I'm back, open, performing, and teaching in person, safely. Still on
and director of Twelve Literary Daniel Gray-Kontar, in
presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to
poet Ray McNiece recalled their time together in 1994, when they both were on a team
representing Cleveland at the National Poetry Slam
Championship, and won—as Gray-Kontar noted—the first national
championship for Cleveland since the Cleveland Browns, 30
years earlier. He recalled the so-very-Cleveland opening
line from McNiece’s poem Grandfather’s Breath: “You work.
You work, Buddy. You work.” McNiece could be heard performing that poem in coffee shops and much
larger stages all those years ago.
All the people receiving recognition in the evening’s ceremony would
know the truth of that line.
HEIGHTS ARTS NAMES
AS 10TH CLEVELAND HEIGHTS POET LAUREATE
In his announcement of his new
role, McNiece said, “Yesterday I posted a tribute to my mother and
it really was
her encouragement to follow my dreams to be a poet (my immigrant
Grandparents were drilling “Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer”
in my head all through my childhood) that has brought me here. That, and
the love of poetry instilled by my father’s mother
Zelma McNiece Cline, who always told me if you learn a poem by heart it
lives with you your whole life!”
McNiece is known for his collaborations with other poets, spoken word
artists and musicians, so he’s ideally suited to expand the poet laureate role in multiple ways and he is bursting with ideas.
Ray McNiece for Ekphrastacy reading at Heights Arts
WTAMU: SLAM POET
RAY'S BAND TONGUE
Third Sunday of the month at 6 (on hiatus for January and February due to Covid)
Fillmore Presidential Library
bar & grill
Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110
March 20th, featuring Irish
American Seanachie, Sean Thomas Daughtery,
April 17, internationally touring Nepalese Poet Yuyutsu Sharma
May 15, Ray McNiece’s belated 60th Birthday Bash, featuring Zoom
June 19, Daniel Gray-Kontar,
July 17, Raja Belle Freeman
See more performances, links, and YOUTUBE CLIPS at MUSIC - SINGER
teachers, program planners, administrators:
Click BROCHURE to DOWNLOAD
Talking Across America.
Click flag to download a descriptive FLYER.
See reviews at Performances
Books: Us? Talking Across America
or BOOKS for comments and info.