Category Archives: Uncategorized

Words Made Visible Sidewalk Project

Congratulations to the writers of these excerpted works, which will be stamped into Youngstown sidewalks:

“The Field’s Red Wheat” by Jeanne Bryner
“Chant of Change” by David Lee Garrison
“Stars of the Front Yard” by Jeffrey Murphy
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon

Our gratitude to poet and judge Mary Quade, artist and signmaker Michael Staaf, the City of Youngstown, and the Ohio Arts Council.

We will add details of the whens and wheres of the project and dedication soon!


Aug. First Wed. Reading at Suzie’s

Join us Wednesday August 2 at 7:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts in downtown Youngstown, as we welcome three visiting poets. Open mic to follow, emceed by Brandon Noel of The Makeshift Poets.


Jen Ashburn is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Light on the Wall, and has work in Chiron Review, Grey Sparrow, The MacGuffin, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Whiskey Island, and other journals. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Chatham University. Originally from southern Indiana, she spent four years in Japan and greater Asia, and now lives in Pittsburgh.

Roger Craik, Emeritus Professor of English at Kent State, has written four full-length poetry books: I Simply Stared (2002), Rhinoceros in Clumber Park (2003), The Darkening Green (2004), and Down Stranger Roads (2014); as well as two chapbooks. His poetry has appeared in national poetry journals such as The Formalist, Fulcrum, The Literary Review, The Atlanta Review and The Mississippi Review. He has been a Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria and Romania.

Jason Irwin is the author of A Blister of Stars (Low Ghost, 2016), Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008), winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award, and the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014), and Some Days It’s A Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005). He grew up in Dunkirk, NY, and now lives in Pittsburgh.


¡Hasta la Vista, Amiga!

Lots of people stopped by at the Summer Festival of the Arts to give a liz (2)farewell hug to our founding co-director, Liz Hill. Liz is moving to lovely Ajijic, on Lake Chapala, Mexico, where her husband Matt will serve as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

We are sad to see her go, and we are so grateful for the countless hours of work Liz has done to get us going in the right direction. A lot of what we do is behind the scenes, and Liz has kept the books, written grants, developed our bylaws and our board. She also orchestrated the Slice of Life Storytelling Night at the YWCA, and the publishing of Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories, both meaningful projects that led to profound insights into our community.

We will miss Liz’s generous spirit, bean soup, and wit; on our way to the AWP conference in D.C. we stopped for a coffee, and got out of the car a bit stiff from the long ride, which led Liz to sing, “The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be.”

We are also a little jealous. Look at Ajijic, how beautiful! Good journey, friend. We hope to keep Lit Youngstown going in a way that makes you proud.

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

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 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.


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