On Saturday, June 16, the East Cleveland Public Library will present “Radical Words,” an afternoon poetry reading with Menominee poet and social justice activist, Chrystos. To commemorate Pride Month, ECPL coordinated a visit from a poet whose work examines Native rights, racism, feminism, and social justice issues in partnership with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and Twelve Literary Arts.
Chrystos is the author of Not Vanishing, Fugitive Colors, and other collections, and her work has also been featured in groundbreaking anthologies like This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa) and Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology (edited by Will Roscoe). Winner of the Audre Lorde International Poetry Competition and recipient of the Sappho Award of Distinction from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Chrystos’ writing, like her activism, transcends boundaries and challenges assumptions. A widely celebrated author, Chrystos has been featured in Making Queer History online and in a number of volumes identifying her influence and critical voice within LGBTQ literary legacy.
Chrystos will appear at 3pm in the Greg. L. Reese Performing Arts Center, 14101 Euclid Avenue; the event is free and open to the community.
ECPL Director Sheba Marcus-Bey describes the event as “an exciting opportunity to welcome an author who has made significant and lasting contributions to the LGBTQ literary community. Her voice is part of an often under-recognized and under-celebrated literary history.” In describing the partnership, Ms. Marcus-Bey said, “We are continually inspired by the dedication and collaboration of our partners, The LGBT Center and Twelve Literary Arts, and we’re honored to welcome Chrystos to ECPL and to northeast Ohio.”
East Cleveland Public Library has operated for more than one hundred years, and was started with a grant from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Founded in 1975, The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland is one of the longest running LGBTQ centers in the nation. Twelve Literary Arts is a nonprofit organization that brings performance poetry to public spaces and supports poets and writers of all ages with dynamic programming and professional development.