Ed Roberson – 11/19/15 @ 8:30pm

Hello Pittsburgh!

Next up on our roster is the amazing Ed Roberson, a poet who was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He studied painting in his youth and was educated at the University of Pittsburgh. His extensive travels inform his work, which is also influenced by spirituals and the blues, and by visual art, such as the mixed-media collages of Romare Bearden.


Romare Bearden, The Train (1975)

Ed Roberson is the author of eight books of poetry, including Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, a winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and a recent collection, The New Wing of the Labyrinth (Singing Horse Press, 2010). His Atmosphere Conditions was selected for the National Poetry Series and nominated for the Lenore Marshall Award from the Academy of American Poets. A recipient of the Lila Wallace Writers’ Award and the 2008 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, he is Distinguished Artist in Residence at Northwestern University.

Roberson’s limnology studies have taken him to Alaska, Afognak Island and Bermuda. Twice a team member of the Explorers’ Club of Pittsburgh’s South American Expeditions, he has climbed mountains in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes and explored the upper Amazon jungle. He has been a diver for the Pittsburgh Aquazoo, motorcycled across the United States, and traveled in Mexico, the Caribbean, Nigeria and West Africa. His wide-ranging investigations, both geographical and intellectual, inform a poetics encompassing “startling and just metaphors” and “acrobatic leaps and counter-leaps of thought.” (Reginald Gibbons)

Thursday, November 19th @ 8:30pm

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Free & open to the public

David Mitchell Q&A! Monday, November 2 at 1pm

mitchell poster2

Michael Paterniti – 9/24

Good morning, Pittsburgh!

Did you miss us as much as we missed you? We’re back and ready for a fantastic year of writers. First up is Michael Paterniti, 48, and the author of Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain. He has written articles from around the world for Harper’s, GQ, Esquire and other magazines. A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Michigan, he lives with his wife, Sara Corbett, who’s also a magazine writer, and their three children, ages 13, 10 and 8, in Portland, Maine, which he calls a “soulful little city, on the ocean and an hour from the mountains.”

Michael Paterniti was recently longlisted for a 2015 National Book Award. Congratulations! Come hear what all the hype is about on 9/24 at 8:30pm. As always, we’re free and open to the pubic!





Please note this date and venue change for the Peter Hessler reading.

Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series


Peter Hessler

Public Reading:

Thursday, April 16th, 8:30 pm,

University of Pittsburgh Public Health Auditorium
130 De Soto St
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Free and Open to the Public

Joshua Marie-Wilkinson & Jen Bervin – 1/29 – Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Drive safely tomorrow, Pittsburgh!

There may be some rain or snow but don’t let that stop you from hearing these two amazing poets!

Let’s talk about Joshua Marie-Wilkinson:

Born and raised in Seattle, Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of eight books of poetry, the editor of five anthologies, and the director of a documentary film about Califone. As publisher and editor, he runs a poetics journal called The Volta, with Afton Wilky, as well as a small press called Letter Machine Editions, which was recently honored by the National Book Awards. He lives in Tucson, where he teaches at the University of Arizona.

His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Chicago Sun-Times, Denver Quarterly, Jubilat,New American Writing, and Verse. Online, work can be found at the Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets, and Pen America, among others. His work appears in the expanded Postmodern American Poetry anthology (W.W. Norton 2013) and in many other anthologies.

He earned an MA in film studies from University College Dublin and a PhD in English from University of Denver, and taught for four years at Loyola University Chicago. Currently, he is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, where he was the recipient of the College of Humanities Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014. He teaches poetry and poetics to undergraduates and in the MFA program in creative writing.

Joshua Marie-Wilkinson sounds like a pretty cool guy, huh? His poetry is amazing! Check out our Facebook page for more quotes by him and Jen Bervin. See you all tomorrow!

Please join us for our fourth reading of the 2014/15 season with Joshua Marie-Wilkinson & Jen Bervin on Thursday, January 29th at 8:30pm in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Free and open to the public.

Joshua Marie-Wilkinson & Jen Bervin – 1/29 – Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Hey, Pittsburgh! Did you miss us?

Wipe your tears because we’re back! Our first Writers Series for the year will be a double – both Joshua Marie-Wilkinson and Jen Bervin will be reading and speaking.

Let’s start off with Jen Bervin’s bio:

Based in Brooklyn, poet and visual artist Jen Bervin works in hybrid forms that blend language, writing, and the visual arts; the combinations and emphases change with each project, but all of her works involve strong conceptual elements with a minimalist’s eye for the poetic and essential. Much of Bervin’s work rotates around the poles of text and textile, continually interrogating and elaborating that ancient connection through poems, archival research, artist books, and art.

In recent years, she’s done a number of projects focused on Emily Dickinson—a series of large-scale embroidered wall works which address Dickinson’s “variant markings,” the + signs in her manuscripts that direct readers to other possible words or phrases. A book on these were published by the country’s most important publisher of artists’ books, Granary Books: The Dickinson Composites (2010) followed by another,The Gorgeous Nothings with Marta Werner (2012), which makes available hitherto unpublished manuscript facsimiles of the “fragments” that Dickinson composed on envelopes, and frames them with a close look at her use of the envelope as both a charged and flexible artistic support. The poet Susan Howe called the new book an “absolute perfect combination of solid scholarship and art.”

Her current project, The Silk Poems, an experimental book that takes this textile as its subject and form, explores the cultural, scientific, and linguistic complexities of silk, mending and the body in poems imprinted on silk film. Currently in the research phase, this project includes consulting nanotechnology and biomedical labs, and over fifty international textile archives, medical libraries, and sericulture sites in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The Silk Poems has received support from a Creative Capital Grant in Literature (2013) and The Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship at the Liguria Study Center in Italy (2014).

Bervin’s honors also include a Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2015),  The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Residency (2012, 2009), Von Hess Visiting Artist Fellowship at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts in Philadelphia at University of the Arts (2012), Visual Studies Workshop Residency (2010), New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship (2007), The MacDowell Colony Residency (2006), The Camargo Foundation Fellowship in Cassis, France (2006), Mellon Research and Travel Grant (2005), Centrum Arts Residency (2004), The Center for Book Arts, Fine Printing and Letterpress Workshop Fellowship (2003), and an Edward M. Lannan Prize from the Academy of American Poets (2000).

Bervin’s works are held in more than thirty collections including the Walker Art Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Stanford University, Harvard University, the Beinecke Library at Yale University, The Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry, the British Library, and le Bibliothèque nationale de France. Current and upcoming exhibitions include “Material Fix” curated by Alison Ferris at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, “Behind the Personal Library: Collectors Creating a Canon” curated by Alexander Campos at The Center for Book Arts, “Word and Image” curated by Francesca Capone at The Cohen Gallery and an upcoming solo show, both at Brown University’s Granoff Center.

Jen Bervin’s work has been covered in national and international publications and media outlets such asNPR, The Nation, Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Poetry Foundation, The Brooklyn Rail, and Hyperallergic. She is on the faculty of the graduate program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2015, she will teach a master class at Yale University and will be a Fitt Artist in Residence at Brown University.

As you can see, Jen Bervin is an amazing artist. Are you as excited to meet her as we are?

Please join us for our fourth reading of the 2014/15 season with Joshua Marie-Wilkinson & Jen Bervin on Thursday, January 29th at 8:30pm in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Free and open to the public.


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