New for Kids!

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We’re looking for kids ages 4-12 who would like to have a penpal. Getting a letter in the mail that’s just for you is a great feeling. Getting to know someone you’ve never met by sending stories, memories, jokes, poems, pictures, stickers… is just good fun.

We’re starting the PenPal Project! We’ll match kids by age. For more information and to register, click here.

Food for Thought: Bringing Nature Home

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The last selection in our series on humankind and the nature world is Bringing Nature Home by Douglas H. Tallamy. This is a fantastic guide for anyone with a lawn or garden, to restore the lost biodiversity from many decades of popular landscaping choices. The book is well organized and readable, with plenty of anecdotes and examples.

This month’s book talk falls in the midst of our stay-at-home order, so if you’ve read the book, let’s talk it up, and if you would like to bring 3 other books to recommend for summer reading, please do.

Food for Thought book discussion Wednesday, May 13 from 6:00-7:00 via Zoom. To make a reservation, please send a note to info@LitYoungstown.org.

Next year’s series will be books written by Black authors. For your pandemic reading pleasure!

September (fiction) The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
October (fiction) The Water Dancer by Ta Nehisi Coates
November (poetry) Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
December Any children’s book
January (short stories) The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
February (fiction) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
March (fiction) We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
April (speculative fiction) Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
May (fiction) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

COVID 19 Poem by Gregg Gaylord

Many thanks to Youngstown’s native son Dr. Gaylord for sharing this poem with us.

Ode for COVID 19

Covid 19, so much to adore.
Your lightning journey around the world
Hitchhiking in the cells of human travelers
Riding shedded droplets
Is no less an adventure than our noble attempts to explore the universe.
Not alive, you stir the passions of an entire species when you changed ever so slightly the RNA
strands nested in your womb
And then quietly, like a soft breath blowing out a candle, went dancing in the air into your host Continue reading

Thank You, Youngstown Foundation!

Join us in profound thanks for a programming grant from the Youngstown Foundation Charles W. Darling Family Endowment Fund. The $5615 grant will support  programs in 2020 and 2021, including the First Wednesday Readers Series, the monthly Teen Writers Workshop, Adult-teen creative writing classes, and a paid internship to provide support for the Fall Literary Festival.

We are honored to celebrate the legacy of the late history professor Charles W. Darling, known for the folk music show on WYSU that ran 48 years. He was also the author of science fiction novels. The Foundation’s gift will support other Youngstown and regional writers, and we thank them.

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April First Wednesday Canceled but send us your funny business

pexels-photo-2964115We joked about April Fool’s, but now we’re on the banana peel. It was going to be a barrel of monkeys hearing your hilarious poems and stories, and many thanks to Tom Beck for agreeing to kick it off.

Hey wait! Do you have a funny story or poem? Send it to us here and we’ll post them on our website. Meanwhile, it’s hard to tell how the near future looks, so let’s stay in touch. Here’s the plan:

2020 First Wednesday Readers Series
May 6 Angie Orlando (memoir), Christine Howey (poetry) Canceled
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