Jonathan Presented by ReelQ Film Festival

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

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.

Midnight’s Children’s Children: Writers on Salman Rushdie

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Join City of Asylum and fiction writers Amitava Kumar, Kiran Desai, and Suketu Mehta to reflect on Salman’s legacy from his imaginative use of language and joyousness in his fiction, to his belief that writing allows us to cross borders and learn from one another, to his commitment to promoting literature that allows our society to safely grapple with social injustices.
This program is a celebration of Salman Rushdie, the legacy of his literary work and advocacy, and a commitment to the power and necessity of the written word.

American Sufi Music Project

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

The American Sufi Music Project is an exploration and celebration of the connection between original Sufi compositions and improvised Jazz. Featuring readings of Rumi poetry and traditional Sufi dancers (twirlers). This will be an evening of genres mixing, improvisation, and rhythmic music.

Morgan Talty: Night of the Living Rez

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

This is a virtual-only event
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, United States

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.

Gary Shteyngart: Our Country Friends

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Award winning author Gary Shteyngart visits City of Asylum in person to read from and discuss his NY Times best-selling novel Our Country Friends. 
In the rolling hills of upstate New York, a group of friends and friends-of-friends gather in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, relationships will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate what matters most. 
The unlikely cast of characters includes a Russian-born novelist; his Russian-born psychiatrist wife; their precocious child obsessed with K-pop; a struggling Indian American writer; a wildly successful Korean American app developer; a global dandy with three passports; a Southern flamethrower of an essayist; and a movie star, the Actor, whose arrival upsets the equilibrium of this chosen family.
The novel is elegiac and very, very funny, and Gary’s visit promises to be just as ripe with emotion and laughs. 

Dubravka Ugrešić: Thank you for Not Reading

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Neustadt Prize winning author Dubravka Ugrešić joins us to read from and discuss her newest work "Thank You for Not Reading." A very funny and biting critique of book publishing: agents, subagents, and scouts, supermarket-like bookstores, book fairs that have little to do with books, and authors promoted because of sex appeal instead of merit, this collection is a perfect examination for modern day readers. In conversation with Nina Herzog from the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Pittsburgh Live/Ability: Encounters in Poetry & Prose

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Pittsburgh Live/Ability: Encounters in Poetry and Prose is a literary collection that reflects the realities of life for Pittsburghers with disabilities. It is the creative culmination of two years of connection and work between 11 multilingual, multiply disabled, and multiply abled Pittsburgh writers and 11 Pittsburghers with disabilities. It is an intimate collaboration recounting what it means to translate oneself into an abled world, and the dynamic and textured diversity of lives pursued in our city. 

DISSIDENCE: Exiled Writers on Resistance & Risk

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Russian poet Dmitry Bykov nearly died in a poisoning, then found himself banned from teaching and pursuing his work as a public figure. Essayist Pwaangulongii Dauod received death threats for writing about queer culture in his native Nigeria. Cartoonist Pedro X. Molina watched as Nicaraguan state forces jailed his colleagues and occupied the offices of the newspaper where he published his work. Novelist Anouar Rahmani was threatened with imprisonment for writing about human rights in Algeria. 
All four were forced to flee their homelands and live in the US Cities of Asylum network (Pittsburgh, Ithaca, and Detroit). Now all four share the stage for the first time, sharing their experiences, their writings, and their commitments to creative freedom of expression. 

I Am (Romance): Ukrainian theater in translation

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

In Ukrainian author Mykola Khvylovy's 1924 novel "I am (Romance)," the head of the local Cheka sentences his mother to death in the name of the ideals of the revolution. In 2022, Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine in the name of protecting the “Motherland.” As a result of his ideals, millions of Ukrainians are now displaced. 

5 Ukrainian theater artists, now known as the Slovo Theater Group,  have spent a 5-week residency  in Pittsburgh with playwright Audrey Rose Dégez interpreting Khyvlovy’s work into performance. 

Poetry in Concert: Contemporary Chamber Music with Imani Winds

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

The dynamic and twice Grammy nominated Imani Winds have led a revolution and evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing, dedication to new works from composers of color, imaginative collaborations, and programming concerts that speak to contemporary social justice issues.
Imani Winds joins us to close LitFest 2022 by performing an all new lineup of works inspired by and interweaving dynamic pieces of poetry.

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