Sunday, July 20, 2014

Deep Cleveland suspended in flight

Over on the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour facebook page, Josh Gage announced that the reading series is suspended indefinitely.  It had been one of the longer-running monthly poetry readings in the area.  It had been slowly dwindling in attendance-- actually, in my opinion, it never was quite the same after Border's bookstore went out of business and the reading had to move, over to the Mugshotz coffee house, and it never really recovered its attendance. 
The event was founded by Mark Kuhar at the turn of the millennium, back in 2001, but for most of the last decade was hosted by Joshua Gage, who kept it running rain or shine, over good years and bad.
For years, this had been my "home" reading; the one reading that I attended almost every month, if I could, although sometimes other events got in my way.  Apparently there was a reading with an attendance of only one audience member (that was one I missed), and then the next time the coffeeshop was locked-- there wasn't enough business to keep the venue open late for the reading.
This is the end of an era, I guess.  Or maybe just a breathing space. 
The area is rich in poetry readings, though. John Burroughs just updated the poetry calendar (which you can find at the top of the page here) and I count 41 events coming up over the 30 days of August.  Not all of these are readings, of course.  Still, that's over one event a day.

Over on facebook, I posted this:
I wish I had a solution to the problem of attendance at poetry events, but I don't. On the one hand, the Cleveland & north Ohio area is amazingly fortunately with a huge selection of live poetry events, on the average one every day, sometimes more. On the other hand, that does have its down side as well as its good side-- can't attend them all; can't attend even a small percentage of them.
The people running local poetry events here are amazing people, putting in long hours and many miles with, for the most part, only the occasional "Thanks! Good show!" as recompense. I do want to see people at the events.
There have been some excellent readings at Deep Cleveland-- one time or another, all the great poets of the area have featured.  So, thanks for the good times.

Josh Gage as the MC of Deep Cleveland,
back at the Borders venue


Anonymous said...

Deep Cleveland opened up my world to poetry and more importantly some very kind people.

Vertigo Xi'an Xavier said...

I just sent John a message with some other updates the calendar needs. Writing Knights ended their first-Saturday Write Club series due to lack of attendance, and I put the Stardust Poetry series on hiatus until October when it'll be returning on a quarterly schedule, for reasons consisting of my current day-job work schedule, lack of features, and lack of attendance.

I wouldn't blame the attendance issues DC ran into on the show's move from Borders. ALL our shows have been struggling to get audiences. The real world has gotten in the way. Many of our regular poets have moved away or moved on to other things, and those of us running shows don't have the resources and time available to work on drawing in new people.


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