The Kozo Reading Series at the Morgan


The Morgan Conservatory, a Cleveland-based, non-profit art conservatory, is host to an art gallery, workshops and artist studios in the near east-side of Cleveland.


local Akron poet, Steve Brightman, taking a moment onstage


skyline of Cleveland during a summer evening reading

We had a great time last year with a lot of colloquial conversation and friendship-building here in Cleveland…the conservatory is one of the most eclectic and creative venues in the city with a rich history to it’s foundation and operations, even the building itself. Stage and microphone were provided on the Morgan’s beautiful grounds, gallery and studios alongside gallery openings some nights of the readings.

This is simply a call for interest in a formative, single-night, event for a 2017 poetry marathon reading in Cleveland to benefit the conservatory. Dates and lineups are still being discussed.

To apply or send interest in reading at the venue in Cleveland in 2017, simply fill out the form below and Chris will contact you.

For 2017, the reading series is offering a $50 stipend to out-of-town readers travelling a distance of over 150 miles and preferences will be given to those authors with a new book release to promote.


Last year’s reading schedule of authors


April 8th

Christine Howey

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Christine Howey is a performance poet, playwright, actor, director and theater critic. Her one-person show of poetry Exact Change, about her transgender journey, had its world premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre in January, 2014.  It has also been performed in Provincetown, MA; Akron, OH; at Playhouse Square and The Church in the Circle in Cleveland, OH; and at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. She is a former stage actor and director.

She is the author of If You Find Yourself Submerged in a Pond Under Ice, and Thin Chance, or How to Get a Reputation as a Dick. Her poems have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Star Line, Stethos (the Medical Humanities Journal of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine),  and Muse, and in the anthologies What I Knew Before I Knew, Mercury Retrograde, While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem, Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal #4, and Open Earth.

Christine is the theater critic for Cleveland Scene. and has been named Best Critic in Ohio by both the Press Club of Cleveland and the Society of Professional Journalists.

John Burroughs


John Burroughs was born in West Virginia, raised in Elyria, Ohio, and now lives and works in Cleveland. Along the way, he won the first poetry competition he entered as a high school student, served for several years as playwright-in-residence at Marion Correctional Institution, became a number one blogger on MySpace, won his first-ever poetry slam in his 40s, has hosted a number of esteemed reading series, and co-founded (with Dianne Borsenik) the annual Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest. John’s dozen poetry volumes include Beat Attitude [2015, NightBallet Press], It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change [2013, The Poet’s Haven], The Eater of the Absurd [2012, NightBallet], Barry Merry Baloney [2012, Spare Change Press] and the collaborative book Oct Tongue -1 (with Weems, Swain, Smith, Lady, Chernin and Brightman). He also edits Cheap and Easy Magazine and the annual Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. Since 2008, Burroughs has run Crisis Chronicles Press, publishing fine indie writers from around the world.

Leonard Kress


Leonard Kress has published poetry and fiction in Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, Crab Orchard Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, etc. His recent collections are The Orpheus Complex, Living in the Candy Store, and Braids & Other Sestinas. He has received individual artist grants in poetry and playwriting from the Ohio Arts Council and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Most recently he was the invited American poet at the Fall Poetry Festival in Druskininkai, Lithuania. He teaches philosophy, religion, and creative writing at Owens College in Ohio.

Dan Smith

dan smith -- photo by casey rearick

Dan Smith is the author of Crooked River, a poetry chapbook, published by Deep Cleveland Press and The Liquid of Her Skin, the Suns of Her Eyes published by Night Ballet Press. He has been published in Scifaikuest, Sein und Werden, Paper Crow, SpeedPoets, Dwarf Stars Anthology, Rhysling Anthology, Renegade Flowers: d.a. levy and the Digital Revolution Anthology, Kaleidotrope,  ArtCrimes and on-line at The City Poetry, Deep Cleveland Junk Mail Oracle, Red Fez, Microcosms, Issa’s Untidy Hut (Wednesday  Haiku), Cattails. He likes to rock out with the Deep Cleveland Trio Band.

May 13th

Nancy Stohlman

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Nancy Stohlman’s books include The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, The Monster Opera, Searching for Suzi: a flash novel, and four anthologies including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. She is the creator and curator of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series in Denver, and her work was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Find out more about her at

Barry Graham


Barry Graham is the author of various things, including his latest, American Guerrillas: Manifesto. He is a four time National Tic-Tac-Toe Association champion, spiritual adviser, horror junky, food critic, conspiracy theorist, and nomad. He is the founding editor of DOGZPLOT, and currently, along with Leo Todd Jarret, runs the poetic and artistic spectacle known as the Madhouse Sessions.

Clarissa Jakobsons

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Artist – instructor, Clarissa Jakobsons was twice featured poet in Paris, France at “The Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore” and was winner of the Akron Art Museum New Words Competition. She has read and published widely. Five-year Associate Editor of the Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, she holds a B.F.A. in Visual Arts and recently had a solo art exhibition at Western Reserve Academy. She instructs creative courses at Cuyahoga Community College. Clarissa also weaves one-of-a- kind artist books, exhibited internationally as well as at the Cleveland Museum of Art Ingalls Library and the Morgan Conservatory. She writes, “Don’t be surprised to see my inner artist kicking sandcastles, climbing Mount Diablo, painting Provincetown dunes, or walking under an Ohio crescent moon.

Adam Hughes

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Adam Hughes is the author of Petrichor (NYQ Books, 2010) and Uttering the Holy (NYQ Books, 2012). His collection Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. He was born in 1982 in Lancaster, Ohio.  He still resides near there on a farm with his wife and daughter, two dogs, four cats, and four horses. Should you google him, he is not the Adam Hughes who draws near-pornographic depictions of female superheroes. He cannot draw.

Leo Jarret


Leo Jarret is an Itinerant poet and fiction writer. He founded The Madhouse Sessions, which is a poetry, music and live art series staging events all over the region, in September of 2011. He currently runs The sessions with Barry Graham.

Donora Hillard


Donora Hillard is the author of the play The Plagiarist (NEA, 2015) as well as The Aphasia Poems (S?L, 2014) and other works of hybrid text, poetry, and theory. Cobalt Press will publish her next full-length poetry collection, Jeff Bridges, in April 2016.

Her work appears in Hint Fiction (W.W. Norton & Company), Pedagogy, Women in Clothes (Penguin), and elsewhere, and the projects she has been involved in have been featured by CNN, Lybba, MSNBC, and the Poetry Foundation.

She is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Akron and lives in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

August 12th

Jonie McIntire

Spray Paint portrait by Adrian Lime

Jonie McIntire is the Poetry Editor of the Toledo Streets Newspaper and coordinator of the annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change events in Toledo. Her work has been published in the online journal Red Fez, in the anthology /Sam & Andy’s Uptown Café,/ as well as other collections. Her poem “Work Night” won 2nd place in the Toledo City Paper Poetry Contest in 2015. And her poems have even been stamped into cement as part of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s Sidewalk Poetry series. She is the author of “Not All Who Are Lost Wander,” a poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press and lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs and, occasionally, some goldfish.

Kristofer Collins

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Kristofer Collins is the Books Editor at Pittsburgh Magazine, as well as being a frequent contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is the publisher of Low Ghost Press and Coleridge Street Books. He also manages Caliban Book Shop in Oakland (and owns Desolation Row Records located inside). Collins is the former co-director of the TNY Presents Performance Series and was the managing editor of The New Yinzer online literary journal from 2005-09. A book of his poems entitled King Everything was published in 2007 by Six Gallery Press, and The Liturgy of Streets was published by them in 2009. The chapbook Last Call was published by Speed & Briscoe in 2010. Pennsylvania Welcomes You (2013) was followed by his latest poetry collection Local Conditions in 2015. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Dr. Anna Johnson and their three cats.

Jason Baldinger


Jason Baldinger has spent a life in odd jobs, if only poetry was the strangest of them he’d have far less to talk about. He’s traveled the country and written a few books, the latest of which are The Lower 48 (Six Gallery Press) and The Studs Terkel Blues (Night Ballet Press). A short litany of publishing credits include Blast Furnace, The Glassblock, Lilliput Review, Green Panda Press, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call and Fuck Art, Let’s Dance. You can hear audio versions of some poems on Bandcamp, just type in his name.

Scott Silsbe


Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit and now lives in Pittsburgh. His poems and prose have appeared in numerous periodicals including Kitchen Sink, Third Coast, Nerve Cowboy, and the Free State Review. He is the author of two poetry collections: Unattended Fire (Six Gallery Press, 2012) and The River Underneath the City (Low Ghost Press, 2013). He was also a finalist for the Cultural Weekly’s 2014 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. He is currently at work on a new collection of poems.

Milenko Budimir


Milenko (Miles) Budimir is the author of two chapbooks; Departures (Burning River) and Rustbelt Romance (deep cleveland), and mini chapbooks Zdravox (Language Foundry) and Missing Albertly (Green Panda). His poems have appeared in a variety of small press publications including most recently Great Lakes Review, Guide to Kulchur Quarterly, and PoetryBay among others. He works as a philosophy lecturer and technical writer and editor in the Cleveland area.

Cindy Bosley


Cindy Bosley grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa, and graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1991.  After leaving her tenured teaching job in Toledo to be an at-home parent to daughters who are regular inspirations in the form of Emma, Isabel, and Molly, Cindy Bosley is now a substitute teacher who also quilts and creates dollhouse miniatures. Bosley’s poetry has appeared in a number of academic and literary journals, and she has two non-fiction essays in a college composition textbook.

September 9th

Jessica Lynn Dotson


Jessica Lynn Dotson is a graphic designer & photographer from Baltimore, Maryland. She is an editor of Free State Review and her chapbook, Time Trials, was recently published by Lines + Stars. If you’re having a bad day, ask to see a photo of her cat.

Barrett Warner


The jaunty Barrett Warner is the author of Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? (Somondoco, 2016) and My Friend Ken Harvey (Publishing Genius, 2014). His writing happens at Berkeley Poetry, Southeast Review, Salamander, Quarter After Eight, Entropy Magazine, Nude Beach, Industrial Decay Quarterly, Pasted on Poles, and other places. He struggles between being a lone wolf and not being a very good driver, and so depends on others in spite of it feeling claustrophobic. Critics have said: Warner uses description and meaning without pointing out the dividing between them.

Kerry Trautman

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Ohio born and raised, Kerry is a founding member of Toledo, Ohio’s Almeda St. Poets, and the Toledo Poetry Museum. She is often seen at local poetry readings and events such as Artomatic 419, 100-Thousand Poets for Change, Back to Jack, and the Columbus Arts Festival. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in various journals, including MidwesternGothic, Alimentum, The American Journal of Nursing, The Toledo Review, The Fourth River, and Third Wednesday; as well as in anthologies such as, Tuesday Night at Sam and Andy’s Uptown Café (Westron Press, 2001), Mourning Sickness (Omniarts, 2008), Roll (Telling Our Stories Press, 2012), and Journey to Crone (Chuffed Buff Books, 2013). Her poetry chapbooks are Things That Come in Boxes (King Craft Press, 2012) and To Have Hoped (Finishing Line Press, 2015). Kerry’s chapbook, Artifacts, is forthcoming in 2017 from NightBallet Press.

Andrew Field

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Andrew Field is earning his Master’s in Library and Information Science from Kent State University and works at two libraries.  He has published poems at Whole Beast Rag, Ohio Edit, Ocean State Review, andMantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism and Translation.  He has also published essays about poetry at Thethe Poetry Blog, B O D Y Literature, and The California Journal of Poetics, and book reviews at The Rumpus and Jerry Magazine.  His first chapbook, All I Want, was published this August by Red Flag Poetry.

Theresa Göttl Brightman


Theresa Göttl Brightman won first place the first time she competed in a poetry slam, and has since competed in local and regional slams, as well as at National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, NC in 2012. Her poems have appeared in many online and print publications, two chapbooks, and one full-length collection, as well as on Akron’s 91.3 WAPS The Summit and 89.7 WOSU Columbus. She has received writing awards from the University of Akron, the City of Ventura, CA, Cleveland Museum of Art, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, the Rhysling Award, and the Best of the Net awards. She lives in Akron, with her writer husband and the green bird who owns them both.

Steve Brightman


Steve Brightman has put down roots in Akron, OH. He firmly believes that there are only two seasons: winter and baseball. His book, “The Wild Gospel Of Careening And Other Sermons From The Rumble Strip” was released by Red Orchid Publishing in 2015 and he is currently working on a follow-up, tentatively titled The Triptych Where I Was Born. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has been published in Kansas City Voices, Two Hawks Quarterly, Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry and was included in the University of Akron Press Ohio Bicentennial Anthology, “I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems About Ohio.