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heights arts Blog


April 21 2022 from 7:00PM – 8:00PM



Join us as poetry and visual art mingle, stirring dialogue between the visual artist members of Figurative/Abstract and a panel of carefully selected local poet performers. This free event occurs in response to each exhibition at Heights Arts, including the works presented in the spotlight gallery, this time celebrating public artist and painter, Jane Alexander. Jane’s work, captured from her window during the pandemic demonstrates, “-that there is beauty and movement even when we feel trapped in time and space.”


Michael Loderstedt

Michael Loderstedt is Professor Emeritus of Kent State University where he taught printmaking and photography. He continues to explore new studio and writing projects that investigate the geography, histories or the natural phenomena of place. His recent manuscript entitled The Yellowhammer’s Cross received a 2020 Ohio Arts Council Fellowship in Non-Fiction Literature, his recent work has been published in Neighborhood Voices, Muleskinner Journal, and the NC Literary Review (receiving the 2021 James Applewhite Prize for Poetry). His visual work can also be found in the public collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Progressive Insurance, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Akron Art Museum and the Kupferstiche Kabinett in Dresden, Germany and others. He is the director of Photocentric, Cleveland’s contemporary gallery dedicated to presenting new works in photography (www.photocentricgallery.com). You can follow his projects on Instagram @m_loderstedt.


Shelley Chernin

Shelley Chernin is an environmental activist and ukulele enthusiast who has been writing poetry on and off for most of her life. She is the author of The Vigil, published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2012. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Great Lakes Review, Scrivener Creative Review, Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal, Rhapsoidia, Durable Goods, Big Bridge, and Oct Tongue-1. She was awarded Second Place in the 2011 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest and received Honorable Mentions twice in the Akron Art Museum’s New Words Poetry Contest. Shelley has read her poems and played ukulele in many venues, including Mac’s Backs, Visible Voice Books, Mahall’s, The Beachland Ballroom, numerous libraries, coffee shops, parks, bars and street corners.


Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes is a writer and teacher from Northeast Ohio. She holds degrees from Kent State University and Florida International University, and she has taught writing to middle school, high school, and college students for more than ten years. Her work has appeared in two editions of Tigertail, A South Florida Annual. Today she is a freelance writer and editor, an active member of Literary Cleveland, and a teaching artist with Lake Erie Ink where she leads creative writing workshops for Northeast Ohio students.



Ray McNiece

Ray McNiece is Cleveland Heights’ current Poet Laureate. His tenure under the title has just been extended for another year. McNiece is the author of 11 books of poems and monologues, two music/poetry collaborations, and one collaborative theatre work with Shawn Jackson.

McNiece has been presenting his shows, writing and performance workshops for students from kindergarten through college for over 25 years.  He  has worked for both the Ohio Arts Council Arts in Education Residency Artist programs as well as doing presentations and workshops for The Center for Arts Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiencesof Northeast Ohio.  He started his own educational company Page to Stage Productions in 1994.

He has worked as a consultant for WordForward in Singapore and for the nationally touring, Poetry Alive.  He is also an adjunct professor at John Carroll University.  He was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for 2021 by the Cleveland Arts Prize. Follow him on his website.

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