Fall’s literary offerings, from international poets to local zines | Fall Arts Preview | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Fall’s literary offerings, from international poets to local zines 

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, novelist Sherman Alexie and the new Lebo Comics Festival are among the highlights

Imbolo Mbue at City of Asylum, Oct. 4 - PHOTO COURTESY OF KIRIKO SANO
  • Photo courtesy of Kiriko Sano
  • Imbolo Mbue at City of Asylum, Oct. 4

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Autumn’s literary offerings are already in progress: City of Asylum’s Jazz and Poetry Month is underway. However, intriguing poets yet to visit the North Side’s Alphabet City include Mark Doty (Sept. 16), Hungary’s Kinga Tóth and Myanmar-born Maung Day (both Sept. 23), and U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith (Sept. 30). Post-festival, Alphabet City’s run of multinational writers includes Cameroonian novelist Imbolo Mbue (Oct. 4), foreign correspondent Lynda Schuster (Oct. 12), and Jonathan Eig (Nov. 16), author of a new Muhammad Ali bio. 

Sherman Alexie at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Oct. 16
  • Sherman Alexie at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Oct. 16

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures kicks off its Ten Evenings season with historian Nancy Isenberg (Sept. 25), and continues with novelist Sherman Alexie (Oct. 16), Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow (Oct. 30), and novelists Isabel Allende (Nov. 13) and Jennifer Egan (Dec. 4). Also in Oakland, Arts & Lectures’ New and Notable series continues Oct. 24 with acclaimed Irish novelist Roddy Doyle (The Commitments), whose latest is Smile. Also at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, MathBabe Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction (about the dangers of Big Data), visits Sept. 25.

Nearby, at the Frick Fine Arts Building, the University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series features journalist, novelist and author Jeff Guinn (Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson), on Sept. 28, followed by a reading by Pitt MFA alumni poets including CM Burroughs and Stacey Waite (Oct. 26). Also at the Frick building, a series titled Black Futures begins Oct. 4, with poetry by Renee Gladman and John Keene, and sound art by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs.

On Sept. 23, Walt Longmire series author Craig Johnson visits Mystery Lovers Bookshop. Penguin Bookshop hosts environmental journalist Michael Kodas (Megafire) on Oct. 3, and Francis Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet) and her Daring Democracy co-author, Adam Eichen, on Oct. 13.

Isabel Allende at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Nov. 13
  • Isabel Allende at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Nov. 13

The Bridge Series raises funds and awareness for groups “fighting the good fight”; the Sept. 27 event, at Brillobox, features local poets and benefits PERSAD Center. White Whale Bookstore hosts touring and local authors, including Sept. 29’s visit by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, author of literary thriller The Fact of a Body.

Jennifer Egan at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Dec. 4
  • Jennifer Egan at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Dec. 4

Also on Sept. 29, widely acclaimed local favorite Lori Jakiela marks the release of her latest memoir, Portrait of the Artist as a Bingo Worker, at Abandoned Pittsburgh, in Homestead.

Other events include the seventh annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair, Sept. 24 at the Union Project, and the brand-new Lebo Comics Festival. Speakers at the Oct. 12-Nov. 18 fest, at Mount Lebanon Public Library, include ToonSeum executive director John Kelly; Marvel Comics writer Yona Harvey; and comics scholar Wayne Wise, the latter speaking on the history of Wonder Woman.


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