Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Pittsburgh Writers To Read In Cleveland

Someone just clued me in on group reading of local writers doing a reading in Cleveland.

“Let’s hear it for cross-urban pollination! A posse of Pittsburgh’s writers, more specifically some local authors on Pittsburgh’s Six Gallery Press, are driving up to Cleveland this Saturday for a group reading at Mac’s Paperbacks, in Cleveland Heights. Writers such as New Yinzers Kris Collins and Scott Silsbe, “Pittsburgh’s Rimbaud” John Thomas Menesini, novelist Dana Killmeyer, outsider writer Che Elias, and myself, will be joining Youngstown’s Noah Cicero, Cleveland native David Hoenigman, and the notorious Kane X. Faucher for the literary onslaught.”

Six Gallery Press Reading
May 5th 2007 at 5:00pm
Mac’s Paperbacks
1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights

Single or Double

Yesterday we started an interesting discussion over at workabout spacing. Do you put one space or two after a period. Lynsie and I are both believers in 2 spaces. But others here disagreed. We have even taken the debate to google and found a video of someone strongly advocating for one space.
Apparently the two spaces were historically added when typing on a typewriter because typewriter spacing was so tricky. As the conversation continued through out the day we learned that computers now correct you for adding two spaces.
I thought of James’ (since I am writing about grammar I just had to pause for a consultation about how to correctly make James possessive) post about the governments involvement. I am just not sure I like Word having so much control over my writing. If I want to put two spaces after a period that is my prerogative.
For now Lynsie and I will stick to two spaces – double space forever, single space never.

Meet Hot Metal Bridge

hmb_forpittsblog.gifCreative writing grad students at Pitt — including me — have gotten together to edit a new literary magazine, Hot Metal Bridge, named after this.

Fiction luminaries Michael Martone and Dan Chaon appear in the debut issue, and there are also two stories by writers who’ve never been published before. There’s an essay about snakes (insert Raiders of the Lost Ark reference here) from West Viriginian Simone Poirier-Bures. The debut issue also boasts new work from acclaimed poet Maurice Kilwein Guevara, who spent his formative years right here in Pittsburgh.

Pitt’s last literary magazine died a quiet death, so we’re particularly excited to have revived the tradition. If you have a moment for some new fiction/poetry/creative nonfiction, do check out Hot Metal Bridge.

Traffic jam on Gist Street

Once again, the Gist Street reading series sold out on Friday night, turning away a pack of disappointed literary-types. Poet Terrance Hayes, who was on the bill, had to be rescued from the street. He teaches at CMU, so he must know the crowds-at-Gist-Street drill.

Like others, I’ve been locked out before, so I made like a crazy fan and was there insanely early. I got in. Whew!

Both Hayes and fiction writer Charles D’Ambrosio were impressive, and appreciated. D’Ambrosio is a hot commodity these days with his new collection of short stories, The Dead Fish Museum, and Pittsburgh is lucky to have a poet of Hayes’ stature right here in town.

But I can’t help but be sad that crowds are regularly turned away from these readings. Could Gist Street function in a bigger space? Or could Pittsburgh support another reading series or two?

Free To The People


Because you’ll never have enough bookcases, and in honor of Library Lover’s Month, I offer you a link to my favorite browser script. Next time you click through a link to, wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that you could borrow the book locally and then just request it online? Free?

Christina, who blogs over at Inner Bitch, cooked up this bit of delightful geekery – so you can see at a glance (INSIDE your Amazon window) whether Pittsburgh area libraries have a given book, and then click through the link to the library’s site to request it. Her blog post explains how to install it – you need to be using Firefox as your browser (either Mac or PC) and then you install the Greasemonkey extension, and then you can be running the library script. She explains it all, with helpful links:

“Taking a can opener to”

Have fun!

Where are John Freyer’s sideburns now?

This morning I was writing a blog post about this guy who is trying to sell all of his stuff on ebay to make $1,000,000 in 30 days. Which led me to write about one of my favorite books, All My Life For Sale, in which John Freyer tells the story of selling all of his stuff in 2001 on Ebay and then going to visit the stuff. So I thought I would see if he sold anything to Pittsburgh. And he did.

So about 5 years ago someone named Mark from bought Freyer’s side burns.

Will the Mysteries of Pittsburgh be solved?

chabon and waldmanCold, schmold. Tonight’s Drue Heinz lecture features authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, a luminous literary couple (yep, they’re married). Chabon is, by my guess, the best-known graduate of Pitt’s creative writing program: he won a Pulitzer for his 2001 novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Around these parts, his debut novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is also fondly remembered; new Pitt students wander around Oakland trying to find the cloud factory. Where is it, exactly?

Ayelet Waldman, who started out as a lawyer, has published 7 novels; her latest, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, is just now out in paperback. I was at a New Year’s Eve party where everyone who hadn’t already read it was clamoring to get their hands on a copy — John at the Aspinwall Bookshop had been spreading the good word.

Tonight the couple will be onstage, asking questions of each other. Chances are it’ll be like being at a magical cocktail party, where the funniest, smartest couple in the room tell such good stories that everyone gathers around to listen.

As much as you can huddle around a coffee table from the balcony of the Carnegie Library, that is.

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