City Books announces its fall 2021 Writers-in-Residence | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

City Books announces its fall 2021 Writers-in-Residence

click to enlarge Dade Lemanski (left) and Kelsey Swintek (right). - PHOTO: COURTESY OF DADE LEMANSKI AND KELSEY SWINTEK
Photo: Courtesy of Dade Lemanski and Kelsey Swintek
Dade Lemanski (left) and Kelsey Swintek (right).
Dade Lemanski is working on a book about “Polish folk magic, dad(die)s, and anti-Blackness among white punks.” Kelsey Swintek is working on her first collection of essays. The two will hone their respective projects and practices as the fall 2021 Writers-in-Residence at the North Side bookseller City Books.

The residency, which begins on July 1 and runs through Nov. 30, offers time, space, and support for local writers to develop new projects, or further existing projects.

The fall 2021 residency cohort will be the first to require 3-5 hours of writing in the store during business hours since the program started in spring 2020. Previously, due to COVID-19 pandemic safety precautions, City Books Writers-in-Residence could complete their residencies virtually.


“The closure of the bookstore last year forced us to expand the definition of ‘resident’ and ‘space’ in ways that we hadn’t initially considered,” says City Books owner Arlan Hess. “During lockdown, instead of requiring residents to come to the North Side, we met them where they were at home and on their screens.”

Previous to being hired at Pittsburgh City Paper, I was a virtual Writer-in-Residence at City Books for fall 2020. Current residents Alona Williams and Marsha Timblin are also virtual for their spring 2021 residency. Williams and Timblin’s residency period ends Wed., June 30, making room for Swintek and Lemanski.

Besides working on her essay collection, Swintek also publishes Lucky Rigatoni, a weekly newsletter of musings, photography, and “occasional epiphanies,” and her writing has appeared in Hobart and Nowhere.

Lemanski writes about whiteness and white supremacy, Appalachia, Jewish identity, and anti-Semitism through a “trans(sexual)-historical lens." Their writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, as well as DIAGRAM, The Village Voice, and In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.


During the residency, both writers will have access to the City Books writing desk,  and will receive a $500 stipend, 40% bookstore discounts, and curation opportunities.

In addition to their other residency duties, the writers will also be available on Nov. 26 for Small Business Saturday as one of their final residency activities.

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