2020 Fall Guide: Literary | Fall Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

2020 Fall Guide: Literary

Part of Pittsburgh City Paper's list of 100 events to do virtually — and in real life! — throughout the region this season

click to enlarge White Whale Books presents Yaa Gyasi on Mon., Oct. 5, 2020. - PHOTO: PETER HURLEY/VILCEK FOUNDATION
Photo: Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation
White Whale Books presents Yaa Gyasi on Mon., Oct. 5, 2020.

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For an entire week, The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh is offering Collective Protest & Rebellion: A Black Study Intensive as a way to both think creatively and work towards collective agency and social change. The event opens with a talk from scholar Emily Greenwood and closes with a performance, film, conversation, and Q&A from Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Daniel Alexander Jones — with lots of goodness in between. Times vary. Mon., Sept. 28-Fri., Oct. 2. Free. caapp.pitt.edu

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Ever wonder what it’s like to release a book during a pandemic? 2020 debut authors A.H. Kim (A Good Family) and Karen Dietrich (Girl at the Edge) chat about Pittsburgh, music, and more during this White Whale Books virtual event. There will also be a trivia contest complete with prizes. 7-8:30 p.m. Wed., Sept. 30. Free or pay-what-you-can. whitewhalebookstore.com/events

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In place of an in-person event, White Whale Books is holding a virtual release party to celebrate Pittsburgh’s own Autumn House Press’s fall releases. The event will include readings by authors makalani bandele, T.J. McLemore, M. Randal O’Wain, Cherene Sherrard, and Michael X. Wang. 7-8:30 p.m. Fri., Oct. 2. Free or pay-what-you-can. whitewhalebookstore.com/events

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White Whale Books will host a virtual event with Ghanaian-American novelist Yaa Gyasi, whose sophomore release Transcendent Kingdom deals with grief, addiction, mental health, and immigration through a scientific and spiritual lens. As part of her online tour for the novel, Gyasi joins local author Sarah Elaine Smith of Marilou is Everywhere for a reading and conversation. 7-8:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 5. Free or pay-what-you-can. whitewhalebookstore.com/events


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Enjoy a virtual Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures conversation between 2020 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Caroline Kim and author Alexander Chee. Kim will discuss her short story collection, The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, which explores “what it means to be human through the Korean diaspora.” 6 p.m. Wed., Oct. 7. Free. Registration required. pittsburghlectures.org/caroline-kim

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Ross Gay’s fourth book of poetry, Be Holding, is a “love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving.” The poem, spanning the entire length of the book, questions what brings people closer to one another. For the Pittsburgh launch of the book, Ross will hold a reading, discussion, and Q&A. 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Wed., Oct. 7. Registration required. alphabetcity.org

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White Whale Books will host a virtual reading featuring three award-winning poets. Hear selections by 2019 National Poetry Series winner Alexandria Hall, Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry winner Jihyun Yun, and Fordham Press Poets Out Loud winner and local poet S. Brook Corfman. 7 p.m. Thu., Oct. 8. Free or pay-what-you-can. whitewhalebookstore.com/events

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White Whale Books presents The Essay and Opinion: Creating and Sharing Your Voice, a virtual workshop with award-winning Pittsburgh City Paper social justice columnist Tereneh Idia. The event will cover Idia's writing process, and how to pitch compelling short-form essays, columns, and op-ed pieces. 1-4 p.m. Sat., Oct. 10. $50. whitewhalebookstore.com/workshops

click to enlarge Terry Tempest Williams - PHOTO: ZOE RODRIGUEZ PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Zoe Rodriguez Photography
Terry Tempest Williams

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Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures presents a virtual event with Terry Tempest Williams, a writer, conservationist, and activist. Her work includes the book Erosion: Essays of Undoing, which shines a light on America’s abuse of public lands. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 12. $10-15. pittsburghlectures.org/terry-tempest-williams


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Local authors and instructors Nancy McCabe and Lori Jakiela are coming together for a book talk and brief reading to celebrate the release of McCabe’s latest book, Can This Marriage Be Saved? They’ll be discussing, in particular, “how the idea of writing and healing informs the way they teach and how they write,” according to White Whale Books’ event page. 7-8:30 p.m. Thu., Oct. 15. Free or pay-what-you-can. whitewhalebookstore.com/events

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Local poet and editor Jessica Fischoff will lead About Poetry: A Crash Course and Generative Workshop on Writing and Submitting Poetry, a series of virtual workshops on how to produce submission-ready poems. Over the course of several classes, participants will write, revise, and offer feedback on each other's work. Presented by White Whale Books. Sat., Oct. 17-Sat, Nov. 7. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day. $350. whitewhalebookstore.com/workshops

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Founding editor of Pittsburgh magazine Creative Nonfiction, Lee Gutkind will discuss his new memoir, My Last Eight Thousand Days: An American Male in His Seventies, a look into the Pittsburgh native’s life as a journalist, editor, husband, and father during a virtual Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures event. Dubbed the “Godfather Behind Creative Nonfiction” by Vanity Fair, Gutkind is the author and editor of more than 30 books. 6 p.m. Mon., Oct. 19. Free. Registration required. pittsburghlectures.org/lee-gutkind

click to enlarge Lois Lowry - PHOTO: MATT MCKEE
Photo: Matt McKee
Lois Lowry

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Lois Lowry, acclaimed author of The Giver and other young adult works, will appear at a special Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures event. Lowry will discuss her recently published book, The Willoughbys Return, the second in a series about a strange family. 2:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 18. Free. Registration required. pittsburghlectures.org/lois-lowry

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Kali Fajardo-Anstine, the author of the 2019 novel Sabrina & Corina, a story collection about friendship, mothers, and daughters centered on Latinas of Indigenous ancestry, is this year’s winner of the Fred R. Brown Literary Award from the University of Pittsburgh. The award recognizes the accomplishments of talented fiction writers, usually emerging novelists. Virtually join Fajardo-Anstine as she reads from her work and, along with Pittsburgh novelist Angie Cruz, holds a conversation and Q&A. 7:30-9 p.m. Thu., Oct. 22. Free. pghwriterseries.pitt.edu

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Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures welcomes Laila Lalami for another virtual edition of Ten Evenings. The novelist of The Moor’s Account and The Other Americans will discuss how her experience as a Moroccan immigrant informs her writing. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 26. $10-15. pittsburghlectures.org/laila-lalami


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Settle in for some spooky stories this Halloween when White Whale Books presents a virtual reading featuring contributors to The Horror Is Us, a forthcoming anthology from Mason Jar Press. 7 p.m. Sat. Oct. 31. Free or pay-what-you-can. whitewhalebookstore.com/events

click to enlarge Mo Rocca - PHOTO: JOHN PAUL FILO/CBS BROADCASTING INC
Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS Broadcasting Inc
Mo Rocca

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CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, humorist, and author Mo Rocca will discuss Mobituaries, his latest book about dead people who have long fascinated him, during a Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures virtual event. 7 p.m. Mon., Nov. 2. $39 (includes copy of Mobituaries with signed bookplate). pittsburghlectures.org/mo-rocca

click to enlarge Margaret Atwood - PHOTO: LUIS MORA
Photo: Luis Mora
Margaret Atwood

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Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures celebrates its 30th season with a virtual conversation between Margaret Atwood, author of novel-turned-TV show The Handmaid's Tale, and Esi Edugyan. Atwood will discuss Dearly, her first book of poetry in over a decade. 7 p.m. Mon., Nov. 9. (This virtual event will be available to watch anytime online for one week.) $35-50. Tickets include a special edition copy of Dearly, mailed by White Whale Bookstore. pittsburghlectures.org/margaret-atwood

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White Whale Books presents Start Making Sense: Somatic Writing Seminar, a virtual workshop with author Sarah Elaine Smith. The event covers how to make your writing better connect with the reader. 1-4 p.m. Sat., Nov 14. $50. whitewhalebookstore.com/workshops

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Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents a virtual Ten Evenings event with author Lily King, who will discuss Writers & Lovers, her novel about an artist dealing with life after her mother's sudden death. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Nov. 16. $10-15. pittsburghlectures.org/lily-king

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