Free Association @ City of Asylum Reading Series

Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2018-05-20 5 p.m. 2018-05-20 6:30 p.m. America/New_York Free Association @ City of Asylum Reading Series 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

(1.5 hrs. approximate run time)

Join us for an intimate evening of readings with exceptional local writers co-curated by Pat Hart and Marc Nieson of the Free Association Reading Series


Featured Writers:

Alison Taverna earned her MFA in Poetry and Publishing from Chatham University, where her thesis, If We Keep These Bodies, won the Best Thesis in Poetry award. She serves as Assistant Editor at Autumn House Press and the poetry instructor at Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts High School. Her first chapbook, What Hollywood Taught Me won the 2015 Robin Becker Prize from Seven Kitchens Press. 


Jolene McIlwain’s writing appears online at Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, River TeethLitro UK, Prime Number Magazine, and elsewhere, and was recently nominated for the Best Small Fictions Anthology and two Pushcarts. Her work was named contest finalist by Michael Martone for Arts & Letters, Top 25 finalist for Glimmer Train, and semifinalist in Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter prize and American Short Fiction’s Short and Short(er) fiction contests. She’s an associate flash fiction editor at jmww journal and is currently working on a modern-day reimagining of the Bacchus myth set in the hills of the Appalachian plateau of Western Pennsylvania.


Ben Gwin is the author of the novel, Clean Time: The True Story of Ronald Reagan Middleton (Burrow Press). Ben’s fiction has appeared in Gulf Stream, 45th Parallel, The Normal School, and others. His work has been anthologized in Voices of the Rust Belt (Picador) and the Pittsburgh Anthology (Belt Publishing). He lives in Pittsburgh with his daughter. 


James Arthur was born in Connecticut and grew up in Toronto. His first book, Charms Against Lightning, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. His poems have also appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, and a Fulbright Scholarship to the Seamus Heaney Centre in Northern Ireland. Arthur lives in Baltimore and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.



Pat Hart, co-curator
Marc Nieson, co-curator

Pat Hart writes plays, monologues, short stories, and novels. Playwriting credits include “Book Wench” a one-act play, performed at the Strawberry One-Act Festival, Summer 2015, New York, New York and Murderous, a 10-minute monologue, performed at Practice Monologamy, Carlow University, September 2015. Published short stories include “The Vigil,” The Writing Disorder (Fall 2015), “New Wife vs. Old Wife, a love story,” (2015) and “Dragon Boogers” novel excerpt (2016) in Voices in the Attic, and “Spider Ball,” Rune (May 2015). Pat has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and is the founder of Free Association, a reading series for established and emerging writers in Pittsburgh. She is currently working on a novel set in Pittsburgh and Burma during the 1920s.

Marc Nieson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and NYU Film School. His background includes children’s theatre, cattle chores, and a season with a one-ring circus. His memoir, SCHOOLHOUSE: Lessons on Love & Landscape, came out from Ice Cube Press in 2016. He’s won a Raymond Carver Short Story Award, Pushcart Prize nominations, and been noted in Best American Essays. He teaches at Chatham University, edits The Fourth River, and is at work on a new novel, HOUDINI’S HEIRS.



Founded in May of 2016, Free Association Reading Series is for established and emerging Pittsburgh writers of prose, poetry, and non-fiction. Not affiliated with any formal writing programs, FARS is ‘non denominational’ and draws writers from universities, workshops, and those toiling away alone in their garrets.

Since its inception FARS has hosted eight summer reading events featuring over forty writers in its rustic Wilkinsburg home. Located at Rebecca & Center in the former Frank & John Valet, Inc., the space is pleasant—open and airy—but without heat, it is only useable in the summer months.

Alphabet City is the winter home of FARS.  

Event Details

May 20, 2018 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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