The Pittsburgh Literary List
We have some award-winning poets and writers teaching classes for local university students, such as Terrance Hayes, who won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010, and Jeanne Marie Laskas, a renowned non-fiction writer. It’s natural for the students of wordsmiths like these to come togehter and join some of the awesome collectives and programs we have here in Pittsburgh. Whether you’re already a writer looking to hone your craft or a newbie starting from scratch, there are plenty of resources to choose from.
The Pittsburgh Poetry Collective is, as it sounds, a collection of poets and poetry enthusiasts located in our area. They’ve got different programs for different purposes with a large focus on slam poetry. Slam poetry is a little mix between a theatrical monologue with a serious flow that reads like a poem and delivers a powerful message. The Steel City Slam is Pittsburgh’s premier adult slam group with regular performances at cool places like Brillobox. Young Slam caters to teenage poets, but it follows the same rules as the adult slam. The Pittsburgh Poetry Collective also hosts a creative writing workshop, WordPlay, and a performance service, WordUp.
Sampsonia Way is an awesome literary magazine that serves an awesome purpose. Produced for City of Asylum Pittsburgh, the staff largely consists of writers who have been exiled from their home country due to global issues of censorship. The exiled writers live on the revitalized Northside street that serves as the magazine’s namesake, Sampsonia Way. The online magazine features poetry, fiction, interviews, columns, and much more from all around the world. They also feature an online calendar that keeps Pittsburghers up to date on all the literary happenings in the city.
For writers looking to expand their skill, the Pittsburgh South Writers Group is there to provide critique and encouragement. Not only that, they meet to have meaningful conversations about writing and literature to inspire the group. Conversations about the business and industry of writing and publishing are often as important as learning about the craft itself, so they provide a great service to all of their members.
Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series connects local literary enthusiasts to their favorite authors by way of exclusive lectures at the Carnegie Music Hall and more. Each year, several distinguished authors come by for the Monday Night Lecture Series, and this year we can look forward to people like Jodi Picoult and Elizabeth Gilbert. These lectures provide Pittsburghers the opportunity to learn more about their favorite novels and writers, and hopefully pick up a few tips along the way.
So whether you’re looking to enjoy the work of others, or create some of your own, Pittsburgh has the resources for you to do so. Get to it!