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Cleveland Photo Fest & Ekphrastic Poetry

Friday, July 30, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Mac's Backs will host an Ekphrastic Poetry Reading inspired by the Cleveland Photo Fest exhibit on view at Mac's on Friday, July 30th at 7 pm. 

In the exhibit, four artists were brought together to represent a few ways in which photographers convey stories, offer perspective and other thoughts on interpreting the world. Five poets responded to the photos and will read those poems as well as some of their other work. 

The Poets:

Raja Belle Freeman is a performance poet, college graduate, visual artist, and flautist. She has worked with Twelve Literary Arts as an intern, a member of the Six of Twelve Youth Performance Poetry Ensemble, and was a two-year member of the One Mic Open Youth Poetry Slam Team. She is currently a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and minoring in Black Studies.

James Quarles is a local poet. Graduating from Shaker Heights High School, and later Columbus College of Art and Design. James first found love for poetry at a young age through poets like Shel Silverstein, and Eloise Greenfield. James incorporates writing in his visual art and musical performance and you can catch him at local venues performing, or at an open mic enjoying the sounds of the city

Benjamin Anthony Rhodes is a queer and trans poet living in Northeast Ohio, where he is a third-year poetry candidate with the NEOMFA. Born and bred on the bayou, Benjamin hails from Louisiana and earned his BA in English from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. His work is present or forthcoming in ode to Queer, Sidereal Magazine, and Freezeray.

Elaine Schlieffer is a queer community organizer. She is the author of Our House on the Sand (Crisis Chronicles, 2019) and coauthor of Recording Corona (Purpled Palm Press, 2020). Her poetry can be found in places like Survivor Lit, Rebelle Society, or Pudding Magazine, and her activism can be found in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Cindy Washabaugh is a poet, community artist and organizational consultant whose passion is supporting others in their growth and self-development. She designs and facilitates outreach programs for diverse populations and has taught creative writing and writing for healing at Cleveland State University.  Cindy’s poetry has appeared in national and local publications, and she has read at MOCA, CPT, the Cleveland Playhouse, Beck Center for the Arts, and other venues. She is the author of Sings the Body (Finishing Line Press)

The Photographers

Adam Bernard is based in Medina, Ohio. Bernard earned his BFA from the University of Akron and is an alumnus of St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S. in Akron, Ohio. He was awarded two Individual Artist Fellowships by the Ohio Arts Council. Professionally, he worked as a news photographer for nearly a decade at Sun Newspapers, Cleveland, Ohio, and the Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio and taught photography at the University of Akron. He is exhibiting High School Dances

Aireonna McCall has been practicing professional photography and marketing for over 10 years and graphic design for the past 5. Specializing in portrait photography, commercial photography, and event photography she has a demonstrated history of working in the consumer goods and services industry. She received my Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Psychology from Notre Dame College in 2013 with minors in Philosophy and Art with an emphasis on Photography. She is exhbiting Extraordinaire, a collection of portraits

Jamie Richey is a Cleveland-based photographer, mixed media artist, writer and creative marketing professional. Raised in Northeast Ohio, Jamie has bounced from here to the south and back earning a BA in film and photography from Elon University. Her time after graduation consisted of freelance film gigs, photography studio work and some commercial publishing before heading back South to earn her Master of Arts degree in Art History with a photography concentration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her exhibition combines photos with text.

Michele Waalkes is an artis and freelance curator. Her mixed media artwork has been exhibited in solo, group and juried shows in Ohio and across the country. Her work as a curator, artist, and educator has always intersected with the community, whether to inspire, to spark dialogue, to express concepts, to wrestle with difficult issues, or to bring people together. Her exhibit is from the Tangled Web series which explores her experiences with her father's Alzheimer's.




Event address: 
1820 Coventry Rd
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118