Yo, Yo-Towners! Join us for a reading by Pamela Anderson & Steve Thomas. Open mic to follow, emceed by Beth Franklin. We will also be celebrating National Nachos Day. Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00, Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Pam Anderson has an MFA from the NEOMFA, which also awarded her a Bisbee Fellowship. Much of her writing focuses on the Holocaust, with one of her Holocaust poems receiving an AWP Intro Journals award. Her work has appeared in JennyMag.org, Atticus Review, Mason’s Road, The Listening Eye, Whurk, and elsewhere.
Steve Thomas is the author of The Strength of Flowers (Crisis Chronicles Press 2018), and his poems have been published in The Mill and the Hessler Street Fair Anthology. His goal is to achieve the harmony through writing poetry that he displayed as a professional bowler.
Hope to see you at our October reading, featuring E.F. Schraeder & Michelle R. Smith. Wednesday October 2 at 7:00 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S.Champion St. Open mic to follow, emceed by Christopher Lesko. In honor of World Farm Animals Day, we invite you to bring a vegan food to share if you feel so inspired.
Ethicist, poet, and speculative fiction writer E. F. Schraeder holds an interdisciplinary doctorate emphasizing applied ethics and social justice issues. Dr. Schraeder has taught widely in gender studies, humanities, and philosophy, and has also worked in the nonprofit sector, fundraising for grassroots organizations. Schraeder serves as a sometimes-contributing editor at an animal advocacy webcomic and facilitates writing workshops.
Michelle R. Smith is a writer, educator, cultural facilitator, and niche writing entrepreneur. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals, anthologies and other venues.
Join us for a truly wonderful evening of sidewalk poetry dedication, elegant dining, great conversation, an incredible reading by George Ella Lyon, our Fall Literary Festival keynote reader, and an open mic. Come for any part and stay as long as you like; all are free and open to the public with the exception of dinner (reservations required).
4:30-5:30 Behind St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. & the corner of Walnut & E. Federal St., downtown Youngstown
Dedication: Words Made Visible Sidewalk Project
6-6:45 Dinner, Hilton DoubleTree Ballroom
7:00 Hilton DoubleTree 2nd Floor Lounge
Reading of NEA Big Read Teen & Open Contest Short Short Fiction Winners
Fall Literary Festival Keynote Reading George Ella Lyon
8:30 Open Mic Continue reading →
Join us at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. on Wednesday September 4 at 7:00 as we welcome hometown talent Clint Elston & Brandon Noel. Open mic to follow, emceed by Elizabeth Burnette. We will also be celebrating National Macadamia Nut Day.
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!
*Until August 31. Winners will be announced in September. Short Short Fiction Contest
*Wed. Sept. 4 7:00 Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. First Wednesday Series Reading:Clint Elston & Brandon Noel, open mic emceed by Elizabeth Burnette
*Tues. Sept. 10 6:30-8:00 Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St. City Club of the Mahoning Valley, “Separation of Roots and State: Where are They Now?”
Mexican immigration occupies a complex position in U.S. public opinion. Immigration law has oscillated throughout the 20th century between welcoming Mexican immigrants and vehemently rejecting them. What happens to the country they left behind? What about the loved ones unable to make the dangerous trek to America?
Violeta Aguirre (Vi)
Coordinadora del Alcance Comunitario para Hispanos (Hispanic Outreach Coordinator), Catholic Charities
Programming and Youth Services Director, Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
Nicole Pettitt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor / K-12 TESOL Endorsement Coordinator; Chair, Refugee Concerns Interest Section – TESOL, International Department of English, Youngstown State University
*Tues. Sept. 17 First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown 1105 Elm St. An Evening of Immigrant Narratives
5:30 Food for Thought Book discussion, Into the Beautiful North *(change of date & time!)
6:30 Ethnic foods potluck (please bring a dish or drink to share)
7:00 Traveling Stanzas Writing Across Borders, Wick Poetry Center
8:00 Youngstown Immigrant Narratives: Violeta Aguirre, Mia Catherine Allonby, Lidia Cornelio & Ana Marie Wetzl
*Sat. Sept. 21 3:30 YSU Ward Beecher Planetarium
The Sky We Share
Our constellations mainly come from the Greeks, so why do they have Latin names? And what’s up with those Arabic star names, anyway? In this live presentation of the night sky, we will journey through the stars and explore the different ways they take shape across cultures and the ages. Learn of the importance of the stars for navigation, time-keeping, and storytelling.
*Tues. Oct. 1 7:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Book discussion,Into the Beautiful North
*Wed. Oct. 2 7:00 Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Lit Youngstown First Wednesday Series Reading:EF Schroeder & Michelle Smith, open mic emceed by Christopher Lesko
*Thurs. Oct. 3 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave. NEA Big Read Film Series:Magnificent Seven, introduced by Dr. Laura Beadling
*Thurs. Oct. 3 7:00 Downtown Hilton DoubleTree, 44 E. Federal Plaza, 2nd floor lounge Fall Literary Festival gathering in, registration and conversation
*Fri. Oct. 4 Fall Literary Festival
9:00-4:00 YSU Kilcawley Center registration/fee required
5:00-6:30 Dinner, St. John’s Episcopal Church registration/fee required
7:00-8:30 Reading: Steven Caumo, winner of Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship Erica Cardwell & Philip Metres, free and open to the public
*Sat. Oct. 5 Fall Literary Festival
9:00-4:00 YSU Kilcawley Center registration/fee required
4:30 Dedication Words Made Visible sidewalk project
6:00-6:45 Dinner, Downtown Hilton DoubleTree Ballroom registration/fee required
7:00 Reading, winner, short short fiction contest Keynote George Ella Lyon, free and open to the public
*Mon. Oct. 7 6:30 Casa Ramirez, 1578 Mahoning Ave. Hands-on demonstration: making sopes
Free with registration
*Wed. Oct. 9 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave. NEA Big Read Film Series:Stand and Deliver
(Food for Thought book discussion cancelled)
*Thurs. Oct. 10 5:00-7:00 3rd Floor Maag Library, YSU
Crossings: NEA Big Read YSU Student Art Show Opening Exhibit Oct. 10-27
*Fri. Oct. 11 7:30 St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Reading: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts hosts Ross Gay & Jason Harris
*Sun. Oct. 13 2:30 Youngstown Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane Staged Reading of Into the Beautiful North
Directed by Denise Sculli
*Tues. Oct. 15 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave. NEA Big Read author Luis Alberto Urrea
Special Guests The Labra Brothers
5:00 -5:45 Book signing
6:00 Reading, Q&A with Dr. Timothy Francisco This author visit is co-sponsored by WYSU.
*Thurs. Oct. 17 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave. NEA Big Read Film Series:The Bronze Screen, introduced by Dr. Laura Beadling
(Third Thursday Writers Circle canceled)
Summer Festival of the Arts is one of our favorite events of the year! We’ll be there with the “Where I’m From” poem template, in anticipation of Fall Literary Festival visiting writer George Ella Lyon and her international project.
We’ll also have paper sidewalk squares for visitors to decorate, in celebration of our poems stamped in sidewalk squares, part of the Words Made Visible project. We’ll dedicate them and introduce the poets at the Fall Literary Festival.
Stop by for information on the Fall Literary Festival and other programs, logo tumblers and tees (onesies!), and raffle tickets for that sweet bird bath. Find us in the nonprofit area, near Moser and Cushwa Halls.
This year we will also host readings in the adjacent author tent. What better place to showcase word artists than a maker fair! And what better gift to yourself or someone you care about than a signed book. We’re lucky to have so much talent in our community. Saturday, July 13
Marion Boyer 11:00-11:30
Rochelle Hurt 11:45-12:15
Bill Soldan 12:30-1:00
Nancy Christie 1:15-1:45
Rikki Santer 2:00-2:30
Karen Kotrba 2:45-3:15
Karen Schubert 3:30-4:00
Mari Alschuler 4:15-4:45
Sunday, July 14
Allison Pitinii Davis 11:30-12:00
Dom Fonce 12:15-12:45
Kathy Palumbo 1:00-1:30 Carbombs to Cookie Tables: Sean Posey, Elaine Arvan Andrews & Vince Guerrieri 1:45-2:15
Jimmy Sutman 2:30-3:00
Barbara Sabol 3:15-3:45
Jamie Marich 4:00-4:30
Have a great 4th, and we’ll see you on the 10th! We send out a special invitation to NEOMFA alumni, students & faculty. The open mic will be emceed by Joelle Lambert, so bring your poems & stories. Also, we’ll be celebrating National Piña Colada Day & National Pick Blueberries Day: a double-header! Wednesday July 10, 7:00, The Soap Gallery.
Alex DiFrancesco is a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism who has published work in Tin House, The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Brevity, and more. Their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their second novel All City (Seven Stories Press) were published in 2019. Their storytelling has been featured at The Fringe Festival, Life of the Law, The Queens Book Festival, and The Heart podcast. DiFrancesco is currently an MFA candidate at Cleveland State University. They can be found @DiFantastico on Twitter.
Noor Hindi (she/her) is a Palestinian-American poet who is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry through the NEOMFA program. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Tinderbox Poetry, Glass Poetry, & Diode Poetry Journal. Hindi is the assistant poetry editor at The University of Akron Press and a reporter for The Devil Strip Magazine.
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.
We are so grateful to the professional, hardworking staff at the public library for their partnership, to the NEA and Arts Midwest for selecting our proposal (one of only two in Ohio and 78 nationwide), and to the many community partners who agreed to host an event during our Big Read. We’ll share the calendar as soon as the ink dries.
Lit Youngstown presents a reading with Bonné de Blas, Monica Kaiser & Sheryl St. Germain, Wednesday May 1 @ 7:00 at The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. No open mic this month. We will also be celebrating National Chocolate Parfait Day.
Bonné de Blas is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the NEOMFA. She received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee and a JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She is the author of chapbooks The Act of Dwelling (NightBallet Press) and The Rule of Contraction (Kattywompus Press) and her essay in Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival, Lambert and Einstein, eds. received a Best of the Net nomination.
Monica Kaiser is a graduate assistant at Kent State University and is pursuing a NEOMFA creative writing degree. She is the author of Still Sifting, and is passionate about the environment, ecopoetics, conflict management, and how these genres intersect. She lives with her husband, son, two rabbits, and her father.
Sheryl St. Germain is a poet and essayist whose work has received numerous awards. Her most recent book, a poetry collection, The Small Door of Your Death, was published by Autumn House Press in 2018. Sheryl directs the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls program. 50 Miles (forthcoming, Etruscan Press) is a memoir in linked essays that addresses addiction and alcoholism. The book traces the life of the author’s son, Gray, a talented but troubled young man, and his death from a drug overdose at thirty, as well as the author’s own recovery from substance abuse.
Lit Youngstown seeks proposals for presentations, workshops, craft talks and creative readings for our 3rd annual Fall Literary Festival to be held October 4-5 at Youngstown State University. The two-day festival will feature an acclaimed faculty: Nin Andrews (poetry), Christopher Barzak (fiction), Erica Cardwell (essay, creative nonfiction), Jill Christman (creative nonfiction), Michael Croley (fiction), George Ella Lyon (poetry, essay), Philip Memmer (poetry), Philip Metres (poetry, essay). To read more about our visiting writers, please visit the Fall Literary Festival page.
This year’s conference will be centered around themes of cultural identity and representation in writing and publishing. Sessions will be 50 minutes. Proposals may include panel and roundtable discussions, creative readings, or workshops. Group and individual proposal submissions are welcome. Individual proposals and creative readings will be grouped into panels by conference organizers.
Individuals are limited to two proposal submissions, please. Accepted presenters will be required to register for the conference at the early bird registration fee of $40. There will be opportunities to apply for needs-based stipends. The proposal deadline is midnight, May 10.
We seek proposals from a diverse cross section of voices and experiences, and encourage submissions from African American and Black, Latinx and Chicanx, Asian American, disabled, LGBTQ and non-binary, immigrant, native, rural, older, and resource-poor writers. All genres are welcome and encouraged.
Creative writing outreach in prisons, with immigrants, etc.
Responsibly engaging diverse voices and perspectives
Writing about identity and marginalized experiences
Lack of representation in publishing
Navigating the publishing industry as marginalized communities
Writers with disabilities
Creative writing workshop
Creative writing pedagogy
Community-based writing programs
Residencies, conferences and other opportunities
Developing best practices in your craft
Collaboration and mentoring
Literary topics in all genres
Writing for mass media: journalism, blogging, podcasts, radio, etc.
Children’s and YA writing and publishing
Comics & graphic novels
Film & new media
Hybrid & short forms
Older writers publishing
Strategies for teaching and researching writing
Engaging and sustaining a writing life