American Monster

Sunday, March 22, 2020 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Free TICKETS 2020-03-22 5 p.m. 2020-03-22 6:30 p.m. America/New_York American Monster 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

American Monster: Love & politics in an age of corruption

Join us for a multicultural poetry reading in our intimate Word Cellar venue with Christian Nowlin, Jose Padua, Nikki Allen and Michael Simms presented in partnership with Vox Populi.

“It is conventional to call ”monster” any blending of dissonant elements. I call ”monster” every original inexhaustible beauty.”-Alfred Jarry

Featured Writers:

Jose Padua’s first full length book, A Short History of Monsters, was chosen by former poet laureate Billy Collins as the winner of the 2019 Miller Williams Poetry Prize and is published by the University of Arkansas Press. His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as Bomb,, Beloit Poetry Journal, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Unbearables, and others. He was a featured reader at the 2012 Split This Rock poetry festival and won the New Guard Review’s 2014 Knightville Poetry Prize.


Christian Nowlin is a 2018 Transformative Teaching Artist Award recipient, writer, producer and
videographer with extensive experience in creating Pittsburgh- based narrative content. Nowlin teaches curricula in non-traditional ways to engage learners to stretch their expectations of themselves and create works that exemplify the diversity of our world. He has a proven track record of working as a collaborator, bringing groups of people together for common goals, and is effective in supervising the progress of the project from production to completion. Nowlin is dedicated to maintaining a reputation built on hard work, service, and uncompromising ethics.

Nikki Allen is a lover & a writer—Scribbling because she must with nearly 20 years of stages in her gut. She has read in cities across the US at music festivals, war protests, backyards and art openings. She is the author of numerous books, including Gutter of Eden, Quite Like Yes, and Ligaments of Light/Tigering the Shoulders (Night Ballet Press). Her work has appeared in Nailed, Crash, The New Yinzer, out of nothing, Profane Journal (Pushcart Prize nominee ‘14/’15) and Encyclopedia Destructica among others. She believes revolution, strong coffee, the hard knocks & the sweetness.


Michael Simms has been active in politics and poetry for over 40 years as a writer, teacher, editor, and community activist. He is the founder of Autumn House Press, a nonprofit publisher of books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He’s the founder and editor of Vox Populi, a gazette of the left featuring poetry, essays, and videos. He’s also the author of four collections of poetry and a college textbook about poetry — and the lead editor of over 100 published books which have won numerous prizes and awards. Simms has an MFA from the University of Iowa. He lives with his wife, Eva, and their two children in Mount Washington overlooking the city of Pittsburgh.

Event Details

March 22, 2020 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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