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Shanna Carrick

Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

By News

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures has been approved for a $10,000 Grant for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support public lecture events and community engagement opportunities with critically acclaimed authors on our Ten Evenings mainstage series and our free Poets Aloud and Words & Pictures series. Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures is among 1,125 projects across America totaling more than $26.6 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2022 funding.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
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Poetry Allowed

By Events

The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books presents Poetry Allowed

Join us for an all day live poetry reading event, sponsored by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures.

Registration is free, stay all day or pop in the tent to listen to as many poets as you’d like!

Saturday, May 14, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Bakery Square, 6425 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Poets include:

  • Daniel Borzutzky
  • Paola Corso
  • Veronica Corpuz
  • Toi Derricotte
  • Lynn Emanuel
  • Celeste Gainey
  • Bri Griffith
  • Karen Howard
  • Carly Inghram
  • Michelle Gil-Montero
  • Danielle Orbisie-Orlu
  • Bonita Lee Penn
  • Judith R. Robinson
  • Kayla Sargeson
  • Michael Simms
  • Cameron Barnett
  • Michael Wurster
  • Robert Walicki
  • Elizabeth Hoover
  • Madwomen in the Attic
  • Soledad Caballero
  • Angele Ellis
  • Don Wentworth
  • Lori Jakiela
  • Aurielle Marie

Find other events on the Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books website featuring Billy Porter, beloved local authors, and more.

2021/2022 Ten Evenings Lineup

By Media

Pittsburgh Arts And Lectures Announces 2021/2022 Ten Evenings Lineup

By Jody DiPerna
Pittsburgh Current Senior Contributor

More than a full year into the new reality of pandemic living, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures has upped their game in order to serve literary Western Pennsylvania with a stunning line-up of writers as part of their Ten Evenings Series. The just announced 2021/2022 season presents local readers with opportunities to engage with writers who inform, entertain, transform and reimagine the spaces we occupy. Even when those spaces are virtual.

“There have been so many incredible books this past year that personally got me through the challenge and isolation of the pandemic. I think I’ll always reflect on these books differently than other books I’ve read in my life. I suspect I am not alone in feeling this way and I am just thrilled to present so many of these phenomenal authors this coming year,” Stephanie Flom told the Current via email. It was a difficult year for all arts organizations, but Flom, the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, was buoyed by the response of her team and of the audience.

Isabel Wilkerson -(Photo: Joe Henson)

“We never could have imagined that we’d be presenting virtually throughout last season. And yet our resilient staff pulled it off and our audience was eager and grateful to continue to hear from the authors,” she said.

The folks at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures learned a lot through feeling their way through their first virtual year; they overcame unexpected challenges, but also experienced moments of real connection, curiosity and compassion.

“The biggest surprise of the past year were the virtual high school visits. There was such an intimacy when the authors and the students (often in their bedrooms) are eye to eye on their zoom screen. We heard from more than one author that the student questions were among the best they’ve had,” according to Flom.

Ten Evenings will kick off in the fall with Brit Bennett, author of ‘The Vanishing Half,’ a searing novel about the cost of racial passing. The best-selling novel probes all of our conceptions and misconceptions about race, identity and place while telling a family story.

Lawrence Wright brings his gift for investigating the major events of our times to the present moment with his book, ‘The Plague Year:  America in the Time of COVID.’ Wright is the author of numerous books, including ‘The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,’ a comprehensive work about the failures of intelligence and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism that lead to the 9/11 attacks.

‘Hamnet’ was on every literary maven’s bookshelf, night stand or wish list this year. Maggie O’Farrell’s novel re-imagines the life and premature death of Shakespeare’s young son, Hamnet. This novel of a marriage reeling from grief while struggling through a pandemic feels exquisitely germane to this moment in our own time.

When Isabel Wilkerson published her masterwork, ‘The Warmth of Other Suns:  The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,’ in 2010, she knocked everybody sideways. She brings that same prodigious talent to her 2020 release, ‘Caste:  The Origins of Our Discontents,’ described by the New York Times as ‘an instant American classic.’ It is just that.

With ‘Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants,’ Robin Kimmerer blends poetry and prose, botany and environmental advocacy into a wholly mesmerizing collection of essays. Kimmerer is a trained botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her illuminates the synergistic marriage of humans and the planet we occupy in a way that makes all things feel possible. She has said, “If we think about our responsibilities as gratitude, giving back and being activated by love for the world, that’s a powerful motivator.”

For many of us, books are as essential to surviving the pandemic as masks and hand sanitizer. They provide a way to live in the world while sheltering at home. Reading has always allowed us to explore with our minds, even if we’re firmly seated at home. It feels more indispensable than ever to connect through the written world.

The programming for the 2021/2022 season is an all-star lineup of the most talked about books and the most essential voices. Like most of us, Flom still keeps the fire burning towards that day when we go off-line and back into physical spaces together.

“My hope is that we can return to in-person lectures in 2022. I’ve literally been dreaming about it; there is a true euphoria, a triumphant joy, resonating throughout the Music Hall,” she said.


Ten Evenings Lineup for 2021/2022 

  • Brit Bennett, author of ‘The Vanishing Half’ — Monday, September 20, 2021
  • Charles Yu, author of ‘Interior Chinatown’ — Monday, October 18, 2021
  • Lawrence Wright, author of ‘The Plague Year:  America in the Time of COVID’ — Monday, November 8, 2021
  • Maggie O’Farrell, author of ‘Hamnet’ — Monday, November 22, 2021
  • Yaa Gyasi, author of ‘Transcendent Kingdom’ — Monday, December 6, 2021
  • Douglas Stuart, author of ‘Shuggie Bain’ — Monday, January 24, 2022
  • Ayad Akhtar, author of ‘Homeland Elegies’ — Monday, February 21, 2022
  • George Saunders, author of ‘A Swim in a Pond in the Rain’ — Monday, March 21, 2022
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ — Monday, April 11, 2022
  • Isabel Wilkerson, author of ‘Caste’ — Monday, May 9, 2022

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Announces 2020/21 Ten Evenings Season

By Events

Susan Choi / Monday, September 14, 2020 Trust Exercise
The author of five novels, Susan Choi won the 2019 National Book Award for Trust Exercise, an ingenious meditation on fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, the capacities of adolescents, and the powers of adults.

Terry Tempest Williams / Monday, October 12, 2020 Erosion: Essays of Undoing
Terry Tempest Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. Erosion: Essays of Undoing, explores the forms of erosion we face: of democracy, science, compassion, and trust.

Laila Lalami / Monday, October 26, 2020 Conditional Citizens
Prize-winning novelist (The Moors Account, The Other Americans) Laila Lalami’s new book, Conditional Citizens, is a brilliantly argued and deeply personal work of non-fiction—a sobering investigation on the place of nonwhites in American culture.

Lily King / Monday, November 16, 2020 Writers & Lovers
Following her beloved, prize-winning novel, Euphoria, Lily King brings us Writers & Lovers, a masterful portrait of an artist as a young woman praised as “a story where absence is a constant presence, stitched with humor, determination and hope.”

Brian Greene / Monday, November 23, 2020 Until the End of Time
World-renowned physicist and award-winning, bestselling author Brian Greene writes to help us understand our Elegant Universe. Until the End of Time is a captivating exploration of the cosmos and our quest to find meaning in this vast expanse.

Ta-Nehisi Coates / Monday, December 7, 2020 The Water Dancer
An essential voice of our times, National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates has produced The Water Dancer, his bold debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

David Treuer / Monday, January 18, 2021 The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
Anthropologist and author David Treuer combines history, reporting, and memoir to create the National Book Award Finalist, New York Times bestseller, and multiple Best Books of 2019 list-maker, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present.

Karen Russell / Monday, February 22, 2021 Orange World
Karen Russel is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of the New York Times bestsellers Swamplandia!, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and Orange World—a stunning collection that showcases her extraordinary gifts of language and imagination.

Ocean Vuong / Monday, March 22, 2021 On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong is an award-winning poet and the author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, a work hailed as an “expansive and introspective, fragmented and dreamlike” coming of age story.

Bernardine Evaristo / Monday, April 5, 2021 Girl, Woman, Other
With Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo became the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize for Fiction. The novel is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity, across generations, in a group of Black British women.

The 2020/21 Ten Evenings series is presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, in association with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. This is the 30th season of Pittsburgh’s literary lecture series. All programs are presented on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm in Oakland’s historic Carnegie Music Hall.

Subscriptions for the 2020/21 Ten Evenings season will be available in May and single tickets go on sale July 6. More information is available by visiting pittsburghlectures.org or emailing info@pittsburghlectures.org.

Events Impacted by COVID-19

By News

The staff and board of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures deeply appreciates your patience and understanding during this time as we work with both our authors and our audience members. Please email us at info@pittsburghlectures.or if you have any questions.

Ten Evenings

All Ten Evenings lecture tickets for the September 2020 through April 2021 lecture season will include a virtual option. If we cannot be together in person for a scheduled lecture, we will work with the author to create a virtual event viewable from home. If the lecture proceeds as scheduled, we will make livestreaming an option for those who prefer to view from home.

Video links will be emailed to all ticket holders on the day of the scheduled lecture.

Subscriptions for the full season are available and single tickets go on sale July 6, 2020 at 10 a.m.

Rescheduled Lectures:

Stephen Heyman’s free Made Local lecture had been rescheduled for Thursday, August 13, 2020 as a virtual event.

Robin DiAngelo’s lecture scheduled for April 14th has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 10, 2020 as a virtual event. All previous tickets will be honored for the new date. Ticket holders will be emailed a link to view the lecture on Thursday, September 10, 2020. You may share this link, which will be available to view for one week, with your seatmates.

Jodi Kantor’s lecture scheduled for April 27th has been rescheduled for Monday, November 30, 2020. All previous tickets will be honored for the new date. If we cannot gather in person according to the CDC’s guidelines Jodi Kantor will record a virtual event video for everyone to watch at home. If we are able to gather in person we will also livestream the lecture for all ticket holders who do not wish to come to the lecture hall.

Mo Rocca’s event scheduled for March 30th has been rescheduled for Monday, November 2, 2020 as a virtual event. All previous tickets will be honored for the new date. Ticket holders will be emailed a link to view the lecture on Monday, November 2, 2020. You may share this link, which will be available to view for one week, with your seatmates. Each ticket includes a copy of Mobituaries which will be shipped to your home by Mystery Lovers Bookshop, with a bookplate signed by Mo Rocca. If you need to change the address for the shipment of your book(s) please email us at info@pittsburghlectures.org.

If you’d like to request a refund in advance of these rescheduled dates please email us at info@pittsburghlectures.org.

Previously Scheduled Events

Michael Ondaatje and David Sibley’s lectures were presented virtually. Thank you to all who joined us!

Our Made Local and Poets Aloud events with Autumn House and Toi Derricotte will be rescheduled at a later date.

Anne Enright’s lecture on Monday, March 16th was cancelled – All ticket holders for this event have been emailed directly and refunded.

With our gratitude,
Stephanie's signature





Stephanie Flom
Executive Director
Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures

2019/20 Ten Evenings Season

By News

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Announces 2019/20 Ten Evenings Season

The 2019/20 season boasts a roster of literary super stars—all claiming bragging rights to prestigious awards and critical acclaim. With the exception of Doris Kearns Goodwin who appeared in 1993, each is appearing on Ten Evenings, the mainstage series of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, for the first time.

Sigrid Nunez / Monday, September 23, 2019

Sigrid Nunez has published seven novels, including The Last of Her Kind, A Feather on the Breath of God, and most recently, The Friend. Nunez won the 2018 National Book Award for The Friend, a story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the transcendent bond between a woman and her dog.

Ibram X. Kendi / Monday, October 14, 2019

National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi follows Stamped from the Beginning with How to Be an Antiracist, a bracingly original approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality. Kendi explores what an antiracist society might look like and the role individuals can play in building it.

Doris Kearns Goodwin / Monday, October 28, 2019

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. In Leadership in Turbulent Times, she draws upon the extraordinary leadership qualities of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Madeline Miller / Monday, November 11, 2019

Dramaturge and Classics scholar Madeline Miller appeared on nearly every Best Book of 2018 list with her bestselling novel Circe, a feminist retelling of The Odyssey from the perspective of Greek mythology’s island-dwelling sorceress. Circe follows her prize-winning debut The Song of Achilles.

Reza Aslan / Monday, November 25, 2019

Reza Aslan is writer, commentator, professor, producer, and religious scholar. In God: A Human History, Aslan thoughtfully explores the history of religion as an attempt to understand the divine by giving God human traits and emotions. He is a recipient of the prestigious James Joyce Award.

Richard Powers / Monday, December 9, 2019

National Book Award winner Richard Powers’ sweeping, impassioned novel of activism, The Overstory, unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Carmen Maria Machado / Monday, January 20, 2020

Carmen Maria Machado’s genre-bending short-story collection Her Body and Other Parties was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, and many other honors. Her revolutionary memoir In the Dream House reveals the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.

Tommy Orange / Monday, February 10, 2020

There, There is the debut novel by Tommy Orange that caught the critics by storm, winning multiple prizes and topping year-end best book lists. Poignant, funny, contemporary, and entirely unforgettable, this instant classic is a stunning portrayal of urban Native American life.

Esi Edugyan / Monday, March 9, 2020

Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black is a dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a man of the world. Named a 10 Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, this “lush, exhilarating travelogue reminiscent of Jules Verne” asks, what is true freedom?

Michael Ondaatje / Monday, April 6, 2020

Man Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient and recipient of the Golden Booker, Michael Ondaatje delivers Warlight, a vivid novel of violence and love, intrigue, and desire. Set in London after World War II, the story is told through the lives of an unexpected group of characters.

The 2019/20 Ten Evenings series is presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, in association with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. This is the 29th season of Pittsburgh’s literary lecture series. All programs are presented on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm in Oakland’s historic Carnegie Music Hall.

Subscriptions for the 2019/20 Ten Evenings season will be available on May 1 and single tickets go on sale July 8. More information is available by visiting www.pittsburghlectures.org or calling Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, 412.622.8866.

Director’s Letter – 2018/19 Season of Ten Evenings

By Events

Dear Friends,

When our survey asked for three adjectives that best describe the Ten Evenings lectures, the top responses were informative, interesting, and entertaining, followed by inspiring, enlightening, stimulating, educational, thought-provoking, engaging, and enjoyable. Other responses included insightful, surprising, motivating, eye-opening, timely, challenging, funny, and fun.

It is my privilege to present you with this year’s slate of critically acclaimed authors. Their poignant, relevant, deeply researched, and beautifully crafted works are bringing each one of them to the fore of the national and international cultural and literary arena.

We launch the season with literary icon Joyce Carol Oates, who returns to our stage for the first time since 1992. One of the world’s most eminent authors, she addresses themes in her work that include racism, classism, and sexual–political power dynamics.

Mexican–U.S. immigration is addressed in both fiction and nonfiction by Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels and The Devil’s Highway) and Valeria Luiselli (Tell Me How It Ends and her forthcoming Lost Children Archive).

Jill Lepore provides an investigation of our divided nation (These Truths), while the timely topic of Russia and Putin are discussed by journalist Masha Gessen (The Future is History). Katherine Boo humanizes inequality in Mumbai, India (Behind the Beautiful Forevers) while her current focus is poverty in Washington, D.C. Tayari Jones takes on questions of race, class, and incarceration in a fictional love story (An American Marriage) while Ottessa Moshfegh reveals a young woman’s shocking approach to mental health (My Year of Rest and Relaxation).

The war in Yemen, immigration, coffee, and entrepreneurism comprise the tale told by Dave Eggers who will appear with the subject of his book (The Monk of Mokha), Mokhtar Alkhanshali. And we’ll end our season with Min Jin Lee and her page-turning family saga (Pachinko), which portrays the lasting impact of Japanese colonialism and the long, vexed history of discrimination against Koreans in Japan.

There is certainly much to learn, contemplate, discuss, and be inspired by. Thank you for joining the Ten Evenings community of readers, writers, listeners, and thinkers as we engage with these important writers of our time.

Stephanie Flom

Executive Director