Word Cellar Readings

Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2018-01-21 5 p.m. 2018-01-21 6:30 p.m. America/New_York Word Cellar Readings 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—the first in a series of readings, co-curated by Pat Hart and Marc Nieson of the Free Association Reading Series. This event will be held downstairs in Alphabet City’s “word cellar.” 

Featured Writers:

Sheryl St. Germain’s poetry books include Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade, and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems.  She has written two memoirs, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman, and Navigating Disaster:  Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair. She co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century, and with Sarah Shotland Words Without Walls:  Writers on Violence, Addiction and Incarceration. 

She directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls program.  A poetry collection, The Small Door of Your Death, is forthcoming from Autumn House Press, in 2018.

Michael Graybrook is an architect living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. In his book “Cutthroat: A Journey Through the American West,” he documents in words and images twenty years of fishing for, researching, and photographing cutthroat trout. He writes: ‘The big open spaces, the smell of the earth, the moon on the ridge, the open road winding its way into the high country to a trout stream where the current swirls around your legs and the trout, tight to your line, flashes gold in the sharp sunlight.’ 

“Cutthroat,” published by Scott & Nix, Inc. of New York, is Graybrook’s first book.

Shannon Reed is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmurs” and “Daily Shouts” columns, as well as to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. For Buzzfeed, she wrote the (in)famous piece, If Jane Austen Got Feedback From Some Guy in a Writing Workshop among other work. Her essays have been published in Guernica, Vela, Longreads, Ozy, The Guardian, LitHub, Vulture, and The Washington Post. Her fiction appeared in Mud River Journal, Kweli Journal and Litro Fiction, among others. Her plays have been performed or read in New York, Pittsburgh, Denver, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Shannon is proud to be a Teaching Artist for City Theatre’s Young Playwrights Program. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from Pitt, an MA in Educational Theatre/Teaching Secondary English from NYU, and a BFA in Theatre: Acting and Directing from Otterbein University. Before joining the faculty at Pitt as a Visiting Lecturer, Shannon taught in the New York City public school system. She is at work on her first novel, about the shooting death of a student at a high school in Brooklyn, and the effect this has on the school community

Geeta Kothari’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various anthologies and journals, including New England Review, Massachusetts Review, Kenyon Review and Best American Essays. She is the editor of ‘Did My Mama Like to Dance?’ and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters. Her more recent publication is I Brake for Moose and Other Stories.




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

January 21, 2018 @ 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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