Loading Programs

« All Programs

  • This Program has passed.

Free Association Reading Series: Inga Schmidt, Romella Kitchens, Derek Maiolo, & Chauna Craig

January 7 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST

Free Association Reading Series Pittsburgh

The Free Association Reading Series returns for its first 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 Inga Lea Schmidt, Romella Kitchens, Derek Maiolo, and Chauna Craig. 

About the Authors:

Inga Lea Schmidt is a poet and public library worker in Pittsburgh. She proudly serves as a union officer for Local 9562 which represents several workplaces, including Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums. She won an AWP Intro Journals Project Award, the Enoch Pratt Poetry Prize, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University. Her poems can be found in Kenyon Review, Forklift, Ohio, Black Warrior Review, HOBART, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. Find more at ingaleaschmidt.com.

Romella Kitchens is a Pittsburgh-based writer who has made a lifetime vocation of the written word in various forms. Romella has created performance art but also done poetry which deals with the common condition. She has performed and read poetry with poets such as Ed Ochester, Terrance Hayes, Gerald Stern and many others. Her work has been published multiple times in Uppagus Online and the Coal Hill Review. She has been published in The California Quarterly, Brevity, and numerous other online publications including the University of Pittsburgh’s Hot Metal Bridge online. She has published 4 chapbooks of poetry and has presented poetry in many classroom and community center environments as well as before the emeritus Pittsburgh Poetry Society. For many years she was a panel judge for the Pittsburgh level of Poetry Out Loud. Her poetry has been published internationally with celebrity authors such as Billy Collins, Marilyn Monroe and others in the important French periodical “Van Gogh’s Ear.” Her work has been anthologized or included in 3 Autumn House poetry selections. She is a graduate with 3 Masters Degrees in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and is a playwright as well as a poet.

Derek Maiolo received his MFA from Chatham University, where was the 2021-2023 Margaret Whitford Fellow. His writing appears in High Country News, The Denver Post, and The Portland Review, among others. He lives with his boyfriend in Pittsburgh but can’t stop writing about his Colorado hometown.

Chauna Craig is the author of the story collections The Widow’s Guide to Edible Mushrooms and Wings and Other Things, both published by Press 53. Her fiction has appeared most recently in the anthologies Flash Fiction America and Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene and in the literary journals Jellyfish Review and CHEAP POP. She teaches and directs the honors college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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. 

Share this:


January 7
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST
Program Category:
Program Tags:


City of Asylum
(412) 435-1110
View Organizer Website


Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15212United States
+ Google Map

Want to follow news about theExiled Writer and Artist Residency Program at City of Asylum? Sign up for our email list to receive news updates, information about our upcoming programs, and more!