Free Association @ City of Asylum Reading Series

Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2018-02-18 5 p.m. 2018-02-18 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 writers co-curated by Pat Hart and Marc Nieson of the Free Association Reading Series


Featured Writers:

Cameron Barnett holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was poetry editor for Hot Metal Bridge, and co-coordinator of Pitt’s Speakeasy Reading Series. He teaches at Falk Laboratory School, is an associate poetry editor for Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and his debut collection, The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water, was recently published through Autumn House Press.


Michael Bennett is nearing the end of his second year as a Robert H. Mansell Fellow in the MFA program at Chatham University. He also teaches creative writing at the Allegheny County Jail through Chatham’s Words Without Walls program. Michael has lived in Pittsburgh long enough to outlast Three Rivers Stadium, the Civic Arena, and the Garden Theater, but he often struggles to write about more than just football and ketchup. He is currently working on his first manuscript, White Boy on the Bus, a collection of essays exploring divisions of race and place in Pittsburgh.

Christine Stroud is the author of two chapbooks, Sister Suite and The Buried Return. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Hobart, Cimarron Review, The Patterson Literary Review, and others. Stroud is the editor in chief of Autumn House Press.



Marcel Lamont (M.L.) Walker lives in Lawrenceville and works as a freelance illustrator and writer, graphic designer, comic-book creator, photographer, and art instructor. For several years he taught comic-book creation classes and workshops at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He continues to occasionally instruct at Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, The Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art, where he is also a member of their Board of Directors. He is the lead artist, book designer, and project coordinator for CHUTZ-POW! SUPERHEROES OF THE HOLOCAUST, an anthology comic-book produced by The Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh. As the creator, artist and writer of the independent comic-book HERO CORP., INTERNATIONAL, he has recast his friends and associates in a world of corporate American superheroes. In October 2017, he came in First Place in The Pittsburgh City Paper’s 2017 Best of Pittsburgh Poll for Best Local Cartoonist.



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.

The new Word Cellar Series is the winter home of FARS.  

Event Details

February 18, 2018 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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