I met Ben Rader for the first time at a reading Larry Smith hosted at Joe Sundae's in Sandusky in 2008. I immediately liked him. Since then, I've run into him at probably a hundred open mic venues across the state including right here in Cleveland, where he was born, and it was always good to hear and talk with and learn from him. Ben was known as a master of the haiku form, but was accomplished in a wide array of other poetic forms as well. And he was always generous with his time and knowledge.
Here is a brief clip I recorded of Ben on the occasion of our first meeting:
Sadly, Ben passed away near the end of February following a battle with Covid-19. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Willa and the rest of his family and everyone who loved him.
A celebration of Ben's life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, 2021 at the Norwalk Masonic Hall, 319 E. Main St, Norwalk, OH 44857.
Read his obituary in the Norwalk Reflector: https://norwalkreflector.com/news/306098/bennett-james-rader/.
And here's one more short clip from that day in Sandusky: