About Kathleen Cerveny

Welcome to my website. Just a little about me as poet and artist –

I am pleased to have been the 2013-14 Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, Ohio and Cleveland’s former Haiku champion (2009-10). Among the many projects I undertook as laureate, I am most pleased that my sponsor, Heights Arts has made my signature program, EKPHRASTACY,  a permanent and ongoing offering of the organization and a primary responsibility of future laureates. My poems have appeared in Amoskeag: the Journal of Southern New Hampshire University, the e-journal: Shaking Like a Mountain, and in journals published by Pudding House Press, Kattywompus Press and others. In 2014 a poem was selected for inclusion in an anthology published by FutureCycle Press: Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai. Also in 2014, I received my MFA from the Stonecoast Creative Writing Propgram of the University of Southern Maine .  In April, 2015 my first collection of poems, Coming to Terms, was published by Night Ballet Press.

This past July (2015) I was privileged to co-teach a writing workshop in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland, with Jeanne Marie Beaumont, who was my mentor during my time at Stonecoast.  The workshop was part of Stonecoast’s twice-yearly optional residencies in Ireland.  While there I had my first international reading in the Dingle Bookshop, sharing the evening with Irish writer Angela Patten and poet Daniel Lusk.

But poetry is my second creative discipline. Visual art was my first. I am a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and for many years maintained my own ceramic studio and exhibited and sold my work locally and nationally. From 1987-90, I was Cleveland Public Radio’s producer and broadcast journalist for the arts, where I was privileged to win more than 15 broadcast and journalism awards. While there I produced many features on the arts for National Public Radio; Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and Performance Today.

On October 1, 2015, I retired after nearly 25 years as the Director of Arts Initiatives for the Cleveland Foundation, the country’s oldest community foundation.  During my time there I managed the Foundation’s arts grantmaking portfolio and created and managed a number of multi-year capacity-building initiatives to strengthen key cultural organizations in the arts sector.  Most recently I developed the Foundation’s International Artist Residency program, Creative Fusion, and its arts audience engagement initiative, Engaging the Future. Read my Foundation blog here. I have served on the Board of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national philanthropy service organization and am a former President of Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

Last year, (June 2014) I was humbled and honored to be the recipient  of the Robert Bergman Award of the Cleveland Arts Prize.  Bob Bergman was a friend and a generous and big-hearted advocate for the Arts.  He transformed the culture of the Cleveland Museum of Art during his much-too-short time as it’s Director.  When he passed so suddenly the whole community mourned him, and many of  us still do.  So I am deeply humbled to have been given this  honor in his name.

I am very lucky to participate in a wonderful writing group of exceptionally talented poets and we frequently perform our work together at group readings under the name Take Nine. I live in the friendly and incredibly literate city of Cleveland Heights with my two foundling cats.


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