Pittsburgh = Books
by ________Posted on February 17th, 2012 at 6:39 pm
Outside of cities with established literary and publishing scenes (basically, outside of San Francisco and New York City), how does one establish a broader literary culture?
Karen Lillis: San Fran and New York are certainly prestigious and concentrated book towns, but so many cities have active lit scenes or tight-knit poetry communities. Chicago is a great city for fiction. Pittsburgh (my current city) has a very vibrant indie lit scene, especially for a city of its size—numerous small presses and literary journals, smart bookstores, twenty active reading series, at least three writers’ residencies, including one for zine writers. If I want to, I can stay busy most days of a week attending readings, hearing my favorite local writers’ latest work, and meeting touring writers. How does it happen? In Pittsburgh, there’s an intersection of cheap rent attracting creative people, an abundance of art grants and performance venues, and colleges with writing programs. Attract a concentration of writers and you’ll get a literary culture.
—from “Six Degrees Left: Is Amazon the Death of Literary Culture?,” a roundtable from the blog of Atticus Books, hosted by Lacey N. Dunham in conversation with author and small press librarian Karen Lillis, author Laura Ellen Scott, and poet and bookseller Angela Williams