Category Archives: Readings

August Reading: Change of Place!

This month’s First Wednesday Reading is on, well, the 1st, which is like a blue moon for us. It will be a delightful reading by three women poets, and this time we’ll be in the small and charming chapel at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Enter the door on the right beneath the stone archway.

Wednesday August 1|7:30|Doors Open 7:15|St. John’s Episcopal Church|323 Wick Ave.

Lit Youngstown’s office is right down the hall, and we’ll open the office for refreshments and lending library browsers.

gunter_seymour_portrait

 

An Appalachian, Kari Gunter-Seymour blames her method of writing on the rich Ohio soil, her wildly eclectic family and neighbors and her upbringing. Her poems can be found in many fine journals and publications including Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and The LA Times. She is an Instructor in the School of Journalism at Ohio University and is the Poet Laureate for Athens, Ohio.

 

Sherri Saines has been reading, writing, and memorizing poetry since her grandmother gave her A Golden Book of Poetry for her 6th sherri saines coastbirthday. She has been published in Pig Iron, Mothering Magazine, Muse, Clover, Penguin Review, The Ides of March, Everything Stops and Listens, and other small presses.

 

Kathleenkathleen Strafford holds an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Originally from Ohio, Kathleen moved to Leeds in 1998 and now is chief editor of Runcible Spoon Webzine. She has been widely published in anthologies and webzines. She is working on her second collection called Women Changed Everything. Her debut poetry collection was published in 2018 called Her Own Language.

First Wednesday: Melissa Barger & William Heath

Join us for a reading of poetry and historical fiction at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., 7:30. Doors open at 7:15. Open mic emceed by Amanda Miller.

MelissaMelissa Barger has been writing for half her life. She is employed with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and is revising a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel set in Youngstown during the summer of 1863.

William Heath was born in Youngstown and grew up in Poland. He heathis the national-award-winning author of novels: The Children Bob Moses Led, Blacksnake’s Path, Devil Dancer; poetry: The Walking Man; history: William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest; and interviews: Conversations with Robert Stone. He will be reading some recent poems set in the Steel Valley.

First Wednesday Features Lori Bodkin & Stacey Schneider

Join us for a nonfiction reading Wednesday, May 2, at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Following the reading, an open mic will be emceed by Jennifer Kuczek. Doors open at 7:15. Park on the street or in the lot on the corner of S. Champion and Front Streets.

In our lives, we are surrounded by so many women who come from different
families, backgrounds and ethnicities; each of us with different hopes and dreams. This book shares stories from some of these inspiring women who have become the “superwomen” they were truly meant to be. The stories within these pages will make you laugh and maybe even cry.  Regardless of your age or gender, this book will give you a fresh, new outlook on appreciating who you are and how you relate
to the amazing women in your world.

Lori profile picLori Bodkin is a freelance writer and the Continuous Improvement Coordinator for Fyda Freightliner’s Pittsburgh and Youngtown locations. She is an accountant by degree, but her creativity eventually won out and Lori started her own customer service consulting business and has also facilitated several leadership workshops. She published a women’s non-fiction book, had a featured column in a North Carolina parenting magazine and writes for her own blog.

Stacey Schneider is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a professor at Northeast Stacey SchneiderOhio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and practiced as a pharmacist for many years but teaching and writing emerged as her true life calling. She has published a book in women’s non-fiction, edited a book on communication skills for women and contributed to several books for the medical professional.

Fall Literary Festival September 21-22

Save the dates! This year’s festivals will feature workshops, craft talks, a publishing panel, and readings by these accomplished visiting writers.

sj_transparentPlease join us in thanking our community partners for helping to make the festival possible: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, the Purple Cat, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, Sojourn to the Past, St. John’s Episcopal Church, YSU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, YSU Department of Women & Gender Studies, YSU English Department.SojournLogoTransparent (1)

 

Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria. Her work has received grants and

lesley arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah

awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. Her short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls From The Sky was published by Riverhead in April 2017. She currently lives in Minneapolis.

 

A lifelong reader, Jeanne Dutton’s interests expanded

jeanne-dutton

Jeanne Dutton

after majoring in English in college to writing and publishing fiction. In 2009, she published her first novel for teens with HarperCollins. Freaked is the story of a teenaged boy obsessed with the Grateful Dead. She followed with a second novel in 2010 entitled Stranded, a mystery set in Iowa surrounding the discovery of an abandoned baby.

 

 

John Kerstetter, the author of Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story (Random House 2017), received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, and his MFA degree from Ashland University in Ohio. He

Jon Kerstetter

Jon Kerstetter

served as a combat physician and flight surgeon for the U.S. Army and completed three combat tours in Iraq. His writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, River Teeth, and other literary journals.

 

 

Jacqui Lipton, LL.B., M.F.A., Ph.D. is a law professor and writer as well as the director of Authography LLC, a company dedicated to helping authors and artists meet their personal and professional goals. She writes regular columns on legal issues for authors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin, Savvy Authors, and Luna

lipton-8807-23_orig

Jacqui Lipton

Station Quarterly. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Ph.D. in law from Cambridge University. Her forthcoming book, LAW & AUTHORS: A LEGAL HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS will be published in 2019 by University of California Press.

Dave Lucas is the author of Weather (Georgia, 2011), which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry.  He is a co-founder of Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery and of Cleveland Book Week.  In 2018 he was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio.

Dave 2016

Dave Lucas

 

 

Craig Paulenich is the author of two  books of poetry, Drift of the Hunt (Nobobdaddies Press, 2006) and Blood Will Tell (BlazeVOX  [books], 2009) and editor (with Kent Johnson) of the anthology, Beneath A Single Moon:  Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry (Shambhala Press, 1991).  His poems have appeared in The Georgia Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Kansas Quarterly, the Minnesota Review, the South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Artful Dodge, and many others.  He has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes.  He earned an MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh, a Ph.D. in English at Bowling Green

Craig Paulenich

Craig Paulenich

State University, and is Professor of English at Kent State University-Salem.  He is a co-founder and faculty with the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, the nation’s only creative writing consortium. He’s currently working on a book of poems about John Brown.  He and his wife, Karla, live on a 27-acre farm outside Guilford Lake, Ohio.

Judith Vollmer is the author of five full-length books of poetry, including most recently The Apollonia Poems, awarded the University of Wisconsin Press Four Lakes Prize in 2016 and published last year.  She has received fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the American

Judith Vollmer

Judith Vollmer

Academy in Rome; and the Brittingham, the Cleveland State, and the Center for Book Arts publication awards.  Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Poetry International, Poet Lore, The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire, Prairie Schooner, The Women’s Review of Books, among many others. She teaches in the MFA Program in Poetry & Poetry in Translation at Drew University.

Arkansas Travelers

Two Arkansans and a Pittsburgher walk into a gallery… Join us in welcoming three fine poets who will read their work, followed by an open mic emceed by Tyler Rothbauer. Doors open at 7:15. Parking on the street and in the lot on the corner of Champion and Front Streets. The First Wednesday Readers Series receives funding from the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation.

jennifer jackson berry

 

Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of The Feeder (YesYes Books, 2016), as well as the chapbook When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications). She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Heather Dobbins is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. She earned an MFA from the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College in Vermont. Her poems and poetry reviews have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Pacific Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Tennessee), The Rumpus, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and TriQuarterly Review, among others. She has been an instructor for nearly twenty years in Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and now in Fort Smith, Arkansas, yet another river town.

Christian Anton Gerard’s the author of Holdfast (C&R Press, 2017) and Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech, 2014). He’s received Pushcart Prize nominations, a Best of the Net nomination, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships among other awards. He teaches at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Poets Adam Hughes & Stephanie Sesic March 7

Wednesday, March 7, The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15, reading begins at 7:30. Open mic follows the reading.

adam hughesAdam Hughes is the author of four full-length collections, most recently Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Deep Cries Out to Deep (Aldrich Press, 2017). He resides in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Stephanie Sesic teaches writing and literature at Kent State stephanie sesicUniversity and Cuyahoga Community College. Her work has appeared most recently online in Rascal. Her chapbook, The Intimate Verge, was published by Pudding House Publications in 2008. Her work reveals an obsession with the sky and tends to stick to the classic themes of sex and death.

Pictures from Words Made Visible Reception

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

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,
Tiffany Snow
“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,
Christian Steff
“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,
Bailee Walton
“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

 

OAC_full-color-cmyk-logo