Tag Archives: Youngstown history

History is Local

It just happens that our Dec. First Wed. reading falls on Pearl Harbor Day, so come down and get your history on with readings from some fine local history books.

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Wed. Dec. 7, 7:00, at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, 34 N. Phelps St. The reading features Cathy Seckman, author of East Liverpool; Sean Posey, author of Lost Youngstown, and Dr. Donna DeBlasio & Dr. Martha Pallante, authors of Italians Americans of the Greater Mahoning Valley.

No open mic this last reading of 2016. We’ll resume the open mic with our January reading, which will feature Robert Miltner & Molly Fuller. Purple Cat Productions will host in their Broadway St. theater in the historic Morley Building.

Phenomenal Women Celebration

With profound thanks to the Raymond J. Wean Foundation and to these twelve women in our community, we invite you to a reception celphenomenalwomennewebrating 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 lityoungstown@gmail.com 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.

— Liz Hill, Project Coordinator

 

Bill Lawson Presents to a Full House

DSC_0143Despite our first blast of winter weather, Bill Lawson filled the house in early January when he gave an interesting talk on historic Youngstown “Puddler Poet” Michael McGovern. Lawson put McGovern’s poems in historical, economic, occupational and literary context when he talked about immigration patterns, the job of a “puddler,” and the style and popularity of McGovern’s poems, which take up the cause of the laborer.

DSC_0116We learned that McGovern lived to be 84 or 85 (sources conflict), much longer than most iron workers. It was “hard, heavy, dangerous work; the lifespan of puddlers and helpers after the Civil War was less than 40 years. The hours were long (12-13 per day, six days per week); wages low.” Certainly it was beneficial to McGovern’s health when he “left the iron and steel industry during a strike; worked as a State of Ohio Oil Inspector (obituary) and foreman in the Youngstown Street Department (1920 Census).”

Michael McGovern’s poetry was published in The Youngstown Vindicator and the Youngstown Telegram, cultural periodicals like Gaelic American, and The Amalgamated Journal. His collection Labor Lyrics and Other Poems was published by the Youngstown Vindicator Press in 1899.

Interested in reading poems from this collection? Visit the Ohio Memory Collection.

January First Wednesday Series Reading: H. William Lawson on Michael McGovern

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.

88-2-1 Labor Lyrics McGovern002

McGovern’s collection of poems, Labor Lyrics, came out in 1899 and had a national audience.

93-59-1 McGovern Michael tombstone

McGovern is buried in Calvary Cemetery.

88-2-1 Labor Lyrics McGovern001

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.

 

August First Wednesday Reading: Sean Posey

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August 5, 2015, 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.

Youngstown photographer, historian and essayist Sean Posey will read, followed by an Open Mic moderated by Molly Toth.

Sean Posey holds a degree in photojournalism from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a master’s degree in history from Youngstown State University.

His photography and writing are featured in Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology and The Pittsburgh Anthology, both by Belt Publishing. He is currently working on a book about Youngstown for the History Press, which will be released in early 2016.