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Veterans' Voices 2023

Have a story to tell? Enjoy writing poetry? Working on a novel or memoir?

Join Literary Cleveland's free creative writing workshop to generate new writing, complete in-class exercises, receive feedback on your work, get inspired by great readings, and bond with fellow group members.

Have fun with writing. Discover your voice. Tell your story. All genres and experience levels are welcome. 

Online Writing Workshops (Oct-Nov 2023)

8-week multigenre workshop – Mondays, Oct. 2-Nov. 27 from 6:30-8:30pm online with Christopher Johnston

No class Oct. 9-Indigenous People's Day/Columbus Day

8-week poetry workshop – Wednesdays, Oct. 4-Nov. 22 from 1:00-2:30pm online with Mansa L. Bey

8-week prose workshop - Wednesdays, Oct. 4-Nov. 22 from 6:30-8:00pm online with Mansa L. Bey

Note: This program is specifically for those who have served in the United States Armed Forces or military.

This program is presented in partnership with the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System. For more information, please contact a Whole Health Team Member at (216) 791-3800 ext. 62257 or 62394.

Veterans' Voices is possible thanks to funding from the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Forces Community Engagement grant.


Mansa Lamont Bey — formerly known as D.L. Ware — is a Moorish American poet and writer born, raised, and residing in South East Cleveland, Ohio, where as a community-based artist, he is dedicated to using the literary arts as a means to encourage personal growth and community development. Enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard, he served as a Military Police Officer for six years where three of those years were on Active Duty. He served during humanitarian efforts in Nicargua, provided combat support at Fort Bragg North Carolina for Operation Nobel Eagle, and did one tour of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Since returning home from the War in Iraq in 2003, Mansa has been committed to serving those in need. Taking advantage of the Montgomery G.I. Bill, he advanced his education with the ambition to serve selflessly as a social worker. Over the years, he learned to incorporate his love of poetry into his approach towards community service, transforming his hobby into a passion as an active member of Cleveland’s Literary Arts community since 2010. He has developed, facilitated and managed various literary arts focused projects, programs and activities throughout the City of Cleveland. From weekly creative writing workshops and open mics to commissioned writing projects, and artistic residencies, Mansa Lamont Bey’s love of writing has helped him learn and grow into the Literary Artist he is today.

Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,500 articles in publications including American Theatre, Christian Science Monitor, History Magazine, and Scientific American. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice (Skyhorse) was published in May 2018. Johnston wrote The Way I Saw It, the memoirs of the late Marc Wyse, co-founder of Wyse Advertising, which was published in 2013. He teaches playwriting and creative nonfiction workshop courses at Cleveland State University and writing workshops for Literary Cleveland and the William N. Skirball Writers Center at the Cuyahoga County Public Library South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch. He was recently named to the Board of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.


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NEW: As part of our ongoing efforts to make programs and classes more inclusive and accessible, we are now collecting voluntary demographic information during the registration process. The following information is entirely voluntary and will remain anonymous. It will only be used in aggregate to assess and improve services and inclusive practices to ensure we are serving our entire community equitably. Thank you!

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