Cleveland Book Week Includes Prominent Authors and a Public Square Book Swap

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by David C. Barnett

Cultural attractions such as the Rock Hall and the Cleveland Museum of Art bring thousands of visitors to Northeast Ohio each year.  
And now, a local literary coalition is looking to establish the city as the home of a national festival celebrating the written word --- Cleveland Book Week.

Poet and writing professor Dave Lucas says the city hosts several book events each year around this time, ranging from readings sponsored by Cuyahoga County Public Library to the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which turn 81, this year.  Lucas says Cleveland Book Week is just an attempt to group them all together as one event.

"Poets and branding usually don't go together," he laughs.  "I think this is the first time this has happened."

Lucas and his partners at the County Library, the Cleveland Flea, Market Garden Brewery, the City Club and the Cleveland Foundation are looking to build Book Week into a festival with a national reputation.

"I would like for authors who have books coming out to think of this week as something that's on their calendars," he says, "and I want it to be a point of pride for Cleveland and Clevelanders."

Monday features a book swap and an afternoon of entertainment on the city's renovated Public Square.  Popular writers including poet Rita Dove and novelist Don Delillo will also be featured at special events, during the week, as will all of this year's Anisfield-Wolf winners, who will receive their awards in a sold-out ceremony, Thursday night.

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