Have blog. Need poems.

Have blog. Need poems.

[The Poets Walk on University Ave in front of the Memorial Art Gallery from Emotions recollected in tranquility on University Ave]

During what I called my Summer of Love Picaresque, I decided to become a poet. I wrote my first poem since 1990 and somehow got it published.  “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection”  Then another, also published Two on a Rickety Bicycle

I wrote a poem on the Poets Walk Emotions recollected in tranquilty on University Ave and orchestrated an impromptu poetry slam at Lux Lounge, including two more by myself, one liberally adapted from Vladimir Nabokov. On the Road. Destination Little Bohemia in the South Wedge I got my first rejection email (and even a phone call!) from the Brown Alumni Magazine, promptly resubmitted to a Brown/RISD student-based publication, The Round.  I am vainly (in both senses of the word) waiting to hear back from The New Yorker on “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”

All that said, Talker of the Town  will only thrive with your contributions. So I am inaugurating a Poets Page, and am asking for submissions of any kind (ones about Rochester slightly more preferable). 

In the beginning, I am hoping to revive the “occasional poem” tradition Occasional poetry, and would much like to start with one about Talker of the Town itself. In any style or tone, satiric or lyric, of course. 


Longenbach, from “Blessing the Boats and a statue where history was made at Edgerton Park”

SUBMIT OR FIND ANOTHER BLOG!  (Messages can be sent at the lower right of the home page or to [email protected])

A funny story about those publications.  At one point, James Longenbach of the University of Rochester encouraged me to submit to magazines I read. I found myself at the Winton Road Library Branch at the “free shelf.” I took The New Criterion, a very well known journal, and submitted one.New criterion

A while later to my surprise, I received an acceptance email!  But something was amiss.  The email came from India.  By mistake, I had submitted not to The New Criterion but to The Criterion: An International Journal in English, an India-based ejournal I had never heard of.  At first, I thought it was a scam. Pay for poetry. But actually, The Criterion is, I guess, a moderately respectable academic journal.  As I have now made three successes (fantasizing that an entire subcontinent is reading my work), my waggish friend refers to The Criterion as The No Criterion.

UPDATE:  Less than ten hours after I wrote this post, I received this from The New Yorker:

Dear David,

Thank you for submitting your poetry to The New Yorker. We regret that we are unable to carry your work in the magazine, but we are grateful for the opportunity to read and consider it.

Paul Muldoon, Poetry Editor
Elisabeth Denison, Poetry Coordinator

Too bad New Yorker because The Criterion already published the one you are now rejecting!

Still, this dispiriting turn of events only sharpens the need for your submissions.


All in one day. Now I really need your submissions.

Dear David,

Thank you so much for submitting to The Round. We received an incredibly high volume of submissions this semester and, while we enjoyed reading and discussing your work, we have decided not to include it in the upcoming issue of our magazine. That being said, we do hope you will submit work to us in the future, and we look forward to hearing from you again.


The Editors

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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