Off Minor Jazz Series: Thelonious Monk

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

The Monktet celebrates Thelonious!
Thelonious Sphere Monk is one of America’s most iconic and original artists. To celebrate his birthday (October 10th), Pittsburgh musicians Thomas Wendt and David Throckmorton have assembled a new quintet—the Monktet—to perform some Monk. With varying instrumentation between tunes, the group shares their unique take on Monk’s extensive catalog, playing with well-known classics as well as showcasing obscure gems.

Queer Nature Presented by Autumn House Press

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology amplifies and centers LGBTQIA+ voices and perspectives in a collection of contemporary nature poetry. Showcasing over two hundred queer writers from the nineteenth century to today, Queer Nature offers a new context for and expands upon the canon of nature poetry while also offering new lenses through which to view queerness and the natural world.
Artists from the collection join us live at City of Asylum as well as virtually from their homes across the country. 

Mark Rylance: Live at Alphabet City

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Sir Mark Rylance is one of the most decorated stage and screen actors in the world, and a favorite of City of Asylum cofounders Henry Reese and Diane Samuels. Mark visits the Alphabet City stage to read selections from City of Asylum writers-in-residence Horacio Castellanos Moya, Huang Xiang, Rama, Osama Alomar, and Tuhin Das—along with one of Rylance's favorite poets Robert Bly.
This is an incredibly special and unique afternoon, just for the City of Asylum community, and we hope you'll join us.

World Music Series: Taak Ensemble

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

To celebrate National Hafez Day (October 12th in Iran), Taak Ensemble pays homage to this legendary 14th-century poet, weaving his poetry into their performance of classical and folk Persian music. 
Rooted in Persian music, history, and poetry, Taak Ensemble creates their own unique sound using vocals, tombak (Perisan goblet drum), santur (Persian dulcimer), and tar (Persian lute). Having performed at numerous music festivals, universities, and cultural institutions around the country, this concert marks Taak’s debut at City of Asylum.

Jill Bialosky & Lynn Steger Strong

City of Asylum @ Home

What would life be without pondering ambition, art, family, and desire? Novelists Jill Bialosky and Lynn Steger Strong explore these themes and more in their latest respective novels, The Deceptions and Flight.

Freedom To Create Gala featuring Orhan Pamuk

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Each year we gather at Alphabet City to honor an international writer or artist who has overcome efforts to limit their creative freedom. This year’s honoree is Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk.

Yiyun Li: The Book of Goose

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Yiyun Li is the author of ten books, including Where Reasons End (Winner, PEN/Jean Stein Book Award) and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Winner, Guardian First Book Award). Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages, and her honors and awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Windham Campbell Prize, and more. In 2022, Yiyun was named as the director of Princeton University’s Program in Creative Writing and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.