Archive for The Bridge Series

7/26 The Bridge Series w/ Osama Alomar, Malcolm Friend, & Lori Jakiela @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 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:

Osama Alomar – Born in Damascus, Syria in 1968 and now living in Chicago, Osama Alomar is one of the most well-respected Arabic poets writing today, and a prominent practitioner of the Arabic al-qisa al-qasira jiddan, the “very short story.” He is the author of Fullblood Arabian in English, and three collections of short stories and a volume of poetry in Arabic. Alomar’s first full-length collection of stories, The Teeth of the Comb, will be published by New Directions in April 2017. His short stories have been published by Newyorker.com, Noon, Conjunctions.com, The Coffin Factory, Electric Literature, and The Literary Review. He also performs as a musician.

Malcolm Friend – Malcolm Friend is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of the chapbook mxd kd mixtape (forthcoming, Glass Poetry), and has received awards and fellowships from organizations including CantoMundo, VONA/Voices of Our Nations, Backbone Press, and the University of Memphis. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including La Respuesta magazine, Vinyl, Word Riot, The Acentos Review, and Pretty Owl Poetry.

Lori Jakiela – Lori Jakiela is the author of three memoirs, most recently Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Atticus Books, 2015), which received the William Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University. She is also the author of a poetry collection — Spot the Terrorist! (Turning Point, 2012) — and four limited-edition poetry chapbooks. Her newest book, Portrait of the Artist as a Bingo Worker, a collection of memoir-essays about work and the writing life, will be published by Bottom Dog Press in July. Her awards include the City of Asylum-Pittsburgh Prize, which sent her on a month-long writing residency in Brussels and for which she will always be grateful. Jakiela is a professor of English and director of the writing program at Pitt-Greensburg, co-director of the Summer Writers Festival at Chautauqua Institution, and the poetry curator for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She teaches community writing workshops in her hometown, Trafford, PA, where she lives with her husband, the writer Dave Newman, and their two children. For more, visit http://lorijakiela.net/

Our guest organization for the evening is City of Asylum.

City of Asylum creates a thriving community for writers, readers, and neighbors. We provide sanctuary to endangered literary writers, so that they can continue to write and their voices are not silenced. We offer a broad range of literary programs in a variety of community settings to encourage cross-cultural exchange. We anchor neighborhood economic development by transforming blighted properties into homes for these programs and energizing public spaces through public art with text-based components.
http://cityofasylum.org/

And tonight we also have the pleasure of hosting our friends from PEN America.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
https://pen.org/

 

6/28 The Bridge Series – Corso, Yune, Krygowski, & GPLC @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28…

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:

Paola Corso is the author of poetry and fiction books set in her native Pittsburgh where her Italian immigrant family worked in the steel mills. Corso’s latest are The Laundress Catches Her Breath, winner of the Tillie Olsen Award in Creative Writing and Once I Was Told the Air Was Not for Breathing featuring steel and garment workers. Writing honors include a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowship, Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, and inclusion on Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Literary Map. She is co-founder and resident artist for Steppin Stanzas, a performing arts project celebrating Pittsburgh city steps. paolacorso.com.

As a Navy brat, Robert Yune moved 11 times by the time he turned 18. In 2012, he was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award and was one of five finalists for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. His fiction has appeared in the Green Mountains Review, the Kenyon Review, and Los Angeles Review, among others.
In the summer of 2012, he worked as a stand-in for George Takei and has worked as an extra in movies such as The Dark Knight Rises, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Father and Daughters.
Currently, he teaches at DePauw University, located in beautiful Greencastle, Indiana. His novel Eighty Days of Sunlight was nominated for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award; other nominees included Viet Thanh Nguyen, Margaret Atwood, and Salman Rushdie.

Nancy Krygowski’s first book of poems, Velocity, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. She is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, a Pittsburgh Foundation Grant, and several residencies. Krygowski teaches poetry workshops in Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic program in addition to her work as an adult ESL instructor at Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

Our guest organization for the evening is the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council’s mission is better lives through learning. Our primary focus is helping adults acquire the language and literacy skills needed to be successful neighbors, parents and workers. We provide both classroom instruction and one-on-one tutoring in reading, English, math, English as a second language, workplace skills and computers. We also help students to prepare for the high school equivalency exams. Volunteer tutors and the generosity of local businesses and individuals ensure that instruction is available free of charge to people in need. GPLC students go on to get jobs, move off the welfare rolls, attend college, complete job training and earn promotions. They give back to our community and instill the importance of education in their children. For more information, call 412-393-7600 or visit www.gplc.org.

5/31 The Bridge Series w/ Yona Harvey, Brian Broome, Cheryl Hall-Russell, & Alumni Theater Company @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM WEDNESDAY, MAY 31…

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

Plus a special performance from Alumni Theater Company!!!!

Tonight will feature readings from:

Brian Broome is a Creative Writing/English major at Chatham University. He has been published in Creative Nonfiction, The Ocean State Review and the Delta Foundation’s Pride Magazine. Brian’s work explores the topics of racism, masculinity and the African American male. He also lectures on these topics, most recently at the invitation of the University of Pittsburgh’s Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program where he gave a talk entitled, “Balls.”

Cheryl Hall-Russell, MA, MPA is the President of Black Women, Wise Women, a management consulting firm supporting female executive leaders of color. She is also a doctoral candidate at Point Park University where her work focuses on Black women executives and their coping and resilience patterns. She is transitioning out of a 24-year career in nonprofit management to Higher Ed where she plans to continue her research and teach. Her first love however, has always been writing. She has written a yet unpublished book of poetry titled “The Offspring of Anger,” and has published two books on ethnic philanthropy while a researcher at Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN. Additionally she has published in multiple peer reviewed journals and has been a frequent guest opinion columnist for both the Indianapolis Star and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Most recently her poem “Too Much” was accepted to be a part of a anthology on Black women. It is a part of a series of poems she has written on the perception of black women in America. Although she has been a poet for several decades, she only recently began to share her work in the Pittsburgh market. She has two blog sites, one for work and the other “Cheryl unscripted” that contains some of her poetry and essays.

Hall-Russell is the mother of two including a daughter, Adia, who will be a freshman at Oakland Catholic in the fall, and a grown son Cameron, who resides in her hometown of Indianapolis.

Yona Harvey’s work brings artistic expression to the diverse lives and experiences of Black American women through literature. Specifically, she explores the visibility and invisibility of Black women, their mental health and self-care, and the evidence of their imaginations in society as manifested in their hair, clothing, speech, parenting, decisions not to parent, and interactions with other women. She explores these experiences through any genre necessary.

Our guest organization for the evening is Alumni Theater Company, and Halle Donner will be on-hand to discuss their mission:

Alumni Theater Company (ATC) is a driven ensemble that creates bold theatrical work that gives fresh voice to the experience of young urban artists and highlights their rich contribution to our community. ATC’s work validates the perspective of urban youth to both its members and its audience, building an increasingly growing and diverse community of support for both the performers and their ideas. ATC is in its ninth season of operation and has presented forty-two productions since its inception.

http://www.alumnitheatercompany.org/aboutatc

Hallie Donner is the Executive Director of Alumni Theater Company (ATC). ATC is a driven ensemble that creates bold theatrical work that gives fresh voice to the experience of young urban artists and highlights their rich contribution to our community. ATC’s work validates the perspective of urban youth to both its members and its audience, building an increasingly growing and diverse community of support for both the performers and their ideas. ATC is in its ninth season of operation and has presented forty-two productions since its inception.

4/26 The Bridge Series w/ Veronica Corpuz, Deesha Philyaw, & Sarah Shotland @ Brillobox

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

8PM THIS 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:

Veronica Corpuz is a poet and multimedia artist based in Wilkinsburg. The former director of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, she has previously served as the program assistant for the Poetry Project in New York City; as adjunct professor at Naropa and Chatham universities; and as guest speaker and poet at New York University and the Kelly Writers House at University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working on a memoir of prose poems about her late husband, Michael Grzymkowski, and his battle with brain cancer.

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 on parenting, race, gender, and pop culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, EBONY, Essence, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh CityPaper, Full Grown People, brevity, Dead Housekeeping, The Establishment, Catapult, ESPN’s The Undefeated, and elsewhere. Deesha’s work includes a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016 and a forthcoming short story in Apogee Journal. At The Rumpus, she inaugurated and curates an interview column called VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color. Deesha is a fellow at the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is currently working on a novel as a well as a short story collection called The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.

Sarah Shotland is the author of the novel Junkette, and a playwright whose work has been widely produced nationally and internationally. She is the co-founder and program coordinator of the Words Without Walls program, and teaches in the MFA program at Chatham University. She’s currently working on a collection of essays about her experiences working in jails and prisons.

Our guest organization for the evening is Words Without Walls.

Words Without Walls is a creative partnership between Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, and the Allegheny County Jail, State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh, and Sojourner House, a residential treatment facility for mothers and their children. Words Without Walls teaches 18 creative writing classes per year, serving about 300 men, women, and youth annually. In addition to teaching creative writing courses, Words Without Walls publishes chapbooks and anthologies of the best of our students’ work; holds readings featuring Words Without Walls writers; and runs a reading series that brings critically acclaimed writers to Pittsburgh to engage with students. This year, Words Without Walls began the Maenad Fellowship, a new initiative that brought eight women in recovery from drugs and alcohol to Chatham’s campus for 12 weeks to take part in master classes and readings. The first cohort of the Maenad Fellowship graduated from the program just last week. The work of Words Without Walls is funded by the NEA, the NEH, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Foundation, and the Staunton Farm Foundation.

Littsburgh interviews Jen Ashburn about it here.

3/29 The Bridge Series w/ Carter-Jones, Flick, Walker, & NAMSC @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29…

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).

Plus every evening will end with a short Open Mic segment!

Tonight will feature readings from:

Sheila Carter-Jones – Sheila L. Carter-Jones taught in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and in Chatham University’s and the University of Pittsburgh’s Education Departments. She earned her BA from Carnegie Mellon University and both an M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a fellow of Cave Canem, Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and a Walter Dakins Fellow of the 2015 Sewanee Writer’s Conference. Her poetry has been published in Crossing Limits, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Pennsylvania Review, Tri-State Anthology, Riverspeak, Flights: The Literary Journal of Sinclair College, Coal: A Poetry Anthology, City Paper, Cave Canem Anthology, Jewish Currents and Voices from the Attic. She has a chapbook entitled Blackberry Cobbler Song and her manuscript Three Birds Deep was selected by Elizabeth Alexander as the 2012 winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Book Award. Her recent chapbook Crooked Star Dream Book was named runner-up for the 2013 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Contest. Currently, Sheila is working on a new manuscript of poems tentatively entitled The Newly Invented Lucky Star Dream Book and a memoir yet to be titled.

Sherrie Flick – Sherrie Flick is author of the novel Reconsidering Happiness, the flash fiction chapbook I Call This Flirting, and her latest short story collection Whiskey, Etc. (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2016). She teaches in the MFA and Food Studies programs at Chatham University, is the Co-Director of Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, and serves as Fiction Editor for Burnside Review.

Marcel Lamont Walker – Marcel Lamont (M.L.) Walker is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He works as a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, comic-book creator, writer, photographer, and art instructor.

For several years he taught comic-book creation classes, workshops and camps for children and adults at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He continues to instruct at Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, The Museum of Cartoon Art, where he is also a member of their Board of Directors.

Walker is the lead artist, book designer, and project coordinator for CHUTZ-POW! SUPERHEROES OF THE HOLOCAUST, an ongoing anthology comic-book produced by The Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh. He was also the featured artist in COMIC-TANIUM! THE SUPER MATERIALS OF THE SUPERHEROES, a sciences-and-art exhibit sponsored by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society that toured nationally in 2015. As the creator, artist and writer of the independent comic-book HERO CORP., INTERNATIONAL, he has recast his friends and associates in a world of corporate American superheroes.

In 2016, he was the recipient of a grant from the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Program courtesy of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments. He also received an Artists Opportunity Grant from The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council for his first ever solo art exhibition, To Tell The Troof.

Our guest organization tonight is NAMSC, and Amy Conroy will be onhand to discuss its mission.

As the largest resettlement program in Pittsburgh, NAMSC successfully resettles and provides new refugees with the basic services and support they need to rebuild their lives. Prior to a family’s arrival, our Reception and Placement team identifies safe and affordable housing and provides essential furnishings and household items to make families feel welcome. Upon arrival, we meet families at the airport, provide an in-depth cultural orientation, connect them to medical services, and assist with applications for social security cards and DHS benefits. We also help to register children for school and connect adults to ESL classes.

NAMSC also offers several employment programs that provide continued support for refugees for up to five years. Services offered include job search, professional and educational skills development, and access to ongoing workshops with NAMSC staff and community volunteers.

Through these initiatives, we are able to guide refugees to independence and put them on the path toward self sufficiency as they begin their new lives here in Pittsburgh. You can find out more here – http://buildingindependence.org/nams/community-assistance-and-refugee-resettlement/

2/22 The Bridge Series: Tony Norman, Adriana Ramirez, & Jan Beatty @ Brillobox

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2017 by 6GPress

8PM THIS 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).

Plus every evening will end with a short Open Mic segment!

Tonight will feature readings from:

Tony Norman – Associate Editor / Columnist / Book Review Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Adriana Ramirez – a Mexican-Colombian nonfiction writer, storyteller, digital maker, and performance poet. her nonfiction novella, Dead Boys, was published by Little A (November 2016), and her debut full-length nonfiction book, The Violence, is forthcoming from Scribner (Fall 2017).

Jan Beatty – worked as a waitress for fifteen years, and as a welfare caseworker, an abortion counselor, and a social worker and teacher in maximum-security prisons. She is the managing editor of MadBooks, a small press that has published a series of books and chapbooks by women writers. For twenty years, Beatty has hosted and produced Prosody, a public radio show on NPR-affiliate WESA-FM featuring national writers. Jan Beatty directs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops at Carlow University, where she is also director of creative writing and teaches in the low-residency MFA program. Her latest book is Jackknife: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017).

Our guest organization tonight is Be Well! Pittsburgh and Jude Vachon will be onhand to discuss its mission.

Be Well Pittsburgh! collaborates with health care consumers, health care providers, social service providers and community organizations to improve uninsured Pittsburghers’ awareness of and access to health care resources.

Be Well! was founded in 2005 and was originally funded by a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund. The Seed Award supported the printing of 6,000 copies of a resource booklet entitled Be Well! Healthcare Options for the Uninsured. The booklet was distributed in public venues and through social service organizations in Pittsburgh. Its release was launched at a community health fair at the Quiet Storm Coffeehouse during the summer of 2006.

Be Well! continues to revise, update, print and distribute the booklets as funds allow. We also continually revise and update the website. We act as a reference source to individuals and service providers, participate in community events, and hold community information sessions on health care resources for uninsured people. www.bewellpgh.org

Thanks to Krisofer Collins & Jason Baldinger for organizing this great new series!