THIS EVENT IS CANCELED but send your funny poems and stories to Lit Youngstown@gmail.com
Join us for a celebration of April Fool’s with an evening of humor and play. Storytelling by Tom Beck. Open mic to follow–bring funny or playful work. We will also be celebrating National Sourdough Bread Day, so bring your favorite topping. It’s also, and we are not making this up, National Soylent Green Day. Haha yeah, we’ll be skipping that one. Wednesday, April 1 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., 7:00-9:00.
Tom Beck served on the faculty and as an administrator for 35 years at The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Tom taught courses in Speech, Business Communication, Media, and Broadcasting. Tom was responsible for the operation of WZIP-FM radio station licensed in Akron serving central NE Ohio. WZIP consistently held the position of largest audience listenership for stations in its category nationwide and was awarded National Signature Station by the Broadcaster Education Association. Tom worked as a broadcaster in radio and television during his career in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and instructed in high schools, community Continue reading →
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.
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.