Subjects?–your favorite published poems on: Family, Self, The City.
A well-known arts advocate, author and teacher, Nina Freedlander Gibans has written poetry since college, read in San Francisco during the Beat era (once on the same stage as Allen Ginsberg) and in the Cleveland area where she has lived for more than 60 years. She has participated in readings at the Akron and Cleveland Museums of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, area bookstores and the Shaker Heights Public Library. She was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Artists Project grant for poetry in 1999. Working with photographer Michael Loderstedt, a poetry publication 18 Gardens and their Gardeners resulted. “Silver Apples of the Moon”, a program she directed whereby the public was invited to match art and poetry involved libraries and museums resulted in a publication produced by the Shaker Heights Public Library and Cleveland State University (2006). Her poetry books include And So I must Imagine (XLibris, 2010) She co-edited the history of poetry in Cleveland — Cleveland Poetry Scenes: Panerama and Anthology (Bottom Dog Press, 2008). One poetry project was sponsored by the Cleveland Artists Foundation where the Take Nine poets wrote and read poems stimulated by specific works by visual artists. Hers was for Audra Skoudas who died this year..
Gibans’ most recent books (2018-9) are memoirs from several perspectives — Celebrating the Soul of Cleveland is described as a “love song to the city”. Rosepetals..towards memory was written to her dying husband and The Garden of Old Age speaks to her current environment..
Through her advocacy efforts, West 2nd Street was renamed Daniel’s Way, for Daniel Thompson, Poet Laureate, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, who died in May 2004.
Gibans was honored this June with Citation for Life Achievement from Sarah Lawrence College where her poetry life was nurtured.
Nina Gibans is a founding member of the Poets’ and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland (now The Lit). She has published, written and read in San Francisco during the Beat Era and has given many readings in Cleveland at museums, bookstores, libraries, galleries, taverns and at City Hall. She taught creative writing at the Cleveland Museum of Art and in the program offered by four colleges and universities called Education for Aesthetic Awareness. She received an Ohio Arts Council Artists Project award as a poet which resulted in a publication 18 Gardens and their Gardeners. Her work has been published many times locally, most recently in Ohio Writer and Cleveland in Prose and Poetry, Poets’ and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland. She has spearheaded poetry projects such as “Silver Apples of the Moon” on poetry and art and the naming of West 2nd Street “Daniel’s Way” in memory of county poet-laureate Daniel Thompson. In 2008, she spearheaded and co-edited the publication of the history of Cleveland poetry in Cleveland Poetry Scenes: Panorama and Anthology (Bottom Dog Press). She developed a related website www.clevelandpoetryarchive.com. As with all of her projects, this one involved many people and multiple institutions. This book was a “pick” of the month during July/August 2008 by Small Press Review.
There is something about opening an envelope
from a friend
written in hand
stained with a raindrop
slipped through the door
so the dog will not run out
barking and leaping.
I sit at the table
to read and reread.
I know the handwriting
read what I want to hear
say what I think
to myself, and
put it in my drawer
I will discover new words
tell you about friends who have missed you
give you that recipe I said I would send
plan as if tomorrow were yesterday
and you lived around the corner.
I will pick up the pieces that made us friends
and dust them off, gently.