LITerally a Picnic! RSVP!

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Join us Saturday, June 8, for LITerally A Picnic for all ages, at Bear’s Den Cabin in Mill Creek Park, from 5:30 – 8:30. We’re planning a BYOBBQ (Lit Youngstown will supply the condiments, garnishes, and grilling tools, guests bring their own [veggie] burgers and buns). 

We’re putting together a poetry hike for those who are interested, also board games and nature collages. Should be a lot of fun. Please RSVP so we know how many to expect.

First Wednesday Reading Features Mary Grimm & Susan Grimm

grimmJoin us Wednesday June 5 at 7:00 at the Soap Gallery for a poetry & prose reading by two sisters and amazing writers of Cleveland. Open mic emceed by Steve Force. National Ketchup Day. Let’s stogie up the grill.

Mary Grimm has had two books published, Left to Themselves (novel) and Stealing Time (story collection) – both by Random House. Currently, she is working on a dystopian novel about oldsters. She teaches fiction writing at Case Western Reserve University.

Susan Grimm is the author of Almost Home (1997), Lake Erie Blue (2004), and Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue (2011). Her poetry has appeared in Blackbird, The Journal, South Dakota Review, Poetry East, and Tar River Poetry.

Many thanks to the sponsors of the First Wednesday series: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation and the Kennedy Family Foundation via the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

Thank you, Kennedy Family Fund

 

Our heartfelt thanks goes to the Kennedy Family Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, for a $1500 contribution toward our summer and fall activities.

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We sought support for advertising and promotion, rent for our office, printing and copying, insurance, accounting fees, author stipends and a director stipend. Many grants strictly fund programming, and we appreciate the CFMV’s recognition that programming isn’t sustainable without administrative support.

The Community Foundation is a critical component of nonprofit funding in the Valley, and we are grateful and honored to continue to be part of the CFMV family, having also received support for the Winter Writing Camp at the first Mahoning Valley Soup.

The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley is operated exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes which effectively assist and promote the well-being of residents of Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. Information about the Foundation can be found here.

 

 

Win an Armeni Birdbath!

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Each 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. 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! We will draw the winning ticket July 14 at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts.

Don’t have a backyard? This would look amazing in your livingroom, or would make the best. gift. ever.

 

 

 

 

Third Thursday Writers Circle May 16

pexels-photo-1198325Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written? Bring 10 copies (one poem or short story excerpt, 5 pages max.) to the Third Thursday Writers Circle.

We will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, May 16. Come to the door on the right, under the stone archway, and ring the buzzer.

Where Sidewalks End

Healthy Community Partnerships:
Where Sidewalks End

Lit Youngstown is proud to be a partner in this Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley initiative that will bring awareness of the intersection of public infrastructure and community health. The project will include photography and community narratives. Visit Where Sidewalks End for more information, including upcoming calls for submissions.

Lou Yuhasz Scholarship

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The second Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship is open for submissions.

Each year, we will award one $100 scholarship, and invite the recipient to read their work at the Fall Literary Festival, Oct. 4-5. The winner and runner-up will receive free registration to the Festival.  The 2018 scholarship recipient was D.T. McCrea, selected by Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Professor Robert Miltner and alumna Amy Sparks. This year’s judges are to be determined.

If you will be a NEOMFA student in fall of 2019 and would like to compete for the prize, please send a cover letter and 10-page writing portfolio (name on cover letter only) to LitYoungstown@gmail.com. The deadline is June 15.

Lou was an enthusiastic writer and Lit Youngstown volunteer and participant, and we miss him. To honor his spirit, we created this scholarship, and are grateful for contributions to the scholarship fund, which will allow us to offer this award well into the future.

Lou’s daughter Jamie offered us this tribute.

Lou Yuhasz was a writer, a husband, a father, a friend, and above all, a teacher. He graduated from Youngstown State University in 1999, with a BS in Secondary Education, concentrating on comprehensive communication. In his senior year, he was the assistant news editor at the Jambar covering the Academic Senate as YSU made the transition from quarters to semesters. He taught as a substitute for a year for Youngstown City Schools, before taking a job at a large health insurance company.

After ten years, and at the age of 48, Lou’s passion for creative writing and teaching led him to quit his job and join the NEOMFA program. Shortly after beginning school, he was diagnosed with stage II cancer of the esophagus. That didn’t stop him though, and he excelled in his classes.

His passion for his school and the program was contagious, and so was the happiness the NEOMFA brought him.  I’ve read a lot of my father’s work throughout my life, but something very special happened when he joined the NEOMFA program.

He was a husband of 26 years, and raised two daughters. His support for his family was unparalleled. His office looked like something out of a Lovecraft novel, with tentacles and gargoyles scattered between the bookshelves housing various scifi and horror novels. He loved to write and tell stories, as well as teaching others the ability to create what they loved.  He would be proud and honored to have this scholarship enable people to follow their passion.


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First Wednesday: Bonné de Blas, Monica Kaiser & Sheryl St. Germain

 Lit Youngstown presents a reading with Bonné de Blas, Monica Kaiser & Sheryl St. Germain, Wednesday May 1 @ 7:00 at The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. No open mic this month. We will also be celebrating National Chocolate Parfait Day.  

BonneBonné de Blas is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the NEOMFA. She received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee and a JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She is the author of chapbooks The Act of Dwelling (NightBallet Press) and The Rule of Contraction (Kattywompus Press) and her essay in Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival, Lambert and Einstein, eds. received a Best of the Net nomination.

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Monica Kaiser
is a graduate assistant at Kent State University and is pursuing a NEOMFA creative writing degree. She is the author of Still Sifting, and is passionate about the environment, ecopoetics, conflict management, and how these genres intersect. She lives with her husband, son, two rabbits, and her father.

 

©teake zuidema. sept 16, 2107.Sheryl St. Germain is a poet and essayist whose work has received numerous awards. Her most recent book, a poetry collection, The Small Door of Your Death, was published by Autumn House Press in 2018. Sheryl directs the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls program. 50 Miles (forthcoming, Etruscan Press) is a memoir in linked essays that addresses addiction and alcoholism. The book traces the life of the author’s son, Gray, a talented but troubled young man, and his death from a drug overdose at thirty, as well as the author’s own recovery from substance abuse.

Third Thursday Writers Circle April 18

pexels-photo-1413906Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written? Bring 10 copies (one poem or short story excerpt, 5 pages max.) to the Third Thursday Writers Circle.

We will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, April 18. Come to the door on the right, under the stone archway, and ring the buzzer.