Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frank Sherlock on Etel Adnan 

Much thanks to Exit Strata's Lynne Desilva-Johnson for the opportunity to share one of my great influences & one of the world's great writers.

You can read my 30/30/30 Poetry Month piece on Etel Adnan here.

- Frank Sherlock

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Philadelphia Magazine PROVES they are the voice of the 1% 

“This is a classic slingshot.”
--my grandmother

Please feel encouraged to call the Philadelphia Magazine office and demand a public apology from them for disparaging The Mummers. Here's their number: 215.564.7700

Let me quickly go over what happened. Philadelphia Magazine printed on page 72 of their December 2011 issue a list of “THINGS WE NEED TO GET RID OF.” The Mummers were on that list.

Frank Sherlock showed it to me. We were hanging out and he said I wouldn’t believe it. It shot through me. I mean to say like an enormous encapsulated bullet of hateful set of problems that have more to do with class than anything since the mummers are working class. All of them. This is a working class town, Philly.

But I was so angry! And I went onto Philadelphia Magazine’s Face Book page and demanded that they write an apology to the citizens of Philadelphia, AND OF COURSE to The Mummers. They ignored me completely at first. So I kept writing, making clear that none of us are blind to the fact that their magazine caters to the very wealthy, elite, advertising 600 dollar dinners, etc.

Soon enough they blocked my entrance onto the site. I went to the office. And everyone should know right away that my office visit was LITERALLY nothing but polite, right from the beginning! I didn’t STORM IN YELLING! I walked into 1818 Market Street and said hello to the receptionist, who in turn said hello to me.

I told her that I would like to speak to the online editor. She asked me to take a seat, and I did. There was a beautiful Calder on the wall, under glass. WOW! And the view was of course a 600 dollar view of the city, 36 floors high.

A few minutes later she asked what I wanted to speak to an editor about. I told her that I was there for two things. 1) To find out exactly who wrote the list saying that the mummers SHOULD LEAVE TOWN! 2) To ask for a public apology to The Mummers and to Philadelphia.

This city does not belong to the rich. This is Philadelphia. This is the city where working class people DESTROYED the transit company nearly a century ago after their hit squad murdered peaceful strikers on Broad Street. NO ONE took the trolley, everyone started walking to work and put them out of business! This is the same Philadelphia who STILL lives here! I can feel and believe this.

After I explained my reason for coming to the office the mood changed dramatically. Instantly actually. I was told NO ONE was in. Which is ridiculous of course. I said, oh, are they all on lunch break? I can wait. I was handed a business card to contact one of their editors by email. The shake-off. I said, no, I’ll wait here to speak to someone in person.

Now you’re being removed. I was told this. Security came. Then the police were called, and I showed page 72 to one of the men who said he knows people who are mummers, which of course is easy to believe since there are so many mummers. But he said I still had to leave the building. I understood.

The reason I’m writing this is because of the misinformation Philadelphia Magazine is now saying about me. The magazine’s arts and entertainment editor Victor Fiorillo wrote on Zoe Strauss’s Face Book page, “CA, Philadelphia Magazine blocked you not because you were demanding an apology, but because you were spamming the page. And now you've been arrested.” What an asshole. What a smug, corporate-humping prick!

The truth is that they were embarrassed by what I was saying. And they gloated over my removal from the office on Face Book. Oh, and while I was being escorted OUT, one of the magazine’s enforcers said that I was to be arrested if I ever stepped foot inside the building again. NICE!

10 THINGS TO GET RID OF. Get rid of. We GET RID OF things of no use. Right? Philadelphia Magazine is SAYING that The Mummers are of no use. They are saying that mainly because they are extremely uncomfortable with working class people and this is an all-out, 100 percent working class event, The Mummers Parade on New Years Day.

I’ve spent my entire life watching working class people get cut, and cut, and CUT deeper into the disappearing edges of this world. Nearly everyone in my family works – or has worked – in factories. I’ve heard countless stories of company abuse, and watched aunts and uncles die breathtakingly and heartbreakingly too young.

Get rid of? When I worked in retail in the elite, posh Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia I made a point on New Years Day of saying to customers, “Happy Mummers Day!” They HATED IT! I can still remember the sneers, snickers, rolling eyes, and the occasional, “You mean NEW YEARS DAY!”

We are STILL the same city who has told company bosses and corporations to fuck themselves. I can feel and believe this. And what Philadelphia Magazine does when they say that the mummers are SO INSIGNIFICANT that they should be gotten rid of is PROOF that it is the wealthy one percent they speak for. Philadelphia Magazine has TODAY PROVEN that they are in fact not at all interested in the 99 percent of Philadelphians who make this city shine! I’ve met the rich of this town, and they’re a bunch of fucking bores! And Victor Fiorillo is just another bellhop carrying their bags with a grin! CHUMP!

But LOVE for Philadelphia, where I learned to love the world!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


JUBILAT Magazine has published PRETERNATURAL CONVERSATIONS and the seven resulting poems in issue #20. To celebrate, they have asked poets to make videos reading the poems.

(posted by CAConrad)

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 31st is my 25th anniversary of living in Philadelphia! 

Where do you want to die? Don’t tell me you haven’t thought of this. Where you want to die says a lot about how the place fills your life, your waking dreaming life. For me it’s always been Philadelphia. For me poetry has always been about Philadelphia. For me Philadelphia has always been about poetry.

I have known hundreds of poets in this city and this is not a figure of speech, I do mean hundreds. 95 percent of them stopped writing. I’m glad to have grown into this world WITH the poems. In August, walking down Sansom Street near my tiny apartment an old poet friend of twenty years ago said hello. He didn’t bring up poetry so I did. He said, “Nah, got to grow up some day, right?” And I said, “I HAVE grown up, but WITH poetry!” He scratched his head vigorously then said, “Yeah, I miss poetry sometimes though.” And I said, “It’s always there, you don’t have to miss it too long if you don’t want to.” I hope he’s reading and writing again SOON because I liked his poems so much.

It’s funny, that reaction he had, saying that we have to grow up one day. What is that about? He’s not the first of these MANY poets who have stopped writing to say such a thing to me. I think they associate poetry with a time in their lives when they felt freer than they are now. And maybe they romanticized poetry when they were younger and became frightened by it as other demands pulled at them.

You can do anything and write poems. Right? It feels silly saying this because it seems so obvious to me, but I guess it’s NOT so obvious to some? If you love poetry and want to write poems, and are not writing poems, and you live in Philadelphia, and want to talk about it, call me: 215.563.3075 (this is a landline with an old-fashioned answer-machine because cell phones DO cause brain cancer, and I HATE brain cancer and I LOVE my LIFE!)

It’s a beautiful world! And I feel like I live in the best place on Earth. The city of Philadelphia is perfect for poets to be poets. I moved here in 1986 into a teeny apartment and turned the rest of the city into my living room. I have an enormous living room, and it’s where I write, and live.

Hope I get to celebrate my 50th anniversary of living here. I love it! If not, I hope someone scatters my ashes on the northeast corner of 22nd and Chestnut, under the big tree. Don’t ask permission, I GIVE YOU PERMISSION! Thanks!

Thanks Philadelphia! And thanks to my incredible, beautiful friends! LOVE YOU!

p.s. these 4 images are 4 of my favorite places in Philadelphia

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So much Philly POETRY!!!!!!!! 


2 upcoming MUST-SEE readings from GENERAL IDEAS Series hosted by Debrah Morkun & Kim Gek Lin Short:
11/5 is a BLOOF BOOKS Festival: Anne Boyer, Shanna Compton, Jennifer Knox, and Maureen Thorson, details by clicking HERE

The magical Anne-Adele Wight's long-awaited FIRST BOOK is out! And her book party will be Saturday, November 5, at 2 PM
at Moonstone Arts Center, 110-A South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA! There will be food, books, and THE AMAZING Anne-Adele Wight! Click HERE for the Blazevox page for her new book!

Debrah Morkun's book THE IDA PINGALA is coming out! Her book party will be on NOVEMBER 11th, that's 11/11/11, at Giovanni's Room Bookstore, 5:30pm, details at THIS LINK! NOT TO BE MISSED! Debrah's first amazing book PROJECTION MACHINE did NOT have a book party in Philadelphia, which was VERY SAD, so we're going to celebrate BOTH books on 11/11/11!!!!!!!!!!! And then go to Dirty Frank's afterward to toast at 11:11pm on 11/11/11!!!!!!!!!!! Click HERE for the Blazevox page for THE IDA PINGALA! Don't miss this event! DON'T MISS THIS EVENT!

PhillySound poet
Michelle Taransky
has an incredible
NEW chapbook from
which you can seeat THIS LINK!
Order it while you can!!!!

Jenn and Chris McCreary
have published
AN AMAZING chapbook
by Jamie Townsend titled
THE DOME, which you
can read more
There's so much more going on of course, but this is just a little!

Thursday, October 06, 2011


That's American poet Frank Sherlock at the end of the video.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Old News 

My book Old News has been published by Furniture Press. It's available here.

Big thanks to Christophe Casamassima, the editor.

- Ryan Eckes

Saturday, September 10, 2011

poets at WCWPCCS 

WCWPCCS poets make my poetry meter hit FULL! On the back of this INCREDIBLE collaborative chapbook they write, "We all forgot who wrote what." WCWPCCS is Amy Berkowitz, Elisabeth Divis, Emma Gorenberg, Miriam Lawrence, Elisa McCool, and Jessica Young.

Here's a favorite of mine from the new collection EXQUISITE CRAPS. This is a poem I know that Magdalena Zurawski will LOVE as much as I do!


But you're very famous now, and older, and I have a feeling you're being interviewed on NBC and wearing a baseball cap or something. And anyway, I'm in this cornfield with another man -- but Bruce, when he turns his back, I think of you without the baseball cap -- I think of you and I braid cornhusks into little crowns to adorn you with. Bruce, put down the microphone, leave the NBC studios, you owe Al Roker nothing, he will go on to tell the weather, and you will go on to tell me the answer to this question: where does the wild corn grow, Bruce? I mean the corn that nobody planted on purpose.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Thank you Greg Bem! 

Click HERE to read the review of CANNOT EXIST chapbook series by Greg Bem! Click HERE to see our chapbooks Greg writes about! Many thanks to CANNOT EXIST editors Andy Gricevich and Lewis E. Freedman!

Friday, August 12, 2011

G-Philly Interview 

Natalie Hope McDonald interviewed me for Philadelphia Magazine's G-Philly. Check it out here.

- Frank Sherlock

Thursday, August 04, 2011

iPhone poetry app 

The Academy of American Poets has just published my (Soma)tic poetry exercise "CONFETTI ALLEGIANCE" and its resulting poem as an iPhone app, which you can view here without use of a phone.

And for the full text and formatting, it is also available at this link.

Thank you, and ENJOY! I'm very happy to have an iPhone poem!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

art as experience 

Debrah Morkun interviewed me recently for her new project called Starlight, Philadelphia, which focuses on the practices and poetics of poets who live or have lived in Philadelphia. We talked about entropy, having the last word, and repeating yourself, among other things.

Click here to also read conversations with Jamie Townsend, Sarah Heady and Greg Bem, along with poems by each of them.

- Ryan Eckes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PhillySound Pew Fellows 

Congratulations to PhillySounders & 2011 Pew Fellows CAConrad and Pattie McCarthy! Toast them tonight wherever you are. They deserve the love.

- Frank Sherlock

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Journeys South Closing Event featuring Frank Sherlock 

This Thursday, June 9
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar
1627 East Passyunk Avenue

Join Mural Arts and the Journeys South artists as we celebrate this rich, multilayered community-based art project. The closing reception at Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar, located on East Passyunk Avenue, near Tasker Street – the oldest Italian-American business district in the country, and “South Philly’s Restaurant Row” – will mark the culmination of this six-week engaging and inspiring off-the-wall experience, and will feature:
  • A reading of the Journeys South Neighbor Ballads by author Frank Sherlock
  • Complimentary copies of the Journeys South commemorative book
  • Contemporary Italian fare and open bar from 5:30-6:30pm, followed by drink specials from 6:30-7:30pm
The event is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required.
To RSVP, email events@muralarts.org or call 215-685-0759.

-Jenn McC.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I'm Poetry Trading Card #17
from Fact-Simile Editions
all details at

posted by CAConrad

Saturday, May 28, 2011

6/5/11 (Soma)tic Poetry Workshop 

for all details on the
JUNE Philadelphia
go to

posted by CAConrad

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Poetry This Weekend at Robin's 

This Saturday, May 14th at 7pm

it'll be

Jenn McCreary
Chris McCreary
Ryan Eckes
& Christophe Casamassima

in a Splitleaves Affair at Robin's Bookstore, 110A S. 13th Street

and on Sunday, May 15th, at 3pm

it'll be

Jennifer L. Knox
Melissa Stein
Jeffrey McDaniel
Ada Limón
& Shane Book

doing an Exquisite Reading at the same venue.

- R Eckes

Friday, May 06, 2011

Neighbor Ballads on the Street 

The Neighbor Ballads project is a public art installation available for the taking from honor boxes in South Philly. These seven poems celebrate figures from immigrant communities that continue to shape one of Philadelphia's most diverse and storied neighborhoods.

It's been a pleasure to meet and work with the friends, families and figures themselves that make this project a reality. Big ups to collaborator Erik Ruin for his visual design and box installation.

Where you can find them:

Antonio Isoleri- 9th & Carpenter
Frank Snock- 9th & Washington
Fabiola Canto- 9th & Ellsworth
Ba Nguyen- 9th & Passyunk
Bill McIntyre- 10th & Dickinson
Dorothy Allen- Cross & Passyunk
Joe Tayoun- Passyunk & Morris

The installation is a component of Journeys South, a neighborhood-wide Mural Arts Program initiative . Check out all the great installations that comprise Journeys South.

- Frank Sherlock

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