Michael Grover is a Toledo-based poet, activist, and editor. He is the head poetry editor at Red Fez and author of the recently released chapbook “American Eyes”, which I just finished reading prior to this interview. It’s a great collection of poems, and I find Michael’s unapologetic attitude about political poetry to be refreshing and bold. He is willing to write what he sees, and say what he thinks. He seemed like a good choice to kick off the new series here at PRATE. -Lynn Alexander
LA: Tell us about what you are doing right now: your poetry, new books, upcoming projects, editing roles, reading series- tell us a little bit about where you are at right now.
MDG: I have a new book coming out sometime next year on Tainted Coffee Press called “A Shotgun Does The Trick”. I’m really proud of that. It’s my first book. I have a new chapbook coming out on CFDL press in February. It’s called “Some People Go Crazy”. It’s about a bad relationship I recently went through. The woman just drowned in her problems literally. There was nothing I could do. I’ve got a huge poem that I’ve been working on for three years now. It’s called “Confessions Of An american Outlaw”. It’s up to number two eighty something right now. I really do feel that is my best and most defining work. Once the book comes out, I plan on looking into getting that published as a whole. It’s just the Poem that never ends. It will follow me to the grave.
As far as editing goes, I am the current head Poetry editor of Red Fez. I have been for over two years now. A couple of months ago my friend Matt and I were lamenting at his kitchen table the death of yet another print Poetry zine. I used to do a punk zine, so I told him we could do a print zine ourselves. That night Mixolydian Blues was born. Matt came up with the name. It has something to do with the Beatles. I don’t know, I hate The Beatles. Always have. I just let him name it. We are having a launch for that at the open mic at The Black Kite in January.
Which brings me to the reading series at The Black Kite. Pretty much I had been hosting readings here at the Collingwood Arts Center for four years and that changed. Suddenly I was on the outside politically and no one would tell me why. It was a tough time, I had put everything into this place. Suddenly then from out of nowhere, this coffee shop opens up right on the corner in this ghetto assed neighborhood that has nothing but churches. It was actually a really cool coffee shop. It was like a sign that it should be my next move. So I talked to the owner about doing a reading once a month. She was not crazy about the idea but said we could try it out. By the end of the first reading she was begging to do it twice a month. So now I host an open mic on the first Monday, and features and an open mic on the third. It’s going great. We have our first out of state feature coming in February, it’s Michele McDannold. She was in town for one night and we went there that morning for breakfast and she decided she had to feature there. She fell in love with the place, which is not hard to do. The reading is evolving. Last night we streamed it on U-Stream for the first time. It’s exciting and Toledo needs the culture. Continue Reading…