Meredith Holmes is CH's new poet laureate

Meredith Holmes

The City of Cleveland Heights and Heights Arts will welcome its seventh poet laureate, Meredith Holmes, and thank outgoing Poet Laureate Kathleen Cerveny, in a special ceremony on Monday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Cleveland Heights City Hall. The community is invited to attend and hear both poets speak.

Holmes served for one year as the first Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate in 2005, and will serve her second one-year term, 2015–16. Her poems have been published in journals including, most recently, Flyover Country Review and Literary Mama. Her poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Bad Times; the Kattywompus Press collection While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem; Awake at the End, published by Heights Arts and Bottom Dog Press; and the upcoming How Higher Education Feels, edited by Kathleen Quinlan. A book of Holmes’ poems, titled I’m Not From Here, is due out in 2015.

"I have this sense of déjà vu, but I'm just as pleased to serve Cleveland Heights and Heights Arts as the seventh poet laureate this time as I was the first time," said Holmes. "I am looking forward to working on the wonderful Ekphrastacy series established by Kathleen Cerveny. I'm also excited to be working with a new director in a new gallery, but one thing remains the same—this city's commitment to the arts."

Initially established by Heights Arts with the approval of the City of Cleveland Heights in 2005, the position of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate was created to celebrate poetry and bring it to the public life of the city and to all the community’s residents. Cleveland Heights is the first Ohio city to establish the office of poet laureate.

Kathleen Cerveny served as the sixth poet laureate, 2013–15, creating the innovative community programs Poetweet and Ekphrastacy. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art (B.F.A. 1969) and of the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Creative Writing Program (M.F.A. 2014).

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. Most recently, a poem of Cerveny’s was selected for inclusion in an anthology published by Future Cycle Press, Poems for Malala Yousafzai.

Since 1991 Cerveny has been the director of arts initiatives for the Cleveland Foundation, the country’s first community foundation. She is the 2014 recipient of the Robert P. Bergman Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize.

For more information about the City of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate program, visit or call 216-371-3457.

Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan is on staff at Heights Arts, a nonprofit community arts organization.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:12 AM, 03.31.2015