Each year, Lit Youngstown’s Board of Directors selects a literary arts nonprofit to send a donation to. It is a meaningful way to support the incredible work being done around the country, ways the literary arts are enhancing lives and communities. This year we will contribute to Book ‘Em Pittsburgh, a nonprofit that supplies books to incarcerated readers.
We were impressed with their mission:
“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people incarcerated in Pennsylvania by providing free access to educational materials, books and resources. Each month, Book’Em serves approximately 200 prisoners across 35 State and Federal prisons, mailing an average of 500 pieces of reading material.
Since 2000 we have served approximately 33,000 prisoners throughout the state of Pennsylvania. In 2015, we filled 1,934 individual requests from prisoners.”
Last year we selected Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville, TN, and in 2018, Lake Erie Ink in Cleveland. Check them out, too! and let us know the literary arts nonprofits that have a special place in your world.
We have matched 17 sets of PenPals! Our PenPal parents tell us their kids love getting a letter just for them. We have 6 kids looking for a match. Their interests include video games, geography, fashion, Germany and riding bikes. Know anyone (from anywhere!) aged 4-12 who would like to meet someone new? We are also looking for an adult PenPal for an immigrant to Germany who wishes to learn English. For more information and to register, click here.
In partnership with the YSU Art Department and partially funded by a Wean Foundation Neighborhood SUCCESS Grant, Lit Youngstown is helping to create a mural on Andrews Ave. downtown.
The first step was to solicit memories from those who remember downtown–yesterday and long ago. We share the memories here. Some will be selected by YSU art students for a memory ribbon, painted throughout the mural design.
If you would like to send a memory, please do, here. We will keep the link open, so future art classes can add to the mural. There will soon be a website dedicated to the project, so we can follow the progress.
We’re looking for kids ages 4-12 who would like to have a penpal. Getting a letter in the mail that’s just for you is a great feeling. Getting to know someone you’ve never met by sending stories, memories, jokes, poems, pictures, stickers… is just good fun.
We’re starting the PenPal Project! We’ll match kids by age. For more information and to register, click here.
Many thanks to Youngstown’s native son Dr. Gaylord for sharing this poem with us.
Ode for COVID 19
Covid 19, so much to adore.
Your lightning journey around the world
Hitchhiking in the cells of human travelers
Riding shedded droplets
Is no less an adventure than our noble attempts to explore the universe.
Not alive, you stir the passions of an entire species when you changed ever so slightly the RNA
strands nested in your womb
And then quietly, like a soft breath blowing out a candle, went dancing in the air into your host Continue reading →
Join us in profound thanks for a programming grant from the Youngstown Foundation Charles W. Darling Family Endowment Fund. The $5615 grant will support programs in 2020 and 2021, including the First Wednesday Readers Series, the monthly Teen Writers Workshop, Adult-teen creative writing classes, and a paid internship to provide support for the Fall Literary Festival.
We are honored to celebrate the legacy of the late history professor Charles W. Darling, known for the folk music show on WYSU that ran 48 years. He was also the author of science fiction novels. The Foundation’s gift will support other Youngstown and regional writers, and we thank them.
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 →
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.
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.
Even better than a chicken dinner! Congrats to Vi Aguirre on winning our drawing for a copy of Mark Winne’s newest book Food Town USA: Seven Unlikely Cities That Are Changing the Way We Eat. After Lit Youngstown, working with many community partners, invited Mark to speak on nutritious food access, he returned to the Mahoning Valley to conduct research, and included inspiring local work in the new book. Like to get your hands on a copy? Order it from Island Press.