Since 2008, the Student Literary Arts Association at YSU has hosted the Youngstown Reading Series, a lecture series dedicated to introducing students and the Youngstown community to established authors from the region and from around the country.
The Reading Series has been host to such respected authors as Eric Wasserman, Alan DeNiro, Peter Oresick, Nin Andrews, YSU’s own Philip Brady and Christopher Barzak, and many more.
In addition to featuring readings from such authors, the Youngstown Reading Series often features open mic readings by students and members of the community. The aim of the series is to enable students to meet, connect with, and share with the community established authors. Youngstown Reading Series events are often held at either the Lemon Grove Cafe or at Dorian Books, both in Youngstown.
Susan Linville is the co-author of The Price of Stones, which tells the story of the building of a school in co-author Twesigye Jackson Kaguri’s home village in Uganda. The Nyaka AIDS Orphan School was a step forward in a campaign to end superstitions surrounding HIV and AIDS in Uganda.
Even being on the other side of the world, Nyakagyezi is by no means removed from Youngstown and is indeed a village whose story we can find in ways within our own. Says Linville:
“Nyakagyezi and Youngstown may be half a world apart, but they are both recovering from devastation. To continue that recovery requires a new generation of young people to bring their skills, talents and abilities to bear. Here in the States, we leave education to parents and teachers, but communities are full of leaders who could involve themselves with students. Young people often need only a role model and the expectation of excellence succeed.”
We had the opportunity to speak to Susan Linville about her awareness of the Nyaka project, the importance of literacy in Nyakagyezi, and the pure power and potential of a community that cooperates to achieve a dream.
In addition, we are proud to feature two of her poems, submitted for our inaugural issue of Jenny. They are:
The Price of Stones is on sale now in bookstores everywhere.
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