Cuyahoga River fire subject of staged reading

On the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire, 20 creative writers from Northeast Ohio will share their thoughts about that event, with their words performed by three professional actors at the 2019 Cleveland Humanities Festival, according to a news release.

This one-hour staged reading titled: “Words On Fire: A Remembrance of the Cuyahoga River Fire, 1969,” presented by Literary Cleveland, will be held on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday March 17. The performances each night will begin at 7 p.m. in Cleveland State University’s Student Center Ballroom.

Lit Cleveland’s call for submissions garnered more than 100 poems, plays, personal essays, and short stories from writers across Northeast Ohio. The selected works–some urgent and some elegiac–explore various topics including climate change, Hurricane Harvey, humanity’s relationship with nature, California wildfires, the fate of native animals and plants, and some very personal reflections, the release continued. 

Admission to the event – including the reception that follows – is free. A donation of $10 is suggested. Register at

Image: The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, shown in this 2008 Associated Press photograph, was once so polluted it caught fire at least 13 times.

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