Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Poetry writing workshops have been held at the 2100 Lakeside Men’s Emergency Shelter since 2009. During that time several hundred men have participated in the programs.
Pink Flamingo Press and Creative Endeavors, along with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, who run the shelter, have recently published “Finding Voice: Poetry and Portraits from the 2100 Lakeside Men’s Emergency Shelter.” The book contains over fifty poems written over the last three years by men who have, at one time or another, made the shelter their home. The poems are accompanied by very vivid portraits of some of the residence by staff member Lydia Bailey.
The poetry is surprisingly upbeat and touches on a variety of topics, from lost love to city living to experiences with addiction and unemployment. Kenneth Gregory writes, “the courage to change gives/Sight into the unseen/Stars to those who dream.” He also writes of an estranged daughter, “I love you dear daughter Kendoll I do/And when you come looking/Dad will be waiting for you.” Amir Muhammad writes about making choices in life, “Don’t know my next move/These trails and adversities/Go way farther than my dreams/next stop Heaven or Hell.” John Correll writes about life at the shelter, “A mission of hope/A place to sleep/To rest from the storm/A place to share my sorrow.” Nathaniel Moore also writes about the shelter, “I’ve been mentally and physically abused/Plus the drugs that I used/It’s a wonder I have a place to stay.” Willie Brown writes about his Alabama home, “I’m from red clay on my clothes and shoes/and ‘Hey Boy, stomp you foots’/I hear Miss Sippie Delta blues/And eatin’ turnips wit da roots.”
Annie Holden who currently runs the shelter’s poetry and creative writing programs says it best, “What stands out about the poetry written by these men is the humanity.”
This Friday, May 11, there will be a book release celebration for “Finding Voice: Poetry and Portraits from the 2100 Men’s Emergency Shelter,” at Brothers Lounge, 11609 Detroit Avenue, on the Cleveland/Lakewood border, from 5:30- 8:00. A $20 donation gets you a copy of the book, hors d’ouvres, and live music by Cats on Holiday. For more information visit www.lutheranmetro.org/Shelter-Housing/, or call 216.496.8286.