Sunday, October 18, 2020

Jill Bialosky

Jill Bialosky

On Monday, October 26, editor, poet, and novelist Jill Bialosky will be interviewed by Diane Kendig for the Cuyahoga County Public Library's "Beyond the Book Jacket" feature. This event will be broadcast on CCPL Facebook Live: Now living in New York, Bialosky was born and raised in Cleveland.  Her most recent poetry collection is  Asylum: A Personal, Historical, Natural Inquiry in 103 Lyric Sections.
Jill Bialosky (image by Ron Hogan)

(CCPL's Facebook live page has a number of events coming up; many of them also featuring local writers. Check out the list at )

Sunday, October 11, 2020

These Young Black Poets Have a Message

Check out "Listen Up: These Young Black Poets Have a Message" (ten teenage writers show the future of poetry), an interactive feature in The New York Times.

Introduction by Maya Phillips
, interviews by Pierre-Antoine Louis. Poets featured: William Lohier, Nyarae Francis, Inari Williams, Alora Young, Madison Petaway, Jacoby Collins, Ava Emhoff, Leila Mottley, Akilah Toney, and Samuel Getachew.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Passing along the pen--

I've been the moderator (or maybe I should say, herder-of-cats) for Clevelandpoetics: the blog for the last ten years...  I've somewhat drifted away from the Cleveland poetry scene lately, though. While I still publish the occasional poem here and there, and even semi-regularly show up at workshops, other conflicts have meant that I haven't been a regular at any of the local reading series for a while (even before most of them went on hiatus, or virtual, due to the pandemic).  And, more to the point, I'd been letting the blog languish while my time was spent on other things.

So I've decided I should pass the keys along and let somebody else drive.  John Burroughs shouldn't be a new name for any of you; other than me, he's been one of the most prolific names keeping the blog alive, and of course he's also been a regular feature in the poetry scene in the area. He has already been the one keeping the calendar, (and doing an exceptional job of it), so passing the moderation along to him won't be too much of a surprise for you all.

So: welcome John as the new keeper of the blog.  Good luck, and keep the heart of the Cleveland poetry scene beating.

...I might add that Clevelandpoetics is not a one-person show!  We welcome new voices, and we're open to posts, reviews, and thoughts about poetry or about Cleveland.  We have a guest post account, or we can give you access-- let us know!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Lit Youngstown's 4th Annual Fall Literary Festival Is This Month

Via Videoconference
September 24-26, 2020, EST

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
–Walt Whitman

This year’s theme is In Many Tongues: Constituents of the Barbaric Yawp.

This year’s conference will be centered around the theme In Many Tongues, a conversation bringing together writing and publishing, literary inclusion, translating and translation, dialect and dialog, atypical modes of speech, and the generational, political, ecological, and experimental elements that add to the wider literary conversation.

The conference will include creative readings, craft talks, workshops and panel discussions on writing, reading, teaching, performing, editing and publishing creative works. Highly acclaimed visiting faculty will share their experience and insights, and presenters from Ohio and beyond will speak on a variety of topics.

More information on registration is available here:

Registration costs $45; for graduate students and part-time faculty $10; undergraduate student registration is free. Streamlined registration process for a whole class of undergraduate or high school students. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

A poem by Philip Metres in The New York Times

Congratulations to Northeast Ohio's own Philip Metres, whose poem "Ode to the Oranges of Jaffa" was selected by Naomi Shihab Nye to be featured in this week's New York Times Magazine

Read it at

If you like that,  I recommend you check out his most recent book (in which the poem also appears): Shrapnel Maps (Copper Canyon Press, 2020).

Friday, July 31, 2020

Kari Gunter-Seymour is named Ohio Poet of the Year 2020

The Ohio Poetry Day Association has selected Kari Gunter-Seymour as its Ohio Poet of the Year for 2020. Gunter-Seymour was selected for her latest book of poems, A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2020).

Residing near Athens, Ohio, Gunter-Seymour is a ninth generation Appalachian and seeks to honor that heritage in her poetry. She often writes in the voices of those she encounters and uses a regional accent when she performs.

“As an Appalachian poet, I take great pride in my heritage,” Gunter-Seymour says. “For generations my ancestors have loved and worked the land, read their Bibles and migrated as the weather or wanderlust prescribed, handing down their knowledge and experiences through story and song.”

Chosen from among eight books nominated for Ohio Poet of the Year, A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen is Gunter-Seymour’s second poetry collection.  [The first is Serving.]

“This [Ohio Poet of the Year] award feels like a victory for all who came before me,” she said, “as well as all yet to come and for the untold number of Appalachian poets, writers and singer/songwriters who have touched my life and my writing in so many ways.”

Kathy Fagan, one of four judges and the 2017 Ohio Poet of the Year for her book Sycamore, calls Gunter-Seymour “a poet for whom family and region provide a well-source of words.”

Gunter-Seymour’s winning the award comes on the heels of her recently being selected as Ohio’s third State Poet Laureate by Governor Mike DeWine. She also previously was Poet Laureate of Athens, Ohio.

Gunter-Seymour is also the founder and Executive Director of the Women of Appalachia Project. This organization offers opportunities for women artists of Appalachian descent and diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to participate in artistic programs as a way, according to its website, “to embrace the stereotype, to show the whole woman.” The Women of Appalachia Project sponsors spoken word events, poetry readings, fine art exhibitions and other artistic programs and publications.

The Ohio Poetry Day Association was founded in 1937 by authorization of the Ohio Legislature. Since 1976, it has selected annually an Ohio Poet of the Year, basing its choice on a book published in the previous one to two years. The award is based on the one book and not on an aggregation of work published over time. Four judges are selected to review the nominees, one of which is always a previous poet of the year winner.

“I was honored to read books by all the outstanding nominees for Ohio Poet of the Year,” said Fagan. “Gunter-Seymour joins an impressive list of previous winners, re-inscribing for each of us just how rich and deep Ohio’s poetic heritage has been.”

Another judge, Robin Mullet (co-author with Holli Rainwater of The Curve of Her Arm) said that being a judge was one of the most challenging tasks she has ever had because each of the nominees was deserving of the award.

“Although I have long known that Ohio was a treasure chest of poetry, I was still blown away by the depth, diversity and richness of the language of these skilled poets,” she said.

For more about the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year, please visit

Friday, April 24, 2020

Ray McNiece, new poet laureate of Cleveland Heights

from Rachel Bernstein of Heights Arts writes:
"I’m thrilled to announce that our Heights Writes Community Team has chosen Ray McNiece as the next Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights!” The two-year appointment begins this month. The Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate was, for many years, the only poet laureateship in the state of Ohio, and is one of Heights Arts core programs. McNiece will be the 10th poet serving the community in this capacity."

See their announcement here.
Ray McNiece, new poet laureate of Cleveland Heights

Ray writes:
"Many thanks to Rachel Bernstein Kathleen CervenyChristine Howey and the Heights Writes Committee. I take over from a long line of great poets of community including this past two years' poet Damien McClendon!
"My big proposal is intergenerational poetry circles with elders and youth which will obviously be on hold until we can find a way to do workshops safely. Likewise the community poetry workshop which will probably be done through Zoom, (I'm currently leading one for the Lit). I'll also be soliciting local poets for the very successful Ekphrastacy Series, poets responding to Art for Height's Arts Gallery Shows. I'll be leading Seasonal Ginko (Haiku Hikes) at Cain Park and initiate a revival of the Best Cleveland Poem contest, named for Daniel Thompson, Cleveland's legendary Community Poet and long time Cleveland Heights resident, with Student, Adult and Senior Categories. Eventually we hope to have quarterly Lit Jams, performances of poems, stories, songs, monologues and stand up comedy backed by the Tongue in Groove Band at a Cleveland Heights Music venue, imagine Literary "Happenings"! I am also going to start a blog dubbed, An Analog Man in a Digital World, where I'll post news updates on all of the above, poems, prompts and contest information. Thanks again, Yesterday I posted a tribute to my mother and it really was her encouragement to follow my dreams to be a poet (my immigrant Grandparents were drilling "Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer" in my head all through my childhood) that has brought me here. That, and the love of poetry instilled by my father's mother Zelma McNiece Cline, who always told me if you learn a poem by heart it lives with you your whole life!"

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ohio Poetry Day has announced their contests

reposted from the Ohio Poetry Association blog: the Ohio Poetry Day contests ar coming up next month.

Ohio Poetry day rulesOhio Poetry Day Contest Updates: 2020 Contests Flyer, 2019 Winners List

OPD 2020 Contests Information
The 2020 Ohio Poetry Day Association annual contests have been announced. May 15 is the deadline (postmark) for more than two dozen contests, including a “Welcome Aboard” category for first-time submitters. Below is a copy of the submission form, which provides full contest information. 

Ohio Poetry Day 2020 will take place October 2–3 at the University of Mt. Union in Alliance, Ohio. To get on the OPD mailing list, contact:
Amy Jo Zook
3520 State Route 56
Mechanicsburg, OH 43044 

Checks made payable to: Ohio Poetry Day..

-- also, the Ohio Poetry Association is looking for submissions for the Ohio Poet of the Year, an award open to Ohio poets who have published a collection of poetry in 2018 or 2019.

  • Information on how to nominate here
  • Information on the award here

Ohio Poetry Day list of contests

Ohio Poetry Day entry formOhio Poetry Day A Word About Format

OPD 2019 Contest Winners

The list of winners of the OPD 2019 poetry contests has been released. We're excited to see so many OPA members among the winners and honorable mentions. Congratulations to all!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Congrats to Guggenheim Fellow Phil Metres

photo of Philip Metres

Congrats to Cleveland Poet Philip Metres for being named a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow!

Guggenheim Fellowships represent "exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Not too late to catch up on A POEM A DAY!

It's April, and you know what that means... yes: 30 day of Poetry from the Cuyahoga County Public Library, featuring a new poem every day from a Northeastern Ohio poet, and a poetry prompt for you to write your own.
You're a week behind, but it's not too late to catch up: sign up for the daily e-mail.

We are one week into our #readwritepoetry 30 Days of Poetry Month. Click the link below to get caught up on our featured poetry blog posts and our daily "Write a Poem" exercises.
Thank you for joining our Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry mailing list.
Cuyahoga County Public Library | 2111 Snow Road, Parma, OH 44134

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Sonnet a Day from Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart reading a sonnet

For those who are fans of poetry, fans of Patrick Stewart, or fans of William Shakespeare, good news: Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a sonnet a day during the coronavirus lockdown, and posting it on twitter.



Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Poets for Science

David Hassler of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State updates us on Poets for Science:

During this time of crisis when we must rely on accurate, science-based information regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Wick Poetry Center would like to share news of the Poets for Science exhibit which traveled to Vanderbilt University during the first week of February.

Founded by poet and environmental activist Jane Hirshfield, the Poets for Science movement collaborated with the Wick Poetry Center to launch this exhibit at the March for Science on the National Mall in 2017. Featuring 25 poems curated by Jane Hirshfield, this exhibit offers interactive stations where visitors create poems from science-based texts. Visitors can also contribute a line to a community poem, modeled after Gary Snyder’s, “For All.” 
Charles Malone, outreach and program manager of the Wick Poetry Center, spent three days with Vanderbilt’s Communication of Science and Technology program, assisting exhibit visitors with the interactive exploration of the intersection of poetry and science. “It was a joy to share the conversation that Jane Hirshfield began at the March for Science in 2017. They responded to the narrative of working scientists discussing the importance of their work through our Emerge application,” said Malone.
Malone was joined by Samantha Horwitz, a Kent State University undergraduate Chemistry major who also studies English and Creative Writing.

Below are examples of poems created by visitors to the gallery using the Wick Poetry Center’s Emerge™ application: 
Kate Snyder’s poem echoes the symbiotic relationship between arts and sciences practitioners.
Cao Yutao was inspired by Tim Dodd’s “The Everyday Astronaut.” Yutao’s poem speaks to the shared humanity overcoming the disharmony of the Cold War’s Space Race.
More Poems in the Emerge™ Community 
During the exhibit, visitors also had the opportunity to contribute to a Thread community poem.

Said Malone: “One of my favorite contributions to the Thread was by a student named Adora. The prompt asks us to pledge to something in our fields that is important to us. Gary Snyder’s poem uses the form of the Pledge of Allegiance, which he spins to express his connection to the soil and animals, to the diversity and ecology of the place where he lives. Adora first simply pledged to the name of her field, Psychiatry. But then she made an inspired poetic decision to show us what Psychiatry means to her. She wrote:
‘I pledge to my innermost thoughts
and the marvelous wonders of the mind.
Insufficient would it be to pledge
and not vow to be ambitious
in my endeavor to expand
my knowledge of self
with confidence
in my ability to do as such.’
Another student, Molly, offered these lines: 
‘I pledge allegiance to cosmology,
to our place in the universe,
to what dwarfs us and makes us look up
o stars and star stuff, to galactic ballet,
to the bigger-than-me, to the gorgeous system
of which I am an infinitely small subset’.
It was remarkable to see how participants responded to these ideas and these tools for conversation.”

Co-presenter and Kent State University undergraduate student, Samantha Horwitz, was able to connect with another student that shares her same love for science and creative writing after her reading of the Thread community poem.The two were able to engage in the deep and philosophical ideas of pedagogy, and discussed their frustrations of chemistry lab instructions.

Horwitz recalled, “We talked about the frustration with instructions on lab reports that say things like ‘no metaphors,’ when the very best science teachers use metaphors to get across the most abstract ideas. From the humanities standpoint, I think that poets also employ a lot more problem-solving and analytical techniques than they might originally think.”
Samantha Horwitz engaging with a student at Vanderbilt University
Malone and Horowitz also participated in a panel discussion facilitated by Vanderbilt Dean David Wright with Austen Applegate from the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine, Dr. Jay Clayton from the English Department, Dr. David Wientraub, director of the Communication of Science and Technology program, and Professor Kate Daniels, Director of Creative Writing at Vanderbilt.

The ultimate synergy between artists and scientists captured the core values of the Poets for Science movement, as expressed by founder, poet, and activist, Jane Hirshfield. She writes, “Poetry and science each seek to ground our lives in both what exists and the sense of the large, of mystery and awe. Every scientist I know is grounded in curiosity, wonder, the spirit of exploration, the spirit of service. As is every poet.”

Please check out the following links for more information about the Poets for Science project:
Poets for Science Website
Responses to the "I Pledge Allegiance" Thread Prompt
Vanderbilt Community Poem: "I Pledge to the Big, to the Small"
No Metaphors in Lab Reports: Essay by Samantha Horwitz


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau