When T.S. Elliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month,” he must not have heard about National Poetry Month, a celebration of writing that has inspired events all over Pittsburgh.
This evening at 7 p.m., students from both Carnegie Mellon and the High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) are gathering at the CAPA Black Box Theatre for a reading. Those participating will be sharing their poems, which are part of a collaborative project between the two institutions where students created work for publication. Simultaneously, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host “A Multiplicity of Voices, A Celebration of National Poetry Month,” a presentation by both the library and the Carnegie Mellon drama department. A second performance is set to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
For those 21 and over, a group of poets and musicians is throwing a fundraiser for James Deahl, a poet born in Pittsburgh. The fundraiser will take place 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the South Side’s Club Café.
This Friday, Flannery O’Connor Award-winner and fiction writer Kellie Welles will give a performance as part of the Gist Street Reading Series. Welles will read alongside poet Jason Schneiderman, author of Sublimation Point. Check it out at 306 Gist Street, 7:30 p.m.
Junior English major Julie Brown is one of the many students who have read their work at events organized by the creative writing department. “The reading opportunities are very useful,” Brown said. “They give us, as student writers, a chance to share our work with the community and a chance to read our poetry and talk a little about it.”
Brown is not the only student who has found poetry reading events to be beneficial to her writing. A senior BHA student with concentrations in piano and creative writing, Adam Jaffe has also read his poetry in student readings on campus. “Poems take on a different life when they are read out loud, and that’s why it’s important to practice performing poems in front of a live audience,” Jaffe said.
Jaffe is one of the performers for the upcoming senior reading, scheduled for April 27 in the Adamson Wing of Baker Hall. The senior reading is open to all senior creative writing majors.