82 Fort Pitt Tunnel Blues by John Dorsey (free ebook)

83 Wonder Woman: The Circle (graphic novel via Hoopla)

84 A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen by Kari Gunter-Seymour (Trade paperback)

85 Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (ebook via Overdrive app)

86 Dearly: New Poems by Margaret Atwood (ebook via Overdrive app)

87 i saw god cooking children/ paint their bones by john compton (handcrafted chapbook via Blood Pudding Press with Sandra Feen modeling on the cover art)

88 Trekonomics by Manu Saadia by (audiobook)

89 The Circus of His Bones: Poems by Steve Brightman (Trade paperback)

90 13 Ways of Looking at Lou Reed by Steve Brightman

91 The Divine Comedy by Dante: translated by Clive James (Audible audiobook)

*Currently reading/listening to:

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Lord Byron’s Don Juan (ebook via

An Introduction to Haiku with translations and commentary by Harold G. Henderson

If you’d like to hear about my favorites from this list, a free complementary post appears on my Patreon. Until next time, stay safe and well and read often!

2020-03-30: Virtual Poetry Reading for Soul Picked Clean by Cat Russell!

Today is the one year anniversary of the Book Launch for my first published book, my poetry collection, Soul Picked Clean.

Since an in-person event is obviously not possible now, I wanted to celebrate online! I read a few of my poems, explain the thoughts behind them, and talk about how to keep in touch online. Enjoy!

If you would like to attend my FaceBook LIVE Book Birthday Party tonight, please visit:



*image courtesy of via Creative Commons License.

CURRENT EVENTS: Books Read in 2019


Greetings! Welcome to my annual list of books I’ve read the previous year. Pretty exciting and original so far, right?

As an avid reader, I can’t afford to buy all the books I want to read, so I buy from local authors and local (usually independent) bookstores while checking out digital titles or paperbacks. I really recommend you spend whatever book budget you have to support authors you love.

If you are looking for awesome sites to download digital titles in multiple formats, you can’t go wrong with, Project Gutenberg, and Librivox. I’ve used each of these sites for years. Manybooks shows a short excerpt from the book and often features reader comments, before allowing you to download ebooks in whatever format you need. It does require registration, although it is free to register and download books. Project Gutenberg also offers free downloadable ebooks, although no registration or fee is required. Librivox is similar to both sites, except it offers audiobooks instead of ebooks. The audiobooks are read by volunteers, so the audio and reading quality may vary, but they are usually well done.

Many local public libraries offer digital titles for checkout which can be deleted when the loan expires. I use the Overdrive app to download ebooks from multiple libraries onto my phone and/or Tablet. Not only can I download novels and nonfiction, but audiobooks, graphic novels, and periodicals like Poets & Writers. Another useful library app is Hoopla Digital, a subscription service for libraries that allows them to extend their digital selection with additional ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, and videos; I read almost the entire Walking Dead graphic novel series via Hoopla!

If you are interested in supporting local authors, I urge you to check out your local libraries and bookstores to find out where there are readings and other author events.

2019 Books Read:


Dragon Champion by E.E. Knight (audiobook via Overdrive)

Dodge Tuck Roll by Rikki Santer (poetry collection)


Dragon Avenger by E.E. Knight (audiobook via Overdrive)

Fragile Capacities: School Poems by Sandra Feen (poetry collection)


The Fourth Dimension: Toward a Geometry of Higher Reality by Rudy Rucker (ebook via Barnes & Noble NOOK)


Dragon Outcast by E.E. Knight (audiobook via Overdrive)

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (audiobook via Overdrive)

In Sickness and In Elf by AE Jones (ebook via Barnes & Noble NOOK)

Beowulf translated and read by Seamus Heaney (audiobook via Overdrive)

10 The Second O of Sorrow (poetry collection) by Sean Thomas Dougherty (ebook via Hoopla Digital)

11 The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold (audiobook via Overdrive)

12 The Walking Dead (vol 30): New World Order by various (graphic novel via Hoopla Digital)

13 The Walking Dead (vol 31): The Rotten Core by various (graphic novel via Hoopla Digital)


14 Where You Are: poems by Jason Irwin

15 Poemaholic by Azriel Johnson

16 The Vigil by Shelley Chernin


17 Naked Toes: poems by Sara Minges


18 Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (ebook via Overdrive)

19 Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Neil Gaiman (ebook via Hoopla)

20 The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (audiobook via Overdrive)

21 Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (ebook via NOOK app)


22 Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (audiobook via Overdrive)

23 The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (ebook via NOOK)

24 Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy by multiple contributors (ebook via Humble Bundle)


25 Love Poems and A Good Cry by Nikki Giovanni (audiobook via Overdrive)

26 The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time by Douglas Adams (ebook via NOOK)

27 Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams (ebook via NOOK)

28 Raga for What Comes Next by Dianne Borsenik


29 The Trial and the Death of Socrates (Apology and Phaedo) by Plato (audiobook via Overdrive)

30 So Long and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams (ebook via NOOK)

31 Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner and Select Poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (ebook via

32 Circe by Madeline Miller (audiobook via Overdrive)

33 The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton (ebook via Overdrive)

34 The Poet X by Elizabeth Alcevedo (ebook via Overdrive)

35 Blackbird by Laura Grace Weldon (paperback)


36 Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach (ebook via Hoopla)

37 Desiree in Paris: Priestess of Magdalene by Elise Renollet & Roselyn Brookes (ebook ARC read on Overdrive app)


38  Shazam! Volume 1 by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

39  Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon (ebook via Overdrive)

40  Wonder Woman volume 6: Children of the Gods by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

41 Wonder Woman volume 7: Amazons Attacked by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

42 Wonder Woman volume 8: Dark Gods  by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)


43 The Walking Dead volume 32: Rest in Peace  by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

44 How to eat a poem by various (ebook via Hoopla)

45 Wonder Woman volume 9: The Enemy of Both Sides by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

46 Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

47 Hail to the King: a DenCom Thriller by S.T. Hoover (ebook ARC read on Overdrive app)


48 In Pearl Broth: Poems New and Selected by Rikki Santer


49 John Constantine, HellBlazer vol 1: Original Sins (via Hoopla)

50 John Constantine, HellBlazer 30th Anniversary Celebration (via Hoopla)

51 Paradise Lost by John Milton (ABRIDGED audiobook read by Anton Lesser via Overdrive)

52 Vending Machine: Poetry for Change volume five (poetry anthology via The Poet’s Haven

53 Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (audiobook via Overdrive)

54 The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe (ebook via Hoopla)

55 Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (audiobook via Overdrive)

56 Dark Purple Intersections (inside my Black Doll Head Irises) by Juliet Cook


57 Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems, 1992-2019 by John Burroughs


58 Romance of la Pucelle by Elise Renollet and Roselyn Brookes (ebook ARC read via Overdrive app)


59 LibriVox’s Most Wanted Poetry Collection by various (audiobook via Librivox)

60 Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (ebook via

61 The Raven and the Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allan Poe (ebook via

62 Eighteenth Century Poetry and Prose Collection by various authors (audiobook via

63 Gypsy Queen by Nicole Hennessy


64 Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (ebook via Overdrive)

65 The Tradition (poetry collection) by Jericho Brown (ebook via Overdrive)

66 A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (NOOK ebook)


From my list, you can see I’ve read an eclectic selection of books in the past year: contemporary and classic poetry, graphic novels, mythology, literature, humor, and nonfiction. I think it’s important to expose yourself to as many different types of things as possible, because we learn from everything we do. It’s not just true that we are what we eat; we are what we consume–whether that’s books or television or any other media.

I also partially read many other books, but I did not list them here because I never finished reading them. I make no apologies for that. If a book doesn’t interest me by a certain point, if I don’t feel I’m getting anything from reading it, I don’t hesitate to put it down. After all, I’ll never get to read every book I want to in my limited lifespan, so why waste time reading something I’m not benefitting from?

Also, because my list of books read is so long, I’ve broken down the list into several blog posts on my Patreon as well: the difference is that those posts explain what I liked or didn’t about each selection. No pressure, but if you’d like to sponsor me for $1 a month this year, you can read all my Patreon blog posts! For less than a cup of tea, you can get weekly posts about books, my writing process, nonfiction, or flash stories. If not, I’m happy that you visited my blog and read this far.

Thank you, and Happy New Year!


*image courtesy of via Creative Commons Universal License.


First Friday *AND* POEM: “Who Are You?”


Since I’m spending most of my time this month attending or participating in poetry events and promoting my new book, it seems only fair I blog more frequently to share them with you. So for the next month (or two) I have switched to posting every Friday instead of every other Friday. You’re thrilled, right?

Tonight is Canton’s First Friday celebration for April! It will be my first time attending a First Friday event, and I am honored to be participating in the “Locally Literate” theme by reading poetry alongside the wonderful Diane Kendig and John Burroughs! It’s going to be a fantastic night, and for every beer sold, Muskellunge Brewery will donate $1 to the Friends of the Library!

Also, in the spirit of sharing poetry during National Poetry Month, I’m posting my short (but sweet) poem, “Who Are You?”


Who Are You?

Answering by name alone,

the reflex a sound as familiar

as breathing, must needs be symbol

enough…words alone cannot define you.



Current and Upcoming Events:

Friday, April 5th (7pm – 8pm)

Canton’s First Friday celebration for April follows the overarching theme of “Locally Literate” and is sponsored by Muskellunge Brewery and the Friends of the Library! There will be scheduled poetry readings, with poems following the themes of beer, bars, April, Friday,libraries, and Muskies (the fish). I am honored to be one of the scheduled readers.


Thursday, April 11th (4pm – 7pm)

I will be appearing alongside some other authors at Dorrie’s Booktique.


Friday, April 12th (7pm – 9pm)

sWord Fight Tournament in Canton, Ohio. I will be a “combatant” in my first live poetry competition: Cat Russell versus Greg Milo! Come by, and wish me luck! This competition will be at a different venue than usual.

Saturday, April 13th (11am – 2pm)

Local Author Fair at Massillon Public Library, 208 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, Ohio 44646. I am scheduled to read briefly, and I will also have books to sell at my table. I will be donating 10% of any sales I make this day to Project Gutenberg!


Wednesday, April 17th (7pm – 9pm)

Latitudes Poetry Night and Open Mic at Compass Coffee in Akron.


Thursday, April 18th (6pm – 9pm)

Kave Coffee Bar in Barberton hosts an open mic every Thursday. I’m not scheduled as a guest, but I do plan to attend.

Friday, April 19th (630pm – 730pm)

I will be reading from my newly published book of poetry, Soul Picked Clean, as my talented artist-friend, Jim Meador, paints his version of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. The eventbrite link is now live; all tickets must be reserved ahead of time. This is a paid event, but each ticket includes a free copy of Soul Picked Clean!
(*single’s and couple’s tickets available.)

Monday, April 22nd (6:30pm – 7:30pm)

Cat Russell Author Talk with music by Ed Amann at the Barberton Public Library, 602 West Park Avenue, Barberton, Ohio 44203. Ed Amann and I will alternate between his music and my poems.

Tuesday, April 23rd (6:30pm – 7:30pm)

What better way to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday than to attend a poetry reading? Massillon Public Library will announce the winners of its April Poetry contest at the Poetry Night and Open Mic! I’m not specifically scheduled, but I do plan to attend. I love libraries!


Wednesday, April 24th (6pm – 10:30pm)

Spoken Word Showcase (paid event) hosted by The Outpost concert club and Writing Knights. Ed Mabrey will be the feature performer, supported by Kisha Nicole Foster, Black Reign, Keith Allison, Finn Thrace, SuperTeam, and Luna Annunaki.


Thursday, April 25th (6pm – 9pm)

The Write Stuff Authors’ Group meets monthly at the North Canton Library to workshop WIPs before adjourning to TD’s Grill at about 7:30pm for general literary merry-making.

Saturday, April 27th (9am – 4:30pm)

Western Reserve Writers’ Conference Any writers in the area should definitely attend this FREE writing conference at Cuyahoga Library’s South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch. I will not be reading, but I will attend, and I’d love to see you there!


Thank you for visiting my blog! I wish for you a month filled with poetry, and I hope to see you at one of these events soon!

POEM: Patterns



Bare trees branch the sky

like branchioles in lungs


like nuerons in brains firing

the smell of scorched spark plugs


Like water falling from a mountain

both divided and united, a spreading cooling fan


Like skyviewed landmasses seem rock

lined waves weaving through water as thread through cloth


Find these patterns with searching eyes and fingertips:

these Fibonacci fractals, this mathematic beauty


Underlying sounds pinpoint the reasons

wind sings through the leaves and rain

patters like feet running over wet stones


Pictures painted by one poorly versed in higher math

inspired by nature’s geometric beauty



Since I’ve been posting so much about my book, I wanted to post an actual poem. I hope you enjoyed it.*

I was thrilled with the response to the cover reveal of my poetry book, Soul Picked Clean! Now, online only, the book is available to order for the low, low price of only $12!

But wait! There’s more!*

Also, Soul Picked Clean is only $10 to buy in-person, and I will donate 10% of that purchase to Project Gutenberg!* So, a new book, a chat with me, and a donation to something awesome. What are you waiting for?

Current and Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, March 20th (7pm – 9pm)

Latitudes Poetry Night: This Akron poetry event meets monthly at Compass Coffee, and usually features a guest poet reading, followed by an Open Mic.

Thursday, March 28th (6pm)

The Write Stuff This writers’ group meets at @North Canton Public Library once a month. If you’d like to check them out, bring 6-10 copies of something you’re working on. Writers break into groups based on genre and give feedback. I’ve always found it very helpful, and afterwards everyone usually goes to a local restaurant to talk–shop or otherwise.:)

Saturday, March 30th (7pm)

Book Launch party at Mac’s Backs, 1820 Coventry Rd, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. Cat Russell and Pittsburgh-area poets Jason Irwin and Jen Ashburn will read.

Friday, April 12th

Aztilude sWord Fight Tournament in Canton, Ohio. I will be a “combatant” in my first live poetry competition. Come by, and wish me luck! More details forthcoming.

Saturday, April 13th (11am – 2pm)

Local Author Fair at Massillon Public Library, 208 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, Ohio 44646. I am scheduled to read briefly, and I will also have books to sell at my table!

Monday, April 22nd (6:30pm)

Cat Russell author talk with music by Ed Amann at the Barberton Public Library, 602 West Park Avenue, Barberton, Ohio 44203.

Saturday, April 27th (9am – 4:30pm)

Western Reserve Writers’ Conference Any writers in the area should definitely attend this free writing conference at Cuyahoga Library’s South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch. I will not be reading, but I will attend, and I’d love to see you there!


Thank you for visiting, and I hope to see you in the coming weeks at one of these events!


*The posted poem, “Patterns,” is new and does not appear in the book, although it is a sample of the type of poetry I write. The image is courtesy of

**I know, I know, I couldn’t resist. 🙂

***That’s 10% of in-person sales, buying directly from me. This offer does not extend to online purchases or directly from other bookstores, as I have no idea how to arrange that.

****I realize some of the listings are duplicates that appeared in my previous blogpost, but I thought it would be easier for people to follow all in one place. You can also check the Cleveland Poetics Calendar for current poetry events by clicking the link at the top of the page.


COVER REVEAL: Soul Picked Clean

Soul Picked Clean FRONT COVER


I realize it’s a little harder to get the effect of this white cover on my blog’s already white background, but isn’t it great?!* The photo used for the cover art for Soul Picked Clean was taken by Peggy Honeydew, and the book is available for pre-order by Crisis Chronicles Press as of today!

I’m also thrilled to announce my book launch will take place at Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry on Saturday, March 30th, 2019. I will be reading alongside two other poets, and I will release other details as soon as they become available. I really hope to see you there. In addition to the pleasure I’ll derive from meeting you, if you buy my book from me in person I will donate ten percent of each sale to Project Gutenberg.

In other news, in the past couple weeks I’ve revamped my blog(s) to make it easier for readers to connect with my work. You’ll notice a blogroll with links to my Amazon Author page,  Crisis Chronicles Press (my publisher), and other relevant links in the top right corner. My blog now also has a page displaying the Cleveland Poetics Calendar; simply click on the page link at the top if you’d like to attend some live poetry events in Northern Ohio! My FaceBook account received a facelift as well; I’ve set up a FaceBook Author page. If you have any other polite suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Until next time, have a lovely week!


*I still hotly advocate the necessity of interrobangs!