Date: Thursday, Mar 23rd, 2023

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Virtual
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Spoken & Heard is a seasonal series of literary events hosted by Kari Gunter-Seymour, Poet Laureate of Ohio, featuring award-winning authors, poets and singer/songwriters from across the country. March’s event will feature George Bilgere, Michael Simms, and Lyn Ford.

George Bilgere

George Bilgere’s work has been called “a welcome breath of fresh, contemporary air in the house of American poetry” by Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. Bilgere has read his poems at the Library of Congress, the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Chautauqua Institute, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. NPR listeners know him from his many appearances on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and A Prairie Home Companion. He has received grants and awards from the Pushcart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation. He is a recipient of the May Swenson Poetry Award, the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize, the Ohioana Poetry Award, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and a Witter Bynner Fellowship through the Library of Congress. His eighth collection of poetry, Central Air, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in March, 2022. He teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lives with his wife and two exceptionally fine little boys.

Central Air

Michael Simms

Michael Simms, who identifies as a person with autism, is the founder of Vox Populi, an online forum for poetry, politics and nature, as well as Autumn House Press, a nonprofit publisher of books. He’s the author of three full-length collections of poetry including American Ash and Nightjar (Ragged Sky, 2020, 2021), the co-editor of a college textbook about poetry — and the lead editor of over 100 published books, including the best-selling Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, now in its third edition. In 2011, the Pennsylvania Legislature awarded Simms a certificate of recognition for his contribution to the arts. He is also an environmental activist, having twice addressed the Allegheny County Council on the issue of fracking in public parks. His novels Bicycles of the Gods: A Divine Comedy and The Green Mage are now available from Madville Publishing.

Bicycles of the Gods: A Divine Comedy

The Green Mage

Lynette (Lyn) Ford

Lyn Ford shares the gifts and heritage of the spoken word from her Affrilachian family. Lyn’s national and international festival programs and workshops encourage folks to speak personal truths and hopeful possibilities through folktales and original stories. Her work has taken her to Ireland, Australia, and around the Zoomiverse. She is a recipient of two National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Awards, and a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers Circle of Elders and the National Writing Project’s Writers Council. Her latest book (with friend and fellow teller Sherry Norfolk) is Supporting Diversity and Inclusion with Story.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion with Story



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