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CityVerse: a Youth Poetry Showcase in the Books

Photo Credits Ashley Dillon

Congratulations to these courageous and creative teens who shared their original poetry at the first CityVerse: a Youth Poetry Showcase. The reading, at the elegant Stambaugh Auditorium Christman Hall, was a perfect setting for these poems that ranged from clever and witty to wise and hard-hitting. That's the work that poetry does: beat all the rhythms of the human heart.

Thank you to emcee Dr. Jeff Buchanan, YSU chair of English & World Languages, and to judges Debbie Allen, Ahmed Sutton and Jimmy Sutman who selected five finalists: Kanna Cartwright of Chaney H.S., Comet Escobar of East H.S., Genesis Ruiz of East H.S., Lyric Saulsberry of Rayen Early College H.S. & Lil Snyder of Chaney H.S. Judges selected Lyric for the $5000 scholarship, held in trust at the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

Thank you to Dani Dier and our friends at Stambaugh Auditorium for their support in making this gorgeous space available to us. We also thank the YMCA of Youngstown for after school transportation and workshop space, and the Youngstown City Schools for their support, especially coordinators Maria Pappas at Chaney High School, Shaunda Yancey at Youngstown Early College High School, and Corey Zallow at East High School.

Special thanks to poetry workshop facilitators Barbara Fant, Quartez Harris, and Shaunda Yancey whose prompts and enthusiasm inspired students to reach in their writing.

This program would not be possible without funding from Bill Mullane and Betsy Barrickman, Gary and Kathy Salvner, and Sarah Ziegler. This project was also supported by funds awarded to the Board of Mahoning County Commissioners by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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