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By OCB Staff on

October is nearly upon us, and that means Octavofest is almost here!  During the entire month of October various libraries and institutions in Northeast Ohio will host / present classes, workshops, lectures, and exhibits to celebrate the book and paper arts.  All events are listed in the Octavofest 2014 Events Calendar.

Click the image (left) to view the Octavofest 2014 events poster.


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By OCB Staff on

Meet Karen Long, former book editor for The Plain Dealer and current host and sponsor of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards (AWBA), as we kick off this season's "Brown Bag Book Clubs at Main Library." This kick-off event will be held at noon on September 3, 2014 at Cleveland Public Library, Main Library, 2nd floor, Literature Department. Karen will discuss all of the 2014 AWBA winners including The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, and My Promised Land by Ari Shavit. A more in-dept discussion of each book will occur weekly beginning Wednesday, September 10, at noon in the Literature Department. Click on the kick-off event image above to view/print the flyer of the new season of all book discussions to take place in the Literature Department. Click on "Read More" (below) to view all book club discussions to take place in subject departments including Popular Library, Social Sciences, and History; link to CPL's online public access catalog to place reserve(s). Books will be available in the Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor, for check-out in Lending. 

Established in 1935 by Edith Anisfield-Wolf, a former Library Board of Trustee, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards remain the only juried book prize that addresses racism and diversity of cultures. A complete set of all of the past winners is housed in the Special Collections Department, Main Library, 3rd floor.  The AWBA ceremony will take place Thursday, September 11, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Ohio Theater of PlayhouseSquare, 1511 Euclid Avenue. 

Karen R. Long served as book editor of The Plain Dealer for eight years before becoming the host and sponsor of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, as a consultant for the Cleveland Foundation. Long is a vice president for the National Book Critics Circle, where she is a judge for its six annual prizes, awarded each March in New York City. A voracious reader since she wore her cat-eyed glasses to kindergarten in Seattle, Long raised three children in Cleveland Heights with husband Joe Frolik.



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By OCB Staff on

Cleveland Public Library and Ohio Center for the Book Present : Comics and the Clinic

A Graphic Novel Book Club, with Guest Reader Valentino Zullo

A New Installment in the OCFB Get Graphic! Series. In this series we will discuss the role the emerging media of comics may have in social work practice and how comics have been informed by clinical experiences. Together we will explore various interpretations of "the clinic" and understand how clinics have been influenced by, and/or responded to, such various disciplines as psychiatry, psychology, social work and psychoanalysis. Readers will learn that there is quite a shared history between comics and the clinic. Be sure to join us to find out more! Titles featured in this series are: Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel; Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary by Justin Green; Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast; Marbles by Ellen Forney and My Depression by Elizabeth Swados.

WHEN:  3rd Thursday in September, October & December 2014
TIME:  4:00 PM
WHERE: Cleveland Public Library, Literature DepartmentMain Building, 2nd Floor. Cleveland Public Library is located at 325 Superior Avenue. For more information, call the Literature Department at 216-623-2881.

Click here to print/view the flyer for this series. Click "Read More" to see the schedule, and link to Cleveland Public Library's online public catalog to reserve titles featured in this series.

About the Speaker. Valentino Zullo holds a Master of Arts in English and Women’s Studies from Bowling Green State University where he studied Comics as Literature. He is currently a student at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. He is also an early admissions student for psychoanalytic training at the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center. Valentino believes in Literature, Social Justice and the Superhero Way!


  Get Graphic! with the Ohio Center for the Book


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By OCB Staff on

The Ohio Center for the Book 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.  Click on the book's image (above) to download/print discussion questions for Rosa that includes a timeline of the Civil Rights Movement.

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 Saturday, August 30, 2014, in Washington D.C. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 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 For more information, click the image at left.

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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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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

A New Season of Cleveland Public Poetry!

Join us for a new season of Cleveland Public Poetry, hosted by the Literature Department and Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (CPL). The open mic poetry readings with featured poets will be held Saturdays at 12:00 p.m., and will take place in the Literature Department (2nd floor, Main Library) and during the summer in the Eastman Reading Garden. This year there are four guest poets, including students from Cleveland School of the Arts.  The series begins Saturday, April 5, 2014, with poet Kazim Ali.  For more information call 216.623.2881. Click “Read More” to take a look at who will be reading poetry at Cleveland Public Poetry 2014, and to link to works of the featured poets available in CPL’s online public catalog.

  About the Poet

Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, fiction writer and translator. His books include Sky Ward, The Far Mosque (winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award), The Fortieth Day, and the cross-genre text Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. He is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College.


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