Some NE Ohio poetry reading series are synonymous with place: Mac’s Backs and the former Lit Café both come to mind.
Other readings are nomadic by nature and design, like the Poet’s Haven.
And others, well, others are nomadic because they’ve become homeless against their will. Such has been the case with the Brunswick Art Works reading, begun about three years ago. The second Thursday reading originally found haven and a supportive audience at Insights Coffee and More, which went out of business with little warning. Happily, Buehler’s came to the rescue, opening the doors of their community room to the reading. But as happens too often when readings float from place to place, attendance fell, and some balked at the idea of hosting poetry in the grocery store. Seeking a more public-feeling gathering place, the reading relocated to the Dunkin’ Donuts on Rt. 303, but while welcoming, the venue again wasn’t quite the perfect fit.
But this July’s BAW reading felt more like a homecoming. At the newly opened Kelly’s Café (in the Drug Mart Plaza at Insights’ former location), the BAW reading once again enjoyed the atmosphere of a friendly, family-owned café.
Kelly’s boasts a full menu of hot and cold coffee and tea drinks, smoothies, filled crepes made to order, and Cleveland-based Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. They’ve also retained the comfy couches and neighborhood atmosphere that seems to contribute to a welcoming poetry reading.
The reading also enjoyed a slight surge in attendance, no doubt contributed to by the new location, as well as a feature by local favorite, Dan Smith. Smith read with his usual exuberant delivery, performing his own work over background music (a record titled “Shiraz” by his son, Morgan Ellington). As part of his feature, Smith also shared a handful of works in translation from a German poet.
Next month will feature Beverly Zeimer from the Columbus area, to be followed by an open mic session.
WHAT: Brunswick Art Works Poetry Reading and Open Mic
WHEN: 2nd Thursdays, 7pm
WHERE: Kelly’s Café, 1661 Pearl Road, Brunswick, OH 44212