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Free Association Reading Series February 2024

February 4 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST

The Free Association Reading Series returns for its second installment of 2024. This series features a collection of intimate readings from local authors, sharing established and forthcoming works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Each month’s writers are invited by Free Association founders and friends of City of Asylum, Pat Hart and Marc Nieson. The duo’s combined experience in the writing realm and love of the craft provides an essential and personal element to the series’ curation, bringing forth some of the very best writers the Pittsburgh scene has to offer. This month’s program features exceptional local writers Lainy Carslaw, Richard Hamilton, Hallie Pritts, Robert Walicki.

About the Authors:

Hallie Pritts is a writer from Pittsburgh. She’s a Sewanee Writers’ Conference alum, a former artist-in-residence in New Zealand, a Chautauqua Writers Festival fellow, and the recipient of the Composing Your Life music and writing fellowship from the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s, Off Assignment, Barrelhouse, The Fourth River, The Belladonna, and Points in Case, among others. She used to be in a band. 

Robert Walicki‘s work has appeared in over 50 journals, including Pittsburgh City Paper, Fourth River, Chiron Review, and Evening Street Review. A two time Pushcart and a Best of The Net nominee, Robert’s latest full length collection, Fountain, was released from Main Street Rag Press.

Richard Hamilton (he/they) was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and raised in the American south. He received an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama and an MA in Arts and Politics from New York University. Hamilton is the author of Rest of Us (Re-Center Press, 2021). His book, Discordant (Autumn House Press, 2023), was the winner of the 2022 Center for African American Poetry and Poetics’ book prize. He has received fellowships and awards from Oscar and Gene Derwood, the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, the Cave Canem foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, among others. He holds the 2023-2025 post-doctoral creative writing fellowship at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. Hamilton lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

Lainy Carslaw, by day, is an aspiring novelist, essayist, editor and writing coach. Her work has been published with Causeway Lit, The Sandy River Review, Brevity, Pink Pangea, The Nasty Woman Anthology and several editions of The Madwomen in the Attic Anthologies. She is also a regular contributor to her local newspaper, The Hampton News. By night, she is a gymnastics coach in her family’s business that welcomes over 1,200 students into its doors each week. At all times, she is the mom of three amazing boys. She holds a poetry degree from The University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Fiction from Chatham University. Currently, she is attempting to get her novel published, editing a memoir by the lawyer who represented Teenie Harris in this historic Pittsburgh case, and finishing a collection of essays about working with family.

About Pat and Marc:

Pat Hart is the founder of Free Association and writes plays, short stories, and novels. She is currently revising Mala, an historical novel set in 1925 about an elephant, her Burmese handler, and the people they encounter as they travel from Burma, to England, through Pittsburgh and ultimately the Barnum and Bailey Circus in St. Louis. Playwriting credits include “Book Wench,” a one-act play, performed at the Strawberry One-Act Festival, New York, New York and “Murderous,” a 10-minute monologue, performed at Practice Monologamy, Carlow University. Published short stories include “The Reader,” Every Day Fiction, “The Vigil,” The Writing Disorder, “New Wife vs. Old Wife, a love story,” and “Dragon Boogers,” novel excerpt in Voices in the Attic, and “Spider Ball,” Rune.

Marc Nieson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and NYU Film School. His background includes children’s theater, cattle chores, and a season with a one-ring circus. He’s won a Raymond Carver Short Story Award, Pushcart Prize nominations, and been noted in Best American Essays. SCHOOLHOUSE: Lessons on Love & Landscape, is his memoir (Ice Cube Press 2016). He teaches at Chatham University, edits The Fourth River, and is at work on a new novel, HOUDINI’S HEIRS. More @ www.marcnieson.com

About Your Visit: 

The in-house restaurant 40 North opens at 5pm.

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February 4
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST
Program Category:


Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15212United States
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