Moderator: Dee Perry

Dee Perry began her broadcasting career in 1976, and worked for more than a dozen years hosting shows on commercial radio. In 1989 Dee took a job with 90.3 WCPN, Cleveland Public Radio, which became the multi-media content provider ideastream in 2001, following a merger with WVIZ/PBS. Since then Dee has written, produced, and conducted thousands of interviews about arts and culture for radio, TV, and the web.

Although retired from full-time broadcasting Dee continues to serve as a freelance researcher, interviewer, and host for various community events and organizations.


Leila Chatti

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors’ Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place, and the Key West Literary Seminar, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems have received awards from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, Narrative’s 30 Below Contest, and the Academy of American Poets, and appear in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.


Christopher Johnston

Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,000 articles in numerous publications, including American Theatre, Balanced Living, Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Magazine, History Magazine, The Plain Dealer, Scientific American, and Urban Design. He served as a contributing editor for Inside Business for more than six years, and he was a contributing editor for Cleveland Enterprise for more than ten years. He ghost-wrote The Way I Saw It, the memoirs of the late Marc Wyse, co-founder of Wyse Advertising, which was published in 2013. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice (Skyhorse) was published in May. His plays have appeared at convergence-continuum, CPT, Dobama, and Talespinner Children’s Theatre. His documentary play about human trafficking, Live Bodies for Sale, will premiere at Playwrights Local Theatre next fall.


Caryl Pagel

Caryl Pagel is the author of two collections of poetry, Twice Told (University of Akron Press) and Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death (Factory Hollow Press). Her essays have appeared in AGNI, The Collagist, Entropy, Essay Press, Wave Composition, and The Mississippi Review. Caryl is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press, a poetry editor at jubilat, and the director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She is an assistant professor at Cleveland State University, where she teaches poetry and nonfiction in the NEOMFA program.


RA Washington

RA Washington lives in Cleveland, OH. He has been blurring the lines between poetry and life longer than some of his contemporaries have understood the incorporation of life into poetry. His work depicts matters of the heart as they happen in the moment, be it in the bar, on the street, or in the livingroom at dawn. Though often confessional and tender, it is clear that this is the work of a punk rock missionary of the liquor-soaked unknown. Ra Washington is the founder of GTK Press and author of 30+ books, including Riot Sketches (Tiny Patron Press), Along Eastern Shores (Tiny Patron Press), Hubris (Tiny Patron Press), Night in [A] Fair Republic (GTK Press, 2015) and Citi (Red Giant Books, 2015).