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First Wednesday Readers Series 2018

Here they are, the big, beautiful lineup of visiting and local writers who will make up our year’s series. We thank them most sincerely, as well as the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, the Soap Gallery, the open mic emcees and readers.

All readings take place at The Soap Gallery, 117. S. Champion St. Free street parking/in the lot at Champion & Front Streets. Doors open at 7:15, after the lights come on (please don’t disturb the yoga class); reading begins at 7:30. Open mic readers are invited to read for 5 minutes.

January 3 : Sarah Minor & Krysia Orlowski Open mic emcee Sarah Lowry

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Krysia Orlowski lives and writes in Cleveland, Ohio. Her poems

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February 7: Stacey Graber & CROW No open mic this evening.

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Stacy Graber is an assistant professor of English at Youngstown State University. Her research interests include popular culture, pedagogy, critical theory, and semiotics. Her work has appeared in The ALAN Review, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Gravel Literary Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Storm Cellar, Modern Times Magazine, and YA Wednesday.

March 7: Adam Hughes & Stephanie Sesic Open mic emcee Liz Skeels

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Stephanie Sesic teaches writing and literature at Kent State

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April 4: Jennifer Jackson Berry, Heather Dobbins & Christian Anton Gerard Open mic emcee Tyler Rothbauer

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Heather Dobbins is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. She earned a



Christian Anton Gerard’s the author of Holdfast (C&R Press, 2017) and Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech, 2014). He’s received Pushcart Prize nominations, a Best of the Net nomination, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships among other awards. He teaches at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

May 2: Lori Bodkin & Stacey Schneider Open mic emcee Jennifer Kuczek

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Stacey Schneider is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a professor at Northeast Ohio

Stacey Schneider

June 6: Melissa Barger & William Heath Open mic emceed by Amanda Miller


William Heath was born in Youngstown and grew up in Poland. He


July 11: Storytelling Night No open mic this month.

Join us for a night of community storytellers and desserts. Stories by Tom Beck, Arthur Byrd, Becky Ann Rosen Harker, Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine, Sue Hukari, Andrea Wells. No open mic this month.

August 1: Kari Gunter-Seymour, Sherri Saines & Kathleen Strafford  Open mic emcee Jeanne Bryner


Kari Gunter-Seymour blames her method of writing on the rich Ohio soil, her wildly eclectic family and neighbors and her upbringing. Her poems can be found in many fine journals and publications including Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and The LA Times. She is an Instructor in the School of Journalism at Ohio University and is the Poet Laureate for Athens, Ohio.

Sherri Saines is a librarian, mother, eighteenth-century reenactor, dancer and poet. She

Sherri Reenacter

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Kathleen Strafford holds an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University.  Originally from Ohio, Kathleen

moved to Leeds in 1998 and now is chief editor of Runcible Spoon Webzine. She has been widely published in anthologies and webzines, and is working on her second collection called  Women Changed Everything. Her debut poetry collection was published in 2018 called Her Own Language.

September 5: World Poetry Night Open mic participants are welcome to bring poetry in translation.

Dragana Crnjak & Karen Schubert will moderate a reading of international poetry.

October 3: Kathleen McGookey & Rikki Santer Open mic Chris Gibowicz

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Rikki Santer is an award-winning poet living in Columbus, Ohio. Her

Rikki Santer photo

November 7: Clarissa Jakobsons & Barbara Sabol Open mic emcee Lidia Cornelio

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Barbara Sabol’s debut book, Solitary Spin, was published in 2017. She won the Mary Jean

Barbara Sabol

December 5: Mike Geither NEOMFA Reunion Reading Open mic

Join us for a staged reading of Heirloom by Mike Geither. Open mic to follow. Special invitation to NEOMFA alumni, students and faculty.

Heirloom considers the effects of incest and violence across four generations of a Cleveland family. It considers the commonalities between family dysfunction and the genocide of Native Americans carried out by the US government in a search to bring dignity and awareness to their victims.

Mike Geither

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