Thursday, February 25, 2021

What's Up with Ray McNiece?

Jordan Davis, for CoolCleveland, catches up with Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece "as he reflects on his travels, current projects and passing the torch to future poets of all ages...." 

And check out Ray's online poetry workshops. More details at

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Virtual Valentine's Day reading

 Laurie Kincer writes:

Dear poets,


Here’s a special gift for you on Valentine’s Day: Honey Bell-Bey, Cuyahoga County Poet Laureate, is the featured reader at tomorrow’s Second Sunday Poets. A spoken word poet, Ms. Bell-Bey has been in the news frequently over the years as the founder and director of The Distinguished Gentlemen, a poetry recitation and performance group for young men ages 12-21.


Register here to receive a Zoom link at 2 p.m. for the 3 p.m. eventSecond Sunday Poets - Cuyahoga County Public Library (


Bring one or two of your own poems to read during the open mic, with the suggested theme of love (keeping it PG-rated). You’re also welcome just to tune in to listen.


Stay well and warm,



Laurie Kincer

Writing Specialist


Cuyahoga County Public Library

South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch

William N. Skirball Writers' Center

1876 South Green Road / South Euclid, OH 44121     

216.382.4880 / 216.382.4584


Cuyahoga County Public Library

Administrative Offices                                               

2111 Snow Road / Parma, OH 44134     

216.749.9309 / 216.485.9851

Photo credit: Adrian Hood

Sunday, January 24, 2021

"Cleveland Poets See Amanda Gorman's Words As 'Tools' To Teach"

Cuyahoga County Poet Laureate Honey Bell-Bey
celebrating Vice President Kamala Harris with students
at Wade Elementary School on Inauguration Day. [Honey Bell-Bey]

Read the full article by Jenny Hamel at ideastream®.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Bookshop Podcast features Mac's Backs and Larry Smith

This week on The Bookshop Podcast, host Mandy Jackson-Beverly talks to northern Ohio lit icons Suzanne DeGaetano of Mac's Backs Books on Coventry and Larry Smith of Bottom Dog Press:

Listen on Spotify, Podcast Addict, PlayerFM or BuzzSprout.

Mac's Backs:

Larry Smith:

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The City, January 2021


artwork by smith
art by smith

It's been far too long since we've seen a new issue of The City, Lady Smith's 'zine of art and poetry, but here it is, the January 2021 issue!

"I’m interested in the concept of the city as center of culture. The city is a symbol of the womb, of civilization, of collected human experience. The city is something that is very old. The city is something holy. The city is something natural. The city is something akin to a coral colony. The city is a legitimate human function. The city means that we have moved beyond subsistence and into something more collective. Rather than being estranged from the land, the city is dependent on the land."

Monday, January 4, 2021

George Saunders Thinks Social Media Is Killing Us

I find it interesting that I encountered this interview with Lincoln in the Bardo author George Saunders shortly after I began my January social media hiatus. 

"There’s something wonderful about the spontaneity of social media, but I think at this point it’s becoming 100% toxic for people to be firing off the top of their brains. One of the things [my new] book says is that the deeper parts of our brain are actually more empathic. If you revise something 20 times, for a mysterious reason, it becomes more social, empathic and compassionate. With Chekhov, you feel he’s always saying: “Well, what else?”, “Is there anything else I should know?”, or “Maybe I’m wrong.” And all of that seems to be designed to foster love, or at least some kind of relation to the other that’s got possibility. So I’m not a fan of social media. I’m not on it. And I won’t be, because I think it’s killing us, actually. I really do."

Read the rest of what Saunders has to say in The Guardian.

And you can pre-order his new book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, from Mac's Backs.


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