Fallen City Writers releases new anthology

By MARK C. PEYKO | Metro Monthly Editor

Members of a longtime Youngstown writing workshop recently released the “Fallen City Writers Anthology.” The 148-page volume features 84 works from the workshop that was founded by Frank Polite, a celebrated poet and writer from Youngstown.

The anthology includes works from the early 1980s to pieces written after Polite’s death in 2005. The work lists for $12.99 and is available through lulu.com

“I think it’s a good representation of the poetry that came through several different incarnations of Frank’s poetry workshops,” said Douglas Wiesen, who helped assemble the anthology. Wiesen’s poem, “Cosmo,” a warm and playful tribute to Polite, closes out the collection.

On Wednesday, March 4, contributors will read their work during a special literary event at Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts in downtown Youngstown. The reading, which begins at 7 p.m., is scheduled to include Bill Koch, Joe Allgren, George Peffer, Jeanne Mahon and Susan M. Wojnar.

“We had kind of entertained the idea of an anthology and we got a little more serious,” said Dorothea Polite, who helped edit and organize the project. “There were numerous meetings. There was a group of about five of us and we started collecting material and contacting all the writers over the years that had been involved in the workshop and we got them all together and got feedback.”

Polite said the volume reflects the diverse backgrounds of the writers in the workshop, which she continues to facilitate. “We come from all different walks of life. Yeah, that diversity is really key to keeping this project moving along. Everybody’s input, everybody’s different style. That exposure to writing. Some write professionally, some don’t – so it’s been a nice collection of people.”

“It’s always attracted some pretty good writers and we’re kind of proud of the ones who have come out of it and gone to different places,” said Jeanne Mahon.

“If you were in Frank’s workshop, it was a trouble in some ways and a delight in others because he was so demanding,” said Wiesen. “Excellence in writing was what Frank was all about, period. That’s really what he devoted his whole life to. That’s what you got when you got his opinion.”

“Frank loved the written word. He loved poetry, he loved writing and that’s what he did. And so to give what you love to others and have it come through for them that’s a great gift. He did it because he loved it,” said Polite.

Many of the writers who were interviewed about the anthology said Polite’s workshops gave them the courage to find their voice. “It was important to be original and Frank always encouraged that,” said Neno Perrotta, who submitted three poems. “He always stressed, don’t be concerned with comparing yourself to other people’s writing and have faith in your own writing, in your own view of things.”

“He had a gift for encouraging each writer to speak with their own voice,” added Mahon. “I really don’t know how he did it. We all appreciated different styles, and, I guess, if you read the anthology, you can tell that nobody’s the same, really.”

To order the anthology, visit http://www.lulu.com/shop/dorothea-polite/fallen-city-writers-anthology/paperback/product-21888597.html

© 2015 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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  1. […] writing scene. A short blurb on the release of the  Fallen City Writers Anthology at Metro Monthly and on the Lit Youngstown blog which hosts a monthly reading and creative writing workshops in the […]

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