Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Congratulations to our new Ohio Poet of the Year, Erica Manto Paulson

On October 15th, the Ohio Poetry Association will serve as the virtual host of this year’s Ohio Poetry Day (OPD) celebration. The afternoon will spotlight the 2022 Ohio Poet of the Year, Erica Manto Paulson, for her winning book, Hunger (Finishing Line Press, 2021). We also are inviting OPD contest winners to take part and read their winning poems. To that end, OPA will host a virtual reading using Zoom and broadcast live on the OPA Facebook page.

This event is free and open to the public, but Zoom space is limited. Viewers can also tune into the event on Facebook. Click here to register.

OPD contest winners are invited to share their winning poems during the event. To reserve a spot in the reading, winners should contact the OPA team via email at team@ohiopoetryassn.org.

Registration via Eventbrite on the OPA website: https://www.ohiopoetryassn.org/events#ahejSK.

Registration closes October 14, 2022.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Timothy Russell

 Here is a poem and tribute to Ohio 

Working-Class poet Timothy Russell.

Rustbelt Girl Blog

(two clicks to get there, but worth it.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

This week in Kent, Ohio

 From our friends at the Wick Poetry Center:

Join Us This Week for Events and Workshops 

We are excited to share this week's events and workshops. Come and celebrate design and poetry with us at the Akron Art Museum this Thursday at 6 pm. A Mapping Akron workshop will follow at 7 pm.On Friday, the Wick students and interns will facilitate our weekly workshop, Wick Weekly, from 1-2 pm in the May Prentice House. Find us on Friday from 3-7 pm at the Black Squirrel Festival at Risman Plaza with fun games and Wick swag.On Saturday, we will host our Market Stanzas project at the Haymaker Farmer's Market. More details are below and on our webpage:
Wick Events and Workshops 2022/23
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the "Celebrating Our Own & Open Mic" event has been rescheduled to Wednesday, September 28! Celebrating Our Own banner



This event will spotlight the 2022 Wick Poetry Center scholarship winners. Each winner will have the opportunity to share their work. An open mic, in which anyone is welcome to read, will follow. Come celebrate poetry with us by sharing your poems and discovering the new voices around you.  

More information about this week's event:Market Stanzas


Saturdays, September 3, 17, 24, and October 22 | from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Haymaker Farmers’ Market

Market Stanzas is a community arts project created by the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University in partnership with Haymaker Farmers’ Market in celebration of their 30th anniversary. Community members can share memories about the market, its vendors and volunteers, and the important way it serves the Kent community to the online gallery or by visiting the Traveling Stanzas Poetry Makerspace at the market. Each visitor's contribution will add to a growing community poem: haymaker.marketstanzas.com.  

Market Stanzas is funded by generous grants from the Kent Rotary Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. 

Poetry & Design Talk


Thursday, September 15, 6:00 p.m. | Akron Art Museum (1 S High St, Akron)

For 13 years, the Traveling Stanzas project with Wick Poetry Center has translated the creative expression of poets in our community into stunning works of visual art. New posters from this project will be on display starting 9/2. Join us for a conversation between the young poets and the poster designers. 

Mapping Akron


Thursday, September 15, 7:00 p.m. | Akron Art Museum (1 S High St, Akron)

Following the presentation about Traveling Stanzas (see above), join Teaching Artists from the Wick Poetry Center for a writing and placemaking workshop from its new initiative “Mapping Akron.” In a yearlong series of creative writing and placemaking workshops with everyday Akronites, the Wick Poetry Center will build an interactive, digital map of Akron, which will explore individuals’ sense of place and home and contribute to the vital artistic ecosystem of the city. 

Wick Weekly


Every Friday, 1:00 p.m. | Wick Poetry Center (in May Prentice House) Starting September 2nd

Join the Wick Poetry Center student workers and interns for a free workshop each week. Wick Weekly invites Kent State students and community members to engage in informal writing prompts and activities. No prior writing experience is required. 

Wick Weekly follows the Kent State University Academic Calendar, and will not take place on days when the University is closed. No registration is necessary.

We hope to see you at the events.Wick Poetry Center

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Monday, August 29, 2022

Thoreau's Journal

 Thoreau's Journal - August 29, 1859

It is so cool a morning that for the first time I move into the entry to sit in the sun. But in this cooler weather I feel as if the fruit of my summer were hardening and maturing a little, acquiring color and flavor like the corn and other fruits in the field. When the very earliest ripe grapes begin to be scented in the cool nights, then, too, the first cooler airs of autumn begin to waft my sweetness on the desert airs of summer. Now, too, poets nib their pens afresh. I scent their first-fruits in the cool evening air of the year. By the coolness the experience of the summer is condensed and matured, whether our fruits be pumpkins or grapes. Man, too, ripens with the grapes and apples.

Poetry Version

Thoreau's Journal - August 29, 1859


It is so cool a morning that

for the first time I move into

the entry to sit in the sun. But

in this cooler weather I feel

as if the fruit of my summer were

hardening and maturing a little,

acquiring color and flavor like the

corn and other fruits in the field.

When the very earliest ripe grapes

begin to be scented in the cool nights,

then, too, the first cooler airs of autumn

begin to waft my sweetness on the

desert airs of summer. Now, too, poets

nib their pens afresh. I scent their

first-fruits in the cool evening air of the year.

By the coolness the experience of the summer

is condensed and matured, whether our fruits

be pumpkins or grapes. Man, too,

ripens with the grapes and apples.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Poetry Rising

Life is full of such ironies...Here's one of mine.


We are reading "The Groundhog,"
when Leroy calls from the
back of the room:
"Them make good eatin,'"
killing my joke about road kill.
I had hit one an hour ago
on West Lake Road, and the mess
is still on my mind and shoes.
Connie's face tells me so as does
the sour smell of dead flesh.
"Ever get one from the road?"
she dares to ask. He turns to me.
"Sure have, if it's fresh," he grins.
"Only way to describe its taste
is to eat it fresh," he says, sending
a shutter up the rows.
"Meat's not as dark as racoon," he adds
for no one's sake. As for me,
class is over and I say so
and begin taking off my shoes,
when he turns at the door,
"Lotsa fat, you know, but never greasy."
I turn my choke into a nod, as he
says again, "Them make good eatin.'"

(Best line of poetry this year.)


Friday, August 5, 2022

Ray McNiece Awarded Fellowship by Academy of American Poets

Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece
[photo by Herb Ascherman]

The Academy of American Poets announced that it is awarding a combined total of $1.1 million to its 2022 Poet Laureate Fellows. These 22 individuals, each of whom will receive $50,000, have been named poets laureate of states, cities, and counties, and have made positive contributions to their communities in these roles and beyond. Funds will support their respective public poetry programs in the year ahead as presented in their proposals to the Academy. In addition, the Academy will provide a total of $72,200 to eight local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that have agreed to support the Fellows’ proposed projects.

Ray McNiece, Poet Laureate Fellow, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 

Ray McNiece is the author of several collections, including Breath Burns Away (Red Giant Press, 2019). The recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021, he works for both the Ohio Arts Council Arts in Education Residency Artist program and the Center for Arts Inspired Learning of Northeast Ohio. In collaboration with Heights Arts, McNiece will organize the “Poem for Cleveland Project” and create a mosaic of Cleveland voices through intergenerational and multicultural poetry workshops. These will be monthly community-based workshops established with the help of partner organizations that pair youth poets with elders to tell the story of Cleveland. The workshops will feature prompts of place created by youth poets and serve as a template to be shared virtually by the Center for the Book to help other Ohio communities create similar programs. The project will serve as a bridge between cultures, generations, and neighborhoods. It will conclude with an intergenerational reading and celebration at Cleveland Public Library’s main branch, sponsored by the Center for the Book and Heights Arts. An anthology of the work, Poem for Cleveland, will be published by Red Giant Press.

The 2022 Poet Laureate Fellows and the communities they serve are Emanuelee Outspoken Bean (Houston, TX), Cyrus Cassells (Texas), Andru Defeye (Sacramento, CA), Ashanti Files (Urbana, IL), B. K. Fischer (Westchester County, NY), Ashley M. Jones (Alabama), Holly Karapetkova (Arlington, VA), J. Drew Lanham (Edgefield, SC), Julia B. Levine (Davis, CA), Matt Mason (Nebraska), Airea D. Matthews (Philadelphia, PA), Ray McNiece (Cleveland Heights, OH), Huascar Medina (Kansas), KaNikki Jakarta (Alexandria, VA), Gailmarie Pahmeier (Nevada), Catherine Pierce (Mississippi), Rena Priest (Washington), Lynne Thompson (Los Angeles, CA), Emma Trelles (Santa Barbara, CA), Gwen Nell Westerman (Minnesota), Crystal Wilkinson (Kentucky), and Kealoha Wong (Hawaiʻi).


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Literary Cleveland’s Inkubator Writing Conference: September 6 through 10

Do you write stories or poems? Want to learn more about fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry? Looking for ways to share your story or publish your work?  
Check out this free writing conference


Literary Cleveland’s Inkubator Writing Conference is one of the largest free writing festivals in the country. Free virtual panels September 6-8 will lead up to a two-day in-person conference at the Cleveland Public Library on September 9-10.

  • Draft new writing with workshops in each genre

  • Improve your craft with talks by expert authors

  • Connect with fellow writers and publishers at events, readings,
    and a book fair

  • Learn how to publish your work with sessions on finding an agent,
    developing a book proposal, and submitting to journals

Whether you are new or experienced, dedicated or curious, and even if you don't consider yourself a writer—you should attend! In addition to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and publishing events, there are also sessions on starting a podcast, reviewing books, posting about books on YouTube, dealing with impostor syndrome, and much more.

This conference is free to attend but registration is required. Register today before workshops fill up!

View the full schedule and register for free at: https://inkubator.litcleveland.org/ 


Monday, July 25, 2022

Two important books on Cleveland Poetry Scenes


Two important books on Cleveland Poetry Scenes

An anthology of writing by and about d.a.levy.

Chronology of his life and work, Biographical essays, Photographs, Interviews, Profiles, Statements, Letters, Art Work, Collage, Poems and Critical appreciations of his writing and art levy's “Cleveland Prints” Eight pages in full color.
Contributors: Ed Sanders, T.L. Kryss, rjs, Karl Young, Allen Frost, Joel Lipman, Kent Taylor, Mark Kuhar, Ingrid Swanberg, Larry Smith, Russell Salamon, John Jacob, Doug Manson, Michael Basinski, Jim Lang, and others.    


Edited by Larry Smith & Mary E. Weems & Nina Freedlander Gibans

"Poetry has a long and living history in Cleveland, Ohio, and this examination of its past through the lens of its vibrant present is a treasure in and of itself. They are all here, the great ones who showed the way: Langston Hughes, d.a.levy, Alberta Turner, Robert Wallace, Daniel Thompson. They set the bar pretty high. But as the editors demonstrate, their sons and daughters carry on, bringing the word to the city's streets and universities, libraries and coffeehouses."  ~ Ron Antonucci

304 pages of Cleveland Poetry Scenes from 1945 to the Present. 6 x 9 with over 50 photographs of people and places from the times. Includes an anthology of 40 key Cleveland poets with bio and statements from each.

Here's the link to order: Cleveland Poetry Scenes


Friday, July 15, 2022

Cleveland Concrete

Check out this karl kempton essay elucidating some important Cleveland history in the field of concrete poetry.

"This article brings to light a group of individuals in Cleveland, Ohio out of which came the first American anthology of concrete poetry, cleveland concrete," published by rjs in 1966.

Read the entire piece at https://synaptry.blogspot.com/2021/12/synapse-essay-eleventh-cleveland.html.

An example of concrete poetry by Russell Atkins
(image courtesy of Aldon Nielsen's blog)

Monday, July 11, 2022

2022-2023 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series Lineup Announced


The William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series

We are excited to announce the lineup for our 2022-2023 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series!
Get your subscription now!
Marlon James
Marlon James
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham
Monday, November 7, 2022
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Elif Batuman & Gary Shteyngart
Elif Batuman & Gary Shteyngart
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Tickets on sale now!
Writers Center Stage is returning to the Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University for the 2022-2023 season. Benefactor, Subscriber, and Virtual Subscription options are now available for purchase. View the benefits of each ticket option below. Single ticket options will be available for purchase in August.
Get your subscription now!

Benefactor Level: $275
  • (1) ticket for all (6) author events with flexibility to come in-person or live stream from home.
  • Admission to an exclusive 2023-2024 season announcement party.
  • Advanced access to PREMIUM seating.
  • Invitation to a preshow Benefactor Reception with one author (pending state and local health guidelines).
  • Hardcover copy of Barbara Kingsolver's new novel, Demon Copperhead.
  • Hardcover copy of Jon Meacham's new biography, And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle.
  • Free parking at the Maltz Performing Arts Center.
Subscriber Level: $175
Virtual Subscription: $75
  • A ticket to live stream all six events. This does not include physical seats in the Maltz Performing Arts Center or physical books.
For general questions regarding the Writers Center Stage Series, please contact Hillary Walker via email at hwalker@cuyahogalibrary.org or by phone at 216.749.9491.For questions regarding Case Western Reserve University's ticketing page, please email mpacinfo@case.edu or call the box office at 216.368.6062.

About Writers Center Stage
The 2022-2023 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series is presented by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and its academic partner Case Western Reserve University.Funds raised by this series support Cuyahoga County Public Library, the nation's top-rated library system for 12 consecutive years.
Presented by
Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation
Case Western Reserve University



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