Tuesday, September 12, 2023


BOTTOM DOG PRESS: Larry Smith & David Adams with a tribute to Tim Russell

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Mac's Backs is hosting a reading with poet David Adams and poet & publisher Larry Smith from Bottom Dog Press on Wednesday, September 13th at 7 pm. The evening will also be a tribute to the late poet Timothy Russell. Join us for this memorial and celebration of our country's best working-class poets...

David Adams

Tim Russell

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Maj Ragain Poetry Park

Join us as we dedicate the

Maj Ragain Poetry Park

When we make the poem, wood pulp paper, black spittle ink,we build a refuge for ourselves and others…It is respite, a temporary shelterwhere we may learn and listen to one another’s hearts.-Maj Ragain ’90

We hope you will join us to honor one of Kent State’s most beloved teachers and to celebrate his role as a cherished poet, a mentor and a distinguished alumnus and professor.

Thursday, September 14 | 5 p.m.Wick Poetry Center126 S. Lincoln St., Kent, OH 44242

Free and open to all.

Register for the Dedication

As we continue to honor the gift of Maj's life, we invite you to an open poetry reading on the following day. We will gather at Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse to share a favorite poem by or about Maj.

Friday, September 15 | 7 p.m.Last Exit Books and Coffeehouse124 E. Main St., Kent, OH 44242

No registration required.


Thursday, August 10, 2023

Monday, July 31, 2023

South Euclid poets at the Bexley Bash August 1st

8/1 at 6 p.m., the Bexley Bash will present a reading by South Euclid poets John Burroughs, Shelley Chernin, Raja Belle Freeman, Amy Kesegich, Amanda Terman, Abdul Ghani, Akaiya Abdullah and our moderator, South Euclid Poet Laureate Doc Janning, at Bexley Park, 1630 Wrenford Road.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Saturday, July 1, 2023

 Thoreau on being a poet

July 1, 1840 in Thoreau’s Journal:

The true poem is not that which the public read. There is always a poem not printed on paper, coincident with the production of this which is stereotyped in the poet’s life —is what he has become through his work…Let not the artist expect that his true work will stand in any prince’s gallery.

[How the poem transforms the poet}

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

 Turn Every Page documentary

Writer and editor friends. 

This is a fine study of the integrated roles of 

author and editor and publisher.

The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb

It proves both inspiring and insightful. 

You may have to rent it, but if you're a serious writer, it's worth it. 

Monday, June 19, 2023


Some of Larry Smith's books to sign at Visible Voice Bookstore
Saturday 4-7 pm with fellow Northern Ohio Writers
and Bottom Dog Press authors

Friday, June 16, 2023

Visible Voice Signing


Hi, folks...we Northern Ohio Writers are coming to 

Visible Voice Books (Tremont)
on Saturday June 24th at 4-7

Bottom Dog Press authors
Richard Norguard, Joel Rudinger, Larry Smith
with Emilia Rosa.

I will also have copies of our most recent 
Bottom Dog Press books:
In Plena - The Full Life: Collected Poems
by the late Timothy Russell

Thursday, June 8, 2023

The Price of a Small Hot Fire

Congratulations to Cleveland poet E.F. Schraeder, whose first full-length poetry collection, The Price of a Small Hot Fire, is being released this summer by Raw Dog Screaming Press.

A careful study on estrangement and loss, The Price of a Small Hot Fire excavates the archetypal horrors of monstrous motherhood, from abandonment and unsteady reconciliation to the grave. Experimental and intimate, E.F. Schraeder’s collection gives voice to a semi-autobiographical examination of a griefscape from a queer lens.

Pre-order a signed copy at https://rawdogscreaming.com/books/the-price-of-a-small-hot-fire/.

Advance praise: “E.F. Schraeder’s wonderful collection The Price of a Small Hot Fire is a gleaming poetic knife: strong, sharp, and heart-carving.”     – Lucy A. Snyder, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Exposed Nerves “Schraeder writes with teeth sharpened by decades of grit and despair; vicious and morose in equal measure.”
     – Anton Cancre, author of This Story Doesn’t End the Way We Want All the Time

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Timothy Russell

 Here, friends, are two fine Ohio poets 
whose work we are proud to share.
Tim passed away in Sept. 2021 and this is his collected poems
with photos, timeline, remembrance by wife Jodi,
and a fine introduction by Marc Harshman.
David J. Adams is very much with us and for us.
This is his New and Selected.
Both are at our web site and up on Amazon.

Join us in Sandusky for the book launch.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Resurrection Letter: Leonora, Her Tarot, and Me - 5/11 at Kaiser Gallery

Looking forward to Columbus poet Rikki Santer's book launch this Thursday, 5/11, at the Kaiser Gallery in Tremont.

Rikki Santer has always been a rad and ready wrangler of pop culture, an alchemist who is expert at excavating the universal and the personal in the popular and remixing it all into a glorious concoction that tingles the tongue as it reflects, refreshes and nourishes.


Wednesday, May 3, 2023

5/27 in Columbus and Online: the Ohio Poetry Association presents a Beat Poetry Workshop

May 27th, Ohio Beat Poet Laureate Sandra Feen and U.S. Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs will present "You've Got the Beat," a unique Beat poetry workshop sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association. Attend either online or in person at the Cooperative Chess Cultural Center in Columbus, Ohio. Please register at https://www.ohiopoetryassn.org/events.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

CLE Poetry Festival: April 21-22

From our friends at Literary Cleveland:

Draft new poems, advance your craft, meet publishers, and celebrate poetry with the best poets and editors in the city.

Join Literary Cleveland, CWRU English Department, CSU Poetry Center, Grieveland, and Mac's Backs Books for the Cleveland Poetry Festival April 21-22.

Spots are limited. Register here.

Monday, April 10, 2023

The CSU Poetry Center Turns Sixty!

From our friends at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center:

The CSU Poetry Center is celebrating 60 years this Friday--join us in celebrating over half a century of publishing, programming, & pedagogy!!!


Monday, April 3, 2023

Self-Publishing Roundtable, April 6th in South Euclid

Curious about or considering self-publishing? Join us this Thursday, 6 April at 7 pm, at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for A Self-Publishing Roundtable featuring panelists

Juliet Cook (Blood Pudding Press publisher and co-author of Short Poems About Violence and Chickens),
Michelle R. Smith (Literary Cleveland Programming Associate and author of The Vagina Analogues), and
* John Burroughs (Crisis Chronicles Press publisher and  author of The Wrest of the Worthwhile).

Please register here: https://cuyahoga.libnet.info/event/7616134.

1876 S Green Road
South Euclid, Ohio 44121

A Gathering of Laurels: Six Poets Laureate, April 8th in South Euclid

This Sunday, 8 April at 2 pm, join us at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for A Gathering of Laurels. Poets Laureate from around the area will read from their work, emceed by Doc Janning, the Poet Laureate of South Euclid. Books will be available for sale and signing, and we'll celebrate with light refreshments. This is a free event and there are seats still available.

Poets reading will include:

Doc Janning, Poet Laureate of South Euclid
Honey Bell-Bey, Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County
Siaara Freeman, Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights & University Heights
Mary Weems, Poet Laureate Emerita of Cleveland Heights
Jeremy Jusek, Poet Laureate of Parma
John Burroughs, U.S. Beat Poet Laureate

Please register here: https://attend.cuyahogalibrary.org/event/7644203.

Friday, March 31, 2023

national poetry month icon

 Once again, it's National Poetry Month, and that means that the Cuyahoga Public Library is doing its tenth annual Read+Write: 30 days of Poetry. Sign up, and get a poetry prompt, and a new poem by an Ohio writer in your box every day!

Post your poem in the comments, and read what others post.

How to sign up for the daily poetry emails:

  1. Go to this page, Email Preferences - Cuyahoga County Public Library (cuyahogalibrary.org)
  2. Fill in first name, last name, email address.
  3. Scroll to the bottom to “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry” and click Yes.
  4. Click the yellow subscribe button right below it.

Siaara Freeman becomes new Heights Poet Laureate!

Congratulations, Siaara Freeman! The following is from our friends at Heights Arts:

Heights Arts Appoints Eleventh Poet Laureate


Heights Arts proudly presents the Heights’ eleventh Poet Laureate —Siaara Freeman. She begins her two-year term in April, joining a long line of celebrated laureates, the most recent of whom was 2022 Academy of American Poets Fellow Ray McNiece. The new laureate’s official duties will begin in April (National Poetry Month), at Heights Arts’ popular Ekphrastacy—Artists Talk and Poets Respond series.

About Siaara Freeman

Currently a teaching artist for the Center for Arts Inspired Learning, Freeman has a wide-ranging, much-heralded foundation in writing and performing arts. She has spent recent years with Cleveland Public Theatre (Catapult Fellow 2021-22); as Watering Hole Manuscript Fellow (2020); Tangerine Chapbook Fellow (2018); Poetry Foundation Incubator Fellow (2018); and she is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her first collection of poetry, Urbanshee, was released in August 2022. Her poems have appeared in many publications including BOAAT, Tinderbox, Josephine Quarterly, and The Offing, which describes Freeman as “an avid reader, a reliable nerd, a poet, a performer, and the friendly neighborhood hope dealer.”

Freeman has performed at poetry festivals, colleges, and universities both locally and internationally. Norway, Canada, and Costa Rica have hosted her, as have educational institutions including Oberlin, Ohio State, Allegheny College, Michigan State, Louisiana State, and Penn State. In conjunction with the Picturing Motherhood exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2022, she made a five-minute “commercial” spoken-word video that aired on the museum’s website to promote the show.

Of her hero, Toni Morrison, in a piece for Cleveland magazine in 2019 Freeman writes, “She (Morrison) was transcendent, yet undeniably human. She had no need to rely on stereotypes or tropes. She knew blackness, women, Ohio, magic, herself, and she used that knowledge and her boundless imagination to give us worlds where her characters existed, but we could as well.” It was clear to the members of the Heights Writes Community Team whose members select the new laureate every two years, that Freeman herself would transcend the ordinary through her poetry writing, performances, and work with young people. Team member Annie Holden speaks for the Team. “On paper, Freeman is deeply impressive. In person, she has a level of energy and dynamism that electrifies the space she inhabits.”

Cleveland Heights – Home to the Arts

Freeman joins a long line of celebrated past poet laureates. Says Freeman about her appointment, “I am incredibly honored to be chosen to continue in a legacy carved by such brilliant and generous poets. It is a privilege to sit amongst personal heroes and close friends who embraced the opportunity to serve the community.”

Cleveland Heights Mayor Seren honors the laureateship and what it represents in a city with arguably the biggest population of artists and arts professionals in the region. “Poetry grounds us in our shared humanity in times of celebration and sorrow, and as “home to the arts” Cleveland Heights recognizes poetry’s significance through this laureateship. I look forward to working with Ms. Freeman to give her art a broader platform in our community.”

A New Partnership with University Heights

With the naming of the new laureate comes a new partnership between Heights Arts and University Heights, an evolution that will change the title from “Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate” to simply “Heights Poet Laureate”. Heights Arts’ executive director Rachel Bernstein shares her thoughts about Freeman’s upcoming tenure. “The Heights Poet Laureate program is the longest-running laureateship in the state and has been conferred through Heights Arts since our inception in 2000. Not only are we thrilled to welcome Siaara Freeman as the next laureate who will lead us into our twenty-fifth anniversary in 2025, we are equally excited about our new partnership with University Heights to expand this position to the greater Heights area—something I have been hoping to do since I became director. Cleveland Heights and University Heights share a school system and a library system, and we are grateful for Mayor Brennan’s enthusiasm in supporting another cultural asset in the Poet Laureate, which will expand civic engagement through the arts. I look forward to Freeman sharing her inspiring words and presence with a new community.”

University Heights Mayor Brennan shares Bernstein’s enthusiasm. “As we continue to grapple with the many challenges in today’s post-pandemic world, poetry can help us reconnect and heal. University Heights is excited to support the Heights Poet Laureate, and we look forward to working with her at our community events.”

Inaugural and Upcoming Events

The new laureate will be welcomed officially by Cleveland Heights on April 17, 2023 at Cleveland Heights City Hall, and at University Heights City Hall on May 1, 2023.

Her first public events will occur at Heights Arts’ Ekphrastacy – Artists Talk and Poets Respond event on April 20th at 7pm, and at a Heights Arts “Community Celebration of Laureates Past and Present” on May 4th at 7pm at the Grog Shop.

Upcoming events

More about Heights Arts Literary Programming

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

2023 Ohio Poetry Day Contests Now Open

[Cross-posted from the Ohio Poetry Association blog:]

Our friends at the Ohio Poetry Day Association have announced their annual contests! May 15, 2023, is the deadline (postmark) for nearly two dozen contest categories. Categories include humor, formal poems, parody and more. As always, a “Welcome Aboard” category for first-time submitters and an art category to design the cover art for the 2023 Best of Ohio Poetry Day anthology are also open to submissions. 

Below is a copy of the submission form, which provides full contest information. 

Ohio Poetry Day 2023 will take place in October. Stay up to date on OPD information, including the event date, location, and agenda, by getting your name and address on the OPD mailing list. To do so, contact:

Amy Jo Zook

3520 State Route 56

Mechanicsburg, OH 43044

Checks for all contest fees and purchases should be made payable to: Ohio Poetry Day. For questions, call (937) 834-2666.

Click and download the images below to view them at full size.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Coming soon: Hope Springs Eternal anthology from Simple Simons Press

From JR Simons:

Fresh off the publication of our first anthology, Mad As Hell: An Anthology of Angry Poetry, Simple Simons Press is launching its second call for submissions for a new anthology titled "Hope Springs Eternal." Poets interested in contributing, please submit using this link: https://forms.gle/qmCz4bbVr8jgSW8Y9.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Christine Howey Has a Poem About That

Crisis Chronicles Press is ecstatic to announce the publication of their first title of 2023, I Have a Poem About That by Cleveland's own Christine Howey.

I Have a Poem About That is 36 pp, 6 x 9", perfect bound, with cover art by Jessie Herzfeld. ISBN 979-8-88596-993-2. Available for $10 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA.

This volume features 23 poems, including "When We Die We Become Birds," "My Skiff," "Camus at Camp," "A Meeting of Suburban Deer," "Eternity on Elm Street," "Inside Out," "Invert at the Gem Saloon, Deadwood, South Dakota, 1876," "My Name Is John Doe," "Mount Everest," "Paul Desmond's Slot Machine," "Ten Ill-Conceived Kitchen Gadgets," "Maybe I Should Have Told Different Lies," "After I'm Gone," "Blueberries, Summer, 1944," "The Last One," "The Road Oft Taken," "Sign of the Cross," "A Bubble-Off Romance," "The Birds and the Bees," "The History of Television," "The Universal Usage Guide," "An Ode to Richard Howie," and "My Words Are Too Big Today."

Christine Howey is a performance poet and former executive director of Literary Cleveland. Her one-person play of poetry about her transgender journey, Exact Change, premiered at Cleveland Public Theatre and was selected by the New York International Fringe Festival. A film version of the play was an official selection of the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. 

Christine has also been an award-winning theater critic in Cleveland for 25 years, currently with Cleveland Scene. She was named Transgender Leader of the Year in Northeast Ohio and received the Torch Award from the Human Rights Campaign for leadership on transgender issues. 


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