A Chronology of the Cleveland Poetry Scenes  



 General—Cultural—Literary—Cleveland Regional Contexts

 (c) Larry Smith & Bottom Dog Press

The Cleveland Poetry Scenes collectively is a complex and vital landscape

noted for its openness, diversity, and mutual support of the written and spoken word.

We thank those writers and readers who make up this scene for their contributions.
*We appreciate any corrections or additions to this time charted road map.
Send them to Lsm
ithdog@aol.com  Like life itself, this is a work in progress.
[Last update February 15, 2008]


1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973
1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

General factual material for historical aspects is drawn from America Chronicles: Year by Year Through the Twentieth Century, eds. Lois and Alan Gordon. (Yale University Press 1999); area dates taken from Cleveland: A Bicentennial Timeline (Case Western Reserve University <http://ech.case.edu/timeline.html>, and from my “d.a.levy Chronology” from d.a.levy and the mimeograph revolution co-edited with Ingrid Swanberg (Bottom Dog Press 2007), also The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History <http://ech.case.edu/index.html>.

1942 – General: War in Europe and Pacific; U.S. Conscientious Objectors’ Camps, Victory gardens, internment of Japanese-Americans in U.S. camps.  

Cleveland: Cleveland Transit System begins era of municipal operation of Cleveland's public transit system 28 April. Cleveland Ordnance (Cadillac tank plant; now I-X Center) opens at Municipal Airport.

1943 – General
: Eisenhower made Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe; women move into the workforce; food and goods are rationed in U.S. for war effort. Race riot in Detroit, fire-bombings continue on October 29th every year.

Poetry: Poet Laureate: Allen Tate:  Pulitzer Prize to Robert Frost for A Witness Tree.


1944 – General: World War II throughout Europe and Philippines; D-Day landing of U.S. and allied troops at Normandy; United Nations is established; D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley’s Lover found obscene in U.S.   

Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Penn Warren 1944-1945; Pulitzer Prize to Stephen Vincent Benet for Western Star.


1945 – General: Harry Truman takes over presidency after death of Franklin D. Roosevelt; first atom bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan (189,000 casualties), then Nagasaki; end of WW II.

Culture: Abstract Expressionist art is thriving throughout the Beat Era with such artists as Jackson Pollock, Mark Tobey gathered in the Greenwich Village scene; Literature: Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Orwell’s Animal Farm; Louis Bromfield’s Pleasant Valley; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Louis Bogan; books: Gwendolyn Brooks’ A Street in BronzevilleW.H. Auden’s Collected Poems;  Pulitzer Prize to Karl Shapiro for V-Letter and Other Poems.

Cleveland: Cleveland Community Relations Board formed to promote racial harmony.
American Weave Literary Journal (earliest volume done in 1936; later volumes 1945–1964) published and edited by Loring E. Williams and Alice Crane Williams from their home at 4109 Bushnell Road, University Heights, then 23728 Glenhill Drive, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  Printing was performed by Villier’s Publishers Ltd., Ingestre, London NW5 England. When Alice died in 1964, Loring moved back to Maine.  Editors in the mid-1960’s were Loring and Alfred B. Cahen, David C. French and James L. Weil continued to publish this collection of poems and light verse until 1971. *Alice Crane Williams was the aunt of famed Cleveland area poet Hart Crane. The journal was partially funded by the Hart Crane Memorial Fund and the Alice Crane Williams Memorial Fund. Final address for the publication offices was 4109 Bushnell Road, University Heights, Ohio. Local poets Lewis Turco, French, Weil, and Cahen from the Cleveland Poetry Society at Fenn College (now Cleveland State University) along with Robert Wallace of Case Western Reserve became frequent contributors to American Weave which also published a chapbook series of poets and sponsored poetry conferences along with the Ohio Verse Writers Guild.


1946 – General: First U.N. General Assembly Meeting in London; national strikes in coal, railroad, General Electric industries. Post-War Baby Boom (birth rate in U.S. increases by 20%);  Dr. Benjamin Spock's The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care; advent of television, use of commercial jet airlines; popularization of Jean Paul Sartre's existentialism.
Culture: Literature: Carson McCullers' A Member of the Wedding, Albert Camus' The Stranger, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Karl Shapiro.
Cleveland: Cleveland Browns begin play in All-American Football Conference.


1947 – General:  Fear of Cold War with Communist China and Russia grows; Marshall Recovery Plan for Europe; Taft-Hartley Bill enacted to curb unions; House: Un-American Activities Committee begins hearings on Hollywood suspected Communists; college enrollment reaches all time high of 67.1 million; television becoming popular.
Literature: Bud Schulberg's The Harder They Fall. Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Lowell; Pulitzer Prize to Robert Lowell for Lord Weary's Castle.

Cleveland: Operations begin at the Cleveland’s Lakefront Airport.  First successful defibrillation of a human heart by Dr. Claude S. Beck and colleagues at University Hospitals in Cleveland. First telecast by WEWS, Ohio's first television station.


1948 – General: Harry S. Truman is elected president; Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated in India; national strikes of coal miners; publication of Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

Culture: Art: Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper; Literature: Albert Camus’ The Plague, Norman Mailer’s war novel The Naked and the Dead; Poetry: Poet Laureate:Leonie Adams; books by John Berryman, Theodore Roethke, Robinson Jeffers, William Carlos Williams's Patterson Book II; Pulitzer Prize to W.H. Auden for Age of Anxiety.

Cleveland: The Cleveland Indians win baseball World Series.


1949 – General: North Atlantic Pact is signed, NATO is created; Apartheid begins in South Africa; 500,000 steelworkers strike; minimum wage rises from 40 cents to 75 cents an hour; fear of Cold War with Communist China and Russia intensifies. 

Culture: Literature: Nelson Algren's The Man with the Golden Arm, George Orwell's 1984. Poetry: Poet Laureate:Elizabeth Bishop; Pulitzer Prize to Peter Viereck for Terror and Decorum; books by Louis Simpson, Muriel Rukeyser, Kenneth Fearing.

Cleveland: City is named an All-America City for first of five times.

1950 – General: Korean Police Action involvement, UN forces to be lead by General MacArthur; Senator Joseph McCarthy charges Communist infiltration of State Department; many professors at Universities of California refuse to sign noncommunist pledge oath (are dismissed)

Culture: Literature: William Faulkner's Collected Stories, Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles  Poetry: Poet Laureate: Conrad Aiken; Pulitzer Prize to Gwendolyn Brooks for Annie Allen; books by Howard Nemerov, William Carlos Williams' Collected Later Poems and Patterson Book III.

Cleveland: City’s population—914,808 (highest ever, 7th largest city in nation); Cuyahoga County population—1,389,532. Browns football team enters the NFL and wins the title. Cleveland City Council passes a Fair Employment Practices law, the first such city law in the United States. City’s infrastructure declines with aging and is not kept up, giving the sense of a city on decline for decades to follow. The Free Lance Poets and Prose Workshop launched in Cleveland by Russell Atkins (with ties to the Black poetry community of 1930s including Langston Hughes) and by Helen Johnson Collins, Casper L. Jordan, and later joined by Adelaide Simon (1954); it becomes perhaps Cleveland’s first alternative writing small press magazine The Free Lance:A Publication of the Free Lance Poets and Prose Workshops,and small press book publisher. Adelaide Simon trained in voice at Julliard Academy, sang folk songs, wrote for New York Daily News, and wrote “poems of love, nature, and outrage.” Though called “the Gertrude Stein of Cleveland Poetry,” she claimed she would rather be known as “the Mabel Dodge” of Cleveland writing. Toward Daybreak by Hazel Collister Hutchison (1893-1977) is published by Harper & Row.
[photo of Russell Atkins]

1951 – General: Korean War involvement; draft age lowered to 18; U.S. conducting tests of A-Bomb; suspected Russian spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are found guilty of treason and sentenced to death, despite protests. Cold war continues with schools conducting “bomb alert” drills in which school children practice kneeling under their desks or lining up in hallways; some Americans begin building home “bomb shelters.”

Culture: Literature: J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Carl Sandburg for Complete Poems; books by Adrienne Rich, Randall Jarrell, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens’ Auroras of Autumn.



1952 – General: Truman orders seizure of U.S. steel mills to avert strike (later ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company vs. Sawyer decision); Eisenhower elected president of U.S. with Richard Nixon as V.P.; supposed subversives are barred from teaching school in U.S.; England has A-Bomb and new Queen, Elizabeth II.

Culture: Literature: Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (Pulitzer), Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Steinbeck's East of Eden; Poetry: Poet Laureate:William Carlos Williams appointed to two terms, but did not serve because of FBI investigation and illness; Pulitzer Prize to to Marianne Moore for Collected Poems; Dylan Thomas doing U.S. reading tour through NYC, San Francisco, etc., books by Randall Jarrell, Horace Gregory.

Cleveland: Alan Freed, Cleveland radio Disk Jockey, coins the term "Rock n' Roll." First rock n' roll concert, "The Moondog Coronation Ball," is held in Cleveland.

1953 – General:
Death of Stalin; Health, Education, and Welfare Department is created; Rosenbergs are executed as spies; Charlie Chaplin leaves U.S. complaining of persecution by "vicious propaganda"; Screen Actors Guild adopts by-law banning Communists from the industry. 

Culture: Literature: James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain, Saul Bellows' The Adventures of Augie March, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (fiction); Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us (nonfiction); Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Archibald MacLeish for Collected Poems 1917-1952; books by Richard Eberhart, May Sarton, Jesse Stuart, William Hillyer, Kenneth Rexroth.

Cleveland: Development of Southgate Shopping Center is launched.

The Free Lance: A Magazine of Poetry and Prose is launched by Free Lance Poets and Prose Workshop with Adelaide Simon (listed as an editor in Volume 2, 1954); General Editor: Russell Atkins; Poetry Editor: Helen Johnson Collins (librarian Cleveland Public Library), Prose Editor: Casper L. Jordan (librarian at Wilberforce University), and workshop meeting at Simon’s home (14112 Becket Rd., Shaker Heights; manuscripts sent to Atkins at 6005 Grand Avenue). The magazine included area as well as national poets : Langston Hughes, Robert Creeley, Clarence Major, and Judson Crews were frequent contributors, also printed reviews and selections from Hart Crane letters in the collection of Adelaide Simon who was working on a biography of Crane.


1954 – General: Joseph McCarthy probe of the Army for Communists begins, finally results in Senate hearing disputes, Edward R. Morrow's expose of McCarthy on television’s "See It Now," for slander tactics in Army-McCarthy hearings  and Senate condemnation of McCarthy methods; Supreme Court rules racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Alan Fried promotes “rock-n-roll” music nationwide.  

Culture: Literature: William Golding's Lord of the Flies; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Theodore Roethke for The Waking; books by e.e. cummings, W.S. Merwin, Wendell Kees, Conrad Aiken’s Collected Poems.

Cleveland: Anthony J. Celebreeze elected mayor of Cleveland. Last streetcars run 24 January. Last streetcar runs. Infamous case of Marilyn Sheppard murdered in her Bay Village home, husband Dr. Sam Sheppard is chief suspect.


1955 – General: Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet Party Secretary; Martin Luther King, Jr. leads Civil Rights Movement; rebel actor James Dean (24) dies in auto crash. Elvis Presley's appearance on "Ed Sullivan Show" starts protest against rock-n-roll.

Culture: Art: "Pop Art" of Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, et al; Elvis Presley's appearance on "Ed Sullivan Show" starts protest against rock-n-roll.Literature: McCarthy's A Charmed Life, Mailer's The Deer Park; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Wallace Stevens for Collected Poems. Lawrence Ferlinghetti launches all paperback bookstore and City Lights Books with Pocket Poets Series: #1, his own Pictures of a Gone World, #2 Kenneth Rexroth's 30 Spanish Poems, Kenneth Patchen's Poems of Humor and Protest. 
Cleveland: Rapid Transit System begins operation in March after month delay for longer pantograph bars to fit under the lines. Mayor declares “Rapid Transit Inaugural Celebration Week”; system links the inner city with the suburbs, while also dividing it by bridging over inner city Cleveland, allowing suburban travelers to travel downtown without seeing the ghetto. Marilyn Sheppard murder trial is in the news in Cleveland and nationally.

1956 – General: Salk vaccine for polio meningitis is distributed; Eisenhower wins landslide election, Richard Nixon as V.P.; marriages of actress Marilyn Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller, and of Grace Kelley and Prince Ranier of Monaco.

Culture: Art: Georgia O'Keefe and Helen Frankenthaler; Literature: Saul Bellow's Seize the Day, Nelson Algren's A Walk on the Wild Side, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Elizabeth Bishop’s Poems: North and South—A Cold Spring; books by John Berryman, Marianne Moore, Donald Hall; Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems published by City Lights Books creates national attention over controversy when it is seized by censors, then exonerated in trial that follows.



1957 – General: Eisenhower proposes two year test ban of nuclear weapons; Russia launches "Sputnik," first space satellite prompting “space race” between countries, emphasis on math and science in U.S. schools.  

Culture: Picasso exhibit in NY, Chicago, Philadelphia; Literature: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road novel, Bernard Malamud's The Assistant, Wright Morris's Love among the Cannibals; Laurence Durrell's Justine; James Agee's A Death in the Family wins Pulitzer; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Randall Jarrell; Pulitzer Prize to Richard Wilbur for Things of This World; books by James Wright, W. H. Auden, Denise Levertov, Nellie Sachs; West Coast poets Kenneth Rexroth, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Kenneth Patchen are doing poetry-and-jazz performances on the West Coast.



1958 – General: Strategic Air Command is formed; U.S. and USSR begin cultural exchanges; V.P. Nixon is stoned in Caracas while on Goodwill tour; Russian Sputnik III orbits Earth, brings on U.S. study of "Crisis in Education" in U.S.; Fidel Castro rebels seize capital in Cuba; John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society portrays materialism and conformity of U.S., argues for fair distribution of wealth to end poverty. Beat Generation art and bohemian lifestyle has cultural impact. 

Culture: Literature: Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, John Barth's The End of the Road; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Frost; Pulitzer Prize to Robert Penn Warren for Promises: Poems 1954-1956; books by Muriel Rukeyser, William Meredith, William Carlos Williams's Patterson, Book V, James Wright’s The Green Wall chosen as Yale Younger Poet book, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind.



1959 – General: Castro takes Havanna, Batista flees; Pope John calls for Ecumenical Council; Khrushchev threatens U.S. with military superiority; Eisenhower's call for on-site missile inspection is rejected; Laos asks for U.S. aid against North Vietnam; he and Khrushchev meet at Camp David. 

Culture: Literature: Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s The Sirens of Titan, Leon Uris' Exodus; Allen Drury Pulitzer for Advise and Consent;  Poetry: Poet Laureate:Richard Eberhart; Putlitzer Prize to Stanley Kunitz for Selected Poems, 1928-1958; books by Robert Duncan, James Wright, Robert Lowell.

Cleveland emerges as primarily a working-class city with homes for working and middle class near the lakefront.

1960 – General
: Blacks sit-in at Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter; Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) created on campus of Shaw University in Raleigh, a spearhead for civil rights movement. Russians and Fidel Castro sign economic agreement; Kennedy wins narrow election victory as president; Democrats sweep Congress. New York Circuit Court of Appeals rules that D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover is not obscene. In speech toward end of his administration President Eisenhower warns of dangers of the "military industrial complex."

Culture: Literature: William Styron's Set this House on Fire, John Updike's Rabbit, Run, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to William Snodgrass for Heart's Needle; books by James Dickey, Kenneth Koch, W.S. Merwin, Anne Sexton, Charles Olson, Denise Levertov; Donald Allen publishes New American Poetry anthology featuring many of the Beat and alternative writing poets.

Cleveland: Population—876,050 (8th largest city in nation); Cuyahoga County population—1,647,895. Final issue of the Cleveland News published 23 January. French film The Lovers (1958) by Louis Malle is censored in U.S. as obscene, including in Cleveland, where Jasper Wood fought the censorship (and was later to help poet levy and bookseller James Lowell in their court censorship battles). Many Cleveland suburbs achieve city status.


1961 –General: John F. Kennedy at inauguration calls for “Grand, Global Alliance for Progress,” creates Peace Corps. U.S. severs relations with Cuba; then anti-Castro Cubans fail in assault on Bay of Pigs. Freedom Riders are attacked by mobs in Birmingham, Alabama. Beginning of Vietnam War as French are being driven out; Minimum wage raised from $1.00 to $1.25/hr.

Culture: Music: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others popularize folksinging from Greenwich Village; Literature: Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Louis Untermeyer; Pulitzer Prize to Phyllis McGinley for Times Three: Selected Verse: books by Charles Olsen’s The Distances: Poems, Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish, and Other Poems, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Starting from San Francisco, Leroi Jones’s (Amiri Baraka) Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note. Diane DiPrima’s Dinners and Nightmares.

Cleveland: Russell Atkins’ Phenomena (Wilberforce University/ Free Lance Press). Native Clevelanders Jon and Louise Webb of Loujon Press publish first issue of the Outsider magazine, alternative poetry and prose collection from New Orleans, printed on letterpress, called "the Rolls Royce of small press publishing."

1962 – General: U.S. Embargo of Cuba, John Glenn orbits earth, Mississippi governor bars Black man James Meredith from University of Mississippi; Kennedy sends in federal troops to enforce integration. Students for a Democratic Society draft "Port Huron Statement" on social injustice.

Culture: Literatue: Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur; Martin Esslin's Theatre of the Absurd, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, ; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Alan Dugan for Poems; books: Sylvia Plath's The Colossus and Other Poems, William Stafford’s Traveling through the Dark.

Cleveland: Mayor Ralph S. Locher (1962-1967; becomes Common Pleas Judge in 1968). 

Fenn College Poetry Forum is launched by faculty members Dave French, Lewis Turco…does workshops and readings; poet d.a.levy meets writer Russell Salamon at Poetry Forum (Salamon born in Yugoslavia, came to Cleveland in 1953), and they become friends, sharing walks and talks around Cleveland. Jau Billera (native of Brooklyn, arrived in Cleveland in 1961) does weekly radio show “Poetry Seminar” on WCLV-FM; he and his wife Eleanor publish Podium magazine for a short time. During the Cuban Missle Crisis, Mac Hammond, CWRU professor, organized a poetry reading at the lagoon in University Circle in response to the Cuban situation.


1963 – General: Birmingham, Alabama’s Sixth Street Baptist Church is bombed, killing four children, Blacks riot; Kennedy sends in troops. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August); Astronaut Gordon Cooper orbits the Earth twice. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested and later murdered in jail; Lyndon Johnson takes office as President. Nation mourns death of John F. Kennedy.

Culture: Literature: Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s Cat’s Cradle; Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time; Poetry: Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov; Pulitzer Prize to William Carlos Williams for Pictures from Brueghel; books: James Wright’s The Branch Will Not Break.

Cleveland: d.a.levy buys used letterhead hand press and prints poetry from his aunt and uncle’s place on Cleveland's West side as Renegade Press and he publishes Fragments of a Shattered Mirror, Variations on Flip, More Withdrawed or Less and in March-May Renegade Press does book by Russell Atkins. May 1963, levy launches first of his magazines, Silver Cesspool, includes poems by D. r. Wagner, Kent Taylor, Adelaide Simon, Rene Schramm, Russell Atkins, Russell Salamon, Ted Berrigan, Lewis Turco and others. Renegade Press publishes Selected Poems of Kent Taylor. Free Lance workshop is joined by Kent Taylor, John Cornillon, Grace Butcher, Eric Albrecht, and d.a.levy; Free Lance magazine is perhaps Cleveland’s first alternative “little magazine”; d.a.levy joins staff briefly as art editor. Asphodel Book Shop is opened by Jim Lowell in the Old Arcade, 465 Euclid Ave. April 11, 1963, carries fine and alternative edition poetry books and magazines. Cleveland radio show "Poetry Seminar" host Jau Billera interviews many poets including Kent Taylor and d.a.levy.


1964– General: President Johnson calls for a “War on Poverty” and an end to racial discrimination. Mass demonstrations for civil rights. Blacks riot in Harlem and Brooklyn. Nobel Peace Prize to Martin Luther King, Jr. U.S. bombs North Vietnam. New York World’s Fair motto “Peace through Understanding.” LBJ and Barry Goldwater contend for presidency. Hell’s Angels motorcycle groups receive national attention. Beatlemania. Marshall McCluen’s “the medium is the message” theory of art is extolled.

Culture: Literature: John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; Eric Berne’s Games People Play; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Reed Whittemore; Pulitzer Prize to Louis Simpson for At the End of the Open Road; books by Ted Berrigan, James Dickey, Robert Lowell, Louis Simpson, Amiri Baraka’s The Dead Lecturer.

Cleveland: Cleveland State University established 18 December. Fenn College of Engineering becomes part of Cleveland State University. Alberta Turner is appointed as new director of Cleveland State University Poetry Center, following Lewis Turco’s direction of the Poetry Forum at Fennn College. At Case Western Reserve Robert Wallace launches their poetry program; some of his students include Bonnie Jacobson, Lolette Kuby, Peggy Lally, Sudie Nostrand, also professor P.K. Saha. Alfred Cahen, a graduate student at Case and instructor in the English Department takes over editing of literary journal American Weave (1967-1971), and is assisted by professors Roger Salomon and Robert Ornstein who work to take poetry to the people of Cleveland. d.a.levy launches Marrahwannah Quarterly from Cleveland, moves in with Russell Salamon on West Side in “grungy garret,” (described in Salamon’s Descent into Cleveland) at West 22nd Place, near West Side Market above Cleveland Flats and Cuyahoga River. Salamon in relationship with poet Grace Butcher; levy in deep correspondence with fellow writers and Beat figures (Diane DiPrima, Ed Sanders, others), working on long “Cleveland Undercovers” poem. levy travels to New York City, meets Ed Sanders and attends Le Metro and Les Deux Mégots Coffeehouse (64 East 7th Street), where he hears poets read and develops plans of launching open readings back home in Cleveland. Renegade Press publishes books by Ed Sanders, Carol Bergé, Judson Crews, Les Czaban, Allen Katzman, Russell Salamon, Margaret Randall, Kent Taylor. Jim Lowell’s Asphodel Book Shop Press publishes short Cleveland Manifesto of Poetry with poetry and statements by poets d.a.levy, Kent Taylor, Jau Billera, Russell Atkins, Russell Salamon, and Adelaide Simon. 

1965 –General: Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem; U.S. combat troops land in Vietnam, and 25,000 march in Washington, D.C. against the war in Students for a Democratic Society’s first anti-war protest (April 17). Watts Ghetto riots (34 die); civil rights march on Washington D.C. HUD is created for fair housing. Ginsberg coins term “Flower Power” for hippie movement and era.

Culture: modern jazz thrives; Literature: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Reader, Arthur M. Schlesinger’s A Thousand Days: JFK in the White House, Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed on auto industry; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Stephen Spender; Pulitzer Prize to John Berryman for 77 Dream Songs; books:  Leroi Jones' (Amiri Baraka) The Dead Lecturer; nationally Black Sparrow Press is launched; poet Frank O'Hara is killed in motor accident on Fire Island.

Cleveland:   WVIZ public television station begins operation 7 February. Cleveland State Poetry Center's Poetry Forum opens to  public under Alberta Turner’s direction in the old annex building behind Trinity Cathedral (22nd and Prospect Streets) where the English Department had headquarters; poets involved include d.a. levy, Jau Billera, Russell Salamon, Grace Butcher, James C. Kilgore, Russell Atkins, Cyril and Lynn Dostal, Barbara Angell, Muriel Ticktin, Clara Pfister, William McLaughlin, John Gabel, Linda Monacelli, Diane Kendig, Bob McDonough, Christopher Franke, and others. November, early reading at The Gate by levy with Adelaide Simon, Grace Butcher, and Kent Taylor (basement of Trinity Cathedral, 22nd St. and Euclid Ave.). levy meets rjs then engineering student at Cleveland State University who is working at Gate coffeehouse and editing a student newspaper at CSU. levy publishes Cleveland poem North American Book of the Dead Parts 1 and 2 (Free Lance Press) and begins writing poems and editorials about the city corruption. Renegade Press becomes 7 Flowers Press (mimeograph format), publishes books by Russell Atkins, Geoffrey Cook, Erik Albercht, Kent Taylor, Russell Salamon, Sam Dogan, Susan Cornillon, Allen Katzman, Carl Larsen, Ed Sanders, Thom Szuter, bpNichol, Carol Bergé, and DagmaR (levy’s wife and collaborator). James E. Magner’s Toiler of the Sea: Poems (Golden Quill Press), Magner teaching at John Carroll University.  


1966 – General: Stokley Carmichael elected head of Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. U.S. troops killed in Vietnam 6,358; Vietnamese dead, 77,115. War resistance is growing; Black Power Movement, Ken Kesey’s San Francisco Trips Festival; National Association of Broadcasters attempts to ban all records containing drug or obscene messages. Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Mothers of Invention, electric guitar rage. Ed Sanders' Peace Eye Bookstore, E. 10th Ave. C, NY, is busted by the police in a raid for obscenity in his magazine Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts. ACLU defends Sanders, who is eventually proven not guilty in courts in 1967, "summer of love."

Culture: Literature: Bernard Malamud’s The Fixer; Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation, Truman Capote’s nonfiction-novel, In Cold Blood; Poetry: Poet Laureate: James Dickey; Pulitzer Prize to Richard Eberhart for Selected Poems; books by Dickey, Robert Creeley, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery.

ClevelandCuyahoga County Community College opens its Metro Campus. 18-24 July. Hough Race Riots in Cleveland’s Hough area bordering Euclid Ave. and E. 105th St.—following fires, arrests, shootings, martial law is declared. d.a. levy with rjs and others organize the “Poets at the Gate ”open reading series at Trinity Cathedral; levy and friends hang out at alternative poetry scene: Adele’s Bar, Stan Heilbrun’s headshop, “The Headquarters,” and later, the Coffehouse at the corner of Euclid Ave. and 115th St. Also East Cleveland art scene develops around levy: The Well coffeehouse (13923 Euclid) and the Continental Art Theatre (13931 Euclid, managed by Cleveland artist George Fitzpatrick), which showed erotic, art, and foreign films. Gallery 1-2 opens by Cleveland beat artists, near 306 W. Superior, organized by Al Diamondstein and included Ralph and Diedre Poplar and cartoonist R. Crumb. Summer 1966, Allen Ginsberg and Ed Sanders read at Amassa Stone Chapel (Western Reserve University); meet with T.L. Kryss and others at Euclid Tavern before reading. levy interviewed on Allen Douglas Exchange radio call-in show KYCA along with friends Rob Egan, Tod Roy, Jonathan Dworkin (lawyer), focusing mostly on the issue of marijuana use, and on the difficulty of raising cultural awareness. Jim Lowell and Asphodel Book Shop move to 306 W. Superior Ave. (after being evicted from the Old Arcade), store carries levy’s publications and other underground and small press work and first edition modern and contemporary poetry books. Nov. 28, secret indictment against levy by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury, for “publishing and distributing obscene literature.” Dec. 1 Cleveland Police raid the Asphodel Book Shop, seize six cartons of poetry publications, including some of levy's, and arrest Lowell on charges of possession and distribution of obscene literature. levy printing from 7 Flowers press in mimeo editions, uses A.B. Dick mimeograph machine, publishes “Poets at the Gate” series and Marrahwannah Quarterly. levy and cartoonist R. Crumb meet, Crumb then working for American Greeting Cards in Cleveland, begins doing underground comics, eventually working with Clevelander Harvey Pekar. levy and D. r. Wagner work together on Egyptian Stroboscope; 7 Flower Press publishes books by: Kent Taylor, D. r. Wagner, Doug Blazek, Steve Richmond, Joe Nickell, Erik Albrecht, Russell Atkins, Grace Butcher, Joe Walker, Jacob Leed, Paul Blackburn, Thom Szuter, Charles Bukowski, George Montgomery, Kay Wood, Matt Schulman. levy books published: Cleveland Undercovers, The Great Tibetan Train Robbery Mystery Plan in Color: A Mandala Hernia Word Game, Robert Motherwell, The North American Book of the Dead Parts 1-5, The Egyptian Stroboscope (with D. r. Wagner), Cleveland: The Rectal Eye Visions (Wagner’s press: today: niagara). "Butcher Shop" workshop for “poems in progress” started by Robert Wallace  and his fellow poets Cy Dostal, Ruth Griffin, Richard Hawley, P. K. Saha, Al Cahen, Nicholas Ranson, Lolette Kuby, Robert Lawry, Robert McDonough, later joined by Leonard Trawick, Bonnie Jacobson, John Donoghue and occasionally by Alberta Turner.

1967 – General: Three astronauts perish in fire in Apollo space craft, Thurgood Marshall is first Black appointed to Supreme Court, War escalates as do protests. Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara resigns. First “Be-In” at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, “Summer of Love” hippy generation nationally.

Culture: Art: sculpture of George Segal and Claes Oldenburg; Broadway: Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming and The Birthday Party, Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Film: In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, In Cold Blood, Elvira Madigan; Music: Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heartclub Band; Fiction: William Styron’s Confessions of Nat Turner; Nonfiction: Mailer’s Armies of the Night (on war demonstrations). Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Anne Sexton for Live or Die; books by Denise Levertov, W. S. Merwin, Anthony Hecht, Barbara Howes.

Cleveland: Cleveland Mayor Locher turns over keys to Carl B. Stokes (1968-1971), first Black American elected to mayor of a major city. First successful coronary artery bypass operation performed at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. Rene Favaloro. Cuyahoga Community College opens its Metro Campus; folksinger Odetta and others play at La Cave club (10615 Euclid). Hiram Poetry Review is launched by Hale Chatfield at nearby Hiram College. National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities awards Ohio poet Kenneth Patchen for "life-long contribution to American letters." levy: Jan. 5,an arrest warrant is issued for levy indictment for possession and distribution of obscene literature; Jan. 16, levy surrenders.  He pleads not guilty in Criminal Court. Judge Frank Celebrezze insults levy as poet, asks how much he makes a day; levy answers, “I sell poetry for 89 cents a day.” Judge sets bail at $2500, declares, “Maybe you should charge more than 89 cents.” NY physicist Jack Ullman wires bail money, art dealer Jasper Woods sets up legal defense fund. "Levy and Lowell Defense Fund Reading" in Cleveland at Mills Science Center, sponsored by University Christian Movement, University Circle Teaching Committee, area poet readers include Russell Atkins, R. L. Carothers, Jacob Leed, Robert Wallace, Alex Gildzen. Nationally, CIA efforts to infiltrate peace groups and underground presses are exposed in Ramparts Feb. 14, 1967. J. Edgar Hoover’s list of groups for FBI to investigate is exposed. Attorney General Ramsey Clark launches IDIU (Interdivisional Information Unit) for surveillance of radical groups and underground presses. March 28th levy is arrested again for contributing to the delinquency of 2 minors (on Nov. 15, 1966 levy had read a 17-year-old boy’s poem to a Gate reading audience, which included the boy and a 15-year old girl). levy lawyer is Gerald Gold; assistant prosecuting attorney is George Moscarino, John T. Corrigan County Prosecutor. Jim Lowell's books taken at the raid on the Asphodel Book Shop and levy's mimeograph machine confiscated in the second arrest, are never returned. Case Western Reserve University law professors and students conduct picket at Criminal Court Building to free levy; March 30, Dick Feagler in Cleveland Press writes positive article on levy. May 14, Mother’s Day, Benefit Reading for levy and Lowell, Allen Ginsberg and The Fugs rock group including Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg. at Strosacker Hall on Case Tech’s Campus. levy’s poet-friends rjs and T. L. Kryss, despite police harassment, edit levy’s work and print off on mimeograph 1000 copies including 270 pages of levy writings and letters of support for him and free speech and documentation of the arrests and trials as ukanhavyrfuckinciti bak: d.a.levy: a tribute to the man / an anthology of his poetry (Ghost Press). Poetry-Artist Scene in East Cleveland: levy's 1744 Wymore St. apartment is located in an enclave of apartment buildings (now condemned) on Wymore and Page Streets just off of Euclid Avenue (near The Well coffeehouse and Crystan Bar-B-Q) include among others Tony Walsh, George Fitzpatrick, rjs, and many other poetys, artists, musicians. Sept. 4 Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes article attacking levy and Kent Taylor as “psychedelic assassins.” October –poet Adelaide Simon dies of cancer. levy launches The Buddhist 3rd Class Junkmail Oracle printing on newsprint (funded by record advertisements on the back pages). Books by levy: Kibbutz in the Sky Book I and Book II, Three Poems by Cleveland Poets (levy, Kent Taylor and Carl Woideck), Tombstone As a Lonely Charm Part 1 (Runcible Spoon).

1968 – General: Viet Cong launch Tet Offensive in January; Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy each announce candidacy for president. President Johnson announces he will not run for a second term.  Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis; riots in 100 cities. Civil Rights Act passes; May ’68 student strike in Paris becomes a general strike paralyzing parts of the country. Robert Kennedy is assassinated in California. Prague Spring is brutally ended by the Soviet invasion of Checkoslovakia. Yippie Movement is launched by Abbie and Anita Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Paul Krassner, Ed Sanders, Dick Gregory, Phil Ochs, David Peel, et. al; they lead major resistance at Democratic Convention in Chicago where Mayor Daly’s  police force oppression resulted in riots and arrests; Hubert Humphrey is nominated. Nixon is elected by small margin. Vietnam: U.S. dead at 30,857; Vietnamese at 422,979. Feb. 4, Beat figure Neal Cassady dies of exposure on railroad tracks in San Miguel de Allende. Robert Bly uses National Book Award to criticize U.S. intervention in Viet Nam, gives funds to the Resistance, to encourage conscientious objection to war.

Culture: Broadway: The Great White Hope, We Bombed in New Haven, Hair. Music: John Lennon and Yoko Ono, The Fugs, Filmore East and Filmore West rock ballrooms. Films: Faces, Barbarella, Yellow Submarine, Planet of the Apes. Fiction: Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse, Gass’s In the Heart of the Heart of the Country. Poetry: Poet Laureate:William Jay Smith; Pulitzer Prize to Anthony Hecht for The Hard Hours; books by Diane Wakoski, Nikki Giovanni, Philip Levine, Richard Brautigan, Ginsberg’s Planet News, Robert Bly’s The Light Around the Body, Kenneth Patchen’s Collected Poems, Kenneth Rexroth Complete Poems.

Cleveland: Saturdays at midnight the Continental Art Theater runs the “Underground Cinema 12.”; La Cave (10615 Euclid) features The Blues Project, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly, Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, The Steve Miller Band, Blood Sweat and Tears, Doc Watson & Son, John Hammond, The Fugs. Feb. 20, levy pleads “no contest” on charges of contributing to the delinquency of minors, in exchange for probation and dropping the obscenity charges, and pays $200 fine and $245 in court costs. levy’s friend and patron Jeanne Sonville. U.S. Supreme Court obscenity rulings forces Common Pleas Judge Francis J. Talty to dismiss the charges on levy and Lowell. August 1968 levy writes “Suburban Monastery Death Poem,” which is published in September, most of the people and places mentioned in the poem were within a few blocks of his Wymore apartment. October, levy travels to Madison, Wisconsin for a  month, to talk with students in the Free University writes Madison Poems and assembles collages. Returns to Cleveland and soon separates from common-law wife Dagmar, levy continues to publish The Buddhist 3rd Class Junkmail Oracle and The Marrahwannah Quarterly. Books by levy: Suburban Monastery Death Poem (Zero Edition), The Tibetan Stroboscope (levy’s Ayizan Press). Jim Lowell moves Asphodel Book Store to Miles Ave., Cleveland, because the building is to be torn down to make way for a parking lot. July 23-28 – “Glenville Shootout” Cleveland police and Ohio National Guard have shootout with Black Militant group in Cleveland: 7 dead, many businesses burned. November 24, after days of erratic behavior, talks of leaving town, even borrowing a suitcase, the happily giving away most of his belongings and burning copies of his publications, including 4,000 copies of The Tibetan Stroboscope, he gives away the flats for the next issue of the Oracle to rjs. Alone in his apartment at 1744 Wymore St., levy takes his life, shooting himself with a .22 caliber rifle in the “third eye” or middle of his forehead. November 25th body of levy found by friends rjs and Steve Ferguson. Death certificate lists his occupation as “Poet.” He had published more than 55 books and 33 issues of magazines. His body is cremated and the ashes shared with family and friend Tony Walsh, who arranged the funeral. levy’s grave is in Whitehaven Memorial Park, Wilson Mills Rd., Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Russell Atkins’ Heretofore (Breman Publishers, London, England).


 1969 – General: James Earl Ray pleads guilty to Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, is sentenced to 99 years; Senate ratifies anti-nuclear proliferation policy; Ted Kennedy admits to part in death of young woman in Chappaquiddick; Apollo 11 Moon landing: Neil Armstrong is first man to walk on moon; Charles Manson and ‘Family’ are charged with murder of Sharon Tate Polanski and others; Vietnam Moratorium is held; Lt. Calley tried in My Lai massacre; first draft lottery is held in U.S.; the Woodstock Festival and Concert (Woodstock, NY). Death of Jack Kerouac.

Culture: Art: Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella; Films: Midnight Cowboy, Alice’s Restaurant, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They. Literature: Joyce Carol Oates’ Them, John Cheever’s Bullet Park, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr’s Slaughterhouse Five, Carlos Baker’s Ernest Hemmingway; The Selling of the President 1968, Diane DiPrima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to George Oppen for Of Being Numerous; books by Amiri Baraka, Donald Hall, Kenneth Koch, Richard Howard (former Clevelander).

Cleveland: The Palace Theater, last operating movie house on Playhouse Square, closes 20 July. A burning oil slick on the Cuyahoga River attracts national attention, 22 June. Euclid Beach Amusement Park closes 28 September. Cleveland American Indian Center is founded. John Rose edits and publishes The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle Fourth Last Issue, February 1969, rjs does Feb. 1969 Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle, then turns it over to Steve Ferguson to edit; Ferguson kept it going for a year, then turned it into Great Swamp Erie Dada Boom. Gary Snyder does reading at Kent State University, becomes aware of levy's writings through Alez Gildzen, later writes “The Dharma Eye of d.a.levy” for KSU’s Serif magazine. Oberlin College Press Field magazine and Field Translation Series are launched from Oberlin College, southwest of Cleveland, editors Stuart Friebert and David Young, joined by Alberta Turner. Richard Howard receives Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Outsider #4/#5 appears from Jon and Louise Webb's Loujon Press, with a memoirium to d.a.levy, poems by levy and T.L. Kryss, and a 46 page "Homage to Kenneth Patchen" (final issue).


1970 – General: President Nixon pledges to bring troops back in next  year, yet admits to sending troops in Cambodia; student protests around the country, National Guard opens fire on students at Kent State University, kill four, two more students shot and killed at Jackson State University; Earth Day launched.

Culture: Literature: Saul Bellows’ Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Hemingway’s Island in the Stream; Kate Millett Sexual Politics, Studs Terkel’s Hard Times; Poetry: Poet Laureate: William Stafford; Pulitzer Prize to Richard Howard (native Clevelander) for Untitled Subjects; books by Robert Creeley, Nikki Giovanni, Philip Levine, Philip Whalen.

Cleveland: Caveliers (NBA) basketball team is organized. d.a. levy book: Variations On A Short Poem (Runcible Spoon). James C. Kilgore of Cuyahoga Community College publishes first book, The Big Buffalo and Other Poems: A Sampler of the Poetry of James C. Kilgore. Poetry workshops begin at Cuyahoga Community College, led by Cy Dostal.

1971General: New York Times publishes “Pentagon Papers” on secret involvement in Vietnam, and author Daniel Berrigan is arrested; Supreme Court upholds busing for desegregation; Nixon ends trade embargo with China, institutes wage and price controls in U.S.; Apollo XIV lands on moon; voting age is lowered to 18. 200,000 U.S. citizens rally against the war in Vietnam.

Culture: Film: The French Connection, The Last Picture Show; Music: Imagine album by John Lennon; Literature: Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There, Abbie Hoffman’s Steal this Book; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Josephine Jacobsen; Pulitzer Prize to W. S. Merwin for The Carrier of Ladders; books by Anne Sexton, Erica Jong, Adrienne Rich, A. R. Ammons, Diane Wakoski, Frank O’Hara’s Collected Poems, Gregory Corso.

Cleveland: Production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical plays in Cleveland at Hanna Theatre. The Serif magazine, Kent State University, Special Collections, ed. by Alex Gildzen, prints a special issue dedicated to levy, including a bibliography of levy’s work by James Lowell and essays poems and tributes by Eric Mottram, Gary Snyder, Russell Atkins, Carol Bergé, Douglas Blazek, Charles Bukowski, Hugh Fox, Alex Gildzen, Jacob Leed, Robert Lowry, and Steven Osterlund (Vol. VIII, No. 4 December, 1971). The CSU Poetry Center begins publishing local poets in 1971, with Poetry: Cleveland, an anthology of 42 poets from the region, edited by Alberta Turner, Mary Ann Magner, William McLaughlin, and Cyril Dostal, introduction by William Stafford. Also launched that year is the Cleveland Poetry Series of chapbooks leading to full-length books of poetry; the center has been bringing in national poets for reading series open to public: include Adrienne Rich, Galway Kinnell, John Hollander, Richard Wilbur, William Stafford, and Gary Snyder. New Day Press, Inc. launched by Karamu House (2355 E. 89th Street, Cleveland). James Magner's John Crowe Ransom: Critical Principles and Preoccupations (The Hague). Russell Atkins receives Award and Tribute from Karamu House. Jon Webb, author-printer-publisher of Outsider magazine passes away in Nashville, TN.

1972 – General: North Vietnam launches major attack, last U.S. ground troops leave Vietnam;

Charlie Chaplin returns to U.S., North Vietnam accepts cease-fire, Watergate conspiracy is disclosed in Washington Post, Nixon is re-elected over George McGovern.

Culture: Film: The Godfather; Television: M*A*S*H ; Literature: Pulitzer in fiction to Eudora Welty; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to James Wright for Collected Poems; books by James Tate, John Ashberry, Sylvia Plath’s Winter Trees, O’Hara’s Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara (posthumous).

Cleveland: Ralph Perk elected mayor of Cleveland (1972-1977). Cleveland Magazine publishes first issue in April. James Lowell moves The Asphodel Book Shop to rural Burton, Ohio. Death of Ohio poet Kenneth Patchen (in Palo Alto, CA). Cleveland State University launched Whiskey Island as student literary publication. Poet Robert Duncan reads at John Carroll University.


1973 General: Committee to Reelect the President is tied to Watergate conspiracy; Watergate Hearings launched by Senate, Nixon is implicated. Agnew resigns as vice president, Gerald Ford appointed; militant Native Americans seize hostages in protest at Wounded Knee, South Dakota; Supreme Court rules that employment ads cannot discriminate on sex; Slavador Allende is deposed as leader in Chile.

Culture: Literaure: Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s Breakfast of Champions; Lillian Hellman Pentimento, Alex Comfort’s The Joy of Sex; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Daniel Hoffman; Pulitzer Prize to Maxine Kumin for Up Country; books by Robert Bly, Allen Ginsberg, Alice Walker, Adrienne Rich’s Diving into the Wreck.



1974 – General: Mao Tse-Tung launches cultural revolution in China; Nixon is implicated into Watergate, forced to release his records, others in administration plead guilty, and Nixon resigns, Ford gives Nixon pardon.

Culture: Literature: Toni Morrison’s Sula, Peter Bencley’s Jaws, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Persig; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Stanley Kunitz; Pulitzer Prize to Robert Lowell for The Dolphin; books by Anne Sexton, Marilyn Hacker, James Merrill, Ginsberg’s The Fall of America.

Cleveland: Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland begins doing open writing workshops. Bits Press co-founded by Robert Wallace and Nicholas Ranson, English Department, Case Western Reserve University, specializes in letterpress journal of short poems, and light verse, publishes local and national poets. James C. Kilgore founds the Cuyahoga Writers Conference and helps organize an Urban Writers Workshop Series in Cleveland. Voices in Concert chapbook from first poetry concert in Cleveland, April 20 at the Palace Theatre, sponsored in part by the Cleveland Area Arts Council. Coventry Books (owners Ellen Strong & Linn Hopkins) 1824  Coventry Rd. sponsored readings, supported gay/lesbian writing,
small press publications, ran from 1974-1984.


1975 General: Ford announces Recession Policy, official withdrawal from Vietnam; Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa disappears, U.S. and Russia sign grain export plan.

Culture: Film: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Literature: Pulitzer in fiction to Saul Bellow for Humboldt’s Gift; E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, Rollo May’s The Courage to Create; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Gary Snyder for Turtle Island; books by Galway Kinnell, Denise Levertov.

d.a.levy Suburban Monastery Death Poem (Cleveland: an offense fund reprint), Tombstone As A Lonely Charm (Parts 1, II & III), Barking Rabbit (Cleveland: falling down press). Linda Rome edits Ohio Writer. The Cleveland Anthology, eds. Geoffrey Singer and C.A. Smith (Pranayama Publications with assistance from Cleveland Area Arts Council) many writers, no introduction or bios. Playhouse Square Theater honors poetry as public art, program master of ceremonies is Cy Dostal. Readings begin in Moonshine Coffeehouse and Gallery corner of Mayfield Road and Coventry Road, owner Barbara Hacker, host Joe Arcangelini; in July readings move to Genesis on Euclid Ave. and E. 110th Streets. Monthly readings at Cleveland Public Library (courtyard in summer, basement of literature building in winter). Cleveland Heights Library on Coventry monthly readings, Alan Horvath and others. Monthly readings on WRVW radio with Chuch Smith.



1976 – General: Jimmy Carter elected president of U.S. in close race with Gerald Ford; Supreme Court rules that capital punishment is constitutional, U.S. and Iran sign arms deal, Mao Tse-Tung dies. U.S. Bicentenial  year.

Culture: Film: All the President’s Men, Network, Taxi, Rocky; Literature: Judith Guest’s Ordinary People; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Hayden; Pulitzer to John Ashberry for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror; books by James Dickey, Philip Levine, Richard Eberhart.

Cleveland: Desegregation of Cleveland Public Schools is ordered by U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti. First public performance by Cleveland Ballet. The Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland becomes incorporated as non-profit group in May, early member-leaders include Cy Dostal, Nina Gibans, Leonard Trawick, John Gabel, Robert McDonough, Bonnie Jacobson, Chris Franke, Joan Nicholl, and John Donoghue. Robert Wallace and his Bits Press begin printing chapbooks of poetry (Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, Robert Bly, John Updike, others); Collected Poems of d. a levy (Druid Press). James E. Magner’s The Women of the Golden Horn: Poems (Cleveland: Ryder Press). Russell Atkins' Here In The (Cleveland State University Poetry Center). Weekly readings at Bobby McGee's (1612 Euclid Ave.) run by Geoffrey Singer & Gary Hall; first d.a.levy tribute reading there on July 12.  CWRU Hillel Center (11291 Euclid AVe. ) bi-weekly readings run by Singer and Al Horvath.

1977 – General: Carter grants amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders, lifts all travel bans to Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea; unemployment falls 7%; Shah of Iran visits White House despite protests.

Culture: Television: Roots, Film: Annie Hall, Julia; Literature: Joan Didion’s A Book of Common Prayer, John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Age of Uncertainty, Alex Haley’s Roots; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to James Merrill for Divine Comedies; books by Kenneth Koch, Hayden Carruth, W. S. Merwin.

Cleveland: BigMama: Poetry Troupe Vol. Two © Big Mama Poetry Troupe.1977. Big Mama performance group includes Barbara Angell, Linda Monacelli Johnson, Sarah (Sally) Pirtle, et. al .Reading in Coventry Yard by Diane Kendig, Roz Neroni and Tim Joyce, with Daniel Thompson passing wine jug, turns into wild time.


1978 – General: 100,000 march in Washington for the Equal Rights Amendment; Camp David talks end in accord between Sadat and Begin; Pope Paul Vi dies, John Paul I is elected and dies, John Paul II is elected.

Culture: Film: The Deer Hunter, Coming Home treat Vietnam war, Literature: John Irving’s The World According to Garp, Arthur Schlessinger’s Robert Kennedy and His Times, John Gardner’s On Moral Fiction; Poetry: Poet Laureate: William Meredith  (1978-80), Pulitzer Prize to Howard Nemerov for The Collected Poems books by Maya Angelou, Anthony Hecht, John Hollander.

Dennis Kucinich elected mayor; city becomes first major American city to default on its financial obligations since the Great Depression. Mac’s Backs Books opens on Coventry Road…used and new books and center for diverse  poetry readings. Poet Barbara Tanner Angell’s book Games and Puzzles is published by CSU Poetry Center. FORUM: Ten Poets of the Western Reserve, Edited by Peter Hargitai and Lollette Kuby (Mentor Exempted Village Schools).

Some Key Poets in Forum 1978
Russell Atkins, Leonard Trawick, Grace Butcher,  David French, Hale Chatfield
Peter Hargitai, Lolette Kuby, Robert Wallace, Alberta Turner, Christopher Franke

1979 – General: U.S. and China establish diplomatic relations; accident of Three Mile Island nuclear plant, Margaret Thatcher is elected first woman prime minister; students seize U.S. Embassy in Iran, 62 Americans taken hostage.

Culture: Film: Norma Rae, Apocalypse Now, Kramer vs. Kramer; Literature: William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Robert Penn Warren for Now and Then; books by Levertov, David Wagoner, Irving Fieldman.

Cleveland: Burning Press begins publishing, edited by Luigi Bob Drake, features “visio-verbal literature” and Taproot Reviews. Ray McNiece does first reading at Fine Arts Center of Willoughby, OH, hosted by Daniel Thompson, while a student at Ohio University.


1980 – General: President Carter severs relationship with Iran; hostage rescue mission in Iran fails; U.S. boycotts Moscow Summer Olympics; draft registration begins; Iraq invades Iran; Archbishop Arnulfo Romero is assassinated in El Salvador; Ronald Reagan defeats Carter in election; John Lennon is shot to death in NYC.

Culture: Literature: John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunches, James A. Michener’s The Covenant, Justin Kaplan’s Walt Whitman; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Donald Justice for Selected Poems; books by Galway Kinnell, Louis Gluck, James Merrill, David Wagoner.

Cleveland: Population 573,822 (19th largest U.S. city); George Voinovich elected mayor (1980-1989);

“legalize levy,” article by Ingrid Swanberg, and “In the Ring,” an essay on levy by Max Placidus (Michael Golden) appear in Smoke Signals 2 (2&3) 1981 (Black Market Press). The Gamut magazine is launched at Cleveland State University, editor Leonard Trawick. Native Clevelander poet Mary Oliver is teaching at Case Western Reserve University and announces at a reading the death of Ohio poet James Wright. 1980-2006 Mirror of the Arts project coupling poetry with an art form or even science, dance, music, photography or sculpture held in places like Severance Hall, SPACES, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Mather Gallery and The Cleveland Artists Foundation at Beck Center.


1981 – General: Ronald Reagan is inaugurated, Iran releases 52 hostages; U.S. sends military advisors to El Salvador; Pope John Paul II wounded at Vatican by assassin; Sandra Day O’Connor becomes first woman Supreme Court judge; Reagan fires striking air controllers, destroys union; Anwar Sadat is assassinated in Cairo by Islamic fundamentalists.

<>Culture: Films: Reds, Atlantic City, Chariots of Fire; Literature: Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About when We Talk About Love, John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Maxine Kumin; Pulitzer Prize to James Schuyler for The Morning of the Poem; books by Carolyn Forche, Philip Levine, Jared Carter.
Cleveland: First Junkstock Reading held at Pearl Road Autho Wrecking and Salvage, directed by Daniel Thompson, open readings and music, ran from 1981-1990; evens and others were sponsored by PoetsBank organizaion which included a loose group of poets: Thompson, Barbara Angell, Kristen Ban Tepper, Tim Calhoun, Mark Hopkins, Tim Joyce, Marilyn Murray, Maafu Ojo, Geoffry Singer, C.A. Smith, Amy Sparks, Zena Zipporah, and Barry Zucker. Goal was to promote poetry in public places and to honor Cleveland poets Langston Hughes, d.a.levy, Hart Crane. Crane celebrated at 115th Street in ceremony.
[photo-collage by Janet Century, faces of Hart Crane-Langston Hughes-d.a.levy  from Even the Broken Letters of the Heart Spell Earth]

1982 – General: Argentina invades Falklands Islands and Britain sends attack fleet; Israel invades Lebanon; multinational peacekeeping force arrives in Beruit; Reagan lifts ban on Euro-Soviet oil pipeline, U.S. Vietnam Memorial dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Culture: Films: Gandhi, Missing, E.T.; Literature: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (Pulitzer), Jonathan Schell’s The Fate of the Earth; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Anthony Hecht (1982-1984), Pulitzer Prize to Sylvia Plath for Collected Poems books by Charles Wright, Robert Creeley’s Collected Poems.

Cleveland: Last issue of Cleveland Press newspaper; ground broken for Sohio’s BP building on Public Square. if i scratch, if i write, documentary film about d.a.levy and his Cleveland poetry scene produced by Kon Petrochuk, (Cleveland filmmaker at Kent State University) includes interviews with Kent Taylor, Grace Butcher, John Scott, Allen Ginsberg, Frank Osinski, et al. Hazel Collister Hutchison Poetry Room opens in the CSU library overseen by the Poetry Center, contains one of the largest collections of contemporary poetry books in this region. October 7-8, Allen Ginsberg reads at Cleveland Institute of Art; Tillie Olsen reading at CSU. Mac’s Backs Bookstore is launched on second floor above Dobama Theater on Coventry Road. James C. Kilgore's African Violet, Poem for a Black Woman: New and Selected Poems (Detroit: Lotus Press).


1983 – General: Reagan asks for increased aid (military) to El Salvador; U.S. Embassy bombed in Beruit; Margaret Thatcher wins election against Labor Party in England; U.S. and Caribbean troops invade Grenada; demonstrations in Europe against U.S. missile deployment.

Culture: Film: Terms of Endearment; Literature: Ramond Carver’s Cathedral, Pulitzer to William Kennedy for Ironweeds; Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: A History, William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Galway Kinnell for Selected Poems; books by Gary Snyder, Amy Clampitt, Elizabeth Bishop’s The Complete Poems (1927-1979).

Cleveland: The Second Cleveland Anthology, eds. Geoffrey Singer , Kristen Ban Tepper, Charlotte Pressler (Pranayama Publications).


1984 – General: $180 billion deficit projected for U.S.; Jesse Jackson gains release of Navy pilot from Syria, then 22 American prisoners from Cuba; Democrats nominate Walter Mondale against Ronald Reagan; China plans freer market; Indira Ghandi, India’s prime minister is assassinated by Sikh bodyguards.

Culture: Films: A Passage to India, Amadeus, Places in the Heart; Literature: Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, Love Machine by Louise Erdrich, Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Fitzgerald, Pulitzer Prize to Mary Oliver (native Clevelander) for American Primitive; books by Sharon Olds, Tess Gallagher.

Cleveland: Robert Creeley teaching at CSU. Mac’s Backs Readings launched with Daniel Thompson and Dennis McDonnell, and scheduled by Mark Hopkins (over 200 poetry and fiction readings would follow). Mac’s moves to 1785 Coventry Rd and is there 1984-1993; Impetus magazine (mimeograph) is launched by Cheryl Townsend from Stow, Ohio.

1985 –  General: President Reagan asks for renewed aid for Contra in Central America; Mikhail Gorbachev takes over leadership of USSR, asks for economic reform; Earthquake kills 10,000 in Mexico City.

Culture: Films:
Out of Africa, The Color Purple; Literature: Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegone Days, Elizabeth Frank’s Louise Bogan: A Portrait;  Russell Banks’ Continental Drift, Bobby Ann Mason’s In Country, Carolyn Chute’s The Beans of Egypt, Maine; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Gwendolyn Brooks; Pulitzer Prize to Carolyn Kizer for Yin; books by Raymond Carver, Louise Gluck, June Jordan.

Cleveland: Bottom Dog Press (Huron, OH) directed by Larry Smith is launched with an Ohio & Midwest Writers Series of chapbooks, will feature many Cleveland area poets. Implosion Press (Stow, OH) edited by Cheryl Townsend begins publication of social protest literature. Heart’s Cargo: The Poetry of Cleveland, ed. Bill Arthrell (Full Court Press: Cleveland, second edition CSU Poetry Center) anthology of Cleveland poets.


1986 – General: Challenger space shuttle explodes killing 7 crew members; Gorbachev engineers radical reform in USSR; accident in Chernobyl nuclear plant endangers USSR and Europe; Libya fires on U.S. planes; Congress votes support of Contras; sale of weapons to Iran revealed, funds were diverted to Contras.

Culture: Art: Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell, Films: Platoon, Top Gun, Stand by Me; Literature: Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter, Peter Taylor’s A Summons to Memphis; A.M. Sperber’s Murrow, His Life and Times; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Penn Warren; Pulitzer Prize to Henry Taylor for The Flying Change; books by Derek Walcott, Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Charles Simic.

Cleveland: 1986 - Cleveland selected as site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Cleveland State University Poetry Center's Jubilation of Poets, to celebrate its 25th anniversary Galway Kinnell, Denise Levertov, William Stafford, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lewis Turco, and Robert Creeley (book published from this conference World, Self, Poem, ed. Leonard Trawick, (KSU Press 1990). From 1978-84, CSU hosts poets Seamus Heaney, Czelaw Milosz, Robert Creeley, Andre Voznesensky, Adrienne Rich, William Stafford, Heather McHugh, Tillie Olson, and Allen Ginsberg. Odd Tuesdays readings at CSU featuring a guest reader or music group, and including an open-mic segment held in student rathskeller in the basement of University Center at East 22nd and Euclid Avemue (1986-1992). David Citino’s award winning The Appassionata Doctrines (CSU Poetry Center). ArtCrimes #1 (Cleveland) appears from Steve Smith (magazine and later web-page run till 2006), often guest edited by Daniel Thompson, Beth Wolfe, Ben Guyles, Jim Lang, Kathy Ireland Smith, and others. Death of James Kilgore, poet and teacher at Cuyahoga County Community College, in a fire that destroyed his Beachwood home and took his daughter and grandson as well.       [photo of James C. Kilgore (c.1972)]

1987 – General: Iraqi missile hits SS “Stake” in Person Gulf, kills 37; Thatcher is reelected, Iran-Contra conspiracy hearings; Central American peace plan is signed; Palestinians riot on West Bank.

Culture: Films: Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Broadcast News, The Last Emperor; Literature: Pulitzer to Toni Morrison’s for novel Beloved; David H. Donald’s Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Richard Wilbur, Pulitzer Prize to Rita Dove (native Ohioan) for Thomas and Beulah; books by William Snodgrass, Amy Clampitt, Denise Levertov.

Cleveland: Ohio Writer (newsletter-magazine) launched by Mary and Susan Grimm, Kristin (Blumberg) Ohlson, later joined by Jeff Erdie and Kassie Rose; it included announcements, articles on writing, and list of Ohio publications. Rita Dove receives the Putlitzer Prize for her book of poetry Thomas and Beulah.


1988 – General: USSR withdraws from Afghanistan; House votes down arms aid to Contras; Democrats nominate Michael Dukakis for president against George Bush, Sr.; U.S. accuses Iraq of mustard gas attacks on Kurds; Chile rejects dictator Pinochet; Gorbachev announces troop and tank cuts in Europe.

Culture: Films: Rain Man, The Last Temptation of Christ, Working Girls; Literature: Pulitzer to Anne Taylor for Breathing Lessons; Peter Gay’s Freud: A Life for Our Times; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Howard Nemerov (1988-1990), Pulitzer Prize to William Meredith for Partial Account; books by Joseph Brodsky, Czeslaw Milosz, Mexico’s Octavio Paz.

Cleveland: May 1st Annual Cleveland Public Theatre Performance Art Festival; publication of levy’s Prose: On Poetry in the Wholesale Education & Culture System;Oct. 7-9, “days of rain and fire: d.a. levy, 20 years after” festival held at Cleveland’s University Circle … Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Cinemateque, Cleveland Institute of Art, Barking Spider Tavern, Pentagon Gallery, Coventry Reader …included film “if i scratch, if i write” by Kon Petrochuk, workshops, recollections and performances by Ed Sanders, Tony Walsh, Kent Taylor, Grace Butcher, Steve Ferguson, Ken Warren, Allen Ginsberg. The Coventry Reader eds. Mark Hopkins, Geoffrey Singer, Suzanne DeGaetano, assisted by Katie Dailey, Ben Gulyas, and Jim Lang, PoetsBank publisher (1988-1991), a free quarterly tabloid, supported in part by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.


1989 – General: Iranian Khomeini offers reward for murder of novelist Salman Rushdie for Satanic Verses, viewed as blasphemous book; tanker “Exxon Valdez” creates huge oil spill on Alaskan coast; demonstrate for democracy in Beijing; earthquake hits San Francisco Bay area; East Germany opens Berlin Wall; U.S. invades Panama deposed dictator Noriega; Vaclav Havel (playwright) becomes president of Chech Repubic.

Culture: Films: Born on the Fourth of July, Field of Dreams, Driving Miss Daisy, Glory, Dead Poet’s Society; Literature: Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Russell Baker’s The Good Times; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Richard Wilbur for New and Collected Poems; books by Philip Larkin, Robert Hass, Adrienne Rich.

Cleveland: Daniel Thompson’s Famous in the Neighborhood (Burning Press 1989). “Portrait of a Young Man Trying to Eat the Sun,” long biographical article on Cleveland poet-publisher d.a.levy by Michael Golden appears in New York Writer


1990 – General: Iraq invades Kuwait; U.S. and Russia call for Iraq withdrawal from Kuwait, U.N. involvement in Persian Gulf War; Boris Yeltzen is elected president of Russian Federation; Lithuania and Latvia declare independence from USSR; East and West Germany are reunited;

Culture: Films: Dances with Wolves, Goodfellas, Awakenings; Literature: Pulitzers to John Updike for Rabbit at Rest and Jackson Pollock: An American Saga by Naifeh and Smith; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Mark Strand, Pulitzer Prize to Charles Simic for The World Doesn’t End books by Laurie Sheck, Maya Angelou, Dave Smith.

Cleveland: Michael White elected mayor of Cleveland. Ohio Writer newsletter/magazine taken over by Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland edited successively by Linda Rome, Ron Antonnuci, Gayle and Bill Bellamy, Darlene Montanaro, and Mark Kuhar. Leonard Trawick edits, World, Self, Poem, A Collection of Essays from The Jubilation of Poets, Kent State University Press. Generator Press (Mentor, OH) edited by John Byrum is launched, features visual and language poetry, also does Generator Magazine. "Imagination" writing conferences launched at Cleveland State University, founded by Neal Chandler under the theme of "writing in the slipstream," combining specualtive and mainstream writing with an emphasis on fiction, poetry, and playwriting (It has become an annual event).  Readings being done at Gallery Cafe on E. 185th, and at Cafe Europa in Willoughby, hosted by Russ Vidrick.


1991 – U.S launches air strike against Iraq in Persian Gulf War, liberates Kuwait, signs cease fire with Iraq, Bush and Gorbachev sign Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; Croatia and Slovnia declare independence from Yugoslavia, Terry Anderson, last hostage in Lebanon is released; Magic Johnson reveals that he is HIV-Positive.

Culture: Films: JFK, Thelma and Louise, The Silence of the Lambs; Literature: Pulitzer to Jane Smiley for A Thousand Acres, Robert Bly’s Iron John: A Book About Men; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Joseph Brodsky, Pulitzer Prize to Mona Van Duyn for Near Changes; books by Philip Levine (What Work Is), Robert Creeley’s Selected Poems.

Cleveland: Big collection of d.a.levy writing and art in Zen Concrete & Etc. ed. Ingrid Swanberg (Madison: Wisconsin, Ghost Pony Press). Barbara Tanner Angel’s The Long Turn Toward Light (CSU Poetry Center). January, Jim Lang's A Picture & 1000 Words exhibit at W. Busta Gallery (photos and words of the poets he has photographed). First national Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Chicago, IL): Michael Salinger (player-coach), Kristen Ban Tepper, Amy Sparks, Ben Gulyas, Joan Deveney, with Daniel Thompson as Slam-Master. Mirror of the Arts, directed by Susam Grimm and Karen Kovacik (poet teaching at Lakeland Community College).


1992 – General: U.S. suffers high unemployment, losses from U.S. auto makers; L.A. riots follow acquittal of police officers in beating of Black man Rodney King; mass atrocities cited in Sarajevo; U.S. and Russia sign treaty ending Cold War; Clinton wins election over George Bush, Sr. and Ross Perot.

Culture: Literature: Pulitzer to Robert Olen Butler for A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, David McCullough’s Truman; Poetry: Nobel Prize in Literature to poet Derek Walcott; Poet Laureate: Mona Van Duyn; Pulitzer Prize to James Tate for Selected Poems; books by Lucille Clifton, David Ferry, Dan Gioia’s Can Poetry Matter (essays).

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Boston) Amy Sparks, Wendy Shaffer, Kristen Ban Tepper, Michael Salinger (player-coach), Jordan Davis; Daniel Thompson as Slam-Master. John Carroll University develops its writing program with George Belgiere and James Magner as poets and Michael Winegardner as chief fiction writer. House Organ, a magazine of verse published by Ken Warren (librarian at the Lakewood Public Library) features poetry in the vein of projectivist verse poets. Poet Richard Howard returns to his native Cleveland for a reading in October at Mather Mansion of CWRU. Thorn Readings are held at Literary Cafe with Denise Dee, James Welch, Valerie Marek and Michael Kaniecki; also Slow House Show at Brandt Gallery (Feb.) Welch, Marek, Jessica Grim, and Charlotte Pressler. 


1993 – General: Bill Clinton becomes president, Hillary Clinton assumes chair for health care reform; car bomb explodes in World Trade Center, Clinton orders troops to Somalia; Congress approves North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); European Union joined by Britain.

Culture: Films: Schindler’s List, The Remains of the Day, The Piano, Philadelphia, Literature: Nobel Prize in Literature to Toni Morrison (from Ohio), Pulitzers to E. Annie Proulx for The Shipping News, David Remnick for Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, David Lewis for W. E. Dubois: Biograph of a Race; Barbara Kingsolver’s Pigs in Heaven,; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Rita Dove (1993-1995), Pulitzer Prize to Louise Gluck for The Wild Iris; books by Mark Doty, Brenda Hillman, W. S. Merwin.  

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (San Francisco): Michael Salinger (player-coach), Daniel Gray-Kontar, Amy Sparks, Alayana.
Mac's Backs Paperbacks
moves across the street to larger space at 1820 Coventry Road, adjacent to Tommy's Restaurant. Rita  Dove (Akron, OH)  made Poet Laureate. Readings at Phoenix Coffee House on Detroit in  Lakewood and at Afterwards on Bridge Ave. in Ohio City. 

 (Mac's Backs Paperbacks, photo by Dennis McDonnell)


1994 – General:  Earthquake hits Los Angeles; Nelson Mandela wins presidency in South Africa’s first all-race election; O.J. Simpson arrested in wife’s murder; U.S. under NATO attacks Bosnian Serbs.

Culture: Art: Kenneth Noland, Cady Noland; Films: The Shawsank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction; Literature: David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars, Carol Shields’ The Stone Diaries (Pulitzer); Christopher Jencks’ The Homeless; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Yusef Komunyakaa for Neon Vernacular; books by Carolyn Forche, Heather McHugh, Rosellen Brown, Kenneth Koch. Literary Kicks early web-based literary source <www.litkicks.com> founded by Levi Asher.

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team triumphs (Asheville, NC) Ray McNiece (player-coach), Daniel Gray-Kontar, Tia Hodges, Kwanza Brewer place 1st of 24 teams. Black Poetic Society is launched by Daniel Gray Kontar, Sage the Wise Cat (Douglas Hoston), Ebani Edwards, Kwanza Brewer, and Q-Nice (Quentin Finley); their readings are held at Cleveland State University Kiva (1994-2001) drawing hundreds. PWLGC executive director Darlene Montonaro assumes leadership from 1994 to 2007. From 1994-2005, poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of The Good Junk (1996) and The Maverick Room (2005), teaches in the CWRU English Department. Susan Grimm’s Lake Erie Blue: Poems (BKMK Press of University of Missouri-Kansas 2004). Spring poet Jack Michiline  reads  in several  Cleveland  venues and does a show of his watercolors  at Studio Gallery near Literary  & Professor Streets in Tremont  area of Cleveland. Tongue-in-Groove poetry music jams begin at  Brillo  Pad on Detroit Avenue, led by Ray McNiece. 


1995 – General: Bombing of Federal office building in Oklahoma City (150 dead), done by Timothy McVeigh, U.S. veteran, and Terry Nichols; U.S. Space Shuttle makes first docking with Russian space station; O.J. Simpson, following televised trial, is acquitted.

Culture: Films: Apollo 13, Leaving Las Vegas, Dead Man Walking; Literature: Pulitzer to Richard Ford for Independence Day; William Gass’ The Tunnel, David Reynolds’ The Death of Common Sense; Poetry: Poet Laureate:Robert Hass (1995-1997); Pulitzer Prize to Philip Levine for The Simple Truth; books by William Matthews, Mark Rudman, Robert Pinsky. 

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Ann Arbor, MI): Boogieman (Anthony Rucker), Q-Nice, Sara Holbrook, Derba Dutta places 2nd of 27 teams. Black Poetic Society begin readings off campus at University Circle coffeehouse “Delights of the Garden.” Opening of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Cleveland Indians win their first American League pennant in 41 years, make their 4th World Series appearance. Cleveland Browns team play their last game in Cleveland and move to Baltimore.


1996 – General: Unabomber Ted Kosinski is arrested, Clinton vetoes ban on late-term abortions, unemployment lowest in 6 years, Taliban gains control of Afghanistan; Clinton wins presidency by wide margin, Madeline Albright becomes first female Secretary of State.

Culture: Films: The English Patient, Fargo, Shine; Literature: Pulitzer to Steven Millhauser for Martin Dressler and to Frank McCourt for Angela’s Ashes; Ursula K. LeGuin’s Unlocking the Air and Other Stories, William J. Wilson’s When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Jorie Graham for The Dream of the Unified Field; books by Hayden Carruth, Laurie Sheck.

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Portland, ME): Ebani Edwards. Q-Nice, Ray McNiece, Sara Holbrook. Black Poetic Society co-produces radio show “Ubiquity” on WABQ AM radio; “Bimshi” readings of Black rappers and hip-hop poets held at Arabica Coffeehouse on Juniper Road (1996-1997). Voices of Cleveland: A Bicentennial Anthology of Poems by Contemporary Poets, ed. Leonard Trawick, et. al (CSU Poetry Center 1996). Off the Page, Mary E. Weems’ book-video program is produced, published by CSU Poetry Center. Ron Antonucci takes over editing Ohio Writer from 1996-2001, turns it more into a magazine with articles and reviews. James E. Magner's Only the Shadow of the Great Fool (Cleveland, OH: Blue Flamingo Productions).


1997 – General: Bill Clinton is inaugurated; Princess Diana is killed in car accident in Paris; Mother Teresa dies, Clinton sends second carrier to Persian Gulf,

Culture: Films: Titanic, Good Will Hunting, L.A.. Confidential; Love Jones film treating Black performance poetry has large impact on young Black poets; Literature: Pulitzers to Philip Roth for American Pastoral, Katherine Graham for Personal History; Poetry: Poet Laureate: Robert Pinsky (1997-2000), Pulitzer Prize to Lisel Mueller for Alive Together: New and Selected Poems; books by Sonia Sanchez, C. K. Williams, Sarah Lindsay, Marilyn Nelson.

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Middletown, CT) Boogieman, r.a. (Rafeeq the Strong)  Washington, Dave Snodgrass, Theresa Burrage. Black Poetic Society is joined by r.a. washington “Rafeeq the Strong” and Rosary Kennedy, Natalie Parker, Lee Wilson, Dwayne Pigge, Kevin “Kaoz” Moore, and Andrea “Storm” Hooks; The Oppressed Poets develop as an ancillary performance ensemble. Susan Grimm’s Almost Home (CSU Poetry Center).  1997-2006 Writers & Their Friends, biennial celebration of writing honoring the published work of Cleveland area writers combined with small press publishers bookfair and exhibit (PWLGC). Tongue-in-Groove poetry music jams move to Grovewood Tavern in North Collinwood, run from 1997-2001.


1998 – General: Clinton denies sexual relations with intern Monica Lewinsky, public airing and impeachment proceedings; North Ireland peace accord; India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons; U.S. strikes at Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist network,

Culture: Art: Robert Rauschenberg, Alex Katx; Films: Life Is Beautiful, the Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan; Literature: Pulitzer to Michael Cunningham for The Hours, John McPhee for Annals of the Former World (nonfiction) , Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America; Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Charles Wright for Black Zodiac; books by Donald Hall, Gerald Stern, Frederick Seidel.

Cleveland: Last (12th) Annual Cleveland Theatre Performance Art Festival. Daniel Thompson's Even the Broken Letters of the Heart Spell Earth (book with audio CD, Bottom Dog Press). Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Austin, TX): Sara Holbrook, Lisa Citore, Ray McNiece, Michael Salinger (player-coach) placed 4th of 44 teams. David Citino's The Book of Appassionata: Collected Poems (OSU Press). Lee Wilsom of Black Poetic Society launches "Lyrical Graffiti" readings at The Humidor. Steve Smith launches web page Agent of Chaos <www.agentofchaos.com> with help of friend Steve Reynolds, included segments from ArtCrimes publication.


1999 – General: Senate acquits Clinton of impeachment charges; NATO wages air campaign against Yugoslavia over killing and deportation of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., leaves 14 students (including the 2 shooters) and 1 teacher; U.S. and China sign historic trade agreement.

Culture: Literture: Pulitzer to Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter of Maladies (fiction), Poetry: Pulitzer to Mark Strand for Blizzard of One.
Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Chicago): Sara Holbrook, Boogieman, Ray McNiece, Daniel Gray-Kontar places 8th of 48 teams. The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle: The Selected Poetry and Art of d. a. levy. edited by Mike Golden. (NY: Seven Stories Press), includes long controversial biographical essay “Portrait of a Young Man Trying to Eat the Sun” by Golden. 18 Gardens and their Gardeners, Photographs by Michael Loderstedt, Poetry by Nina Freedlander Gibans, 1999. Russell Atkins receives Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Poets’ League of Greater Cleveland, 1999. Amira Baraka reads in Cleveland March and April. Mirror of the Arts ongoing project pairs print making with selected poems through Zygote Press. Readings at Cafe Noir on Bridge Street hosted by Russ Vidrick.


2000 – General: U.S. presidential election closest in decades; George W. Bush's slim lead over Al Gore (Dem.) in Florida leads to automatic recount, halted by U.S. Supreme Court orders, Bush declared winner; Concorde plane crashes in Paris killing 113; Vincente Fox Quesada  elected president of Mexico, ending 71 years of one-party rule; Nationwide uprising overthrows Yugoslavian president Milosovic sworn in as president (Oct. 7); U.S. sailors on Navy destroyer Cole die in Yemen terrorist explosion.

Culture: Films: Erin Brokovich, Traffic; Literature: Pulitzer to Michael Chabon for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (fiction); Poetry: Poet Laureate: Stanley Kunitz; Pulitzer Prize to C.K. Williams for Repair; books by Sydney Lea, Bruce Smith.

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Providence, RI) Terrence Provost, Cherina L. Jones, Alice Cone, Kevin Webb, (alternate) D.M. Emigh. PWLGC moves into Literary Center site at 12200 Fairhill Rd.Townhouse 3-A, Cleveland. With help of Q-nice, The Kamikaze Coffee House doors open for Sunday night open-mic readings a 4630 Warrensville Center Road, Cleveland. Green Panda Press doing small poetry-art books, published by Bree. Patti Smith performs at the Odeon July 8, 2000. Diane DiPrima reads in Cleveland at Mac's Backs March 18, 2000. The establishment of the Literary Center a townhouse on Fairhill Rd.  Programs include 150 classes a year and a bus card project with RTA, runs from 2000-2007.


2001 – General: Al Quaida terrorist attack on U.S. World Trade Center and Pentagon (September 11);

U.S. and Britain launch air attacks against targets in Afghanistan after Taliban government fails to hand over Saudi terroristOsama bin Laden, suspected mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks; air campaign and ground assault by Afghani opposition troops, the Taliban regime topples; however, hunt for bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda terrorist organization continues.
Culture: Films: A Beautiful Mind, Lord of the Rings; Literature: Pulitzer to Richard Russo for Empire Falls, Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days (fiction); Poetry: Poet Laureate: Billy Collins (2001-2003), Pulitzer Prize to Stephen Dunn for Different Hours books by Louise Glück and Franz Wright.
Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Seattle, WA) Terry Provost, Kevin Webb, Desmond "Storm E" Jones, Fred "Riddla" Bey , (alternate) La Shaun "Phoenix" Moore, (Coach: Michael Salinger). West Side readings move to Lucky's Cafe briefly, then on to The Brandt Gallery at Lincoln Park in Tremont with Russ Vidrick hosting. deep cleveland junkmail oracle goes online in July published by poet and editor Mark Kuhar, following populist and alternative publising model of d.a.levy <www.deepcleveland.com/dcjo.html>


2002 –  General: In his first State of the Union address, President Bush labels Iran, Iraq, and North Korea an “axis of evil” and declares that U.S. war against states that develop weapons of mass destruction; Bush signs legislation creating a new cabinet department of Homeland Security.
Culture: Films: The Pianist, Gangs of New York; Literature: Pulitzer to Jeffrey Eugenides for Middlesex; Adam Haslett's You are Not a Stranger, William Kenney's Roscoe (fiction): Poetry: Pulitzer Prize to Carl Dennis for Practical Gods; books by Frank Bidart, Sharon Jackson, Major Jackson, J.D. McClatchy.
Cleveland: Jane L. Campbell elected mayor of Cleveland. Cleveland Poetry Slam Team  (Minneapolis) Kevin "Kaoz" Moore, Katie Daley, Dave "Hoot" Snodgrass, Terry Provost, (alternate Fred "Riddla" Bey). “Levy Lives: Birthday Bash and Poetry Reading” celebration for d. a. levy, Cleveland, Ohio, coordinated by Mark Kuhar of deepcleveland.com. Bree launches her Green Panda Press from Cleveland Heights with The Long March of Cleveland diverse collection of Cleveland poets (currently has 68 titles). The City <www.thecitypoetry.com> is launched by Kathy Walker (Kathy Ireland Smith). Matthew Wascovich begins publishing books for Slow Toe Publishing.


2003 – Space shuttle Columbia explodes upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board. War begins by U.S. and Britain against Iraq (March 19).; Bush signs $350 billion tax-cut bill (May 28).

Culture: Films: Mystic River, Lost in Translation, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; Literature: Pulitzer to Edward P. Jones for The Known World(fiction); Poetry: Poet Laureate Louise Gluck; Pulitzer Prize to Paul Muldoon for Moy sand and Gravel; books by Heather McHugh, Henri Cole, Carolyn Forche, Tony Hoagland, Amira Baraka’s Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems.

Cleveland: Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (Chicago, IL) Kelly Harris, Kevin Moore, Joseph Primes, Vince Robinson, (alternate) Kisha Nicole Foster        (photo by Peter Dell (c) 2003)
July, readings begin at b-side Lounge with Q-nice and others.
Tongue-in-Groove poetry music jams at Powerhouse Pub, Cleveland Flats, led by Ray McNiece. Launching of  “The d.a.levy collection” online Cleveland Memory Project by CSU Library Special Collection Dept. and the Digital Processing Unit <http://www.clevelandmemory.org/levy>  Radio show WordPlay featuring Cleveland area poets is launched by George Bilgere at John Carroll  University.  It begins as 5 minute segment, soon expands into half hour of interview, readings, then chat between Bilgere and Steve Hayward; air time is 12:30 Wednesdays at WJCU, 88.7 or online at www.wjcu.org.. 

  Poets at work:

Christopher Franke, Adam Brodsky,
Russ Vidrick at Lucky's Coffee Shop,
Tremont area (Jim Lang)

2004 – The U.S. returns sovereignty to an interim government in Iraq, yet maintains roughly 135,000 troops in the country to fight a growing insurgency; four hurricanes devastate Florida and other parts of the southern United States

Culture: Films: Ray, The Aviator; Literature: Pulitzer to Marilynne Robinson for Gilead (fiction), Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan for de Kooning: An American Master (biography); Poetry: Poet Laureate: Ted Kooser (2004-2006), Pulitzer Prize to Franz Wright for Walking to Martha's Vineyard; books by William Matthews Collected Poems, D.A. Powell, Gary Snyder, Brigit Pegeen Kelly.

Cleveland: Poet Daniel Thompson dies after 2 year struggle with leukemia; huge memorial held at Cathedral on Euclid Ave. Cleveland Poetry Slam Team (St. Louis) Vince Robinson, Keith Brown, Beth Ann Sadowski, Al Morgan (Coach Kelly Harris). Slow Toe Publishing and Music does first Thee Flat Bike collection of Cleveland/d.a.levy poets: includes Douglas Blazek, Don Cauble, Byron Coley, Hugh Fox, Alex Gildzen, Alan Horvath, Tom Kryss, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Kent Taylor, Matthew Wascovich, A.D. Winans. New small press launched Ptrint byAdam Brodsky.


2005 – The U.S. engagement in Iraq continues amid that country's escalating violence and fragile political stability; hurricane Katrina wreaks catastrophic damage on Mississippi and Louisiana; 80% of New Orleans is flooded (Aug. 29–30); all levels of government criticized for delayed and inadequate response to the disaster; members of the Bush administration are indicted for leaking to the press the name of a CIA agent in attempt to silence a critic of the Iraqi war.

Culture: Literature: Pulitzer to Geraldine Brooks for March (fiction), E. L. Doctorow's The March, Lee Martin's The Bright Forever (fiction); Poetry: Pulitzer to Ted Kooser for Delights & Shadows books by Dean Young, Elizabeth Alexander.

: Frank G. Jackson elected mayor of Cleveland. Death of Cleveland poet David Citino from multiple sclerosis; Thomas Sayers Ellis’s The Maverick Room (Gray Wolf Press). October 29-30, levyfest
in Cleveland coordinated by Larry Smith and Mark Kuhar, sponsored by Bottom Dog Press and deepcleveland.com, supported by Cleveland State University Special Collections and Poetry Center, and Mac's Backs Books with a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council; featured reunion of levy poet-friends Tom (T.L.) Kryss, Kent Taylor, Steve Ferguson, D.r. Wagner, George Fitzpatrick, Ingrid Swanberg, Dagmar, and others, includes art exhibit at CSU Special Collections Library; discussions at Trinity Cathedral, premiere of revised “if i write, if is scratch” film by Kon Petrochuk. Cleveland in Prose and Poetry, ed. Bonnie Jacobson (Poets and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland: Cleveland); 25th anniversary of   Mac's Backs  Paperbacks, changes name to Mac's Backs Books.
Poet Laureates of Cleveland Heights: April 2005, The Cleveland Heights City Council officially recognized the community’s first Poet Laureat, Meredith Holmes. Loren Weiss served from May 2006 to April 2007, and Mary Weems has been appointed to serve 2007- 2008.


2006 General: U.S. and India sign a nuclear agreement; U.S. bombs Islamists in Somalia as Ethiopia help push them out of Somalia
Culture: Literature: Poetry: Poet Laureate: Donald Hall, Pulitzer Prize to Claudia Emerson for Late Wifebooks by David Wojahn and Martin Espada.
Cleveland:  October 28-29, levyfest in Cleveland, coordinated by S.A. Griffin, Bree Bodner, Mark Kuhar, and others at Gallery 324 and other sites in Cleveland. West 2nd Street is named Daniel's Way in May by an ordinance passed by Cleveland City Council.


Photo by Jim Lang of Six Steps Down/ Bookstore on West
25th Street...Event...organized by Nancy D'alesandro

2007 U.S. trade deficit hits a record $764 billion; South Korean student Cho Seung-Hui kills 32 people at Virginia Tech; China overtakes the U.S. to become the world's second largest exporter and overtakes Canada to become the main exporter to the U.S.; Toyota passes General Motors as the world's largest car manufacturer; U.S. agencies declare Al Qaeda has regrouped in Pakistan and that the terrorist threat against the U.S. has increased.

Culture: Literature: Poetry: Poet Laureate: Charles Simic; Pulitzer Prize to Natasha Trethewey for Native Guard.

Cleveland: Kenneth Patchen Festival held in Cleveland at Gallery 324 and Barking Spider Inn featuring exhibit of Patchen silk-screens, his one act play, and poetry-and-jazz performances by various poets, sponsored by Bottom Dog Press, Gallery 324, and Celery Flute, Kenneth Patchen newsletter. Charlie Potts reads at Patchen Festival, then at Mac's Backs. Book celebration of d.a.levy and the mimeograph revolution (Bottom Dog Press) and new edition of ukayhavyrfukinciti. bak (Russell Salamon) at Art House, Cleveland West Side, August. New alternative bookstore opens on West Side, Visible Voice Books, Kennilworth Ave. Tremont area. New presses launched: vanZeno Press (Marcus Beales 2007) and the language foundry (j. s. markos 2007).
Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland moves from Fairhill site to downtown Cleveland at The Lit, ArtCraft Building, 2570 Superior Avenue Suite 203; new director Judith Mansour Thomas, who also serves as editor of Ohio Writer, now The Muse: Quarterly Journal.


Cleveland: Small Press Bookfair/Exhibit and Showing of “The Outsiders of New Orleans: The Story of Loujon Press” film by Wayne Ewing. Sponsored by Bottom Dog Press, GreenPanda Press, deep Cleveland books, and The Cleveland Literary Center (Jan. 26). March 12th "Famous in the Neighborhood" documentary film on poet Daniel Thompson premiers at Shaker Heights Public Library, Bertram Woods Branch from filmmakers: Gail and Eric Buchbinder. 

Cleveland Poetry Scenes: A Panorama and Anthology
Edited by Mary E. Weems, Nina Freedlander Gibans, Larry Smith

Book to be release in early April 2008, supported by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council
(cover design by Jim Lang, photo editor)

 A List of Some Cleveland Area Poetry Venues (past and present), listed with hosts:

Literary Cafe in Tremont (Steve Goldberg); The Gate in Trinity Cathedral on Euclid and 22nd Streets (mid-late 1960s); The Phoenix Coffeehouse in Lakewood; Common Grounds on Lorain Avenue at Kamms Corners; The World Cup Coffeehouse on Clifton in Cleveland (Christopher Franke), The Red Star (Kate Kilbane, Jim Lang, Chris Franke) around the corner on Detroit; the Bookstore on West 25th Street (Jim Lang); the Great Lakes Brewing Company; the Barking Spider Tavern off University Circle; The B-Side on Euclid Heights Blvd. (Q-nice); The Arabicas in University Circle (Joan Deveny) and Coventry, Mac’s Backs on Coventry Road (Suzanne DeGaetano), The Gallery Café on East 185th Street (Russ Vidrick); Borders at Beachwood, Booksellers; Café Europa in Painesville, Borders Books & Music in Strongsville (Mark Kuhar); Robin's Nest on St. Clair (Vince Robinson); The Kamikaze Coffee House on Warrensville Center Road (Q-nice); b-Side Lounge on Euclid Heights Boulevard (Q-nice); The Powerhouse Pub in the Flats (Ray McNiece); The Beachland Ballroom in Collinwood (Michael Salinger); Visible Voice Books, Kennilworth Ave. Tremont area; Coffee Temptations/ Stillwater Cafe/ now Joe Sundaes in Sandusky (Firelands Writing Center); The Classique Café in Lorain; Borders Bookstore in Westlake; La Crème Coffeehouse in Westlake; The Flying Lemur in Lakewood; Moonshine Coffeehouse and Gallery Mayfield and Coventry (1975); Cafe Noir, 3408 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland (2004); Nia Coffeehouse at Coventry Village Library, Cleveland Heights; Dead Horse Gallery on Detroit and Cook (1980's); Suspect Thoughts on Cook and W. 50th Cleveland; Hessler Street Fair each summer, University Circle; Gallery 324 in Galleria at Erieview (Marcus Bales 2005-2007); Mahogany Red, The Red Hot Experience at The Living Room Coffee Lounge, 1828 Lorain Ave. Cleveland; Insight Coffeehouse in Brunswick; Shaker Heights Public Library (Barry Zucker); The Brillo Pad at W. 65th and Detroit (Mary Weems and Patricia Harusame Leebove); Brandt Gallery on Kennilworth in Tremont; Brewed Awakenings at Prospect and E. 18th St.; Luckey's Cafe on Starkweather Rd. in Tremont; Midnight Sun on Cedar Center (Gina Tabasso and Susan Kane)

Small Presses and Literary Magazine from the Cleveland area (in chronological order):
Thanks to Bree of Green Panda Press and Steve B. Smith and many others for consulting on this.

American Weave Literary Journal magazine and chapbooks (Loring E. Williams and Alice Crane Williams 1945)
Free Lance magazine and Free Lance Press (Free Lance Poets and Prose Workshop Russell Atkins, Adelaide Simon, et. al 1953) 

Renegade Press (1963)/ 7 Flower Press (1965)/ Marrahwannah Quarterly (1964) / The Buddhist 3rd Class Junkmail Oracle (1968) (d.a.levy publications)
Toucan (Alex Gildzen with R.L. Carothers 1967-1972)

Ghost Press (T.L. Kryss and rjs, 1967)
The Big Us (Carol McEldowney and Carole Close, SDS materials 1968)

Sattvas Review and Sattvas Press (Franklin W.W. Osinski 1969)

Hiram Poetry Review and chapbooks (Hale Chatfield, Hiram College 1967)

Ashland Poetry Press (Robert McGovern, Ashland University begun 1969)
Oberlin College Press and Field Magazine and Translations Series (Stuart Friebert and David Young, et. al, 1969)
Scene (Richard Kabat 1970)

Bread, Peace, and Land (Cleveland State University 1970-1973)
Costmary Press  (Dean Keller 1970, broadsides of Cleveland poets)

Cleveland State University Poetry Center (Alberta Turner, Leonard Trawick, et. al 1971) Pranayama Publications (Geoffrey Singer 1972, published The Cleveland Anthology, 2 editions)
Deciduous press (Christopher Franke 1971)

Whiskey Island Quarterly (Cleveland State University 1972-present); previous versions The Frigate in late 1960's, then  Dark Tower (1972-1977)

New Day Press (Carolyn Gordon, Karamu House 1972)

Cuyahoga Current (Nelson Moore 1972)

Coventry Books (owners Ellen Strong & Linn Hopkins 1974-1984) 1824  Coventry Rd.

<> Falling Down Press (Alan Horvath1976)

Big Mama Poetry Troupe (1976)

Bits Press (1974) and Light Year anthology (Robert Wallace)
American Splendor (Harvey Pekar's graphic comics magazine 1976)

Kenyette Productions (Kenyette Adrine-Robinson 1978)

Burning Press and Taproot magazine (Luigi Bob Drake 1979)

Clevebland Rag-o-zeen (Robert Ritchie since 1982)

Implosion Press, Impetuous magazine (Cheryl Townsend  1984)

Wick Poetry Program (Maggie Anderson, Alice Cone, et. al; Kent State University 1984)

Bottom Dog Press (Bottom Dog Press  1985)

The Firelands Writing Center (Bowling Green State University Firelands College)

Full Court Press  (Bill Arthrell 1985)

The Sweet Ride: The Rock 'n' Roll Magazine (Randy Russell late 1980s)

ArtCrimes (Steve Smith and Kathy Walker-Smith; mid-1980’s to 2006)

Akron University Press (Daniel Nelson, Elton Glazer et. al  1988)

The Coventry Review (evolves into The Coventry Reader) from PoetsBank (Mark Hopkins, Geoffrey Singer,    Suzanne DeGaetano, assisted by Katie Dailey, Ben Gulyas, and Jim Lang 1988-1991)

Generator Press and Generator magazine (John Byrum 1990)

Whitewall Sound (Jim Clinefelter  Cleveland 1991-1995; then moves to Portland, Oregon)

P2B Press  (Adam Brodsky 1994)
SPLIT CITY (Ben Guylas and Jim Lang  1995-1997)
Split Whiskey (1999 Jim Lang)

New Kiev Press (Vladmir Swirynsky 1999)
GreenPanda Press (Bree 2000)

Pink Eye (Cheese Borger 2001)

Slow Toe Publications (Matthew Wascovich 2002)

deepcleveland. books (Mark Kuhar 2002)
Angle: A Journal of Arts+Culture (Amy Sparks 2003-2007)

Ptrint (Adam Brodsky 2004)

Poets and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland (2005)

Moonlit (Claire McMahon 2006)

vanZeno Press (Marcus Beales 2007)
the language foundry (j. s. makkos 2007)


Poetry: Cleveland edited by Alberta Turner, (Cleveland State Poetry Center 1971).

Cleveland Anthology, eds. Geoffrey Singer and C.A. Smith (Pranayama Publications with assistance from Cleveland Area Arts Council, 1975) anthology.

BigMama: Poetry Troupe Vol. Two © Big Mama Poetry Troupe.1977.

FORUM: Ten Poets of the Western Reserve, Edited by Peter Hargitai and Lollette Kuby (Mentor Exempted Village Schools, 1978).  Included are: Russell Atkins, Grace Butcher, Hale Chatfield, Christopher Franke, David French, Peter Hargitai, Lolette Kuby, Leonard Trawick, Alberta Turner and Robert Wallace. 

Heart’s Cargo: The Poetry of Cleveland, ed. Bill Arthrell (Full Court Press: Cleveland, OH, 1985, second edition CSU Poetry Center).

Voices of Cleveland: A Bicentennial Anthology of Poems by Contemporary Poets, ed. Leonard Trawick, et. al (CSU Poetry Center 1996)

Off the Page, Mary E. Weems book-video program…CSU 1996

Cleveland in Prose and Poetry, ed. Bonnie Jacobson (Poets and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland: Cleveland 2005).

 d.a.levy and the mimeograph revolution, eds. Ingrid Swanberg and Larry Smith (Bottom Dog Press 2007).

Lois Gordon and Alan Gordon. America Chronicle: Six Decades of American Life   1920-1980. NY: Atheneum, 1987.

Ingrid Swanberg, ed. zen concrete & etc. by d. a. levy. Madison, WI: Ghost Pony Press, 1991.

 “A Cultural Chronology of Early Beat Generation Literature,” by Larry Smith.

Writing in Ohio, ed. Laverne Hall. (Cleveland: Writers World Press 1993; 1995).

Sponsored by
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Cleveland Poetry Scenes
Also link to
Cleveland Poetry Archives
for additional material


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