As part of the Inkubator Conference, Literary Cleveland presents Words in Action, a reading featuring creative work by 2020 Inkubator Instructors Judah Leblang, Sarah Lohman, Michelle Smith, and Laura Maylene Walter.
Judah Leblang is a storyteller, memoirist and writing teacher. His essays and commentaries have been broadcast throughout the US on more than 150 NPR and ABC-network radio stations, as well as several Canadian stations. He is a regular columnist for Bay Windows, Boston’s gay newspaper, and an instructor at Grub Street. The 2nd edition of his memoir, Finding My Place: One Man’s Journey from Cleveland to Boston and Beyond, was published in 2013. His new book Echoes of Jerry (Red Giant Books, 2019) is about his Uncle Jerry, an orally-educated deaf man as well as Leblang's own struggles with his sexuality and trying to find his place in society, finally coming out in the mid-1980s. Clips of his performances and writing are at www.judahleblang.com.
Sarah Lohman is a culinary historian and the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed book Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine. She focuses on the history of American food as a way to access stories of women, immigrants, and people of color, and to address issues of racism,sexism, and xenophobia. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as well as on All Things Considered; and she has presented across the country, from the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DCto The Culinary Historians of Southern California. Her current project, Endangered Eating: Exploring America’s Vanishing Cuisine will be released with W.W.Norton & Co. in 2020.
Michelle R. Smith is a writer, blogger, educator, and cultural facilitator, living and working out of Twinsburg, Ohio. She is the author of the poetry collection Ariel in Black (Guide to Kulchur Press) and an upcoming chapbook tentatively titled The Real Jazz Wives of Twentieth Century America (Outlandish Press). She has been published in poemmemoirstory, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, and The Normal School. She has been a featured reader and performer at The Lakewood Public Library, The Cleveland Museum of Arts, Cleveland Drafts – Brews + Prose, and Story Club Cleveland East Side. She has presented writing workshops at the East Cleveland Public Library and PNC Fairfax Connection. She is also the creator, producer, and director of BLAX MUSEUM, an annual performance showcase open to all forms and dedicated to honoring notable black figures in American history and culture.
Laura Maylene Walter’s debut novel, Body of Stars, is forthcoming from Dutton. Her writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Poets & Writers, The Sun, The Masters Review, Ninth Letter, and many other publications. She has been a Yaddo Fellow, a Tin House Scholar, and a writer-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institution and Art Omi: Writers. Laura works as a writer and editor for Cleveland Public Library, is editor-in-chief of Literary Cleveland's Gordon Square Review, and blogs for the Kenyon Review.