Craig Cotter

Poetry Workshop

Pasadena City College Extension Limit 12 students

PCC Workshop February 2022

Course # 3226X

Dates: 2/5/22-2/26/22

Saturdays 10:00 a.m.-noon

Course Fee: $75



Craigs hobbies include Sailing, Baseball, American arts and crafts, and designing packages for package designs for outdated Beatle memorabilia.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 366 poems in 249 journals in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, France, Australia, New Zealand, The Czech Republic and Italy.


--Below a link to my interview with The Granum Foundation. This podcast series, "The Artist's Statement," interviews writers about craft and the writing life.

Cotter Interview, Granum Foundation, 5.3.21

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

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

Upcoming Journal Publications:

--11/21/21, today had 6 new poems accepted for the next issue of Otoliths out of Australia.

--11/13/21, new poem upcoming in the inaugural issue of ABANDONED MINE out of New Mexico.

--On 12/6/21 at 7 p.m. EST I'll be reading my new poem as part of a Helix Literary Magazine recent publication: Helix Reading

--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 upcoming in Poetry New Zealand in 2022.

--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

--"Zuma Good Words" to appear in an upcoming Give-out Sheet from Marymark Press.

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

--Upcoming from Michigan State University Libraries Short Edition Series, an edition of art considering The American Road is soon to be released.

--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

--New poem upcoming in Muse Literary Journal

--New poem in the current issue of California Quarterly, Spring 2021, Volume 47, Number 1

--In 2022, new poem upcoming in Evening Street Review

--New poem appearing in the next issue of DASH Literary Journal (California State University, Fullerton Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics).

--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 poem upcoming in Southern Florida Poetry Journal

--New poem upcoming in I-70 Review

--Seventh Quarry (UK), Spring 2021

--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

--"Poetry Leaves Anthology, Waterford Township Michigan Public Library. My poem "Drayton Plains Nature Center" will be on display May 1-15 in Waterford, Michigan, and then appear in their annual anthology "Poetry Leaves." Poetry Leaves

--"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


--I NEED TO DREAM ABOUT YOU, whatever lucky press gets it, 2021

--ALEX, Upcoming, whatever lucky press gets it, 2021

--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


--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


--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 speak = $10,000.*

--Private lessons = $500/hour.**

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

**Discounts for archetypal twinks.

Upcoming Readings, Workshops, Lectures 2021

--October 15-18, Colombo, Sri Lanka, private birthday reading and celebration.

--November 13-17, Castries, Saint Lucia, private workshop sponsored by anonymous Hollywood actor.

--November 24-30, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, private workshop and reading, fund-raiser to protect the Jamaican fruit bat.

--December 20-January 4, Aalborg, Denmark, New Years workshop and readings hosted by Margrethe II of Denmark. Limited availability open to the public.


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