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Ekphrastacy- Artist Talk, Poets Respond to Printers Select 2021

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Our next Ekphrastacy poetry and artist talk series will be held on September 23, where several poets will write and recite poetry based off the Printers Select artwork. With the guidance of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece, selected applicants are provided a structured approach to choosing visual art that speaks to them, developing their poetic response, and then presenting their interpretations at one of our most beloved programs.

The event features poets Andrew Valdez, Claire McMahon, and Nicole Hennessy. Valdez, a Chicanx educator originally from Donna, TX, is on several boards and committees for local art initiatives like the Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center and Cleveland Playhouse. McMahon is an author, publishing the poetry book “Emergency Contact” and is also co-editor of MoonLit Poetry magazine. Hennessy is also a poetry book author, writing “Gypsy Queen”, an author of other non-fiction books, and also co-found underground art and literary bimonthly Miser Magazine.

The poets will read their poetry aloud, accompanied by Cleveland Heights poet-laureate Ray McNiece. That title was recently extended another year, after McNiece led poetry readings throughout the city amid the pandemic. He also just received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cleveland Arts Prize for his poetry throughout the years.

Stay tuned for more event information, including start times and capacity limits. If you’re a literary enthusiast, we encourage you to check out our open call for poets, HERE.

Also, check out a video from our last reading for the Emergent 2021 exhibition. We had a great showing!


The Ekphrastacy literary program is a series of artist talks + poetry readings held regularly in the Heights Arts gallery, in conjunction with our special exhibitions. Cleveland-area writers are invited by the current Poet Laureate to view the installed artworks and respond with a poem. Five weeks after the exhibition opens, the artists talk about their work and the poets read their poems, often resulting in a surprising dialogue. Participating poets receive an honorarium for their participation.

Ekphrastacy evenings—centered on recent exhibitions of photography, paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and mixed media—have been very popular, drawing large and enthusiastic audiences to the gallery.

Experience Ekphrastacy online HERE

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