Story Club PGH Story Slam: Heat of the Moment

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Join City of Asylum and Story Club Pittsburgh for a new monthly nonfiction storytelling series, mixing the spontaneity of an open mic with the experience of live theater. Organized and hosted by the former producers of The Moth Pittsburgh. 
Every show has both spontaneous tellers and featured performers, all taking the stage to share stories based on a theme.

Kente All-Stars II. Presented by Kente Arts Alliance

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Kente All-Stars II rounds out Kente’s Summer Madness Series and its spotlight on renowned jazz musicians from the region. This all-star formation includes three of Pittsburgh’s most recognized and favored artists: Dwayne Dolphin, bass; Tom Wendt, drums; and Alton Merrill, piano. Joining them as their special guest is alto saxophonist Antonio Hart.

Actors Talk August Presented by August Wilson House: Jonathan Berry and Chuck Timbers

City of Asylum @ Home

These two Pittsburgh actors are featured in “Jitney,” playing into September, 2022, in the theater in the back of August Wilson House in the Hill District. The interview is a stimulating, smart discussion, especially of the father-son emotions of Booster (Berry) and Doub (Timbers), as well as in the many other August Wilson plays they have done for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras & Elaine Castillo

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

A grandfather who was said to move clouds with his mind…his daughter who lost her memory in a childhood accident and began to see and hear the dead…and his daugter’s daughter, Ingrid, who lost her memory in an accident at twenty-three and unlike her mother, returned with no supernatural gifts…  NY Times best selling author Ingrid Rojas Contreras dives into her own family history in her new memoir, The Man Who Could Move Clouds, and explores the meaning of inheritance, healing, and the power of story.
Joined in conversation by Elaine Castillo, whose new collection of essays, How to Read Now, delves into the politics and ethics of reading and insists that we are capable of something better: a more engaged relationship not just with our fiction and our art, but with our buried and entangled histories. 

Bunker Projects Panel: Home/Making

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Art is often characterized as a “labor of love”—working artists are often challenged with professional precarity yet expected to commit entirely to their craft. Grants, residencies, galleries, and museums support such cultural workers but often overlook the unique needs of and demands faced by one important group: parent artists. 
In this panel, Alisha B. Wormsley and Lenka Clayton, two Pittsburgh-based mothers and working artists, address the unique needs of parent artists in different ways. Moderated by Bunker Projects’ board member Tara Fay Coleman, an artist and mother herself, Wormsley and Clayton discuss how they navigate these roles in their studios, homes, and the residency programs they run.

Errata

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Errata is a contemporary jazz trio that moves between highly formalized composition and intuitive improvisation. Formed in 2017 in Chicago by guitarist, cellist, and composer Ishmael Ali and rounded out by close friends Eli Namay and Bill Harris, the trio combines elements of jazz, 20th-century classical music, and improvised music with rhythmic language influenced by Steve Lehman and Henry Threadgill. Their music exists between discernibility and noise, regularity and irregularity. A listening experience for all styles of jazz fans. 

Maud Newton & Geeta Kothari: Writing About Family

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Maud Newton’s ancestors have vexed and fascinated her since she was a girl. Her mother’s father, who came of age in Texas during the Great Depression, was said to have married thirteen times and been shot by one of his wives. Her mother’s grandfather killed a man with a hay hook and died in an institution. An ancestor was accused of being a witch in Puritan-era Massachusetts. In her debut book, Ancestor Trouble, Newton uses genealogy—a once-niche hobby that has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry—to expose the secrets and contradictions of her own family and to argue for the transformational possibilities of reclaiming and reckoning with our ancestors. 
In conversation with Geeta Kothari.

Jonathan Presented by ReelQ Film Festival

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Jonathan spends his days caring for his father, Burghardt, who is terminally ill. Burghardt’s outlook is bleak until an old friend, Ron, shows up, and Jonathan learns that his father and Ron were perhaps more than just friends. Can Jonathan come to terms with his father’s sexuality? Will newly revealed truths bring a father and son together or tear them apart? Released in 2017, Jonathan is a beautifully shot German film that was awarded the Audience Award (Best Gay Film) at the Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival as well as the Jury Prize (First Feature) at the San Francisco LGBT International Film Festival.

Dubravka Ugrešić: Thank you for Not Reading

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Thank You for Not Reading is a biting critique of book publishing: agents, subagents, and scouts, supermarket-like bookstores, Joan Collins, book fairs that have little to do with books, and authors promoted because of sex appeal instead of merit.  Nowadays, the best strategy for young authors wanting to publish is to become famous in some other capacity first. Ugrešić argues that the cultural forces like listicles and celebrity book clubs, the publishing machine neglects literature in favor of accessible, entertaining books for the masses.

Poetry’s Geographies

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Poetry’s Geographies is an anthology of translations featuring some of the most prominent poet-translators from both sides of the Atlantic. It’s not only a collection of gorgeous poetry in translation, it’s also a series of essays on the craft of translation that foregrounds the role of translators as bridge-builders and activists. 
The collection is organized around the translators, with essays discussing the poetics and politics of their translations. 

Morgan Talty: Night of the Living Rez

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy.
In twelve striking, luminescent stories, author Morgan Talty--with searing humor, abiding compassion, and deep insight--breathes life into tales of family and community bonds as they struggle with a painful past and an uncertain future. A boy unearths a jar that holds an old curse, which sets into motion his family's unraveling; a man, while trying to swindle some pot from a dealer, discovers a friend passed out in the woods, his hair frozen into the snow; and two friends, inspired by Antiques Roadshow, attempt to rob the tribal museum for valuable root clubs.

Angie Cruz: How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Angie Cruz is a novelist and editor. Her novel, Dominicana, was the inaugural book pick for Good Morning America book club and chosen as the 2019/2020 Wordup Uptown Reads. It was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, The Aspen Words Literary Prize, a RUSA Notable book and the winner of the ALA/YALSA Alex Award in fiction. It was named most anticipated/ best book in 2019 by Time, Newsweek, People, Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Esquire. She’s published shorter works in The Paris Review, VQR, Callaloo, Gulf Coast and other journals. She's the founder and Editor-in-chief of the award winning literary journal, Aster(ix)  and is currently an Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh. She divides her time between Pittsburgh, New York, and Turin.