MySonia Shorter—Little

Where I’m From

Northeast · Collinwood · Poetry

After George Ella Lyon

I’m from hot combs on the stove,
from the scent of Fabuloso and Pine-Sol on Saturday mornings.
I’m from Barney and princess bed sheets repurposed as curtains
and the matching pillowcase as halloween candy bags.

I am from Euclid Beach,
the local treasure of peace and celebration.
The forest, beach, summer festival, wildlife friends and family reunion destination
all in one.

I’m from something always getting broken
and no one ever did it
I am from train tracks and potholes
whom I dodge like a hurdle while ghost riding my bike before the streetlights came on

From Malcolm X and Assta Shakur,
strength and resilience.

From “you’re the oldest, act like it”
and “stay in a child’s place”

I’m from Baptist church on the holiday and Catholic school during the week
Where the Bible held manifestations and financial blessings

I’m from Kim’s and China Mountain
From licking Kool-Aid and sugar from my palm

From my mother’s survival skills and my father’s charm as a defense mechanism
My aunt’s glass table as the official symbol of becoming a teenager

Family photos on the mantel shelf along obituaries
or along the wall adjacent African art
Where under the mattress was the bank and safe
I’m from making a dollar out of a dime and making it a good time.

MySonia Shorter—Little

With generational roots in the area, MySonia Shorter-Little was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio’s own Collinwood neighborhood. She attended Collinwood then finished her high diploma marching at Shaw High. With determination and drive running through her veins, MySonia went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Central State University and a master’s degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. After securing her academic accomplishments in 2017 she came back to the Collinwood area to advance her community through sharing her education and experiences in the city that raised her. Little did MySonia know Cleveland still had much to afford her. Over the last three years MySonia has participated in a plethora of community action activities, taught at various schools in the area and most importantly learned just as many lessons as she has taught along the way. As MySonia continues to advance both herself and her community, she is beyond excited to share with the world and of course with Cleveland what’s to come next!


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

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.

Project Presented with Support By the Cleveland Public Library

Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit