Monday, December 4, 2023

Applications Being Accepted for an $8,000 Fellowship

From our friends at Literary Cleveland:
Apply for a paid $8,000 four-month Amplify Fellowship to create a literary project for your community.
Two fellows will work with Literary Cleveland staff from February-May 2024 and receive funding, resources, mentorship, and support to pilot a new community project. Fellows will gain experience in literary programming, event planning, communications, and community outreach.
This opportunity is intended for Northeast Ohio writers who are members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the writing and publishing industry.

Friday, December 1, 2023

RC Wilson reviews Katie Daley's new book, Any Closer to Home

ANY CLOSER TO HOME by Katie Daley (2023, Finishing Line Press, Georgetown KY)
Review by RC Wilson:
Katie Daley is a performing poet who also writes for publication. A lot of writers work the other way around, writing for the page and reading aloud mostly when launching a new book. Katie has mesmerized audiences all over the country, but that does not make this book any less special. Just be aware that these poems were written to be spoken, almost sung. I suggest you find a good place to read them out loud, like incantations or spells. Take this book down in a tunnel, or out to the middle of a bridge, and speak her poems. Or better yet, borrowing an image from two of these poems, if you have access to an old grand piano, take a few blankets and make a nest for yourself under there and speak the poems, letting her words resonate with the taut wire harp above you. Just kidding. Read them anyway you want to but read them.
The book sort-of invites you to sing along. The first poem is titled “Artists’ Lullaby”, followed by quotes from Muddy Waters and Henry James. That unique pairing kind of announces the poet’s playful nature. It is a beautiful love poem with the poetic voice addressing the artist lover on “the last day on earth.” The images are synaesthetic, commingling vision and hearing into a single soothing sense. Daley is one of those ecstatic poets, who work the border between the ordinary and the miraculous. Her poems plead and extol for us to see the magic all around us hiding in plain sight. In her poem, “Homecoming,” she begins with:
"What do you call it, at dusk, after a long day’s drive,
when you hurry your suitcase through the rain
and are pulled up short by thousands of fireflies in the yard,
gliding like gondolas among the glimmering drops?"
The poem uses the second person narration to make this OUR experience, and yes, we are all pulled up short by such moments. She goes on to spell out our obligation to live large and lean into it, to taste the sacred rain. 
I love the individual poems, but also how well they are stitched together to make a coherent chapbook. We find ourselves dancing naked in the rain in one poem, and naked in a laundromat in another. A bottle of glue in the first poem is sought after in another poem. Living under a piano shows up as the beginning of one poem, and is echoed in another. Then there is the overall shape of the narrative, with defiant joy at the beginning and the end, all wrapped around a deep dive into grief and loss in the heart of the book. As I get older, poetry sometimes makes me cry. One of Katie’s poems set the record for me, and had me weeping two words into the first stanza, after a long title: “His Mother Still Speaks in the Present Tense When She Speaks of Him.” The first two words? “Tamir Rice…” This is a fine little book that expands greatly when you open it up.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Informational Session and Q&A

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture announces a Zoom event that they say will aim "to increase understanding about [their grantmaking] process and broaden transparency." To register to attend, please click here.

square box "Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Information Session and Q&A

Friday, October 27, 2023

10/28: Meet the authors of the Poem for Cleveland Anthology

Meet the authors of the Poem for Cleveland Anthology

Saturday, October 28

2:00pm - 4:00pm
South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch
Cuyahoga County Public Library
1876 South Green Road, South Euclid, Ohio 44121

Meeting Room A+B+C (120)

Join us to celebrate the publication of Poem for Cleveland, a new anthology written by over 100 youth and elder poets. Poets will be reading their poems from this second edition of the book.

The Poem for Cleveland project was a year-long series of workshops led by Ray McNiece, former Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate and Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The project culminated in the publication of the anthology by local publisher, Red Giant Press. Poem for Cleveland was made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Mellon Foundation.

McNiece worked with youth poets to present writing workshops for elder poets at various community venues, including the William N. Skirball Writers’ Center at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch. Each workshop included poetry prompts about Cleveland, including favorite places, people, family memories, and growing up a Clevelander.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival This Weekend


From our friends at Lit Youngstown:

The 7th annual Fall Literary Festival will feature Ross Gay, Jill Christman, Alison Stine, and the Craig Paulenich Endowed Lecture on Literary Community by Lit Cleveland Executive Director Matt Weinkam. This will be an incredible conference, with thanks to our sponsors the Centofanti Foundation, the Youngstown State University Center for Working-Class Studies, WYSU-FM, the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, Lake Erie Golf Cars, the Thomases Family Foundation, KO Consulting, the Grace Ruth Memorial Endowment, Ohio Humanities, the Wilkes University Master of Fine Arts, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, Eastern Gateway Community College, the Ohio Arts Council and the Youngstown Foundation.

Registration for daytime events is now closed. Please join us for the free evening readings! For more information including a full schedule of events, please visit

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Let's Talk Art: October 22nd

Let's Talk Art

The Intersection of Visual Arts & Poetry

Sunday, October 22
1:00pm - 3:00pm

Warrensville Heights Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library

Join us for a panel discussion, reception and Q&A with accomplished local poets, and spoken word performances.

Building on the successful "Let's Talk Art" panel session on race, culture and art in March 2023, Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), the Museum of Creative Human Art (MOCHA), and Assembly for the Arts invite you to join us for a celebration of spoken word. Learn from the experiences and perspectives of our panelists - Honey Bell-Bey, Jennifer Coleman, Siaara Freeman, Calil Gage, Wesley (Wallstreet Wes) Robinson - in an engaging dialogue moderated by Deidre McPherson, Chief Community Officer for the Assembly for the Arts. Brief reception and spoken word performance immediately following. 


Jennifer Coleman

Coleman is the Foundation’s program director for Creative Culture and Arts. Prior to joining the Foundation, Coleman, an architect, was president of her own design firm, Jennifer Coleman Creative. Earlier in her career, she practiced architecture at several local architecture firms. She also founded, a company that produced audio walking tours of Cleveland that highlight the distinctive history and architecture of Cleveland. Among her many civic endeavors, Jennifer has served as chair of the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, the Downtown/Flats Design Review Committee and the Group Plan Commission. She also has been a member of the board of trustees of many local arts and cultural organizations. Coleman received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.

Honey Bell-Bey 

Honey Bell-Bey holds a BA in Broadcast Production Technology from Bethune-Cookman University. A motivational poet, writer, educator and community advocate, Bell-Bey is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist and the founder and director for The International, Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, a character based performance troupe for adolescent males who perform on topics of disparities and social injustices. She has performed, directed, and choreographed Spoken Word performances internationally and has received numerous awards and accommodations for her service and activism utilizing poetry as a tool to unite communities around issues in social justice and equity. She was appointed the poet laureate of Cuyahoga County in January 2020, the first poet in sixteen years to hold the position.

Siaara Freeman
Siaara is a 2023 Room in the House fellow with Karmau Theater and a 2022 Catapult fellow with Cleveland Public Theater. She is a 2021 Premier Playwright fellow recipient withCleveland Public theater. She is a 2020 WateringHole Manuscript fellow, 2018 Poetry Foundation incubator fellow and a four time nominee for the pushcart prize. Her work appears in The Journal, Josephine Quarterly, Cleveland Magazine and elsewhere. She has had multiple poems go viral and has toured both nationally and internationally. Her first full length manuscript Urbanshee is available with Button Poetry and is a 2023 finalist for the Audre Lorde Award as well as a 2023 Silver Award winner for the Benjamin Franklin IPBA award for Poetry.  

Calil Gage 
Calil “JUST C.O.S.” Cage is a poet, speaker, educator, and two-time author. He is the founder of and currently serves as the Executive Director of The Sparrow’s Fortune. Born in Chicago, and raised in Columbus, OH, Calil currently resides in Cleveland, OH. He gained his Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University. Recently, he was awarded the Helping Hands Award by the Cuyahoga County ADAMHS Board, because of the communal nature of his work in the poetry world. His poetry and spoken word most often highlight the Black community, trauma resilience, hope, healing, spiritual principles, and more. “C.O.S.”, pronounced “cause”, stands for Collection of Seeds. He sees his words as “just a collection of seeds” planted into the hearts of those who listen. He hopes to continue honoring this moniker and planting seeds of impact in every community he visits.

Wesley (Wallstreet Wes) Robinson

Wesley Robinson was given the moniker, “Wallstreet” because of how he genuinely invests in the lives of others. At the age of 21 years old Wallstreet he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for two counts of aggravated robbery. A crime Wallstreet has taken full accountability for. 

During his tenure in prison, Wes was often mentored by men serving life or more years than a man can live, who encouraged him to embrace his prison experience as a life lesson. With this knowledge, at the age of 24 years old Wallstreet began to pour that same wisdom onto the other young males who were serving long stints like him. After awhile the administration of the prison threatened to place Wes in solitary confinement if he kept on impacting the population in a positive way. These threats only encouraged him and led him to informally form an organization called “Digging Diamonds from Dirt”, where he educated himself and others on black history and poetry so that they could express themselves to elders who only judged them as wild and young instead of youth in need of guidance.

In 2012, Wallstreet Wes was transferred to a minimum level security prison where he was able to truly find himself creatively. 

About the moderator 

Deidre McPherson, Chief Community Officer at the Assembly for the Arts, is a creative producer and entrepreneurial strategist dedicated to bridging the gap between artists, communities, and institutions. Her passion for recognizing the creative talent in her community and connecting artists to the public through cultural events and opportunities has been at the core of her work. Her advocacy for Black and Brown and LGBTQ+ creatives enables her to be a prominent force in the collective shift towards equity in Northeast Ohio.

Over the years, Deidre has held leadership roles at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa). At both institutions, she was responsible for curating and managing events designed to make the museum a vibrant, socially relevant, and welcoming destination. Similarly, as Director of Artistic and Community Initiatives for FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, she introduced community engagement practices that focused on amplifying Black and Brown creatives. Through her consulting practice, she has worked on projects for clients including the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), Studio West 117, Karamu House, Dance Cleveland and the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Deidre earned a Bachelor's degree from Miami University (with minors in Violin Performance and Arts Administration) and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

Assembly for the Arts            MOCHA

Friday, October 6, 2023

Rikki Santer selected Ohio Poet of the Year for 2023

Image of cover of Resurrection Letter: Leonora, Her Tarot, and MeThe Ohio Poetry Day Association (OPDA) has selected Rikki Santer as its Ohio Poet of the Year for 2023. Santer was selected for her book of poems, Resurrection Letter: Leonora, Her Tarot, and Me (Materialist Press/Cereal Box Studio, 2023), a book-length sequence in tribute to the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington.


A resident of Columbus, Ohio, Santer has had published five full-length poetry collections and six chapbook sequences exploring such topics as the Hopewell earthworks of Newark, Ohio; the late Kahiki Supper Club of Columbus, Ohio; the world of ventriloquism, the art of fashion, and the classic television series Twilight Zone. She is a member of the teaching artist roster of the Ohio Arts Council, a vice president of the Ohio Poetry Association, and a member of the poetry troupe, Concrete Wink. Her poetry has been widely published and has received many honors including several Pushcart and Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at

As an Ohio Poet of the Year, Santer joins the likes of Mary Oliver, David Baker, Kari Gunter-Seymour, and Maggie Smith. The complete list of previous Poet of the Year winners is below.


Santer will be featured at this year’s Ohio Poetry Day celebration, October 13–14. The event will feature a morning workshop, readings, and the keynote from Santer, who will read from her winning collection. See agenda details below.



Friday, October 13, 7–9 PM: Meet and greet with Santer and previous Poets of the Year, overnight poetry contest prompt.

Saturday, October 14, 10 AM–4 PM: Evan Lodge Workshop, reading by Rikki Santer, open mic featuring Ohio Poetry Day contest winners.

Where:   Troy Hayner Cultural Center
                301 W. Main St., Troy, Ohio 45373

List of Ohio Poets of the Year

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Coming Early October in the Land:

[Shared from the Literary Cleveland newsletter:]

Thrity Umrigar & Karan Mahajan

Wednesday, October 4 at 7pm at CCPL Parma-Snow

Spoken Word: Poetry Open Mic Nights

Thursday, October 5 at 7pm at Kaiser Gallery

Literary Citizenship Seminar

Saturday, October 7 at 4:30pm virtual with Ashland University

Con Tu Variety Show

Sunday, October 8 at 10pm at Dunlaps Corner Bar

Indigenous People's Celebration

Monday, October 9 at 8pm virtual with Ashland University

Poetry ~ Cathy Barber & EF Schraeder

Wednesday, October 11 at 7pm at Macs Backs-Books on Coventry

Broadsides & Ephemera featuring Judith Mansour

Thursday, October 12 at 7pm at Loganberry Books

Cris Harris & Mary Quade

Saturday, October 14 at 7pm at Macs Backs-Books on Coventry

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

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

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.


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