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Residency Artist - Creative Writing


Ray McNiece

Page to Stage Productions
4898 Waldamere Ave.
Willoughby, OH  44094
Phone: (800) 529-7863

I am a writer, actor, guitarist and educator who presents my art through performance poetry, theater and music. I combine these three disciplines to create a multi-faceted experience of the word that is enlightening and edu-taining. My most recent residency involved 7th and 8th grade students at Queen of Angels Montessori in Cincinnati for three weeks where I led both performance and writing workshops for three weeks culminating in a school wide presentation for parents and family, as well as a poetry anthology. I also led residencies at Bridges in Portsmouth, an adolescent recovery center, and at Kingston Elementary in Solon. My workshops can be linked to 8 of 12 national English Standards concurrent with Ohio Standards (contact Ray for a complete list). For instance, through poem modeling of Carl Sandburg's "Fog," students are exposed to a wide range of genres (free verse, nature lyrics, imagistic) from different periods to build an understanding of many dimensions of human experience (National Standard #2). They then apply literary strategies to comprehend, interpret and evaluate texts (#3), by then composing similar themed personification poems that employ metaphors. Through team performances of student generated texts they learn how to adjust their use of spoken and written language to communicate effectively (#4 and #5).

I am currently editing a new haiku collection and a book of travel poems from my years of performing abroad and my experiences teaching in Asia. I will release my third CD of poetry and music titled Love Song for Cleveland, in the fall of 2009 and will debut it in the former subway under the Detroit Superior Bridge as part of Bridge Fest. My artistic urges thrive on poetry/music collaborations, longer narrative poems, and, conversely, the haiku form which I have found to be a very effective teaching tool through my haiku hikes.

I received an Honors Degree from the Tutorial College of Ohio University. I did Master's work in creative writing at the University of Houston, and studied drama at the New Ehrich Theater in Boston. I have had writing residencies at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida and at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where I develop nature writing curriculum and storytelling programs. I have worked overseas for WordForward in Singapore using poetry and theater to improve student comprehension and communication skills. I have presented, most recently, at the American Reading Association, the Lakeland College Writers' Conference and the National Poetry Slam. I have several sports poem promotional commercials airing of STO (Sports Time Ohio). And have been commissioned by them to write a history of the Cleveland Indians in Poetry and perform it as an half hour program. I am the author of six books of adult poetry, two solo theater works, two poetry musicals and edited the anthology American Zen which is a text for several college courses across the country. I am the poetry editor of both the November 3rd Club ezine as well as Muse, the visual arts literary magazine of Cleveland's Lit Center.

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