Cleveland Has a New Art and Literature Magazine?

Meet ‘Miser Magazine’

By Bob Yanega

Sometimes in life, you just have to act on your crazy impulses.  And sometimes in life, that causes really great things to happen.  Such was the founding of Cleveland’s newest (and perhaps only?) art and literature periodical — Miser Magazine.

Nicole Hennessy and Lauren Dulay were two normal 27-year-old women that had been friends since high school in Fairview Park.  Somewhere in the process of talking about another crazy idea for an imaginary band (which played imaginary toy instruments), they got the itch to create a literary and arts magazine.

Or, as Nicole puts it, “to create a place where people who are doing something creative could feel like they had an outlet for their work.”  They talked about it for a year, and then in August decided that if they didn’t do it soon, the moment would pass.  A month later, the first issue hit the street.

Nicole’s only previous publishing experience since college was her self-published book, Black Rabbit, a non-fiction work about poets in Cleveland in the 1970s.  Lauren’s creative pursuits run from tattooing to electronic music and she is currently working on what may possibly be the world’s largest flip book.  But those slim qualifications were no deterrent to two fun-loving gals whose stated goal was to “not take ourselves too seriously.”

When they were faced with the question of how to get it published, the choice that fit with their philosophy (and budget) was to go to Lauren’s brother’s garage, where he has 3 printers set up.  Taking it over from his business, they spent the next 35 or 40 hours printing and hand stapling 300 copies of the 52 page magazine.  “We planned on 100, then we said 200, and then we decided to keep going,” laughs Lauren.

Alternating between their day jobs (at a newspaper and dry cleaners) and long stints in the garage/print shop, they managed to get all of the printing done and then begin to distribute copies for free around key arts neighborhoods in Cleveland.  They focused on retail outlets in Coventry, Gordon Square, Ohio City, Tremont and downtown.

Both women are overwhelmed by the outpouring of positive response to the first issue, and since all 300 copies were snapped up quickly, they are printing 600 copies of the next issue, due out on December 1st.  If it is anywhere near as delightful and engaging as the first issue, those will disappear just as quickly.  Whether that happens or not, Lauren remains philosophical about their success. “We didn’t go into it with a lot of expectations, and when we exceeded those expectations it was like – whoa!”

Nicole thinks that part of the magic in the first issue stems from their approach, which is unlike most other similar publications.  “We wanted to bring people together.  We definitely were fighting against the snob factor.  So, even though we’re excited by people who are already doing good work and getting published, we didn’t want to only look for those people”.

The result is a perfect blend of high quality art, poetry, and prose by both new and established artists.

The newest issue is available at these and other locations:

The Only Cleveland Store in Tower City

Mac’s Backs on Coventry

The Glass Bubble in Ohio City

My Mind’s Eye Records in Lakewood

Cleveland Clothing Company at E. 4th and Euclid



Bob Yanega is a freelance writer, speaker, fountain of ideas, and renaissance man. He is also the founder and executive director for The 1990 Project, a nonprofit organization that has created a series of Choosing Success™ Programs to promote successful scholarship, entrepreneurship, and workforce training to high schoolers in NE Ohio.

A lifelong Clevelander and unofficial Cleveland ambassador, Bob recently published a children’s book, The Littlest Lamppost, which has a strong Cleveland connection. His website is




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