Poet, Performer, Educator...
The poet's life
Ray McNiece has earned a national reputation as a poet and performer for almost two decades through his solo theater pieces, his poetry and music shows, his captaining of 2 National Poetry Slam Championship teams, his "edutaining" children's shows and workshops, and his yearly country-wide tours of performance poems, stories and songs. CV: pdfs_texts/CV 2022 Ray McNiece revised.pdf
Ray McNiece has authored eleven books of poems and monologues and CDs, most recently Love Song for Cleveland, a collaboration with photographer Tim Lachina and Breath Burns Away, New Haiku. The Orlando Sentinel reporting on Ray?s solo theater piece ?Us ? Talking Across America? at the Fringe Festival called him ?a modern day descendant of Woody Guthrie. He has a way with words and a wry sense of humor.? He toured Russia with Yevgeny Yevtushenko, appeared on Good Morning, Russia and performed at the Moscow Polytech, the Russian Poets? Hall of Fame where he was dubbed ?the American Mayakovski.? He has toured Italy twice with legendary Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He fronts the blues rock band, Tongue-in-Groove. Among many awards, he has received a Creative Work Force Fellowship and residencies at The Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Jack Kerouac House. He is currently Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights. In 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize.
Ray performing at the Poet's Hall of Fame, the Moscow Polytech, for the enthusiastic crowds.
Highlights of his
past tours include a
keynote address shared with Robert Bly at the First Coast Writer?s
Conference, a featured reading at the opening of City Light?s Italia in
Florence with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and a performance with his band
Tongue in Groove at the Starwood Festival, opening for legendary drummer
Babatunde Oluntunje. In the summer of 2001 he toured Russia with Yevgeny
Yevtushenko where he appeared on Good Morning, Russia and performed at
the Moscow Polytech, the Russian Poets? Hall of Fame where he was dubbed
?the American Mayakovski?.
Ray is also an accomplished actor and has appeared in plays at Ensemble, Dobama, Cleveland Public and Cleveland Playhouse theatres. He was an original cast member of the improv comedy Flanigan?s Wake. He performs in schools as Johnny Appleseed. He was also a playwright for CPTs, Blue Sky Tranmission, and acted in Open Mind Firmament as Cuchullain, legendary Irish hero. His last production at CPT was Barbecue.
event planning, short bio, etc.
from the book,
"The Road That Carried Me Here"
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