*** New Time*** 7:00*** New Time***
Join us at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., Wed. Nov. 7, for a poetry reading and open mic emceed by Lidia Cornelio. And the new earlier time will stick.
Clarissa Jakobsons instructs at Cuyahoga Community College, often weaving one-of-a-kind artist books exhibited internationally. Sometimes she combines artist books with her poems and paintings. She writes, “Don’t be surprised to see my inner artist kicking sandcastles, climbing Mount Diablo, painting Provincetown dunes, or writing under an Ohio crescent moon.
Barbara Sabol’s debut book, Solitary Spin, was published in 2017. She won the Mary Jean Irion Poetry Prize in 2014. Barbara reviews poetry books in the blog, Poetry Matters. She lives and works in Akron, Ohio.
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 reading of poetry and historical fiction at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., 7:30. Doors open at 7:15. Open mic emceed by Amanda Miller.
Melissa Barger has been writing for half her life. She is employed with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and is revising a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel set in Youngstown during the summer of 1863.
William Heath was born in Youngstown and grew up in Poland. He is the national-award-winning author of novels: The Children Bob Moses Led, Blacksnake’s Path, Devil Dancer; poetry: The Walking Man; history: William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest; and interviews: Conversations with Robert Stone. He will be reading some recent poems set in the Steel Valley.
Save the dates! This year’s festivals will feature workshops, craft talks, a publishing panel, and readings by these accomplished visiting writers.
Please join us in thanking our community partners for helping to make the festival possible: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, the Purple Cat, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, Sojourn to the Past, St. John’s Episcopal Church, YSU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, YSU Department of Women & Gender Studies, YSU English Department.
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria. Her work has received grants and
Lesley Nneka Arimah
awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. Her short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls From The Sky was published by Riverhead in April 2017. She currently lives in Minneapolis.
after majoring in English in college to writing and publishing fiction. In 2009, she published her first novel for teens with HarperCollins. Freaked is the story of a teenaged boy obsessed with the Grateful Dead. She followed with a second novel in 2010 entitled Stranded, a mystery set in Iowa surrounding the discovery of an abandoned baby.
John Kerstetter, the author of Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story (Random House 2017), received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, and his MFA degree from Ashland University in Ohio. He
served as a combat physician and flight surgeon for the U.S. Army and completed three combat tours in Iraq. His writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, River Teeth, and other literary journals.
Jacqui Lipton, LL.B., M.F.A., Ph.D. is a law professor and writer as well as the director of Authography LLC, a company dedicated to helping authors and artists meet their personal and professional goals. She writes regular columns on legal issues for authors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin, Savvy Authors, and Luna
Station Quarterly. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Ph.D. in law from Cambridge University. Her forthcoming book, LAW & AUTHORS: A LEGAL HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS will be published in 2019 by University of California Press.
Dave Lucas is the author of Weather (Georgia, 2011), which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. He is a co-founder of Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery and of Cleveland Book Week. In 2018 he was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio.
Craig Paulenich is the author of two books of poetry, Drift of the Hunt (Nobobdaddies Press, 2006) and Blood Will Tell (BlazeVOX [books], 2009) and editor (with Kent Johnson) of the anthology, Beneath A Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry (Shambhala Press, 1991). His poems have appeared in The Georgia Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Kansas Quarterly, the Minnesota Review, the South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Artful Dodge, and many others. He has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. He earned an MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh, a Ph.D. in English at Bowling Green
State University, and is Professor of English at Kent State University-Salem. He is a co-founder and faculty with the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, the nation’s only creative writing consortium. He’s currently working on a book of poems about John Brown. He and his wife, Karla, live on a 27-acre farm outside Guilford Lake, Ohio.
Judith Vollmer is the author of five full-length books of poetry, including most recently The Apollonia Poems, awarded the University of Wisconsin Press Four Lakes Prize in 2016 and published last year. She has received fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the American
Academy in Rome; and the Brittingham, the Cleveland State, and the Center for Book Arts publication awards. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Poetry International, Poet Lore, The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire, Prairie Schooner, The Women’s Review of Books, among many others. She teaches in the MFA Program in Poetry & Poetry in Translation at Drew University.
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 Rikki Santer in exploring ways that poetry and film can be in conversation with each other.In this workshop, Santer will present film clips and poems to demonstrate how the movies have influenced and inspired poets throughout the last century.She will also provide prompts that will guide participants to “read” a movie with more complexity as well as create poems in response to the cinema.
Saturday March 10, noon to 3:00, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. $15.
Santer is a Columbus, Ohio, award-winning poet and educator who developed and taught a film studies curriculum to high school students and adults for seventeen years.She has published film reviews and studied film at New York University, The Ohio State University, Antioch University, The University of Montana, and Wesleyan University and currently serves on the advisory board of Film Columbus. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from The Ohio State University. Her poetry has been published widely and Nightballet Press released her fifth poetry collection, Make Me That Happy.(www.rikkisanter.com)
Wednesday, March 7, The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15, reading begins at 7:30. Open mic follows the reading.
Adam Hughes is the author of four full-length collections, most recently Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Deep Cries Out to Deep (Aldrich Press, 2017). He resides in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Stephanie Sesic teaches writing and literature at Kent State University and Cuyahoga Community College. Her work has appeared most recently online in Rascal. Her chapbook, The Intimate Verge, was published by Pudding House Publications in 2008. Her work reveals an obsession with the sky and tends to stick to the classic themes of sex and death.
Thank you to all: artists, writers, supporters, volunteers, the Soap Gallery, the Ohio Arts Council. Special appreciation to photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolonta who captured the day perfectly.
Several people asked about the poem read by Lewis School student Ari Sheik. He has granted permission for his poem to be posted here.
War is a world of misery. Everything is engulfed in chaos.
War bears unsparing gunfire, pouring in from hell itself. It never ends, never rests.
War is shaped like the sharpened edge of a warped, dangerous knife. Blood ceaselessly dripping from its tip.
War remembers when it was nothing, when it was absent. Now war rules this world.
War is a memory of time when brave men and women fell on the battlefield, fighting for what they believed in.
War is without mercy.
Lit Youngstown Presents Words Made Visible
A literary-visual art collaboration & exhibit at The Soap Gallery
Opening reception Saturday, February 3, 2018
3:00 Reading Mari Alschuler, Dianne Borsenik, Steve Brightman, Jeanne Bryner, Juliet Cook, David Lee Garrison
Kari Gunter-Seymour, Jennifer Hambrick, Kayla Jeswald, Paula J. Lambert, Robert Miltner, Jeffrey Murphy
Craig Paulenich, Caitlyn Ryan, Ari Sheik, Robert Smith, Kerry Trautman, Laura Grace Weldon
Broadsides, Letterpressed by Jason Vaughn at The Cranky Pressman
Judges: Jennifer Cline, Steven Reese & Nicole Robinson
“Nylon” by Kerry Trautman
“Spooning” by Caitlyn Ryan
“Working the Long Shift” by Craig Paulenich
“Train, Loud, Lonesome, Leaving Without Me” by Dianne Borsenik
Posters, Graphically Designed by Laura A. Garvin
Judges: Lit Youngstown Staff
“Men of Beautiful Countenance” by Craig Paulenich
“The Neighborhood Girls Fall for the WKBN Meteorologist” by Allison Pitinii Davis
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon
Haiku by Elliot Nicely
Haiku by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
YSU Painting students, professor Dragana Crnjak
“And time slips by…” Diane Kendig||Arielle Pilolli
“Bearing October” by Sarah Marcus-Donnelly||Kristie Gearhart
“Empty Elevator” by Joshua Gage||Aislinn Janek
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Amanda Spinosa
“Under the Overpass” by Riley Gable||Jessica Hollabaugh
YSU Expressive Drawing students, professor Chris McCullough
“A Haiku Unraveled” by Rob Smith||Tiffany Snow
“A Haiku Unraveled” by Rob Smith||Vanessa Bilas
“Calling the Dog” by Laura Grace Weldon||Joseph Lanzilotti|
“Cold Green” by Catherine Wing||Cassidy Griffin
“Endings” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Ashley Vaughan
“Gape: Fledglings” by Paula J. Lambert||Craig Miller
“Leaves of a Tulip” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Kaitlin Moran
“Myth” by Carol Barrett||Allison Begala
“Plum Blossoms” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Dylan Brammer
“Post-It to Reflection of Self in the Window” by Caitlyn Ryan||Jacob Melott
“Soldier Child” by Robert Miltner||Michaela Best
“The Narrows” by Sherri Saines||Kerrianne Ghinda
“The Silence” by Elliot Nicely||John Elias
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan||Haley Holt
“Weighing Options” by Julie Warther||Kyle Maurice
“What the Leaves Said” by Neil Carpathios||Abigail Martin
“Your Wish” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Vincent Village
YSU Digital media students, professor Dana Sperry
“Common Ground” by Valentina Ranaldi-Adams||Kathleen Gallagher
“Crows” by Neil Carpathios||Alaina Woofter, Matt Miligan, Vinny Matthews, Vincent Village, Torri Session,
“Mal du Siècle” by Riley Gable||Kim Schüler, Kaylee Mondock, Lexi Chismar
“My Great-Great Grandmother” by Craig Paulenich||David Belgrad
“Sky Opens” by Robert Smith||Mandy Bell
“Ten O’ Clock, The Day Already Threatening” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Angela Cozart, Evan von Thaer,
“Wanting Snow in August” by Michael Levan||Patrick Potter, Keagan O’Brien, Sean Staser
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon||Matthew Luonuansuu, Caroline Lacusky,
“Winter Aubade” by Riley Gable||Justine Dietrich, Shannon Henrich, Taylor Valerio
YSU Ceramics students, professor Missy McCormick
“All Her True Knowing” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Venise Abell
“An Obligation” by Emily Reid Green||Lydia Tarleton Weisman
“And Dog Said” by David Lee Garrison||Rachel Emerson
“Autumn Nude,” by Jennifer Hambrick||Chelsea Wells
“Bearing October” by Sarah Marcus-Donnelly||Kristie Gearhart
“Benefits of Living in Geauga County” by Steve Brightman||Jalen Bosker
“Bittersweet Goodbye” by Kayla Jeswald||Victoria Buskirk
“Blush: A Cinquain Duet” by Emily Reid Green||Laura Goist
“Blush: A Cinquain Duet” by Emily Reid Green||Marah Peek
“Cairn” by Mari Alschuler||Tom Davidson
“The Chaos We Hear” by Pamela Anderson||Caroline Lacusky
“Crows” by Neil Carpathios||Mandolin Bell
“Dangling Globe”||Miranda Timmins
“Do we have any rock and rollers out there tonight?” by Allison Pitinii Davis||Tammy Bigley
“Endings” by Kari Gunter-Seymour||Kelly Livi
“Every Hole is Open” by Juliet Cook||Sean Staser
“Fault Lines in My Mouth” by Juliet Cook||Evan von Thaer
“Garden of Hope” by Cheryl Ciavarella||Ivory Schneider
“Gypsy Cartography” by Sergio Ortiz||Mike Rock
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Amanda Spinosa
“Feral” by Laura Grace Weldon||Tiffany Snow
“November” by David Lee Garrison||Rachel Marchese
“Open” by Lori Anne Gravley||Weslie Detwiler
“Orpheus: Once a Traveler” by Robert Miltner||Emily Burnham
“War” by Ari Sheik||Lorenzo Devine
Excerpts of these literary works will be stamped into sidewalks in spring by Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs
Judge: Mary Quade
“Chant of Change” by David Lee Garrison
“Stars of the Front Yard” by Jeffrey Murphy
“The Field’s Red Wheat” by Jeanne Bryner
“Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry” by Laura Grace Weldon
NEOMFA reunion reading Wednesday December 6! Join us for a reading of three Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts writers. Open mic to follow, emceed by Kayla Jeswald. The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15, reading begins at 7:30.
Christopher R. Alonso was born and raised in Miami, FL. He is a writer, editor, flamenco dancer, and pianist. He is currently in his final year at the Northeast Ohio MFA program.
William R. Soldan grew up in and around Youngstown, Ohio, with brief stints in Columbus, Milwaukee, and the hills of southern Oregon. He holds a BA in English Literature from Youngstown State University and an MFA from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program. His work appears in publications such as New World Writing, Kentucky Review, Gordon Square Review, (b)OINK, Elm Leaves Journal, Anomaly Literary Journal, The Best American Mystery Stories 2017, Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets Anthology, and others. Currently he works as a trainer in a gym and teaches writing workshops in Youngstown, where he lives with his wife, community activist Rebecca Soldan, and their two children.
Sara Tracey is from Akron, Ohio. She is the author of Some Kind of Shelter (Misty Publications, 2013) and the chapbook Flood Year (dancing girl press, 2009). Sara graduated from the NEOMFA in 2007 and received her PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015.
Join us Wednesday November 1 for a very special evening of readings and digital art. We will begin at 5:00 at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St., and at 7:15 move to The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St.
Silence is Golden is an annual multimedia project by YSU art department students, and this year student work will engage with poems and stories from Ohio-affiliated writers participating in the Words Made Visible project, a literary-visual arts collaboration.
The Soap Gallery reading will feature award-winning writers Kevin Haworth of Pittsburgh and Steven Reese of Youngstown. Open mic to follow, emceed by Courtney Kensinger.
Kevin Haworth is a 2016 NEA Fellow in Creative Writing and the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Carlow University. His books include the novel The Discontinuity of Small Things (winner of the Samuel Goldberg Foundation Prize and runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), and the essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History. He has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Ledig International Writers House. He previously taught at Ohio University and at Tel Aviv University. His current book project is a critical biography of Israeli comics artist Rutu Modan.
Steven Reese is the author of three volumes of poetry, Enough Light to Steer By (Cleveland State), American Dervish (Salmon), and Excentrica: Notes on the Text (BlazeVOX) as well as two volumes of translation, Synergos (selected poems of Roberto Manzano; Etruscan) and Womanlands (selected poems of Diana María Ivizate González; Verbum, Spain). He teaches literature and the writing of poetry at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he currently directs the Northeast Ohio MFA in Creative Writing.