1623 Studio | Author Chris Leahy discusses “The Birds of Mongolia” on The Writer’s Block with John Ronan

TONIGHT! 11/14/19 8pm; re-airing 11/21/19 Channel 12

The fourth program of The Writer’s Block with John Ronan’s 30th anniversary features Chris Leahy on Birds of Mongolia, co-written with Gombobaatar Sundev.

“Mongolia is one the most unspoiled regions on earth, rich in spectacular landscapes, and home to abundant wildlife and some of the world’s rarest birds. Chris Leahy is an expert naturalist and birder and has been exploring Mongolia since 1982. Leahy served as Director of Mass Audubon’s Center for Biological Conservation and is the holder of the Bertrand Chair (emeritus). Gombobaatar Sundev is Mongolia’s most famous ornithologist.”

Birds of Mongolia field guide.jpg

Gloucester Poetry Without Paper and Rockport Paperless Poetry contests

2017 Poetry Without Paper celebration youth poetry_20170615_hosted by John Ronan and Christy Russo_Sawyer Free Public Library Glou© catherine ryan.jpg
Christy Russo and John Ronan host the 2017 Poetry Without Paper youth poetry ceremony 


2019 poetry contests for children and teens:

Gloucester Poetry Without Paper Contest co-founded by Christy Russo and John Ronan through Sawyer Free Public Library is now in its 17th year! Submissions are due March 1 – April 30th. Read all about it here: https://sawyerfreelibrary.org/poetry-without-paper-contest/

The deadline for Rockport Poetry’s Paperless Poetry Contest is midnight March 31. Submissions can be sent by email: rockportpoetry@gmail.com. Sharon Chace is Rockport Poet Laureate. Read more here. 

National Poem in Pocket Day for 2019 is April 25

✍️🎶Happy #pocketpoem day! Three from John Ronan. What poem will you share?

It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem.

John Ronan, a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature, shares two sonnets: “The Parlor” and “The Lesson.”  And the very short, “Arrowhead.”

The bifacial point, found in a potato
field in Maine, is still sharp,
a Micmac weapon or crafted heart
knapped from the whole cloth of stone.
Flint’s a slap in the face, elegist
relic only as long as you look.
Says: crow shadow and opaque.
Adds: I will exist without witness.

-John J. Ronan

John Ronan served as Gloucester’s Poet Laureate 2008-2010, maintaining the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, and producing Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV (now 1623 studios) program, The Writer’s Block.  His most recent anthology is Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown. He read “We, Helsmen” at Mayor Romeo Theken’s 2018 Inauguration. Ronan helped to establish Poetry without Paper; the 12th annual deadline for this beloved annual tradition is approaching. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 contest 

Winners announced! Poetry aloud! SFL Poetry without Paper reception June 15

20150604_190508.jpgSAVE THE DATE poetry aloud!


The 14th Annual Poetry without Paper Awards Ceremony and Poetry Reading is Thursday June 15th at 6:30pm at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library under the direction of Christy Russo. Author and poet John Ronan will present awards to High School, Middle School and Elementary school students who will then read their poetry aloud. Winners in each division receive prizes,  a book of poetry, certificate of excellence, and an invitation to appear on Cape Ann TV’s long running series The Writer’s Block. Poetry without Paper is open to students living in or attending school in Gloucester. Look for it each April.

The Writer’s Block

tales of bong tree island cover

If you’re looking for some fascinating tv viewing at 8:00 tonight, tune in to John Ronan’s The Writer’s Block on CATV Channel 12 for an interview with your’s truly about my book Tales of Bong Tree Island.  If you miss it tonight, it will air again on the 28th at 8:00.

E.J. Lefavour


More Things to Do!

From the Gloucester Daily Times Calendar:

Poetry Without Paper contest

The Gloucester Lyceum and coordinator John Ronan have announced the 7th annual Poetry Without Paper contest for students living in Gloucester. All levels, from elementary, middle and high schools are eligible, whether the student attends school in Gloucester or not. The contest honors national poetry month and will have its official start April 13. Entries will be accepted at http://www.sawyerfreelibrary.org until May 25. Winners receive U.S. Savings Bonds, books, and an invitation to appear on Ronan’s television program, “The Writer’s Block.” All winning poems will be published online. The presentation of awards will be made by Mayor Kirk on Thursday, June 11, 7 p.m., at the library.

Free library program

An evening of poetry, photography and song inspired by a collection of poems that record the voices of 19th century pioneer women as they and their families homesteaded the Okanogan Valley of Washington state, will be the subject of a Gloucester Lyceum/Sawyer Free Library program on Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m., at the library, 2 Dale Ave. The event, “Oh How Can I Keep On Singing:” Voices of Pioneer Women, celebrates National Poetry Month and is free and open to the public. The program will be performed by Kathleen Adams, Barbara Braver, Geraldine Herbert and Kristina Martin, and introduced by Jill Carter. Photographs of the Okanogan Valley taken by local photographer Susan Oleksiw during her visit to the area last summer will be on display in the Matz Gallery.

Cape Ann Art Haven

Cape Ann Art Haven offers family studio time every Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to bond with your children through art. Cost is $10 for the first child, $5 for each additional child. CAAH also offers classes for third- through fifth-graders every Monday and Wednesday from 3:30 to 5 and 5:30 to 7 p.m. The class runs for one month and costs $60. CAAH also offers classes for sixth- through eighth-graders every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. The class runs for one month and costs $60. To sign up, call 978-283-3888 or visit info@capeannarthaven.com. Walk-ins are welcome.

’50s dance

The Night Prowlers Car Club will hold its annual ’50s Saturday, April 18, at the Gloucester Fraternity Club, 27 Webster St. The dance will feature music by DJ Leo Francis, mystery guests, pizza at 9 p.m., door prizes and raffles. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 per person and are available at the door. Proceeds benefit the Gloucester Fraternity Club’s special needs children.

Beeman on Broadway

The Beeman School Chorus will present “Beeman on Broadway,” songs and dances from some of Broadway’s most beloved shows, on Wednesday, April 15 and Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m., at Beeman School. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for students.

More and More

John Ronan to hold poetry reading April 2

For those of you who didn’t see Joey and John Ronan’s interview segments posted last week, here is information on John’s upcoming book reading. And if you get a chance, see the interviews. Very interesting!

From the Beacon:

Gloucester’s poet laureate, John J. Ronan, will read from his new poetry book, “Marrowbone Lane,” on Thursday April 2 at 7 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This program is free of charge and open to the public.

John J. Ronan is a poet, playwright and journalist. He is also president of American Storyboard, Inc., a nonprofit charitable corporation that makes documentary videos.

His new book of poetry, “Marrowbone Lane,” appeared in January, published by The Backwaters Press. Poetry has appeared in scores of national magazines and reviews, including New England Review, Three Penny Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Hollins Critic and Notre Dame Review. Other books include “The Catching Self,” “The Curable Corpse,” “John J. Ronan: Greatest Hits 1975-2000.” Work was also included in an anthology of prize-winning poetry, “Sad Little Breathings,” edited by Heather McHugh.

In 1999, Ronan was named a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Literature. He is also a former Ucross Fellow and Bread Loaf Scholar. In June of 2008 he was named poet laureate of Gloucester.

As a playwright, Ronan premiered “The Yeats Game” at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in March 2008. The comedy drew full houses and rave reviews. As a journalist, Ronan has appeared in the Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, Saturday Review, and many other newspapers and magazines. He is a former columnist for the Essex County Papers and a former feature writer for The Boston Phoenix.

In 2002 American Storyboard premiered a documentary on the National Historic Landmark schooner Adventure, “Gloucester’s Adventure: An American Story.” The production won Telly and Aurora Gold awards for documentary excellence and was featured on PBS outlets. A new effort, “Women in American Horse Racing,” premiered in the spring of 2007; it was a finalist in the national media competition held annually by the Women’s Sports Foundation and has been featured on PBS outlets in Kentucky.

John Ronan is also the producer and host of “The Writer’s Block with John Ronan,” a television program featuring writers and other artists. The series, a first prize NECTA winner in 2005, will begin its 20th season in the fall of 2009 on Cape Ann Television.

The Sawyer Free library is located at 2 Dale Ave. For more information, call 978-281-9763 or visit http://www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Here are the first three of four video interviews with John Ronan-

Gloucester’s Poet Laureate John Ronan Part I

Gloucester’s Poet Laureate John Ronan Part II

Gloucester’s Poet Laureate John Ronan Part III