Free Association Reading Series

Sunday, January 20, 2019 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2019-01-20 5 p.m. 2019-01-20 6:30 p.m. America/New_York Free Association Reading Series 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

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


Featured Writers:

Malcolm Friend is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of the chapbook mxd kd mixtape (Glass Poetry, 2017) and the full length collection Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple (Inlandia Books, 2018), winner of the 2017 Hillary Gravendyk Prize.


Joann Kielar is a native Pittsburgher and has worked as a teaching artist in and around the Pittsburgh area for more than thirty years. Her work includes visual arts, story-telling, puppetry and writing. Joann’s story, “Big Bad Wolf” can be heard as a podcast at the Moth Story Hour and her memoirs have been published on line at The New Yinzer and Persimmon Tree. She is co-founder of the PAGE reading series, where Pittsburgh writers are invited to share one page of their writing, of any genre from journalism to fantasy, songwriting to flash fiction, at the Borelli-Edwards Galleries in Lawrenceville.

Barbara Edelman is the author of the poetry collection, Dream of the Gone-From City (Carnegie Mellon University Press 2017), and of the poetry chapbooks Exposure (Finishing Line Press 2014) and A Girl in Water (Parallel Press 2002).  Her poems have appeared in journals nationally including Raleigh Review, Prairie Schooner, and Cimarron Review, and in several anthologiesHer short prose has appeared in Rattle and Arts & Letters. She has been awarded a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts individual artist’s grant in poetry and residency fellowships to The Hambidge Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. Edelman holds a B.A. in English from Colgate University, an M.A. in English from California State University Northridge, and an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh, where she coordinates the Writers’ Café. More information is available at barbaraedelman1.

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Her writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, Quiddity, Cimarron, and other journals, and in several anthologies, including Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry, and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. Smith has been the recipient of an Orlando Prize, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her second chapbook, Scatter, Feed, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in the fall of 2014, and her book, Nobody’s Jackknife, was published in 2015 by the West End Press. www.ellenmcgrathsmith.com



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. 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

January 20, 2019 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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