Les Délices is pleased to announce the release of eleven new episodes of its free community program LD Music Meditations in collaboration with Literary Cleveland. Featuring sixteen new poems by seven Ohio poets, these new episodes will be released in two compendiums on May 15 and June 12 and are accessible as a podcast (available on all platforms) or by telephone hotline at 216-859-5800. The goal of Music Meditations is to create a safe space for respite or reflection via an art experience that can be freely and privately accessed with or without an internet connection

LD Music Meditations combines poetry and music to bring soul-soothing and life-affirming art into people’s day. Every episode in the series features new poetry by Northeast Ohio writers paired with curated performances from Les Délices live-performance archives and concludes with prompts for mindfulness or guided listening. Begun in 2021, the entire archive of LD Music Meditations episodes can be accessed via podcast

For this new series, Northeast Ohio poets Marion Starling Boyer, Darlene D. Montonaro, Cathy Barber, Ray McNiece, Shei Sanchez, Eric Odum, and Philip Shalom Terman submitted their work through a Call for Poets co-created by Les Délices and Literary Cleveland. Says Literary Cleveland Executive Director Matt Weinkam, “Music and poetry invite attention, ignite emotion, and inspire creativity. That’s why this partnership with Les Délices has been so powerful. We were excited to bring meaningful poetry by Literary Cleveland instructors and members to this project and amazed at how classical music from LD’s live performance archive transforms the words into something more.” LD Artistic Director Debra Nagy added, “It was a pleasure to record each of these poets reciting their own work as well. It gave me real insight into each work and, in some cases, inspired my musical selections.” The selected poems cover a wide range of topics, from nature and animals, memory, finding one’s place in the world, and the passing of time. 

LD Artistic Director Debra Nagy selected highlights from the ensemble’s live performance archive to pair with each poem’s theme or mood. Featured music includes music from the French baroque, an English Renaissance fantasia by William Byrd, Scottish folk song, and an excerpt from J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor. Says Nagy, “I feel like selecting music to accompany poetry is akin to a good wine pairing. You’re not necessarily looking to create a ‘match’ so much as find a pairing that will be complementary and (hopefully) offer fresh perspectives or insights on both the poetry and music. Music and recited poetry play with rhythm, pacing, consonance, dissonance, and articulation in fascinating ways so I love to take advantage of each of those elements when bringing together these two art forms for LD Music Meditations.” 


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.


Marion Starling Boyer’s third full-length collection, Ice Hours won the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize and was released in January 2023 and was mentioned in Poets & Writers Jan/Feb issue as “New & Noteworthy.”  Her third chapbook, What Word for This,  just won Grayson Books 2023 Chapbook Prize. Boyer is a Communication professor emerita and lives in Twinsburg, Ohio where she enjoys co-leading workshops for Lit Cleveland to encourage reading books by contemporary poets. For more link to  

Darlene Montonaro is a poet, teacher, and past arts administrator. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals including Calyx, Slipstream, The Raven Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Blueline, Comstock Review, and The Buddhist Poetry Review among other journals. A Lakewood resident, she has been actively involved in Cleveland’s literary community, serving as the past Executive Director of the Poets’ & Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland. 

Cathy Barber’s poetry has been published in the journals Slant, SLAB, Tule Review, Kestrel, the anthologies Rewilding: Poems for the Environment and Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and has been nominated for a Best of the Net. Her abecedarian chapbook is Aardvarks, Bloodhounds, Catfish, Dingoes (Dancing Girl Press, 2018). Her first full length collection is due out in July (Kelsay Books). She is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program and makes her home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Ray McNiece was born in Cleveland in 1960. He holds a BA in English from Ohio University and a MA from the University of Houston in Texas. McNiece is the author of many books, including Breath Burns Away (Red Giant Press, 2019); Love Song for Cleveland (Red Giant Books, 2015), among others. His book, Dis—Voices from a Shelter, was produced by WGBH TV Boston and aired on PBS affiliates across the country. McNiece is the recipient of many awards and grants, including the Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021; a Creative WorkForce Fellowship from the Cleveland Arts Commission; residencies at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Jack Kerouac House, among others. He has led two national poetry slam championship teams, and is a three-time Haiku Slam Champion of Cleveland. He is currently poet laureate of Cleveland Heights through 2023. In 2022, McNiece received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.

Shei Sanchez writes from her farm in Appalachian Ohio. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including One by Jacar Press, Still: The Journal, The Braided Way, Women of Appalachia Project’s Women Speak, and Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays about Being in the World. A Best of the Net nominee, Shei is working on her first poetry collection.

Eric Odum is a libra, poet, brother, lover and friend. He works in the nonprofit arts/education field, as a way to work with and amplify the voices of communities and neighborhoods that are often forgot or silenced. He is also founder/host of One Mic Open, an open mic running for a decade to provide an intergenerational stage for arts and expression.

Philip Terman’s most recent books are This Crazy Devotion, Our Portion: New and Selected Poems and, as co-translator, Tango Beneath a Narrow Ceiling: The Selected poems of Riad Saleh Hussein. Poems and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry Magazine, The Sun Magazine, 99 Poets for the 99 Percent, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine.  Retired from Clarion University, he directs The Bridge Literary Arts Center  and  conducts workshops and coaches writing hither and yon. He’s collaborated with the composer Brent Register and performs his poetry with the jazz band Catro.