Category Archives: Readings

Writers Circle & Ekphrastic Reading at YWCA

In conjunction with the 35th Annual Women Artists Show, Lit Youngstown will present a reading featuring ekphrasis, or poems and stories that respond to the visual art on exhibit. Join us at the YWCA of Youngstown, 25 W. Rayen at 6:00, to hear original work by Mari Alschuler, Kris Harrington, Arya-Francesca Jenkins & Shanon Maple.  

From 5:00 to 6:00, the Writers Circle critique group will meet in the conference room at the YWCA. Bring 5 copies of one poem or story excerpt, maximum 3 pages. Any experience level welcome. (If you’d like to critique longer writing projects, let’s make a plan!)

 

Back to Suzie’s for July Reading

Join us for a reading by fiction writer Robert Pope of Akron and Thomas Welsh, an author of A History of Jewish Youngstown and the Steel Valley. Open mic to follow, emceed by Bill Soldan. Wed. July 5, 7:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St.

Bob PopeRobert Pope has published a novel, Jack’s Universe, and a collection of stories, Private Acts, as well as over seventy stories and personal essays in journals, including most recently, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Two Thirds North. His flash fictions have appeared in print and online journals, including Chicago Literati, and his dark fiction in collections including Dark Lane Anthology. He just retired from The University of Akron and is reading and writing as much as he possibly can. He lives in Akron with his wife Lisa Sarkis and their dog Harley.

Founded in the Mahoning Valley during 1837, a tiny 19047589_10208100122935481_836619731_nsettlement of secular German immigrants grew into one of the most influential centers of Jewish life in the Midwest. Home to nationally renowned rabbis and Zionist firebrands alike, the community produced an astonishing array of leaders in an impressive range of fields throughout the twentieth century. This notable legacy ranges from the entertainment juggernaut of Warner Brothers to the Arby’s fast food empire and the prominent Youngstown Sheet & Tube, among many others. Authors Thomas Welsh, Joshua Foster and Gordon F. Morgan trace the unique history of one of Ohio’s oldest Jewish communities from its humble beginnings into the challenging climate of the new millennium.

Thomas Welsh is a professional writer and editor who grew up in the industrial center of Youngstown, Ohio. He is the author of Closing Chapters: Urban Change, Religious Reform, and the Decline of Youngstown’s Catholic Elementary Schools (Lexington Books, 2011), which describes factors that led to the collapse of an urban parochial school system. Thomas went on to coauthor Strouss’: Youngstown’s Dependable Store (History Press, 2012), a historical overview of one of the city’s landmark businesses, and Classic Restaurants of Youngstown (History Press, 2014), which tracks changes in the community’s restaurant industry. Before completing a doctorate in Cultural Foundations of Education at Kent State University in 2009, he worked as a journalist in the United States, South Korea, and Cambodia. He serves as outreach coordinator of the Etruscan Press, a non-profit literary press that works in close collaboration with the YSU Poetry Center.

Joshua Foster is an independent scholar and professional writer who grew up in a family that has been part of Youngstown, Ohio’s Jewish community for more than a century. As a fine arts and religious studies major at Youngstown State University, he established the YSU Jewish Students Organization and served as its first president. Joshua completed his graduate studies in urban history at Youngstown State University and produced several academic papers, including a historical examination of the Romaniote Jewish community of Ioannina, Greece. He has served as a featured speaker on local and regional television and radio programs.

Gordon F. Morgan is a professional writer and editor who grew up in the industrial town of Campbell, Ohio, located just east of Youngstown. After completing a graduate degree in professional writing and editing at Youngstown State University, he served as program director and newsletter editor for the Mahoning Valley Civil War Round Table, a group of more than 150 people who attend monthly presentations by leading experts on the Civil War. Gordon’s articles have appeared in regional periodicals including The Metro Monthly and The Vindicator. He is the coauthor of Classic Restaurants of Youngstown (History Press, 2014), a historical overview of the community’s restaurant industry.

Purple Cat Hosts June Reading

We are so excited about this reading, we can hardly keep our freckles on. It’s an amazing confluence, too: the accomplished Nin Andrews will be moving soon, and rising stars Allison Pitinii Davis & Rochelle Hurt are visiting home. This will be a poetry reading to remember. Open mic to follow, emceed by our own poet Anne Garwig.

Wed. June 7 @ 7:00 PM, Purple Cat Productions, 220 W. Boardman St. Parking in the lot across the street. We’ll be back at Suzie’s in July and for the rest of the year.

Nin Andrews’s poems and stories have appeared in many literary jourNin Photo with Sadienals and anthologies including Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2003, 2013), The Best American Erotic Poems from 1800, The Best American Prose Poems, No Boundaries, Sudden Stories: A Mammoth Anthology of Miniscule Fiction, The House of Your Dreams: An International Collection of Prose Poems, Seriously Funny, and Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence. The recipient of an individual artist grant from the Ohio Arts Council in 1997 and again in 2003, she is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length poetry collections. Her book, Why God Is a Woman, won the 2016 Ohioana award in poetry. Her next book, Miss August, will be published in the spring of 2017. The mother of two grown children, she lives in Poland, Ohio, with her husband, a physics professor and bass player, and their Boston terrier, Froda.

Allison Pitinii Davis photoAllison Pitinii Davis is the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a full-length collection about small family businesses in northeast Ohio, and Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize. She holds an MFA from Ohio State University and fellowships from Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Severinghaus Beck Fund for Study at Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Her work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry 2016, The Missouri Review, and Crazyhorse.

Rochelle Hurt is the author of two poetry collections:Rochelle Hurt In Which I Play the Runaway (2016), which won the Barrow Street Book Prize, and The Rusted City (2014), which was selected for the Marie Alexander Series from White Pine Press. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Hunger Mountain, Poetry International, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fund, the Vermont Studio Center, Jentel, and Yaddo. Originally from Youngstown, Rochelle now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

David Giffels & Lori Jakiela Take the Stage at Suzie’s

Creative non-fiction rock stars David Giffels of Akron and Lori Jakiela of Pittsburgh travel all the way to Youngstown to read us some stories. Open mic to follow, emceed by Y-town creative non-fiction writer and recent NEOMFA grad Tom Pugh.

Wed. May 3 @ 7:00 PM, Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St.

 David Giffels is the author of The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt (Scribner 2014), nominated for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the memoir All the Way Home (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2008), winner of David-Giffels-2013the Ohioana Book Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic.com, Parade, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire.com, Grantland.com, and Redbook. He also was a writer for the MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head. He is an associate professor of English at University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction in the NEOMFA Program.

Lori Jakiela is the author of three memoirs, most recently Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Atticus Books 2015), which received the 2016 Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University, was a finalist for the CLMP’s Firecracker Award and the Housatonic Literary Award, and named one of 20 Not-to-Miss Nonfiction Books of 2015 by The Huffington Post. Jakiela also received the 2015 City of 20150119hoJakiela1magAsylum Pittsburgh Prize and a month-long residency at the Passa Porta Literary Center in Brussels, Belgium. She is also the author the poetry collection Spot the Terrorist! (Turning Point, 2013). Her essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Hobart, and Brevity. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. She also co-directs the summer writers festival at Chautauqua Institution. She lives outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, the writer Dave Newman, and their children. Her website is lorijakiela.net.

Poets Sean Thomas Dougherty & Terry Murcko Read March 1

 

Our First Wednesday Reading Series features two poets whose words have graced the poetry landscape for decades: Sean Thomas Dougherty and Terry Murcko. Wed. March 1 at 7:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts downtown. Open mic to follow. Free & open to the public.

Bring your work if you’re inspired to read at the open mic.

Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author of 15 books including the forthcoming The Second O sean-doughertyof Sorrow (2018 BOA Editions), On the One Tongue of the Wind the Orishas Rise (2016 GTK Press) and All You Ask for is Longing: Poems 1994-2014 (BOA Editions). His awards include the 2015 Betsy Colquitt Poetry Prize from Texas Christian University’s Descant Magazine, a Fulbright Fellowship to the Balkans, and an appearance in Best American Poetry 2014. He lives in Erie Pennsylvania where he is recently unemployed. terry-murcko

A voice in Youngstown poetry for over 40 years, Terry Murcko helped Jim Villani start PigIron Press in the ’70’s. He retired from teaching and play directing after 35 years, and now spends much of his time as a “manny” looking after his grand-daughter, Madaleine. He recently won a prize from the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, and is included in the new anthology, Fallen City Writers. He writes daily, completes at least one new poem each week, and participates monthly in Kent’s Last Exit poetry readings. He lives in Liberty where he and his wife, Linda helped raise five children. Terry also writes songs, rides a bicycle, walks with their dog, Lily, and roots for the Tribe with his friend Neno.

The CROW Makes a Landing at Suzie’s

Student writers from YSU will read their essays selected for the publication CROW, Compose: A Review of Writing. The evening will be emceed by CROW editor and Writing Center Director Angela Messenger. Wednesday Feb. 1 at 7:00, Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts downtown. No open mic this month.

Congratulations to the featured writers and their essays:
Jared Lyder “The Democracy Debate”
Antonina Boggia “We’ll Carry On: Welcome to the Black Parade”
Lexi Rager “Under the Skin of Eating Disorders”
Tyler McClellan “The Wrath of the Gods”
crowCasey Infante “Youngstown, OH: A Place to Go”
Jill Blacksten “Paying College Athletes”
Zameer Murad “Comic Books: For Better or Worse”

Mad props to Amanda Miller and Carly Carcelli, Writing Center graduate assistants, for spearheading much of this project the past two years.

2017 First Wednesday Series: What a lineup!

So many incredible poets, fiction and non-fiction writers said Yes, and now they’re coming to the Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts stage on the First Wednesday of each month in 2017. Big thanks to Suzie’s for adding a speaker for the spoken word, and to you for coming out. An open mic will follow each reading except in February and April. If you’re inspired, bring some work to share.

January 4: Robert Miltner/Molly Fuller

storygami-molly

We folded Molly Fuller’s stories into Storygami! at the Summer Festival of the Arts

We kick off our series with two fine writers from Kent State who taught a successful workshop on flash forms for Lit Youngstown last summer. Purple Cat will host us at the Purple Cat Productions Theater on W. Boardman.

February 1: YSU CROW: Compose: A Review of Writing

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Angela Messenger introduces CROW at Feb. 2016 reading

YSU advisor Angela Messenger will host this evening’s student readings from the newest issue of CROW.

March 1: Sean Thomas Dougherty/Terry Murcko

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Terry Murcko reads at the Jewish Community Center

Two soulful poets: Sean Thomas Dougherty is an acclaimed Erie poet, and Terry Murcko is a Youngstown literary icon.

April 5: Mark Winne

Food justice activist Mark Winne will join us from New Mexico. His visit is co-sponsored by St. John’s, and his book, Closing the Food Gap, will be a Food for Thought book club selection.

May 3: Lori Jakiela/David Giffels

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David Giffels reads with Chris Jennings’s Canfield High School students

Lori Jakiela, author of memoir The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious, and David Giffels, author essay collection The Hard Way on Purpose, grace our stage.

June 7: Nin Andrews/Rochelle Hurt/Allison Davis Pitinii

We’ll be back at Purple Cat Productions for this terrific reading. Nin Andrews, who brought down the house (on her birthday!) when she read from Why God is a Woman, reads from her new book Miss August. Youngstown natives Alison Davis Pitinii (Line Study of a Motel Clerk) and Rochelle Hurt (In Which I Play the Runaway) visit home with their new books. You may have seen Rochelle and Allison read last April at the Soap Gallery.

 

July 5: Mike Foldes/Robert Pope

Mike Foldes, a Binghamton, NY, native and editor of the online journal Ragazine, will read from Sandy: Chronicles of a Superstorm, a  volume of poetry and images.

Robert Pope’s novel is Jack’s Universe. He teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts.

August 2: Jason Irwin/Jen Ashburn/Roger Craik

From Pittsburgh, Jason Irwin is a poet and playwright and Jen Ashburn’s first poetry collection is The Light on the Wall.

Roger Craik, a retired professor of English at Kent State-Ashtabula, is the author of the poetry collection Down Stranger Roads.

September 6: Meg Johnson/Caryl Pagel

Poets Meg Johnson of Iowa State University, author of Inappropriate Sleepover and Caryl Pagel of Cleveland State, author of Twice Told, read from their work.

October 4: Nancy Christie/ J. Everett Prewitt

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Nancy Christie at the open mic at Suzie’s

Local writer Nancy Christie is the author of a short fiction collection, two short fiction e-books, and a motivational book. J. Everett Prewitt is the author of mystery novels Snake Walkers and A Long Way Back; he lives in Cleveland.

November 1: Kevin Haworth/Steven Reese

National Endowment of the Arts fellow Kevin Haworth of Carlow University will read from his creative non-fiction and Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Director Steven Reese will read from his poetry.

December 6: Chris Alonso, Bill Soldan, Sara Tracey

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Chris Alonso emcees the open mic at Suzie’s

NEOMFA Reunion Reading features Chris Alonso and Bill Soldan of Youngstown and Sara Tracey of Akron.