More Food for Thought!

Our monthly book club will take the summer off and start back up again in the fall with a new focus: the American experience, fiction, non-fiction and poetry with a range of voices and perspectives. We’ll look to the past, to various regions, and to voices that represent an array of experiences and expectations.

We also looked to our visiting writers for titles, and there are several. It is a unique pleasure to hear an author read, and then to read and discuss the author’s book with other readers.

We began our food-themed book club as a collaboration with Lake to River Cooperative, and even though we’re switching up the focus, we’ll continue to meet at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901 Elm St., on the 2nd Thursday of each month, 5:00-6:00. It suits us, we decided.

Here is the book list. Check with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County for copies.

September 14, 2017 The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar
October 12, 2017 The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead
November 9, 2017 The Round House by Louse Erdrich
December 14, 2017 Famous Drownings in Literary History by Kevin Haworth
January 11, 2018 March Trilogy by John Lewis
February 8, 2018 Citizen by Claudia Rankine
March 8, 2018 Phenomenal Women by Lit Youngstown
April 12, 2018 My Own Country by Abraham Verghese
May 10, 2018 Camp Olvido by Lawrence Coates
June 14, 2018 Blacksnake’s Path: The True Adventures of William Wells by William Heath

Winning Poems for Summer Festival Posters

We received many hundreds of wonderful poems and stories for our Words Made Visible projects! Thank you all! It was so challenging, but we have selected the winners and finalists for the first part of the project.

Winners:

“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon
“Men of Beautiful Countenance” by Craig Paulenich
“The Neighborhood Girls Fall for the WKBN Meteorologist” by Allison Pitinii Davis
Haiku: “dandelion field,” “dentist office window” and “winter constellations” by Elliot Nicely
“irises” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

Finalists:

“Cindo de Mayo Moon” by Dianne Borsenik
“Cold Green” by Catherine Wing
“The Hawk in the Woods” by Luke Martinucci
“My Great-Great Grandmother” by Craig Paulenich
“Spring in the Hollow” by Kari Gunter-Seymour
“Tractor” by Lori Gravley
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon

The judging was blind, by Lit Youngstown staff and board of directors.
Winning poems will be made into posters and given away at the Summer Festival of the Arts. Winners and finalists are invited to a reading during the Festival.
Mark your calendar and come visit us during the festival! July 8-9 at YSU.

Food for Thought: The Omnivore’s Dilemma

We made a quick switch for our last book selection in our food-themed series, and decided to discuss the first section of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Pollan traces a single fast-food meal back to its source in a giant cornfield in Iowa, and forward until it is pulled steaming from the bag. Along the way, we learn about contemporary agricultural practices and consumer choices, and their implications for our landscape and health.

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Thursday June 8, 5:00-6:00 at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St. We will talk about our next book series, which will begin in September.

Purple Cat Hosts June Reading

We are so excited about this reading, we can hardly keep our freckles on. It’s an amazing confluence, too: the accomplished Nin Andrews will be moving soon, and rising stars Allison Pitinii Davis & Rochelle Hurt are visiting home. This will be a poetry reading to remember. Open mic to follow, emceed by our own poet Anne Garwig.

Wed. June 7 @ 7:00 PM, Purple Cat Productions, 220 W. Boardman St. Parking in the lot across the street. We’ll be back at Suzie’s in July and for the rest of the year.

Nin Andrews’s poems and stories have appeared in many literary jourNin Photo with Sadienals and anthologies including Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2003, 2013), The Best American Erotic Poems from 1800, The Best American Prose Poems, No Boundaries, Sudden Stories: A Mammoth Anthology of Miniscule Fiction, The House of Your Dreams: An International Collection of Prose Poems, Seriously Funny, and Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence. The recipient of an individual artist grant from the Ohio Arts Council in 1997 and again in 2003, she is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length poetry collections. Her book, Why God Is a Woman, won the 2016 Ohioana award in poetry. Her next book, Miss August, will be published in the spring of 2017. The mother of two grown children, she lives in Poland, Ohio, with her husband, a physics professor and bass player, and their Boston terrier, Froda.

Allison Pitinii Davis photoAllison Pitinii 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. 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, The Missouri Review, and Crazyhorse.

Rochelle Hurt is the author of two poetry collections:Rochelle Hurt In Which I Play the Runaway (2016), which won the Barrow Street Book Prize, and The Rusted City (2014), which was selected for the Marie Alexander Series from White Pine Press. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Hunger Mountain, Poetry International, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fund, the Vermont Studio Center, Jentel, and Yaddo. Originally from Youngstown, Rochelle now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Quilt Raffle Tickets

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Like to win this quilt? We’ve got you covered.

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.

The quilt will be on display at Extending Grace gift shop 18 Liberty St. in Hubbard, Tickets are available at the shop or from Lit Youngstown board members (Davita Fitzgerald, Liz Hill, Kris Harrington, Sean Posey, Karen Schubert, Bill Soldan & Molly Toth).

Raffle tickets are $3.00 each, or 2 for $5.00. We will pull the winning ticket at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, July 9.  Your ticket will support the literary arts and a visual artist.

You can purchase tickets on line via Paypal, using the MAKE A DONATION button below. Just enter the amount you’d like to donate and enter your contact info using the “special instructions to the seller” option. We’ll translate your donation into raffle tickets when we get the notification email, and you will have a chance to win this beautiful quilt. You can also send a check made out to Lit Youngstown to us at PO Box 804, Youngstown OH 44501. Be sure to include your address and phone number. Mail-in and Paypal ticket requests must be received by July 7.

Questions? Email us at lityoungstown@gmail.com

Food for Thought: Immortal Milk, Adventures in Cheese

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This month’s book-club book is by Ohio University faculty member Eric LeMay, who leads us to artisan cheesemakers in Europe and the American Upper Midwest.

A review in Publishers Weekly notes

Even readers who don’t know their comté from their Kraft Single may find cheese enthusiast Eric LeMay’s poetic if melodramatic coverage as rich and unctuous as the subject itself.

Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Come join us. 5:00-6:00, Thurs. May 11 at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901  Elm St.

The evening will coincide with Lake to River Co-op’s Online Market pick-up night. The monthly gatherings are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Our last book in the Food for Thought series is the first section of Omnivore’s Dilemmaby Michael Pollan. We’ll meet June 8 to talk about it, as well as the next series’ selections.