Just Buffalo Literary Center’s mission is to create and strengthen communities through the literary arts. And for more than 40 years, we have brought the world’s greatest writers to Buffalo, hosted poetry events and readings, and supported the development of young writers.
We believe in the love of reading, the art of writing, and the power of the literary arts to transform individual lives and communities.
Robert Creeley, 2004 (Photo by Gloria Graham)
You could say that Just Buffalo began with a poem….
by Robert Creeley
Love comes quietly,
about me, on me,
in the old ways.
What did I know
able to go
alone all the way.
When Just Buffalo Literary Center’s founder, Debora Ott, first heard this poem as a teenager in New York City, it inspired her to come to the University at Buffalo to study with its author, Robert Creeley. UB’s English Department was legendary, attracting incredible poets and writers to both its faculty and its student body. Born in 1975 out of that intense period of innovation in the literary arts, Just Buffalo created a new niche, inviting writers out of academia and into the heart of the community.
Since then, Just Buffalo Literary Center has accomplished so much for the local reading and writing community, including:
Just Buffalo Literary Center affirms our commitment to anti-racism in our mission of strengthening communities through literature, and we affirm our ongoing support of the fight for the safety and well-being of Black lives everywhere.
We join our community in demanding justice for the lives lost to murder by police—including our home city of Buffalo. We also recognize that racial violence is not limited to police brutality; but rather, the entire structure of this country has been built on systems of institutionalized racism which affect every aspect of life.
At Just Buffalo Literary Center, we believe that reading and writing are transformative acts.
In a city that remains one of the most segregated in our nation with above average rates of racial discrimination and systemic poverty, Just Buffalo recognizes that power and decision-making control have been significantly less available to people of color, immigrants and refugees, young adults, those who are LGBTQIA+, those with language barriers, people with disabilities, and the economically disadvantaged.