Staff Pick Favorite: Jaquira Díaz & Kaveh AkbarTuesday, December 1, 2020 @ 7 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (Run-time 60 min)
This holiday season, City of Asylum has swan-dived into our archives to bring you some of our most memorable programs for our new series “Staff Pick Favorites.’ Tonight, we’ll be revisiting an evening of readings & discussion celebrating the work of Jaquira Díaz and Kaveh Akbar. This program was presented in partnership with Chatham University’s Creative Writing MFA program, Words Without Walls, and funding from The National Endowment for the Arts.
Jaquira Díaz is the author of Ordinary Girls, a Summer/Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Selection, a Fall 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, a November 2019 Indie Next Pick, and a LibraryReads October pick. Her work has been published in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Fader
Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017; Penguin UK, 2018). He is also the author of a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry, 2017). Kaveh is the recipient of the Levis Reading Prize, Pushcart Prize, Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, & Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Kaveh is the founding editor of Divedapper, a home for interviews with major voices in contemporary poetry. With Sarah Kay and Claire Schwartz, he writes a weekly column for the Paris Review called “Poetry RX.” Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, PBS NewsHour, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, The New York Times, & elsewhere.
2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Words Without Walls, a creative partnership between Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Allegheny County Jail, & Sojourner House, a drug treatment facility for mothers in recovery. Words Without Walls serves over 300 incarcerated & formerly incarcerated writers in Allegheny County annually, through high quality creative writing classes, opportunities for print & online publication, public events, the Maenad Fellowship Program, & an award-winning reading series that brings some of the nation’s best writers to Pittsburgh. Our participants have gone on to have their writing published in national & international venues, & have been recognized with national honors including PEN America prizes.