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5 Under 25: Lit Cleveland Mixer


On Wednesday, September 26th, our only event was "5 Under 25: Lit Cleveland Mixer" at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern. Of course we know that "Lit Cleveland" is short for "Literary Cleveland" whose mission is to "create and nurture a vibrant literary arts community in Northeast Ohio" with an emphasis on the encouragement of youthful talent.


What drew us to the Happy Dog that evening was that last March, Literary Cleveland put on a stunning production entitled "Immigrant Narratives" that featured actors reading stories written by immigrants about the experiences that either they or their families/ancestors had when they first immigrated to the United States so we were motivated to learn more about this organization which has quite a few foreign-born writers as members who have immigrated here from such countries as India, Syria and Ireland.

Upon arrival we spoke to Mr. Brandon Baker and Ms. Dairian Heard, both board members, and Mr. Jay Rosen, marketing and membership coordinator, who told us that this evening should be very exciting because the five writers, or in this case poets, chosen to present share their works with us for five minutes each were all twenty-five years of age or younger.

Mr. Lee Chilcote, the Executive Director of Literary Cleveland, was quoted by "Cool Cleveland" as saying that he considered the happening to be an "opportunity for the city's established writers to mix and to mingle with up-and-coming talent and for the public to hear the creative voices of the younger people in our city."


On this particular evening the young poets whose works were showcased were Ms. Sara Shearer, Ms. Alysandra Dutton, Mr. Angelo Meneage, Ms. Angel Cezanne, and Ms. Raja Freeman and from our perspective their poems could best be described as innovative, multifaceted, daring, and absorbing. Such subjects as family tragedy, complicated relationships, small city life, slavery, and risqué dreams were dealt with in very original, surrealistic ways.

We spent a couple of minutes visiting with Ms. Angel Cezanne and learned that she sometimes considered her poetry to be a productive way of coping with the pressures of life. She was quite an impressive person who is the editor of "Eleanor" which is a "zine", or a do-it-yourself type of magazine, devoted such topics as women in the arts and gender non-conformity.

We also talked to Ms. Alysandra Dutton and told her that her poem "Tongue Out Cheek" reminded us of a movie by the famed director Mr. David Lynch ("Eraserhead", "Elephant Man", "Blue Velvet", "Mulholland Drive") and as it turned out, Ms. Dutton she was quite a fan or Mr. Lynch so it was a good match.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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