Lit Youngstown’s summer intern Danny Gage asked poet Cynthia Atkins a few questions about her work and writing life. Cynthia will be a featured writer at the online 2020 Fall Literary Festival September 24-26.
DG: In what ways has your home, Southern Appalachia influenced your writing and your views on existence?
CA: I’m a native Chicagoan, by way of New York City, Brooklyn, and I wound up living in Rockbridge County, VA by way of love. I met my partner and hubby, Phillip at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. We fell head over heels, and so I moved to these parts 25 years ago. I guess this is my forever home now. I raised my son here and I feel I now have roots in these parts. But at first, I felt like a Yankee, very much a fish out of water—A proud feminist and a Jew, living in a college mountain town where Confederate flags still hang and so much Civil War history. Bathroom wallpaper had Civil War generals. As a Midwesterner, this was all foreign to me. So while this has been a peaceful and very loving community, I have often felt ‘an outsider’—Perfect strangers thought they had every right to ask me ‘what church I belonged to’—when I’d respond, “I’m a Jew”—a few mouths dropped open. As a writer, I’ve found I’ve never felt comfortable belonging to any one group or grouping. I felt like an outsider, which is probably why I am a writer. Continue reading →
We are excited to be hosting children’s and teen’s author Janet Wong at the Fall Literary Festival in September! To see why we’re so stoked, spend a moment listening to this interview with Janet and local, highly acclaimed children’s author Anthony Manna.
Lit Youngstown, in collaboration with the YSU Art Department, is seeking memories for an Andrews Ave. mural. The mural will be painted by students of Professor Dragana Crnjak, in a special topics class on creating public art. Continue reading →
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Join us for Whitman & Brass: a celebration of America’s iconic poet and the music of his generation. Sunday, March 22 from 2:00-5:00, Purple Cat Theatre, 220 W. Boardman St. in downtown Youngstown.
Lit Youngstown hosts an afternoon of Walt Whitman readings by Kelly Bancroft, Timothy Francisco, Jeanine Rees & Steven Reese, and period pieces performed by Susan Sexton’s brass quartet: Susan Sexton & John Veneskey on trumpet; Jonathan Willis & Eric Rowles on trombone.
Literature-inspired refreshments will be served. Ticket and raffle proceeds will benefit Lit Youngstown. Advance tickets $35 here until March 15, $40 at the door. Also available from Lit Youngstown.
The 2nd Annual Winter Writing Festival planning is underway and NEW this year is an Speaker Series featuring Kent native Jason Prufer who authored: “Small Town, Big Music” and Award winning Author Angela Johnson! Writing workshops will be scheduled at locations all around town, The WICK Poetry Center from KSU will again be leading a poetry slam, a Story Walk is being planned and more! Register here. Like to carpool with Lit Youngstown? Send us a note: LitYoungstown@gmail.com.
The McDonough Museum and Lit Youngstown will host two ekphrastic (art-from-art) writing workshops and a reading by workshop participants. The workshops and readings are free and open to the public, and registration is not required. Please bring a notebook, electronic device or your favorite writing tools.
The writing workshops, part of the Scribe literary collaborative, will take place at the McDonough Museum of Art, 525 Wick Ave., Saturday, March 28 from 10:00 to noon and/or Thursday, April 2 from 5:30 to 7:00, and the reading Thursday, April 9 at 6:00 to 7:00. Parking is available for $5.00 at the YSU deck or free at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Continue reading →
We had a great time with you, Campers! Thanks to all who came out, and to our planning committee, volunteers, session leaders and funders. Also to our hosts, St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning Valley. Here are some pics from the day.
Join us at 2:00 Sunday, March 22 at the Purple Cat Theatre in a celebration of America’s iconic poet and the music of his generation, played by highly acclaimed local musicians.
Lit Youngstown hosts an afternoon of Walt Whitman readings by Kelly Bancroft, Tim Francisco, Jeanine Rees & Steve Reese, and period pieces performed by Susan Sexton’s brass quartet, Susan Sexton & John Veneskey on trumpet, Jonathan Willis & Eric Rowles on trombone.
Literature-inspired refreshments will include green eggs and ham, chocolate bars with golden tickets and handmade fortune cookies. Literary Themed Raffle benefits Lit Youngstown. Sunday, March 22, Purple Cat Theatre, 220 W. Boardman St. Doors open at 2:00. Admission advance $35, available here until March 15; $40 at the door.
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.