Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ohio City Writers, A Discussion

I want say a couple things in the beginning this post and that it can be as much of a discussion or “thread” as anyone who reads it really wants it to be, or believe it is, can be.

I recently came across the Ohio City Writers online and began looking into the details of the newly formed organization out of insatiable curiosity. I want to direct people who may not be aware of this newly forming non-profit to its now presence, as well as to my own personal philosophies on volunteerism, social enrichment and Cleveland’s kids.

Some unknowns about myself to anyone reading: I am young, or younger than most as I‘d like to think. I am not wise and certainly not the wisest. I am a writer. I have volunteered multiple times through the Ohio A.B.L.E. program, tutoring E.S.L. and G.E.D. students in multiple subjects. I have supported 826 National for years now and got to know about the organization just through being a fan of Dave Eggers‘ fiction work.

He is an amazing person, a good writer, but an amazing person. And one I’ve yet to meet.

I’ve also corresponded with the 826 non-profit before about their structure, their workshops held in California as basis for city bidding, opening new hubs throughout the country, and methods. I’ve visited the nearby Ann Arbor site and even donated to 826 Washington, D. C. while at the recent AWP conference. And I truly believe children and teens need centers like this globally.

A question I have in its design that I wanted to write about on the blog as well as talk about with other Cleveland writers, hoping some of you who read this are not only involved with the formation of the organization, but can promote and describe better what this center is supposed to become.

How accessible is the center going to be to youth in Cleveland that need this kind of tutoring?

Any Clevelander can tell you, Ohio City is one of the trendiest spots in the city: it has a very budding arts network, fast-paced and competitive restaurant and tourist growth, and historical value to the city of Cleveland, but how relevant is this center really going to be or have an impact on Cleveland's kids, especially those that need it? Is Ohio City Writers making trend more trendy here, or turning education volunteer programming into trend?

I’d like to think the answer is both and believe it is.

There are a lot of parts to Cleveland. I only bring up this subject because I believe so heavily in this kind of work, in its application in a society and the development and enrichment of other people. But I also really believe a discussion and exposure on the topic (and center) can only lead to the best in my own personal perception and questions on volunteering, on Cleveland, and on the understanding of what this non-profit may need, now and in the future, from myself and others.

Most of the people involved in this organization are not only Clevelanders, but professional writers. In the end, why would there be such an absence of mention of it from the poetics blog?


Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Thanks for the post-- I hadn't even heard of this organization before this.

michael salinger said...

First that I have heard of it too.

michael salinger said...

After perusing their info a bit more I would say that they seem to have good intentions and if I were to offer any advice it would be to include some teachers and folks who have worked with youth on their advisory board.

I see a board of education member involved - but anyone with classroom experience will tell you that a board position doesn't always translate into teaching experience.

~c said...

I agree, Michael. I also found very little description or information on how or what kind of programs or class time Ohio City Writers plans to spend with the kids.

Frank W. Lewis said...

Thanks for mentioning Ohio City Writers -- our web site saw a big spike in traffic that day. I've tried to answer your questions:

-- and I hope you and your readers will keep in touch.

~c said...

Thanks, Frank. Hopefully in the future those visitors (as well as myself) find the ability to donate their time to the organization!

Frank W. Lewis said...

I hope so too. Anyone who's interested can monitor our progress on our web site or Facebook page. Or send me an email ( and I'll add your address to our list. Thanks again!


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