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Poet-in-Residence Quartez Harris Events May 6-7

Updated: Apr 17, 2022

Lit Youngstown is the grateful recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Arts Resiliency Community Projects Grant that will allow us to bring three writers-in-residence to Youngstown. All events listed are free and open to the public, with additional funding from Rob Briggs & Alyssa Lenhoff Briggs.

Poet Quartez Harris will visit May 6-7. From Springfield, Ohio, Quartez is the Ohio Poetry Association's 2021 Poet of the Year. He is the author of We Made It To School Alive, a full-length collection of poems published by Twelve Arts Press, and Nothing, But Skin, a poetry collection published in 2014 by Writing Knights Press. We Made It to School Alive was inspired by his work as a teacher and gives voice to the experiences of the children he works with every day who deal with structural barriers, intergenerational poverty, educational negligence and more. He is the first recipient of the Barbara Smith Writer-In-Resident at Twelve Literary Arts and a 2020 Baldwin House Fellow and his poetry and ideas have been featured in The Plain Dealer, Ideastream, and City Club of Cleveland. Harris' works in progress are two picture books and a young-adult novel in verse.

While he is here, he will visit Chaney Chaney High School and Kirkmere Elementary, and meet with Sojourn to the Past students who will have recently returned from their trip to Civil Rights sites in the South (private events).

Friday, May 6, 6:00, Poetry Writing Workshop by Quartez Harris & Sony Ton-Aime at St. John's Episcopal Church parlor & great hall.

Quartez Harris will teach a poetry writing workshop for beginner poets. In this workshop, participants will respond to a generative poetry exercise and discuss craft; play with language and line breaks; and experience the possibilities for our own writing.

Register for the free workshop here.

Friday, May 6, 7:00, Poetry Reading and Book Signing by Quartez Harris & Sony Ton-Aime in the sanctuary at St. John's Episcopal Church.

Sony Ton-Aime is a Haitian poet, essayist, and translator. He is the Michael I. Rudell Director of Literary Arts at Chautauqua Institution. In addition to his chapbook, LaWomann (Ironworks Press, 2019), he is the author of Haitian Creole translation of the book, Olympic Hero: The Lennox Kilgour’s Story. He is, with some other Haitian scholars, putting together a Haitian Creole course on Duolingo. His works have appeared or forthcoming in Brainchild, La Revista Ping Pong, The Oakland Review, Dunes Review,, Hunger Mountain Review, Cleveland Review of Books, Artful Dodge, among others.

Saturday, May 7, 10:00AM-1:00PM

Black History Tour, curated by historian Vince Shivers and featuring poems by poet-in-residence Quartez Harris.

The tour is free and open to all ages. Registration is required by April 23. All are welcome! Register here.

The tour will begin and end at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor, 151 W. Wood St., and will make stops at Oakhill Cemetery, the lower North Side, YSU, and the Belmont/422 corridor.

Buses will be donated by Community Bus Services. The walking portion of the tour will include uneven ground and stairs. As the tour date approaches, we will provide information on parking, and other updates. Please register here to receive those updates.

Community Bus Services, Inc., Greater Warren-Youngstown Urban League, Westside Bowl, Sokolov Honors College, NAACP of Youngstown, Ohio Arts Council, Rob Briggs and Alyssa Lenhoff Briggs, and our many community partners for making this residency possible.

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