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Free Association Reading Series March 2024

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

This month’s Free Association Reading features exceptional regional writers Jane Bernstein, Ace Boggess, Doralee Brooks, and Jane McCafferty. This series features readings from regional 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. 

About the Authors:

Jane Bernstein’s most recent book for adults, The Face Tells the Secret, was named one of the top 15 books of 2020 by Hadassah Magazine. She is also an essayist, a lapsed screenwriter, and—with the publication of Gina from Siberia, co-written with her daughter—a newcomer to the world of children’s books. Her grants and awards include two National Endowment Fellowships in Creative Writing and a Fulbright Fellowship. She is a professor of English and a member of the Creative Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University. Visit www.janebernstein.net to read some of her shorter work.

Ace Boggess is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy. His writing has appeared in Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Hanging Loose, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble. His seventh collection, Tell Us How to Live, is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.

Doralee Brooks is a facilitator for the Madwoman in the Attic poetry workshops at Carlow University and professor emerita of the Community College of Allegheny County in developmental studies. She is a fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project (‘95) and Cave Canem (‘97 and ‘99). Doralee holds an MEd from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from Carlow University. Her poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies including Voices from the Attic, Paterson Literary Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Uppagus. Doralee’s chapbook, When I Hold You Up to the Light, won the 2019 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest published by Main Street Rag. She is City of Asylum’s Poet Laureate of Allegheny County 2022–2024.

Jane McCafferty’s first collection of poems, The Sea Lion Who Saved the Boy Who Jumped from the Golden Gate, was published by Saddle Road Press in late 2023. She is also the author of two story collections and two novels. Her work has received an NEA, two Pushcarts, several Pushcart special mentions, the Drue Heinz prize, the Great Lakes Writers Award, and the Talking Writing award for non-fiction. More recent work has appeared in The Sun, The Common, Iowa Review, and the journal formerly known as Crazy Horse. She is a contributing journalist and photographer for Tiny Day, the tiniest international newspaper on Earth. She spent years on a novel that didn’t work out, and she is trying to decide what to do next. She teaches writing at Carnegie Mellon and at Carlow’s Madwomen in the Attic.

About the Curators:

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 City), 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), 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 is open for dinner from 5–9pm. Please visit Open Table or call 412-435-1111 to make a reservation.

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


Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15212United States
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