Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Thursday, May 13, 2021
From our friends at Literary Cleveland:
This summer, Literary Cleveland’s annual Inkubator Writing Conference will take place virtually from July 11-25 with 31 free events totaling 78 hours of literary programming.
The 2021 Inkubator will offer a wide range of interactive classes, craft talks, open mics, and panel discussions. This year’s conference features 11 multi-session workshops including teen and intergenerational classes as well as a printmaking and bookbinding workshop for those interested in making their own physical book.
Nationally-recognized writers who will participate include Viet Thanh Nguyen in conversation with Thrity Umrigar and a panel of New Yorker writers originally from Cleveland: Andy Borowitz, Marry Norris, and Kathryn Schulz. An all-star lineup of local authors will lead panels on writing in prisons, solutions journalism, ethical representation in literature, how storytelling can affect social change, and writing about illness beyond the pandemic. Plus four editors from major New York publishing houses will discuss state of the industry and provide feedback on participant’s first paragraphs.
The two-week event will be capped off by a keynote reading and discussion with renowned author Claudia Rankine. Rankine, presented by Cleveland Public Library. Rankine is a MacArthur fellow and the author of Just Us: An American Conversation (2020) and Citizen: An American Lyric, which won the 2015 National Book Critic’s Circle Award in poetry.
Similar to last year, nearly all of the events will take place digitally this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However there will be an in-person outdoor pop-up event at the Cleveland Public Library Eastman Garden on Saturday, July 17 featuring a book fair, DJ, food and drink vendors, and a community building workshop with an open mic.
The 2020 Inkubator is supported by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the Cleveland Public Library, the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Northeast Ohio MFA Program, Mac’s Backs Book, Loganberry Books, Appletree Books, Hathaway Brown and the Press Club of Cleveland.
Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit committed to helping people “explore other voices and discover their own.” The organization is a community of writers committed to bringing people into the world of words by providing educational writing opportunities at all levels, promoting new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advancing Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.
To register and for more information, visit our website.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
From Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece:
Write the Beats
A Workshop of Beat Writer Prompts
Beat era poets have had a profound influence on modern culture and mores as well as contemporary poetics—in particular performance poetry. Write the Beats is a workshop of Beat poetry prompts: Each of the six weeks will use a prompt based on a poem by a prominent beat era poet: Ginsberg, Snyder, Ferlinghetti, DiPrima, Kaufman and Kerouac. Prompts will explore themes of political poetry/identity, environmentalism, feminist poetry, surrealism, and spontaneous bop prosody. We will also look at works by Baraka, Waldman, and Corso for the poetry of rebellion, beat spirituality and neo romanticism.
Online via Zoom on Thursdays from 6pm-8pm April 22-May 27th
Register to receive the zoom link and class instructions.
Ray McNiece is the author of nine books of poems and monologues, most recently Love Song for Cleveland, a collaboration with photographer Tim Lachina, and Breath Burns Away: New Haiku. He toured Russia with Yevgeny Yevtushenko. He also toured Italy twice with legendary beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and was writer in residence at the Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
I hope you’re signed up to receive Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry, Cuyahoga County Public Library’s National Poetry Month blog. Every day in April, you’ll receive a poem by a poet who lives, works, or has some important tie to northeast Ohio; a poetry writing prompt to try; and a poetry book to check out of the library. Here’s a sample of the daily blog and the link to sign up for it.
You’re also invited to these special poetry workshops:
- Now We’re Cookin’: Recipes for Revising Half-Baked Poems - Cuyahoga County Public Library (cuyahogalibrary.org) Thursday, April 1, 7-8:30 p.m.
- Practical Principles of Writing Poetry - Cuyahoga County Public Library (cuyahogalibrary.org) Saturday, May 1, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
And, of course, these regular, monthly gatherings of poets:
- Second Sunday Poets - Cuyahoga County Public Library (cuyahogalibrary.org) Sunday, April 11, 3-4:30 p.m. Featured reader: Toledo poet Jonie McIntire, host of Uncloistered Poetry.
- West Side Poetry Writing Workshop - Cuyahoga County Public Library (cuyahogalibrary.org) Thursday, April 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Happy National Poetry Month to you and yours!
...and if that's not enough for you, check out Michelle R. Smith's blog, "Forcing Bulbs", where she is posting a poetry prompt every day in celebration of NaPoWriMo. Start with Day One.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
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:
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
From our friends at Heights Arts....
Thursday, February 25, 2021
And check out Ray's online poetry workshops. More details at RayMcNiece.com.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Laurie Kincer writes:
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. event: Second Sunday Poets - Cuyahoga County Public Library (cuyahogalibrary.org)
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,
Cuyahoga County Public Library
South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch
1876 South Green Road / South Euclid, OH 44121
p 216.382.4880 / f 216.382.4584
Cuyahoga County Public Library
2111 Snow Road / Parma, OH 44134
p 216.749.9309 / f 216.485.9851
Photo credit: Adrian Hood
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Read the whole article - 'Writers in Residence' gives voice to Ohio's juvenile detention youth, helping spark transformation and cut down recidivism - at news5cleveland.com.
And support Writers in Residence!
Sunday, January 24, 2021
|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®.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
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: www.macsbacks.com
Larry Smith: https://smithdocs.net/LarrySmithHomepage.htm
Sunday, January 10, 2021
|art by smith|
"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
"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.