If you've attended the Brews & Prose reading series
in Ohio City at all over the past two years, or if you've tuned in to the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award festivities
, you may be at least peripherally aware that Cleveland's status as a literary town is burgeoning apace with its status as a culinary one, or at the very least its status as convention hub for biomed industry luminaries and the GOP.
Lit junkies, take immediate heed: The Northeast Ohio MFA program has pumped some serious funding into its visiting writer series
and has managed to attract to Cleveland some of the biggest names in contemporary literature.
"Our intent was threefold," writes NEOMFA Program Coordinator Dan Riordan in an email to Scene.
"To bring opportunities for the community to enjoy these wonderful events, to heighten awareness of the program, and to allow our students to study with working authors at the top of their fields."
Enter Karen Russell.
Wednesday evening, Russell, a novelist, short story writer and 2013 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient will give a public reading at the Cleveland State University Student Center (Rm. 311). The reading is free and open to the public.
Russell, who has proven herself to be as warm and wonderful and pretense-free in person as she appears in the video below, follows visits by Chuck Klosterman and Miranda July last year and a joint reading last month by Dan Chaon & Lynda Barry. In April, George Saunders will read at CSU as the series' finale.