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Civic Impact

Free, fresh prose: catch Writers Live @ CLP before some of these authors catch on

The only thing better than hearing great writers read from and talk about their art is doing it for free.

That's what Writers Live @ CLP is bringing to the main branch of Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh in Oakland: a new series of lectures from up and comers as well as established authors. It all begins with Mt. Lebanon-raised Matthew Gallaway on April 21, whose critically praised The Metropolis Case features main characters who grow up in real and fictionalized Pittsburgh locations.

It continues May 10 with historian Nathaniel Philbrick (a Taylor Allderdice grad), last here in 2007 as part of the Drue Heinz lecture series, with his fresh take on the Battle of Little Bighorn, and 2011 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Shannon Cain, whose debut short-story collection will appear shortly before her Oct. 6 visit.

CLP is collaborating on the new series with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, the new name for the group behind the Drue Heinz lecture series (now dubbed Literary Evenings, Monday Night Lecture Series). The two groups have long organized Black, White & Read All Over, a free family book series, at CLP, and are pleased to add a free series for adults one that can grow freely as new authors become available, says Arts & Lectures spokesperson Emily Price.

Price is particularly pleased to start with Gallaway's work, which has earned rave reviews (and features a shout out to Pop City's own Jennifer Baron, Gallaway's former bandmate, on the thank-you page).

"Pittsburgh plays a big role in the book," Gallaway says, from Castle Shannon to a Mt. Lebo-like "Cedar Village." "The blending of real/unreal place names is a theme throughout ," in settings as diverse as Paris 150 years ago and today's Manhattan.

Adds Price: "The book is fabulous and we're excited to have him open the series."

To register, call 412-622-8866 or visit either group's website..

Do Good:

• Get the kids interested in reading, early and often: visit the headquarters for Black, White & Read All Over.

Writer: Marty Levine
Sources: Emily Price, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures; Matthew Gallaway
Image courtesy of Emily Price, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures

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