Tag Archives: Books

First Wednesday Features Holly Christensen & Chris Gibowicz

Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by Akron Beacon Journal columnist Holly Christensen and Youngstown poet Chris Gibowicz. Open mic to follow, emceed by Jimmy Sutman. We will also be celebrating National Nutella Day. Wednesday, February 5 at the Soap Gallery at 7:00.

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Holly Christensen is a 2010 graduate of the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. The mother of five children between the ages of 26 and seven, Holly has been the parenting/family/community columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal since 2016. She also teaches writing at the University of Akron.

 

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Chris Gibowicz is currently a district level administrator. She was formerly a teacher, and an inner-city school principal. She continues to deepen her yoga and mediation practice through retreats. She drew inspiration for her book, Lead, Love Live, from her self care practices, leadership, love and life.

 

 

 

2020 First Wednesday Readers Series:
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

Food for Thought: For a Little While

67776435_1413485245456518_8050088538974191616_oNew Year’s Day bumps our book discussion to the 15th! Join us for a conversation about the short story collection For a Little While by acclaimed writer Rick Bass.

New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner writes of Bass’s collection, “He is a keen and relentless observer of woods and prairies and beasts of every variety, so much so that many of these stories could be dropped intact into The Best American Science and Nature Writing and no one would blink.”

You can find copies of the book at the Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, January 15, 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.

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

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

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

Nacho Missable Reading

Yo, Yo-Towners! Join us for a reading by Pamela Anderson & Steve Thomas. Open mic to follow, emceed by Beth Franklin. We will also be celebrating National Nachos Day. Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00, Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.

Pam 2017 Head ShotPam Anderson has an MFA from the NEOMFA, which also awarded her a Bisbee Fellowship. Much of her writing focuses on the Holocaust, with one of her Holocaust poems receiving an AWP Intro Journals award. Her work has appeared in JennyMag.org, Atticus Review, Mason’s Road, The Listening Eye, Whurk, and elsewhere.

 

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Steve Thomas is the author of The Strength of Flowers (Crisis Chronicles Press 2018), and his poems have been published in The Mill and the Hessler Street Fair Anthology. His goal is to achieve the harmony through writing poetry that he displayed as a professional bowler.

Summer Festival of the Arts!


Summer Festival of the Arts is one of our favorite events of the year! We’ll be there with the “Where I’m From” poem template, in anticipation of Fall Literary Festival visiting writer George Ella Lyon and her international project.

We’ll also have paper sidewalk squares for visitors to decorate, in celebration of our poems stamped in sidewalk squares, part of the Words Made Visible project. We’ll dedicate them and introduce the poets at the Fall Literary Festival. Continue reading

NEA Big Read Grant

The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County (PLYMC) with Lit Youngstown received a grant of $15,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Mahoning County. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

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Our selected book is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, also the September book in our Food for Thought book discussion series. Mr. Urrea will visit the Valley this fall, and there will be many activities relating to the book and its themes in a month-long calendar of events.  Numerous electronic and hard copies will be available at the public library and branches, and at the two Barnes & Noble bookstores. The Youngstown Rotary will stock each of their Little Free Libraries with a copy, as well.

NEA Big ReadWe are so grateful to the professional, hardworking staff at the public library for their partnership, to the NEA and Arts Midwest for selecting our proposal (one of only two in Ohio and 78 nationwide), and to the many community partners who agreed to host an event during our Big Read. We’ll share the calendar as soon as the ink dries.

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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.

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.
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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.