Twelve Literary Arts is an inter-generational teaching, learning, and professional development incubator for poets, writers, and performance artists who seek a safe space to write in the middle of Cleveland's inner city. Our 501(c)(3) organization supports, develops, and creates a community of writers and performers who share the desire to create literary works with an emphasis on imagination and social justice. The youth and adults of Twelve Literary Arts are inspired to bring poetry and writing to the people.

The mission of Twelve Literary Arts is to bring performance poetry to public spaces, while supporting poets and writers of all ages with programming, professional development, and brave spaces to dream, write, and teach into reality a world of social justice and equity.   

The Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence program provides a safe, creative space for Northeast Ohio-based poets and writers of color to bring a current project to completion. Twelve Literary Arts offers TWO residency opportunities for established poets and writers of prominence and emerging writers of promise. The program is open to poets, fiction writers, journalists, essayists, and playwrights.  

The residency period for NE Ohio poets and writers is 3 months. 

The first residency period is April 15, 2019 - July 8, 2019

The second residency period is July 15, 2019 - October 11, 2019

Writers-in-Residence will be provided:

  • a $5,000 stipend
  • office space at Twelve Literary Arts
  • At least three opportunities to share works in progress with the general public

The position of writer-in-residence is for individuals who will have graduated from undergraduate or graduate school by the time the residency period begins. 

Responsibilities of Residents

The principal responsibility of each resident is to spend time further developing a creative work in progress.  In addition, the residents will be expected to be available for local media requests and will participate in a sharing of the creative work in progress with the public. Northeast Ohio Writers-in-Residence will also be expected to work from the Twelve Literary Arts office in Cleveland's historic Glenville neighborhood for a portion of the residency period.

Nomination Process

Writers are selected based on artistic excellence, availability and fit within the program. Prospective writers must provide a letter of recomendation from an editor, agent, professor, or other professional familiar with the applicant’s work. Applications are reviewed during the month of March 2019 by a panel chosen by the executive artistic director of Twelve Literary Arts and members of the Twelve Literary Arts board of directors.

Applications/recommendations should include the following:

  • A letter of recommendation
  • Publication history (including reviews, endorsements, awards, etc.)
  • Brief description of what the applicant plans to work on during the residency period
  • Work sample (no more than pages)
  • Links to websites, etc. 
Twelve Literary Arts