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DeCapite on DeCapite

04/15/10 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Literary Cafe

Gone but not forgotten. You could say that about the readings at the Literary Café, as cliché as it is. But remember, there were readings in the 90’s way before Nick and I got it into our soft craniums to do it ourselves. And we promised that there will still be readings, just irregular (as if the readings were ever regular). That is irregularly scheduled. So there are readings, but not necessarily poetry, just like in the early day of ancient tape recordings. Back in those ancient days of irregular readings at the Lit Café, there was a giant that shared his early writings regularly in an irregular manner. He has been gone, but definitely not forgotten. He is back and reading from his near ancestor this Saturday April 17 at 9:00pm. This inspiration for local writers is none other than Michael DeCapite.

Mike is celebrating the reprinting of his recently gone but not forgotten father, Raymond DeCapite’s two novels, A Lost King and The Coming of Fabrizze, by Kent State’s Black Squirrel Press. Also accompanying him is Dennis Dooley, an author, former Public Radio broadcaster and journalist and winner of the 1986 Cleveland Arts prize in Literature. Dennis will provide some historical context for Ray's republished work, while Mike reads excerpts of his father’s books. Maybe we can get him to read some of his own writing as well. It is all of the finest quality.

Since Mike has lived in New York for a good part of the last decade, you Tremont newbies may not be aware of the accomplishments of this southside son. His first novel, Through the Windshield, was written in London and New York from 1985 to 1990. Although the book gained a small underground reputation by way of published excerpts, readings, and word of mouth, it was unable to find a publisher until it was brought out by Sparkle Street Books, in 1998. DeCapite's short story "Sitting Pretty" was published as a CUZ Edition in 1999 and then included in The Italian American Reader (William Morrow 2003, HarperCollins 2005). During 2003 and 2004, he wrote Radiant Fog, a column for the monthly Cleveland arts magazine Angle. In 2006, he completed a second novel, RUINED FOR LIFE!.

Raymond DeCapite was a fixture in Cleveland since his birth in 1924. He drew on his family and his community heritage as inspiration for his books. A graduate of Cleveland public schools, DeCapite received both his B.A. and M.A. from Western Reserve University, while working as a shipping clerk, a restaurant employee, a cashier, and a crane oiler. His published novels were The Coming of Fabrizze, A Lost King, Pat the Lion on the Head, Go Very Highly Trippingly To and Fro, and The Stretch Run. He wrote three plays: Sparky And Company, Things Left Standing, and Where The Trains Go. He was a recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohioana Award, and the Cleveland Critics' Circle Award. Ray passed in July 2009.

The Literary Café once again is the center of Cleveland’s literary world, past and present. With this celebration of one of our past writers by one of our present writers, we inspire our future writers. So come to hear genius Saturday, April 17 at 9:00pm. The Literary Café is located at 1031 Literary Road in the unforgettable Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. This reading is sponsored by Visible Voice Books, another Tremont monument.


1 comment

Comment from: neve black [Visitor]
neve blackVery nicely stated. :-)
04/22/10 @ 19:15