Author Archives: lityoungstown

New Book News: Bruce Bond, Lauren Camp & Megan Merchant

New Book News! We celebrate Bruce Bond, Lauren Camp and Megan Merchant and their new poetry collections, published during lock-down. Join us on YouTube for a live reading and conversation.

Bruce Bond is the author of 27 books including, most recently, Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), and The Calling (Parlor Press, 2020). Presently he is a Regents Emeritus Professor of English at the University of North Texas.

Lauren Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press, 2020). Her honors include the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Her work has been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic.

Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ and is the author of three full-length poetry collections with Glass Lyre Press: Gravel Ghosts (2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, 2017), Grief Flowers (2018), four chapbooks, and a children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (Philomel Books). Her latest book, Before the Fevered Snow, came into the world in April 2020 with Stillhouse Press. She is an Editor at Pirene’s Fountain and The Comstock Review.

New Book News: Elana Bell, Susana H. Case & Mervyn Taylor

New Book News! We celebrate Elana Bell, Susana H. Case and Mervyn Taylor and their new poetry collections, published during lock-down. Join us on Lit Youngstown YouTube for a live reading and conversation, Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 4 PM – 5 PM EST.

Elana Bell is the author of Mother Country (BOA Editions 2020). Her debut collection, Eyes, Stones, received the Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Elana has received grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. She was an inaugural finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, an award that recognizes a poet doing transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change. Elana teaches poetry to actors at the Juilliard School.

Susana H. Case is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Dead Shark on the N Train, from Broadstone Books, 2020, which won a Pinnacle Book Award for Best Poetry Book. She is also the author of five chapbooks. Her first collection, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press.

Mervyn Taylor, Trinidad-born poet, is a longtime Brooklyn resident. He has taught at Bronx Comm. College, the New School, and in the NYC public school system. He’s the author of seven books of poetry, including No Back Door and The Waving Gallery. Country of Warm Snow, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was published in August 2020. A chapbook of Corona poems is due out in October 2020, from Broadstone Books. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board of Slapering Hol Press.

New Book News: Kathryn Nuernberger, Deborah Paredez & Michael Waters

New Book News! We celebrate Kathryn Nuernberger, Deborah Paredez and Michael Waters and their new poetry collections, published during lock-down. Join us on Lit Youngstown YouTube for a live reading and conversation, Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 7 PM – 8 PM EST.

Kathryn Nuernberger is the author of the poetry collections, RUE, The End of Pink and Rag & Bone. She has also written the essay collections Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past and The Witch of Eye (forthcoming in 2021). Her awards include the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets, an NEA fellowship, and notable essays in the Best American series.

Deborah Paredez is a poet and cultural critic. Her most recent book is the poetry volume, Year of the Dog (BOA 2020). She is the Co-Founder of CantoMundo, a national organization for Latinx poets. She lives in New York City where she teaches creative writing and ethnic studies at Columbia University.

Michael Waters. Brooklyn boy. NEA & Guggenheim Fellow. Recent books include The Dean of Discipline (Pitt, 2018) & Celestial Joyride (BOA, 2016), as well as a coedited anthology, Border Lines: Poems of Migration (Knopf, 2020). Also coeditor of Contemporary American Poetry (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).

Food for Thought: The Water Dancer

“In an essay on race and memory, Toni Morrison wrote of ‘the stress of remembering, its inevitability, [but] the chances for liberation that lie within the process.’ Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new novel, The Water Dancer, is an experiment in taking Morrison’s ‘chances for liberation’ literally: What if memory had the power to transport enslaved people to freedom?” by Annalisa Quinn of NPR.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 6 PM – 7 PM EST on Zoom. Register here for the 2020 book discussions on the second Wednesday.

The Water Dancer is available from The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Trumbull County Public Library, and the YSU Barnes and Noble. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

Upcoming titles:

November 11 (poetry) Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
December 9 Any children’s book by a Black author
January 14 (short stories) The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
February 11 (fiction) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
March 11 (fiction) We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
April 8 (speculative fiction) Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
May 13 (fiction) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

New Book News! Rick Bursky, John Gallaher & Elizabeth Powell

New Book News! We celebrate Rick Bursky, John Gallaher and Elizabeth Powell and their new poetry collections, published during lock-down. Join us on Lit Youngstown YouTube for a live reading and conversation, Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 3 PM – 4 PM EST.

Rick Bursky is an adjunct at USC and occasionally teaches poetry for UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. He is the author of I’m No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance, also with BOA Editions (2015), Death Obscura with Sarabande Books (2010), and The Soup of Something Missing with Bear Star Press (2004).

John Gallaher is the author of five collections of poetry, and co-author of two. He is the co-editor of the Laurel Review and lives in rural Missouri.

Elizabeth Powell is the author of three books of poems, most recently, ATOMIZER. Her novel Concerning the Holy Ghost’s Interpretation of JCREW Catalogues was published in 2019. She is Professor of Writing and Literature at Northern Vermont University.

Fall Lit Fest Registration Open! Coming up Quick!

4th Annual Fall Literary Festival
Via Videoconference
September 24-26, 2020, EST

kristinavogelI sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
–Walt Whitman

Our hardworking planning committee began planning this conference in February. It seemed so far away, and then screeeee!–what a tailspin–but here we are, meeting on Zoom, and it’s really coming together. Just a few more weeks to register.

This year’s theme is In Many Tongues: Constituents of the Barbaric Yawp.

This year’s conference will be centered around writing and publishing, literary inclusion, translating and translation, dialect and dialog, atypical modes of speech, and the generational, political, ecological, and experimental elements that add to the wider literary conversation.

The conference will include creative readings, craft talks, workshops and panel discussions on writing, reading, teaching, performing, editing and publishing creative works. Highly acclaimed visiting faculty will share their experience and insights, and over 50 presenters from Ohio and beyond will speak on a variety of topics.

PenPals Seek PenPals


We have matched 17 sets of PenPals! Our PenPal parents tell us their kids love getting a letter just for them. We have 6 kids looking for a match. Their interests include video games, geography, fashion, Germany and riding bikes. Know anyone (from anywhere!) aged 4-12 who would like to meet someone new? We are also looking for an adult PenPal for an immigrant to Germany who wishes to learn English.
For more information and to register, click here.

Food for Thought: The Autograph Man

Food for Thought!


We missed everyone during our usual summer break. Let’s get the convo re-started with Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man, Wednesday September 9 from 6:00-7:00. September through December we’ll meet 2nd Wednesdays on Zoom (until it’s safe to return to Cultivate Cafe). This registration link will give you access to the remaining 2020 discussions. In January we’ll switch to 2nd Thursdays, with a new registration link.

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