When The Wizard of Oz Breaks Out into a Gun Battle: An Interview with Scotty Lewis, Author of Arkansas Ghoulash

Posted in Events, Interviews, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2017 by 6GPress

Mark Spitzer says,

Hey, my grad students in poetry just did a kick-ass interview with Scotty on his book.

& here it is. Mark & Scotty will read from their new books Sunday, December 17th at White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield, along with locals Alan Olifson, Angele Ellis, John Menesini, & Rick Claypool.

When The Wizard of Oz Breaks Out into a Gun Battle:

An Interview with Scotty Lewis, Author of Arkansas Ghoulash

By Drew Cook, Énbarr Coleman, Callie Smith, Briget Laskowski, JJ McNiece, and Mikayla Davis

 

Scotty Lewis, a lecturer in Writing at the University of Central Arkansas, was recently featured at the Faulkner County Library in Conway for a “Debut-Break-Out-Book-Readin-Book-Signin Bonanza.” Hot off the press from Six Gallery Press in Pittsburgh, Arkansas Ghoulash is his first book, and it wasn’t an easy story to tell. On one hand, the narrative revolves around a tragic act of domestic violence; but on the other, it is a daring and complex epic poem in the postmodern tradition that relies on lyrical flashes from a highly unnatural “natural state.” After a dramatic reading that blew his audience away, Lewis responded to questions—an opportunity that graduate students in Creative Writing from the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop conveniently exploited:

Drew Cook: One of things you do in Arkansas Ghoulash is you take established forms and then you kind of collage them together so they’re not visually recognizable and all that’s left is the music. It’s really a high Modernist approach. I’m interested in how you arrived at that strategy, and if there were any difficulties and advantages in doing so.

Scotty Lewis: There are a lot of things that make poetry good or bad but one of the key things is music. Do I like improvisation? Of course. We like jazz but we also like form. The best improvisation realizes that there’s form, and it breaks it. The best improvisation realizes form. In a way this caused major difficulties because I might have preferred a straight narrative, but I don’t know if it would have worked that way. Emotionally, it was hard for me to do even as abstract as it is. If I turned this into a very straightforward story, I don’t know that I could have done it. Playing with the music of it, playing with the feeling of it, being able to be lyrical in different ways… it helped me capture the feel of it.

Énbarr Coleman: What stuck out most to me was the mention of the Berlin Wall because I noticed that you had a lot of these violent images, a lot of nature, and also soft and gentle stuff. Then suddenly you’ve got the Berlin Wall and things of that nature thrown in. In my opinion, it went from this very local poem to much grander, much more international. I was curious to hear your thoughts on that.

Lewis: There were several markers. The Berlin Wall is in there. Tiananmen Square is in there. There are a few big events of the time that were in there. If you go through the book, there are about seven or eight of those in there. Part of those are to mark time. This is the era that we’re talking about. This is the time we’re talking about. This poem jumps around a lot. Even tonight—and I didn’t want to stop and indicate necessarily because it would have broken up the rhythm of it—but there are places in the part I read tonight that weren’t necessarily sticking to one timeline. Those markers were put in there to anchor the reader in a certain time. They were also in there not only to give a sense of the violence that was taking place and erupting in my household, but also that was erupting around the world. The two things may not be related really, but they seem related. I mean, I grew up in the 1980s, so I certainly didn’t grow up with a cell phone, but I did grow up with a television. I did grow up with a Commodore 64. I grew up with enough technology to always be in touch with what was going on in the world. So I don’t think there is such a thing as living a completely local life anymore.

Callie Smith: The epic form of Arkansas Ghoulash is unusual in contemporary poetry—you don’t see that much. How did you decide on writing in this epic form? What were the challenges and what did it buy you?

Lewis: That’s such an interesting question. While it is the length of an epic, I think I really fell short on a lot of the other elements, but I did sort of want to include some aspects of the epic while writing it. I do think, in a sense, there is a journey to the underworld and an attempt, at least, to come back. So what inspired me to do that? I don’t know, but my favorite epic poem is The Odyssey, which I refer to in the poem. And I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it in short form. I didn’t want to do it as necessarily sixty poems about the same event. I thought it needed space to grow . . . But I was also keeping a lot of different forms in mind. Within the text, there are places where sonnets, blank verse, where American haiku is hidden—where a lot of smaller forms are actually talking back and forth to each other.

JJ McNiece: I felt a hyperpolarization with your imagery as you read. On one end: brutal, severe violence. On the other: soft, sweet calm. It seemed that the beginning displayed more of the brutal imagery, while the images during the violent event itself were often softer, though interspersed with the brutal. At the end, I felt the imagery gravitated almost exclusively toward that sweet, softer side. I’m curious what your conscious decisions are with imagery and language as you’re going through this? What are you trying to accomplish?

Lewis: I was trying to accomplish a balance. If this is going to be genuine, I don’t think I can gloss over the violence. This was a very violent incident. So, even the things surrounding it, even the consciousness of the narrator while he looks into other things—simple things—notices violence more, even in the landscape. I hope, too, that there are softer parts. I don’t know that I made a conscious decision to polarize those things, but both exist. Do I decide to make softer images? I do, but I don’t know that I think about it that much. I try to make a pretty image now and then. I like to make images. I think it’s a stronger suit of my poetry.

Briget Laskowski: My question deals with images, particularly the images you have on page 63 and 64 where you use the Tin Man image. In fact you even take his words, “Just because I’m presumin’ / That I could be a human / If I only had a heart,” and then on page 64 you have Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. What were you attempting to communicate using these images?

Lewis: Those were domestic images. I wanted to make sure people understood what those images were about. It was very close, very in the home. It was The Wizard of Oz breaking out into a gunfight. It was Loony Tunes in a certain sense. I was fifteen years old. I was really just crawling into adolescence . . . I felt like a child. So I wanted to make sure that things we associated with children like Mickey Mouse and The Wizard of Oz were there. Another reason for The Wizard of Oz specifically, was the year this happened my brother was extremely talented, very handsome, and he was beginning his acting career, and his acting career launched off partially from his acting in plays at our school. Probably his biggest role was as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Actually, in the yearbook for the next year there was a full page spread of my brother as the Tin Man.

Mikayla Davis: Many of your poems use natural imagery juxtaposed with very human, sometimes even mechanical imagery, so I was wondering what purpose you see that relationship playing in your poems? And what is humanity’s position in relationship with nature, for you?

Lewis: I think we’re way past being romantics about it. I think that would be disingenuous. I think that would be a lie. I love nature. I love going out. I love to fish, I love to hike. Those of you who know me know I love to be outside, but I always see it diminishing. I don’t really see our efforts to fight it as being very good or even very genuine. I mean, we’re part of nature, right? And so anything we see, if there are mechanical images mixed in with the natural—what we make is as much a part of nature as an ant making an anthill or beaver making a beaver dam. It might be more complicated in the way we do it, but we’re part of nature. We’re just one of those things in nature that really knows how to screw things up. We’re like termites. We’re going to keep eating at the tree until we kill it.

10/28 Spooky Party! @ Copacetic Comics

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , on October 24, 2017 by 6GPress

7PM SATURDAY…

Hold onto your hats, because from 7:00 to 9:00pm on the evening of Saturday, October 28, SPOOKY PARTY returns to Copacetic! On hand for this year’s party are: CMU alum, and globetrotting multidisciplinary artist, Juliacks, who is coming through town to celebrate the release of her category-defying work, The Architecture of an Atom, just released by 2dCloud; erstwhile Pittsburgh-resident, Blaise Larmee, who will likewise be premiering his new book, 2001, also from 2dCloud; the indefatigable Nate McDonough, who will – naturellement! – be premiering a new comics work; Dan McCloskey, who has returned to home base after a year of nearly non-stop traveling and adventure, just in time to finish up a short piece of comics that will premiere here; Nils Balls, who is, as we type, burning the midnight oil to get his latest project ready for the Spooky Party deadline; and… who knows who else might have a new comic to premiere? Be prepared!

10/25 The Bridge Series w/ Matcho, Brea, & Young @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25…

The Bridge Series unites the Pittsburgh literary and activist communities to raise awareness and funds for local organizations fighting the good fight in these troubling times.

The series convenes the last Wednesday of each month at The Brillobox. Each installment will feature Pittsburgh’s finest writers and a special guest organization (with proceeds from the evening going directly to that organization).

$5 cover.

Tonight will feature readings from:

Adam Matcho was formerly employed as a gas station attendant, sandwich artist, novelty shop clerk, gold buyer, and obituary writer. Now, he tells people he is the poet laureate of Johnstown. His poems have been published in literary magazines and his books include: “The Novelty Essays” (WPA Press), “Six Dollars an Hour: Confessions of a Gemini Writer” (Liquid Paper Press) and “Love Songs From Flood City” (Low Ghost Press).

Stephanie Brea is a writer, teacher, and event organizer. She has 10+ years of experience facilitating creative writing workshops for local schools and non-profit organizations including Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Literary Arts Boom, The Warhol, Winchester Thurston, and Penn Trafford High School. Like most writers, she could list a bunch of places her work has been published, but who really reads those lists anyway? She is the co-founder of Pizza Poems PGH, which delivers hot, fresh poetry via pizza boxes for National Poetry Month in April.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he’s working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don’t. Whatever.

Our guest organization for the evening is Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania.

The mission of Planned Parenthood of Western PA (PPWP) is to provide comprehensive and complementary health care to those in need of services; disseminate information about human sexuality and the need for family planning and responsible parenthood; and advocate public policies which guarantee these rights and ensure access to such services. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-western-pennsylvania

& here’s a Littsburgh interview w/ Meghan Tutolo, who put this one together.

10/26 Nancy Chen Long, Bob Walicki, & Angele Ellis @ City of Asylum

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26…

Join us for a poetry reading exploring themes of cultural and class identity.

The fluid nature of identity as it changes through time as well as through familial and societal influences,” as Indiana poet Nancy Chen Long defines her work, is a common thread linking her to Pittsburgh poets Angele Ellis and Robert Walicki. Chen Long—an engineer and the immigrant daughter of a Taiwanese mother and American father, Ellis—the activist grandchild of Arab immigrants, and Walicki—whose day job as a plumber brings him into direct conflict with common notions of masculinity, add new and brilliant strands to the tapestry of American poetry.

Featured writers:

Nancy Chen Long was born in Taipei to a Taiwanese mother and an American father, and came to the U.S. at age six. A 2017 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing fellow, her first book, Light into Bodies, won the 2016 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. It touches on the fluid nature of identity as it changes through time as well as through familial and societal influences. Nancy has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, an MBA, and an MFA. She works in Research Technologies at Indiana University Her poetry has appeared in Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review, Zone 3, Briar Cliff Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Not Like the Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers, and elsewhere

Robert Walicki is a native Pittsburgher who works as a plumber. His poetry chapbooks A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet, 2016) reflect aspects of Pittsburgh’s rich working class history, and examine issues of personal and class identity. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Robert’s poetry has appeared in Vox Populi, Stone Highway Review, The Kentucky Review, Red River Review, and elsewhere. The Almost Sound of Snow Falling was nominated to the 2016 list of books for Poets House, a 70,000-volume free library in New York City.

Angele Ellis is a longtime editor and activist whose first book of poems, Arab on Radar (Six Gallery, 2007), written from her perspective as an Arab American in the aftermath of 9/11, won an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She also is author of Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook, 2011), and a tribute to her adopted city, Under the Kaufmann’s Clock: Fiction, Poems, and Photographs of Pittsburgh, with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery, 2016). Angele is co-author of Dealing With Differences (Corwin, 1997), an alternative curriculum named as a top multicultural classroom resource by The Christian Science Monitor, and is a contributing editor to Al Jadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts.

9/24 Pittsburgh Zine Fair @ Union Project

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2017 by 6GPress

2-8PM TODAY…

The Seventh Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair (PZF) returns to the Union Project (801 N Negley Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206) on Sunday, September 24, from 2 – 8pm. This event is free and open to the public!

Exhibitors:
The Big Idea Bookstore, Inc, Toi Scott, Christina Lee, Lumpo Art, Em DeMarco & Banyan Ouldage, Evey in Orbit, Laura PallMall, Anna Strain, Nikita Zook, Yung Mulatto, Nate McDonough, Lizzy Nolin Designs, Jenna Houston, Braddock Hills High School Creative Writing Class, Graciela Sarabia, Sophia Pappas, Cecilia Ebitz, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Assemble Girl’s Maker Night, Tess Wilson, Bill Wehmann, Lizzee Solomon Studios, Haunted Meat, Kyla Kemmerer, Evelyn Pandos, Aaron Regal, MARK, Alecia Ott, Teach the Free Man How to Praise, Laura Salgarolo, Cynthia Lee, Laughing Redhead Studio, Jimmy Riordan, Paul Peng, Jordan gg Chu, Hyacinth Girl Press, Vanessa Adams, Nsai Temko, Maggie Negrete, Joshua Rievel, Martel Edwell, Anna Shepperson, Jerome Charles & Max Gonzales, Adam & Fred, Tall Flower Studios (Aaron Hayes, Ua Hayes, Yona Harvey), Sienna Cittadino, Lily Fulop, Katie Krulock, Stephanie Tsong, Jayla Patton, Vagabond Comics, Ryan Elizabeth, DBQ (Alex Lukas & Leah Mackin), Theora Kvitka, Nginyu Ndimbie, negi.space (Asia Bey & Mont Tucker), Terese & Ana Jungle, Mihalkotron, David Watt, Frenemy Press, Seth LeDonne, Annesley Williams, Melissa Rogers, Jennifer Lisa, S & J Comics (Jamie Straw & Sara Cole), City Slicker Press, Hell Yeah Design, AIR: Artists Image Resource, Karen’s Book Row, Marina Fec, Lauren Bailey, Girls Rock! Pittsburgh, The Copacetic Comics Company, Nils Balls, Pittsburgh Comics Salon, Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh, Black Unicorn: Library and Archives Project, Steely Gayze, Cowboy House
___________________________

As part of RADical Days, Union Project’s Hands-on Ceramics Workshop runs from 2-5 pm during the Pittsburgh Zine Fair.

Explore words and language while creating with clay in a free, all-ages, drop-in workshop in the ceramics studio before or after you check out locally-created zines, comics, and chapbooks at the 7th Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair.

___________________________

Since its debut at AIR: Artists Image Resource in 2011, the PZF has attracted a diverse group of artists, writers and activists from across the region whose content may vary but the format remains the same- the zine. An icon of DIY ethos and radical info sharing, the zine decentralizes media and vaults individual expression while remaining inexpensive.

Karen Lillis says,

It’s that time of year again, the Seventh Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair is tomorrow, Sunday afternoon, September 24th. Over sixty (60+) vendors will pop up at the Union Project in Highland Park/Pittsburgh, and I’ll be there with zines, micro press, and small press literature selections. I’m also recreating last year’s success, the Memoir Table. Please come browse! There are so many cool artists, writers, librarians, & booksellers to take in. This vibrant event is free and includes FOOD TRUCKS.

9/27 Arkansas Ghoulash Launch @ Faulkner County Library + Bridge Series @ Brillobox

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2017 by 6GPress

7PM WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27…

CONWAY, AR— UCA Visiting Lecturer, Scotty Lewis, the first graduate of the MFA program in creative writing to defend his thesis at UCA, will read from his debut book at 7:00 p.m. on September 27th at the Conway Public Library. Arkansas Ghoulash, recently published by Six Gallery Press in Pittsburgh, evolved from his thesis, a highly complex and lyrical epic poem written in the form of investigative verse.

Described by Drew Cook as “at once oppressively intimate and as wide as the American South,” Arkansas Ghoulash examines the poet’s violent domestic past. Marck Beggs, author of Blind Verse, says that Lewis “displays a dazzling ability to shove poetic style and grace to the outer edges,” in a book that Lea Graham, author of Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You,” describes as “a stew of ghosts” in a “mercurial slipstream.”

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase with a signing to follow. The Faulkner County Library is located at 1900 Tyler St. in Conway. For more information please contact Nancy Allen at nancy@fcl.org or call (501) 327-7482.

8PM WEDNESDAY…

The Bridge Series unites the Pittsburgh literary and activist communities to raise awareness and funds for local organizations fighting the good fight in these troubling times.

The series convenes the last Wednesday of each month at The Brillobox. Each installment will feature Pittsburgh’s finest writers and a special guest organization (with proceeds from the evening going directly to that organization).

$5 cover.

Tonight will feature readings from:

Lisa Alexander’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including Tupelo Quarterly, 2 Bridges Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Burnside Review, BLOOM, and 5 AM among others. She holds an MFA in poetry from Drew University, and is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops. Alexander has led poetry workshops at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, California University of Pennsylvania, Drew University in Madison, NJ and the Isles YouthBuild Community Program in Trenton, NJ. She has been a sound engineer for Prosody, NPR-affiliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers for eight years and counting.

A lifelong writer, Justin Vicari is a widely published poet, critic and translator. His first collection, The Professional Weepers (Pavement Saw, 2011), won the Transcontinental Award. His work has appeared in Barrow Street, Spoon River Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Hotel Amerika, The Ledge, Oranges & Sardines, American Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, Third Coast, and other journals. He is also the author of six books of film and literary theory, including Male Bisexuality in Current Cinema: Images of Growth, Rebellion and Survival (McFarland, 2011) and Mad Muses and the Early Surrealists (McFarland, 2001). He lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

Jeff Oaks is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Mistakes with Strangers (Seven Kitchens Press, 2014), Shift (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010), The Moon of Books (Ultima Obscura Press, 2000), and The Unknown Country (State Street Press, 1992). The recipient of three Pennsylvania Council of the Arts fellowships, he has published poems most recently in Field, Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Superstition Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Tupelo Quarterly. His essays have appeared in At Length, Creative Nonfiction, Kenyon Review Online, and in the anthologies My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. He teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh.

Our guest organization for the evening is Persad Center.

PERSAD CENTER is a human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) communities, and the HIV/AIDS communities. We serve our target populations and their loved ones, cradle to grave, across western Pennsylvania, with service centers in Pittsburgh and Washington, PA.

PERSAD fulfills its missions through outreach, prevention counseling, training and advocacy services.

OUTREACH. In collaboration with allies and friends, PERSAD works to build stronger, safer, healthier communities and steer the public dialogue about LGBTQ people and issues. Our target populations have experienced stigma and discrimination and because of that they do not enjoy the same access to quality care. PERSAD reaches out to our target populations and welcomes them to receive services they need.

PREVENTION. Recognizing that LGBTQ people are at higher risk for suicide, depression, substance abuse, HIV and other STDs, homelessness, and for being the victims of violence, PERSAD has special programs to help the community be aware of their risks and to develop protective behaviors to reduce their risks.

ADVOCACY. PERSAD offers an array of Training & Advocacy consultation services that are designed to help organizations work successfully with LGBTQ consumers and employees. We are dedicated to ending discrimination and creating welcoming environments for LGBTQ people. Our Training & Advocacy services are available to health and human service professionals, schools, corporations, HR professionals, law enforcement and public safety officials.

COUNSELING. Founded in 1972, PERSAD is the nation’s second oldest licensed counseling center serving the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. PERSAD was created as an affirming counseling center to help LGBTQ people cope with the social discrimination they experienced and to receive professional counseling services without prejudice about their identity.

In the early 1980’s PERSAD added serving the HIV/AIDS communities to our mission because of the devastating impact that HIV had on the gay population of that time. PERSAD continues to serve the HIV+ individual regardless of their sexual or gender orientation.

For more on PERSAD, go to: www.persadcenter.org

Here’s a Littsburgh interview w/ Joan Bauer, who put this one together.

9/12 Crafton Awake! Angele Ellis & Bob Walicki @ Crafton Library

Posted in Events with tags , , , , on August 31, 2017 by 6GPress

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12…

Join Red Brick Poetry and The Crafton Library for our all new poetry reading series. There will be two published poets for each event, and a short time for Q&A with the authors afterward as well as a light refreshment. Join us as Crafton awakens to the power of poetry!

#CraftonAwake

Meet the poets for September:

Angele Ellis’s latest book is Under the Kaufmann’s Clock: Fiction, Poems, and Photographs of Pittsburgh, with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery Press). Angele also is the author of Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook) and Arab on Radar (Six Gallery), whose poems won her a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Robert Walicki is the curator of Versify,a monthly literary reading series at The White Whale Bookstore.in Bloomfield. His work has appeared in The Kentucky Review, Red River Review and other journals.A Pushcart nominee, he currently has two chapbooks published: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015), which was nominated to the 2016 Poet’s House in New York.

8/30 The Bridge Series w/ Springer, Alberts, & Sebak @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM WEDNESDAY…

The Bridge Series unites the Pittsburgh literary and activist communities to raise awareness and funds for local organizations fighting the good fight in these troubling times.

The series convenes the last Wednesday of each month at The Brillobox. Each installment will feature Pittsburgh’s finest writers and a special guest organization (with proceeds from the evening going directly to that organization).

$5 cover.

Tonight will feature readings from:

Christina Springer is an Alt.Black artist who uses poetry, dance, theatre, film and other visual expressions. Recent visual exhibitions have been at San Jose Martin Luther King Library, Dayton Visual Arts Center and Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Her most recent performance piece “She Diva Died. & Come Again?, was a multi-media performance exploring the challenges and joys raising of a Black man. As an arts organizer, she is the force behind The Svaha Paradox Salon which released its first anthology “Electronic Corpse: Poems From A Digital Salon” edited by M. Ayodele Heath. Her educational outreach work included four site-specific, mixed-media projects with youth at The Tower Of London. Cave Canem helped shape her voice. Springer resides in Pittsburgh where she home educates her son. www.christinaspringer.com

Renée Alberts’ poetry, music, and visual art appear in print, dance performances, live radio shows, and at least one tattoo. She is author of the poetry collections No Water and As They Fall and editor of Natural Language. As Animoon Workshop, she and co-founder Cathie Coleman create jewelry and collage to inspire your inner animal.

Rick Sebak makes unusual television programs.

His slightly wacky documentaries celebrate various aspects of modern American life and the unexpected charms of Pittsburgh. Audiences have learned to recognize his friendly narrative style and the unusual topics that he obviously loves.

He has put together twenty-two individual special programs that make up what is called the Pittsburgh History Series, including a very popular 1988 program titled “Kennywood Memories” about the wonderful old amusement park near Pittsburgh, a show called “Pittsburgh A To Z,” one titled “North Side Story,” and a much imitated documentary titled “Things That Aren’t There Anymore.”

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He grew up in Bethel Park, PA, in the suburban South Hills of Pittsburgh, and graduated from Bethel Park High School in 1971.

Our guest organization for the evening is Pittsburgh United.

“Pittsburgh United is a coalition of community, labor, faith, and environmental organizations committed to advancing the vision of a community and economy that work for all people. We aspire to create a community where all workers are able to care for themselves and raise their families, sharing in the prosperity generated by economic growth and development.

We are constantly developing organizing, education, advocacy, and communications strategies to fight and win progressive policy campaigns that ensure sustainable communities, raise standards for low-wage workers, and harness economic development and public investment for community benefit. Join us in building a better Pittsburgh for everyone.” http://pittsburghunited.org/

8/26 Salsa Night at Hilo Town Tavern Book Launch @ White Whale Books + Five Writers @ Nine Stories

Posted in Events, Recent Publications with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2017 by 6GPress

7PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 26…

Celebrate the publication of Kristofer Collins’ new poetry collection ‘Salsa Night at Hilo Town Tavern’ by Hyacinth Girl Press! Featuring readings by Chelsea Bodnar, Deesha Philyaw, Bart Solarczyk, and Kristofer Collins.

This is a FREE event. BYOB.

Chelsea Bodnar once transcribed her favorite horror movie word-for-word.

Kristofer Collins is the publisher and senior editor of Low Ghost Press. He is the books editor for Pittsburgh Magazine and a frequent contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His latest poetry collection, Salsa Night at Hilo Town Tavern was published by Hyacinth Girl Press in 2017. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Dr. Anna Johnson and their two cats.

Deesha Philyaw is the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her writing has appeared in numerous outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Full Grown People, Apogee Journal, brevity, and Dead Housekeeping. Deesha’s work includes a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016. At The Rumpus, Deesha inaugurated and curates a monthly interview column called VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color.

Bart Solarczyk grew up on Pittsburgh’s Southside & now lives in Ross Township. His poems have recently appeared in Lilliput Review, Big Hammer, Rasputin & Nixes Mate Review. His latest chapbook, Right Direction, was published in November of 2016 as one of Lilliput Review’s Modest Proposal series.

ALSO 7PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 26…

Join us for a memorable evening of words!

Scott Silsbe, Gretchen Uhrinek, Sarah Shotland, B. Diehl, & Kat Giordano are excited to share their writing with you.

Free event. BYOB. ♥

8/16 The Bridge Series (Satellite Event) @ City of Asylum

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM WEDNESDAY…

The Bridge Series is a new series uniting the Pittsburgh literary and activist communities to raise awareness and funds for local organizations. Each installment features writers from Pittsburgh and beyond and features a special guest organization, with proceeds from the evening going directly to that organization.

All Bridge Series events have a $5 cover. The proceeds from this event will go directly to The Center for Hearing & Deaf Services Inc. organization of Pittsburgh. Payment will be received at the door the day of the event.

There will be an ASL interpreter on site at this event.

Featuring readings by:

Christopher Jon Heuer – Christopher Jon Heuer is the author of Bug: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution and All Your Parts Intact: Poems, as well as the editor of the recently released Tripping the Tale Fantastic: Weird Fiction by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Writers. He was the Editor in Chief of the highly popular website Deaf Echo. His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals spanning a nearly thirty-year writing career. He is a professor of English at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. and lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and son.

Toi Derricotte – Toi Derricotte‘s most recent book is The Undertaker’s Daughter (Pitt Poetry Series). Her honors include the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The New Yorker and Poetry. With Cornelius Eady, she co-founded Cave Canem in 1996. She serves on the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors.

Katie Booth – Katie Booth’s work is forthcoming or has appeared in Aeon, Catapult, Indiana Review, Kaleidoscope, Mid-American Review, Vela, and NPR’s The Pulse, among other publications. She has received support from the Edward Albee Foundation, the Blue Mountain Center and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her essay “The Sign for This” was selected as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2016. She is currently a 2017-18 Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. Her first book, The Performance of Miracles, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.

Our guest organization:

The Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. (HDS) was established in 1920 as the League for the Hard of Hearing to provide social activities for people with a hearing loss. From these modest beginnings, HDS has evolved into southwestern Pennsylvania’s only comprehensive service center for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or have other communication needs including spoken language interpreting services. Pittsburgh Language Access Network (PLAN) is a professional interpreting service for foreign languages.

HDS’ professional staff have developed innovative programs, including the first Chemical Dependency Program for the deaf and hard of hearing population in the tri-state area, an assistive listening and signaling device demonstration and sale center, a program providing activities for deaf and hard of hearing youth, and a Hearing Aid Recycling Program. HDS works hard to ensure that the programs and services offered meet the evolving needs of our constituency.

All floors of Alphabet City are wheelchair accessible and there is a reserved parking spot. Thanks to the generous support of RAD, we also have hearing assistive systems available for all programs, by advance request. If you have questions or need accommodations, please contact Paula Simon (psimon@cityofasylumpittsburgh.org).

for more information of City of Asylum or to rsvp to the event please see their website at http://www.alphabetcity.org/events/bridgeseries/

8/12 Haiku Showdown: Cee Williams vs. Don Wentworth @ McBride Viaduct

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , on August 12, 2017 by 6GPress

6PM SATURDAY, SATURDAY, SATURDAY…

Haiku Showdown between Williams and Wentworth to Save the East Avenue Bridge, East Avenue and 12th Street, Erie, PA.

Featuring Don Wentworth Editor of the Lilliput Review and the Master of the short form and Cee Williams Poets’ Hall founder and short person…in collaboration with Civitas Erie, Erie CPR and the Haiku Erie 500 project