Category Archives: Uncategorized

Food for Thought: Closing the Food Gap

The last three books in our food-themed book series will be non-fiction, but very different in tone and content: from serious to humorous to scholarly, all fascinating and well-researched.food-gap

This month we will read and discuss Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty by visiting writer Mark Winne (who will read Wed. April 5 at 7:00 at St. John’s Episcopal Church). A review in Beacon Press notes

In Closing the Food Gap, food activist and journalist Mark Winne poses questions too often overlooked in our current conversations around food: What about those people who are not financially able to make conscientious choices about where and how to get food? And in a time of rising rates of both diabetes and obesity, what can we do to make healthier foods available for everyone?

… Using anecdotal evidence and a smart look at both local and national policies, Winne offers a realistic vision for getting locally produced, healthy food onto everyone’s table.

Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Come join us. 5:00-6:00, Thurs. April 13 at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901  Elm St. (No potluck: the cafe will be open and serving.)

The evening will coincide with Lake to River Co-op’s Online Market pick-up night. The monthly gatherings are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Here are the rest of our monthly selections:

May 11: Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay
June 8: Salt: A World History by Mark Kulansky

Spring Workshop Enrollment Open!

Announcing our Spring 2017 Menu of Workshops!beautiful-you

Is there a road you didn’t travel? Thinking about writing the family story? Looking for advice on the nuts and bolts of editing prose? And who told you not to copy, anyway? Get your creative on in one of our spring workshops.

Visit our workshop page for more information and to register.

Storygami! Writer Visits Youngstown

Two first-rate poetry, fiction and non-fiction writers grace our stage Wednesday Jan. 4 at 7:00, at Purple Cat Productions, 220 W. Boardman St., downtown. If you took the summer class on writing in short forms, you know we’re in for a great evening.

Bring your work if you’re inspired to read at the open mic emceed by Lit Youngstown intern and YSU student Sarah Davis.

molly-fuller

Molly Fuller was a semifinalist for the Jeanne Leiby Memorial chapbook award from The Florida Review and a finalist for the Key West Literary Seminar’s emerging writer award. Her prose and poetry can be found in NANO Fiction, Union Station Magazine, Potomac, and 100 word story and her flash sequence “Hold Your Breath” is in the White Pine Press anthology, Nothing to Declare. She was also the co-winner of Lit Youngstown’s Storygami contest at the 2016 Summer Festival of the Arts in Youngstown. Fuller is a Teaching Fellow in the Literature program at Kent State University.

Robert Miltner’s collection of prose poetry, Hotel Utopia, won the Many Voices Project book prize from New Rivers Press. His collection of flash fiction, And Your Bird Can Sing, was published by Bottom Dog Books. Recent nonfiction can be found in DIAGRAM, The Los Angeles Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Pithead Chapel and Great Lakes Review. He teaches at Kent State University and in the NEOMFA.

robert-miltnerx

Food for Thought Book & Potluck: Yes, Chef

This month we will read and discuss Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson, who has had a fascinating life, by any measure. Born in Ethiopia, adopted and raised in Sweden, he is a New York City chef working with African-American food traditions. According to the New York Times:yes-chef

The universal rule of kitchen work, Marcus Samuelsson says in his crisp new memoir, “Yes, Chef,” goes as follows: “Stay invisible unless you’re going to shine.” That rule applies to writers too, especially to those who would write food memoirs. Because you like to put things in your mouth does not mean you have a story to tell.

Mr. Samuelsson, as it happens, possesses one of the great culinary stories of our time.

Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Come join us. 6:00-7:00, Thurs. Dec. 8 at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901  Elm St.

The potluck is informal: bring something you made or a prepared food or drink. The evening will coincide with Lake to River Co-op’s Online Market pick-up night. The monthly gatherings are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Here are the rest of our monthly selections:

Jan. 12: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Cancelled Feb. 9: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
March 9: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
April 13: Closing the Food Gap by Mark Winne
May 11: Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay
June 8: Salt: A World History by Mark Kulansky

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

angela-messenger

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

terry-murcko

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 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

nancy-christie

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.

Food for Thought Book & Potluck: The Garden of the World

the-garden-of-the-world_web1This month we will read and discuss Lawrence Coates’ historical novel The Garden of the World. Lawrence, who teaches at Bowling Green State University, was our featured reader in October, and read the first chapter of this engaging novel.

The Garden of the World is the tale of a pioneering winemaking family headed by Paul Tourneau, a fiercely ambitious vintner determined to make the finest wine in California.  His plans are disrupted by a phylloxera epidemic at the beginning of the twentieth century, the trials of national Prohibition, and the bitter alienation of his older son.  Played out against the vividly depicted seasonal rhythms of a vineyard and winemaking, this is a moving saga of betrayal, loss, and the consequences of ambition.

Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Come join us. 6:00-7:00, Thurs. Nov. 10 at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901  Elm St.

The potluck is informal: bring something you made or a prepared food or drink. The evening will coincide with Lake to River Co-op’s Online Market pick-up night.

The monthly gatherings are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Here are the rest of our monthly selections:

Dec. 8: Yes, Chef! A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson
Jan. 12: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Cancelled Feb. 9: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
March 9: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
April 13: Closing the Food Gap by Mark Winne
May 11: Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay
June 8: Salt: A World History by Mark Kulansky

Literary Halloweeeeeennn!

Come down to the Soap Gallery to hear some readings that might keep you awake at night. We’ll have cookies & punch, and if you are inspired, wear your literary-themed costume, zombie to Zelda.

Christopher Lesko & Jay Newman read at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., at 8:00 p.m.

christopher lesko

Christopher Lesko is the author of The Grlz Like Vodka, Long Live Crazy, That’s My Ghoul, The Electric Lunatic, and a handful of deranged short stories. Other creative outlets of his include fine art photography, video production, graphic design, and abstract painting. He lives in Canfield.

Jay Throne

 

Jay Newman is the notorious “Rust Belt Prince of Effing Darkness,” the poet who dabbles in all things dark, gloomy, morbid, and curious. He is a recent graduate of the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program where he earned his MFA in poetry. Recently, he has published poems in Dark Gothic Resurrected, Crab Fat, and Midwestern Gothic. He will be releasing his first book Dear Goth sometime in the near future. Jay is also a musician in the project Black Kangaroo and an amateur filmmaker. He currently resides in Youngstown, Ohio, where he teaches English at Eastern Gateway Community College.