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By OCB Staff on

Join us as we celebrate the second annual Ohio Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

We are pleased and honored to be welcoming the Midwest's National Student Poet Sojourner Ahebee as our special guest. 

Meet us at Cleveland Public Library in downtown Cleveland at noon as we take to the streets and distribute this year's Ohio pocket poems. Click "Read More" to learn more about the Ohio poets featured.  Click the image to the left to see more details about the day's events.

Can't make it to downtown Cleveland to help us distribute poems? View, print, and share the poems in your community.  Send pictures and stories to us at

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By OCB Staff on

April is National Poetry Month.  Initiated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, this month-long celebration of poetry began as an effort to increase the awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Each year in April schools, libraries, booksellers, publishers, and poets participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other special events.   

Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library is helping highlight poetry’s vital impact and relevance in American culture by hosting fun and inspirational events like . . .


Cleveland Public Poetry
: Join us for an open mic poetry reading featuring guest poet Kazim Ali
Saturday, April 5, 2014 • 12:00 p.m
Ohio Center for the Book / Literature Department, 2nd floor

Special Event: Poetry Reading with George Bilgere
Join us for a reading by our special guest award-winning poet, George Bilgere, winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohioana Award, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and numerous others. Copies of Mr. Gilgere’s sixth volume of poetry, Imperial, will be on sale at the event.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 • 12:00 p.m.
Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing lobby, lower level

Ohio Poem in Your Pocket Day!
Special guest, National Student Poet, Sojourner Ahebee provides a brief reading of her work. Afterward, everyone is invited to join us as we hit the streets to distribute pocket poems throughout downtown Cleveland.  View, print, and share the pocket poems by clicking here.
Thursday, April 24, 2014 • 12:00 p.m.
Ohio Center for the Book / Literature Department, 2nd floor

Want more to explore for National Poetry Month?  Click on “Read More” for a list of events at CPL Branches, and for a webography of great poetry resources for children and teens. Visit Cleveland Public Library and Ohio Center for the Book for updates (and be sure to "like" us on Facebook) on all the events schduled for April 2014.

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By OCB Staff on

Get Graphic! with the Ohio Center for the Book

WHEN: Wednesdays in April and May at 4:00 PM
WHERE: Cleveland Public Library, Literature Department, Main Building, 2nd Floor. Cleveland Public Library is located at 325 Superior Avenue.
DESCRIPTION: Explore, learn and engage with this emerging media form. This "new vernacular," as the New York Times referred to comics in 2004, captures the voice of a changing world, as comics are able to depict cultural trauma, history, and life stories in a new way that no other media form can do.  If it's true that "a picture is worth a thousand words," there will certainly be much to discuss!

NOTE: Book sets for the titles in this series are available to reserve online, or contact the Literature Department at 216-623-2881.

Click "Read More" to view dates, topics, links to online public catalog, and event flier.

Valentino 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!

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By OCB Staff on

The Bard's 450th Birthday Celebration Opening Reception
Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
Main Library, Literature Department, 2nd floor

The Literature Department and Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library, in callaboration with Great Lakes Theater, will host several events to commenorate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare (born April 23, 1564, by popular accounting).  The celebration will begin with an opening reception of the exhibit on March 22, 2014 and run throughout the "Shakespeare Month" of April.  There will be an exhibit of costumes and artifacts from Great Lakes Theater productions, as well as Shakespeare materials from the Library's collection. Click on Shakespeare's image to view flier of other scheduled events (yes, there will be tights and swords). And pick up a flier at Cleveland Public Library, Main and branch libraries.

Special Guest at Opening Reception: Diana Price
Cleveland Public Library welcomes Shakespeare scholar and author Diana Price, speaking on her favorite subject: William Shakespeare.  Ms. Price is the author of Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of An Authorship Problem. The book was released by Greenwood Press in 2001; it appeared as no. 94 in Greenwood's academic series, Contributions in Drama and Theatre Studies, making it the first anti-Stratfordian book to be accepted in peer reviewed series. The revised paperback edition was released last year; copies will be available for purchase. Ms. Price will take questions and sign books at the reception.

Birthday cake and refreshment will be served!

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By OCB Staff on

In Honor of National Women's History Month,

Cleveland Public Library and Ohio Center for the Book Present:

Rewriting the Masquerade: Batwoman, Feminism, and the Female Superhero

Whatever happened to feminism? What do feminism and superheroes have in common? What does it mean to be a feminist superhero?

Join comics scholar and special guest speaker Valentino Zullo as we discuss women's history, feminism(s) and the emergence of the female superhero in the 20th century.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM
WHERE: Literature Department, 2nd Floor Main Library Building


About the Guest 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! NOTE: Valentino will also host a series of graphic novel book discussions: "Get Graphic! with Ohio Center for the Book. Visit our website for updates about this event.

Click on "Read More" to see works on Feminism & Graphic Literature available at the Cleveland Public Library.


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By OCB Staff on

It's time for the 2014 Brown Bag Book Clubs at Cleveland Public Library's main campus and branch libraries. Join us for stimulating discourse on award-winning Literary Fiction, African-American Fiction, and Non-Fiction books. Book discussions take place at select branches and in the subject departments at Main: History; Ohio Center for the Book / Literature; Popular Library; Social Sciences.

The Cleveland Public Library is located at 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114.  The following book discussions take place in the subject departments of Main Library and Louis Stokes Wing.  Click on "Read More" for a list of book titles, dates and time.

WRITERS & READERS EVENT: Author Jesmyn Ward, Saturday, March 15, 2014, 2:00 PM

Jesmyn Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi.  She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won five Hopwood Awards for essays, drama and fiction.  She has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. Her debut novel, Where the Line Bleeds, was an Essence Magazine Book Club selection, a Black Caucus of the ALA Honor Award recipient, and a finalist for both the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.  Salvage the Bones is Ward’s second novel; her third book is a memoir titled Men We Reaped. Ward will appear Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium. 

All writers & readers series programs are free and open to the public.  Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

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By OCB Staff on

After a successful inaugural year in 2013 for the Poets of Ohio course and reading series--which brought Mary Biddinger, Frank Giampietro, Sarah Gridley, Cathy Wagner, and Dana Ward to Case Western Reserve University's campus--another wonderful line-up is scheduled for this semester.


All readings are free and open to the public; everyone is encouraged to attend as many events as possible and spread the word to anyone in the northeast Ohio area that might have an interest in poetry, literature, or cultural events. All readings--which are followed by lively Q-an-A sessions--will run from 6:00pm to 7:15pm on Thursday evenings (with the exception of the Lucas reading).

 Please note that events will take place in one of two different locations this year:

Clark Hall, Room 206
Case Western Reserve University
11130 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106 (click image for directions/parking)

Clarke Hall, Room 206 – 6:00 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, January 30, 2014: Catherine Wing
Thursday, February 13, 2014: Heather Christle
Thursday April 10, 2014: Larissa Szporluk


Guilford House Parlor
Case Western Reserve University
11112 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-1508

Guilford House Parlor –  6:00 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 06, 2014: Matt Hart
Tuesday, March 18, 2014: Dave Lucas
Thursday, March 27, 2014: Tyrone Williams

Click “Read More” for poet bios. Click on Poets of Ohio map for more details, including an overview of the course.


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By OCB Staff on

It's already proving to be an incredible journey for the 2013 Class of National Student Poets since they were appointed as literary ambassadors in September 2013. As they look forward to an inspiring year ahead - full of community service, celebration and poetry, Nathan Cummings from the West Region has this poem to share with us for the New Year on behalf of the National Student Poets!

New Year's Eve
By Nathan Cummings, 2013 National Student Poet, West Region

New Year's Eve we stayed up late,
talking about poetry and God
knows what else. I never noticed

the delicate lines radiating from
your eyes until you turned and filled
them with firelight. That showed me

how the end of a year can appear
wrapped in gleaming paper, yet also
in the December slush lining our yard.
We are here; we are warm. Perhaps
that is enough, as the clock hand brushes
away the remaining errata of three-

hundred-sixty-five moments spent
in motion, and we finally slow to rest.
Like a verse, you opened to me,

your pages yellowed gracefully,
lovely as the sound a book's spine
makes, like the crackle of a fireplace.

Stay in touch with the program by following the poets on Facebook and at National Student Poets Program.

View the "Poets in the Park."  Happy New Year!


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By OCB Staff on

World Book Night (WBN) is an international event held each year on April 23 that celebrates books and reading. WBN is currently celebrated in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States.  On WBN U.S., 25,000 passionate volunteers across America give a total of half a million books within their communities to those who don’t regularly read.

 How It Works

 Application and Guidelines


To print the list of the books chosen for WBN 2014. please click the image above.

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By OCB Staff on

Not yet feeling in the Christmas spirit? Well there's no better place to be in the Library (to get you into the spirit of the season) than in the Literature Department (2nd floor Main Library).  There you will find an exhibit and special displays celebrating the 25th anniversary of Great Lakes Theater's (GLT) adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.  The exhibit includes original costumes from the 2008 GLT production, as well as special displays of rare editions, photographs and illustrations of  A Christmas Carol.  Among other featured artifacts in the exhibit, you will find images of Christmas celebrations past (19th Century) and present, and the winning entries of Great Lakes Theater's A Christmas Carol Coloring Contest. 

This exhibit showcases the Library's rich and varied collection; a first edition of Dickens' A Christmas Carol can be viewed in Special Collections (3rd floor, Main Library). All the books on the open display tables in the Literature Department can be borrowed. The exhibit will be open through the first week of January.  Come in and feel the spirit of Christmas, and the spirits of A Christmas Carol.


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By OCB Staff on

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and for many people it means writing, writing, and more writing, until they have written 50,000 words of a novel by the end of November.  Now in its 15th year, NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write a new/original work in 30 days -- between 12:00 a.m. November 1 and 11:59 p.m. November 30.  This is no contest; there is no one to judge the results of your work, and there is no grand prize.  In a press release, NaNoWriMo’s executive director stated, “NaNoWriMo is the writing world’s version of a marathon.  Writers exit the month with more than a novel; they’ve experienced a transformative creative journey.”

We of the Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (OCFB) want you to succeed in this writing challenge and so we are offering give-aways toward your goal. Participants can pick up a gift bag in the Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (Literature Department, 2nd floor, Main Library, 325 Superior Avenue). Each bag contains forms that will help you organize and track your progress, and tools to allow you to put your thoughts to paper. Supplies are limited and will be available to participants on a first come, first served basis.  Please call the OCFBLiterature Department at 216-623-2881 for information about the gift bag.

 Go to NaNoWriMo’s FAQ page for answers to your questions about the challenge.


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By OCB Staff on

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has partnered with the Gedenk Movement to present a special creative challenge for the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Gedenk Award for Tolerance asks students to create original works of art or writing that demonstrate their role in cultivating tolerance.

Five top works will receive National Medals and academic awards of $1,000 each for work addressing the Gedenk Movement's important message and mission.  Submissions should reflect upon lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides, and attempt to raise awareness of the importance of increasing tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society.

Work may be submitted within any of the Awards' categories of art or writing, via the Awards' online registration system. For more information about this special award, click on the image below.


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