Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship

It was with great sadness that we received word of the death of Lou, a writer who15541501_10154954949284391_8637914403878757999_n

was engaged with us since our beginning. The last conversation we had, he was excitedly describing a writing conference he had just been to on the West Coast.

That’s what gave us the idea to establish a scholarship in his name, to be awarded to a current NEOMFA student attending the Fall Literary Festival.

Each year, we will award one $100 scholarship, and invite the recipient to read their work at the festival. We welcome contributions to the yearly scholarship fund.

Lou’s daughter Jamie offered us this tribute.

Lou Yuhasz was a writer, a husband, a father, a friend, and above all, a teacher. He graduated from Youngstown State University in 1999, with a BS in Secondary Education, concentrating on comprehensive communication. In his senior year, he was the assistant news editor at the Jambar covering the Academic Senate as YSU made the transition from quarters to semesters. He taught as a substitute for a year for Youngstown City Schools, before taking a job at a large health insurance company.

After ten years, and at the age of 48, Lou’s passion for creative writing and teaching led him to quit his job and join the NEOMFA program. Shortly after beginning school, he was diagnosed with stage II cancer of the esophagus. That didn’t stop him though, and he excelled in his classes.

His passion for his school and the program was contagious, and so was the happiness the NEOMFA brought him.  I’ve read a lot of my father’s work throughout my life, but something very special happened when he joined the NEOMFA program.

He was a husband of 26 years, and raised two daughters. His support for his family was unparalleled. His office looked like something out of a Lovecraft novel, with tentacles and gargoyles scattered between the bookshelves housing various scifi and horror novels. He loved to write and tell stories, as well as teaching others the ability to create what they loved.  He would be proud and honored to have this scholarship enable people to follow their passion.

 

Literary Arts At the Art Show

Join Lit Youngstown for a wonderful evening of literary works inspired by the visual arts. Hear from local writers and artists Liz Skeels, Ginny Taylor, Kelly Bancroft, Beesan Odeh and Nikki Robinson. This event is free. Light refreshments will be served.

YWCA Mahoning Valley, 25 Rayen Ave., Youngstown, 44503
Wednesday July 18 @6:0036552699_10157532284819838_6314236545192689664_n

Writers Circle Meets July 19

Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?

35228490_1088456254626087_7675541457750458368_o

The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, July 19. Come to the door on the right, under the arch, and ring the buzzer.

We welcome facilitator Karen Kotrba Bring 6 copies of one poem or story excerpt, maximum 5 pages.

A Night of Stories July 11

micJoin us for a night of community storytelling & desserts, Wednesday July 11, 7:30, Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15. No open mic this month.

The first Wednesday of July falls on a holiday, so go make some noise and join us a week later for a truly wonderful evening.

Stories by Tom Beck, Arthur Byrd, BeckyAnn Harker, Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine, Sue Hukari & Andrea Wells.

Tom Beck lives on a working grain farm in Green Township. Tom is retired from The University of Akron where he served as an administrator and faculty member for 35 years. Tom also had an extensive career in radio and television broadcasting. Tom has three adult sons and eight grandchildren. As a teacher, broadcaster, and community activist, communicating through storytelling has been an important part of Tom’s professional training.

Arthur Byrd earned a BA in Telecommunications and Associate Degree in Business Management from YSU, and worked as a photojournalist at WFMJ-TV, where he and a reporter won first place from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters for Best Investigative Reporting. Arthur’s short films have shown at film festivals in Cleveland and Los Angeles, and his Ballet Audition has been viewed over two million times on YouTube. Arthur is a member of Toastmasters, and in 2016, he received the Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award. Arthur produces two podcasts, Cool and Interesting People, and The Movie Soul Brothers, co-hosted by Mark Williams, a discussion of Black Cinema from 60’s and beyond. Both podcasts can be heard on Soundcloud.

BeckyAnn Harker is a Speech-Language Pathologist by day, treating children in schools with speech or language disorders. By night and weekend, she is the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. One of her favorite parts of that job is telling a story that appeals to all ages during the weekly service. She is also a member of Warren Toastmasters, where she is practicing and improving her storytelling skills. She is the mother of one, stepmother of three, all in their teens and early twenties. Stay tuned- when the trauma of raising teenagers subsides, there will be plenty more stories to tell!

Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine is currently a full-time caregiver for her 90 year old mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. They often vacation together at wit’s end. Skye took her first writing workshop four years ago, for the sole purpose of someday hoping to breathe words into her own story of how the overbearing people in her life affected all of her decision-making capabilities. With her cumulative history eventually leaving her breathless, Facebook friends working with Lit Youngstown came along to resuscitate her.

Writers Circle June 21

Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?34340988_1083713075100405_5111685658393444352_n

The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, June 21. Come to the door on the right, under the arch, and ring the buzzer.

We welcome facilitator Allison Pitinii Davis. Bring 5 copies of one poem or story excerpt, maximum 5 pages.

For the Birds! And for You

IMG_5623Each summer, we raffle a large piece of art and split the purse with the artist. Thanks so very much to Youngstown sculptor Tony Armeni for collaborating with us on this gorgeous piece. Word is, with an Armeni in your back yard, the birds show up in top hats.

Your donation helps us fund our programs, and we’re so grateful. Good luck! If you win, we’ll come and take a picture. We will draw the winning ticket July 8 at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts.

First Wednesday: Melissa Barger & William Heath

Join us for a reading of poetry and historical fiction at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., 7:30. Doors open at 7:15. Open mic emceed by Amanda Miller.

MelissaMelissa Barger has been writing for half her life. She is employed with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and is revising a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel set in Youngstown during the summer of 1863.

William Heath was born in Youngstown and grew up in Poland. He heathis the national-award-winning author of novels: The Children Bob Moses Led, Blacksnake’s Path, Devil Dancer; poetry: The Walking Man; history: William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest; and interviews: Conversations with Robert Stone. He will be reading some recent poems set in the Steel Valley.