Category Archives: Words Made Visible

A Night to Remember

Join us for a truly wonderful evening of sidewalk poetry dedication, elegant dining, great conversation, an incredible reading by George Ella Lyon, our Fall Literary Festival keynote reader, and an open mic. Come for any part and stay as long as you like; all are free and open to the public with the exception of dinner (reservations required by September 15).

4:30-5:30 Behind St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. & the corner of Walnut & E. Federal St., downtown Youngstown
Dedication: Words Made Visible Sidewalk Project
6-6:45 Dinner, Hilton DoubleTree Ballroom
7:00 Hilton DoubleTree 2nd Floor Lounge
Reading of NEA Big Read Teen & Open Contest Short Short Fiction Winners
Fall Literary Festival Keynote Reading George Ella Lyon
8:30 Open Mic

At 4:30 we will meet behind St. John’s Episcopal Church to dedicate poetry excerpts stamped into sidewalk squares. The featured poets are David Lee Garrison of Dayton and Jeffrey Murphy of Youngstown. We have purchased a white oak to be planted near the poetry. Poetry stamps were designed and created by Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs.

From St. John’s we will walk downtown to Walnut St., outside the Commerce Building, to dedicate poetry-in-sidewalk-squares by Jeanne Bryner of Newton Falls and Laura Grace Weldon of Litchfield. The sidewalk poetry is part of Words Made Visible, a literary-visual art collaboration that received funding from the Ohio Arts Council.
67224313_1397599427045100_5850719895037149184_nFrom the Commerce Building we will walk to the Hilton DoubleTree in the historic Stambaugh Building where we will dine in the 12th floor ballroom. The elegant meal will include avocado Caesar salad,  cheesecake and coffee, and choice of brown sugar bbq salmon or cauliflower-kale pasta. There will be a cash bar in the ballroom. It is not required to register for the Fall Literary Festival to purchase dinner; however, please make reservations by September 15 ($25 per plate).

After dinner, we will meet in the 2nd floor lounge for a reading by the winners of the teen and open Short Short Fiction contests for adults and teens. This contest is a tip of the hat to our Big Read author Luis Alberto Urrea, who, a few years ago, judged the NPR 3-Minute Fiction contest, and read the story of local writer Nin Andrews on the air. This is one of murrea_northany Big Read events. Mr. Urrea will visit Youngstown October 15.

Our keynote reader is highly acclaimed and awarded poet and writer George Ella Lyon. You may have heard of her poetry project Where I’m From, which by now includes entries from all over the world. You can tell she is wonderful, because the picture she sent to us includes her fourth grade teacher. Her books will be for sale at the reading. Please join us in thanking Ohio Humanities for the funding to bring this important writer to the Valley.

george ella lyon

George Ella Lyon, Kentucky Poet Laureate (2015-2016), has published in many genres, including poetry, picture books, novels, short stories, and a memoir. Her poem “Where I’m From” has gone around the world as a writing model. Recent collections include She Let Herself Go (LSU, 2012) and Many-Storied House (University Press of Kentucky, 2013). Lyon makes her living as a freelance writer and teacher. She and her husband, musician and writer Steve Lyon, have two grown sons.

After Ms. Lyon’s reading, we will take a break, replenish our drinks, and begin the open mic. Readers are welcome to read one poem or prose excerpt, two pages maximum.

Please join us! This will be one of the most memorable Lit Youngstown events of the year.

 

O Autumn Fruitfulness!

September and October are filling up so richly, we’re going to dedicate a square to all that’s going on, between the NEA Big Read (centered around Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea), the Fall Literary Festival, a reading by poet and native Youngstowner Ross Gay, and our usual Lit Yo activities.NEA Big Read

We’ll add to this calendar as pieces come together. All events are free and open to the public with no reservation required, unless otherwise indicated.

This is a partial list of Big Read activities; please visit the calendar of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County for the whole beautiful thing!

*Until August 31. Winners will be announced in September.
Short Short Fiction Contest

*Wed. Sept. 4 7:00 Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
First Wednesday Series Reading: Clint Elston & Brandon Noel, open mic emceed by Elizabeth Burnette

*Tues. Sept. 10 6:30-8:00 Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St.
City Club of the Mahoning Valley, “Separation of Roots and State: Where are They Now?”

Mexican immigration occupies a complex position in U.S. public opinion. Immigration law has oscillated throughout the 20th century between welcoming Mexican immigrants and vehemently rejecting them. What happens to the country they left behind? What about the loved ones unable to make the dangerous trek to America?

Panelists

  • Violeta Aguirre (Vi)
    Coordinadora del Alcance Comunitario para Hispanos (Hispanic Outreach Coordinator), Catholic Charities
  • Erin Phemester
    Programming and Youth Services Director, Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County

Moderator

  • Nicole Pettitt, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor / K-12 TESOL Endorsement Coordinator; Chair, Refugee Concerns Interest Section – TESOL, International Department of English, Youngstown State University

*Tues. Sept. 17 First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown 1105 Elm St.
An Evening of Immigrant Narratives
5:30 Food for Thought Book discussion, Into the Beautiful North *(change of date & time!)
6:30 Ethnic foods potluck (please bring a dish or drink to share)
7:00 Traveling Stanzas Writing Across Borders, Wick Poetry Center
8:00 Youngstown Immigrant Narratives: Violeta Aguirre, Mia Catherine Allonby, Lidia Cornelio & Ana Marie Wetzl

urrea_north

*Sat. Sept. 21 3:30 YSU Ward Beecher Planetarium
The Sky We Share
Our constellations mainly come from the Greeks, so why do they have Latin names? And what’s up with those Arabic star names, anyway? In this live presentation of the night sky, we will journey through the stars and explore the different ways they take shape across cultures and the ages. Learn of the importance of the stars for navigation, time-keeping, and storytelling.

*Tues. Oct. 1 7:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.
Book discussion, Into the Beautiful North

*Wed. Oct. 2 7:00 Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Lit Youngstown First Wednesday Series Reading: EF Schroeder & Michelle Smith, open mic emceed by Christopher Lesko

*Thurs. Oct. 3 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read Film Series: Magnificent Seven, introduced by Dr. Laura Beadling

*Thurs. Oct. 3 7:00 Downtown Hilton DoubleTree, 44 E. Federal Plaza, 2nd floor lounge
Fall Literary Festival gathering in, registration and conversation

*Fri. Oct. 4 Fall Literary Festival
9:00-4:00 YSU Kilcawley Center registration/fee required
5:00-6:30 Dinner, St. John’s Episcopal Church registration/fee required
7:00-8:30 Reading: Steven Caumo, winner of Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship
Erica Cardwell & Philip Metres, free and open to the publicLiterary Festival Logo Design

*Sat. Oct. 5 Fall Literary Festival
9:00-4:00 YSU Kilcawley Center registration/fee required
4:30 Dedication Words Made Visible sidewalk project
6:00-6:45 Dinner, Downtown Hilton DoubleTree Ballroom registration/fee required
7:00 Reading, winner, short short fiction contest
Keynote George Ella Lyon, free and open to the public

*Mon. Oct. 7 6:30 Casa Ramirez, 1578 Mahoning Ave.
Hands-on demonstration: making sopes
Free with registration

*Wed. Oct. 9 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read Film Series: Stand and Deliver
(Food for Thought book discussion cancelled)

*Thurs. Oct. 10 5:00-7:00 3rd Floor Maag Library, YSURoss Gay Flyer
Crossings: NEA Big Read YSU Student Art Show Opening
Exhibit Oct. 10-27

*Fri. Oct. 11 7:30 St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.
Reading: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts hosts Ross Gay & Jason Harris

*Sun. Oct. 13 2:30 Youngstown Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane
Staged Reading of Into the Beautiful North
Directed by Denise Sculli

*Tues. Oct. 15 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read author Luis Alberto Urreawysu
Special Guests The Labra Brothers

5:00 -5:45 Book signing
6:00 Reading, Q&A with Dr. Timothy Francisco
This author visit is co-sponsored by WYSU.

*Thurs. Oct. 17 6:00 Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.
NEA Big Read Film Series: The Bronze Screen, introduced by Dr. Laura Beadling
(Third Thursday Writers Circle canceled)

Poems Set in Stone

The final two poems of a special project have been embossed and installed next to a well-traveled walkway at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The walkway connects Walnut St., YSU buildings, the MVR, the Noble Creature Cask House and St. John’s to the rest of the YSU campus and Wick Ave.

The timing wasn’t quite right to find a downtown sidewalk installation site. However, the stamps are reusable; we are still pursuing opportunities in the city, and are open to other possibilities.

These poems are by Youngstown native son Jeff Murphy and Dayton poet David Lee Garrison. As fine debris settles into the letters over time, they will become more visible.

 

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Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs created and installed these frames at the end of September; just today the grass has been seeded. This lovely garden-like area is part of a new, open landscape project by St. John’s, where Lit Youngstown’s office is located. Tony Armeni will donate a sculpture, giving the poems more visibility.

Earlier this summer, we embossed poems by Jeanne Bryner of Newton Falls and Laura Grace Weldon of Litchfield in new sidewalks at the Commerce Building on Walnut St. in downtown Youngstown. Our appreciation to Rich Mills, owner of this historic building.

 

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All four poets and judge Mary Quade of Hiram will come for a dedication and reading at the Fall Literary Festival, Oct. 4-5, 2019. Many thanks to signmaker Michael Staaf for taking on this complicated project, and to the Ohio Arts Council for funding. This completes Words Made Visible, a year-long collaboration between visual and literary arts.

 

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.

 

 

 

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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

 

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Words Made Visible Gallery Opening

Words Made Visible is Lit Youngstown’s literary-visual art collaboration. In blind judgings, poems and prose by Ohio-affiliated writers were selected to be printed on posters, broadsides and stamped into sidewalks. Students in YSU art classes chose poems and stories and responded to them through visual art.

The opening for the month-long exhibit will be Saturday, February 3, 2:00 to 5:00 at The POA Poem Posters 20173Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., downtown Youngstown. Refreshments will be served. At 3:00, contributing writers will read their work included in the show:

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

Please join us in congratulating the represented writers and artists, and thanking the YSU Art Department, the Soap Gallery, the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Words Made Visible/Silence is Golden

More congratulations! These Words Made Visible poems were selected by YSU digital silence is goldenmedia students for Silence is Golden.

“Crows” by Neil Carpathios
“Mal du Siècle” by Riley Gable
“My Great Great Grandmother” by Craig Paulenich
“Sky Opens” by Robert Smith
“Ten O’ Clock, The Day Already Threatening” by Kari Gunter-Seymour
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan
“Winter Aubade” by Riley Gable

November 1 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, we enjoyed Silence is Golden, a multimedia performance by YSU art department students, responding to poems and stories from the Words Made Visible visual literary-visual arts collaboration. Local musicians improvised a soundtrack to the digital projects.

November 1st Reading + Digital Art

Join us Wednesday November 1 for a very special evening of readings and digital art. We will begin at 5:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St., and at 7:15 move to The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Silence is Golden is an annual multimedia project by YSU art department students, and this year student work will engage with poems and stories from Ohio-affiliated writers participating in the Words Made Visible project, a literary-visual arts collaboration.
The Soap Gallery reading will feature award-winning writers Kevin Haworth of Pittsburgh and Steven Reese of Youngstown. Open mic to follow, emceed by Courtney Kensinger.
Kevin Haworth’s essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History will be the Food for Thought book discussion group’s December selection.
 
Kevin Haworth is a 2016 NEA Fellow in Creative Writing and the Director of the MFA kevin_haworthProgram in Creative Writing at Carlow University. His books include the novel The Discontinuity of Small Things (winner of the Samuel Goldberg Foundation Prize and runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), and the essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History. He has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Ledig International Writers House. He previously taught at Ohio University and at Tel Aviv University. His current book project is a critical biography of Israeli comics artist Rutu Modan.
 
Steven Reese is the author of three volumes of poetry, Enough Light to Steer By (Cleveland Ssteve_reesetate), American Dervish (Salmon), and Excentrica: Notes on the Text (BlazeVOX) as well as two volumes of translation, Synergos (selected poems of Roberto Manzano; Etruscan) and Womanlands (selected poems of Diana María Ivizate González; Verbum, Spain). He teaches literature and the writing of poetry at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he currently directs the Northeast Ohio MFA in Creative Writing.