“In an essay on race and memory, Toni Morrison wrote of ‘the stress of remembering, its inevitability, [but] the chances for liberation that lie within the process.’ Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new novel, The Water Dancer, is an experiment in taking Morrison’s ‘chances for liberation’ literally: What if memory had the power to transport enslaved people to freedom?” by Annalisa Quinn of NPR.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 6 PM – 7 PM EST on Zoom. Register here for the 2020 book discussions on the second Wednesday.
The Water Dancer is available from The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Trumbull County Public Library, and the YSU Barnes and Noble. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.
November 11 (poetry) Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay December 9 Any children’s book by a Black author January 14 (short stories) The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie February 11 (fiction) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead March 11 (fiction) We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo April 8 (speculative fiction) Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler May 13 (fiction) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
4th Annual Fall Literary Festival
September 24-26, 2020, EST
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
Our hardworking planning committee began planning this conference in February. It seemed so far away, and then screeeee!–what a tailspin–but here we are, meeting on Zoom, and it’s really coming together. Just a few more weeks to register.
This year’s theme is In Many Tongues: Constituents of the Barbaric Yawp.
This year’s conference will be centered around writing and publishing, literary inclusion, translating and translation, dialect and dialog, atypical modes of speech, and the generational, political, ecological, and experimental elements that add to the wider literary conversation.
The conference will include creative readings, craft talks, workshops and panel discussions on writing, reading, teaching, performing, editing and publishing creative works. Highly acclaimed visiting faculty will share their experience and insights, and over 50 presenters from Ohio and beyond will speak on a variety of topics.
We missed everyone during our usual summer break. Let’s get the convo re-started with Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man, Wednesday September 9 from 6:00-7:00. September through December we’ll meet 2nd Wednesdays on Zoom (until it’s safe to return to Cultivate Cafe). This registration link will give you access to the remaining 2020 discussions. In January we’ll switch to 2nd Thursdays, with a new registration link.
We’re looking forward to this First Wednesday Series reading by Kelly Bancroft & Jessica Jewell! October 7 at 7:00 PM EST. The reading will be livestreamed on Facebook. Register here to attend on Zoom and/or read in the open mic.
Kelly Bancroft (l) writes and teaches in Youngstown, Ohio. Her poems and prose have appeared in many journals and her plays have been presented in Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Milwaukee. She teaches at Hiram College and at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center.
Play to Your Long Suit — Discover Your Writing Temperament
Story, Structure, Music, and Imagination are what Gregory Orr calls the natural temperaments of writers. Together we will discover which of the four temperaments is your particular strength and how to deepen and broaden that talent. Further, each temperament has its complement, so we will discuss ways develop your complementary temperament. For prose and poetry writers.
Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by Susan Petrone & William Heath, whose work draws on personal and family memories of life in Youngstown. Open mic to follow. Co-hosted by Cheryl Torsney & Karen Schubert. Register here for the Zoom room (opens at 6:30). This reading will also be livestreamed on Facebook.
We are kicking off a new series of Sunday readings for authors whose books have come out during lock-down. A new book typically means live events, and although that isn’t possible, we can still host a celebration.
Kelly Fordon will read from I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press) Kelly Fordon is the author of an award-winning novel in stories, Garden for the Blind (Wayne State University Press, 2015) and a poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019).
Registration is open for a new workshop led by E.F. Schraeder.
Believe it or Not? Writing surreal, weird, and speculative worlds
If your writing contains out-of-this-world elements or the suspension of disbelief is key to your project, this workshop is designed to help you craft plausible speculative fiction. From space invaders, underworld adventures, to the supernatural, we will examine examples and strategies that make the impossible Continue reading →