Thank You, Survey Takers!

We are grateful to all who took the time to respond to Lit Youngstown’s recent program survey. Congratulations to Julie and Dante for winning gift cards from Belt Publishing in the drawing.

The survey results tell us important things about us and our programs, and about you and your goals and preferences. While you may have filled out a short evaluation after you attended a class or event, this big-picture data is extremely valuable to us.

The survey results fill 29 pages, and include praise and encouragement as well as helpful direction. Here is an overview, along with a few thoughts from the Lit Youngstown team.

Of the 84 respondents, 88% identified as writers. They listed as goals:

Publish Your Work 88%

Continue reading

Please Send Memories!

YSU Painting Professor Dragana Crnjak and students in her class on designing and installing public art are planning for the next section of the Andrews Ave. Memory Mural. While the first section artistically interprets past and current residents’ memories and historic artifacts of downtown, this section will focus on Andrews Ave. and Logan Ave.

Did you grow up near the factories along this corridor? How did it sound? Do you remember the smell of new upholstery at the car lots? Did you have a favorite dish at Golden Dawn? Do you work along this corridor now? At Fireline? Or Brilex? What does contemporary manufacturing look like? Please click here to share your story.

New Book News: Genevieve Kaplan, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth & Laura Van Prooyen (YouTube Live)

New Book News! This is the last reading in the series. We celebrate these poets and the publication of their new books Sunday, May 2 at 7 PM EST. Join us on Lit Youngstown’s YouTube channel for a live reading and conversation.

Genevieve Kaplan is the author of In the ice house (Red Hen, 2011) and four chapbooks. She lives in Southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.
(aviary) Veliz Books

The author of A Wake with Nine Shades (2019), Jennifer Sperry Steinorth is a poet, teacher, interdisciplinary artist and licensed builder. Her work has recently appeared in Cincinnati Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, TriQuarterly, Plume, Pleiades, and Rhino.
Her Read, a graphic poem (Texas Review Press)

Laura Van Prooyen is author of three collections of poetry and is Managing Editor of The Cortland Review, founder of Next Page Press (first release late 2021), and lives in San Antonio, TX.
Frances of the Wider Field (Lily Poetry Review Books)

Speculative Summer Workshop (Zoom)

Speculative Summer Workshop
 
Bring your space invaders, ghost ships, and hidden treasures to this
relaxed and supportive virtual monthly workshop for writers of fantasy,
sci-fi, horror, weird, speculative, or genre-mash ups.  Workshop hours
will include excerpt readings, feedback, and discussions of participant
submissions.  Long fiction and short stories welcome. Participants are
asked to limit total submission length to fifteen pages (approximately 5
pages per workshop). Space is limited, register early.

Process: Send a maximum of 15 pages to LitYoungstown@gmail.com by
May 11; early reading encouraged/optional for participants.
What’s Your Story? Introductions and Project Overviews: May 11

Speculative Summer Workshop. Adults & teens. 2nd Tuesdays, May 11-August 10, 7:00-8:30 PM EST, on Zoom. Course fee is $25 (scholarships are available). Please register here before May 10. Limited seating.

Meet the Teaching Artist: An admirer of strange wonders, sleights of hand, and carousels, E. F. Schraeder writes poetry and fiction that is often inspired by not quite real worlds. Schraeder’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Pulp Modern, Mystery Weekly Magazine, and other journals and anthologies.

Teen Writers Workshop Monday May 10 (Zoom)

Monday, May 10 7:00-8:30 PM EST on Zoom. Teen Writers Workshops are informal, respectful gatherings for writing and creative expression. All experience levels welcome. Teens only, please. Attend any number of workshops after registering here.

Meet the teaching artist: James Winter is an Associate Professor of English at Kent State University. His work has won the CRAFT Short Fiction Prize, a Pushcart Special Mention, an Honorable Mention for the J.F. Powers Prize, and was a finalist for the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize. He has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and published in One Story, Salamander, PANK Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and Dappled Things, among others.

Many thanks to James for leading this workshop! Carrie George will return in June.

Food for Thought: Writer-as-Subject

Our next round of discussion titles will circle the author: books on writers Louis Bromfield (Heyman) and James Baldwin (Glaude); an imagined life of Robert Burns (McCallum); fictional writers, such as a cancer patient having hard conversations with her mother (Strout) and a fictionalized memoir of a dying brother and family history (Urrea) ; pandemic essays (Smith) and travel essays (Lopez) and memoir of early life (Solnit) and eco-memoir (Kimmerer).

We’ve been on Zoom for the last year, and look forward to meeting again in person. More on the when and where soon.

September (biography) The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution by Heyman, Stephen
October (poetry) No Ruined Stone by Shara McCallum
November (novel) My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
December (essays) Intimations by Zadie Smith
January (memoir) Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer
February (biography) Begin Again by Eddie Glaude
March (travel essays) Horizon by Barry Lopez
April (fictionalized memoir) The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
May (memoir) Recollections of My Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit

Food for Thought: An American Marriage (Zoom)

“The personalized salutation, the handwriting quirks, and the inside jokes sprinkled throughout offer a glimpse at an interior world only the recipient is meant to see. There is no performance, no act put on for third-party observers. And while perusing just one letter between two people provides hints into their relationship, digging into a whole trove of letters sent over the course of several years can reveal intricacies that face-to-face interaction with the authors never would.” Tori Latham, The Atlantic.

Wednesday, May 12, 6:00-7:00 PM EST. Copies of this book are available from the Mahoning County Public Library, Trumbull County Public Library, Maag Library via OhioLink, and the YSU Barnes and Noble. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Register for the Zoom room here.

This is the last book in our series of titles by Black authors. We take a break during the summer and return in fall with a new series on writer-as-character (fiction, poetry, memoir, biography).

First Wednesday: Cris Harris & Kellie Kirksey

The First Wednesday Readers Series presents memoirist Cris Harris & poet and wellness practitioner Kellie Kirksey. Co-hosted by Johanna Slivinske. Open mic to follow. Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 PM EST. Watch on Facebook Live, or register for the Zoom room.

Cris Harris is the author of I Have Not Loved You With My Whole Heart, a memoir about growing up in a household wrestling with faith, addiction, violence and the AIDS epidemic. He teaches writing and experiential education at an independent school outside of Cleveland. Recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for nonfiction, Cris’s essays have appeared at Post Road, Proximity Magazine, The New Engagement, Nowhere Magazine and the Indiana Review.

Kellie Kirksey is a global traveler, speaker, poet, tree hugger, yoga teacher, holistic psychotherapist, family lover, drummer, dancer, spa promoter, heart centered hypnotherapist, live happily life consultant, essential oil enthusiast, wellness promoter and has presented workshops and wellness circles both nationally and internationally.

Fall Lit Fest 2021 Registration Opens

Are you a reader, writer, editor, publisher, or educator of the literary arts? We hope you will join us for the 5th annual Fall Literary Festival in Youngstown, Ohio, October 7-9.

This year’s conference theme is “Our Shared Story” and we are thrilled to host visiting writers Ross Gay (poet & essayist, Indiana University), Jan Beatty (poet & memoirist, Chatham University), Matt Forrest Esenwine (children’s author, New Hampshire), Bonnie Proudfoot (novelist & poet, Hocking College), & Mike Geither (playwright, Cleveland State University).

Seventy-three presenters from throughout the U.S. will present on many aspects of reading, understanding, writing, editing and publishing creative works. Please visit the Fall Literary Festival page to register and learn more, as we continue to add details and information. Hope to see you there!

This event is made possible with major funding from The Centofanti Foundation.