Craig Cotter

Poetry Workshop
Pasadena City College Extension            Limit 12 students

Course # 3226X
Dates:  10/6/18-10/27/18
Saturdays 10:00 a.m.-noon
Course Fee:  $69

Craigs hobbies include Sailing, Baseball, American arts and crafts, and package designs for outdated Beatle memorabilia.  But he's very nice and you should write him a letter if you get a chance.   --Tim Swartz, Michigan State University, 1982


Craig Cotter was born in 1960 in New York and has lived in California since 1986.  His fourth collection of poetry, After Lunch With Frank O'Hara, is available from Chelsea Station Editions, New York.  New poems have appeared in Oakland Review,  Ambit (London), The Antigonish Review (Nova Scotia, Canada), Assaracus, Bicycle Review, Caliban Online, Dalhousie Review (Halifax, Canada), Eleven Eleven, Euphony, Global Tapestry Review (U.K.), Hamilton Stone Review, Hawaii Review, Inkwell, Krax (U.K. ), The Los Angeles Review, Nexus, Nimrod, Ottawa Arts Review (Canada), POEMS-FOR-ALL, Poetry New Zealand, Rune, Tampa Review, Transcendent Visions, 2RIVER, & Otoliths (Australia). 

If you're keeping score at home, since 1979 Mr. Cotter has published 275 poems in 191 journals in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, France, Australia, New Zealand, The Czech Republic and Italy.



--Fourth book of poems, After Lunch With Frank O'Hara, now available from Chelsea Station Editions, New York.  Amazon

      --California Quarterly nominates "Because" for a Pushcart Prize

      --David Walker review of After Lunch With Frank O'Hara:  Review

Upcoming Journal Publications:

--New poem in current edition of  Main Street Rag

--New poem in current edition of Hawai'i Pacific Review

--New poem "You ever--" from Richard Hansen's wonderful POEMS-FOR-ALL series.  He also printed Jarrell's "The Death of the Ball Turret gunner"          for my poetry workshop students.

--New poem currently in Caliban Online

--Three new poems in Otoliths (Australia)

--New poem in The Great Lakes Review   A DAY BEFORE FRANK O'HARA'S 85TH BIRTHDAY

--New poems upcoming in Caliban Online

--New poem upcoming in Oakland Review

--New poem upcoming in Eleven Eleven

--New poem in current issue of California Quarterly

--Two poems in the current issue of Hawaii Review

 --Six new poems in Assaracus 21

--Two new poems in Ottawa Arts Review (Canada)

--Four new poem in Otoliths 40 with Lan Yuan Hung (Australia)

--New poem in current edition of Tampa Review (#50)

--Two poems upcoming in next issue of Hawaii Review

--New poem in upcoming issue of Columbia Poetry Review

--New broadside collaboration with Lan Yuan Hung now available from Singing Saw Press



--After Lunch With Frank O'Hara, Chelsea Station Editions, 2014

--CHOPSTIX NUMBERS, Ahsahta Press, Boise State University, 2000


--the aroma of toast, Black Tie Press, 1989




--Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press 

--Crossing Lines Anthology, Main Street Rag 2015  

--FOOLISH HEARTS:  New Gay Fiction, Cleis Press, 2013

--Between, New Gay Poetry, Chelsea Station Editions, 2013

--New Poets of the American West, Many Voices Press, 2010

--How The Net Is Gripped, Stride Publications (U.K.), 1992

--American Poetry Confronts the 1990's, Black Tie Press, 1991




    --One hour reading = $5000 (plus transportation if not in Los Angeles County)*

    --3-day university excursion, including reading and attending up to 2 poetry workshops per day = $15,000 (plus transportation outside of Los Angeles County).*

    --Contest judging =  $3000 (if no more than 25 manuscripts to review).* (Add $120 for each additional manuscript.  I will not judge contests where submissions haven't been whittled down to 50 manuscripts.)

     --Attendance at private parties of no more than 2 hours, with no obligation to talk = $10,000.*

     --Private lessons = $500/hour.**


*Fee discounts available for LGBTQ support and other worthy programs.

**Discounts for archetypal twinks.

Upcoming Readings, Workshops, Lectures:

--December 17-22, readings and workshops, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.  Sessions full; event coordinator attempting to create an addition reading open to the public.  Details to follow.



After Lunch


            for Frank O'Hara


You wrote at lunch

to stay thin

so your ass looked good in pants

so everyone loved you.


I eat lunch, no one wants me,

write after.  Though so many days

with your perfect ass

no one wanted you either.


Not for Poulenc but for you

I walked from Saint Germain to le Pont Mirabeau.


I was alone on that bridge

the Seine was grey

one of my exs walked with his wife

to the Avenue Mozart.


I've outlived you by 5 years

but not out-written you.

I stroll the Rue Pergolese

looking for dinner.




—See Frank O'Hara's "PERSONISM:  A MANIFESTO."  "As for measure and other technical apparatus, that's just common sense: if you're going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with you."


—See the Frank O'Hara Poem "FOR POULENC."  With the help of many friends, my first hours in Paris (2005) followed the route described in this poem.  I also have 10 pages of letters from friends about how to accomplish this walk in keeping with the O'Hara poem and considering Apollinaire's poem "LE PONT MIRABEAU."


—"le Pont Mirabeau"   —A bridge across the Seine in Paris, mentioned in Appollinaire's poem "La Pont Mirabeau" (try the Ron Padgett translation), and also referenced through Appollinaire in the O'Hara Poem "FOR POULENC."  (Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc [January 7, 1899—January 30, 1963] was a French composer and member of the French group Les Six.)


Published in Alimentum, Issue Nine, 2009




for bob creeley 5/1/05


i said to him

you prolly want me to speed it along


 " you say I'd say, see if you can quicken it

somehow, keep it moving.  Onward!                                     


Best as ever,





I didn't know that Robert Creeley was seriously ill when I received what would be his last email.  The final 4 lines, with exact line breaks, are from that email.


Published in The Antigonish Review,160 Winter, 2010




I took Time magazine


 to 6th grade

showing the U.S. map

with Soviet missile targets

by positions 1 through 3.

Priority 1 sites were the most important

and got the most ICBMs targeted at them.

We were glad Detroit was a 1—

we were proud of our Tigers.

But we thought the Soviets

didn't understand how important we were

outside of Pontiac, only getting a 2.

We deserved much more than the 20 ICBMs

                       pointed at us.




--Published in Court Green 7, 2010






I've consumed the goods of 10,000 people

by 48.


Born into this great democracy

purest chance


 I want 48 more

& those I love to never die.


I want a world

I have almost nothing to do with.


          --for William Heyen




Published in Eleven Eleven, Issue 12, 2012




Nickel Diner



Two teenage boys

14 & 15

on a date in front of me

at The Nickel Diner in LA.

They wear the same tennis shoes

different colors,

both worn.

One powder blue jeans, one dark blue jeans.

I’m having breakfast with Kenneth Koch

's Collected.

Did Frank call him Ken?

He's telling me about being 25 in Paris.

I tell him about

sitting alone in a café in the 4th Arrondissement

writing "Sausage Rolls"

as the 14-year-old boys left school in their blue uniforms.

Everyone was so well dressed in Paris

my friends told me my clothes weren't right.

One boy smiles all silver and grey braces

I don't know what he's telling his boyfriend over eggs.

Their love seems fragile/perfect.

My eggs have arrived baked into an oval porcelain dish.

Kenneth has coffee and smokes.

He knows I'm not eating

waiting for eggs and spinach to cool.

I've invited him to breakfast to tell him

I've decided he's a major poet

although much of his work is sub-standard.

Davin was unavailable because Troy

was making breakfast

and Arthea didn’t email back. 

I've been told Kenneth's body is gone

but have no proof of this.

The teen boys in love—he's not even chewing

as he stares into his boyfriend's eyes listening.

He (powder blue jeans)

puts a huge load of food in his mouth with his fork

like Alex used to

when we were 15 and 14.

Now he covers his face laughing

(his boyfriend said something)

his hand and long fingers so large they cover most of his face. 

I forgot to put on my earrings this morning

I have 43 cents in my wallet.




The boy (powder blue) is so skinny

he only ate 16.7% of his breakfast.

Food piles on his plate.

His left dark blue tennis shoe

touches the right white tennis shoe of his boyfriend under the table.

He taps his boyfriend's toes gently.

They are laughing about a large, red purse.

I didn't want to be alone this morning,

thank you Kenneth for coming from New York to LA on short notice for breakfast.





Published in Tampa Review, Issue 50, 2015




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