This month’s First Wednesday Reading is on, well, the 1st, which is like a blue moon for us. It will be a delightful reading by three women poets, and this time we’ll be in the small and charming chapel at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Enter the door on the right beneath the stone archway.
Wednesday August 1|7:30|Doors Open 7:15|St. John’s Episcopal Church|323 Wick Ave.
Lit Youngstown’s office is right down the hall, and we’ll open the office for refreshments and lending library browsers.
An Appalachian, Kari Gunter-Seymour blames her method of writing on the rich Ohio soil, her wildly eclectic family and neighbors and her upbringing. Her poems can be found in many fine journals and publications including Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and The LA Times. She is an Instructor in the School of Journalism at Ohio University and is the Poet Laureate for Athens, Ohio.
Sherri Saines has been reading, writing, and memorizing poetry since her grandmother gave her A Golden Book of Poetry for her 6th birthday. She has been published in Pig Iron, Mothering Magazine, Muse, Clover, Penguin Review, The Ides of March, Everything Stops and Listens, and other small presses.
Kathleen Strafford holds an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Originally from Ohio, Kathleen moved to Leeds in 1998 and now is chief editor of Runcible Spoon Webzine. She has been widely published in anthologies and webzines. She is working on her second collection called Women Changed Everything. Her debut poetry collection was published in 2018 called Her Own Language.
Join us for a nonfiction reading Wednesday, May 2, at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Following the reading, an open mic will be emceed by Jennifer Kuczek. Doors open at 7:15. Park on the street or in the lot on the corner of S. Champion and Front Streets.
In our lives, we are surrounded by so many women who come from different
families, backgrounds and ethnicities; each of us with different hopes and dreams. This book shares stories from some of these inspiring women who have become the “superwomen” they were truly meant to be. The stories within these pages will make you laugh and maybe even cry. Regardless of your age or gender, this book will give you a fresh, new outlook on appreciating who you are and how you relate
to the amazing women in your world.
Lori Bodkin is a freelance writer and the Continuous Improvement Coordinator for Fyda Freightliner’s Pittsburgh and Youngtown locations. She is an accountant by degree, but her creativity eventually won out and Lori started her own customer service consulting business and has also facilitated several leadership workshops. She published a women’s non-fiction book, had a featured column in a North Carolina parenting magazine and writes for her own blog.
Stacey Schneider is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a professor at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and practiced as a pharmacist for many years but teaching and writing emerged as her true life calling. She has published a book in women’s non-fiction, edited a book on communication skills for women and contributed to several books for the medical professional.
Two Arkansans and a Pittsburgher walk into a gallery… Join us in welcoming three fine poets who will read their work, followed by an open mic emceed by Tyler Rothbauer. Doors open at 7:15. Parking on the street and in the lot on the corner of Champion and Front Streets. The First Wednesday Readers Series receives funding from the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation.
Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of The Feeder (YesYes Books, 2016), as well as the chapbook When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications). She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Heather Dobbins is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. She earned an MFA from the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College in Vermont. Her poems and poetry reviews have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Pacific Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Tennessee), The Rumpus, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and TriQuarterly Review, among others. She has been an instructor for nearly twenty years in Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and now in Fort Smith, Arkansas, yet another river town. Christian Anton Gerard’s the author of Holdfast (C&R Press, 2017) and Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech, 2014). He’s received Pushcart Prize nominations, a Best of the Net nomination, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships among other awards. He teaches at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Join us Wednesday September 6 at 7:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts in downtown Youngstown, as we welcome Meg Johnson of Iowa and Caryl Pagel of Cleveland. Open mic to follow, emceed by Ron Book. Lit Youngstown’s First Wednesday Readers Series is funded in part by the Nathalie and James Andrews Foundation.
Meg Johnson is the author of the full length poetry collection Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014). Her second book, The Crimes of Clara Turlington, won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award and was recently published by Vine Leaves Press. Meg’s poems have appeared in Hobart, Nashville Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Puritan, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and others. Her nonfiction has appeared in BUST, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project, and Bustle. She received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program and is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal. Visit her at: www.megjohnson.org
Caryl Pagel is the author of two collections of poetry, TWICE TOLD (H_NG M_N Books, 2014) and EXPERIMENTS I SHOULD LIKE TRIED AT MY OWN DEATH (Factory Hollow Press, 2012) as well as two chapbooks, MAUSOLEUM (WinterRedpress, 2013) and VISIONS, CRISIS APPARITIONS, AND OTHER EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (Factory Hollow Press, 2008). Her poems and essays have appeared in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Essay Press, The Iowa Review, Jacket2, The Mississippi Review, and Devil’s Lake, among other journals, and she is currently at work on a collection of essays entitled THE REALITY OF THE UNSEEN. Caryl is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press, a poetry editor at jubilat, and the Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She teaches undergraduate classes in creative writing at Cleveland State as well graduate poetry and nonfiction classes in the NEOMFA Program in Eastern Ohio.
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 journals and anthologies including Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2003, 2013), The Best American Erotic Poems from 1800, The Best AmericanProse 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 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: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.
Our First Wednesday Reading Series features two poets whose words have graced the poetry landscape for decades: Sean Thomas Dougherty and Terry Murcko. Wed. March 1 at 7:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts downtown. Open mic to follow. Free & open to the public.
Bring your work if you’re inspired to read at the open mic.
Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author of 15 books including the forthcoming The Second O of Sorrow (2018 BOA Editions), On the One Tongue of the Wind the Orishas Rise (2016 GTK Press) and All You Ask for is Longing: Poems 1994-2014 (BOA Editions). His awards include the 2015 Betsy Colquitt Poetry Prize from Texas Christian University’s Descant Magazine, a Fulbright Fellowship to the Balkans, and an appearance in Best American Poetry 2014. He lives in Erie Pennsylvania where he is recently unemployed.
A voice in Youngstown poetry for over 40 years, Terry Murcko helped Jim Villani start PigIron Press in the ’70’s. He retired from teaching and play directing after 35 years, and now spends much of his time as a “manny” looking after his grand-daughter, Madaleine. He recently won a prize from the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, and is included in the new anthology, Fallen City Writers. He writes daily, completes at least one new poem each week, and participates monthly in Kent’s Last Exit poetry readings. He lives in Liberty where he and his wife, Linda helped raise five children. Terry also writes songs, rides a bicycle, walks with their dog, Lily, and roots for the Tribe with his friend Neno.
So many incredible poets, fiction and non-fiction writers said Yes, and now they’re coming to the Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts stage on the First Wednesday of each month in 2017. Big thanks to Suzie’s for adding a speaker for the spoken word, and to you for coming out. An open mic will follow each reading except in February and April. If you’re inspired, bring some work to share.
January 4: Robert Miltner/Molly Fuller
We folded Molly Fuller’s stories into Storygami! at the Summer Festival of the Arts
We kick off our series with two fine writers from Kent State who taught a successful workshop on flash forms for Lit Youngstown last summer. Purple Cat will host us at the Purple Cat Productions Theater on W. Boardman.
February 1: YSU CROW: Compose: A Review of Writing
Angela Messenger introduces CROW at Feb. 2016 reading
YSU advisor Angela Messenger will host this evening’s student readings from the newest issue of CROW.
March 1: Sean Thomas Dougherty/Terry Murcko
Terry Murcko reads at the Jewish Community Center
Two soulful poets: Sean Thomas Dougherty is an acclaimed Erie poet, and Terry Murcko is a Youngstown literary icon.
April 5: Mark Winne
Food justice activist Mark Winne will join us from New Mexico. His visit is co-sponsored by St. John’s, and his book, Closing the Food Gap, will be a Food for Thought book club selection.
May 3: Lori Jakiela/David Giffels
David Giffels reads with Chris Jennings’s Canfield High School students
Lori Jakiela, author of memoir The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious, and David Giffels, author essay collection The Hard Way on Purpose, grace our stage.
June 7: Nin Andrews/Rochelle Hurt/Allison Davis Pitinii
We’ll be back at Purple Cat Productions for this terrific reading. Nin Andrews, who brought down the house (on her birthday!) when she read from Why God is a Woman, reads from her new book Miss August. Youngstown natives Alison Davis Pitinii (Line Study of a Motel Clerk) and Rochelle Hurt (In Which I Play the Runaway) visit home with their new books. You may have seen Rochelle and Allison read last April at the Soap Gallery.
July 5: Mike Foldes/Robert Pope
Mike Foldes, a Binghamton, NY, native and editor of the online journal Ragazine,will read from Sandy: Chronicles of a Superstorm, a volume of poetry and images.
Robert Pope’s novel is Jack’s Universe. He teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts.
August 2: Jason Irwin/Jen Ashburn/Roger Craik
From Pittsburgh, Jason Irwin is a poet and playwright and Jen Ashburn’s first poetry collection is The Light on the Wall.
Roger Craik, a retired professor of English at Kent State-Ashtabula, is the author of the poetry collection Down Stranger Roads.
September 6: Meg Johnson/Caryl Pagel
Poets Meg Johnson of Iowa State University, author of Inappropriate Sleepover and Caryl Pagel of Cleveland State, author of Twice Told, read from their work.
October 4: Nancy Christie/ J. Everett Prewitt
Nancy Christie at the open mic at Suzie’s
Local writer Nancy Christie is the author of a short fiction collection, two short fiction e-books, and a motivational book. J. Everett Prewitt is the author of mystery novels Snake Walkers and A Long Way Back; he lives in Cleveland.
November 1: Kevin Haworth/Steven Reese
National Endowment of the Arts fellow Kevin Haworth of Carlow University will read from his creative non-fiction and Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Director Steven Reese will read from his poetry.
December 6: Chris Alonso, Bill Soldan, Sara Tracey
Chris Alonso emcees the open mic at Suzie’s
NEOMFA Reunion Reading features Chris Alonso and Bill Soldan of Youngstown and Sara Tracey of Akron.
We welcome Christopher Barzak and Lawrence Coates to our October First Monday reading, Monday October 3 @ 7:00, Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St. Free parking on the street and in the lot behind the Voinovich Building on the corner of Hazel & Commerce.
An open mic will follow, emceed by fiction writer Bill Soldan. Open mic readers are invited to the stage for 5 min.– to read their own work, or a writer’s they admire.
Come early to get a seat. We expect a packed house! From 6:00 to 9:30, a restaurant takeover will kick back 10% of food sales to the Student Literary Arts Association.
Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Fantasy Award winning novel, One for Sorrow, which has been made into the Sundance feature film Jamie Marks is Dead. His second novel, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was a finalist for the Nebula Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. His most recent novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, was published by Knopf in 2015, and received the Stonewall Honor Award from the American Library Association. He is also the author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays, a collection of surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives, a collection of supernatural fantasies, which won Best Collection in the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards.
Christopher grew up in rural Ohio, has lived in a southern California beach town, the capital of Michigan, and has taught English outside of Tokyo, Japan, where he lived for two years. Currently he teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio MFA program at Youngstown State University.
Lawrence Coates grew up in El Cerrito, California. He spent four years as a Quartermaster in the Coast Guard, and four more years in the Merchant Marine, working as an Able-bodied Seaman and Third Mate. During his time at sea, he sailed in the North Atlantic, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean, and he served aboard a fleet oiler in the Arabian Sea during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and gained fluency in Spanish while studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. He also worked for a brief period as a freelance journalist, placing a cover story about the U.S.-Mexican border in the Sunday supplement of The Chicago Tribune. After completing a master’s degree at Berkeley, he taught for a year in the Lycée Charlemagne in Paris and then went on to earn his doctorate at the University of Utah.
His first novel, The Blossom Festival, won the Western States Book Award for Fiction and was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Series. His second novel, The Master of Monterey, was published in 2003, and his third novel, The Garden of the World, was published in 2012 and won the Nancy Dasher Award from the College English Association of Ohio. In 2015, he published The Goodbye House, a novel set amid the housing tracts of San José in the aftermath of the first dot com bust and the attacks of 9/11. Also in 2015, he published a novella, Camp Olvido, set in a labor camp in California’s Great Central Valley.
His work has been recognized with the Donald Barthelme Prize in Short Prose, the Miami University Press Novella Prize, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He is currently a professor of creative writing at Bowling Green State University.
We welcome MB Earnheardt and Randi Barlow Pappa to our August First Wednesday reading, August 3 @ 7:00, Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St. Free parking on the street and in the lot behind the Voinovich Building on the corner of Hazel & Commerce.
An open mic will follow, emceed by local YA novelist Colleen Clayton. Open mic readers are invited to read for 5 min.–their own work, or a writer’s they admire.
MB Earnheardt grew up on a small farm. She directs the Anderson Program in Journalism at YSU and advises YSU’s student newspaper, The Jambar. When she’s not teaching, she helps her husband raise their four lab experiments (re: kids) in a Petri dish they call “home.” Dr. Earnheardt received a Ph.D. in communication from Kent State, a M.S. degree in communication, B.S. in communication, and a B.A. in political science from Clarion University.
Randi Barlow Pappa lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two dogs, three horses, a passel of refugee cats, and the relentless pursuit of enlightenment. Pappadescribes herself as a country girl who is allergic to big cities and still lives by the code of ethics with which she grew up. She still grows some of her own food, plays the piano, loves rivers, nature, and all things finned, furred and
Mary Beth will be reading from Switch-a-Wishand Randi from Under the Rock. We look forward to the reading, and hope you can make it.
Join us for the first First Wednesday Reading Series of 2016.
January 6, 7:00, downtown at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 32 Phelps St.
Free parking in the lot behind the Voinovich Building, corner of Hazel and Commerce.
Open mic emceed by YSU historian Thomas Sabatini.
Mahoning County Historical Society Executive Director Bill Lawson will speak on poet Michael McGovern, a Youngstown steelworker who immigrated from Ireland in the 1800s.
McGovern’s collection of poems, Labor Lyrics, came out in 1899 and had a national audience.
McGovern is buried in Calvary Cemetery.
Bill Lawson is the Director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society in Youngstown, Ohio, serving in that position since 1991. He has been employed by MVHS in a variety of capacities since 1987. Lawson holds B. A. and M. A. Degrees in History from Youngstown State University. He served as a Trustee of the Ohio Museums Association from 1993 to 1995. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums from 1997 to 2005, and was President of this Association from 2002-2003.