A Night of Stories July 11

micJoin us for a night of community storytelling & desserts, Wednesday July 11, 7:30, Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15. No open mic this month.

The first Wednesday of July falls on a holiday, so go make some noise and join us a week later for a truly wonderful evening.

Stories by Tom Beck, Arthur Byrd, BeckyAnn Harker, Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine, Sue Hukari & Andrea Wells.

Tom Beck lives on a working grain farm in Green Township. Tom is retired from The University of Akron where he served as an administrator and faculty member for 35 years. Tom also had an extensive career in radio and television broadcasting. Tom has three adult sons and eight grandchildren. As a teacher, broadcaster, and community activist, communicating through storytelling has been an important part of Tom’s professional training.

Arthur Byrd earned a BA in Telecommunications and Associate Degree in Business Management from YSU, and worked as a photojournalist at WFMJ-TV, where he and a reporter won first place from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters for Best Investigative Reporting. Arthur’s short films have shown at film festivals in Cleveland and Los Angeles, and his Ballet Audition has been viewed over two million times on YouTube. Arthur is a member of Toastmasters, and in 2016, he received the Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award. Arthur produces two podcasts, Cool and Interesting People, and The Movie Soul Brothers, co-hosted by Mark Williams, a discussion of Black Cinema from 60’s and beyond. Both podcasts can be heard on Soundcloud.

BeckyAnn Harker is a Speech-Language Pathologist by day, treating children in schools with speech or language disorders. By night and weekend, she is the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. One of her favorite parts of that job is telling a story that appeals to all ages during the weekly service. She is also a member of Warren Toastmasters, where she is practicing and improving her storytelling skills. She is the mother of one, stepmother of three, all in their teens and early twenties. Stay tuned- when the trauma of raising teenagers subsides, there will be plenty more stories to tell!

Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine is currently a full-time caregiver for her 90 year old mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. They often vacation together at wit’s end. Skye took her first writing workshop four years ago, for the sole purpose of someday hoping to breathe words into her own story of how the overbearing people in her life affected all of her decision-making capabilities. With her cumulative history eventually leaving her breathless, Facebook friends working with Lit Youngstown came along to resuscitate her.

Writers Circle June 21

Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?34340988_1083713075100405_5111685658393444352_n

The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, June 21. Come to the door on the right, under the arch, and ring the buzzer.

We welcome facilitator Allison Pitinii Davis. Bring 5 copies of one poem or story excerpt, maximum 5 pages.

For the Birds! And for You

IMG_5623Each summer, we raffle a large piece of art and split the purse with the artist. Thanks so very much to Youngstown sculptor Tony Armeni for collaborating with us on this gorgeous piece. Word is, with an Armeni in your back yard, the birds show up in top hats.

Your donation helps us fund our programs, and we’re so grateful. Good luck! If you win, we’ll come and take a picture. We will draw the winning ticket July 8 at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts.

First Wednesday: Melissa Barger & William Heath

Join us for a reading of poetry and historical fiction at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., 7:30. Doors open at 7:15. Open mic emceed by Amanda Miller.

MelissaMelissa Barger has been writing for half her life. She is employed with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and is revising a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel set in Youngstown during the summer of 1863.

William Heath was born in Youngstown and grew up in Poland. He heathis the national-award-winning author of novels: The Children Bob Moses Led, Blacksnake’s Path, Devil Dancer; poetry: The Walking Man; history: William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest; and interviews: Conversations with Robert Stone. He will be reading some recent poems set in the Steel Valley.

Writers Circle May 17

*New Time*

pexels-photo-268283Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?

The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, May 17. Come to the door on the right, under the arch, and ring the buzzer.

We welcome facilitator Kelly Bancroft. Bring 5 copies of one poem or story excerpt, maximum 5 pages.

Voices from the Rust Belt: Anne Trubek

anne trubekThe YSU Center for Working Class Studies and Lit Youngstown present Anne Trubek, Monday, May 14 from 6-7:30 at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, 151 W. Wood St.

Anne Trubek, founder of Belt Publishing & Belt Magazine and editor of recently released Voices From The Rust Belt will talk about the history of the company she founded with a small grant in 2012.

Since then, Belt has emerged as a leading voice in telling the complex story of the ‘Rust Belt’ by way of the very people who live within it or have been shaped by it.

The New York Times:Belt Magazine is dedicated to exploring the reawakened regional identity symbolized by abandoned industrial landscapes, corner taverns and unfancy beer, while also giving writers enough space to push past the Shinola-like clichés.”

The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be provided.

More on Anne and Voices:

The Woman Who Is Telling The Story Of The Rust Belt
Our Collective Ignorance About the Rust Belt Is Getting Dangerous (Time Magazine)

Food for Thought: Camp Olvido

camp olvidoLawrence Coates, historical fiction writer, was a First Wednesday Series reader and is the author of Food for Thought selection The Garden of the World. His novella, Camp Olvido, was recently optioned for a film. Read more about the book here.

We will meet at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, May 9, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00.

We are at the end of a series of books that explore the American experience. Peruse the rest of the titles here. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.