Join us Saturday, June 8, for LITerally A Picnic for all ages, at Bear’s Den Cabin in Mill Creek Park, from 5:30 – 8:30. We’re planning a BYOBBQ (Lit Youngstown will supply the condiments, garnishes, and grilling tools, guests bring their own [veggie] burgers and buns).
We’re putting together a poetry hike for those who are interested, also board games and nature collages. Should be a lot of fun. Please RSVP so we know how many to expect.
Lit Youngstown seeks proposals for presentations, workshops, craft talks and creative readings for our 3rd annual Fall Literary Festival to be held October 4-5 at Youngstown State University. The two-day festival will feature an acclaimed faculty: Nin Andrews (poetry), Christopher Barzak (fiction), Erica Cardwell (essay, creative nonfiction), Jill Christman (creative nonfiction), Michael Croley (fiction), George Ella Lyon (poetry, essay), Philip Memmer (poetry), Philip Metres (poetry, essay). To read more about our visiting writers, please visit the Fall Literary Festival page.
Join us for an enjoyable, high-energy day of writing and storytelling Saturday, February 16, 2019, 9:30-3:00, at St. John’s Episcopal Church and the main library on Wick Ave. Seats are limited so register soon, but if you are unable to attend, please let us know right away. The deadline is February 1 or when all seats are full.
Word play, blackout poetry, writing the fantastical, adding mystery to your story, free writing and many more topics and activities will be on the menu, as well as cookies & open mic for those who would like to bring a poem or story to share.
The Winter Writing Camp is co-hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, with sessions for all writers, from kindergarten up, and all levels of experience. Participants under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Free registration includes lunch. Free childcare all day for children 5 and under. It is allowable for adults to bring small, non-disruptive children into sessions, but we hope that offering childcare will give adults a moment to enjoy uninterrupted time with older children.
If you have a disability, please let us know when you register. We’d like to the make the day as enjoyable as possible for you.
We will meet at 9:30 at St. John’s, where each participant will receive a schedule and list of sessions. Please park in the lot at St. John’s or the library, or behind St. John’s on Walnut St. by the MVR. As we will be walking between buildings, weather-wise outerwear and footwear are recommended.
Questions? Let us know: Info@LitYoungstown.org.
Join us in thanking our sponsors who make this day possible: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation; Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell, Ltd.; the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley; Maureen Reardon; Crist & Rosemary Weaver; the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown & Cultivate: a Co-op Café. Thank you!
We’re throwing a member celebration Saturday, January 26 from 6:00-9:00 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, 1105 Elm St.
We’ll be serving up appetizers (National Peanut Brittle Day!), a brief reading by Lit Youngstown board members, and Daniel Mihelarakis, Brendan Gage, Ian Kinnamin will play jazz and Latin music. If you’ve got dancing shoes, polish them up!
Fall Literary Festival and Fall Fundraiser contributor-members will receive invitations in the mail, and membership will be available at the door for donations of any amount. What better way to get through the dark and dreary than to gather up in good company.
Join us at the Lakeland Literary Festival! Lit Youngstown is pleased to be invited to participate in the book fair at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. We will leave at 7:00 a.m. from our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Like to ride up with us? Please let us know: LitYoungstown@gmail.com.
Celebrate the many exciting forms of literature with noted writers. The Lakeland Literary Festival is being held Nov. 30, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in HIVE in the H-Building.
Acclaimed writers and poets will present a variety of workshops in areas such as non-fiction, fiction, poetry, translation and publishing. There will also be a book fair with many presses, magazines and organizations.
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for the workshops. Register here.
The event will begin with a continental breakfast and then the workshops will run from 9-10 a.m., 10:15-11:15 a.m. and 11:30-12:30 p.m. Lunch will be available for purchase from food trucks on the campus. After lunch, at 1 p.m., keynote speaker Dave Lucas, Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio will speak. The event will close with a poetry reading by winners of the 31st Annual Poetry Competition, slated from 2-3 p.m.
For more information, contact Assistant Professor James DeMonte at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 440.525.7458.
Join the 100+ writers and editors already registered for two days of literary goodness! We have invited an incredible faculty of accomplished visiting writers, and dozens of excellent presenters. There will be two days of creative readings, workshops, craft talks, panels on publishing, editing, writer and all kinds of topics.
More information on the festival and registration is here.
Please join us in thanking our community partners the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, Nancy Beeghly, Liz Hill, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the Purple Cat, Sojourn to the Past, St. John’s Episcopal Church, YSU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, YSU Department of Women & Gender Studies, YSU English Department.
The Fall Literary Festival is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.
Join Lit Youngstown for a wonderful evening of literary works inspired by the visual arts. Hear from local writers and artists Liz Skeels, Ginny Taylor, Kelly Bancroft, Beesan Odeh and Nikki Robinson. This event is free. Light refreshments will be served.
YWCA Mahoning Valley, 25 Rayen Ave., Youngstown, 44503
Wednesday July 18 @6:00
The YSU Center for Working Class Studies and Lit Youngstown present Anne Trubek, Monday, May 14 from 6-7:30 at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, 151 W. Wood St.
Anne Trubek, founder of Belt Publishing & Belt Magazine and editor of recently released Voices From The Rust Belt will talk about the history of the company she founded with a small grant in 2012.
Since then, Belt has emerged as a leading voice in telling the complex story of the ‘Rust Belt’ by way of the very people who live within it or have been shaped by it.
The New York Times: “Belt Magazine is dedicated to exploring the reawakened regional identity symbolized by abandoned industrial landscapes, corner taverns and unfancy beer, while also giving writers enough space to push past the Shinola-like clichés.”
The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be provided.
Save the dates! This year’s festivals will feature workshops, craft talks, a publishing panel, and readings by these accomplished visiting writers.
Please join us in thanking our community partners for helping to make the festival possible: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, the Purple Cat, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, Sojourn to the Past, St. John’s Episcopal Church, YSU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, YSU Department of Women & Gender Studies, YSU English Department.
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria. Her work has received grants and
Lesley Nneka Arimah
awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. Her short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls From The Sky was published by Riverhead in April 2017. She currently lives in Minneapolis.
after majoring in English in college to writing and publishing fiction. In 2009, she published her first novel for teens with HarperCollins. Freaked is the story of a teenaged boy obsessed with the Grateful Dead. She followed with a second novel in 2010 entitled Stranded, a mystery set in Iowa surrounding the discovery of an abandoned baby.
John Kerstetter, the author of Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story (Random House 2017), received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, and his MFA degree from Ashland University in Ohio. He
served as a combat physician and flight surgeon for the U.S. Army and completed three combat tours in Iraq. His writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, River Teeth, and other literary journals.
Jacqui Lipton, LL.B., M.F.A., Ph.D. is a law professor and writer as well as the director of Authography LLC, a company dedicated to helping authors and artists meet their personal and professional goals. She writes regular columns on legal issues for authors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin, Savvy Authors, and Luna
Station Quarterly. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Ph.D. in law from Cambridge University. Her forthcoming book, LAW & AUTHORS: A LEGAL HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS will be published in 2019 by University of California Press.
Dave Lucas is the author of Weather (Georgia, 2011), which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. He is a co-founder of Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery and of Cleveland Book Week. In 2018 he was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio.
Craig Paulenich is the author of two books of poetry, Drift of the Hunt (Nobobdaddies Press, 2006) and Blood Will Tell (BlazeVOX [books], 2009) and editor (with Kent Johnson) of the anthology, Beneath A Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry (Shambhala Press, 1991). His poems have appeared in The Georgia Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Kansas Quarterly, the Minnesota Review, the South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Artful Dodge, and many others. He has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. He earned an MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh, a Ph.D. in English at Bowling Green
State University, and is Professor of English at Kent State University-Salem. He is a co-founder and faculty with the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, the nation’s only creative writing consortium. He’s currently working on a book of poems about John Brown. He and his wife, Karla, live on a 27-acre farm outside Guilford Lake, Ohio.
Judith Vollmer is the author of five full-length books of poetry, including most recently The Apollonia Poems, awarded the University of Wisconsin Press Four Lakes Prize in 2016 and published last year. She has received fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the American
Academy in Rome; and the Brittingham, the Cleveland State, and the Center for Book Arts publication awards. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Poetry International, Poet Lore, The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire, Prairie Schooner, The Women’s Review of Books, among many others. She teaches in the MFA Program in Poetry & Poetry in Translation at Drew University.
Thank you to all: artists, writers, supporters, volunteers, the Soap Gallery, the Ohio Arts Council. Special appreciation to photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolonta who captured the day perfectly.
Several people asked about the poem read by Lewis School student Ari Sheik. He has granted permission for his poem to be posted here.
War is a world of misery. Everything is engulfed in chaos.
War bears unsparing gunfire, pouring in from hell itself. It never ends, never rests.
War is shaped like the sharpened edge of a warped, dangerous knife. Blood ceaselessly dripping from its tip.
War remembers when it was nothing, when it was absent. Now war rules this world.
War is a memory of time when brave men and women fell on the battlefield, fighting for what they believed in.
War is without mercy.
Lit Youngstown Presents Words Made Visible
A literary-visual art collaboration & exhibit at The Soap Gallery
Opening reception Saturday, February 3, 2018
3:00 Reading Mari Alschuler, Dianne Borsenik, Steve Brightman, Jeanne Bryner, Juliet Cook, David Lee Garrison
Kari Gunter-Seymour, Jennifer Hambrick, Kayla Jeswald, Paula J. Lambert, Robert Miltner, Jeffrey Murphy
Craig Paulenich, Caitlyn Ryan, Ari Sheik, Robert Smith, Kerry Trautman, Laura Grace Weldon
Broadsides, Letterpressed by Jason Vaughn at The Cranky Pressman
Judges: Jennifer Cline, Steven Reese & Nicole Robinson
“Nylon” by Kerry Trautman
“Spooning” by Caitlyn Ryan
“Working the Long Shift” by Craig Paulenich
“Train, Loud, Lonesome, Leaving Without Me” by Dianne Borsenik
Posters, Graphically Designed by Laura A. Garvin
Judges: Lit Youngstown Staff
“Men of Beautiful Countenance” by Craig Paulenich
“The Neighborhood Girls Fall for the WKBN Meteorologist” by Allison Pitinii Davis
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon
Haiku by Elliot Nicely
Haiku by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
YSU Painting students, professor Dragana Crnjak
“And time slips by…” Diane Kendig||Arielle Pilolli
“Bearing October” by Sarah Marcus-Donnelly||Kristie Gearhart
“Empty Elevator” by Joshua Gage||Aislinn Janek
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Amanda Spinosa
“Under the Overpass” by Riley Gable||Jessica Hollabaugh
YSU Expressive Drawing students, professor Chris McCullough
“A Haiku Unraveled” by Rob Smith||Tiffany Snow
“A Haiku Unraveled” by Rob Smith||Vanessa Bilas
“Calling the Dog” by Laura Grace Weldon||Joseph Lanzilotti|
“Cold Green” by Catherine Wing||Cassidy Griffin
“Endings” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Ashley Vaughan
“Gape: Fledglings” by Paula J. Lambert||Craig Miller
“Leaves of a Tulip” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Kaitlin Moran
“Myth” by Carol Barrett||Allison Begala
“Plum Blossoms” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Dylan Brammer
“Post-It to Reflection of Self in the Window” by Caitlyn Ryan||Jacob Melott
“Soldier Child” by Robert Miltner||Michaela Best
“The Narrows” by Sherri Saines||Kerrianne Ghinda
“The Silence” by Elliot Nicely||John Elias
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan||Haley Holt
“Weighing Options” by Julie Warther||Kyle Maurice
“What the Leaves Said” by Neil Carpathios||Abigail Martin
“Your Wish” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Vincent Village
YSU Digital media students, professor Dana Sperry
“Common Ground” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Kathleen Gallagher
“Crows” by Neil Carpathios||Alaina Woofter, Matt Miligan, Vinny Matthews, Vincent Village, Torri Session,
“Mal du Siècle” by Riley Gable||Kim Schüler, Kaylee Mondock, Lexi Chismar
“My Great-Great Grandmother” by Craig Paulenich||David Belgrad
“Sky Opens” by Robert Smith||Mandy Bell
“Ten O’ Clock, The Day Already Threatening” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Angela Cozart, Evan von Thaer,
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan||Patrick Potter, Keagan O’Brien, Sean Staser
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon||Matthew Luonuansuu, Caroline Lacusky,
“Winter Aubade” by Riley Gable||Justine Dietrich, Shannon Henrich, Taylor Valerio
YSU Ceramics students, professor Missy McCormick
“All Her True Knowing” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Venise Abell
“An Obligation” by Emily Reid Green||Lydia Tarleton Weisman
“And Dog Said” by David Lee Garrison||Rachel Emerson
“Autumn Nude,” by Jennifer Hambrick||Chelsea Wells
“Bearing October” by Sarah Marcus-Donnelly||Kristie Gearhart
“Benefits of Living in Geauga County” by Steve Brightman||Jalen Bosker
“Bittersweet Goodbye” by Kayla Jeswald||Victoria Buskirk
“Blush: A Cinquain Duet” by Emily Reid Green||Laura Goist
“Blush: A Cinquain Duet” by Emily Reid Green||Marah Peek
“Cairn” by Mari Alschuler||Tom Davidson
“The Chaos We Hear” by Pamela Anderson||Caroline Lacusky
“Crows” by Neil Carpathios||Mandolin Bell
“Dangling Globe”||Miranda Timmins
“Do we have any rock and rollers out there tonight?” by Allison Pitinii Davis||Tammy Bigley
“Endings” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Kelly Livi
“Every Hole is Open” by Juliet Cook||Sean Staser
“Fault Lines in My Mouth” by Juliet Cook||Evan von Thaer
“Garden of Hope” by Cheryl Ciavarella||Ivory Schneider
“Gypsy Cartography” by Sergio Ortiz||Mike Rock
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Amanda Spinosa
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Tiffany Snow
“November” by David Lee Garrison||Rachel Marchese
“Open” by Lori Anne Gravley||Weslie Detwiler
“Orpheus: Once a Traveler” by Robert Miltner||Emily Burnham
“War” by Ari Sheik||Lorenzo Devine
Excerpts of these literary works will be stamped into sidewalks in spring by Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs
Judge: Mary Quade
“Chant of Change” by David Lee Garrison
“Stars of the Front Yard” by Jeffrey Murphy
“The Field’s Red Wheat” by Jeanne Bryner
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon