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

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

UPDATE: Rustbelt Poetry Festival on Hiatus

UPDATE from Akeem Rollins:

Hey, everyone. In light of growing cases of COVID-19 in Cleveland and the postponement of most things, we are going to put Rustbelt on hiatus for this year.

I am also stepping down as the chair. Blaire Bruns, JDavid Ockunzzi and Jacob Wagner are the current management committee. If you have questions, please direct to Blaire Bruns, the new planning chair, for next year's tournament.

Thanks everyone. I know. Coronavirus sucks.
Stay healthy....

Original Post:

Join us for the Midwest's longest running regional poetry slam. Come witness some of the best performers from around the United States as they compete for the title of 2020 Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion. Over 90 poets!

Join the Facebook group for regular updates:

Friday, January 31, 2020

Jessie Herzfeld - Illuminations & Visions - Arthur Rimbaud

[UPDATE: We'll also have an artist talk by Jessie Herzfeld and open mic at Art on Madison on February 29th at 7 p.m. Read your favorite Rimbaud poem, or share your own Rimbaud- or surrealist-inspired poem or song. Light refreshments will be provided. More info: Leap into Rimbaud.]

A fantastic Arthur Rimbaud-inspired exhibition by artist Jessie Herzfeld will open on February 7th from 6 to 9 pm at Art on Madison in Lakewood, Ohio. Refreshments provided. Hope to see you there! The show will run through March 7th. Check out Cool Cleveland's feature about it.

For more info, see Jessie Herzfeld: "Illuminations and Visions" Opening Reception on Facebook or visit the artist's website, JessieHerzfeld.com.

Art on Madison
14203 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Also coming up at Art on Madison:

February 18th: Poetry+ featuring Bill Yarrow & Laura Grace Weldon
March 17th: Poetry+ featuring Leah Mueller & Rikki Santer
April 21st: Poetry+ featuring Terry Provost & Nick Gardner

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Sara and John Make The Scene--

So, the upcoming reading by Sara Holbrook and John Burroughs made it into the Cleveland Scene-- two of Northeastern Ohio's premier poets.  Let's hope they get a lot of attention for it!

"Bowled over by Poetry"
Monday Jan. 6, 8-11 p.m.
Mahall's 20 Lanes
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood

Sunday, December 1, 2019

12/17 Poetry+ at Art on Madison: Ray McNiece & Michelle R. Smith

Poetry Plus at Art on Madison will triple your pleasure on Tuesday, December 17th with readings by two acclaimed featured poets - Ray McNiece and Michelle R. Smith - plus an open mic. Doors open at 7 pm, with the show beginning promptly at 7:30.

Ray McNiece is the author of 9 books of poetry and monologues, including New Haiku and Love Song for Cleveland, a collaboration with photographer Tim Lachina. He’s toured Italy twice with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He toured Russia with Yevgeny Yevtushenko and performed at the Moscow Polytech, the Russian Poets’ Hall of Fame, where he was dubbed “the American Mayakovsky.” The Orlando Sentinel, reporting on his solo theater piece Us—Talking across America at the Fringe Festival, called him “a modern day descendant of Woody Guthrie.”

Michelle R. Smith is a black femme feminist, media activist, and admitted Netflix addict that between fighting the good fight and watching copious stand-up specials, dark comedies, and music documentaries manages to write poems, tell stories, teach college and high school kids, and be a loving mother and wife. She is the author of the poetry collection Ariel in Black, and she is currently working on a new collection tentatively titled The Real Jazz Wives of 20th Century America and looking to publish a third collection, called The Vagina Analogues.

Open mic to follow the features, emceed by Ohio Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs.

Please note: Poetry+ happens on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please visit our website at https://poetrypluscleveland.weebly.com.

Other upcoming Poetry+ features:

1/21 - Chuck Salmons (Columbus) & Renay Sanders (Peninsula)
2/18 - Bill Yarrow (Chicago) & Laura Grace Weldon (Litchfield)
3/17 - Leah Mueller (Tacoma WA) & Rikki Santer (Columbus)

Art on Madison
14203 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Next Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate? Ekphrastacy?

Heights Arts is now accepting applications for the 2020 - 2022 Poet Laureateship!

Endorsed by the City of Cleveland Heights, the Poet Laureate works with local poets and Heights Arts to showcase and celebrate the wonderful diversity of talent in the local community. Visit their website for application requirements and instructions: https://www.heightsarts.org/portfolio-item/2020-2022-cleveland-heights-poet-laureate.

They are also accepting applications for poets to present at their Ekphrastacy poetry series. The deadline for application submission is December 31, 2019. Application link here: https://www.heightsarts.org/heights-writes/call-for-poets-ekphrastacy-series.


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