The Poets' League of Greater Cleveland was founded in 1974, to raise awareness of Cleveland area poets, and to support their endeavors. By the 90s they had expanded to include efforts of all literary writers, and became The Poets' and Writers' League of Greater Cleveland.
Excuse me for being a snark at this point in history, but who was the literary genius who gave a thumbs-up to the unwieldy monicker Poets' and Writers' League of Greater Cleveland? In 2007 the name was changed to something with more a satisfying mouthfeel -- The LIT. Soon after, the (former) PWLGC journal Ohio Writer was relaunched as MUSE.
For the first few issues of MUSE, LIT director Judith Mansour commissioned artists to create striking cover graphics, and invited local writers to write an introductory essay inspired by this image. I was asked to create something to compliment the July 2008 cover.
The image featured above is The Field Trip (Ancient Offering) by Thomas Frontini.
"Thomas Frontini's oil paintings are based on the premise that no matter how we may change and advance technologically, human consciousness is stuck in instinctual traps. Since this sad fact dooms man to a never-ending cycle of repeating past mistakes, Frontini translates dreamlike visions into parables of warning." - Elenore Welles, ArtScene Monthly DigestYes, that's what I saw, though I wrote my piece before I did any research on the artist. I saw a beach, a panda, a bowl of artificial food product, and a blonde girl about my daughter's age holding a damaged doll. The assignment was due around Father's Day, and that was also an inspiration.
This is what I wrote:
Click to download a PDF.
After 37 years, due to "mounting financial obligations and a significant reduction in funding support from all sources," The LIT will dissolve, the responsibilities of its workshops programs and perhaps even MUSE to be assumed by the Cuyahoga County Public Library. More info in cleveland.com.