Literary Cleveland presents the story of one day in Cleveland during the pandemic, told by 140 Clevelanders from across the city.
June 16, 2020 (CLEVELAND, OH) – How are ordinary Clevelanders experiencing the pandemic? How has COVID-19 touched the lives of everyone in the city, no matter their race, class, or location?
Literary Cleveland is announcing the results of a massive project that tells the story of one day in Cleveland during the pandemic. It is called Documenting Cleveland: May 12, 2020.
Last month, Literary Cleveland invited everyone in the city to participate in a collective writing experience documenting what happened in greater Cleveland on May 12. The response was overwhelming: 140 people from all across the city submitted 532 entries for a combined 95,880 words and 346 photos. In other words, Clevelanders wrote the equivalent of a novel.
Today, the organization is presenting the results of this project.
First, Literary Cleveland edited a longform article published in Scene Magazine which combines excerpts from select submissions into a single essay telling the story of one day during the pandemic in Cleveland.
Second, Literary Cleveland created an interactive map featuring all 532 entries submitted for this project. There readers can explore everything that happened in Cleveland on May 12 by location, time, or even keyword.
Both the longform article and the interactive map contain birthdays and weddings, herons and haircuts, Zoom classes and telemedicine and forgotten masks, plus a centipede named Cedric. Each individual joy, sorrow, frustration, love and loss combines to form a mosaic that speaks with more beauty and complexity than any one person could accomplish alone. The organization’s hope is that the range and intimacy of experiences described here will provide a unique account of this historic time for those in the future as well as an opportunity to bring all of us closer together today.
About Literary Cleveland
Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.