Archive for the ‘Open Thread’ Category

January 14th, 2010
Open Thread

Announcing the Morgantown Poets winter/spring reading series kickoff, featuring Matt Anserello, Isaac Pressnell and T. W. McNemar

chapbook-31Thursday, January 21 at 7pm, Open Thread and Morgantown Poets will hold the kickoff reading for their winter/spring reading series at the Monongalia Arts Center. The reading will feature the poets Matt Anserello, West Virginia winner of our 2009 Tri-State Chapbook contest and Isaac Pressnell, the West Virginia judge of same, as well as humor and fiction writer T. W. (Terry) McNemar.  The reading is free and open to the public. The MAC is at 107 High Street, downtown Morgantown (beside Hotel Morgan).

About the authors: McNemar is a humor, short story and novel writer. His writing reflects the humanity, humor and conscience of everyday life, often in a strong Appalachian style. McNemar’s work has been featured in The Johns-Hopkins University ‘ScribblePress,’ the drama textbook, Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays, MountainEchoes, and Traditions, the literary journal of Fairmont State University. His novella, “Ragdoll Angel” (Booklocker, 2007), tells the story of a kidnapping in a small mountain village in 1952. McNemar is also the current president of West Virginia Writers, Inc.

Anserello holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University and lives in Morgantown with writer Emily C. Watson and two retired greyhounds. His poems have appeared in Bat City Review, Phoebe, Smartish Pace, and Versal, among others. Anserello is the West Virginia winner of the 2009 Open Thread Tri-State Chapbook Contest for his chapbook, “Cloud Shaped Room.”

Pressnell earned his Master of Fine Arts in poetry from WVU.. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Tar River Poetry, Ninth Letter, DIAGRAM, Opium, Bravado, Lake Effect and OTQ: Open Thread Quarterly. He lives in Keyser where he teaches English at Potomac State College.

About the Organization: Morgantown Poets is an informal not-for-profit, all-volunteer community group that meets from 7-9 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at MAC, providing literary enthusiasts in north-central West Virginia the opportunity to express themselves, share their work, network and to connect up-and-coming writers with more established authors. New writers are welcome. Join the group on Facebook by entering “Morgantown Poets” in Facebook’s search. Or join Morgantown Poets mailing list by writing to or the listserve.

Established in 1977, West Virginia Writers, Inc. is the state’s largest nonprofit, all-volunteer, writers’ resource and service organization serving literary interests. West Virginia Writers sponsors both an annual writers’ conference and an annual writing competition.

Questions: call 304-292-3325 or email

IMPORTANT NOTE: During winter months, Morgantown Poets schedules featured authors on a WEATHER-PERMITTING basis. If weather conditions are poor, Morgantown Poets does not guarantee any and/or all scheduled authors will be able to attend. In fact, Morgantown Poets discourages anyone (featured authors included) from attempting to drive in poor weather conditions, snow or ice. We urge everyone to exercise utmost caution during winter driving season. DO NOT attempt to drive to any event if road conditions are (or may become) hazardous. Safety first!

December 2nd, 2009
Adam Atkinson

pushcartOpen Thread is pleased to announce its six nominees for the 2009 Pushcart Prize.

From the Open Thread Regional Review, Vol. 1 (April 2009):

“Legacy,” by Alayna Frankenberry

“Oh Bless Thy Fine-Feathered Healer,” by Sophie Klahr

“This Is an Advertisement I Would Like to Produce,” by Tom Laskow

and “Because I Asked for Marvels Poached in Ice,” by S.E. Smith

From the 2009 Open Thread Tri-State Chapbooks (July 2009):

“Choose Your Baby,” from the chapbook Cloud Shaped Room by Matt Anserello

and “22. Down,” from the chapbook Life as a Crossword Puzzle by Noah Falck

Huge thanks go out to all our contributors, who trust us with their extraordinary work in every publication.

open-thread-rr-cover2The open reading period for Volume Two of the Open Thread Regional Review closes on Sunday, November 1st at midnight! We’re considering unsolicited poems, stories, essays, paintings, drawings, prints, photos, video stills, documentation of 3-D work, comics, and mixed media and genres!

Who’s eligible? Any native or current resident of Open Thread’s target region: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Eligible writers and artists must also be in the early stages of a career in their respective field.

Here’s how to submit: go to, register as an Open Thread member (free!), and then upload your work at! Be sure to read carefully: preference is given to work that meets our submission guidelines.

The Open Thread Regional Review is an essential collection of the region’s best emerging art and literature. Volume Two is scheduled for release in early 2010 and is supported in part by a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund. Volume One is available for purchase at

This spring, Open Thread is holding its first-ever Tri-State Chapbook Contest  in partnership with Encyclopedia Destructica! We’re taking manuscript submissions now until June 1st, so check out our handy guidelines

Once the deadline rolls around, Open Thread will announce a set of finalists for each state – Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – and send the manuscripts off to our final judges! So start submitting, and tell your regional cohorts! In the meantime, get to know our guest judges.



Ohio: Tyler Meier

Tyler Meier’s poems have appeared in AGNI, Cranky, Forklift, Ohio, Prism Review, and the Seattle Review. Poems are forthcoming from Bat City Review and Washington Square. He works as the managing editor of The Kenyon Review.





Pennsylvania: Claire Donato

Claire Donato grew up in and around Pittsburgh, PA. She is the former poetry editor of The New Yinzer and has studied poetry at The University of Pittsburgh and, most recently, Brown University. She is the author of a chapbook, Someone Else’s Body (Cannibal Books 2009). Her poetry and prose have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as Harp & Altar, Caketrain, Coconut, Fou, Gustaf, Dewclaw, The Open Face Sandwich, and Gray Tape. She currently lives in Providence, RI.



West Virginia: Isaac Pressnell

Isaac Pressnell received his MFA in poetry from West Virginia University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Ninth Letter, DIAGRAM, Opium, and Bravado. He lives in Keyser, WV where he teaches English at Potomac State College.



Tyler, Claire, Isaac, and all of us at Open Thread can’t wait to read your chapbook manuscripts, so upload yours now!



Pecha Kucha Night is a “high-energy showcase that started in Japan in 2003 and now occurs in over 110 locations globally.” Add Pittsburgh to the list and Open Thread to its proud participants!

In short (because that’s the style of Pecha Kucha, which means “chatter” in Japanese), each presenter uses 20 slides in 20 seconds to share her/his project, idea, or musings. Then the presenter must, in the website’s words, “sit the hell down.” The result is a fast-paced taste of what’s creative and exciting in Pittsburgh.

This Friday, April 3rd, AIA and AIGA (No, righteous populace, not AIG.) of Pittsburgh will hold their Pecha Kucha Night at 8pm in the Third Floor Gallery downtown. Tickets are $10 at the door. 

Open Thread co-director Scott Andrew and I will share why we started Open Thread, what it’s done so far, and where we’re taking it in 2009 and 2010. 

Our fellow presenters include Steelerbaby, Teresa Foley, Open Thread featured artist Laura Miller, and representatives from the Pittsburgh Signs Project.


March 29th, 2009
Adam Atkinson


Reading Period for Open Thread’s Tri-State Chapbook Contest Starts Wednesday, April 1st

Open Thread and Encyclopedia Destructica are collaborating on a new project, the first annual Tri-State Chapbook Contest, supported in part by a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund.

Three winning chapbook manuscripts – one from Ohio, one from Pennsylvania, and one from West Virginia – will be selected in June and produced by Encyclopedia Destructica for release in July. Guidelines for submissions can be found here.

The first round of reading begins on April 1st and concludes at midnight on June 1st, 2009 (the latest possible submission date). At that point, Open Thread will announce finalists and send them to guest judges (TBA). We can’t wait to start reading your poetry and prose!

March 29th, 2009
Adam Atkinson



img_05021The Open Thread Regional Review, Vol. 1, long previewed on our website, is finally hitting Pittsburgh this Thursday, April 2nd at INBOX/OUTBOX! It will sell for $15 at the event (way cheaper than online), and Encyclopedia Destructica’s Coatlicue 2 will sell for $10.

The event kicks off at 7pm at Encyclopedia Destructica Studios in Lawrenceville (address below) with readings by Coatlicue 2 contributors Mallory Monroe, Nick Rogers, and Wayne Wise – and Open Thread Regional Review contributor Lizzie Harris.

More Regional Review contributors read at 8pm: Alayna Frankenberry, Tom Laskow, Sally Wen Mao, Ben Pelhan, and Nicola Pioppi.

Throughout the night, selected artists from the Regional Review will display their work, including Danielle Brannigan, Elin Lennox, Michael McParlane, Jack Meade, Michael Pisano, and James Storch. Also, a silent auction featuring local businesses will raise money for the Tri-State Chapbook Contest, Open Thread’s new collaboration with Encyclopedia Destructica.



After the event, SPOILERS will host an after party at New Amsterdam in Lawrenceville, featuring DJs Lauren G and Nikkels, as well as video by Michael Mallis, Tom McConnell, Michael McParlane, and Michael Pisano. Thanks to SPOILERS, 10% of the bar benefits the Tri-State Chapbook Contest.

March 2nd, 2009
Scott Andrew

Open Thread Receives Sprout Funding

Open Thread is proud to announce that we are now supported in part by a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund. This support will enable us to foster new relationships with emerging regional artists through upcoming projects like our Tri-State Chapbook Contest, SPF (Pittsburgh’s small press festival), The Regional Review Vol.2, and events like Poetsburgh and Variety Variety Variety.

The Sprout Fund is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative ideas and grassroots community projects that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh.

Founded in 2001, Sprout is designed to facilitate community-led solutions to regional challenges and supports efforts to create a thriving, progressive, and culturally diverse region. With strong working relationships to many community organizations and regional stakeholders, The Sprout Fund is one of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s leading agencies on issues related to civic engagement, talent attraction and retention, public art, and catalytic small-scale funding.

With ongoing local support and continued appreciation by the communities it serves, The Sprout Fund will continue to provide an entry point for young people to become involved and active in their communities and support projects that have the collective power to shape a new culture and vision for the region.

January 27th, 2009
Scott Andrew

Open Thread’s fundraiser Variety Variety Variety! returns to the brillobox – Saturday, the 31st!

The event kicks off at 9pm with the comedic stylings of Hustlebot, Pittsburgh’s best improv troupe. Check out their website and videos - they’re not to be missed. Mariage Blanc, a top local music act, follows at 10pm. Check out their music here - and their killer reviews here and here.

At 11pm, the dance party kicks off with the world premiere of Therm & Soul’s new music video, directed by Michael McParlane and Michael Pisano, both of whom are featured in the first volume of Open Thread Regional Review, Vol. 1! DJ Thermos (of Therm&Soul) will provide the beats for the dance party, and Tom McConnell will supply the video, including footage from Michael Mallis.

The dance party also serves as an after-party for the release of Encyclopedia Destructica’s “Flying Destructicate,” featuring Jon Brodsky.

The Typewriter Girls will emcee the evening, and artist-vendors Curious Machine and Isn’t That Something? will sell their wares from 9-11.

All this for $5. ($4 if you just come for the dance party.) See you there (if you’re 21)!

December 10th, 2008
Adam Atkinson

POETSBURGH is back! Open Thread’s series of emerging poets in iconic spaces returns this Friday, December 12th, at the University of Pittsburgh’s English Nationality Room in the Cathedral of Learning. We’re also thrilled to announce that Weave Magazine is now partnering with us on this reading series, and that their first edition will be for sale at the event!

Four local readers - Tom Laskow, Molly Prosser, Dan Shapiro, and Michelle Stoner - will read selections from their work. There is just a suggested donation of $5 at the door that will benefit upcoming events and projects by both organizations, and did we mention that the Cathedral will be decked out for the holidays? So come share your yuletide spirit with OT and Weave, then join the poets at the Union Grill afterwards! Doors open at 7pm!

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