Author Archives: lityoungstown

Food for Thought: Black Authors

Last round, we enjoyed a series of books surrounding the theme of humankind in the natural world. As usual, we take the summer off and start up in September with a new series, this time books by Black authors. Hope you’ll join us.

September through December we’ll meet 2nd Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00. We met at Cultivate Cafe until we switched to Zoom. We miss meeting in person and will do so as soon as it’s safe. In January we’ll move to 2nd Thursdays.

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Alex Clark for The Guardian: “With the publication of The Autograph Man, Zadie Smith fulfills her early promise and shows another side… The Autograph Man tells us how she (Zadie Smith) feels and what she thinks about a lot of other things, too, among them Jewishness and goyishness, Zen Buddhism, the relationship between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, being upgraded to business class, living on your own with a cat, the manic internationalism of hotel breakfasts, male bonding and female bravery, Ginger Rogers and Lauren Bacall.”

The Autograph Man is available at the Trumbull County Library, and the YSU Barnes and Noble.

September 9 (fiction) The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
October 14 (fiction) The Water Dancer by Ta Nehisi Coates
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 Adiche
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

“I felt like an outsider, which is probably why I am a writer,” a Conversation with Cynthia Atkins

Lit Youngstown’s summer intern Danny Gage asked poet Cynthia Atkins a few questions about her work and writing life. Cynthia will be a featured writer at the online 2020 Fall Literary Festival September 24-26.

DG: In what ways has your home, Southern Appalachia influenced your writing and your views on existence?

cynthia atkinsCA: I’m a native Chicagoan, by way of New York City, Brooklyn, and I wound up living in Rockbridge County, VA by way of love. I met my partner and hubby, Phillip at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. We fell head over heels, and so I moved to these parts 25 years ago. I guess this is my forever home now. I raised my son here and I feel I now have roots in these parts. But at first, I felt like a Yankee, very much a fish out of water—A proud feminist and a Jew, living in a college mountain town where Confederate flags still hang and so much Civil War history.  Bathroom wallpaper had Civil War generals.  As a Midwesterner, this was all foreign to me. So while this has been a peaceful and very loving community, I have often felt ‘an outsider’—Perfect strangers thought they had every right to ask me ‘what church I belonged to’—when I’d respond, “I’m a Jew”—a few mouths dropped open. As a writer, I’ve found I’ve never felt comfortable belonging to any one group or grouping. I felt like an outsider, which is probably why I am a writer. Continue reading

Playwriting Workshop: The Power of Ten

The Power of Ten

82234858_1564294787042229_6689842761056649216_oGoogle the question “What can you do in 10 minutes” and you’ll get suggestions from vacuuming a single room to matching socks to cleaning out a junk drawer. In this class, students will read, discuss and write a ten-minute play. It will take students more than ten minutes to write it (4 weeks to be exact) but the performance of the piece will land right in that ten-minute sweet spot. Students will be invited to read or perform their final works.

The Power of Ten: a Playwriting Workshop. Wednesdays, July 8-29, 5:30-6:45 p.m., on Zoom. Is this your first Zoom call? Click here to watch a brief tutorial.
Two registrations: Zoom here and Lit Youngstown here by July 6. Course fee is $25 (or pay as you are able). Please click here to pay via Paypal or credit card or mail a check payable to Lit Youngstown/323 Wick Ave. #9/Youngstown 44503. Thank you!

Meet the Teaching Artist: Kelly Bancroft’s plays have been produced in Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Cleveland. She earned an MFA from the NEOMFA program at YSU. She is also a poet and prose writer. A short documentary she co-produced based on one of her plays was a selection of the Cleveland International Film Festival.

July 1st Poetry Reading: Diane Kendig & Hannah Rodabaugh

Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by poets Diane Kendig & Hannah Rodabaugh. Open mic to follow. We will also be celebrating National Gingersnap Day. The reading will be live on Zoom and Facebook. If you would like to participate in the open mic, please register here.

Diane-Kendig
Diane Kendig’s recent collections include Prison Terms and the anthology, In the Company of Russell Atkins. A recipient of OAC Fellowships and other awards, she has published poetry and prose in journals such as J Journal, Under the Sun, and Blueline. She curates, “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry,” now in its sixth year with over 2200 subscribers.

 

hannah_rodabaugh
Hannah Rodabaugh received an MA in literature from Miami University and an MFA in poetry from Naropa University. She is the author of With Words: Verse in Concordance (Dancing Girl Press). She received grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and the Alexa Rose Foundation, and she is a 2017 Artist in Residence for Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. She works as a teaching writer at The Cabin and as a co-curator for Ghosts & Projectors, a Boise-based poetry reading series.

Workshop: Writing a Strong Humanities Graduate School Application

82234858_1564294787042229_6689842761056649216_oWriting a Strong Humanities Graduate School Application

Applying to graduate school in the humanities is confusing and, let’s face it, until you actually have to write these documents, most people have never even heard of them. This class will focus on learning to craft effective personal statements (and other documents) for applying to graduate school.

Writing a Strong Humanities Graduate School Application. Saturday, June 20, 1:00-4:00 p.m., on Zoom. Please register twice by June 19: here for Lit Youngstown and here for access to Zoom. Course fee is $15 (or pay as you are able). Please click here to pay via Paypal or credit card or mail a check payable to Lit Youngstown/323 Wick Ave. #9/Youngstown 44503. Thank you!

Meet the Instructor: Dr. Laura Beadling earned her Ph.D in American Studies from Purdue University and has taught at YSU in the English Department since 2013, where she is currently an Associate Professor of English and Film Studies. She has served on committees that deal with graduate students in a number of capacities.

Have a Class or Workshop Idea?

Lityo-storyLit Youngstown seeks workshop ideas for July through the end of the year.

We pay $250 for a 5-6 week workshop or $150 for a half day “short.” Our participants vary, from emerging to experienced writers, teens to retired adults, working in a variety of genres. We are seeking workshops on general and specific themes, open to all genres or genre-specific.

Please submit your workshop proposal here. If your idea doesn’t fit the form, use the “Anything else we need to know” box to share your thoughts.

First Wednesday Zoom Features Terry Provost & Nicole Robinson

We sure will miss hanging out with you at the Soap Gallery, never mind that it will be National Chocolate Macaroon Day.  But join us for the next best thing: these poetry readings will be off the charts! Open mic to follow. For an invitation to Zoom, please email LitYoungstown@gmail.com. We’ll open the Zoom Room at 6:30, Wed. June 3. Reading begins at 7:00. Or kick back and catch us on Facebook Live.
Terry for Schubert
Originally from Troy, New York, Terry Provost is an adjunct professor of math at Tri-C, who has written poetry for over 20 years, performing it from Seattle to Providence. His two books are Compassionate Imperialism, and An Uncountable Infinity of Orgasms. He hosts Bowled Over by Poetry at Mahall’s in Lakewood, Ohio.
nikkiLit Youngstown board of directors member Nicole Robinson’s poems have appeared in Great River Review, The Columbia Journal, CALYX, and elsewhere. She has received an Individual Excellence Award for poetry from the Ohio Arts Council and holds an MFA in poetry from Ashland University. Robinson is the Narrative Medicine Coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Birdbath Raffle!

Back by popular demand! And with gratitude to sculptor Tony Armeni, we are again raffling a gorgeous birdbath. You can see it in person and purchase tickets at Westside Bowl!

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The winner will receive delivery and installation (local) or shipping to anywhere in the continental U.S. (The ring is for stability and is meant to lie below mulch.)

The winning ticket will be drawn on Sunday, July 12. We are blue that there will be no Summer Festival of the Arts this year, but we support YSU’s decision to promote safe summer activities. And what is safer than birdwatching?

Tickets cost 2 for $5.00. Proceeds will be split between the artist and Lit Youngstown. Stop by Westside Bowl, click on the PayPal/credit card link below, or mail a check made payable to Lit Youngstown/323 Wick Ave. #9/Youngstown, 44503.

Thank you!

Armeni Birdbath Raffle

Take a chance on winning an elegant birdbath by Youngstown metals sculptor Tony Armeni. Proceeds help support our literary programming. Two tickets for $5.00 Good luck!

$5.00

New for Kids!

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We’re looking for kids ages 4-12 who would like to have a penpal. Getting a letter in the mail that’s just for you is a great feeling. Getting to know someone you’ve never met by sending stories, memories, jokes, poems, pictures, stickers… is just good fun.

We’re starting the PenPal Project! We’ll match kids by age. For more information and to register, click here.