Friday, May 1, 2015

May 4th Monday at Mahall's will feature Stephen Haven & Kathleen Cerveny, plus the final 2015 Lake Effect Poetry team selection slam

On 5/4/2015 at 7:30 pm, the Monday at Mahall's poetry series will present readings by featured authors Stephen Haven and Kathleen Cerveny.

Stephen Haven [photo by Celia Olsen]

Stephen Haven is the author of The Last Sacred Place in North America, selected by T.R. Hummer as winner of the 2010 New American Press Poetry Prize. He has published two previous collections of poetry, Dust and Bread (Turning Point, 2008), for which he was named 2009 Ohio Poet of the Year, and The Long Silence of the Mohawk Carpet Smokestacks (University of New Mexico/West End Press, 2004). He is also the author of the memoir, The River Lock: One Boy’s Life along the Mohawk (Syracuse University Press, 2008). He spent two years as a Fulbright Professor of American literature at universities in Beijing and has published many collaborative translations of contemporary Chinese poetry. Haven's poems have appeared in Salmagundi, Parnassus, American Poetry Review, Guernica, The Southern Review, The Common, Poetry New Zealand, Literary Imagination, World Literature (Beijing), Image, Crazyhorse and in many other journals. He has a Ph.D. in American civilization (literature, intellectual history and American painting) from New York University, where he wrote his dissertation under the direction of Harold Bloom, and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Iowa. He is Professor of English and director of the Ashland University MFA Program, where he also directs the Ashland Poetry Press.

Kathleen Cerveny [photo by John Burroughs]
Kathleen Cerveny is a poet and visual artist, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art (BFA) and of the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Creative Writing Program (MFA). During the 1970s and ‘80s Kathleen exhibited her ceramics locally and nationally. From 1987-90 she was Cleveland Public Radio’s first producer and broadcast journalist for the arts, winning more than 15 top awards and producing many features for National Public Radio. Since 1991 Kathleen has been the Director of Arts Initiatives for the Cleveland Foundation, the country’s first community foundation. Her poems have appeared in the Southern New Hampshire University journal Amoskeag, the e-journal Shaking Like a Mountain, and in journals published by Pudding House Press, among others. A poem of Kathleen’s was selected for inclusion in an anthology published by Future Cycle Press, Poems for Malala Yousafzai, and NightBallet Press published a chapbook of her poems, Coming to Terms. in April 2015. Kathleen is the 2014 recipient of the Robert Bergman Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize and served as the 2013-15 Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights.

After the features, there will be an open mic emceed by John Burroughs. Beer, bowling, and balderdash optional, as always.

Concluding the show, a slam will be held in which the winner will claim a spot on Lake Effect Poetry's 2015 team and compete at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Rockford, Illinois, over Summer Solstice weekend. Vertigo Xavier will emcee this portion of the evening. This is the FINAL of four slams scheduled to determine LEP's 2015 team roster. Poets may compete in as many of these slams as they wish, however a NO REPEAT rule will be in effect. Repeating a poem used in a previous slam will result in an automatic score of 0. Once a poet has won a slam, they can still compete at later events but will not be in contention for a second spot on the team. (There's only one of you and we need four poets to fill the team roster.) Each slam will have a 3 minute rule, with a 10 second grace period and then one-half point deducted from the score every 10 seconds. No props, no costumes, no musical instruments, and must be your own material. All the regular rules. Every effort will be made to have five judges for each slam, but if unbiased judges are in short supply we will make due with just three. For more details on Lake Effect Poetry and information about the other three Team Selection Slams, visit  

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