Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

As a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and care for our community, Just Buffalo Literary Center has postponed a number of events, and we will follow the guidance of Buffalo Public Schools in terms of Just Buffalo Writing Center programming.

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Lit City Celebration

Celebrate Buffalo’s literary community and the year-long Lit City: On the Move public art project with JBLC and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library at this Lit City Celebration, featuring poetry readings, music performances by Daughters of Creative Sound, Little Cake, and Taylor Made Jazz, made-to-order poetry on typewriters, video screenings and more!

Featured readers—whose poetry has appeared on buses, bus shelters and at transit stations throughout Buffalo this year as part of Lit City: On the Move—include Ansie Baird, Theo Bellavia-Frank, Kim Chinquee, Allei Floyd, Jillian Hanesworth, Zanaya Hussain, Justin Karcher, Amanda Kelly, Raina Lipsitz, Rebekah S. Malone, Trinity Ridout, Sherry Robbins, Maria Scrivani, Irene Sipos, Annette Daniels Taylor, Carol Townsend, Julio Montalvo Valentín, Keira VanDerBeck, Janna Willoughby-Lohr and ryki zuckerman.

This event is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Schedule of Performances

3:00-4:00 PM

Musical Performances
Daughters of Creative Sound
Taylor Made Jazz

Land Acknowledgment
Anne Conable, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

4:00-5:00 PM

Lit City On the Move Readings
Sherry Robbins, Irene Sipos, Rebekah S. Malone, Ryki Zuckerman, Carol Townsend

5:00-6:00 PM

Lit City on the Move Readings
Kim Chinquee, Theo Bellavia-Frank, Ansie Baird, Allei Floyd, Keira VanDerBeck

Musical Performance
Little Cake

6:00-7:00 PM

Lit City on the Move Readings
Jillian Hanesworth, Janna Willoughby-Lohr, Julio Montalvo Valentín, Trinity Ridout, Zanaya Hussain, Justin Karcher, Amanda Kelly, Annette Daniels Taylor

Throughout the event, video screenings by FLATSITTER.


Thursday, September 29, 2022


3:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Reading Park @ Central Library
Reading Park @ Central Library
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203


Just Buffalo Literary Center
Just Buffalo Literary Center
(716) 832-5400

Other Organizers

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Featured Artists

  • Raina Lipsitz
    Raina Lipsitz

    Raina Lipsitz has written about gender, politics, and culture for a variety of publications. Her book, The Rise of a New Left: How Young Radicals Are Shaping the Future of American Politics, will be published by Verso on September 27, 2022.

  • Julio Montalvo Valentín
    Julio Montalvo Valentín

    Julio Montalvo Valentín is a Latinx poet and writer with severe bouts of neuropathic wanderlust. Julio (They/His/Julio) is the author of three chapbooks, the latest titled Those Who Pray to Rice (NightBallet Books, 2019). Julio is a member of the Latino/a/x arts collective called Los Artistas del Barrio Buffalo (LAdB), a freelance teaching artist, and holds an M.A. in English Literature from Buffalo State College. They have recently completed a summer project for the “Woke Words” summer enrichment program at P.S. 18, where the students also created a public poetry mural called Freedom, located at Broderick Park, for the City of Buffalo. Julio spends their time pillow fighting their family when they are not writing about the loss that is to come. You can find Julio talking about the politics of rice, knee-deep in assignments at a local college or in a bookstore, or looking for the next story.

  • Rebekah Malone
    Rebekah Malone

    Rebekah S. Malone was last published at age 5 in The Buffalo News but is now returning to her roots and true identity as a poet.

  • Sherry Robbins
    Sherry Robbins

    Sherry Robbins is a poet and teaching artist, leading creative writing classes at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, at Daemen University, and in public and private schools throughout New York State. Sherry has two books of poetry, Under World (Outriders Poetry Project) and Or, the Whale (blazeVOX Books), several chapbooks of poetry, and dozens of poems published in literary journals and anthologies here and in Spain and Portugal, including Earth’s Daughters, Salmagundi, The Denver Quarterly and Poets at Work.

  • Maria Scrivani
    Maria Scrivani

    Maria Scrivani is a former reporter for The Buffalo News and a contributing writer for Buffalo Spree Magazine. She is co-author of BEAUTIFUL BUFFALO: PRESERVING A CITY, published by Canisius College Press in 2003, and wrote BRIGHTER BUFFALO: RENEWING A CITY, published by Western New York Wares in 2009. Her children’s book, a guide called ALL ABOUT BUFFALO, was illustrated by Michael Morgulis and published in 2011 by Western New York Wares. During the spring and summer of 2020, she edited a collection of local writers’ musings on the pandemic, in prose and poetry. BUFFALO’S BACK: AN ANTHOLOGY FOR OUR TIMES was published in October 2020. Scrivani is a graduate of Canisius College.

  • Zanaya Hussain
    Zanaya Hussain

    Zanaya Hussain is a Buffalo-based writer and has been published by Variety Pack, WNED, and Buffalo Bangla. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Science with a concentration in International Studies. She is a proud mother of three cats. Zanaya strives to use her writing as a form of expression and activism.

  • Irene Simon Sipos
    Irene Simon Sipos
    Poet & Educator

    Irene Simon Sipos is a writing tutor for SUNY Buffalo State, a freelance editor and a co-coordinator of the Buffalo Corner Reading Series. Her work has appeared in numerous national and regional journals and she is a frequent reader in WNY poetry venues. Her collection of poems, Stones, was published by No Frills Publishing/Amelia Press.

  • Little Cake
    Little Cake
    Songwriter, Musician, Performer

    Little Cake (Ana Vafai) creates songs, hype for artists and builds community through music, performance and friendships in Buffalo, NY. She began as a classical musician and teacher, gaining her bachelors and graduate degrees in education and violin/piano performance. Since 2011 she has played music all over town and developed a persona as a performer, singer and instrument player in the touring group ‘Little cake and Jack Topht’ (two albums released) and opened for T-pain as vocalist in winner of the Buffalo Spree‘s “best local music act,” RADARADA. Today she is the director of orchestras at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, BPS#192. Ana is ecstatic to have won “best local music act” from the Buffalo Spree yet again for her project Little cake after having assembled a band to perform her original compositions, many of which you can hear/download at soundcloud.com/littlecakesounds. You may also listen to albums at littlecake.bandcamp.com.

    Photo credit: Jacob Vogan

  • Carol Townsend
    Carol Townsend
    Poet, Artist & Educator

    Carol Townsend is an Associate Professor emerita of the Art and Design Department at the State University College of New York at Buffalo where she both taught and served as chair. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Applied Design from Ohio University. Her work in ceramics and mixed media has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. She has been a frequent participant in the Chautauqua Writers’ Center poetry workshops and has served on the board of the Friends of the Chautauqua Literary Arts Center. Her poems have appeared in the journals Voices de la Lunas, Sow’s Ears, The Healing Muses, in The Buffalo Newss, and on the Master Poetry Ink website. Her poem, “Nest” was selected for the public art project, “LIT CITY: On the Move”, sponsored by Just Buffalo Literary Center and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. She has been an invited reader in the Gray Hair, Rooftop, Wordflight, Red Door, Literary Cafe Series, and A Musical Feast events in Buffalo, New York. She is the author of the chapbook, “A Cinder in My Knee” and the book, The Color of Shadows.

  • Justin Karcher
    Justin Karcher
    Poet, Author, Playwright & Editor

    Justin Karcher is a “Best of the Net” and “Pushcart” nominated poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He is the author of several books, including Tailgating at the Gates of Hell (Ghost City Press, 2015). He is also the editor of Ghost City Review. His play, “The Birth of Santa,” will premiere in December at American Repertory Theater of Western New York.

  • Keira VanDerBeck
    Keira VanDerBeck
    Writer, Youth Ambassador

    Keira VanDerBeck is a sophomore at Alexander, with all the stress of high school writing is a lifeline. As a YA Keira hopes to introduce literature’s healing touch too many young souls. Her main forms of writing include poetry and short stories.

  • Ansie Baird
    Ansie Baird

    Ansie Baird’s poems have been published a number of times in The Paris Review, as well as in The Southern Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, New Ohio Review and a number of other journals. Her book, In Advance Of All Parting, won the White Pine Press national poetry competition and was published by White Pine Press in 2009. In September of 2016, her second full-length collection of poems, The Solace of Islands, was published by BlazeVOX Press. In addition, in 2016, she was one of four poets included in Outriders Press book entitled Four Buffalo Poets. Her latest collection, entitled Porch Watch, was published by The Foundling Press in May of 2019.

  • Janna Willoughby-Lohr
    Janna Willoughby-Lohr
    Poet, Artist & Musician

    Janna Willoughby-Lohr is an artist, poet, musician and entrepreneur based in Buffalo, NY. Her company, Papercraft Miracles, specializes in handcrafted paper art and gifts that bring meaning to people’s lives. Janna founded Papercraft Miracles while still in college in 2003 and has been building the brand ever since. She was awarded a $25,000 Ignite Buffalo Small Business Grant in 2018 and was named 40 Under 40 for Stationery & Gifts from Stationery Trends Magazine in 2019. Papercraft Miracles thrived in 2020, despite the pandemic and they have done custom projects for major brands such as Twitter and Capital One. In 2021, they landed a contract to create half a million seed bombs to be included in Lowe’s Spring Garden Giveaway event across the country. Also in 2021, Janna was selected as one of the top 4 papercrafters in the US to appear on the TV show, “Meet Your Makers Showdown.” The show is currently streaming on discovery+. Janna is also very involved in the entrepreneurial space. She is a board member and chairs the membership committee of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Buffalo/Niagara Chapter and is a founding member of the chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, working to promote equity and representation for all women business owners. She is also the host of Reach the Stars Podcast—a collection of conversations with cool people who do cool things. Each week, she brings inspiring stories of persistence, passion and purpose.

  • Theo Bellavia-Frank
    Theo Bellavia-Frank

    Theo Bellavia-Frank is a senior at Amherst High School and a Youth Ambassador with the Just Buffalo Writing Center.

  • ryki zuckerman
    ryki zuckerman
    Poet, Editor, & Educator

    ryki zuckerman is a poet, editor, poetry series curator, and a retired art professor. Her books include the full-length collection Looking for Bora Bora (Saddle Road Press, 2013), and also seven chapbooks, including “the gone artists” (Nixes Mate, 2019), “the skirt at the center of the universe” (The Writers Den, 2019) and “Three Poems” (University of Buffalo Poetry Collection, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Paterson Literary Review, Slipstream, Lips, Ghost City Review, anti-heroin chic, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, and elsewhere. Her work is anthologized in Insurrection (Gnashing Teeth), Moving Images (Before Your Quiet Eyes), and A Celebration of Western New York Poets (Buffalo Legacy Press), among others. She is a co-editor of Earth’s Daughters magazine (founded in 1971), and hosts the Literary Café at CFI (Center for Inquiry).

  • Kim Chinquee
    Kim Chinquee
    Author & Poet

    Kim Chinquee is the author of six collections, and her seventh book (her debut novel) PIPETTE is due out in November 2022 with Ravenna Press. She grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, served as a medical lab technician in the Air Force (and elsewhere), and is an associate professor of English at SUNY-Buffalo State, where she co-directs its Writing Major. She’s the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, a Henfield Prize, is Senior Editor of NEW WORLD WRITING, Associate Editor of MIDWEST REVIEW, and Chief Editor of ELJ (ELM LEAVES JOURNAL). She’s a triathlete and lives with her three dogs in Tonawanda, New York.

  • Trinity Ridout
    Trinity Ridout
    Writer & Musician

    Trinity Ridout is a young writer and musician, Buffalo native, and craft enthusiast. She is a Just Buffalo Writing Center alumna, and currently attends Buffalo State College with a major in music. Her work is often inspired by an interest in exploring the relationship between humanity and nature. Trinity has been published online with Peach Mag, in several anthologies of Wordplay, and as a contributing author of the public art project LIT CITY: On the Move.

  • Jillian Hanesworth
    Jillian Hanesworth
    Poet, Author, Spoken Word Artist & Community Organizer

    Jillian Hanesworth is inaugural Poet Laureate of Buffalo, NY, a community organizer, author and award winning spoken word artist. She was born and raised on the East side of Buffalo, NY where she discovered and honed in on her passion for art and literature. Jillian began writing at the age of 7, when she would write songs for her mother to sing in church. Currently, Jillian is a teaching artist as well as the founder of Literary Freedom, LLC where she uses spoken word and literacy access to empower communities to create and demand sustainable change.

  • Annette Daniels Taylor
    Annette Daniels Taylor
    Poet, Author, Theater Artist & Filmmaker

    Annette Daniels Taylor is an award-winning theater artist, poet, and artist-filmmaker. The author of the children’s series The Marvelous Marvella J.Q: Marvella Finds Her Magic (west44books, 2022) about an Afro-latina who talks to animals, and her novels in verse, Shoot the Storm (west44books, 2022) and Dreams on Fire (west44books, 2018). As a filmmaker, Annette’s cinematic poems are screened and exhibited internationally. Her poems are featured in The Poetry Collection of the University at Buffalo Libraries, and in New York’s 15th “Three Poems” chapbook series. Other titles include Street Pharmacist and Other Poetic Tales; and Hush Now: Poems to Read Aloud. Annette teaches Writing for Broadcast at SUNY Buffalo State College Communication Department, and Acting with D’Youville University’s Dramatic Theater Arts MFA program, and is a recipient of the Creatives Rebuild New York Artist Employee Program.

  • Amanda Kelly
    Amanda Kelly
    Author & Poet

    Amanda Kelly is a WNY native, UB alumna, and current graduate student in D’Youville University’s occupational therapy program. Amanda is an author of poetry, short stories and fiction. In 2021 her short story “Between Cursed and Cured” was published in the print anthology Pages Penned in Pandemic. Her short story “Cracked Brown Tile” won the Scribblers literary prize in 2015.

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