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.
Join 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.
Lit Youngstown seeks proposals for presentations, workshops, craft talks and creative readings for our 3rd annual Fall Literary Festival to be held October 4-5 at Youngstown State University. The two-day festival will feature an acclaimed faculty: Nin Andrews (poetry), Christopher Barzak (fiction), Erica Cardwell (essay, creative nonfiction), Jill Christman (creative nonfiction), Michael Croley (fiction), George Ella Lyon (poetry, essay), Philip Memmer (poetry), Philip Metres (poetry, essay). To read more about our visiting writers, please visit the Fall Literary Festival page.
Join us at the Lakeland Literary Festival! Lit Youngstown is pleased to be invited to participate in the book fair at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. We will leave at 7:00 a.m. from our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Like to ride up with us? Please let us know: LitYoungstown@gmail.com.
Celebrate the many exciting forms of literature with noted writers. The Lakeland Literary Festival is being held Nov. 30, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in HIVE in the H-Building.
Acclaimed writers and poets will present a variety of workshops in areas such as non-fiction, fiction, poetry, translation and publishing. There will also be a book fair with many presses, magazines and organizations.
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for the workshops. Register here.
The event will begin with a continental breakfast and then the workshops will run from 9-10 a.m., 10:15-11:15 a.m. and 11:30-12:30 p.m. Lunch will be available for purchase from food trucks on the campus. After lunch, at 1 p.m., keynote speaker Dave Lucas, Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio will speak. The event will close with a poetry reading by winners of the 31st Annual Poetry Competition, slated from 2-3 p.m.
For more information, contact Assistant Professor James DeMonte at email@example.com or call 440.525.7458.
Join us for a night of community storytelling & desserts, Wednesday July 11, 7:30, Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Doors open at 7:15. No open mic this month.
The first Wednesday of July falls on a holiday, so go make some noise and join us a week later for a truly wonderful evening.
Stories by Tom Beck, Arthur Byrd, BeckyAnn Harker, Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine, Sue Hukari & Andrea Wells.
Tom Beck lives on a working grain farm in Green Township. Tom is retired from The University of Akron where he served as an administrator and faculty member for 35 years. Tom also had an extensive career in radio and television broadcasting. Tom has three adult sons and eight grandchildren. As a teacher, broadcaster, and community activist, communicating through storytelling has been an important part of Tom’s professional training.
Arthur Byrd earned a BA in Telecommunications and Associate Degree in Business Management from YSU, and worked as a photojournalist at WFMJ-TV, where he and a reporter won first place from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters for Best Investigative Reporting. Arthur’s short films have shown at film festivals in Cleveland and Los Angeles, and his Ballet Audition has been viewed over two million times on YouTube. Arthur is a member of Toastmasters, and in 2016, he received the Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award. Arthur produces two podcasts, Cool and Interesting People, and The Movie Soul Brothers, co-hosted by Mark Williams, a discussion of Black Cinema from 60’s and beyond. Both podcasts can be heard on Soundcloud.
BeckyAnn Harker is a Speech-Language Pathologist by day, treating children in schools with speech or language disorders. By night and weekend, she is the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. One of her favorite parts of that job is telling a story that appeals to all ages during the weekly service. She is also a member of Warren Toastmasters, where she is practicing and improving her storytelling skills. She is the mother of one, stepmother of three, all in their teens and early twenties. Stay tuned- when the trauma of raising teenagers subsides, there will be plenty more stories to tell!
Skye Hildebrand-Grapentine is currently a full-time caregiver for her 90 year old mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. They often vacation together at wit’s end. Skye took her first writing workshop four years ago, for the sole purpose of someday hoping to breathe words into her own story of how the overbearing people in her life affected all of her decision-making capabilities. With her cumulative history eventually leaving her breathless, Facebook friends working with Lit Youngstown came along to resuscitate her.
October’s First Wednesday Series Reading features local writer Nancy Christie and J. Everett Prewitt of Cleveland. We’ll meet at the Soap Gallery this time, 117 S. Champion St., at 7:15. An open mic will follow, emceed by Venise Abell.
Nancy Christie is the author of the fiction collection, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories (a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Competition), the inspirational book, The Gifts Of Change and numerous short stories including one that was shortlisted for Pulp Literature’s 2016 The Raven Short Story Contest. She is also the founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day and host of the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, OH. Her “Rut-Busting” Workshop for Writers helps participants identify their objectives, overcome self-imposed barriers and get out of their writing rut. For more information, visit her website at www.nancychristie.com.
J. Everett Prewitt is a Vietnam veteran and a former Army officer. He holds a B.A. from Lincoln University and an M.S. in Urban Studies from Cleveland State. His novel Snake Walkers won the Bronze Award for General Fiction in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year contest, and was honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. A Long Way Back received numerous awards, including first place in the Independent Publishers of New England. A novella titled Something About Ann, and a series of short stories related to A Long Way Back including the award winning The Last Time I Saw Willie, will be available in 2017. Prewitt lives in Shaker Heights. http://eprewitt.com/
Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival features readings, craft talks, writing workshops and a publishing panel, by acclaimed and accomplished faculty from Ohio and around the country.
Please register soon. We will take walk-ins, but pre-registration will allow us to plan more efficiently. Register electronically here or print and mail registration here: fall fest registration.
We look forward to seeing you there! In September, we will email more information about parking and other details. Questions? Email us at LitYoungstown@gmail.com.
Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival
Saturday, September 30, 2017
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.
Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, 305 Wick Ave.
McDonough Museum of Art, 525 Wick Ave.
8:00-9:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
Coffee, Pastries, Registration
8:30-9:45 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall Poetry Through an Editor’s Eyes, Slapering Hol Press editors Susana H. Case & Margo Taft Stever (bring two poems in progress)
Prose Workshop, Christopher Barzak
Memoir Workshop, Kelly Bancroft
10:00-10:50 Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
“Laying the Foundation: Concrete Imagery in Poetry,” Denise Duhamel
“Writing Historical Fiction: The Ever Unfolding Drama,” Robert Olmstead
“Not the Whole Truth: Writing Memoir,” Kelly Bancroft
11:00-11:45 Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
Fiction Reading, Robert Olmstead
12:00 St. John’s Episcopal Church Great Hall
Lunch by Cultivate Co-op Cafe
1:00-1:45, St. John’s Episcopal Church Sanctuary
Poetry Reading, Susana Case & Margo Taft Stever
2:00-3:00 McDonough Museum of Art
On Publishing: Discussion and Q&A with Nin Andrews, Kelly Bancroft, Christopher Barzak, Susana Case, Denise Duhamel, Robert Olmstead, Margo Taft Stever
3:00-3:30 McDonough Museum of Art Screening of Kelly Bancroft’s short film Arriving at Bessie Cake by Selah Restaurant
3:45-4:45 St. John’s Episcopal Church Sanctuary
Poetry Reading: Nin Andrews & Denise Duhamel
Nin Andrews’s poems and stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry, Best American Prose Poems, 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 two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, she is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length poetry collections. Why God Is a Woman won the 2016 Ohioana award in poetry; her most recent is Miss August (CavanKerry Press, 2017).
Kelly Bancroft won an Ohio Arts Council individual artist award and Ragdale writer residencies. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Mudfish, XConnect, Jezebel and TIME, among others. A short documentary based on her family research was selected for this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. She is currently working on a full-length play and short essays in memoir.
Christopher Barzak is author of the Crawford Fantasy Award novel, One for Sorrow, made into Jamie Marks is Dead, a Sundance feature film. The Love We Share Without Knowing was a finalist for the Nebula Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Wonders of the Invisible World, (Knopf, 2015) received the Stonewall Honor Award from the American Library Association. He is author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays, surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives, supernatural fantasies, which won Best Collection in the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards. He teaches fiction writing in the NEOMFA program at YSU.
Susana H. Case is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Drugstore Blue (Five Oaks Press, 2017)and 4 Rms w Vu from Mayapple Press, as well as four chapbooks. One of her collections, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press in Poland. Her poems appear widely in magazines and anthologies. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.
Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Scald (Pittsburgh, 2017). Blowout (Pittsburgh, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009); Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orhisis, 1997). She and Maureen Seaton co-authored CAPRICE (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New) (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Duhamel is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenhiem Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The guest editor is for The Best American Poetry 2013, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.
Robert Olmstead is the author of seven novels, the memoir Stay Here With Me, and River Dogs, a collection of short stories. His three most recent novels, known as the Childs Trilogy: Coal Black Horse, Far Bright Star, and The Coldest Night, have been optioned by Casey Affleck. Far Bright Star, declared one of the top ten westerns of the decade by Booklist will be directed by Affleck and star Joaquin Phoenix. Olmstead’s many awards include two Ohioana Book Awards, Amazon Top 100, Kirkus Top 25, Publisher’s Weekly Top 100, a Spur Award for Best Novel from the Western Writers of America, Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction, a #1 Pick Booksense, Senior Arts Fellowships from Ohio and Pennsylvania, Idaho Press Club Award and Black Warrior Review Fiction Award, as well as Fellowships from the NEA and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Margo Taft Stever’s four poetry collections are The Lunatic Ball, Kattywompus Press, 2015; The Hudson Line, Main Street Rag, 2012; Frozen Spring, Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry, 2002; and Reading the Night Sky, Riverstone Poetry Chapbook Competition, 1996. In 2019, CRACKED PIANO, will be published by CavanKerry Press. Her poems have appeared widely in literary magazines and anthologies including Blackbird, Salamander, Prairie Schooner, Poem-A-Day, New England Review, Cincinnati Review, Rattapallax, Webster Review, Dire Elegies, Chance of a Ghost, and No More Masks. She is the founder of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and the founding and current co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. For more information, please see: www.margostever.com.
Profound thanks to our community partners, The Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, the McDonough Museum of Art, the Youngstown State University Department of English and Dr. Barbara Brothers.
Lit Youngstown is proud to list The Fall Literary Festival in 100 Thousand Poets for Change, dedicated to using poetry as a means for creative voice, and as an expression of peace, justice and sustainability.
With profound thanks to the Raymond J. Wean Foundation and to these twelve women in our community, we invite you to a reception celebrating the publication of Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories.
Tuesday, December 13 at First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Avenue Youngstown. Parking lot is behind the church; enter on Wood Avenue due to construction on Wick.
Light refreshments will be served. Doors open 6:30 pm, program and staged reading from the book, 7 pm.
If you wish to support the YWCA of Youngstown’s Make A Wish Gift program, bring a new book for a reader aged 1-18.
PLEASE RSVP DIRECTLY to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
If you’d like to buy a book, they are available for purchase at Flutterby Books in Hubbard and Three Sheep Gallery on Market St. The public libraries in Warren and greater Youngstown will have copies in circulation as soon as they are processed. For more options, please visit this page on our website or send us a note at LitYoungstown@gmail.com.
We are grateful to the Youngstown Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) for their support of this project and their introductions to six of the women.
The project would not have been possible without the energy and talents of the team that worked together to create the book.
Lit Youngstown’s YSU student interns, who helped with the interviews, transcriptions, writing and editing: Samuel Amazing, Adrianna Mayes, and Samantha Ensminger.
Lit Youngstown writers and editors: Allison Davis, Kris Harrington, Sean Posey, Karen Schubert, and Molly Toth.
Cover design: Amy Freels, University of Akron Press.
Interior design and layout: Cassandra Twoey.
Portraits of the women: photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolanta.
The book was printed locally by City Printing.
We also appreciate the support, encouragement, and networking offered by members of our wider community, especially Louisa Berger, Gary Davenport, Davita Fitzgerald, Rosemary Fuller, Eres McKee, Carole and Jimma McWilson, and Melissa Papini.
Special thanks to David Hassler of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State for sharing his experience with taking oral histories to the printed page.
What a wonderful night! at the gorgeous historic YWCA, in a room full of people and that pleasant murmur of conversation.
Our five storytellers, Davita Fitzgerald, Becky Ann Harker, Kris Harrington, Liz Hill, and Terry L. Shears, told us stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always engaging.
We ate desserts and purchased books to donate to the children’s library at the YWCA. Huge thank you to Flutterby Books of Hubbard for supporting these book purchases!
Tricia Perry (center) of WYSU was our lovely emcee.
The Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens donated mums that we gave to five winning attendees.
Although this one is keeping mum, we know his Mum won a mum!
We thank everyone for coming out and making our evening so much fun for us.
By request, here are a few of the recipes of the desserts we served (with notes from Karen).
Rose-Scented Plum Crumble Tart
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. coarse salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1 T. cold water
2 lbs. small plums, halved and pitted (I bought fresh, local plums from Marcie Applegate)
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 T. cornstarch
pinch of coarse salt
1 tsp. rose water (from Jerusalem Market on Belmont)
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
4 T. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
Crust: Blend flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add yolks and cold water; blend with a fork until dough comes together. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic, refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Let dough stand at room temperature until pliable. Roll out on lightly floured surface to about 13″ round, about 1/4″ thick. Fit into 11″ tart pan. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
Filling: Toss to combine plums, sugars, cornstarch, salt and rose water. Spread in tart shell in a single layer.
Crumble: Combine brown sugar, butter, flour and salt. Mix with fingertips until clumps form. Crumble evenly over filling.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in lower third. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until juices are bubbling and topping is browned, about 50 minutes. Tart is best served the day it’s made.
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
(I had cookies left from our Eat Your Words! cookie decorating project, so I made crumbs with them and added 1/4 c. melted butter to make the crust.)
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese at room temperature (I prefer Organic Valley)
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. flour
1 T. vanilla
3 (1-oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted (I prefer Dagoba organic chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350. Press crust lightly onto the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then eggs, flour and vanilla.
Measure 1 1/2 c. batter into medium bowl. Add chocolate, mix well. Spoon half the vanilla batter into the prepared pan then half the chocolate batter. Repeat. With knife, gently swirl batter to marble.
Bake 50 to 60 min. or until center is barely set. Cool, then chill. Garnish with shaved chocolate.
Applesauce Loaf (recipe from Karen’s Aunt Kit)
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/4 c. applesauce (I like to make my own and leave it chunky)
1/2 c. raisins (I like organic Thompson’s or golden raisins)
1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
Cream butter and sugar, add egg. Stir together the dry ingredients, gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in applesauce, raisins and walnuts. Bake one hour in a greased and floured loaf pan. Cool in pan 10 min., cool on wire rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.