In case of rain we will meet inside the Coventry Library, 1925 Coventry Rd in Cleveland Heights
Mac's Backs and the Coventry Library collaborate on an outdoor summer poetry reading series in Peace Park in front of the library. The first of these is Thursday, June 15th at 7 p.m.. It will feature outgoing Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece and a tribute to the late poet Daniel Thompson with poets John Burroughs, Shelly Chernin, Katie Daley, Bill Kennedy and Terry Murcko.
Ray McNiece has earned a national reputation as a poet and performer for several decades with his solo theater pieces, poetry and music shows, captaining of two National Poetry Slam Championship teams, "edutaining" children's shows and workshops, and his yearly country-wide tours of performance poems, stories and songs. Ray has authored eleven books of poems and monologues and CDs, most recently Love Song for Cleveland, a collaboration with photographer Tim Lachina and Breath Burns Away, New Haiku.
Among many awards, Ray has received a Creative Work Force Fellowship and residencies at The Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Jack Kerouac House. He is the outgoing Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights and in 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize.
Daniel Thompson was a Cleveland poet, civil rights activist and advocate for the homeless. His poetry reflected an acute social consciousness mixed with craft & wordplay. He organized readings in traditional and non-traditional venues and annually paid homage to Cleveland poets Hart Crane, Langston Hughes and d.a. levy. He published several poetry collections and The Big Book of Daniel: Collected Poems edited by Maj Ragain and published by Bottom Dog Press came out posthumously in 2001.
UPCOMING POETRY EVENTS
Thursday, July 20th at 7 pm
Adam Brodsky, Raja Belle Freeman and Terre Maher
Thursday, August 17th at 7 pm
Ali Black, Quartez Harris and Kortney Morrow