Category Archives: First Wednesday

August Reading: Change of Place!

This month’s First Wednesday Reading is on, well, the 1st, which is like a blue moon for us. It will be a delightful reading by three women poets, and this time we’ll be in the small and charming chapel at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Enter the door on the right beneath the stone archway.

Wednesday August 1|7:30|Doors Open 7:15|St. John’s Episcopal Church|323 Wick Ave.

Lit Youngstown’s office is right down the hall, and we’ll open the office for refreshments and lending library browsers.

gunter_seymour_portrait

 

An Appalachian, Kari Gunter-Seymour blames her method of writing on the rich Ohio soil, her wildly eclectic family and neighbors and her upbringing. Her poems can be found in many fine journals and publications including Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and The LA Times. She is an Instructor in the School of Journalism at Ohio University and is the Poet Laureate for Athens, Ohio.

 

Sherri Saines has been reading, writing, and memorizing poetry since her grandmother gave her A Golden Book of Poetry for her 6th sherri saines coastbirthday. She has been published in Pig Iron, Mothering Magazine, Muse, Clover, Penguin Review, The Ides of March, Everything Stops and Listens, and other small presses.

 

Kathleenkathleen Strafford holds an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Originally from Ohio, Kathleen moved to Leeds in 1998 and now is chief editor of Runcible Spoon Webzine. She has been widely published in anthologies and webzines. She is working on her second collection called Women Changed Everything. Her debut poetry collection was published in 2018 called Her Own Language.

A Night of Stories July 11

micJoin us for a night of community storytelling & desserts, Wednesday July 11, 7:30, Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15. No open mic this month.

The first Wednesday of July falls on a holiday, so go make some noise and join us a week later for a truly wonderful evening.

Stories by Tom Beck, Arthur Byrd, BeckyAnn Harker, Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine, Sue Hukari & Andrea Wells.

Tom Beck lives on a working grain farm in Green Township. Tom is retired from The University of Akron where he served as an administrator and faculty member for 35 years. Tom also had an extensive career in radio and television broadcasting. Tom has three adult sons and eight grandchildren. As a teacher, broadcaster, and community activist, communicating through storytelling has been an important part of Tom’s professional training.

Arthur Byrd earned a BA in Telecommunications and Associate Degree in Business Management from YSU, and worked as a photojournalist at WFMJ-TV, where he and a reporter won first place from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters for Best Investigative Reporting. Arthur’s short films have shown at film festivals in Cleveland and Los Angeles, and his Ballet Audition has been viewed over two million times on YouTube. Arthur is a member of Toastmasters, and in 2016, he received the Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award. Arthur produces two podcasts, Cool and Interesting People, and The Movie Soul Brothers, co-hosted by Mark Williams, a discussion of Black Cinema from 60’s and beyond. Both podcasts can be heard on Soundcloud.

BeckyAnn Harker is a Speech-Language Pathologist by day, treating children in schools with speech or language disorders. By night and weekend, she is the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. One of her favorite parts of that job is telling a story that appeals to all ages during the weekly service. She is also a member of Warren Toastmasters, where she is practicing and improving her storytelling skills. She is the mother of one, stepmother of three, all in their teens and early twenties. Stay tuned- when the trauma of raising teenagers subsides, there will be plenty more stories to tell!

Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine is currently a full-time caregiver for her 90 year old mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. They often vacation together at wit’s end. Skye took her first writing workshop four years ago, for the sole purpose of someday hoping to breathe words into her own story of how the overbearing people in her life affected all of her decision-making capabilities. With her cumulative history eventually leaving her breathless, Facebook friends working with Lit Youngstown came along to resuscitate her.

First Wednesday: Melissa Barger & William Heath

Join us for a reading of poetry and historical fiction at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., 7:30. Doors open at 7:15. Open mic emceed by Amanda Miller.

MelissaMelissa Barger has been writing for half her life. She is employed with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and is revising a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel set in Youngstown during the summer of 1863.

William Heath was born in Youngstown and grew up in Poland. He heathis the national-award-winning author of novels: The Children Bob Moses Led, Blacksnake’s Path, Devil Dancer; poetry: The Walking Man; history: William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest; and interviews: Conversations with Robert Stone. He will be reading some recent poems set in the Steel Valley.

First Wednesday Features Lori Bodkin & Stacey Schneider

Join us for a nonfiction reading Wednesday, May 2, at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Following the reading, an open mic will be emceed by Jennifer Kuczek. Doors open at 7:15. Park on the street or in the lot on the corner of S. Champion and Front Streets.

In our lives, we are surrounded by so many women who come from different
families, backgrounds and ethnicities; each of us with different hopes and dreams. This book shares stories from some of these inspiring women who have become the “superwomen” they were truly meant to be. The stories within these pages will make you laugh and maybe even cry.  Regardless of your age or gender, this book will give you a fresh, new outlook on appreciating who you are and how you relate
to the amazing women in your world.

Lori profile picLori Bodkin is a freelance writer and the Continuous Improvement Coordinator for Fyda Freightliner’s Pittsburgh and Youngtown locations. She is an accountant by degree, but her creativity eventually won out and Lori started her own customer service consulting business and has also facilitated several leadership workshops. She published a women’s non-fiction book, had a featured column in a North Carolina parenting magazine and writes for her own blog.

Stacey Schneider is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a professor at Northeast Stacey SchneiderOhio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and practiced as a pharmacist for many years but teaching and writing emerged as her true life calling. She has published a book in women’s non-fiction, edited a book on communication skills for women and contributed to several books for the medical professional.

Arkansas Travelers

Two Arkansans and a Pittsburgher walk into a gallery… Join us in welcoming three fine poets who will read their work, followed by an open mic emceed by Tyler Rothbauer. Doors open at 7:15. Parking on the street and in the lot on the corner of Champion and Front Streets. The First Wednesday Readers Series receives funding from the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation.

jennifer jackson berry

 

Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of The Feeder (YesYes Books, 2016), as well as the chapbook When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications). She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Heather Dobbins is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. She earned an MFA from the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College in Vermont. Her poems and poetry reviews have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Pacific Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Tennessee), The Rumpus, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and TriQuarterly Review, among others. She has been an instructor for nearly twenty years in Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and now in Fort Smith, Arkansas, yet another river town.

Christian Anton Gerard’s the author of Holdfast (C&R Press, 2017) and Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech, 2014). He’s received Pushcart Prize nominations, a Best of the Net nomination, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships among other awards. He teaches at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Poets Adam Hughes & Stephanie Sesic March 7

Wednesday, March 7, The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15, reading begins at 7:30. Open mic follows the reading.

adam hughesAdam Hughes is the author of four full-length collections, most recently Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Deep Cries Out to Deep (Aldrich Press, 2017). He resides in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Stephanie Sesic teaches writing and literature at Kent State stephanie sesicUniversity and Cuyahoga Community College. Her work has appeared most recently online in Rascal. Her chapbook, The Intimate Verge, was published by Pudding House Publications in 2008. Her work reveals an obsession with the sky and tends to stick to the classic themes of sex and death.