Arts + Culture,

Oliver Lake OGJB Quartet ft. Alicia Ostriker

Sep 19, 2019 - Sep 19, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
City of Asylum
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

As part of our fifteenth annual Jazz Poetry Festival, this will be an evening of jazz and poetry collaborations. Oliver Lake and his band OGJB will be the featured jazz musicians performing their original composition “Follow the Sound.” Poets Alicia Ostriker, Arai Takako, Batsirai Easther Chigama, Efe Duyan, and Osama Alomar will perform.


olake press photo

Saxophonist, poet and composer Oliver Lake‘s artistic vision remains daring, unique and uncompromising, helping him maintain his place as one of the preeminent saxophonists in the progressive jazz scene, a position he has long held during his long and storied career. Oliver continues to work with several brilliant and creative minds, such as his Organ Quartet and Big Band groups, the World Saxophone Quartet, Tarbaby and notable collaborators such as Flux String Quartet, Myra Melford, Roscoe Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, Geri Allen, Meshell Ndegeocello and many others.Oliver has curated and participated in the City Of Asylum’s Jazz Poetry concerts for more than ten years. Lake has been a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, has received commissions from the Library of Congress, and in 2006, was honored to receive the Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award at the Kennedy Center. Most notably, Oliver was recently selected to receive the prestigious 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. As such, the coming years promise to be exciting and filled with bold new artistic endeavors.

Featured Musicians:

  • Oliver Lake (sax)
  • Joe Fonda (bass)
  • Barry Altschul (drums)
  • Graham Haynes (trumpet)

Featured Writers

Alicia Ostriker has published sixteen volumes of poetry, including Waiting for the Light; The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011; No HeavenThe Volcano Sequence; and The Imaginary Lover, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She was twice a National Book Award Finalist, for The Little Space (1998) and The Crack in Everything (1996), and twice a National Jewish Book Award winner. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Yale Review, Ontario Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Anthology, and many other journals and anthologies, and has been translated into numerous languages including Hebrew and Arabic. Ostriker’s critical work includes the now-classic Stealing the Language: the Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, and other books on American poetry and on the Bible.

Batsirai Easther Chigama (Zimbabwe) is a performer, poet, literary activist, and social commentator. She uses her work to highlight the struggles of women and marginalized people and shines a light on what needs to be done to bring equilibrium to the social fabric of Zimbabwe. Her work has been described as “surprising, shocking, and skillfully deliberate work,” and “a breathtaking embodiment of grief.”

Efe Duyan (Turkey) A poet and poetry festival organizer, Efe has published three books of poetry and his poems have been translated into 29 languages. He is a passionate advocate for creative expression and the power of literature to bring people together. His sample was transporting, employing covert forms, repetition, and specificity. With a light touch, Efe builds whole worlds with few words.

Takako Arai (Japan) A prolific writer who edits an important Japanese poetry journal, Arai’s work is considered a microcosm for the current movement in Japanese poetry: exciting, diverse, socially-conscious – defying boundaries and expectations. Through her poetry, Arai gives texture to contemporary Japan like few others have before her, and her work has circulated widely outside of Japan.

Osama Alomar (Syria) is one of the most well-respected Arabic poets writing today, and a prominent practitioner of 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, was published by New Directions in April 2017. His short stories have been published in Newyorker.com, Noon, Conjunctions.com, The Coffin Factory, Electric Literature, andThe Literary Review. Currently, Alomar is working on a new novel about the Syrian War tentatively called The Womb, as well as another project called The Book of Meditations about love, hate, democracy, dictatorships, motherhood, freedom, success, and failure among other concepts surrounding the human experience. He is one of the current writers-in-residence at City of Asylum. 


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