Category Archives: First Wednesday

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)

 

 

 

Poets & Ice Cream

Join us Wednesday August 7, 7:00, The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., as we welcome acclaimed poets James Arthur, Cody Walker & Catherine Wing. Open mic to follow, emceed by Arya-Francesca Jenkins. We will also be celebrating National Raspberries and Cream Day with homemade ice cream.

James Arthur is the author of The Suicide’s Son and Charms Against Lightning. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, and a Visiting Fellowship at Oxford. Arthur teaches at Johns Hopkins University.

Cody Walker directs Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Author of poetry collections The Self-Styled No-Child and Shuffle and Breakdown. His work appears in The New York Times Magazine, The Yale Review and The Best American Poetry. He’s the co-director of the Bear River Writers’ Conference. Walker’s chapbook, The Trumpiad, was published on the last of Trump’s first 100 Days. Proceeds are being donated to the ACLU.

Catherine Wing is the author of two collections of poetry, Enter Invisible and Gin & Bleach. Her poems have been published in such journals as Poetry, The Nation, and Tin House. She teaches at Kent State University and is currently serving as the Director of the NEOMFA, the nation’s only consortial program in Creative Writing.

First Wednesday Moved to Second Wednesday

Have a great 4th, and we’ll see you on the 10th! We send out a special invitation to NEOMFA alumni, students & faculty. The open mic will be emceed by Joelle Lambert, so bring your poems & stories. Also, we’ll be celebrating National Piña Colada Day & National Pick Blueberries Day: a double-header! Wednesday July 10, 7:00, The Soap Gallery.

AlexBW (3)Alex DiFrancesco is a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism who has published work in Tin House, The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Brevity, and more. Their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their second novel All City (Seven Stories Press) were published in 2019. Their storytelling has been featured at The Fringe Festival, Life of the Law, The Queens Book Festival, and The Heart podcast. DiFrancesco is currently an MFA candidate at Cleveland State University. They can be found @DiFantastico on Twitter.Noor

Noor Hindi (she/her) is a Palestinian-American poet who is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry through the NEOMFA program. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Tinderbox Poetry, Glass Poetry, & Diode Poetry Journal. Hindi is the assistant poetry editor at The University of Akron Press and a reporter for The Devil Strip Magazine.

First Wednesday Reading Features Mary Grimm & Susan Grimm

grimmJoin us Wednesday June 5 at 7:00 at the Soap Gallery for a poetry & prose reading by two sisters and amazing writers of Cleveland. Open mic emceed by Steve Force. National Ketchup Day. Let’s stogie up the grill.

Mary Grimm has had two books published, Left to Themselves (novel) and Stealing Time (story collection) – both by Random House. Currently, she is working on a dystopian novel about oldsters. She teaches fiction writing at Case Western Reserve University.

Susan Grimm is the author of Almost Home (1997), Lake Erie Blue (2004), and Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue (2011). Her poetry has appeared in Blackbird, The Journal, South Dakota Review, Poetry East, and Tar River Poetry.

Many thanks to the sponsors of the First Wednesday series: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation and the Kennedy Family Foundation via the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

First Wednesday: Bonné de Blas, Monica Kaiser & Sheryl St. Germain

 Lit Youngstown presents a reading with Bonné de Blas, Monica Kaiser & Sheryl St. Germain, Wednesday May 1 @ 7:00 at The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. No open mic this month. We will also be celebrating National Chocolate Parfait Day.  

BonneBonné de Blas is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the NEOMFA. She received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee and a JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She is the author of chapbooks The Act of Dwelling (NightBallet Press) and The Rule of Contraction (Kattywompus Press) and her essay in Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival, Lambert and Einstein, eds. received a Best of the Net nomination.

kaiser


Monica Kaiser
is a graduate assistant at Kent State University and is pursuing a NEOMFA creative writing degree. She is the author of Still Sifting, and is passionate about the environment, ecopoetics, conflict management, and how these genres intersect. She lives with her husband, son, two rabbits, and her father.

 

©teake zuidema. sept 16, 2107.Sheryl St. Germain is a poet and essayist whose work has received numerous awards. Her most recent book, a poetry collection, The Small Door of Your Death, was published by Autumn House Press in 2018. Sheryl directs the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls program. 50 Miles (forthcoming, Etruscan Press) is a memoir in linked essays that addresses addiction and alcoholism. The book traces the life of the author’s son, Gray, a talented but troubled young man, and his death from a drug overdose at thirty, as well as the author’s own recovery from substance abuse.

First Wednesday: Joanne Lehman & Sarah Wells

Join us for a reading! Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Open mic to follow emceed by Thomas Welsh. We will also be celebrating National Chocolate Mousse Day.

90Lehman_JoanneheadshotJoanne Lehman has published two poetry chapbooks, Morning Song, and Driving in the Fog, which received the 2004 Wick Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Kairos: A Novel and Traces of Treasure: Quest for God in the Commonplace, both published by Herald Press. Joanne and her husband, Ralph, live in Wooster, Ohio.

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional, The Vasarah-m-wells-smallerlley of Achor, Pruning Burning Bushes, and Acquiesce. Six of her essays have been listed as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays. She is a 2018 recipient of an Ohio Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.

First Wednesday Features Painesville Poets

Join us for a reading Wed. March 6 at 7:00 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., as we welcome Margie DeLong & Tanya Pilumeli from the North Coast. Open mic to follow. We will also be celebrating National Oreo Day.

Margie DeLong, a retired nurse practitioner, has published in poetry journals and authored a nonfiction book: Grand Observations, A Year of Weekly Visits to the Grand River at the Blair Road Bridge. A grandmother of five, she and her husband reside on a bluff overlooking the river in Painesville, Ohio.

delong pilumeli

Tanya Pilumeli teaches at Lakeland Community College and owns an Italian restaurant, Alessandro’s, with her husband, and loves traveling.  Her poetry has appeared in and received awards in Tipton Review, Wild Violet, The Blue Collar Review, Blaze Vox and other places.  Her novel The DragonFly Keeper was published in 2008.

 

The CROW Returns!

crowYoungstown State University Writing Center Director Angela Messenger hosts February’s First Wednesday reading, featuring YSU students published in CROW: College Review of Writing. No open mic this month.

Wednesday, February 6 @ 7:00 at The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Street parking.

We will also be celebrating National Chopsticks Day! Word on the street is somebody’s making pot stickers. Hope you can make it.

First Wednesday Reading & All That Jazz

Join us for a prose and poetry reading, followed by live jazz by Matt Jackson & Dan Mihelarakis! Also, we’ll be celebrating National Cream Puff Day. No open mic this month. Wednesday January 2 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. 7:00. Street parking or in the lot at the corner of Front & Champion Streets.

Marion Boyer

Marion Starling Boyer has three published poetry collections and her fourth book, The Sea Was Never Far, is forthcoming this spring from Main Street Rag. Boyer’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart, the Lenore Marshall Award, and the “Best of the Net.” She’s recently moved to Twinsburg from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

 

Arya F. Jenkins’s short stories received three separate nominations for the Pushcart in 2018. Her poetry chapbooks are Jewel FireArya.Sept.2018 3 (AllBook Books, 2011) and Silence Has A Name (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her short story collection, Blue Songs in an Open Key, was published by Fomite Press in 2018.