Category Archives: Book Group

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!

*Until August 31
Short Short Fiction Contest open, submit here

*Wed. Sept. 4 7:00 Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Lit Youngstown First Wednesday Series Reading: Clint Elston & Brandon Noel, open mic emceed by Elizabeth Burnette

*Tues. Sept. 10 6:30-8:00 Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St.
City Club of the Mahoning Valley, “Separation of Roots and State: Where are They Now?”

Mexican immigration occupies a complex position in U.S. public opinion. Immigration law has oscillated throughout the 20th century between welcoming Mexican immigrants and vehemently rejecting them. What happens to the country they left behind? What about the loved ones unable to make the dangerous trek to America?

Panelists

  • Violeta Aguirre (Vi)
    Coordinadora del Alcance Comunitario para Hispanos (Hispanic Outreach Coordinator), Catholic Charities
  • Erin Phemester
    Programming and Youth Services Director, Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County

Moderator

  • Nicole Pettitt, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor / K-12 TESOL Endorsement Coordinator; Chair, Refugee Concerns Interest Section – TESOL, International Department of English, Youngstown State University

*Tues. Sept. 17 First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown 1105 Elm St.
An Evening of Immigrant Narratives
5:30 Food for Thought Book discussion, Into the Beautiful North *(change of date & time!)
6:30 Ethnic foods potluck (please bring a dish or drink to share)
7:00 Traveling Stanzas, Wick Poetry Center
8:00 Youngstown Immigrant Narratives

urrea_north

*Sat. Sept. 21 3:30 YSU Ward Beecher Planetarium
The Sky We Share
Our constellations mainly come from the Greeks, so why do they have Latin names? And what’s up with those Arabic star names, anyway? In this live presentation of the night sky, we will journey through the stars and explore the different ways they take shape across cultures and the ages. Learn of the importance of the stars for navigation, time-keeping, and storytelling.

*Tues. Oct. 1 7:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.
Book discussion, Into the Beautiful North

*Wed. Oct. 2 7:00 Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Lit Youngstown First Wednesday Series Reading: EF Schroeder & Michelle Smith, open mic emceed by Christopher Lesko

*Thurs. Oct. 3 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read Film Series: Magnificent Seven, introduced by Dr. Laura Beadling

*Thurs. Oct. 3 7:00 Downtown Hilton DoubleTree, 44 E. Federal Plaza, 2nd floor lounge
Fall Literary Festival gathering in, registration and conversation

*Fri. Oct. 4 Fall Literary Festival
9:00-4:00 YSU Kilcawley Center registration/fee required
5:00-6:30 Dinner, St. John’s Episcopal Church registration/fee required
7:00-8:30 Reading: Steven Caumo, winner of Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship
Erica Cardwell & Philip MetresLiterary Festival Logo Design

*Sat. Oct. 5 Fall Literary Festival
9:00-4:00 YSU Kilcawley Center registration/fee required
4:30 Dedication Words Made Visible sidewalk project
6:00-6:45 Dinner, Downtown Hilton DoubleTree Ballroom registration/fee required
7:00 Reading, winner, short short fiction contest
Keynote George Ella Lyon

*Mon. Oct. 7 6:30 Casa Ramirez, 1578 Mahoning Ave.
Hands-on demonstration: making sopes
Free with registration

*Wed. Oct. 9 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read Film Series: Stand and Deliver
(Food for Thought book discussion cancelled)

*Thurs. Oct. 10 5:00-7:00 3rd Floor Maag Library, YSURoss Gay Flyer
Crossings: NEA Big Read YSU Student Art Show Opening
Exhibit Oct. 10-27

*Fri. Oct. 11 7:30 St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.
Reading: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts hosts Ross Gay & Jason Harris

*Tues. Oct. 15 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read author Luis Alberto Urrea
Special Guests The Labra Brothers

5:00 -5:45 Book signing
6:00 Reading, Q&A with Dr. Timothy Francisco

*Thurs. Oct. 17 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read Film Series: The Bronze Screen, introduced by Dr. Laura Beadling
(Third Thursday Writers Circle canceled)

 

 

 

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.

urrea_north

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.

library logo

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.

Food for Thought: Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Cokie Roberts spoke to a packed house at Stambaugh Auditorium last year, and we have cokie_mothersselected her book to conclude our series of titles by recent author visitors to the Valley. About Founding Mothers, the Washington Post writes, “Just because the founding mothers were unappreciated in their own time doesn’t mean we have to continue the trend.”

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

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, May 8, 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.

We will take the summer off and resume this fall with a series on humankind and the natural world.

Food for Thought: Unforgettable

Scott Simon was a recent speaker at St. John’s Episcopal Church, and we have selected his scottsimonbook2book as part of our series of titles by recent author visitors to the Valley. About Unforgettable, the New York Times writes, “Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” proves to be an able guide to the art of saying goodbye in his deeply affecting new memoir, Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime.”

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

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, April 10, 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. Here are this series’ upcoming selections by writers who have recently visited the Valley.

May 15 (Nonfiction) Cokie Roberts | Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Food for Thought: Get in Trouble

Kelly Link was a recent visiting writer at YSU, and we have selected her book as part of indexour series of titles by recent author visitors to the Valley. About Get in Trouble, the New York Times writes, “It has taken Link 10 years to produce her new story collection, Get in Trouble, and it is just as brilliant as her last, Magic for Beginners.”

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

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, March 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. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us. Here are this series’ upcoming selections by writers who have recently visited the Valley:

April 10 (Memoir) Scott Simon | Unforgettable
May 15 (Nonfiction) Cokie Roberts | Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Food for Thought: I’m Still Here

Austin Channing Brown recently spoke at St. John’s Episcopal Church, so we have selected her book as part of our series of titles by recent author visitors to the Valley. About I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness the publisher writes, “Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Austin writes, ‘I had to learn what it means to love blackness,’ a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion.”

You can find copies of the book at the Mahoning (e-book) and Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink, from the publisher, and at the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, February 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. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us. Here are this series’ upcoming selections by writers who have recently visited the Valley:

March 13 (Novel, Speculative Fiction) Kelly Link | Get in Trouble
April 10 (Memoir) Scott Simon | Unforgettable
May 15 (Nonfiction) Cokie Roberts | Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Food for Thought: Crossings

Join us for a conversation about Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story by Fall Literary Festival visiting writer Jon Kerstetter. Read more about the memoir here.

crossings
Food for Thought book discussion will meet at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, November 14, 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.

Here are this year’s selections by writers who have recently visited the Valley:
October 10 (Short stories) Lesley Nneka Arimah What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky
November 14 (Memoir) Jon Kerstetter Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story
December 12 (Poetry) Allison Pitinii Davis Line Study of a Motel Clerk
January 9 (Historical Novel) Robert Olmstead Savage Country
February 13 (Nonfiction) Austin Channing Brown I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness
March 13 (Novel, Speculative Fiction) Kelly Link Get in Trouble
April 10 (Memoir) Scott Simon Unforgettable
May 15 (Nonfiction) Cokie Roberts Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Food for Thought: Camp Olvido

camp olvidoLawrence Coates, historical fiction writer, was a First Wednesday Series reader and is the author of Food for Thought selection The Garden of the World. His novella, Camp Olvido, was recently optioned for a film. Read more about the book here.

We will meet at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, May 9, 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.

We are at the end of a series of books that explore the American experience. Peruse the rest of the titles here. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

Food for Thought: Phenomenal Women

phenomenalwomennewThe next book discussion will take up Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories. This collection of oral histories, edited and published by Lit Youngstown, is in the stacks at the public library and branches, and is available for $16 at Three Sheep Gallery & Workshop, Tyler History Center and at upcoming Lit Youngstown events.

We will meet at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, March 14, 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.

We are in the midst of a series of books that explore the American experience. Peruse the rest of the titles here. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.