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'Take Nine' celebrates women through poetry

By Aziza Doleh

April 4, 2013

On Thursday, March 28, “Take Nine,” a group of nine Cleveland-area women poets, read their work at Panel Hall in Fenn Tower presented by The President’s Advisory Committee on the Role of Status of Women.

Of the “Take Nine” poets, four are Cleveland State alumnae. The women are current recipients of many honors and awards.

The group includes former radio and television producers, a Pushcart Award nominee, a performance poet, a Haiku Death Match champion, a former Cleveland State professor, and a poet whose work was featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Nine are published in over 100 local and national journals, in anthologies and e-journals and soon will be included on a Poetry and Music CD.

“Take Nine” poets have been Cleveland Heights Poet Laureates, the recipients of Individual Artists Fellowships; winners of awards from Northern Ohio Live, the Ohio Educational Broadcasting Corporation, and the Cleveland Press.

The program featured the women reading 27 poems arranged in seven sections that dealt with themes that resonated not just with themselves but with all women.

“I like connecting to the audience, because when you write you write in solitude and then take it out and share it with a big group of people, not just friends, and see a reaction on their faces and an auditory reaction really greatly makes the circle finally complete,” said Katie Daley, Nine poet and Cleveland State alumna.

Panel Hall was mixed with poetry admirers, Cleveland State students, friends and family.

“We are thrilled, beyond excited to be here in Fenn Tower, I worked here at Fenn Tower as a graduate assistant, so it’s really cool to come back here. We normally perform at museums, so its nice to come back here,” said Cindy Washabaugh, Nine poet and Cleveland State alumna.

For women’s history month, the PAC brought these women to continue on enhancing women’s participation in all aspects of campus activities and conditions that may affect the equality of education and working environment experienced by women at Cleveland State.

The audience enjoyed the Nine sharing their work and explaining where the themes of their poems came from.

The audience also witnessed the camaraderie between them as they read their poems and spoke about working together, also the facial reaction of the women as each one read their poems.

Katie Daley humored the audience a bit by performing the last poem she wrote in what seemed to be an another accent other than her own American accent. She moved around in a sway like way to get the audience to understand her emotion in the poem.

The “Take Nine” women are friends who laugh, read, eat and write together, challenge and support each other, and share their love of the written and spoken word as they showed and expressed in the reading.