In April 2005, I was surprised and delighted to be chosen by HeightsArts as the first Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights. In January 2015, the Poet Laureate panel at Heights Arts invited me to fill the post again. I was just as delighted and almost as surprised.
A lot has changed since 2005. HeightsArts has a new director and a bigger staff; the HeightsArts gallery has undergone a renovation and expansion; and five poets laureate have put their personal stamp on the post. Most recently Kathleen Cerveny, has created – Ekphrastacy — a signature HeightsArts program that marries visual art and poetry.
The post of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate is not a political one. The poet laureate is chosen by and works with HeightsArts, an independent non-profit arts organization. However, because the mayor and members of city council have always supported Cleveland Heights as a Home for the Arts in general and the poet laureate-ship in particular, it’s become a tradition for the outgoing and incoming poets laureate to read a poem each at the first Monday night city council meeting in April.