Editor and critic John Allison works on the Sunday Books section at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Though much of his week is spent sifting through boxes of galleys for forthcoming books, it hasn't dimmed his enthusiasm for the printed word.
Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza are the co-founders and artistic directors of Attack Theatre. Their upcoming show draws heavily on opera, a genre that not so long ago was considered popular entertainment.
A seasoned journalist and senior lecturer for the University of Pittsburgh’s writing program, Cindy Skrzycki has an eye for a story. Her recent fiction and nonfiction book selections reflect what she teaches her students: Foundationally, good writing is informed writing.
Pittsburgh's Saxifrage School is an experiment in higher education, rethinking the concept of college to emphasize purposeful learning and meaningful work. Founding Director Tim Cook's reading reflects that mission:
Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer and author of The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century, talks about how fiction can impart a true sense of place, and the poetry of former Pennsylvania State Poet Samuel Hazo.
Point Park University English professor Megan Ward is a Victorianist, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that her reading includes a lot of 19th century British fiction. She also loves the fiction of Michael Chabon, which Ward finds "Dickensian in its exuberance... its intricacies and weirdness."
Rabbi Aaron Bisno of Rodef Shalom Congregation values narrative for its power "to convince someone of the meaning of an argument because of its direct implications on someone with whom they have a relationship, who they care about."
Ruth Drescher from Squirrel Hill will be the first to admit that Paul Auster's new memoir -- written entirely in the second person -- may not be for everyone. But she found Winter Journal unexpectedly compelling.
Staycee Pearl is a Pittsburgh-based choreographer who stages dance performances based on, or inspired by, works of literature. She offers a few favorite books and talks about their role in her work at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.