With the announcement of our Ohio Arts Council grant, seems like a good time for an update on the Words Made Visible project.
But first, woop woop! and so much thank you. With public funding on the chopping block, we are grateful to Governor Kasich and the Ohio Legislature for defending the value of the arts in our communities.
YSU’s Summer Festival of the Arts is the one of the highlights of our year!
And if that weren’t enough happiness, wait until you see the posters we’re giving away, designed by graphic artist Laura Garvin, featuring Words Made Visible poems by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, Allison Pitinii Davis, Elliot Nicely, Craig Paulenich, & Laura Grace Weldon. We imagine the posters in classrooms, dorm rooms, writing rooms, waiting rooms, hallways, offices, doors, and everywhere.
At2:00 Saturday in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center, Words Made Visible finalists Dianne Borsenik and Elliot Nicely of Cleveland, Luke Martinucci of the Lewis School in Youngstown and Craig Paulenich of Salem will read their award-winning poems.
Allison Pitinii Davis is the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a full-length collection about small family businesses in the Youngstown area, and Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize. She holds an MFA from Ohio State University and fellowships from Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Severinghaus Beck Fund for Study at Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Her work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry 2016, Crazyhorse, and The Missouri Review. She will begin a PhD at The University of Tennessee in Fall 2017.
Luke Martinucci is 13 years old and has just completed eighth grade at the Valley Christian School Lewis Center in downtown Youngstown. He live in Poland, Ohio.
Elliot Nicely is a poet and teacher from Lyme Township, Ohio. In recent years, he relocated to Lakewood, Ohio and released his first chapbook Tangled Shadows: Senryu and Haiku (Rosenberry Books, 2013). Over the last decade, his poetry has appeared across four continents and in more than a dozen anthologies.
Craig Paulenich is Professor of English at Kent State University-Salem, where he has worked since 1989; he lives outside Guilford Lake.
Lit Youngstown will be at the festival all weekend, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. Thank you to our volunteers who have offered an hour or two in the tent! Sunday afternoon we’ll choose the winning ticket for a stunning, full-sized, hand-crafted quilt.
Stop by to hear the reading, pick up a poster, and cheer us on.
Thank you to local artist Sheila Ugolini for offering this gorgeous handmade quilt for our summer art raffle. The bold, bright colors caught our eye, as did the intricate stitching. We think it would make an incredible gift, if any winner could part with it.
Lit Youngstown seeks poetry and prose for a series of public art projects called Words Made Visible, including posters, poems stamped into sidewalk squares, and a month-long gallery installation at the Soap Gallery in downtown Youngstown.
Lit Youngstown staff will select visually strong writing to be made into posters and distributed at the Summer Festival of the Arts on Youngstown State’s campus in July, 2017. Authors of accepted work will be invited to read during the Festival.
One chilly noon in January of 2015, a small group met at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts to discuss the idea of starting a literary arts organization. From that hopeful beginning, we have grown into a thriving non-profit organization with ongoing programming and numerous activities and collaborations.The hundreds of people working with us—visiting writers, teaching artists, workshop participants, board members, YSU interns, audience members, funders and volunteers—have created a Lit Youngstown community, and are proof to us that a literary arts organization has a place in Youngstown.
As Phyllis Rench was walking by the Lit Youngstown booth at the Summer Festival of the Arts, she spotted Chris Leeper’s oil painting Silver Bridge and loved it. Now it’s at home in her historic Canfield home.
Thank you to Chris for offering this gorgeous painting for our collaborative raffle. We have split the $1300 purse with Chris–important to us that we’re not asking artists to give us their work for free–and we will take our share of the proceeds to develop literary arts programming in Youngstown.
We’re joking about the couch, but… wow. We are beyond thrilled to be raffling this gorgeous original oil, painted for us by acclaimed artist Christopher Leeper. We will split the proceeds with Chris, allowing us to support one of our favorite artists, as well as fund our own programming and development.
Happy Birthday to Lit Youngstown! We had our initial formation meeting just about a year ago. We asked one of our YSU interns, Sam Amazing, to poke around on our Facebook page and blog to discover some highlights of our year. This is Sam’s reflection.
Hi, everyone! It’s hard to believe, but Lit Youngstown is a year old. Since our formation in 2015 we have sponsored or participated in many programs and events in the community. Here’s a look back at them.
At the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts July 11-12, we invited visitors to our booth to complete one or more of these writing prompts:
I remember the day when…
I wish I had the courage to…
I am most inspired to write when…
We provided colorful slips of paper, then used clothespins to display the writing in our booth. We didn’t anticipate how much the result would resemble Buddhist prayer flags but we loved the sense of reverence it gave to the responses. We were especially pleased with the writing from kids, which often included illustrations (see below). We’re delighted to share some of this writing with you.
I remember the day when:
– I read a book for the first time all on my own!
– I learned that food could taste like sunshine.
– I was born.
– I fed my cat.
We’re so busy getting ready for the Summer Festival of the Arts on the YSU campus this Sat. July 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sun. July 12th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Stop by our booth anytime to pick up a free tote bag graced with the poem “Disco” written by Cleveland poet Dianne Borsenik. In a blind judging, YSU poet Phil Brady (thank you, Phil!) selected Dianne’s poem from entries in our ekphrasis contest.
“Disco” was inspired by a print in “Prayer Series” by University of Akron faculty artist Hui-Chu Ying (the top image here). Dianne wrote her poem at Ekphrastacy!, a night of writing from art at the Cleveland Heights Art Gallery. We love the phenomenal tote bag design by YSU graphic arts students.