City of Asylum to offer a summer series of readings, music, theater and more
PITTSBURGH, PA—April 29, 2014: City of Asylum (COA) presents Summer on Sampsonia, a series of readings, music, theater and more starting in mid-June. The performances will take place in the Alphabet City™ Tent, COA’s pop-up event space at 318 Sampsonia Way; many are free.

Download complete press release (PDF).

Highlights of the summer series include:

June 19: Cave Canem Poets
Since 2010, this popular annual reading at City of Asylum has introduced hundreds of Pittsburgh fans to the leading edge of African-American poets and poetry. This year’s reading will feature Patricia Smith, Tim Seibles, and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon.

June 28 & 29: Allstar Refugee Band and Archa Theater.
The Prague-based music-theater collective will collaborate with individuals from Pittsburgh’s refugee communities to tell their stories in an original production. The project, a community-based artist residency funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and ARTPlace America, will also include local actors, singers, instrumentalists, performers, and makers in all aspects of design, production and presentation.

July 12: Writers in the Gardens
Now in its eighth year, this unique annual event features literary readings staged in Northside gardens. Curated by Jim Daniels, this year’s featured writers are Craig Bernier, Leslie Ann McIlroy, Dave Newman, Wendy Paff, and Jamar Thrasher.

July 15: Oliver Lake
The composer and jazz saxophonist, in town for several weeks in July as part of his Community-based artist residency, will jam with some of his Pittsburgh colleagues on July 15.

Mr. Lake will return to City of Asylum in September to direct the 10th Jazz-Poetry Concert on September 6, which will feature the Oliver Lake Big Band. Lake is a 2014 Doris Duke Artist, and has received both the Mellon Jazz Legend Award and a Guggenheim fellowship.

About City of Asylum
Founded in 2004, City of Asylum is a model for arts-based community development, bringing writers, readers and neighbors together through global literature and cultural exchange. Located on Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh’s Northside, City of Asylum’s campus of redeveloped houses serve both as homes for exiled writers and as public artworks. It has presented more than 250 authors and musicians from 42 countries in free readings and concerts. Sampsonia Way, the publishing arm of City of Asylum, specializes in banned books in translation and anthologies of contemporary writing from countries where free speech is under threat; sampsoniaway.org, its online journal of free speech, literature, and justice serves as a virtual home for persecuted writers and serves a growing global audience online.






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