Craig Cotter

Poetry Workshop

Pasadena City College Extension            Limit 12 students

Next PCC workshop:  Fall 2024

--PCC Poetry Workshop--Registration Link for May 2024



Craigs hobbies include Sailing, Baseball, American arts and crafts, and designing packages for package designs for outdated Beatle memorabilia.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 Ambit (London), Antigonish Review (Nova Scotia, Canada), California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Poetry Journal, Court Green, Dalhousie Review (Halifax, Canada),  Gay & Lesbian Review, Great Lakes Review, Michigan State University Broad Art Museum, MUSE Literary Journal, Hawaii Pacific Review, Hawaii Review, Los Angeles Review, & Tampa Review.

If you're keeping score at home, since 1979 Mr. Cotter has published 433 poems in 299 journals in the U.S., France, Italy, the Czech Republic, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, India and Ireland.  In addition, Mr. Cotter has published the following works:  5 book reviews, 4 essays,  3 letters, 2 questionnaires,  7 pieces of Advice via Caliban Online, 2 short stores and 1 nonfiction piece.


--My interview by Davin Malasarn, The Granum Foundation's "The Artist's Statement:"   The Artist's Statement

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

--David Walker Review of After Lunch with Frank O'Hara

Upcoming Journal Publications: 

--5/25/25, my essay "Remembering Dominic Boni" will be published in an upcoming issue of Free State Review.

--5/14/24,  My poem "I Can’t Buy My Childhood House" was accepted by the Alabama Literary Review today and will be out in their next issue.

--4/29/24, new poem out in the "Subversive Edition" of Waxing & Waning

--4/28/24, I have a new poem out (page 122) in the current issue of NOON: JOURNAL OF THE SHORT POEM (Tokyo, Japan), and you can read it here:  NOON

--4/24/24, my poems "The Viper Room" and "Smell" are available in the current edition of The Cafe Review, and you can purchase a copy here:  The Cafe Review

--4/10/24, "Abandoned Mine" accepted two new poems for their May issue.

--3/25/24, late notice, my new poem "SKIN" in this issue of ArLiJo February 2023

--3/25/24,  I missed the publication of my poem "Discussing Proust with Barbara Drake" that was published in May of 2021:  ArLiJo May 2021

--3/1/24, the UK journal "Seventh Quarry" has published two poems in Issue 39 , Winter/Spring 2024.   One poem is my homage to Detroit Tiger's outfield Al Kaline.  The Seventh Quarry

--2/11/24, Abandoned Mine has selected 3 of my poems for their upcoming third anthology, 37 Poems for People Who Don’t Read Poetry

--2/5/24 My manuscript THAT NIGHT was a finalist for Southeast Missouri State University Press’ Cowles Poetry Prize

--1/8/24, my poetry manuscript That Night was long-listed in the 42 Miles Press contest.

--1/7/24 my new poem "Five Star Thespian" can be found here on page 60:   Months to Years 

--12/30/23, I have 2 new poems you can read here:  The Glacier 

--12/17/23 My poem "YOU CAN'T PIECE MY LIFE TOGETHER" will be published in the March 2024 issue of Eunoia Review (Singapore).

--12/8/23, my poem "I SPUN" was published by EMOZIONI 35 (Italy), October 2023

--11/15/23, my new poem "Because" out today in Abandoned Mine

--7/5/23, my poem "J. Michael Reilly" will be out in the next issue of  Months to Years 

--10/24/23, my poem "Sanamluang" will be published in the upcoming issue of the Tipton Poetry Journal

--8/28/23, you can read my new poem (page 12) in the current edition of  The Medical Literary Messenger 

--7/24/23, my poem "Isaiah" has been accepted by "Seventh Quarry" in the U.K., and will be in Issue 40/Summer 2024.

--7/23/23, My poem "Driving," published by the Michigan State University Libraries, is now available in print:  The American Road 

--6/30/23, California Quarterly has accepted my poem "The Muse" for their fall edition.

--5/12/23, Waxing & Waning Literary Journal accepted 3 new poems for an upcoming issue.

--5/2/23, Today the Alabama Literary Review accepted my poem "I have a stove" now available in Volume 32, 2023.

--4/16/23, I have a new poem that went live in ONE ART today, and you can read it here:  One Art 

--4/10/23,  I have a poem in the new anthology from Abandoned Mine Press, 43 Poems for People Who Don't Read Poetry.  Abandoned Mine Anthology

--3/25/23, my poem "Walking Santa Monica" has been accepted by SEEMS LITERARY MAGAZINE.

--3/24/23, my poem "Young Hair" is in the current issue of the British journal THE SEVENTH QUARRY.  

--3/17/23, my poem "Amusement" will be published in an upcoming issue of ABANDONED MINE.

--3/15/23, I have a new poem out in the current issue of Drunk Monkeys

--2/22/23, a new poem can be found in the current edition of Abandoned Mine

--2/13/23, Short Editions, a collaboration between the Michigan State University Libraries and the Michigan State University Broad Museum have accepted my poem "Preparing for Deer Season" for their spring edition.  MSU Short Editions--Preparing for Deer Season

--2/5/23, Misfit Magazine will published the first four stanzas of my poem "J. Michael Reilly" in their next issue.

--2/1/23, my poem "Beatlemania" will be published in the next edition of Southword out of Cork, Ireland.

--1/23/23,  new poem in the current edition of Emozioni, Libera Tribuna di Poesia & Altro #33 out of Italy.

--12/27/22 my poem "Tag You're It" is in the current edition of The Moth  (Ireland), Issue51, Winter 2022-3

--12/26/22, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics will be publishing my poem "If he rejects me" and my essay on Diane Wakoski's poem "The Story of Richard Maxfield" in their summer 2023 edition.

--12/4/22, my found poem "Lake Michigan" in the current issue of The Woven Tale

--12/4/22, I  have 2 new poems in the current issue of Misfit Magazine

--11/24/22, my poem "A Portrait of Alex at 50" has been nominated by The Racket for a Pushcart Prize.

--10/30/22, 4 new poems in the current issue of Otoliths 10/30/22

--10/15/22, new poem in the current issue of Gay & Lesbian Review

--8/21/22, I have a new poem in the current issue of Abandoned Mine

--8/16/22,  Today had a poem and an essay accepted for a new anthology exploring the poetry scene around East Lansing, Michigan during the 1970s and 1980s.  Will indicate here when the anthology is available.

--8/16/22, I have a new poem in the current issue of The Ravens Perch

--7/10/22, new poem upcoming in ICONOCLAST.

--5/11/22, I have a new poem in The Ravens Perch 

-4/16/22, Was great to participate in a tribute the poetry of Diane Wakoski tonight, hosted by Anhinga Press and Black Sparrow Press.  A video of the reading can be found here:  (1) Facebook 

--4/16/22, I have a new poem in the current edition of the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022

--4/9/22, new poem in the current edition of The Decadent Review

--4/8/22, have a new poem appearing in the next issue of Steam Ticket out of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.

--4/1/22, 2 poems in the current edition of The Ravens Perch, ONE OF THE BEST TIMES TO CRUISE and THE LAST TIME HALLEY’S COMET WAS HERE

--3/1/22, new poem in the current issue of THE RACKET 

--1/16/22 I have a new poem in the inaugural issue of Abandoned Mine:  Abandoned Mine--Michigan Bouquet

--1/31/22, 6 new poems in the current issue of Otoliths

--1/3/22, my review of Diane Wakoski's LADY OF LIGHT can be read here, at Ocean State Review:  Book Review of LADY OF LIGHT

--1/3/22, my review of Barbara Drake's THE ROAD TO LILAC HILL can be read here, at Ocean State Review:  Book Review of THE ROAD TO LILAC HILL

--12/20/21 my poem "You ever" in the current edition of The Ravens Perch

--11/10/21, I'll have a new poem out in the next edition of THE OCOTILLO REVIEW.

--10/18/21, new poem accepted for the next issue of Helix Literary Magazine.

--10/3/21 Thank you to the editors of Manzano Mountain Review who just nominated one of my poems for a Best of the Net Prize.

--10/3/21, my new poetry manuscript ALEX is a semi-finalist for The Word Works' 2021 Washington Prize

--New poem in the current edition (Summer/Fall 2021) of the I--70 Review.

--Four new poems in Otoliths #62,  Southern Winter 2021:  Otoliths #62, Cotter poems

--"I KNEW YOU WERE HERE" is in the current edition of ONE ART    

--Two new poems in the current edition of The Ravens Perch,  Brothers,    John Lennon

--Muse publication reading 6/11/21.  You can hear me read my poem at 17:15 and reading Ron Padgett's "Buckets" at 1:05:55.     MUSE reading at 17:15

--New poem in upcoming edition of The Literary Bohemian from the Czech Republic.

--In a collaboration between Michigan State University and the MSU Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, my poem "Driving" is currently available in the Short Edition issue, The American Road.  Short Edition Machines are located throughout the State campus, including in the Broad Museum, the MSU bookstore and the East Lansing Public Library.  Driving

--My essay on reading Walt Whitman is appearing in the next issue of DASH Literary Journal (California State University, Fullerton Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics).

--My new poem "Driving" published here, a collaboration between the Michigan State University Library and the MSU Broad Museum's exhibit "Interstates of Mind."    Michigan State University Libraries

--New poem here:  The Racket Journal #42

--Two new poems in the current issue of Otoliths Summer 2021

--New poem in the current of The Racket Journal

--New poem in the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of The Gay & Lesbian Times.

--I'm pleased to share with you I have two book reviews in the current edition of The Loch Raven Review out of Maryland. You can read my review of Diane Wakoski's great new book LADY OF LIGHT and Barbara Drake's virtuoso work THE ROAD TO LILAC HILL here: Loch Raven Review

--New poem "Because" in the current issue of The Café Review, Fall 2020:  Because--Café Review

--New poem "Making Tea" in the current issue of The Café Review, Fall 2020:  Making Tea--Café Review

--My poem "Ayaz Marhoni & Mahmoud Asgiri" a finalist in the Littoral Press broadside contest: Littoral Press,                     

--New poems in Calibanonline 39

--Five new poems in Otoliths (Australia)  Otoliths #56, Summer 2020

--Five new poems in Otoliths (Australia)  Otoliths #55,  Spring 2019

--My new poetry manuscript ALEX is a finalist for the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, 11/27/19:  ALEX--Tampa Press Finalist

--Arlington Literary Journal 127

--A new poem in Caliban 35

--"Rochester Summers," creative nonfiction,  Entropy 2.17.19

--Four new poems in  Otoliths 52, 2019 (Australia)

--Three new poems in Caliban Online 34

--New poem upcoming in Free State Review

--Three new poems from Robert Hansen's POEMS-FOR-ALL

--New poem in current edition of  Main Street Rag

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

--New poem currently in Caliban Online

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


--Bagatelles, whatever lucky press gets it, 2023

--I NEED TO DREAM ABOUT YOU, whatever lucky press gets it, 2023

--ALEX, Upcoming, whatever lucky press gets it, 2023

--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



 --43 Poems for People Who Don't Read Poetry,  Abandoned Mine Press, 2023

--Poetry Leaves, Waterford Township Public Library, 2019

--Best Gay Romance, Cleis Press 2015

--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



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


You ever

get together

with a group 

of fellow poets 

and feel

we’re the biggest group of losers

in town?

Note:  Published in POEMS-FOR-ALL, #1615, 2017