Enrollment Open for Memoir Workshop

Glimpses of My Past: A 7-Week Memoir Workshop

This workshop will follow the model of visual and literary artist Janet Malcolm’s autobiographical article for the New Yorker, inspired by photographs of her past. The first session will include a discussion about the article and writing prompts to get started. Over the next six weeks, participants will write and workshop brief autobiographical “sketches” based on 5-6 personal photos.

Glimpses of My Past: A 7-Week Memoir Workshop. Teens & Adults. All experience levels welcome. Tuesdays, March 17-April 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church,  323 Wick Ave. Course fee: $25 (pay at first workshop). Need-based scholarships are available. Register here. Registration deadline March 7.

Meet the teaching artist: Mari Alschuler is a poet and writer who earned her MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work at YSU. Mari is a Poetry Therapy Practitioner and Psychotherapist in a private practice in Poland. Her poems and short stories have been published in anthologies and national literary journals. She trains people to become poetry therapists internationally.

Winne Winner Chicken Dinner

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Even better than a chicken dinner! Congrats to Vi Aguirre on winning our drawing for a copy of Mark Winne’s newest book Food Town USA: Seven Unlikely Cities That Are Changing the Way We Eat. After Lit Youngstown, working with many community partners, invited Mark to speak on nutritious food access, he returned to the Mahoning Valley to conduct research, and included inspiring local work in the new book. Like to get your hands on a copy? Order it from Island Press.

Lit Youngstown in Your Kitchen

Many, so many! thanks to Ashley Dillon for her editing and graphic design on our new, gorgeous, gorgeous! 5-year commemorative calendar. These are the images for each month, and the calendar includes Lit Yo event dates.

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The calendar is a thank you gift for donors of $60 or more or $5.00 per month. Thank you! Please know your support is absolutely essential. Would you like to be a new contributor? Do you feel our work in the literary community brings $5.00 of value each month? More about our first 5 years here and donating here.

Additional calendars are available for $15.00 each.

Additional 2020 Commemorative Calendars

$15.00

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First Wednesday on Second Wednesday

john_shelleyJoin us for a First Wednesday Series reading January 8 (Happy New Year!) by Cleveland poets John Burroughs & Shelley Chernin. Open mic to follow emceed by Rae McCann. We will also be celebrating National English Toffee Day.

John Burroughs of Cleveland was recently honored as the 2019-2021 Beat Poet Laureate for the State of Ohio. He serves as the founding editor for Crisis Chronicles Press and is the author of a dozen books including, most recently, Rattle and Numb: Selected Poems, 1992-2019, published by Venetian Spider Press.

Shelley Chernin is a freelance writer of legal reference books, an environmental activist and a ukulele enthusiast. She is the author of The Vigil, published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2012. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Great Lakes Review, Scrivener Creative Review, Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal, Rhapsoidia, Durable Goods, Big Bridge, and Oct Tongue-1. She was awarded 2nd Place in the 2011 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest and received Honorable Mentions twice in the Akron Art Museum’s New Words Poetry Contest.

2020 First Wednesday Readers Series:
February 5 Holly Christensen (creative nonfiction) and Chris Gibowicz (poetry)
March 4 Cliff Richeal (poetry) Kayla Jeswald (nonfiction)
April 1 Thomas Beck (storytelling) Humor Open Mic
May 6 Angie Orlando (memoir) Christine Howey (poetry)
June 3 Nikki Robinson (poetry), Terry Provost (poetry)
July 1 Diane Kendig (poetry), Hannah Rodabaugh (poetry)
August 5 Kathleen Strafford (poetry), Ted Lardner (poetry)
September 2 Susan Petrone (fiction), William Heath (poetry)
October 7 Kelly Bancroft (play), Jessica Jewell (poetry)
November 4 Craig Paulenich (poetry) & James Winter (fiction) NEOMFA reunion reading

Third Thursday Writers Circle

54409147_1310028749135502_606740580977868800_nWould you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written? Bring 12 copies (one poem or excerpt of prose, 2000 words max.). to the Third Thursday Writers Circle.

This month we’ll have a holiday potluck. Bring a food or drink to share, if you care to.

We will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, December 19. Come to the door on the right, under the stone archway, and ring the buzzer.

Food for Thought: Oceanic

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Author Tamiko Beyer writes in the Georgia Review of Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic, “The poet reminds her readers that as human beings of all races and genders, we must stay open to the world. We must forge connections with other humans and the nonhuman—and remain vulnerable.”

You can find copies of the book through YSU Maag Library via OhioLink, the Copper Canyon Press website, and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, December 11, 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. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

January 15 (Fiction, Short Stories) For a Little While by Rick Bass
February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

Lit Youngstown Turns 5!!!!!

Five years! It’s gone by in a flash. Let’s take a moment to celebrate all we’ve done together. And then let’s have a party!

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Jeffrey Murphy, Laura Grace Weldon, Jeanne Bryner & David Lee Garrison at the dedication of the Words Made Visible poetry-in-sidewalk squares

Since January of 2015 we have hosted nearly 400 writers, celebrating local talent and  visiting writers who have won prestigious awards. Local writers from age 6 to their 80s have shared poems and stories at open mics. (Photos: Mary Biddinger & Mary Quade, Lena Carson, Yahia Tahat, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jimmy Sutman, Marjorie Maddox)

 

Hundreds of participants have learned about aspects of writing and publishing at workshops and classes taught by local teaching artists, and sessions at Winter Writing Camp and Fall Literary Festival.

Lit Youngstown partnered with the Public Library of Mahoning & Trumbull County to write a successful National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant, and hosted 33 distinct activities culminating in a visit by author Luis Alberto Urrea, pictured here with local musicians the Labra Brothers. Only two Big Reads took place in Ohio this year, including ours! Reader non-writers have a place with us, too, with book discussions and readings such as Urrea’s, to a packed house.

We are grateful so many community partners have worked with us on projects and events, including the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Summer Festival of the Arts, JCC, YWCA, YNDC, Hubbard & Kinsman Public Libraries, Park Vista, Soap Gallery, McDonough Museum, YSU, UUYO, Purple Cat, Lake to River, WYSU, the National Council of Negro Women and many others. Our partners help us extend our reach and give us a chance to support the incredible work they are doing.

In addition, we’ve helped make a modest boost in the local economy by supporting local businesses whenever possible, and by bringing in state and federal grant money and writers who purchase meals and lodging while attending events such as the Fall Literary Festival.  (Photo: Fall Literary Festival dinner at the Hilton DoubleTree, photo credit Jill Christman)

cropped-jillchristman.jpgWords Made Visible engaged hundreds of writers and artists, culminating in poetry excerpts stamped in sidewalk squares at St. John’s Episcopal Church and by the Commerce Building downtown. (Photo credit: Melanie Buonavolonta & Ashley Dillon)

Many YSU undergraduate and graduate student interns have helped us develop and implement programs and materials, giving the students insights into running an arts nonprofit.

In addition, we have used the literary arts to foster discussions on healthy food access with food policy activist Mark Winne, whose research in Youngstown is featured in his latest book. Our oral history project Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories tells the stories of twelve African-American women in our community. Food for Thought book discussion has taken up themes of food, the American experience, and humankind and the natural world. And we learned about Youngstown’s literary ancestor, Michael McGovern, the Puddler Poet, whose labor poetry had a national following at the turn of the 20th century.

Thank you to everyone who had a presence in our first five years. It has really felt like the building of a community, and we are so grateful.

Turn the Page with us!

Please consider celebrating Lit Youngstown at 5 with a contribution to help keep us going strong. For donors of $50+ (or $5.00+ monthly installments), we have a special commemorative calendar with some of our favorite images from the last five years. Major donors of $500 and higher are listed on our website.

Please click here for more information on how to contribute by check, Paypal, credit card, monthly installment or via the Youngstown Foundation.

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From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for contributing any level of support. Mark your calendar for a big thank you party January 25! 

 

Executive Director Karen Schubert
Board of Directors: Elaine Arvan Andrews, Tricia D’Avignon, Tim Francisco,  Anne Garwig, Liz Hill, Courtney Kensinger, Nicole DiPiero, Nicole Robinson, Elizabeth Skeels, Penny Wells

Support Lit Youngstown with a Gift Today

P.S. Many people have told us they would have paid more for a class or event. We keep our pricing low to be as inclusive as possible, and your donation will help keep us going in these hard times. Thank you!

 

 

Food for Thought: The Overstory

This round of titles, we’ll be immersed in a theme of humankind and the natural world. The Overstory 67646395_1412675748870801_5716195961638748160_nearned Richard Powers a Pulitzer Prize in fiction, the committee describing the novel as “an ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.”

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, November 13, 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. All books are available through the YSU Maag or public library systems, and at the YSU Barnes & Noble. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

December 11 (Poetry) Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
January 15 (Fiction, Short Stories) For a Little While by Rick Bass
February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy