Saturday, June 14, 2014

Poetry- who needs it?

The New York Times asks, "Poetry: Who Needs It?"

"The dirty secret of poetry is that it is loved by some, loathed by many, and bought by almost no one...
"This is not a disaster."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Call for Poets: Cleveland Heights EKPHRASTACY

I recently received a message from Kathleen Cerveny, a good friend and the current Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights.  I'm posting it here at her request.  This is an open call, and promises to be much fun.  John Burroughs participated in EKPHRASTACY on May 8, 2014; you can read about it and link to the art he wrote his poem about here.  I'm scheduled to participate in the September EKPHRASTACY, and I'm very much looking forward to it.  If you are interested and intriguedand I know you areplease contact Kathleen at the email address embedded in her message.  Thank you!

Dear Poet,

This message is being sent to a number of Cleveland-area poets (whom I know well, slightly and perhaps not at all) as an open invitation to participate in an exciting series of ekphrastic poetry events.  

As the current Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights,  I have worked with my sponsor, HeightsArts, to create a new program in which local poets are invited to view the works being assembled for each of the HeightsArts gallery exhibitions and write poems inspired by these works.  

At a date near the end of each exhibition's run, we invite the public to come and hear the artists talk about their work, and the poets read and talk about their poems.  We have held two of these EKPHRASTACY programs to date, with the audience in the gallery packed to capacity.  It's an exciting cross-discipline event that draws both art and poetry lovers. So far we have featured work by 12 local poets.

Although we are not yet in a position to offer an honorarium (we are working on this for the future), we are offering a free membership in HeightsArts, with full membership benefits, to the poets chosen to participate in EKPHRASTACY.  You can check member benefits at the HeightsArts website
If you are interested in being considered for one of the upcoming EKPHRASTACY programs, please contact me through my email at HeightsArts and I will share more information about the program:

Right now we are looking for poets to participate in the July 10th EKPHRASTACY and the final one of the season, in September.  We already have the schedule for 2015, so I will soon be putting those programs together as well. 

Hoping to hear of your interest,

Kathleen Cerveny

Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate, 2013-14

Art is not a thing.  It is a Way.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ohio Senate Passes Bill Establishing Ohio Poet Laureate - House Next!

Steve Abbott testifying on behalf of S.B. 84 on May 21st
in Columbus [photo by Michael Salinger]
Click here to read about it on the Ohio Senate's minority caucus blog.  

Many thanks to the senators, including many from our area and from both political parties, who have stepped up and supported Senate Bill 84.  Letters from poets and other bill supporters from across the state, as well as great support from the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Poetry Association have helped immensely.  But our work's not done yet.

Now Senate Bill 84 is moving on to the Ohio House for consideration and this is the perfect time for us to write to our state representatives and express our support for the establishment of a Poet Laureate position in Ohio.  It doesn't seem right that Ohio, the home of so many fine poets statewide, is one of only five or six United States not to have such a position.

So please write to your state representative and urge him or her to pass this bill.

Click here to find your representative.
Click here to read Senate Bill 84, the Ohio Poet Laureate bill.
Click here to read Michael Salinger's testimony before the Senate in support of S.B. 84.
Click here to read John Burroughs' testimony before the Senate in support of S.B. 84.

Click here to read a statement by Steve Abbott on the O.P.A. blog in support of S.B. 84.


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