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Poetry Summer Camp 2024

Immerse yourself in the northeast Ohio poetry community and kickstart your poetic creativity with the Literary Cleveland Poetry Summer Camp. A five-week mix of in-person interactive field trips and online group workshop meetings, Poetry Summer Camp is designed to create solidarity, camaraderie, and connection among Northeastern Ohio poets of all experience levels.

Celebrated Cleveland poets Danny Caine and Michelle R. Smith will lead campers on a journey from ekphrasis to the mechanics of small press publishing to everything in between. The month of poetry fun and community will culminate with an open mic showcase at the Lakewood Arts Festival.

Poets of all experience levels are welcome. Each class week will feature: one Saturday in-person interactive field trip, some outside-of-class generative writing time, and one Wednesday evening class meeting via Zoom. Each Wednesday session will feature a mix of work sharing, group discussions, mini craft lessons, best practice sharing, and/or writing sprints. 

Saturday Field Trip activities will take place from 1-3 PM at the following locations:

  • Saturday July 6, Mac's Backs Books on Coventry
  • Saturday July 13, Edgewater Park
  • Saturday July 20, Cleveland Museum of Art 
  • Saturday July 27, Wick Poetry Center
  • Saturday August 3, Lakewood Arts Festival Poetry Showcase (time TBD)
Instructors: Danny Caine is the author of the poetry collections Continental Breakfast, El Dorado Freddy's, ​Flavortown, and Picture Window, as well as the books How to Protect Bookstores and Why and How to Resist Amazon and Why. His poetry has appeared in The Slowdown, ​Cleveland Review of Books, DIAGRAM, HAD, and Barrelhouse. His prose has appeared in Literary Hub, Kansas City Star, and elsewhere. In 2019, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association named him Midwest Bookseller of the Year. He's the program operations coordinator at Literary Cleveland, and a co-owner of the Raven Book Store, Publishers Weekly's 2022 bookstore of the year.

Michelle R. Smith is a writer, poet, educator, cultural facilitator, and native Clevelander. She is the Programming Director for Literary Cleveland and a teaching artist for Lake Erie Ink. She is the author of the poetry collections Ariel in Black (2015) and The Vagina Analogues (2020). She has been published in poemmemoirstoryMeridians: feminism, race, transnationalismThe Normal SchoolThe Gasconade Review, New Note Poetry, Merge Magazine, and io Literary Magazine. She has been a featured reader, instructor, and panelist at The Lakewood Public Library, The East Cleveland Public Library, The Cuyahoga County Public Library, The Cleveland Museum of Arts, Cleveland Drafts – Brews + Prose, PNC Fairfax Connection, Case Western Reserve University’s Writers House, and Literary Cleveland’s Inkubator Conference. She is also the creator, co-producer, and director of BLAX MUSEUM, an annual performance showcase for Northeast Ohio artists open to all forms and dedicated to honoring notable black figures in American history and culture


Details: Poetry Summer Camp with Danny Caine and Michelle R. Smith will meet Wednesdays July 3 - July 31 from 7-9PM via Zoom, and in-person on Saturdays from July 6 - August 3 from 1-3 (not including travel time).
Prerequisites: None

Genre: Poetry

Level: All levels

Format: Generative meetings, discussions, and activities for poets

Location: Wednesdays online via Zoom and Saturdays at various locations

Size: Limited to 50 participants

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with an intermediate or advanced poetry class

Scholarships: Scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by April 15.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first meeting to receive a full refund. Email

Contact Information - Required


Voluntary Demographic Information

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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