Monday, November 23, 2015

"How I thought/think about poems..."

image by GL
Nice imagery in the post by Susan Grimm about writing poetry, in her blog "The White Space Inside the Poem"
"I was trying to write a poem that was solid, all of a piece, weighty as a stone that I could drop into the vast water of a reader's attention. There would be that satisfying plop noise and then the rings travelling out all the way to the invisible beyond...."

Friday, November 20, 2015

The New Pay-to-Play Literary Modality

image by Skeeze courtesy Pixabey
Joy Lanzendorfer, in The Atlantic, articulates some of the reasons I'm so disquieted by literary journals that charge reading fees to look at submissions-- "a practice that’s bad for the writing community at every level," as she says.

"While most journals are still free, every few months, a new journal seems to announce that it’s going to start charging writers to submit their work—a trend that’s slowly threatening the inclusivity of literature when it comes to new, diverse voices.

"...To make matters worse, being poor is already the norm for writers. A recent industry survey showed that more than half of writers earn less than the federal poverty level of $11,670 a year from their work. I know what this feels like. There was a time when I made two cents per word as a writer and worked part-time as a waiter to pay the bills. I lived in a bad part of town, slept on a blow-up bed, ate on a card table, and owned a 1978 TV with a broken channel changer that I had to turn with a pair of pliers. When that was my life, these fees would have added up so quickly that I couldn’t have afforded to write fiction at all."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Help! New Bloggers Wanted!

Clevelandpoetics: the blog is a community effort.  We want you to help!

Really: we want your contributions.  We need your contributions.  We value your contributions.

If you've ever wanted to contribute, and were just waiting for an invitation: here's your invitation.  The blog is open to the community, and you are invited to contribute. Join the team!

Every year there are new voices in the Cleveland poetry community, and we want to hear them.

Do you have anything to say about the poetry community?  We're looking for contributors!  Do you go to poetry readings, want to make comments on the local poetry scene, want to share your opinions on contemporary poetry?  Join us!

Johnny D asks for help wanted
We want you to tell us about writing, tell us about reading, tell us about the poetry scene, about your obsessions, who you like, who you hate, how poetry should be.  Tell us about writing in our sports-obsessed, poetry-infested, hot-blooded city, or about anything you think fits somehow in the Cleveland Poetics topic. It's as much work-- or as little-- as you like.  Write a post when you have something to say, or don't if you don't-- there's no minimum activity.  Know somebody else who you think would be a good blogger? Pass the invite along!

If you'd like to join the blogging team here at clevelandpoetics, we're open: leave a note in the comments.  Or drop me an email at clevelandpoetics@gmail.com and tell me you want to be a blogger.

Here's your chance to express yourself, and contribute to the community. Join the team!

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 14th Open Mic Poetry Reading Featuring Student Poets from Cleveland School of the Arts

Click here to see flyer bigger

Daniel Gray-Kontar, Department Chair of Literary Arts at Cleveland School of the Arts, will present four of his most prolific and talented student writers: Bri Watts, Alishia McCoy, Travon Davis, and the newly appointed Midwest National Student Poet, De'John Hardges. After the students' readings, there will be an open mic.

Presented by Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library.

Saturday, November 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Literature Department, 2nd Floor
Main Library, 325 Superior Ave.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Poetry Shops

The New Yorker has an article "the curious persistence of poetry shops": book stores that specialize in poetry, and how they are surviving, and even in a small way thriving, in an era in which many large bookstores have been failing.

"Retail may not get much more niche than poetry, which historically has never been a lucrative proposition. But it does have cachet in some circles, and a dedicated readership. The best poetry stores mix the scholarly with the whimsical, the linear with the arty. Berl’s is in a former gallery space, subleased from two artists, with exposed brick walls that have been painted white, barrel ceilings, a gray Lego sculpture of Walt Whitman, and an eighteen-chair area for readings. On one wall are seventy black-and-white portraits of anarchists and monarchs by the artist Miranda White, Jared’s sister, with whom he has collaborated on a book."

photo of ironwork outside of Mac's Backs in Coventry
Book Reader (photo by GL)
They somehow fail to mention Cleveland in the article, but we do have a few bookstores that are very friendly to poetry, particularly notably Guide to Kulchur and Mac's Backs.

So, horray to our very own poetry shops

-- and we've got art, too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Poet's Haven Halloween Jubilee

The Poet's Haven will be holding a Halloween Jubilee on Saturday, October 31st at Oak Knoll Park in Massillon! Doors will open at noon with poetry and music performances starting at 1:00. This will be an all-ages event featuring poetry and music performances from; Steve Brightman, Theresa Göttl Brightman, Nikann Charney, Joshua Gage, Marissa Hyde, Azriel Johnson, KnowEyePoetry Collective (CUPSI team from College of Wooster), Kristen Laine, Lennart Lundh, Nick Mayberry, Jen Pezzo, Vince Robinson, Dan Smith, J.E. Stanley, and The Stetson-Marlowe Project. J.E. Stanley's new book, The Persistence of Night, will be making its debut here. We will also be joined by our friends from Blood Pudding Press, Crisis Chronicles Press, and Writing Knights Press. Food and drinks will be available, with sales in support of the Lake Effect Poetry slam team!

More info on Facebook.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Poetry Matters

$$$ CASH PRIZE $$$
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
Sign-ups 5p-6p

Callaloo Cafe & Bar
15601 Waterloo Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio
More info: poetrymatterscle@gmail.com

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yet Another Screed about Political poetry

Even a year and more before the election, it's getting pretty hard to get away from politics.

I was reading Nin Andrews' blog post about political poetry, "Of Course Men Suffer From Vagina Envy--a few thoughts on political poetry"-- and, once again, thinking about political poetry.

I hate political poetry too*, but on the whole, I rather agree with Nin.

What it is that I really dislike is bad political poetry, by which I mean superficial political poetry, but "bad political poetry" is what far too much of it is.
  • If your poem says nothing but how outraged you are about things happening to people you've never actually met and don't know anything about except what you read in the same paper I read
  • if you are shouting at me opinions I could have read in the editorial page of the Plain Dealer--or for that matter the Wall Street Journal  
  • If your poem is nothing but a long scream of rage about unjust society
  • If you think your poem is funny because it lampoons cartoon stereotypes about people who disagree with you*
  • If you've never actually listened when people who disagree with you are talking, but are nevertheless burning to explain to me why opinions that you've never listened to are wrong...
--I don't want to hear it.

On the other hand, if your political poem has vividly-observed details about real living breathing people--people you actually know, or at least have seen in real life, and not cardboard imitations--  people with stories of their own-- people who don't fit any stereotypes and have quirky and even contradictory viewpoints... if you have insights that are more than soundbites that fit on an index card... if you see society as a complicated interactions among humans no two alike, all with differing goals, without easy solutions... in short, if you see the world in swirls of vivid color, not black and white certainties...  yeah, maybe that one's for me.  Bring it on!

*although sometimes I write it anyway.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Reviews wanted!

A quick look at the Cleveland Poetry Calendar shows that we've got a poetry events (readings, workshops, open mikes, book release parties, shows, and everything else you can think of) just about every single day of the week.  I can only get to a small fraction of these-- nobody can get to them all-- and so there are huge swatches of the poetry scene here in Cleveland that are events I've never seen.
So, here's where you come in.  Going to a poetry event?  Would you like to post a review on Clevelandpoetics? Maybe take a few snapshots?
We're looking for some volunteers!  Tell us what's out there-- tell us what you see.
Willing to review something? Write to me at clevelandpoetics@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Haiku Master for Cleveland: Marc Zeale

graphic for the Haiku deathmatch

At the Haiku Deathmatch in the Heights last Saturday, a new champion took the title of Haiku master of Cleveland. In the final round, Marc Zeale edged out second-place contestant me--not to mention ten other contestants-- to win the Haiku title.
Haiku poet takes the spot

This year's competition featured a lot of senryu and humorous haiku, not to mention a good dose of political poetry--
It is much easier
to buy a gun than control
the ones who use them
--plus some classic haiku as well.

A big thanks to Heights Arts for sponsoring the event, and to Dobama Theatre for providing the venue.

Birds, in spring forests,
Audience voting 
flying past lower branches,
sometimes hit their heads.

Congrats to Marc!

Marc with the winner's trophy

Haiku by Marc Zeale
Photos by Geoffrey A. Landis

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ohio Poetry Day celebration at Mount Union

Ohio poetry day, set by the Ohio state legislature as the third Friday in October, falls on October 16 this year.  The OPD events will be the evening of Friday October 16, with a reading by Ohio Poet of the Year Jeff Gundy, along with writing prompts and overnight contests; and then continue on Saturday October 17 at Mount Union University in Alliance.

Location: Hoover-Price Campus Center (HPCC), University of Mount Union, 420 West Simpson Street, Alliance OH 44601

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Congrats to De’John Hardges!

Congrats to Cleveland's De’John Hardges!

 De’John Hardges, 16, was one of five teen poets selected by a White House committee to the 2015 class of the National Student Poets Program.
left: De’John Hardges; right: Michelle Obama.  First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a poetry reading in honor of the 2015 National Student Poets in the Blue Room of the White House, October 8, 2015. (Photo by Patrick G. Ryan for the National Student Poets Program.)

Check out the news:

Or watch him on YouTube

The National Student Poets Program selects five young writers who show great promise, and invests in the talent of these students through mentorships and workshops on writing and leadership. Each poet is tasked to serve as a literary ambassador with the mission to engage diverse audiences of all ages in the art of poetry by sharing their work, attending events, hosting workshops and leading service projects within their communities. The National Student Poets will next travel to New York City to attend the renowned Poets Forum, presented by the Academy of American Poets.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Haiku Deathmatch in the Heights!

graphic for the Haiku deathmatch

Heights Arts presents Fourth Not-So-Annual

Haiku Death Match

12 contenders vie for title of Haiku Master on October 10, 2015

Past haiku masters and new contenders will be competing for glory, fame, and a not-so-cheesy trophy in Heights Arts’ Haiku Death Match at Dobama Theatre.
Inaugurated in 2007, the Death Match is a live haiku poetry competition where audience votes determine the Haiku Master. Contenders, who come prepared with an arsenal of haiku, compete in pairs for a given number of rounds. The audience judges the poems by raising color paddles to indicate their vote, while volunteer counters tally the votes. The emcee announces the score and endeavors to keep the crowds calm (at this event, heckling is encouraged). The last poet standing is the 2015 Haiku Death Match Master.
On-the-spot poetic competition can be traced back to the 17th century Japanese poet Basho, who is also credited for making the 17-syllable haiku a revered form of poetry. This year’s contenders include past masters Geoffrey Landis and Kathleen Cerveny, recipient of the 2014 Cleveland Arts Prize; Jeff Coryell, Cleveland Heights city councilman; Lee Chilcote, managing editor of Freshwater Cleveland; defending Death Match champion Ray McNiece; plus Diane Borsenik, Dominick Duda, Bridget Kriner, Celeste McCarty, Mary Turzillo, and Marc Zielinski.
The community is invited to enjoy the poetic carnage, participate as the voting and heckling horde, and help support literary arts programming in the Heights areas. Audience tickets available online at www.heightsarts.org, at the Heights Arts gallery, 2175 Lee Road or at the door. 
Cash bar and refreshments will be available to keep vocal chords lubricated.

$15 audience – General admission
$10 audience – Heights Arts members
Purchase Tickets

flyer for the haiku deathmatch

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ekphrastacy: Art and Poetry Continues

Shawn Watrous

EKPHRASTACY: Artists Talk + Poets Respond

Thursday, October 1, 7pm

Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Meredith Holmes has invited rising regional poets to respond with original verse inspired by select imagery in the exhibition. It’s always a lively time; come a bit early to get a seat and enjoy refreshments! FREE.

Heights Arts writes:
Join us this week for Ekphrastacy. What processes and concepts are explored in contemporary art? Come hear Emergent 2015 artists Joanne Arnett, Abbey Blake, Matthew Gallagher and Shawn Watrous discuss their work, then hear Zachary Thomas, Aaron Bennett, Amanda Stovicek, John Roth, and Natasha Rodriguez-Carroll--poets in the NEOMFA (Northeast Ohio Masters in Fine Arts) creative writing program--read poems created in response to art on view in the gallery.

Emergent 2015, on view through October 17, showcases ten rising artists who graduated from area art programs in recent years and are now producing significant work.
2175 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Equinox

Miles by Lady
Happy equinox, everybody, as summer turns into autumn, and the sunset is due west, shining right in your eyes as you drive west.

To celebrate, Lady has put out the autumn equinox 2015 issue of her 'zine The City, with poetry and art by all of (well, many of) your favorite poets and artists, from Cleveland and elsewhere.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hundreds and Hundreds: Best American Poetry, and the Name of the Poet--

Sherman Alexie talks about selecting poems for the Best American Poetry.
It's actually pretty interesting.  When he says
"I had no idea that I would spend the next six or eight or ten months reading hundreds and hundreds of poems. Hell, it's quite probable that I read over 1,000 poems last year. I might have read over 2,000 poems. It could have been 3,000."
I think, hundreds and hundreds? That's all? There must be at least 5,000 zines that publish poetry in the US. Even if his top figure is right--  he read less than one poem, on the average, from each magazine.

But nobody (well, nobody but me) is talking about how he selected the poems. Everybody is talking about just one poem-- or rather, just one poet-- the poem by "Yi-Fen Chou," which (after he selected it) Alexie discovered is a pseudonym of a poet named Michael Derrick Hudson.  In his bio for the volume, Hudson gave his real name, and says that he used the pseudonym because the poem "was rejected under my real name forty (40) times before I sent it out as Yi-Fen Chou," and says "as a strategy for 'placing' poems, this has been quite successful for me." He didn't ever actually claim to be Chinese: just used a Chinese name and let the editors make assumptions about his background.
Hmm. Should we be outraged?
Angry Asian Man thinks we should.  LA Times says "Best American Poetry Under Fire".
What do you think? Is it cheating? Cultural appropriation? Proof of reverse discrimination?
Poetry is a tough business, or at least, it is if you think the only poetry that's not worth spitting on is poetry published in literary journals that gets picked up in Best American Poetry. Alexie said that, of the poets he picked, "Approximately 99% of the poets are professors." Since he only printed 75 poems, that means that just one poem in the volume was not written by a professor. Hudson is a librarian, not a professor: so when Alexie says he only selected one poem that isn't by a professor-- that was the one.

--On the other hand, in The New Republic, Theodore Ross says "Cheat! It's the Only Way to Get Published." Maybe that's the secret.

Friday, September 4, 2015


It's almost here!  All the guests have been confirmed, and OH DADDIO, the excitement is reaching a fever pitch!

On Saturday September 19, 2015, Cleveland, OH will celebrate The National Beat Poetry Festival with the event BeatStreet Cleveland at the Barking Spider Tavern, 11310 Juniper Rd, from 3pm to 7pm, featuring poets and live music, with free admission and groovy giveaways.

YOU are invited to join us for this historic Happening!

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT WILL BE RUNNING ON REAL TIME, NOT POETS' TIME!  It will begin promptly at 3 pm and will end at 7 pm...and you won't want to miss a minute of it!

(We are working on securing a place close to the Barking Spider for an afterparty, where we can gather to drink, eat, talk, and groove together. This location will be announced as soon as I know we have it for sure.)

BeatStreet's confirmed features:

D.R. Wagner

 D.R. Wagner is an author, visual artist, and musician. He founded press : today : niagara in 1965 and Runcible Spoon in the late 60s, producing over fifty magazines and chapbooks. He co-wrote The Egyptian Stroboscope with d.a. levy and read with Jim Morrison of the Doors in a legendary reading with Morrison and Michael McClure. He also has read with Ferlinghetti, Al Winans, Anne Waldman, and many other poets over the past forty years. Wagner's work is much published. He continues to design interior carpeting and tapestry, as well as write, perform, and publish poetry regularly.

Alex Gildzen
(New Mexico)

Alex Gildzen is a poet and artist who uses film as the basis of his work.  He entered Kent State University in 1961, and while still an undergraduate had poems published in American Weave and Snowy Egret.  He met d.a. levy in 1965; levy published him in the Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle.  Hugh Fox included Gildzen in his 1973 anthology The Living Underground.  Crisis Chronicles Press published his book Ohio Triangle earlier this year to celebrate his 72nd birthday.  Find Gildzen at 
Arroyo Chamisa.

Theresa Göttl Brightman

Theresa Göttl Brightman won first place the first time she competed in a poetry slam.  She has won numerous awards, and has been heard throughout Ohio and points beyond, including Chicago's Vegan Mania, and 89.7 WOSU radio.  Her work has appeared in print and online publications including Pudding Magazine and Rubbertop Review.  Her full length collection of poetry is Stretching the Window (Buffalo ZEF 2007); a new collection is due out in 2016 from Coda Crab Press.  You haven't experienced her poetry until you've seen and heard her perform it!


John Burroughs

John Burroughs, writer, editor, musician, and composer, is the author of The Eater of the Absurd and numerous poetry chapbooks; his poem "Lens" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  His poems include "Cannot Believe William S. Burroughs Is Dead" and "Allen Ginsberg Wants You".  Since 2008 he has been editor/publisher for Crisis Chronicles Press.  Burroughs performs his dynamic poetry across the rust and coal belts.  His new book Beat Attitude (from NightBallet Press) will debut at BeatStreet Cleveland.


Joining John Burroughs: musician Étienne Massicotte:

Étienne Massicotte (Montreal)

Étienne Massicotte is a musician newly located to Cleveland, working as a trumpeter, composer, and teacher. He is currently engaged with the Tesla Orchestra of Case Western Reserve University, composing and arranging music for a performance this fall to feature three musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra and a spectacular array of lightning-emitting beacons known as Tesla Coils. Previous engagements include appearances with the Ashland Symphony and four seasons with the Ohio Light Opera Festival Orchestra.

Sean Thomas Dougherty

Sean Thomas Dougherty's books include Nightshift Belonging to Lorca, Except by Falling, Broken Hallelujahs, Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line, and All You Ask For is Longing.  His awards incl
ude 2 Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry. Known for his electrifying performances, he has toured extensively across North America and Europe. His 1st featured reading over 25 years ago was at the Jack Kerouac Festival.

Ingrid Swanberg

Ingrid Swanberg is the founder/publisher of
Ghost Pony Press, and editor-in-chief of Abraxas Magazine.  She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Garrison Keillor has read her poetry on The Writer's Almanac.  She co-authored  D.A. Levy & the Mimeograph Revolution, and  published a definitive collection of the work of d.a. levy, Zen Concrete & Etc.  Her two new poetry collections are Ariadne & Other Poems (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) and Awake (Green Panda Press, 2014).

Larry Smith (Ohio)

Larry Smith is the biographer of Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He also has done biographical work with Ingrid Swanberg in d.a. levy & the mimeograph revolution (Bottom Dog Press). He has published numerous books of poetry, and wrote and produced two films on Ohio authors James Wright and Kenneth Patchen. Smith lives on the fringe of Cleveland in Huron, Ohio, where he directs Bottom Dog Press publications.

 Jim Lang (Ohio)

Jim Lang, poet, photographer, artist, in his own words:

"born in th 40's died in th 50's thrived in th 60's loved in th 70's coasted in th 80's predicted in th 90's reprised in th 2K's ~ a poet/photographer he published in newspapers magazines and small press books for 40 years ~ he taught at universities high & grades schools free & controlled ~ he hung at galleries from columbus to toronto ~ & he read & showed off & slept on walls & floors & lawns from sea to shining sea ~ "a @ 5 made fotos @ 16 & pots @ 50 a phopopotographer a little of each shows up" 

Steven Smith (Ohio)

Steven Smith--poet, memoirist, photographer, blogger, and collage/assemblage artist--has been writing poetry for nearly five decades. For more than 20 years he published the famed ArtCrimes journal. He created a massive online art/poetry archive at www.agentofchaos.com, and a wide array of his poetry and collages have been published in the critically acclaimed Zen Over Zero: Selected Poems 1964-2008 (The City Poetry Press). Smith makes his home in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.

aaaaand the Peace, Love, & Music of Zach!

Zach Freidhof (Ohio)

Zach, recently named "Humanitarian of the Year" by Akron Magazine, is a yogi, Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, and World Peace Diet Facilitator. He is also a fantastic musician who believes “We should manifest ourselves in exquisiteness every chance we get.” Zach professes this mantra, his life’s philosophy, on his latest release, The Antidote, his 15th release is as many years. With a friend, he created the Akron Peace Project to spread nonviolence in the self, the home, and the community. Coupled with his Love Initiative movement, his music--naturally very hopeful and optimistic--has been able to lend its voice to the power we all have to change ourselves and the world. Learn more at www.zachmusic.net.

Mark your calendars for this Very Special Event.  Cleveland's heart will BEAT brightly with BeatStreet at the Barking Spider on September 19th!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Herb Kauderer interviewed

I want to give a shout out to this interview of Buffalo-area poet Herb Kauderer by Mary Turzillo:

Photo of steel factory
MT:  So, are poems by nature lies, or only some of them?
HK:  That’s a marvelously metaphysical question that requires secondary definition. Is a lie only a conscious attempt to mislead? What if the teller of the lie believes it? If the latter is true, then the teller is not qualified to call it a lie or truth.
I write some poems that are intentional lies in pursuit of a greater truth. I write other poems that are as true as I can make them at the time of composition, only to find out that time has turned them into lies.
Therefore a concise answer to your question is, “only some poems are lies, but I’m not telling you which.”

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Book of Whimsy-- and Monsters

Image "Orrery", photo by Dianne Borsenik, from the front cover of Book Of Whimsy
Orrery by Dianne Borsenik

OK, it's official! 
My chapbook collection of poetry, The Book of Whimsy, has now been released from Dianne Borsenik​'s NightBallet Press​. This one has 36 of my poems, mostly the funny and whimsical ones. 
Only $10.00 from NightBallet-- cheap!  (Well, plus shipping).
And, also just released, Mary​'s chapbook A Guide to Endangered Monsters
What more could you want?  Buy extra copies so you have one give one away to your friends!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Gundy at Sandusky

 Jeff Gundy of Bluffton University and the author of 6 books of poetry and 4 books of nonfiction will launch his new book Abandoned Homeland: Poems at the Coffeehouse Readings in Sandusky, Ohio on Saturday, Sept 12. The event begins at 2 pm in lovely and rustic downtown Sandusky at Mr. Smith's Coffeehouse. Hosted by the Firelands Writing Center and Bottom Dog Press. Jeff promises to also play guitar and sing. Open-Mic to follow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Try These Visual Writing Prompts

Hello writers!

Cuyahoga County Public Library is looking for writers (any age) to post their creative writing (any genre) in response to the panels in our brand new "Stories Connect Us" mural at the Parma-Snow Branch.  Visit cuyahogalibrary.org/StoriesConnectUs to choose your favorite and upload your writing to share with readers everywhere.

The Library borrowed the "Stories Connect Us" theme from one of our favorite writers, Kate DiCamillo, who's made it her mission as the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. You know Kate as the author of Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux (both made into movies). Last week, Kate came to the Cuyahoga County Public Library to see the mural in person and meet 400 fans. 

Stories connect us - so get writing!  Head to cuyahogalibrary.org/StoriesConnectUs and get inspired. 

Laurie Kincer
Cuyahoga County Public Library

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Announcing the launch of Literary Cleveland

Lee Chilcote writes:

Dear friends,

At the first-ever Cleveland Inkubator on Saturday, August 1st, more than 300 people poured into the Cleveland Public Library to learn about writing. From the inspiring kickoff address with literacy champion Margaret Bernstein, to workshops and craft talks with Cleveland writers Les Roberts, Susan Grimm and Charlotte Morgan, to the keynote reading with David Giffels and Thrity Umrigar, this was an event worth savoring.

We've rarely seen so many Cleveland writers in one place, and we don't want to let that energy simply dissipate into the air! That's why a group of us are launching Literary Cleveland, a new, fledgling organization whose vision is to create a stronger community of writers and readers in the Greater Cleveland area through classes, workshops, readings and other events. Our goal is to bring you Inkubator-style programming year-round.

By starting small and being intentional about how we build our efforts, we believe Lit Cleveland can be a sustainable organization for writers and readers. Today, we're writing to share a few programs we've just finished organizing for September. Please take a moment to check out these workshops and events, sign up if you're interested, and share with others. Send feedback and suggestions to litcleveland@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 9/8, 7:30 pm
An evening with D.M. Pulley, author of The Dead Key
The Happy Dog, 5801 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland OH 44102

D.M. Pulley's first novel, The Dead Key, was selected as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Join Lit Cleveland for a discussion with Pulley about the story behind her compelling first novel, the research she conducted to bring its details to life, and her upcoming works.

Saturday, 9/12, 10:30a-12:30p
Public poetry writing workshop
Cleve. Public Library, Lit. Dept., 325 Superior Ave., 2nd Floor, Cleve. OH 44114
For writers of all levels. Sharpen your craft and receive comments and suggestions on your work in a friendly group format. Please bring 20 copies of a poem. Led by writer and poet Lee Chilcote and guest facilitators.

Saturday, 9/19, 10:30a-12:30p
Personal essay writing workshop
Carnegie West branch, CPL, 1900 Fulton Rd. Cleve. OH 44113
For writers of all levels. Learn how to turn your memories into stories with Lee Chilcote. Workshops to offer exercises and feedback on participants' work (sent in advance after the first workshop).

Saturdays, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3 (10a-12p), 10/17 (7p)
Truth, beauty and you: An ekphrastic poetry workshop
Heights Arts, 2175 Lee Rd., Cleve. Hts. OH 44118
Learn the art of ekphrastic poetry (poems that respond to art) with former Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Kathleen Cerveny. Organized in collaboration with Heights Arts.

We'll be back in touch soon to announce more workshops and events for the fall. We hope to see you around town soon!


Lit Cleveland organizing committee


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