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Join us on 3/31/23 at 7 pm for #HTPOETRY23, a kick-off event to celebrate National Poetry Month and highlight collaboration between the arts and industry in Toledo.  Working in cooperation with Hilton Downtown Toledo and Pineapple Press and Design, poets Julie E. Bloemeke, Ryan A. Bunch, Dustin Pearson, and Kerry Trautman will read a selection of Toledo-influenced poems.  Sven Olaf Nelson will give a brief presentation on the art of letterpress produced by filmmaker Joshua Lightleand Toledo's famed photographer Doug Hinebaugh will document.  Following the event, Nelson's custom broadside of Bloemeke's "Glass City," printed on handmade paper by Porridge Papers, will be installed in the Hilton lobby.  Books and limited edition broadsides will be available for purchase and signing. Drinks and mingling will follow at Napa Kitchen and Bar.


Valet, street, and garage parking available.


DUSTIN PEARSON  (he/him) is the author of A Season in Hell with Rimbaud (BOA Editions, 2022), Millennial Roost (C&R Press, 2018), and A Family Is a House (C&R Press, 2019). In 2019, The Root named Dustin one of nine Black poets working in “academic, cultural and government institutions committed to elevating and preserving the poetry artform.” He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Toledo where he teaches creative writing.


Alexis Mitchell Design & Photography

While JULIE E. BLOEMEKE (she/her) lives in Atlanta, as a Toledo native she has facilitated collaborative art events with the Toledo Museum of Art, The Switchboard, Harvest, and Toledo Spirits.   A 2021 Georgia Author of the Year Finalist in Poetry, her debut full-length collection Slide to Unlock (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2020) was also chosen as a 2021 Book All Georgians Should Read. Co-editor of Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology (Madville Publishing, 2023) she is the winner of the 2022 Third Coast Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 Fischer Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications including Writer’s Chronicle, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Gulf Coast, and others.  An associate editor for South Carolina Review and a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellow, she is also a freelance writer and editor.  

RYAN A. BUNCH (he/him) is a poet, writer, performance artist, and nonprofit administrator living in Toledo, Ohio. Here, he’s helped to form the Lucas County Poet Laureate program, Poetry Sidewalks public art project, Ode to the Zip Code poetry contest, established Toledo’s creative placemaking program and Culture Trail framework, as well as planning and hosted numerous literary, arts, and cultural events. Ryan’s work has appeared in the Istanbul Literary Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Toledo City Paper, and others. He’s released three collaborative spoken word albums with musician Lance Hulsey under the moniker Kyrux Macist and hosted his first visual art’s exhibition, a collaboration poetry-photography show titled ALLUVIUM in mid-2022. Ryan is the founder of the OHMI Mid-Coast Industrial Workshop, a conceptual project building creative and travel networks across the Michigan-Ohio border.

KERRY TRAUTMAN  (she/her) is a lifelong Northwest-Ohioan and UT graduate. She co-founded and the "Toledo Poetry Museum" page on Facebook, both of which promote local poetry events. In 2019 her one-act play “Mass” was a winner of The Toledo Repertoire Theater’s “Toledo Voices” competition. She has served as judge or workshop leader for the Northwest region of Ohio’s “Poetry Out Loud” competition annually since 2016. Kerry has participated in local events such as Artomatic 4-1-9, Momentum Festival, and Back to Jack.  Author of seven books of poetry, her most recent collection is Unknowable Things from Roadside Press.

Self portrait taken in the Wonderbread Lofts, Toledo 

SVEN OLAF NELSON (he/him) is the founder of Pineapple Press and Design in Toledo. His passion for graphic design and letterpress began as a student at Ball State University and has since bloomed into a collection of over 400 metal and wood typefaces spanning two centuries.  Sven specializes in individual custom small batch orders and is committed to letterpress education and perpetuating beauty, working with clients on paper selection, design, font, and layout.  While his range includes cards, invitations, posters, and custom orders, he is particularly interested in poetry broadsides.  All of Sven’s projects are printed on antique letterpress equipment including a 1940s Chandler & Price press, a 1905 Vandercook No.01 proof press, along with other small foil presses, and book presses.  He also hand mixes all of his inks and incorporates handmade paper into his work.  Committed to teaching about letterpress and design, Sven hosts community workshops through the Toledo Museum of Art.  For the “Glass City” broadside collaboration with Hilton Downtown Toledo and National Poetry Month, Sven sourced both the 1912-designed font Nicholas Cochin in vintage typeface, and Cochin, cast by Swamp Press type foundry in 2022. This choice reflects the exact font used for Julie E. Bloemeke’s first book of poetry, Slide to Unlock

What does street photography mean to you? To Toledo native and area photographer DOUG HINEBAUGH (he/him), street is the purest form of candid photography that also happens to be his favorite style to shoot. Whether in a sleepy small town or a sprawling contemporary metropolis, Dougiefresh (as he’s known) seeks out moments that tell the honest stories of the streets in his vibrant and colorful trademark style. Sticking to his mission to consistently help his city put its best foot forward, Doug has learned to follow his heart and he knows it all starts in Toledo. And he’s off to a flying start connecting with thousands who share in his hometown pride and how he sees the place he loves most with his camera.

Special thanks to 

Joshua Lightle - Headshot 091522.jpg

JOSHUA LIGHTLE  (he/him) is a videographer, editor, and podcaster living in Sylvania, Ohio. For nearly twenty years, Josh has been making short films, documentaries, and other forms of media for organizations, businesses, and individuals. Recently, Josh shot, edited, and co-directed a short documentary about souvenir t-shirt culture in the Netherlands called The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project. The documentary was a finalist in the 2019 Travel Video Awards in Las Vegas. Josh has also been involved in Sylvania Arts' Shorties U program, a four-day filmmaking workshop for 5th to 8th-grade students. Until 2020, Josh was the host and co-creator of the podcast Story Machine 9000. Lastly, Josh is the videographer, editor, and collaborator on the web series, Adventures in Letterpress.

CHRISTOPHER JAMES (he/him), is the founder of Porridge Papers. In the early '90s he bought a paper making kit at the art store where he worked, before he knew it there were designers, customers, craft fairs and a damp musty basement. Before long he ended up in front of  some bankers presenting his case in hopes of securing funding. A “hobby business” they called it!  To say the least, he decided to do it his way...the hard way. From Nebraska, where it all began, to New Mexico where it grew, then back to its roots, with the help of some amazing employees over all these years, they have made paper for weddings, presidential events, famous bands and not so famous. They once produced a single custom sheet that was sent to Martha Stewart and another order of  2.2 million pieces embedded with lettuce seeds for Kraft Foods. Hobby business? He does not think so. After a quarter of a century making paper who knows what the future holds. But one thing he can say, "there is a lot more paper to be made”!

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