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By OCB Staff on

Cleveland Public Library and Ohio Center for the Book Present

Out of the Closet and Into the Costume: Gay Comix

Yet another installment in the OCFB Get Graphic! Series.

WHEN: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 2:00 PM
WHERE: Cleveland Public Library, Literature Department, Main Building, 2nd Floor. Cleveland Public Library is located at 325 Superior Avenue.

What’s queer about comics? Where do LGBTQ history and comics history intersect?  Being queer, especially years ago, was like having a secret identity. This lecture, given in conjunction with the Gay Games 2014 (August 9-16, 2014), is about the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer movements and how they relate to comic books and graphic novels.

About the Speaker:

Valentino Zullo holds a Masters of Arts in English and women’s Studies from Bowling Green State University where he specialized in the study of comics as Literature. He is currently a student at case Western Reserve University at the Mandel School of applied social Sciences. His interest in comics began at a young age, and he continues to read them to this day. Valentino believes in Literature, social Justice and the Superhero Way!

Get Graphic! with Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library

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By OCB Staff on

Cleveland Public Library, Ohio Center for the Book, and Cleveland Play House Present:

Cleveland Public Library, Ohio Center for the Book, and Cleveland Play House have collaborated on a new exhibit: Christmas in July: A Christmas Story! The exhibit highlights the Cleveland Play House stage production of the classic holiday tale and will display at Cleveland Public Library, Literature Department, Main Library, July 2014 with special events, and a chance to win a surprise Christmas gift. Click "Christmas in July" (above, left) to view the flyer. Call 216.623.2881 for more information.

The Cleveland Play House 2014 production of A Christmas Story will begin its run November 28  December 21, 2014 in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare

THE EXHIBIT - Main Library, Literature Department, 2nd floor.  Enjoy a warm "Christmas in July" with a display of costumes, props, stills from the show, and library materials. The 1983 MGM movie A Christmas Story, starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, and Darren McGavin, will be showing throughout the month of July in the Ohio Center for the Book, Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor. Visit the exhibit now through July 31, 2014, where you may not touch the leg lamp (because it's "Fra-GEE-leh!"), but we guarantee you won't shoot your eye out with our surprise Christmas gift! 

PICK OUT A "CHRISTMAS IN JULY" TREAT: A Blind Date with an Ohio Author! The Literature Department and Ohio Center for the Book staff have hand-selected and wrapped up a variety of books. Check it out like any regular library book; then enjoy the wonder of unwrapping a surprise new reading experience! You may also enter to win a surprise Christmas gift by rating your blind date. Click on the image of the leg lamp (above) to download/print the Rate-A-Date entry form.  

SPECIAL GUEST: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 11:00 a.m., Youth Services Department, Main Library, 4th floor. "Ralphie" will play Santa Clause, offering special "Christmas in July" treats with a surprise visit to the Main Library.

THE STORY. A Christmas Story was written by Phil Grecian, based on the motion picture written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, which in turn was based on the original short story collection In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

One boy. One holiday wish. And a world that seems to be conspiring to make certain it doesn't come true. The record-breaking show returns to the Cleveland Play House stage in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory – the perfect holiday treat for the family.

This year's Cleveland Play House production will run November 28 - December 21, 2014 at the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, 1407 Euclid Avenue. Purchase tickets online or call the Cleveland Play House box office at 216.241.6000.  


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By OCB Staff on

Hosted by the Literature Department and sponsored by Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Public Poetry, the open mic poetry reading series, continues August 23, 2014 with featured poet Sarah Gridley.

Join us Saturday, August 23, at 12:00 p.m. as we celebrate poetry and the spoken word in the Eastman Reading Garden (rain location Literature Department, 2nd floor, Main Library). For more information call the Literature Department at  216.623.2881. Click on "Cleveland Public Poetry" (link above and image at left) to print the flyer for this event, and click "Read More" to link, via CPL’s online public catalog, to works of past and present featured poets. Poets featured have included: Kazim AliFrank GiampietroSusan Grimm, Dave Lucas, and Mary Weems

About the Poet  

Sarah Gridley is an assistant professor of poetry at Case Western Reserve University.  She is the author of poetry collections Green Is the Orator and Weather Eye Open, and was the recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Cleveland-based Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in 2009. Loom, her third book of poetry, won the 2011 Omnidawn Open Book prize.



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By OCB Staff on

The Western Reserve Book Festival is a new book festival celebrating the literature of the Western Reserve. Many authors representing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children/young adult and other genres will be in attendance. David Giffels is the keynote speaker.

Click the image above to view/print the schedule for this event.

Les Roberts, Brad Ricca, Tricia Springstubb, Susan Grimm, David Hassler, James Renner, and Tom Batiuk are just some of the authors that will be participating. Literary journals and organizations, including Ohio Center for the Book, will also be there.

The festival will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, 2014, in the Kennedy Center at Hiram College, 11730 Garfield Road in Hiram. It is free and open to the public. For more information, go to, or call 330-569-5353.

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By OCB Staff on

Presented by Concrete OrKids, a performance poetry group from the Cleveland School of the Arts, and Brave New Voices, One Mic Open: is a poetry competition that is produced, marketed, and promoted by youth for youth and young adults ages 13-21.  

Brave New Voices, Cleveland Slam finalist Eric Odum will host performances and open mic sessions at different locations around town. See schedule below.

Click anywhere in the schedule (below) to view/print the flyer for this event.

DETAILS: All SLAM poets should bring four poems.  Each poem should not exceed three minutes in length. Open mic participants are between 13-21 and slam participants are between 13-19, but all ages are encouraged to attend!  Contact the venue for information about signing up, or visit the Concrete OrKids-Facebook for more information.

ADMISSION: $3.00 for Students / $5.00 for adults. Free for all slammers and open mic participants

Winners of each Poetry Slam event will be automatically entered into the semi-final Cleveland-area Slam to decide who will possibly represent the city of Cleveland at the Brave New Voices national poetry competition in 2015.  For more information visit Concrete OrKids-Facebook.


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By OCB Staff on

It's a new season of Cleveland Public Poetry at the Cleveland Public Library!  The 2014 season began on April 5, with poet Kazim Ali

Saturday, June 14, 2014 the series continues with featured poet Frank Giampietro. Join us for Cleveland Public Poetry, hosted by the Literature Department and Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library. The open mic poetry readings with featured poets are held Saturdays at 12:00 p.m. and take place in the Literature Department (2nd floor, Main Library) and in the Eastman Reading Garden during the summer (rain location Literature Department). Guest poets include Frank Giampietro (June 14), Sarah Gridley (August 23), and students from Cleveland School of the Arts (November 1). For more information call the Literature Department at  216.623.2881. Click “Read More” to print the flyer for this event, and to link to  the featured poets' work, available in CPL’s online public catalog.

About the Poet 

Frank Giampietro is the interim director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. He is the author of a book of poems,Begin Anywhere, and his writing has appeared in numerous publications including 32 Poems, American Book Review, Black Warrior, Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, CutBank, FENCE, Hayden's Ferry, Poetry Daily, Poetry International, and Ploughshares.  Awards for Giampietro's poetry include a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers' Conference, a Kingsbury Fellowship from Florida State University, a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a Florida Book Award.

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By OCB Staff on

The Ohio Center for the Book is thrilled to announce that it has selected Rosa, a story of Rosa Parks by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Bryan Collier, as Ohio’s selection for the National Book Festival’s “Discover Great Places through Reading Map.” Each state selects one title of fiction or non-fiction, a book about the state or by an author from the state that is a good read for children or young adults. The map is distributed at the Pavilion of the States at the Festival listing “Great Reads About Great Places.” The Pavilion of the States will represent reading and library programs and literary events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. trusts and territories. Children attending the festival are given maps to take to each state’s table to have that state stamped to receive a prize.  As Ohio state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library will have a table in the Pavilion of the States staffed by Amy Dawson, Manager, Literature Department, Ohio Center for the Book.

Rosa is also a 2015 & 2016 Choose to Read Ohio selection.  Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni’s evocative text combines with Bryan Collier’s striking cut-paper images to retell the story of a historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.  Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

The National Book Festival will be held in Washington D.C. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Saturday, August 30, 2014. This year’s festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, hear special entertainment, have photos taken with storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities. For more information, please visit


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By OCB Staff on

This is the second annual writers conference sponsored by the English Department of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).  Conference events will take place in Clark Hall and Guilford House on the CWRU campus. Click the Gilford House image at left to print the brochure for this event.

WHEN: Saturday, May 31,2014,  8:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Clark Hall, 11130 Bellflower Road AND Guilford House 11112 Bellflower Road, Cleveland OH 44106 (map)

KEYNOTE: Thrity Umrigar, "The Lives of Others: The Novel as Looking Glass"

Conference Description: "Breaking Genre: In the Context of Others" is a one-day writers conference, offering classes and intensive workshops with Mary Biddinger, Cinda Williams Chima, Joyce Dyer, Michael Grant Jaffe, Phil Metres, Lynn Powell, James Sheeler, S. Andrew Swann, Samuel Thomas. There is limited enrollment (first come, first served) intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir. If you register for one of the intensives, contact the Department of English at, to connect to the workshop before the conference and to send in your manuscript which will be pre-circulated to both the workshop leader and the workshop members.

Registration.  Registration and payment will be online through Eventbrite. For more information, call 216.368.1508. A box lunch is included in the cost of the conference.  This event is co-sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

Book Fair.  A book fair will be on site from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Mac's Backs will be the resident bookstore with other presses and journals.


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By OCB Staff on

The Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus, Ohio will play host to the eighth Annual Ohioana Book Festival. Meet more than 100 Ohio authors, have books signed, attend panel discussions, try some of the crafts and activities in the children’s area, eat at one (or more) of the award-winning local food carts, listen to some great music, and take in all the amazing literature Ohio has to offer!

This year's featured authors include Laura Bickle, Robin Davis, Harmony Evans, Charlene Fix, P.L. Gaus, David Giffels, Matt Kish, Amit Majmudar, Lindsay Ward, and Andrew Welsh-Huggins.

The Ohioana Book Festival begins at 10:00 A.M. and concludes at 4:30 P.M.  The event is free and open to the public and there is free parking.

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By OCB Staff on

The Ohio Center for the Book serves as Ohio's regional coordinator for the international River of Words poetry and art contest.  This annual contest is open to all students in grades K-12. It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2014 River of Words winners for the Ohio region.  Congratulations to our winners!


Category II (Grades 3-5)
First Place: Audrey Howard from Cincinnati.
Second Place: Aaron Ziegler from Cincinnati.

Category III (Grades 6-8)
First Place: Emma Hubbard from Cleveland Heights.
Second Place: Eliz Slabaugh from Hartville.

Category IV (Grades 9-12)
First Place: Jennifer Yen from Beachwood.
Second Place: Katie Walthour from Mansfield.


Category I (Grades K-2)
First Place: Janiya Rahman from Euclid.

Category II (Grades 3-5)
First Place: Ta'Jah Hodge from Cleveland Heights.
Second Place: Katherine Withers from Cincinnati.


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By OCB Staff on

Days before this year's World Book Night (WBN) event, Ohio Center for the Book staff and volunteers distributed books to WBN book givers. Every year on April 23, volunteer book givers across America celebrate books and reading by giving away books within their communities.   

Amy Dawson, Manager, Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library, led staff in distributing more than 300 books to WBN volunteer book givers. Click "Read More" to see more photos and a list of the WBN books given away.

Don't miss a chance to become a volunteer book giver for World Book Night 2015.  Be sure to visit the WBN U.S. website for information about World Book Night.



Amy Dawson (far right) and crew distribute books to book givers for World Book Night.

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By OCB Staff on

Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (OCFB) is pleased to announce the 2014 winners of Letters About Literature.

Letters About Literature. Ohio submissions for this year's Letters About Literature (LAL) contest totaled over 1,280. Students from more than 69 Ohio counties entered. After national-level judging, OCFB received 258 letters to judge. 

This year an effort was made to forward copies of the letters students had dedicated to their respective author.  More than 12 students (as of this writing) have received responses; they include Lois Lowry, who responded by sending a letter, and Maya Angelou who responded by sending a poem.

Each of the 258 students who entered the contest and the sponsoring teachers, received a special certificate from LAL contest coordinator, Timothy Phillips, Subject Department Librarian, Literature Department/Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library.  Click on "Read More" to see the names of the regional judges and the national winners for this year's contest.


AASMA COZART (6th Grade: Cleveland, Birchwood School)
First Place Winner - Letter to Philip Pullman concerning his book, "The Firework-Maker’s Daughter"

SIHAM MOUSSA (5th Grade: Cleveland, Birchwood School)
Second Place Winner - Letter to Pearl S. Buck concerning her book, "The Big Wave"

JACK SCHNELZER (6th Grade: Wadsworth, Central Intermediate School)
Level I Third Place Winner - Letter to Jean Craighead George concerning her book, "My Side of the Mountain"

GABRIELLA SCHNAIDT (8th Grade: Granville, Granville Middle School )
First Place Winner - Letter to Patrick Ness concerning his book, "A Monster Calls"

JACKSON DeVAULT (8th Grade: Berlin Heights, Edison Middle School)
Second Place Winner - Letter to Wilson Rawls concerning his book, Where the Red Fern Grows

CHRISTINE ADEYEMI  (8th Grade: Worthington, Worthingway Middle School)
Third Place Winner - Letter to Kathy J. Parenteau concerning her poem, “Remember Me”

DAVID SCHERER (12th Grade: Westerville North High School)
First Place Winner - Letter to J.D. Salinger concerning his book, "The Catcher in the Rye"

MEGAN BLACKWELL (12th Grade: Conneaut, Conneaut High School)
Second Place Winner - Letter to Rick Yancey concerning his book, "The 5th Wave"

QUINTON CURRIER (11th Grade: Boardman, Boardman High School)
Third Place Winner - Letter to Neal Shusterman concerning his book, "The Schwa was Here"

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