Twelve Literary Arts 

An ecosystem for poets and writers of color 



Twelve Literary Arts currently operates five core programs that inspire, promote, and support youth and adult writers as they develop their literary crafts and form relationships within and across age groups. TLA emphasizes the importance of intergenerational interaction and learning. 

Named after James Baldwin, one of modern literature’s most notable African American writers, Baldwin House is a 7-10 week writing residency for adult poets and writers of color residing in NE Ohio to begin new projects or bring current projects to completion.

Named after one of Cleveland’s unsung literary heroines of color, The Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence Program provides a safe creative space for four national and local writers of color  to begin, continue, or finish a current project.

The One Mic Open After School Poetry Fellowship is a is a small community of 20 high school youth from across NE Ohio who develop as writers and performers over the course of 30 weeks from November - June. The One Mic Open Poetry Slam provides opportunities for four - six youth to represent the state of Ohio at the national Brave New Voices Festival and Competition each year.

Room 201 is a series of youth workshops presented at schools, libraries and other traditional and nontraditional educational spaces across Northeast Ohio. TLA provides one-hour workshops, year-long writing residences, and a variety of other learning options, including classroom workshops in Greater Cleveland high schools supported by the Arts Mastery program of The Cleveland Foundation.