Category Archives: Book Group

Food for Thought: The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future

This round, our book discussion is immersed in a theme of humankind and the natural world. Our next Food for Thought selection is a heavy lift, but after the fiction and poetry we have read, set so intensely in the natural world, this book will lend us the accuracy and language to understand contemporary interconnections between humans and the natural world. The book opens with the words, “It is worse, much worse than you think.” Read an NPR review here.

You can find copies at the Mahoning and Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought is hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, February 12, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

Upcoming Food for Thought Titles:

March 11 (Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

2019 Annual Report

We published our 2019 Annual Report! Thanks to all–you put the light in Lit Youngstown. There were so many to thank, our hearts are full. We hope we haven’t forgotten anyone, but if we did, please let us know.

Food for Thought: For a Little While

67776435_1413485245456518_8050088538974191616_oNew Year’s Day bumps our book discussion to the 15th! Join us for a conversation about the short story collection For a Little While by acclaimed writer Rick Bass.

New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner writes of Bass’s collection, “He is a keen and relentless observer of woods and prairies and beasts of every variety, so much so that many of these stories could be dropped intact into The Best American Science and Nature Writing and no one would blink.”

You can find copies of the book at the Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, January 15, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

Food for Thought: Oceanic

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Author Tamiko Beyer writes in the Georgia Review of Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic, “The poet reminds her readers that as human beings of all races and genders, we must stay open to the world. We must forge connections with other humans and the nonhuman—and remain vulnerable.”

You can find copies of the book through YSU Maag Library via OhioLink, the Copper Canyon Press website, and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, December 11, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

January 15 (Fiction, Short Stories) For a Little While by Rick Bass
February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

Lit Youngstown Turns 5!!!!!

Five years! It’s gone by in a flash. Let’s take a moment to celebrate all we’ve done together. And then let’s have a party!

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Jeffrey Murphy, Laura Grace Weldon, Jeanne Bryner & David Lee Garrison at the dedication of the Words Made Visible poetry-in-sidewalk squares

Since January of 2015 we have hosted nearly 400 writers, celebrating local talent and  visiting writers who have won prestigious awards. Local writers from age 6 to their 80s have shared poems and stories at open mics. (Photos: Mary Biddinger & Mary Quade, Lena Carson, Yahia Tahat, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jimmy Sutman, Marjorie Maddox) Continue reading

Food for Thought: The Overstory

This round of titles, we’ll be immersed in a theme of humankind and the natural world. The Overstory 67646395_1412675748870801_5716195961638748160_nearned Richard Powers a Pulitzer Prize in fiction, the committee describing the novel as “an ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.”

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, November 13, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. All books are available through the YSU Maag or public library systems, and at the YSU Barnes & Noble. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

December 11 (Poetry) Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
January 15 (Fiction, Short Stories) For a Little While by Rick Bass
February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

NEA Big Read Book Talk, Potluck & Stories Sept. 17

urrea_northWe are so excited to invite you to the official kick-off of our NEA Big Read! Many thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown for being wonderful hosts. Please bring a food or drink to share, and join us at this free event. If you haven’t yet read the book, don’t worry. If you have, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

We are thrilled to welcome the Wick Poetry Center to talk about some of their incredible work in the community, using poetry to create bridges of understanding. And profound thank you to our international friends for sharing their stories. Continue reading

O Autumn Fruitfulness!

September and October are filling up so richly, we’re going to dedicate a square to all that’s going on, between the NEA Big Read (centered around Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea), the Fall Literary Festival, a reading by poet and native Youngstowner Ross Gay, and our usual Lit Yo activities.NEA Big Read

We’ll add to this calendar as pieces come together. All events are free and open to the public with no reservation required, unless otherwise indicated.

This is a partial list of Big Read activities; please visit the calendar of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County for the whole beautiful thing! Continue reading

NEA Big Read Grant

The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County (PLYMC) with Lit Youngstown received a grant of $15,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Mahoning County. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

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Our selected book is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, also the September book in our Food for Thought book discussion series. Mr. Urrea will visit the Valley this fall, and there will be many activities relating to the book and its themes in a month-long calendar of events.  Numerous electronic and hard copies will be available at the public library and branches, and at the two Barnes & Noble bookstores. The Youngstown Rotary will stock each of their Little Free Libraries with a copy, as well.

NEA Big ReadWe are so grateful to the professional, hardworking staff at the public library for their partnership, to the NEA and Arts Midwest for selecting our proposal (one of only two in Ohio and 78 nationwide), and to the many community partners who agreed to host an event during our Big Read. We’ll share the calendar as soon as the ink dries.

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Food for Thought: Humankind in the Natural World

After a summer hiatus, Food for Thought book discussion will start up in September with a series on being in the natural world. Each series’s books represents a cross-section of genres and contemporary voices, and this round we will read novels, nonfiction, and collections of poetry and short stories.

Food for Thought will meet the 2nd Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 at Cultivate Café, 901 Elm St., by Wick Park. Cultivate closes at 6:00, so if you’d like a bite to eat, please arrive early.

The books will be available from the YSU Barnes & Noble and we’ll find out which are at the public library, and which are available from the press.

September 17 (Fiction, Novel) Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
*This discussion will be part of a special evening at the First Unitarian Church of Youngstown, 1105 Elm St., part of the Big Read calendar of activities:
5:30 Food for Thought Book discussion, Into the Beautiful North
6:30 Ethnic potluck
7:00 Traveling Stanzas, Wick Poetry Center
8:00 Youngstown Immigrant Narratives
October (Cancelled for Big Read event)
November 13 (Fiction, Novel) The Overstory by Richard Powers
December 11 (Poetry) Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
January 8 (Fiction, Short Stories) For a Little While by Rick Bass
February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery, Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

When we read a book, we want to talk about it! If you feel that way, too, hope you’ll join us.