Arts + Culture,

Memoir Series: Jaquira Díaz & Kaveh Akbar

Feb 6, 2020 - Feb 6, 2020 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Featured Writers:

Jaquira Díaz is the author of Ordinary Girls, a Summer/Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Selection, a Fall 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, a November 2019 Indie Next Pick, and a LibraryReads October pick. Her work has been published in Rolling StoneThe GuardianThe Fader, and T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and included in The Best American Essays 2016. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Kenyon Review, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She splits her time between Montréal and Miami Beach.

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017; Penguin UK, 2018). He is also the author of a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry, 2017). Kaveh is the recipient of the Levis Reading Prize, Pushcart Prize, Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, & Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Kaveh is the founding editor of Divedapper, a home for interviews with major voices in contemporary poetry. With Sarah Kay and Claire Schwartz, he writes a weekly column for the Paris Review called “Poetry RX.” Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, PBS NewsHour, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, The New York Times, & elsewhere.

Steffan Triplett is a Black, creative nonfiction writer and instructor, born and raised in southwest Missouri. Invested in media and the arts, Steffan has served as Co-Editor-In-Chief for the literary magazine Hot Metal Bridge, held positions for the National Book Foundation and the Andy Warhol Museum, and currently serves as an Essays Reader at The Offing. His nonfiction has been featured in Essay Daily and has been published in LongreadsElectric Literature, DIAGRAM, Slate, and Wildness, where it was nominated for “Best of the Net.” Steffan’s work has been anthologized in Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018), and the forthcoming Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era (Routledge, 2020). 

Memoir Series Schedule:


2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Words Without Walls, a creative partnership between Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Allegheny County Jail, & Sojourner House, a drug treatment facility for mothers in recovery. Words Without Walls serves over 300 incarcerated & formerly incarcerated writers in Allegheny County annually, through high quality creative writing classes, opportunities for print & online publication, public events, the Maenad Fellowship Program, & an award-winning reading series that brings some of the nation’s best writers to Pittsburgh. Our participants have gone on to have their writing published in national & international venues, & have been recognized with national honors including PEN America prizes.

Memoir Series Schedule:

  • Sun. Nov. 10 Cinelle Barnes
  • Mon. Dec. 9  Darrel McLeod
  • Thurs. Feb. 6  Jaquira Diaz & Kaveh Akbar
  • Mon. Mar. 2  T. Fleischmann
  • Mon. Apr. 27  Anuradha Bhagwati
  • Mon. May 11  Nicole Chung

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