Category Archives: Announcements

Words Made Visible

So much congratulations to four poets whose poems were selected to be letterpressed into broadsides by The Cranky Pressman.

“Working the Long Shift” by Craig Paulenich
“Train, Loud, Lonesome, Leaving Without Me” by Dianne Borsenik
“Spooning” by Caitlyn Ryan
“Nylon” by Kerry Trautman

The broadsides will be exhibited at the Words Made Visible monthlong gallery show at The Soap Gallery in downtown Youngstown for the month of February. The opening will be Saturday, February 3.

These poems were selected in a blind judging by Nicole Robinson, Steve Reese and Jennifer Cline. Thank you to our judges, to the Ohio writers who sent hundreds of poems and short prose for our project, and to the Ohio Arts Council for the encouragement and funding.

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Thank You, Ohio Arts Council

With the announcement of our Ohio Arts Council grant, seems like a good time for an update on the Words Made Visible project.OAC_full-color-cmyk-logo

But first, woop woop! and so much thank you. With public funding on the chopping block, we are grateful to Governor Kasich and the Ohio Legislature for defending the value of the arts in our communities.

The panel discussion on our project was uplifting: Panelists noted that they liked the multidisciplinary nature of this proposal, that the activities truly work towards the goal of engaging as many writers as possible, that they are glad to see Lit Youngstown is encouraging new work, and considered Words Made Visible a fascinating idea to transform literary arts into visual arts, among other comments.

The first chunk of Words Made Visible is now finished: from many hundreds of submissions of poetry and short prose, the Lit Youngstown board selected ten finalists, then three winning poems and a set of haiku; of these winners, YSU student graphic designer Laura Garvin created a series of posters.

 

The featured poems are
“Men of Beautiful Countenance” by Craig Paulenich
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon
“The Neighborhood Girls Fall for the WKBN Meteorologist” by Allison Pitinii Davis
Haiku by Elliot Nicely & Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

With support from the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, we gave out posters to hundreds of visitors to our tent, and hosted a reading by our project finalists, Dianne Borsenik, Luke Martinucci, Elliot Nicely & Craig Paulenich.

 

 

 

Next, in October, we will select four poems or short prose pieces to be letterpressed into broadsides by the Cranky Pressman.

Meanwhile, we will send the poems and stories to faculty in the Art Department at YSU, who will use the project in their classrooms, asking students to create visual work that responds to the literary work. Ceramics professor Missy McCormick’s summer class created such work, and here one pairing:

Feral
by Laura Grace Weldonceramic_feral

Moonlight leaks through the curtains.
I lie awake, listen to coyote songs
circle and connect, stitching together
the night’s raw edges.

Each time I hear their howls
my bone marrow sings.
What’s muzzled in me lifts.
I seem silent and
yet my pulse races through the trees.

 

These poems and their ekphrastic pieces in ceramics, printmaking, drawing and painting, will be exhibited at the Soap Gallery the month of February, 2018. There will be a reception and reading/response for the writers and artists Saturday, February 3.

We will also select four short works to be stamped into sidewalk squares by Michael Staaf at Metro Sign.

We hope you will join us along the way, celebrating the literary and visual arts, and their intriguing relationship.

Winning Poems for Summer Festival Posters

We received many hundreds of wonderful poems and stories for our Words Made Visible projects! Thank you all! It was so challenging, but we have selected the winners and finalists for the first part of the project.

Winners:

“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon
“Men of Beautiful Countenance” by Craig Paulenich
“The Neighborhood Girls Fall for the WKBN Meteorologist” by Allison Pitinii Davis
Haiku: “dandelion field,” “dentist office window” and “winter constellations” by Elliot Nicely
“irises” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

Finalists:

“Cindo de Mayo Moon” by Dianne Borsenik
“Cold Green” by Catherine Wing
“The Hawk in the Woods” by Luke Martinucci
“My Great-Great Grandmother” by Craig Paulenich
“Spring in the Hollow” by Kari Gunter-Seymour
“Tractor” by Lori Gravley
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon

The judging was blind, by Lit Youngstown staff and board of directors.
Winning poems will be made into posters and given away at the Summer Festival of the Arts. Winners and finalists are invited to a reading during the Festival.
Mark your calendar and come visit us during the festival! July 8-9 at YSU.

Quilt Raffle Tickets

quilt-hanging2
Like to win this quilt? We’ve got you covered.

Thank you to local artist Sheila Ugolini for offering this gorgeous handmade quilt for our summer art raffle. The bold, bright colors caught our eye, as did the intricate stitching. We think it would make an incredible gift, if any winner could part with it.

The quilt will be on display at Extending Grace gift shop 18 Liberty St. in Hubbard, Tickets are available at the shop or from Lit Youngstown board members (Davita Fitzgerald, Liz Hill, Kris Harrington, Sean Posey, Karen Schubert, Bill Soldan & Molly Toth).

Raffle tickets are $3.00 each, or 2 for $5.00. We will pull the winning ticket at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, July 9.  Your ticket will support the literary arts and a visual artist.

You can purchase tickets on line via Paypal, using the MAKE A DONATION button below. Just enter the amount you’d like to donate and enter your contact info using the “special instructions to the seller” option. We’ll translate your donation into raffle tickets when we get the notification email, and you will have a chance to win this beautiful quilt. You can also send a check made out to Lit Youngstown to us at PO Box 804, Youngstown OH 44501. Be sure to include your address and phone number. Mail-in and Paypal ticket requests must be received by July 7.

Questions? Email us at lityoungstown@gmail.com

Youngstown Stories Project Video

As part of our oral history project Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories, we created a 10 minute video about the process. It includes shots from our celebratory reception in December, and comments from some of the people involved in the project.

View the video on YouTube.

The video was created by Jim Stickel and funded by the Raymond John Wean Foundation‘s Neighborhood Success Program. It was premiered at the Association of Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference in February.

lityoceremony_122016_061Jim also videotaped the staged reading of excerpts from the book. The reading was created by Kris Harrington, and read by Sierra McCorvey, Davita Fitzgerald, and Kim Voeks at our December reception. We love hearing the audience reaction to local names and places and the heartwarming stories. They gave the piece a standing ovation at the end.

View the staged reading on YouTube.

Please contact us if you’d like us to come to your group or class to discuss the project and the book, or share the video. We can also arrange a live staged reading, or share the script so your students or members can present it.

Meet Our Intern

We thank Sarah for helping us out this semester! Thanks, too, to the support from the YSU internship program.

sarah davisSarah Davis is a senior Creative Writing major and English studies minor at Youngstown State University and will be graduating in May 2017. She is the president of YSUrvivor, a student organization on campus based on the show Survivor. She is a lover of storytelling, superheroes, film, and television. Sarah will be continuing her education as a graduate student in Fall 2017, studying  Fiction in the NEOMFA program.