Writer and poet loves all things Columbus

Dionne Custer Edwards is a writer, poet and associate director of education at The Wexner Center for the Arts. She created Pages, a writing program where she facilitates arts experiences for high school students, and she works with artists and educators on arts integration while also co-editing an anthology of student writing and art. Find her online at lifeandwrite.com.

Also find Dionne, and a wonderful group of other writers and poets, reading as a part of “Love Letters,” organized by Paging Columbus, at Two Dollar Radio HQ, on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Here are a few things Edwards loves.

The creative community in Central Ohio

What can I say? I'm biased, for sure. We are a city brimming with artists, creatives, artisans and makers that contribute to the vibrancy, rhythm, innovative capabilities, generative economic ecosystem and overall well-being of our city.

Chai

Chai with nondairy milk, all year long. I prefer my chai iced, but warm is fine, too. Zen Cha Café and Tea is one of my favorite go-to places for tea in general, but depending on where I'm working or meeting around town, I've been known to also enjoy this spiced, mildly sweet treat at Heirloom Cafe, Fox in the Snow, Two Dollar Radio HQ and The Roosevelt.

Central Ohio arts and cultural institutions  

I am fond of a city with thriving arts, cultural, artisan and culinary offerings, and a stellar library system. Those institutions offer the community many moments of wonder and pleasure, not to mention space, encounters with new ideas, respite and relative safety, wellness support and varying degrees of access points for Central Ohio residents and beyond. I also value the ongoing economic infrastructure and commitment by our Columbus community to support arts and cultural initiatives and institutions.

Friends and family dinners 

The lasting friendships I’ve made while here in Columbus ground me. I am especially grateful to be part of artist and creative communities, and diverse communities of women. I am also part of a group of families from across Central Ohio where our extended families are from all over the country and the world, so we created and stitched together a kind of modern extended family of our own where we gather monthly to have dinners, be social and have thoughtful discussions. This is an important time where we build community, talk about the topics of our time, give and receive support and have fun.

Central Ohio citizens 

There is not a day that goes by that I do not appreciate our Central Ohio community of savvy, civic-minded, thoughtful, active and engaged citizens with many individuals, collectives, companies and organizations, all working to improve the well-being and everyday lives of Central Ohioans. We volunteer, serve as mentors, organize and collaborate and partner around everyday causes and critical initiatives. We are a generous community where philanthropy and giving are thriving. While I am originally from Cleveland, I am grateful to call Columbus home.