Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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 native Rochelle Hurt visits home with her newest book of poems, In Which I Play the Runaway. You may have seen Rochelle read with Allison Davis 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

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

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.

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.

Thank you, WYSU

wysu

Lit Youngstown is volunteering to answer phones for the WYSU pledge drive this Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 7:00 a.m. to noon. To make a pledge, call 330.941.1481 or visit WYSU.org.

From Lit Youngstown co-director Karen Schubert:

NPR is an organizing principle in my life.

It’s true—I set my alarm to go off during Morning Edition. When I’m feeling resistant to getting up, I give myself a two stories delay. I save cooking projects for the hours when my favorite shows are on the kitchen radio: The Splendid Table, The TED Radio Hour, Fresh Air, All Things Considered. Early Saturdays now start with my number one best show, On the Media.

I’m an avid reader and returned to college as a nontraditional student, staying for three degrees. Even so, I’ve learned more about the world from NPR than from any other source. Politics, to be sure, but also science, economics, history, the arts, culture, travel, music (classical, jazz, folk, pop, blues)… everything from ants to zambonis.

But politics—public radio is the best source, bar none. That’s why some NPR listeners identify themselves as conservatives, and some liberals. This election, we’ve learned about policy proposals, the horse race, the biographies, and so much more. I believe that I have to know things I’m not really interested in, to be an informed citizen, and NPR makes it un-painful to learn.

I found public radio when I was a young stay-at-home mom, starving for intellectual stimulation. We listened continuously as my kids grew up. One morning in Wisconsin, the guest on a talk show was Frances Hamerstrom, author of Walk When the Moon is Full. My daughter called in to tell Ms. Hamerstrom how much her book meant to us.

Even now, so many of the conversations I’m in begin with “I heard on NPR…” I have my radio dial set to WYSU, and when I drive to visit my now-grown daughter in Cuyahoga Falls, I switch to WKSU right after the Meander Reservoir. Today I arrived a bit tearful after a story about the uptick in organ donation resulting from the opioid epidemic.

As the co-director of Lit Youngstown, I am exceedingly grateful to WYSU for including our events on the Community Calendar, and for all of the literary arts programming, including first-rate interviews by National Humanities Medalist Terry Gross. Who can forget Terry’s interview with Maurice Sendak? How much more poignant, now that he’s gone.

No matter how broke I am, I always give something to my local public radio station. The service is valuable beyond measure, and  along with my modest donation I send my undying gratitude.