Category Archives: Events

Fall Literary Festival Registration Open

Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival

Saturday, September 30, 2017
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. &
Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, 305 Wick Ave.

Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival features readings, craft talks, writing workshops and a publishing panel, by acclaimed and accomplished faculty from Ohio and around the country. We welcome readers, writers, teachers & students of poetry, historical fiction, speculative fiction, memoir & film. Most appropriate for adults and older youth.

Register here. Cost for the day-long event: $25, includes sessions, morning coffee & pastries, lunch, cake, & cocktail reception. Convenient e-pay here.

Scholarships available for those who need assistance. Email Info@LitYoungstown.org.

Please let us know if you need accommodations.

Itinerary

8:00-9:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
Coffee, Pastries, Registration

8:30-9:45 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
Poetry Through an Editor’s Eyes, Slapering Hol Press editors Susana H. Case & Margo Taft Stever (bring two poems in progress)
Prose Workshop, Christopher Barzak
Memoir Workshop, Kelly Bancroft

10:00-10:50 Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
“Laying the Foundation: Concrete Imagery in Poetry,” Denise Duhamel
“Writing Historical Fiction: The Ever Unfolding Drama,” Robert Olmstead
“Not the Whole Truth: Writing Memoir,” Kelly Bancroft

11:00-11:45 Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
Fiction Reading, Robert Olmstead

12:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
Lunch by Cultivate Co-op Café

1:00-1:45 St. John’s Episcopal Church Sanctuary
Poetry Reading, Susana Case & Margo Taft Stever

2:00-3:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
On Publishing: Discussion and Q&A with Nin Andrews, Kelly Bancroft, Christopher Barzak,  Susana H. Case, Denise Duhamel, Robert Olmstead, Margo Taft Stever

3:00-3:30 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
Screening of Kelly Bancroft’s short film Arriving at Bessie
Cake by Selah Restaurant

3:30-4:30 St. John’s Episcopal Church Sanctuary
Poetry Reading: Nin Andrews & Denise Duhamel

4:30 St. John’s Episcopal Church Sanctuary
Cocktail Reception

Faculty

Nin Andrews’s poems and stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry, Best American Prose Poems, Sudden Stories: A Mammoth Anthology of Miniscule Fiction, The House of Your Dreams: An International Collection of Prose Poems, Seriously Funny, and Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence. The recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, she is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length poetry collections. Why God Is a Woman won the 2016 Ohioana award in poetry; her most recent is Miss August (CavanKerry Press, 2017).

Kelly Bancroft won an Ohio Arts Council individual artist award and Ragdale writer residencies. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Mudfish, XConnect, Jezebel and TIME, among others. A short documentary based on her family research was selected for this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. She is currently working on a full-length play and short essays in memoir.

Christopher Barzak is author of the Crawford Fantasy Award novel, One for Sorrow, made into Jamie Marks is Dead, a Sundance feature film. The Love We Share Without Knowing was a finalist for the Nebula Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Wonders of the Invisible World, (Knopf, 2015) received the Stonewall Honor Award from the American Library Association. He is author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays, surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives, supernatural fantasies, which won Best Collection in the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards. He teaches fiction writing in the NEOMFA program at YSU.

Susana H. Case is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Drugstore Blue (Five Oaks Press, 2017)and 4 Rms w Vu from Mayapple Press, as well as four chapbooks. One of her collections, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press in Poland. Her poems appear widely in magazines and anthologies. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.

Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Scald (Pittsburgh, 2017). Blowout (Pittsburgh, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009); Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orhisis, 1997).  She and Maureen Seaton co-authored CAPRICE (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New) (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Duhamel is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenhiem Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  The guest editor is for The Best American Poetry 2013, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.

Robert Olmstead is the author of seven novels, the memoir Stay Here With Me, and River Dogs, a collection of short stories.  His three most recent novels, known as the Childs Trilogy: Coal Black Horse, Far Bright Star, and The Coldest Night, have been optioned by Casey Affleck.  Far Bright Star, declared one of the top ten westerns of the decade by Booklist will be directed by Affleck and star Joaquin Phoenix. Olmstead’s many awards include two Ohioana Book Awards, Amazon Top 100, Kirkus Top 25, Publisher’s Weekly Top 100, a Spur Award for Best Novel from the Western Writers of America, Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction, a #1 Pick Booksense, Senior Arts Fellowships from Ohio and Pennsylvania, Idaho Press Club Award and Black Warrior Review Fiction Award, as well as Fellowships from the NEA and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Margo Taft Stever’s four poetry collections are The Lunatic Ball, Kattywompus Press, 2015; The Hudson Line, Main Street Rag, 2012; Frozen Spring, Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry, 2002; and Reading the Night Sky, Riverstone Poetry Chapbook Competition, 1996. In 2019, CRACKED PIANO, will be published by CavanKerry Press. Her poems have appeared widely in literary magazines and anthologies including Blackbird, Salamander, Prairie Schooner, Poem-A-Day, New England Review, Cincinnati Review, Rattapallax, Webster Review, Dire Elegies, Chance of a Ghost, and No More Masks. She is the founder of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and the founding and current co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. For more information, please see: www.margostever.com.

sj_transparentProfound thanks to our community partners making this festival possible: The Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation for their generosity and encouragement; Rector Gayle Catinella and the congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church, who envision the church as an artistic hub in our community;  library logo

Jo Nolfi and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, whose dedication to literacy and the literary arts dovetails our own; and the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, an academic home for creative literary excellence. NEOMFA logo

Lit Youngstown at Summer Festival of the Arts July 8-9

YSU’s Summer Festival of the Arts is the one of the highlights of our year!

And if that weren’t enough happiness, wait until you see the posters we’re giving away, designed by graphic artist Laura Garvin, featuring Words Made Visible poems by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, Allison Pitinii Davis, Elliot Nicely, Craig Paulenich, & Laura Grace Weldon. We imagine the posters in classrooms, dorm rooms, writing rooms, waiting rooms, hallways, offices, doors, and everywhere.

feral_posterAt 2:00 Saturday in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center, Words Made Visible finalists Dianne Borsenik and Elliot Nicely of Cleveland, Luke Martinucci of the Lewis School in Youngstown and Craig Paulenich of Salem will read their award-winning poems.

Allison Pitinii Davis is the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a full-length collection about small family businesses in the Youngstown area, and Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize. She holds an MFA from Ohio State University and fellowships from Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Severinghaus Beck Fund for Study at Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Her work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry 2016, Crazyhorse, and The Missouri Review. She will begin a PhD at The University of Tennessee in Fall 2017.

Luke Martinucci is 13 years old and has just completed eighth grade at the Valley Christian School Lewis Center in downtown Youngstown.  He live in Poland, Ohio.

Elliot Nicely is a poet and teacher from Lyme Township, Ohio. In recent years, he relocated to Lakewood, Ohio and released his first chapbook Tangled Shadows: Senryu and Haiku (Rosenberry Books, 2013). Over the last decade, his poetry has appeared across four continents and in more than a dozen anthologies.

Craig Paulenich is Professor of English at Kent State University-Salem, where he has worked since 1989; he lives outside Guilford Lake.

Lit Youngstown will be at the festival all weekend, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. Thank you to our volunteers who have offered an hour or two in the tent! Sunday afternoon we’ll choose the winning ticket for a stunning, full-sized, hand-crafted quilt.

Stop by to hear the reading, pick up a poster, and cheer us on.

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.

Lit Youngstown Co-sponsors Visit by Nationally Respected Food Policy Advocate

 

Mark Winne, author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, will lead a workshop on bringing grocery stores to neighborhoods with inadequate food resources, Wed. April 5 at 12:00 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.mark_winne_0021

The workshop is free and open to the public and lunch is included. Reservations are required by Mon., March 27, and can be made by calling St. John’s at 330.743.3175 or emailing LitYoungstown@gmail.com.

Winne will also read at 7:00 Wed. April 5 at St. John’s, with a Q&A moderated by WYSU’s Tim Francisco. The talk is free and open to the public, and part of Lit Youngstown’s First Wednesday Reading Series. No reservations are required.

Mark Winne has forty years of experience on food policy issues, and has crossed the country speaking and consulting on hunger, food insecurity, local and regional agriculture, community food assessment, and food policy.

Winne’s visit is co-sponsored by community partners St. John’s Episcopal Church, ACTION, Common Wealth, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Lake to River Food Co-op, Mayor McNally, Mercy Health Partners, NYO Property Group, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, The Raymond John Wean Foundation, YWCA of Youngstown, Oak Hill Collaborative, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, Junior League of Youngstown, and Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.

Closing the Food Gap is the Food for Thought April book club selection.

Photos: Phenomenal Women Book Event

At our reception for the release of Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories, photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolanta took such beautiful photos, we wanted to share some of them with you all. Enjoy!

The video of our staged reading of excerpts from the book is now up on YouTube. It’s about a half-hour long and very powerful.

lityoceremony_122016_067

The Twelve Women: Front: Louise Payne; Middle:  Josephine North, Frances Carter, Ollie McCurdy, Joyce Davidson, June Ewing, Estella Bender, Mildred Payne; Back: Carol Donnelly, Audrey Gillian, Bobbe Reynolds, Pamela Collins.


Phenomenal Women Celebration

With profound thanks to the Raymond J. Wean Foundation and to these twelve women in our community, we invite you to a reception celphenomenalwomennewebrating the publication of Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories.

Tuesday, December 13 at First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Avenue Youngstown.
Parking lot is behind the church; enter on Wood Avenue due to construction on Wick.

Light refreshments will be served. Doors open 6:30 pm, program and staged reading from the book, 7 pm.

If you wish to support the YWCA of Youngstown’s Make A Wish Gift program, bring a new book for a reader aged 1-18.

PLEASE RSVP DIRECTLY to lityoungstown@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

If you’d like to buy a book, they are available for purchase at Flutterby Books in Hubbard and Three Sheep Gallery on Market St. The public libraries in Warren and greater Youngstown will have copies in circulation as soon as they are processed. For more options, please visit this page on our website or send us a note at LitYoungstown@gmail.com.

We are grateful to the Youngstown Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) for their support of this project and their introductions to six of the women.

The project would not have been possible without the energy and talents of the team that worked together to create the book.

Lit Youngstown’s YSU student interns, who helped with the interviews, transcriptions, writing and editing: Samuel Amazing, Adrianna Mayes, and Samantha Ensminger.

Lit Youngstown writers and editors: Allison Davis, Kris Harrington, Sean Posey, Karen Schubert, and Molly Toth.

Cover design: Amy Freels, University of Akron Press.

Interior design and layout:  Cassandra Twoey.

Portraits of the women: photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolanta.

The book was printed locally by City Printing.

We also appreciate the support, encouragement, and networking offered by members of our wider community, especially Louisa Berger, Gary Davenport, Davita Fitzgerald, Rosemary Fuller, Eres McKee, Carole and Jimma McWilson, and Melissa Papini.

Special thanks to David Hassler of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State for sharing his experience with taking oral histories to the printed page.

— Liz Hill, Project Coordinator