Twelve Literary Arts 

Where tradition meets innovation

The Lead:

One Mic Open Poetry After School Fellowship for Youth Deadline, October 20th!

The One Mic Open Poetry After School Fellowship is our FREE youth program, hosted at Twelve Literary Arts (325 E. 156th Street, Cleveland, OH 44110). Fifteen to 20 youth between the ages of 13 - 19 will meet every Tuesday and Thursday, 5pm - 7:30pm to learn the art of poetry and performance. Students must apply online for consideration in the program. Click here to apply or visit our online application at The Fellowship begins October 31 and runs through March 31. The Fellowship is our gateway to the national Brave New Voices Poetry Festival and Competition (BNV). In 2018, Twelve Literary Arts will send four to six youth to BNV in Chicago to represent Northeast Ohio. For more information about the One Mic Open Poetry After School Fellowship, call (216) 350-6333 or email 

Twelve Literary Arts Debuts James Baldwin T-Shirt Line ON SALE NOW!

Twelve Literary Arts' new line of James Baldwin shirts are now on sale! Ranging from sizes XS-2XL, and coming in pink, grey, white, light-blue, and cream, this is a shirt you will NOT want to miss out on the chance of owning! They are, however, limited edition, and only on sale for a short period of time! To purchase your shirt online click here. Or visit our web store.

"Poetry for the People" in Downtown Public Square all Summer Long!

Join Twelve as we bring Poetry Slam to downtown Public Square. Need a jolt of energy in the middle of your afternoon? A bit of inspiration in the in the evening? Watch some of Cleveland's most celebrated performance poets compete in a series of poetry slams in the heart of Downtown Public Square all summer long. For all Poetry for the People dates, visit our Events page or click here. 

Brought to you by Twelve Literary Arts, Public Square, and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

For more information, contact Twelve Literary Arts at (216) 350-6333.

Twelve News:

Twelve Literary Arts Executive Artistic Director Daniel Gray-Kontar and Akeemjamal Rollins, Director of The People Poetry Slam both featured in Scene Magazine

Scene Magazine's annual "Cleveland People" issue features two Twelve Literary Arts colleagues. Executive Artistic Director Daniel Gray-Kontar appears alongside Akeemjamal Rollins, Program Director of The People Poetry Slam. Both poets are not just featured for their work in the literary arts, but both are also showcased for the work they do in community activism and education. The article comes just before both are scheduled to represent Cleveland at the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver during the month of August. To visit Gray-Kontar's feature, click here. To view Rollins' feature, click here.  

The People Have Spoken: Cleveland to send five poets to the National Poetry Slam Competition in Denver

Five adult poets will represent Cleveland at the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver, August 8th - 12th. The team was chosen out of a field of more than 20 poets throughout The People Poetry Slam and Open Mic series, hosted every second and fourth Thursday at The Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern. 

Poets on the Cleveland team include Grand Slam Champion Dameon McClendon (pictured to the left), Ephraim Nehemiah, Akeemjamal Rollins, Christine Howey, and alternate, Daniel Gray-Kontar. 

Twelve Literary Arts Executive Artistic Director featured on and the Plain Dealer

Check out's feature article on Twelve Executive Artistic Director Daniel Gray-Kontar written by Grant Segall. Here, Segall outlines the role of Twelve Literary Arts in "building bridges of expression for writers of all ages.

Twelve Literary Arts commissioned to write a choreopoem celebrating the election of Carl B. Stokes

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the election of Carl B. Stokes as the first African American Mayor of a large American city, Twelve Literary and Performative Arts has been commissioned to write a collection of poems and monologues about Stokes and the social climate across Cleveland and the nation that gave rise to his election in 1967. 

Twelve Executive Artistic Director Daniel Gray-Kontar will write the performance piece with five student interns as part of a larger commemoration celebrating the 50-year legacy of leadership and activism of Carl and Louis Stokes. Citywide partners of the yearlong celebration include the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Tri-C, Karamu House, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Western Reserve Historical Socity, The Cleveland Foundation, Greater Cleveland Partnership, and The City Club of Cleveland. For more information, visit The Cleveland Foundation website or click here. 

Twelve Literary and Performative Arts programming is brought to you in part by the generous support of the following funders and sponsors:

Yussef Kamaal
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