Paging Columbus at OSU Urban Arts Space

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When poet Hannah Stephenson recently moved back to Columbus after five years in other cities, she "noticed so many changes. There was so much happening here and a focus on local culture. I loved that idea."

Impressed with the organized visual arts and foodie movements in town, she felt the literary arts scene had similar potential.

Stephenson's idea? A monthly event called Paging Columbus that will celebrate all things language - one month it could be a poetry slam, the next a workshop on nonfiction-writing techniques or a panel discussion about how to craft witticisms in 140 characters.

Word nerds, rejoice.

"This is not just for people to go and sit passively," said Stephenson, who teaches poetry at Denison University and OSU-Newark and is the wordsmith behind poem-a-weekday blog The Storialist. "It's for people who are interested in writing and reading, and not necessarily in an academic sense."

Tonight is the first installment of Paging Columbus, and the evening will feature poetry by Ohio State graduates Stephenson, Jason Gray, Jen Town and Maggie Smith.

"They're all really talented," Stephenson said of the inaugural lineup, "poets I really admire."

The group will read their work, which includes lyrical takes on things like JWoww's boobs and wild animals, and there will be time for networking afterward.

"I saw a real opportunity to connect writers to each other," Stephenson said, "and to connect the world of literature to art."

Next month's tentative installment will be a panel of prominent local bloggers, such as Bethia Woolf of Columbus Food Adventures, Jim Ellison of CMH Gourmand and Aaron Driggers of Tsururadio, talking about the art of writing online.

Paging Columbus will happen the first Thursday of every month, same time (6-8 p.m.), same place (the OSU Urban Arts Space).

OSU Urban Arts Space

6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 14

50 W. Town St., Downtown