Brian Broome, Yona Harvey, Deesha Philyaw, & Damon Young

Sunday, August 15, 2021 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
In person tickets Watch Online 2021-08-15 6:00 PM 2021-08-15 8:00 PM America/New_York Brian Broome, Yona Harvey, Deesha Philyaw, & Damon Young 318 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

**Please note: you can also watch the event live-streamed via City of Asylum @ Home. Click “watch online” above to register for the livestream.

Brian Broome (Punch Me Up to the Gods), Yona Harvey (You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love & Hemming the Water), Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Life of Church Ladies), and Damon Young (What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker) visit City of Asylum’s tent on Sampsonia Way for an evening of readings, conversation, audience q&a, and book signings.

Authors’ books will be available for purchase.
Limited number of seats available.

Brian Broome a poet and screenwriter, and holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. He is a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition, and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. He has been published in The Ocean State Review, Delta Foundation’s Pride Magazine, The Guardian, Creative Nonfiction, Public Source, and more. Brian’s work explores the topics of racism, masculinity and the African American male. 


Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collections, Hemming the Water, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University, and You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love.  Her work has been published and anthologized in many publications including A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry and The Force of What’s Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-Garde.  She contributed to Marvel’s World of Wakanda and co-authored with Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther and the Crew.  Her interests and writings in nonfiction recently led her to teach a workshop for Creative Nonfiction magazine: “Writing Away the Stigma for Young Adults,” designed for teens writing about their mental health experiences. 


Deesha Philyaw’s debut collection of short stories, The Secret Life of Church Ladies (West Virginia University Press) won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and will be the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Deesha’s fiction and nonfiction have been selected for numerous anthologies, and she is the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written with her ex-husband.

Damon Young is writer, critic, humorist, satirist, and professional Black person. He’s a co-founder of VerySmartBrothas — coined “the blackest thing that ever happened to the internet” by The Washington Post — and a columnist for GQ. Damon’s debut memoir — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir In Essays (Ecco/HarperCollins) —  is a tragicomic exploration of the angsts, anxieties, and absurdities of existing while black in America, and won Barnes & Noble’s 2019 Discover Award. It was also longlisted for the PEN America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and is a Krause Essay Prize nominee. NPR, which named it one of the best books of 2019, called it an “outstanding collection of nonfiction.”  

Guidelines for Outdoor Events at the Sampsonia Way Tent, as of June 28, 2021

  • The tent is located at 318 Sampsonia Way. It’s covered but open on 3 sides to maximize airflow. 
  • Staff and volunteers will be fully vaccinated.
  • We ask that audience members comply with the CDC requirements for masks: 
    • Unvaccinated audience members should wear masks. Disposable masks will be available. 
    • Fully Vaccinated audience members can choose to wear or forgo their masks. 
  • 1 wheelchair accessible portalet is available for audience use.
  • The tent is an accessible venue. Please email contact@cityofasylumpittsburgh.org to inform us of any accommodation requirements

Event Details

August 15, 2021 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
318 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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