Category Archives: Poetry

New Book News: Genevieve Kaplan, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth & Laura Van Prooyen (YouTube Live)

New Book News! This is the last reading in the series. We celebrate these poets and the publication of their new books Sunday, May 2 at 7 PM EST. Join us on Lit Youngstown’s YouTube channel for a live reading and conversation.

Genevieve Kaplan is the author of In the ice house (Red Hen, 2011) and four chapbooks. She lives in Southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.
(aviary) Veliz Books

The author of A Wake with Nine Shades (2019), Jennifer Sperry Steinorth is a poet, teacher, interdisciplinary artist and licensed builder. Her work has recently appeared in Cincinnati Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, TriQuarterly, Plume, Pleiades, and Rhino.
Her Read, a graphic poem (Texas Review Press)

Laura Van Prooyen is author of three collections of poetry and is Managing Editor of The Cortland Review, founder of Next Page Press (first release late 2021), and lives in San Antonio, TX.
Frances of the Wider Field (Lily Poetry Review Books)

Food for Thought: Writer-as-Subject

Our next round of discussion titles will circle the author: books on writers Louis Bromfield (Heyman) and James Baldwin (Glaude); an imagined life of Robert Burns (McCallum); fictional writers, such as a cancer patient having hard conversations with her mother (Strout) and a fictionalized memoir of a dying brother and family history (Urrea) ; pandemic essays (Smith) and travel essays (Lopez) and memoir of early life (Solnit) and eco-memoir (Kimmerer).

We’ve been on Zoom for the last year, and look forward to meeting again in person. More on the when and where soon.

September (biography) The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution by Heyman, Stephen
October (poetry) No Ruined Stone by Shara McCallum
November (novel) My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
December (essays) Intimations by Zadie Smith
January (memoir) Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer
February (biography) Begin Again by Eddie Glaude
March (travel essays) Horizon by Barry Lopez
April (fictionalized memoir) The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
May (memoir) Recollections of My Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit

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.

Lit by the Imagination

Happy National Poetry Month to those who celebrate! We love seeing poems springing up everywhere, like flowers and puddles and a good pair of wellies. To celebrate, we are sponsoring a new series, Lit by the Imagination, poems and prompts curated by Nin Andrews. We’ve created a Facebook page so you can find them all in one place.

Here are the month’s features. So many thanks to them for their wonderful poems and poetry ideas, and we hope you have fun writing. Many of these poets were included in the New Book News series, and we have tagged their readings here.

April 1: Jessica Jacobs, Nickole Brown, Denise Duhamel
April 2: Leona Sevick
April 3: Stephanie Strickland
April 4: Jeff Friedman
April 5: Kelli Russell Agodon

Continue reading

Summer Mini Writing Camps! Limited Seating

Thanks to the generous offer of a few local backyards, we are going to meet in person for two summer mini writing camps. Seating is strictly limited, and we will follow safety protocols in place in June. Rain or shine. Kids under 12 are welcome with an adult. Thank you, and see you soon! We’ll have fun writing activities and snacks. We’re looking forward to writing with you!

Summer Mini Writing Camp 1
Saturday, June 12 1:00-4:00 pm. Limit 20. Register here.

Summer Mini Writing Camp 2
Saturday, June 26 1:00-4:00 pm. Limit 30. Register here.

Teen Writers Workshop

Teen Writers Workshops are informal, respectful gatherings for writing and creative expression. All experience levels welcome. Teens only, please. Attend any number of workshops after registering here.

Meet the teaching artist: James Winter is an Associate Professor of English at Kent State University. His work has won the CRAFT Short Fiction Prize, a Pushcart Special Mention, an Honorable Mention for the J.F. Powers Prize, and was a finalist for the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize. He has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and published in One Story, Salamander, PANK Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and Dappled Things, among others.

Many thanks to James for leading this workshop! Carrie George will return in June.

Writing Partner Speed Dating

Writing Partner Speed Dating

Writing partners can be an essential tool in a writer’s belt; they keep you accountable, share in your grievances, and help you improve your skills. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the benefits of having a writing partner, how to build a bond with another writer, and different strategies of keeping in touch with each other. Afterwards, we’ll host a “speed dating” session, where you’ll have the chance to meet your new ally in writing.

Writing Partner Speed Dating. Adults & teens. Friday, June 18, 5:00 to 7:00 PM EST, on Zoom. Course fee is $15 (scholarships are available). Please register here before June 15.

Meet the Teaching Artist: McKayla Anne Rockwell is a Youngstown-born writer currently attending and teaching at YSU. She has several short publications and ample experience working with Youngstown-based literary journals, including Volney Road Review and Jenny Magazine.

New Book News: Quintin Collins, Meg Kearney & Chloe Martinez (YouTube Live)

New Book News! We celebrate these poets and the publication of their new books Sunday, April 25 at 7 PM EST. Join us on Lit Youngstown’s YouTube channel for a live reading and conversation.

Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, editor, and Solstice MFA Program assistant director. His work appears in various publications, and his second collection, Claim Tickets for Stolen People, winner of the Wheeler Prize, is forthcoming in 2022.
The Dandelion Speaks of Survival (Cherry Castle Publishing)

Meg Kearney is author of An Unkindness of Ravens and Home By Now, winner of the PEN New England L.L. Winship Award; The Ice Storm (chapbook, 2020); three verse novels for teens, and an award-winning picture book, Trouper.
All Morning the Crows, winner of the Washington Prize (The Word Works)

Chloe Martinez is a poet and scholar of South Asian religions. She is the author of Ten Thousand Selves (The Word Works, forthcoming 2021). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Waxwing, Shenandoah, The Common and elsewhere. She teaches at Claremont McKenna College.
Corner Shrine, winner of the Backbone Press Chapbook Competition (Backbone Press)