Sunday, November 19, 2017

Semifinal Slam

One Mic Open is having the first of the Semi-Final competitions for the Youth Poetry Slam Team at the Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern, Friday, December 1 from 8 to 11 PM. Donation to attend is $5/$3 students, but free to compete (if you're age 13 to 19)-- in fact, all youth of eligible age (13-19) will have no cover charge for the Semi Finals Pt. 1, 2 or Final stage, even if they don't compete. 
If you've never been to a poetry slam, this is something worth experiencing. Not for the aficionado of subtlety in poetry, a slam is in-your-face competitive poetry with a bad attitude. Miss this one? Look for the second Semi-Finals, January 5 at the Happy Dog.
Know any teenagers with a way with words and who wants to rumble?  Let them know! (Here are some tips.)

One Mic Open says:
One Mic Open is a grass roots youth literary arts education program geared towards bridging the gap between adults and youth, by having both share their work in a safe space at our open mic and slams. The ultimate goal of the slam series is to put together a four-six person team to compete at an international festival called Brave New Voices, sponsored by YouthSpeaks.
One Mic Open was created to reach the youth of not only Cleveland, but surrounding suburbs, in an effort to create a sense of community among the youth in North East Ohio. By sharing their talents, not limited only to poetry, at the open mic, we feel that they are creating a space in which they are free to be themselves in the most complete sense.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gordon Square Review!

Gordon Square
The Inaugural issue of Cleveland's new literary magazine, Gordon Square Review, just came out. Editor-in-chief Laura Maylene Walter writes about "the energy and sense of urgency that run throughout Gordon Square Review’s inaugural issue" in the editor's letter:
Whether it’s a poem like Scrapbook or a short story like Beasts Headed Home from the Party” by Hannah Lackoff (“We are young, we are wild, we are richer than we know”), our first issue glimmers with artful language, startling content, and innovative form. Watching this issue take shape confirmed that there’s not only room for a new online journal like Gordon Square Review, but that the depth of talent, both here in Northeast Ohio and beyond, demands it.
The zine rates a feature review by Michael Barron in Culture Trip:
The launch of the Gordon Square Review is a sign that literary journals might not be dying out after all. Cleveland is a literary city and Cleveland knows it. It was here that the literary theorist Fredric Jameson was born, here that writer Adelle Waldman first cut her teeth as a journalist, and here the novelist Sherwood Anderson had the nervous breakdown that led him to become a writer...
--and also a review by Anne Nickoloff in Cool Cleveland:
"It's really fascinating what kind of bizarre aesthetics emerged from our selections. Things that really surprised me, that I never would have had in my head when I went to start reading submissions," said Walter. "I think there are a lot of exciting pieces."
The review received more than 800 submissions, from Northeast Ohio... but also places as far away as Canada, Malaysia, the U.K. and India.
The lit-zine is sponsored by Cleveland's newest lit organization, Literary Cleveland.
"39 Planets (with Large Black Hand)" by Chris Pekoc
from Gordon Square Review, Nov. 2017
But, is there poetry in the issue?  But of course!  Poets featured include
--not to mention the contest winner, "On the Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings" by Mimi Plevin-Foust

And Gordon Square itself just got featured in none other than the New York Times as the hottest new thing going in Cleveland, at least in the arts. If it's the reason Cleveland's star shines according to the venerable NYT, maybe Gordon Square is something you should check out (come for the theatre... stay for the poetry! So don't forget to go up the road another mile and drop in at the Bowled over by Poetry at Mahall's reading, every first Monday of the month).


Friday, November 10, 2017

The City in Autumn

With the first hints of snow frosting the grass and asphalt of the city, the autumn issue of Kathy Smith's The City, a Cleveland 'zine of poetry and art, is out.
Worth a look!
image by Steven B. Smith for The City Autumn 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Poets for Puerto Rico

More than 30 artists will take part in "Poets for Puerto Rico" 6-9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 29, at The Happy Dog at 5801 Detroit Road, in Gordon Square.
Organized by Daniel Gray-Kontar and Twelve Literary Arts, the benefit is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

44th Anniversary Reading of the Cyril A. Dostal Poetry Workshop

Wow, the Poets' League of Greater Cleveland poetry workshop-- recently renamed the "Cyril A. Dostal Poetry Workshop" in honor of its founder and long-time moderator, the poet-curmudgeon Cy Dostal ("I'm here to calm down trouble, if people make trouble, and to stir up trouble, if nobody makes trouble") is 44 years old! and the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (the current home of the workshop) is celebrating on Sunday, October 22, from 2 to 3:30 pm.
They write:
Join us as we celebrate one of the oldest public writing workshops in the nation as well as its official renaming in honor of founder Cyril A. Dostal. Enjoy poetry readings by past workshop participants and stay afterward for refreshments and conversation.

So, come hear some poems, and celebrate Cleveland's oldest poetry workshop!

photo of the library

Now moderated by legendary Cleveland poet Bob McDunough, the workshop is still going strong, still free, and still open to the public, meeting every third Thursday of the month at 6:30 in the Porch meeting room of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library.  Bring 20 copies of a poem, and you'll be welcome too!

44th Anniversary Reading:
 1 Marilyn Schraff Subbing 100%
2 Jill Lange Zinnias
3 Rebecca Ferlotti Short North
4 Geoffrey Landis Shout
6 Kathryn Brock Aunt Kittie's Silver
7 Fred Schraff Settling
8 Len Seyfrid Junipers
9 Roberta Jupin Stone
10 Rick Ferris Comrades
11 M.A.Shaheed Conclusions
12 Arlene Ring Karma and Grace
13 Mary Turzillo Earth, Wind, Air, Fire
14 Chris Franke Re t Con Volution
15 Adrian Schnall Conversation
16 Carolyn Ritchie Uncelebrated
17 Doc Janning Together
18 Jim Bolce September 1942
19 Dail Duncan Blessed Are the Slow of Speech
20 Bob McDonough People Who Live on Dirt Roads

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Call for Applicants: City of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate 2018-2020

Heights Arts Announces Search for Next Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate

Heights Arts has begun the process of selecting the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate who will serve from April 2018, to March 2020. The term of Christine Howey, the current Cleveland Heights poet laureate, will end on March 31, 2018.

Poets across the northeast Ohio region are encouraged to apply. Candidates are not required to live in Cleveland Heights, but must demonstrate a strong connection to the city.

Applications will be accepted at the Heights Arts website (www. heightsarts.org) from mid-October, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Detailed information about the responsibilities of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate are available on the Heights Arts website. The Heights Writes Committee of Heights Arts will review applications and conduct interviews in January and February. They will make a final selection by March 2018.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

An Interview with Blood Pudding

Juliet Cook, proprietor of Blood Pudding Press, was interviewed by rob mclennan about Blood Pudding, and about writing and small press publishing in general.
"Blood Pudding Press initially derived from Juliet Cook being intensely passionate about poetic creative expression, but not being a fan of light-hearted, semi-normal, semi-clichéd, lightly comedic poetry, which seemed akin to vanilla snack pack pudding in her mind.
"She tends to prefer more bloody, visceral, intense, emotional, personal, quirky poetic expression.
"She and Blood Pudding are open to a variety of different poetic styles, as long as they're not too light-hearted, bland, dry, or plain old silly. And as long as they don't interpret human bodies as nothing but pieces of meat.

cover of book "Thirsty Bones"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lakewood Art Gallery To Launch Monthly Reading Series On 10/24/2017

September 2017, CLEVELAND - Art on Madison is excited to announce the launch of POETRY +, a
new monthly reading series for emerging and established writers in Cleveland and the surrounding
regions. POETRY + aims to shine the spotlight on a single writer, providing them with the platform
and time necessary to present a body of their work and to engage and connect with their audience.
Each presenter is given the freedom to decide which materials and anecdotes they will share, as
well as can decide the duration of their reading. POETRY + kicks off on October 24, 2017 with
Cleveland based poet, Andrew Field.

Andrew Field is a poet and librarian and earning his master’s in Library and Information Science
from Kent State University. He has published essays about poetry at Thethe Poetry Blog, B O D Y
Literature, and the California Journal of Poetics, book reviews at the Rumpus and Jerry Magazine,
and poems at the Ocean State Review, Words Dance, and Mantis. He tweets at
https://twitter.com/AField81. In August of 2016, his chapbook, All I Want, was published by Red
Flag Poetry.

POETRY + is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00pm. Readings begin at 7:30pm.
More information and how to submit to POETRY + can be found at poetrypluscleveland.weebly.com
or via email at poetrypluscleveland@gmail.com.

Art on Madison is the new studio and gallery of artist, Ivan Kende, Founder and Vanessa Wright,
Director. Art on Madison is currently featuring the artwork of Ivan Kende, and will soon present
rotating exhibitions of local and regional artists.

Art on Madison
13703 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107

Media Contact for Poetry +:

Media Contact for Art on Madison:

Monday, September 18, 2017


photo of Terminal Tower at nightJennifer Marer gives us a quick guide to LITERARY TOURISM: CLEVELAND, OHIO, stopping at some of the high points of Cleveland: Horizontal Books in Ohio City, Mac's Backs in Coventry, Appletree book at Cedar Fairmont, and the Writer's Center Stage at Maltz Performing Arts Center.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Visible Voice Books Returns

Logo of Visible Voice Books

Visible Voice, the classic bookstore in Tremont, is back!
Visible Voice had been a staple of the poetry scene in Cleveland until it closed three years ago.  Now it's reopening. According to Scene, Visible Voice Books will officially be open on September 27, in a new location above Crust Pizza Kitchen in Tremont, with even more space and with parking. For those who like sweets with their words, it says they will feature locally-made pastries from Sweet Tooth Confections, specialty teas and brew-in-house coffee from Gimme! Coffee.

photo of Visible Voice Books new location
Visible Voice Books
2258 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113

"A bookstore with that lost independent feel — a relaxed, inviting environment conducive to discovery, where quality takes precedence over quantity, where the books marginalized by commercial concerns have a home. If you come in looking for something specific, we will have it or we will find it for you. If you come in looking for nothing in particular, you can lose yourself in a world of new ideas."

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Lighthouse Reading: Hayan Charara & Abraham Smith, 9/29 at CSU

Please join the Cleveland State University Poetry Center for the Lighthouse Reading Series's first event of the year! This reading will take place in Parker Hannafin 104 (on CSU's campus, across from the Student Center) on 9/29 at 7pm.

Hayan Charara is a poet, children’s book author, essayist, and editor. His third collection of poetry, Something Sinister (2016), was awarded the 2017 Arab American Book Award; he is also the author of The Sadness of Others (2006) and The Alchemist’s Diary (2001). His children’s book, The Three Lucys (2016), received the New Voices Award Honor, and he edited Inclined to Speak (2008), an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry. With Fady Joudah, he is a series editor of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He currently teaches in the Honors College at the University of Houston.

Abraham Smith is the author of four poetry collections: Ashagalomancy (Action Books, 2015); Only Jesus Could Icefish in Summer (Action Books, 2014); Hank (Action Books, 2010); and Whim Man Mammon (Action Books, 2007). In 2015, he released Hick Poetics (Lost Roads Press), a co-edited anthology of contemporary rural American poetry and related essays. His creative work has been recognized with fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Destruction of Man, his book-length poem about farming, is forthcoming in 2018 from Third Man Books. Presently, he is at work upon a poetry manuscript about cranes—birds whose song and stature electrify him. This fall, Smith joins the Weber State University community as an assistant professor of English.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

INKubator coming- and it's free

Literary Cleveland says:


Literary Cleveland, a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing a vibrant community of readers and writers in Northeast Ohio, is hosting the third annual Cleveland Inkubator in partnership with Cleveland Public Library from Monday July 24th – Saturday July 29th.

Cleveland Inkubator, Northeast Ohio’s largest free annual festival for writers and readers, will offer an array of free performances, readings and social events as well as a day-long literary conference packed with workshops and craft talks on July 29th.

Inkubator is made by possible with the support of Cleveland Public Library and the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
“Literary Cleveland continues to put Cleveland’s literary scene on the map and work with partners to build a strong community of writers and readers,” says director Lee Chilcote. “Over the past two years, we’ve helped thousands of people connect with Northeast Ohio’s diverse writing community, learn from professional and amateur writers, and share their talents with the public. Inkubator is a big part of that!"

The full schedule for 2017’s Cleveland Inkubator can be found on our website. Literary Cleveland’s mission is to create and nurture a vibrant literary arts community in Northeast Ohio.
Free all-day writers’ conference on Saturday, 7/29!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quotidian words, or enigmatic riddles- what should poetry be?

In the New York Times, Matthew Zapruder wrote "One of the great pleasures of reading poetry is to feel words mean what they usually do in everyday life...".  He suggests that a good poem never hides its meaning:
But now, commenting to the note on the Poetry Foundation's site, poet and translator Johannes Göransson disagrees.  He suggests that sometimes good poems do hide their meaning:
He says "Zapruder mostly reiterates a dominant U.S. rhetoric about poetry and art, a rhetoric that tends to dismiss the excessive and the strange, emphasizing the importance of "accessible" poetry", and suggests "If we can leave behind the constant injunction of our gatekeepers and tastemakers to comply with aesthetics of the "straightforward," we can embrace intense meadows and ecstatic riddles. Jäderlund, Hopkins, Zurita, Lynch, Jefferson all offer a different route, an ecstatic, visionary route that says: poetry is a strange force that can take over your minds and bodies, transport you out of what you think you know and take you into a new kind of mysterious knowledge."

A new battle in an old war.  But, does a weird and ecstatic poem necessarily have to be one that can't be literal? Possibly they're both right.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ekphrastacy at the Heights

Image by Mark Slankard, from Heights Arts
Heights Arts presents the next of their continuing series of ekphrastic poetry events, "Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk and Poets Respond" next week, Thursday, July 7 at the Heights Arts Gallery at 2175 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH, 7 p.m.

At a reception and gallery evening, artists Christi Birchfield, Grace Chin, Dexter Davis, Yumiko Goto, Doug Meyer, Mark Slankard, and Douglas Max Utter will talk about concepts and development of their work, and poets Jill Lange, Vince Robinson, and Linda Goodman Robiner, along with Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Christine Howey, will respond to the art with poetry addressing the works of art on view.

If you like art and poetry both, Ekphrastacy is an event to check out.

--(and even if, like me, you can't make it to the Ekphrastacy event (sorry! Thursdays are an evening I'm already committed on), do check out the art next time you're in the Cedar Lee neighborhood!)

Or, visit the gallery, find an artwork that has something to say to you, and try it yourself:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Literary magazines...

photo of magazines

On BuzzFeed, Lincoln Michel gives you a guide to publishing in literary magazines.  And on Catapult, Tony Tulathimutte adds his advice: How to get a story or essay published if you’re not James Franco:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Guide to Kulchur Reopening

RA Washington's bookstore and 'zine-making co-op, Guide to Kulchur, closed last October.  But it is scheduled to rise again, at a new location: Lorain Avenue and W. 52nd Street.

Horray for Guide to Kulchur!


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