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 →
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.
Many, so many! thanks to Ashley Dillon for her editing and graphic design on our new, gorgeous, gorgeous! 5-year commemorative calendar. These are the images for each month, and the calendar includes Lit Yo event dates.
The calendar is a thank you gift for Fall Fundraiser donors of $60 or more or $5.00 per month. Thank you! Please know your support is absolutely essential.
Five years! It’s gone by in a flash. Let’s take a moment to celebrate all we’ve done together. And then let’s have a party!
Jeffrey Murphy, Laura Grace Weldon, Jeanne Bryner & David Lee Garrison at the dedication of the Words Made Visible poetry-in-sidewalk squares
Since January of 2015 we have hosted nearly 400 writers, celebrating local talent and visiting writers who have won prestigious awards. Local writers from age 6 to their 80s have shared poems and stories at open mics. (Photos: Mary Biddinger & Mary Quade, Lena Carson, Yahia Tahat, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jimmy Sutman, Marjorie Maddox)Continue reading →
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.
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! Continue reading →
The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County (PLYMC) with Lit Youngstown received a grant of $15,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Mahoning County. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.
Our selected book is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, also the September book in our Food for Thought book discussion series. Mr. Urrea will visit the Valley this fall, and there will be many activities relating to the book and its themes in a month-long calendar of events. Numerous electronic and hard copies will be available at the public library and branches, and at the two Barnes & Noble bookstores. The Youngstown Rotary will stock each of their Little Free Libraries with a copy, as well. Continue reading →
Lit Youngstown, in conjunction with Power of the Arts and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, seeks original poetry from poets affiliated with Mahoning and Trumbull Counties for a public art project.
The poems will be part of artistically designed murals, painted by YSU art students under the guidance of Professor Dragana Crnjak. Funding for the project will be raised through an IOBY campaign.
The winning poems will be succinct/brief and appropriate for readers of all ages. Each poet is limited to one single poem submission. Please send your submission, along with a cover letter explaining your affiliation to Trumbull or Mahoning County, to LitYoSubmissions@gmail.com. Deadline November 30.
The final two poems of a special project have been embossed and installed next to a well-traveled walkway at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The walkway connects Walnut St., YSU buildings, the MVR, the Noble Creature Cask House and St. John’s to the rest of the YSU campus and Wick Ave.
These poems are by Youngstown native son Jeff Murphy and Dayton poet David Lee Garrison. As fine debris settles into the letters over time, they will become more visible.
Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs created and installed these frames at the end of September; just today the grass has been seeded. This lovely garden-like area is part of a new, open landscape project by St. John’s, where Lit Youngstown’s office is located. Tony Armeni will donate a sculpture, giving the poems more visibility.
Earlier this summer, we embossed poems by Jeanne Bryner of Newton Falls and Laura Grace Weldon of Litchfield in new sidewalks at the Commerce Building on Walnut St. in downtown Youngstown. Our appreciation to Rich Mills, owner of this historic building.
All four poets and judge Mary Quade of Hiram will come for a dedication and reading at the Fall Literary Festival, Oct. 4-5, 2019. Many thanks to signmaker Michael Staaf for taking on this complicated project, and to the Ohio Arts Council for funding. This completes Words Made Visible, a year-long collaboration between visual and literary arts.
Thank you to all: artists, writers, supporters, volunteers, the Soap Gallery, the Ohio Arts Council. Special appreciation to photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolonta who captured the day perfectly.
Several people asked about the poem read by Lewis School student Ari Sheik. He has granted permission for his poem to be posted here.
War is a world of misery. Everything is engulfed in chaos.
War bears unsparing gunfire, pouring in from hell itself. It never ends, never rests.
War is shaped like the sharpened edge of a warped, dangerous knife. Blood ceaselessly dripping from its tip.
War remembers when it was nothing, when it was absent. Now war rules this world.
War is a memory of time when brave men and women fell on the battlefield, fighting for what they believed in.
War is without mercy.
Lit Youngstown Presents Words Made Visible
A literary-visual art collaboration & exhibit at The Soap Gallery
Opening reception Saturday, February 3, 2018
3:00 Reading Mari Alschuler, Dianne Borsenik, Steve Brightman, Jeanne Bryner, Juliet Cook, David Lee Garrison
Kari Gunter-Seymour, Jennifer Hambrick, Kayla Jeswald, Paula J. Lambert, Robert Miltner, Jeffrey Murphy
Craig Paulenich, Caitlyn Ryan, Ari Sheik, Robert Smith, Kerry Trautman, Laura Grace Weldon
Broadsides, Letterpressed by Jason Vaughn at The Cranky Pressman
Judges: Jennifer Cline, Steven Reese & Nicole Robinson
“Nylon” by Kerry Trautman
“Spooning” by Caitlyn Ryan
“Working the Long Shift” by Craig Paulenich
“Train, Loud, Lonesome, Leaving Without Me” by Dianne Borsenik
Posters, Graphically Designed by Laura A. Garvin
Judges: Lit Youngstown Staff
“Men of Beautiful Countenance” by Craig Paulenich
“The Neighborhood Girls Fall for the WKBN Meteorologist” by Allison Pitinii Davis
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon
Haiku by Elliot Nicely
Haiku by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
YSU Painting students, professor Dragana Crnjak
“And time slips by…” Diane Kendig||Arielle Pilolli
“Bearing October” by Sarah Marcus-Donnelly||Kristie Gearhart
“Empty Elevator” by Joshua Gage||Aislinn Janek
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Amanda Spinosa
“Under the Overpass” by Riley Gable||Jessica Hollabaugh
YSU Expressive Drawing students, professor Chris McCullough
“A Haiku Unraveled” by Rob Smith||Tiffany Snow
“A Haiku Unraveled” by Rob Smith||Vanessa Bilas
“Calling the Dog” by Laura Grace Weldon||Joseph Lanzilotti|
“Cold Green” by Catherine Wing||Cassidy Griffin
“Endings” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Ashley Vaughan
“Gape: Fledglings” by Paula J. Lambert||Craig Miller
“Leaves of a Tulip” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Kaitlin Moran
“Myth” by Carol Barrett||Allison Begala
“Plum Blossoms” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Dylan Brammer
“Post-It to Reflection of Self in the Window” by Caitlyn Ryan||Jacob Melott
“Soldier Child” by Robert Miltner||Michaela Best
“The Narrows” by Sherri Saines||Kerrianne Ghinda
“The Silence” by Elliot Nicely||John Elias
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan||Haley Holt
“Weighing Options” by Julie Warther||Kyle Maurice
“What the Leaves Said” by Neil Carpathios||Abigail Martin
“Your Wish” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Vincent Village
YSU Digital media students, professor Dana Sperry
“Common Ground” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Kathleen Gallagher
“Crows” by Neil Carpathios||Alaina Woofter, Matt Miligan, Vinny Matthews, Vincent Village, Torri Session,
“Mal du Siècle” by Riley Gable||Kim Schüler, Kaylee Mondock, Lexi Chismar
“My Great-Great Grandmother” by Craig Paulenich||David Belgrad
“Sky Opens” by Robert Smith||Mandy Bell
“Ten O’ Clock, The Day Already Threatening” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Angela Cozart, Evan von Thaer,
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan||Patrick Potter, Keagan O’Brien, Sean Staser
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon||Matthew Luonuansuu, Caroline Lacusky,
“Winter Aubade” by Riley Gable||Justine Dietrich, Shannon Henrich, Taylor Valerio
YSU Ceramics students, professor Missy McCormick
“All Her True Knowing” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Venise Abell
“An Obligation” by Emily Reid Green||Lydia Tarleton Weisman
“And Dog Said” by David Lee Garrison||Rachel Emerson
“Autumn Nude,” by Jennifer Hambrick||Chelsea Wells
“Bearing October” by Sarah Marcus-Donnelly||Kristie Gearhart
“Benefits of Living in Geauga County” by Steve Brightman||Jalen Bosker
“Bittersweet Goodbye” by Kayla Jeswald||Victoria Buskirk
“Blush: A Cinquain Duet” by Emily Reid Green||Laura Goist
“Blush: A Cinquain Duet” by Emily Reid Green||Marah Peek
“Cairn” by Mari Alschuler||Tom Davidson
“The Chaos We Hear” by Pamela Anderson||Caroline Lacusky
“Crows” by Neil Carpathios||Mandolin Bell
“Dangling Globe”||Miranda Timmins
“Do we have any rock and rollers out there tonight?” by Allison Pitinii Davis||Tammy Bigley
“Endings” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Kelly Livi
“Every Hole is Open” by Juliet Cook||Sean Staser
“Fault Lines in My Mouth” by Juliet Cook||Evan von Thaer
“Garden of Hope” by Cheryl Ciavarella||Ivory Schneider
“Gypsy Cartography” by Sergio Ortiz||Mike Rock
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Amanda Spinosa
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Tiffany Snow
“November” by David Lee Garrison||Rachel Marchese
“Open” by Lori Anne Gravley||Weslie Detwiler
“Orpheus: Once a Traveler” by Robert Miltner||Emily Burnham
“War” by Ari Sheik||Lorenzo Devine
Excerpts of these literary works will be stamped into sidewalks in spring by Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs
Judge: Mary Quade
“Chant of Change” by David Lee Garrison
“Stars of the Front Yard” by Jeffrey Murphy
“The Field’s Red Wheat” by Jeanne Bryner
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon