Newsletters

Lit Youngstown’s Monthly Newsletter May 2017.

David Giffels & Lori Jakiela, May First Wed. Readers

We are so fortunate that these highly acclaimed and personable writers will travel to Youngstown to read for our First Wed. Reading Series, Wed. May 3, 7:00 p.m., at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, (https://www.facebook.com/SuziesYtown/) 34 N. Phelps St. An open mic will follow, emceed by local writer Tom Pugh.

David Giffels (http://www.davidgiffels.com/) of Akron is the author of The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt (http://www.npr.org/2014/03/25/293850280/for-writer-the-hard-way-meant-choosing-to-stay-in-akron-ohio) (Scribner 2014), nominated for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the memoir All the Way Home (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2008), winner of the Ohioana Book Award (http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-awards/) .

Lori Jakiela (http://www.lorijakiela.net/) of Pittsburgh is the author of three memoirs, most recently Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (http://atticusbooksonline.com/books/belief-is-its-own-kind-of-truth-maybe/) (Atticus Books 2015), which received the 2016 Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University, was a finalist for the Council of Literary Magazine and Small Presses’ Firecracker Award and the Housatonic Literary Award, and named one of 20 Not-to-Miss Nonfiction Books of 2015 by The Huffington Post.

 Office Warming Party!

You are all invited to a reception to celebrate the opening of Lit Youngstown’s new office atSt. John’s Episcopal Church, (http://stjohnohio.org/) 323 Wick Ave., Thurs. May 25 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Thank you Nin Andrews and Liz Hill for donating book cases for our lending library, bins for our magazine exchanges, and tables for many years of writing. We invite you to donate or borrow magazines and books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction you think others will be interested in reading.

We will serve refreshments. While Wick Ave.’s renovations are underway, parking is behind the building in the YSU lot (next to MVR) on Walnut St.

New Critique Group!

Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?

The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave., the third Thursday of each month from 5:30-6:30. During Wick Ave. construction, parking is available in the YSU lot next to the MVR on Walnut Street.

Bring 5 copies of a poem or story excerpt, maximum 3 pages. (If you’d like to critique longer writing projects, come to our first meeting and let’s make a plan to accommodate your work.)

Writing Workshop–“A hell of a fat chance my orange bears had!”: Race, Heritage, and Identity in the Rust Belt

Tuesdays, May 23-June 27, 7:00-9:00 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church,  323 Wick Ave. During Wick Ave. construction, parking is available in the YSU lot next to the MVR on Walnut Street. Course $25. Register here. (https://lityoungstown.org/classes-and-events/) Deadline May 10.

In his poem “The Orange Bears (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/orange-bears) ,” Niles native Kenneth Patchen documents the difficulties steel workers faced in the mills. How do factors including race, heritage, gender, and class impact Youngstown’s history and our own contemporary experiences? This is a multigene workshop—participants may compose poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. No experience is required, and teens are welcome.

Workshop facilitator Allison Davis is the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a full-length collection about small family businesses in northeast Ohio, and Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize.

Writing Workshop–Mothering: The Arc of Your Story

Sat., May 6, 10:00-noon, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. During Wick Ave. construction, parking is available in the YSU lot next to the MVR on Walnut Street. Course fee: $15. Register here (https://lityoungstown.org/classes-and-events/) . Deadline April 30.

The word “mothering” can conjure all sorts of thoughts and emotions, some positive, some negative. Yet, regardless of our relationship to our mothers and/or children, we have all been formed by a matrilineal line. That relationship line is not only part of the arc of our present story, but also our future stories as we continue to birth our “offspring,” whether these are children, ideas, businesses, or dreams.

Join instructor Ginny Taylor for this creative time of exploring these connections to our female ancestors while also linking these relationships to our future dreams. Bring a journal, and a photo of a female ancestor.

Editing Workshop–Red Ink is Your Friend

Sat., May 6 10:00-noon, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. During Wick Ave. construction, parking is available in the YSU lot next to the MVR on Walnut Street. Course fee: $15. Register here (https://lityoungstown.org/classes-and-events/) . Deadline April 30.

Are you an aspiring writer? Even the most experienced writers need this valuable skill–successful editing. Red ink IS your friend! Join Lori Bodkin and Stacey Schneider to learn the basics about editing as they share some of their personal editing experiences. Bring along at least one of your personal writing samples, no matter what stage it’s in. You’ll have a chance to practice self-editing, have your work edited by your peers and receive feedback from Lori and Stacey.

Words Made Visible

Deadline approaching!

Lit Youngstown seeks poetry and short prose for a series of public art projects called Words Made Visible, including posters for the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, (http://www.ysu.edu/sfa) poems stamped into sidewalk squares, and a month-long literary-visual art installation at The Soap Gallery (http://soapgalleryyo.squarespace.com/) . We are looking for writing from students, teachers, faculty, community members… all ages and levels of experience and styles.

For submission guidelines, please visit our website (https://lityoungstown.org/2017/03/04/friends-writers-countrymen-send-us-your-words/) . Deadline April 30.

Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories

Thank you to the Mahoning Valley Historical Society (https://mahoninghistory.org/) for carrying our book in their gift shops.

We bless the child whose baptism bumped our April 30 reading at St. John’s Episcopal Sunday service, and look forward to rescheduling.

Summer Art Raffle

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.

Tickets are available at Extending Grace gift shop, from Lit Youngstown staff and board members Davita Fitzgerald, Liz Hill, Sean Posey, Karen Schubert, Bill Soldan & Molly Toth, and on our website. (https://lityoungstown.org/2017/04/18/quilt-raffle-tickets/)

The quilt will be on display at Extending Grace, (https://www.facebook.com/ExtGrace/) 18 Liberty St. in Hubbard. Tickets are $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00 We will draw the winning ticket at the Summer Festival of the Arts in July and split the purse with the artist. Your purchase supports the literary and visual arts in the Valley. Thank you!

The Writing Life

Congratulations to the editors and contributors of the latest issues of Jenny and Penguin Review! These YSU literary journals have a long and proud legacy, and represent the first publication for many local writers. More congrats to the recent Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts grads and those newly accepted into the program.

We hope you’ll read your work at the open mic after the First Wed. readings. Maybe you’d like to take or teach a class, be part of a critique group, or volunteer. Let us know what kind of writing community you’re looking for, and how you’d like to be involved. We look forward to working with you.

The Hard Way on Purpose, title of David Giffels’s essay collection, is a great metaphor for a reading and writing life. A boost to creativity, empathy and intellect are the rewards. Worth it.

Write on,
Liz Hill & Karen Schubert, co-directors

 

Lit Youngstown’s Monthly Newsletter April 2017.

Author Mark Winne Talks Food

Lit Youngstown & St. John’s Episcopal Church will host a reading by food policy advocate Mark Winne, Wed. April 5, 7:00, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. The reading will be followed by a Q&A moderated by WYSU’s Tim Francisco. This will be Lit Youngstown’s First Wednesday reading (no open mic this month). As Wick Ave. is under construction, parking is available in the auxiliary YSU lot next to the MVR.

Winne, of New Mexico, has forty years of food policy experience. He will lead a free noon luncheon-workshop on Wed. April 5 at St. John’s on bringing grocery stores to urban neighborhoods (reservations required by March 27 to LitYoungstown@gmail.com). Anyone interested in economic development, health and food policy in the Valley is welcome.

We thank these community partners for their support in bringing in this important author: ACTION, Common Wealth, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Junior League of Youngstown, Lake to River Food Co-op, Mayor McNally, Mercy Health Partners, NYO Property Group, Oak Hill Collaborative, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, The Raymond John Wean Foundation, WYSU, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation and the YWCA of Youngstown.

Food for Thought Book Club

Food for Thought Book Club will discuss Mark Winne’s Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty on Thurs. April 13, 5:00-6:00, at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901 Elm St. Food for Thought has taken up a year of food-themed fiction and non-fiction. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Come join us.

Here are the rest of the titles in this series:

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

WYSU Pledge Drive

Lit Youngstown will volunteer to answer phones during WYSU’s pledge drive, the morning of Wed. April 12. Tune in to 88.5 and please help us keep the phones ringing! If you have time to volunteer with us, let us know. WYSU’s Community Calendar is a valuable resource, and we love all the literary arts programming on NPR. This is our chance to say Thank You, WYSU!

Editing Workshop: Red Ink is Your Friend

Instructors: Lori Bodkin & Stacey Schneider. Saturday, May 6 10:00-noon, Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., $15. More information and registration on our workshops page. Deadline to register: April 22.
Are you an aspiring writer? Even the most experienced writers need this valuable skill–successful editing. Red ink IS your friend! Join Lori and Stacey to learn the basics about editing as they share some of their personal editing experiences. Bring along at least one of your personal writing samples, no matter what stage it’s in. You’ll have a chance to practice self-editing, have your work edited by your peers and receive feedback from Lori and Stacey.

Words Made Visible

Send us your poems & stories!

Lit Youngstown seeks poetry and short prose for a series of public art projects called Words Made Visible, including posters for the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, poems stamped into sidewalk squares, and a month-long literary-visual art installation at The Soap Gallery. We are looking for writing from students, teachers, faculty, community members… all ages and levels of experience and styles.

For submission guidelines, please visit our home page.

Phenomenal Women at St. John’s

Those who were snowed out of our release of Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories last December will have a chance to see the staged reading at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave., on Sunday, April 30.

We will show the video about the project at the adult forum at 9:15, and perform the staged reading as part of St. John’s regular Sunday services at 8:00 and 10:30. All are welcome.

Summer Art Raffle

Thank you to 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.

The quilt will be on display at Extending Grace 18 Liberty St. in Hubbard; tickets will be available the beginning this weekend, $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00 We will draw the winning ticket at the Summer Festival of the Arts in July and split the purse with the artist.

A Room of Our Own

Lit Youngstown will open our first office inside St. John’s Episcopal Church in May! This affordable, sunny, wheelchair accessible office comes with plenty of parking and will provide a quiet space for workshops and critique groups. We are so excited.

The Writing Life

We love news about the publications and productions of Valley writers. Congratulations to Nin Andrews, Allison Pitinii Davis and Rochelle Hurt who all have new poetry collections, to Kelly Bancroft whose short film was featured at the Cleveland International Film Festival, and to Bill Soldan, Alex Puncekar, and Anne Garwig on their recent publications in literary journals.

Co-directors Liz Hill and Karen Schubert are also celebrating: Third Street Gallery in Carnegie, Pa. will host a staged reading of Liz’s play Easter Babka, and a poem by Karen will be included in an anthology that’s tribute-to-Ella Fitzgerald on the 100th year after her birth. The poem was inspired at the First Wed. reading in Dec., when Sean Posey told us that Ella got married in Youngstown during a time she and band-mate Ray Brown were playing at the Merry-Go-Round.

Lots of stories to tell around here. Let us know about any new publications of yours so we can celebrate with you. Write on!
Liz Hill & Karen Schubert, co-directors

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