Add Your Voice to the “Poem For Cleveland”

…Even if you no longer live in Northeast Ohio!

We are looking for former Cleveland residents, aged 50 and older, now living outside the area to add their voice to a “Poem for Cleveland,” a project documenting the experience of those who grew up in Northeast Ohio. Whether you live somewhere else in Ohio, have moved to a neighboring state, or now reside across the country, we want to hear from you!

The Ohio Center for the Book is a co-sponsor of this grant-funded project headed by Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece, who, along with a cohort of young adult poets, are talking with community elders, aged 50 and older, about growing up in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio and then composing poetry based on those recollections.

If you would like to be involved, you may:

If you’ve written a poem about Cleveland, we’d also be interested to hear from you!

The intergenerational and multicultural conversations will result in an anthology entitled Poem for Cleveland to be published by Red Giant Press.

We look forward to hearing from you!

For background and context:

Announcement from the Academy of American Poets Prize (August 2022)

Ray McNiece is Making a Poem for Cleveland (, August 2022)

A Poem for Cleveland: Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece Partners with Cleveland Public Library and the Ohio Center for the Book to Tell the Story of the City (, October 2022)

Poem for Cleveland Workshops Strive to Inspire Clevelanders (, January 2023)

This project is made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Mellon Foundation.