Category Archives: Open Mic

First Wednesday: Cris Harris & Kellie Kirksey

The First Wednesday Readers Series presents memoirist Cris Harris & poet and wellness practitioner Kellie Kirksey. Co-hosted by Johanna Slivinske. Open mic to follow. Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 PM EST. Watch on Facebook Live, or register for the Zoom room.

Cris Harris is the author of I Have Not Loved You With My Whole Heart, a memoir about growing up in a household wrestling with faith, addiction, violence and the AIDS epidemic. He teaches writing and experiential education at an independent school outside of Cleveland. Recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for nonfiction, Cris’s essays have appeared at Post Road, Proximity Magazine, The New Engagement, Nowhere Magazine and the Indiana Review.

Kellie Kirksey is a global traveler, speaker, poet, tree hugger, yoga teacher, holistic psychotherapist, family lover, drummer, dancer, spa promoter, heart centered hypnotherapist, live happily life consultant, essential oil enthusiast, wellness promoter and has presented workshops and wellness circles both nationally and internationally.

Fall Lit Fest 2021 Registration Opens

Are you a reader, writer, editor, publisher, or educator of the literary arts? We hope you will join us for the 5th annual Fall Literary Festival in Youngstown, Ohio, October 7-9.

This year’s conference theme is “Our Shared Story” and we are thrilled to host visiting writers Ross Gay (poet & essayist, Indiana University), Jan Beatty (poet & memoirist, Chatham University), Matt Forrest Esenwine (children’s author, New Hampshire), Bonnie Proudfoot (novelist & poet, Hocking College), & Mike Geither (playwright, Cleveland State University).

Seventy-three presenters from throughout the U.S. will present on many aspects of reading, understanding, writing, editing and publishing creative works. Please visit the Fall Literary Festival page to register and learn more, as we continue to add details and information. Hope to see you there!

This event is made possible with major funding from The Centofanti Foundation.

First Wednesday: Grace Curtis & Laura Grace Weldon (Zoom & FB Live)

The April First Wednesday Series reading features poets Grace Curtis of Dayton and Laura Grace Weldon of Litchfield. Co-hosted by Barbara Sabol. Open mic to follow. Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00 PM EST. Watch on Facebook Live or register here for the Zoom room.

Grace Curtis is the author of three collections of poetry, Everything Gets Old, (Dos Madres, 2019) The Shape of a Box, (Dos Madres, 2014), and The Surly Bonds of Earth (Lettre Savage, 2010). Her prose and poetry can be found in numerous journals.

Laura Grace Weldon has two poetry collections, Blackbird (Grayson Books, 2019) and Tending (Aldrich Press, 2013). An excerpt of her poem “Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” is stamped in the sidewalk on Walnut St. in downtown Youngstown.

March First Wednesday Features Adam Hughes (Virginia) & Renay Sanders (Cleveland) (Zoom & FB Live)

Join us for a reading of poetry, followed by an open mic. Co-hosted by Jonie McIntire. Watch on Facebook Live or register for the Zoom room here. Wednesday, March 3, at 7:00 PM EST.

Adam Hughes is the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Deep Cries Out to Deep (Aldrich Press, 2017). Born and raised in Central Ohio, he now resides in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains where he is pursuing an MFA at Randolph College. He can be found on twitter @adamhughespoet1.

Renay Sanders has published poems in the Hessler Street, Writing Knights and Poet’s Haven anthologies, the chapbook Dancing in Place and the story “Cemetery Run” in the Women of Appalachia Project 2019. A native Clevelander, her poems are inspired by the characters she encounters in life and the beauty of the Cuyahoga Valley where she now resides.

First Wednesday Features Fine Poets (Zoom & FB Live)

Darlene Montonaro of Cleveland and David Swerdlow of New Wilmington, Pa. will read from their work for the First Wednesday Readers Series, Wednesday, February 3 at 7:00 PM EST, live on Lit Youngstown’s Facebook page. Register here to attend on Zoom and/or read in the open mic. Co-hosted by Iris Davis Hall.

Darlene Montonaro’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary magazines including Calyx, Slipstream, Earth’s Daughters, Blueline, and The Comstock Review. She served for twelve years as the Director of the Poets’ & Writers’ League, and in 2016 was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

David Swerdlow’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review, etc. He’s published two books of poetry: Bodies on Earth (2010) and Small Holes in the Universe (2003). His first novel, Television Man, came out in 2019. Swerdlow teaches at Westminster College.

First Wednesday Rescheduled (Zoom & Facebook Live)

Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by Cleveland poet and journalist Lee Chilcote and Kent poet and creative nonfiction writer David Hassler. Wednesday, January 13 at 7:00 PM EST. Open mic to follow. Co-hosted by Christopher Minton. Register here for the Zoom room, or watch live on Lit Youngstown’s Facebook page.

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July 1st Poetry Reading: Diane Kendig & Hannah Rodabaugh

Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by poets Diane Kendig & Hannah Rodabaugh. Open mic to follow. We will also be celebrating National Gingersnap Day. The reading will be live on Zoom and Facebook.

Diane-Kendig
Diane Kendig’s recent collections include Prison Terms and the anthology, In the Company of Russell Atkins. A recipient of OAC Fellowships and other awards, she has published poetry and prose in journals such as J Journal, Under the Sun, and Blueline. She curates, “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry,” now in its sixth year with over 2200 subscribers.

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First Wednesday Zoom Features Terry Provost & Nicole Robinson

We sure will miss hanging out with you at the Soap Gallery, never mind that it will be National Chocolate Macaroon Day.  But join us for the next best thing: these poetry readings will be off the charts! Open mic to follow. For an invitation to Zoom, please email LitYoungstown@gmail.com. We’ll open the Zoom Room at 6:30, Wed. June 3. Reading begins at 7:00. Or kick back and catch us on Facebook Live.
Terry for Schubert
Originally from Troy, New York, Terry Provost is an adjunct professor of math at Tri-C, who has written poetry for over 20 years, performing it from Seattle to Providence. His two books are Compassionate Imperialism, and An Uncountable Infinity of Orgasms. He hosts Bowled Over by Poetry at Mahall’s in Lakewood, Ohio.

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First Wednesday *New Time*

*** New Time*** 7:00*** New Time***
Join us at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.,  Wed. Nov. 7, for a poetry reading and open mic emceed by Lidia Cornelio. And the new earlier time will stick.

Clarissa Jakobsons_Holding Her Artist Book

Clarissa Jakobsons instructs at Cuyahoga Community College, often weaving one-of-a-kind artist books exhibited internationally. Sometimes she combines artist books with her poems and paintings. She writes, “Don’t be surprised to see my inner artist kicking sandcastles, climbing Mount Diablo, painting Provincetown dunes, or writing under an Ohio crescent moon.

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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.

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