City of Asylum

Essential Pittsburgh
4:46 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Exploring Sonic Sanctuaries On The North Side

City of Asylum, located on the North Side
Credit Joseph A / Flickr

Perhaps you’re familiar with the North Side — maybe you’ve lived there, or maybe you just visited the Aviary. Is there any way for someone who’s visited the Pittsburgh neighborhood to see it in a different way?

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River of Words
12:30 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

A River of Words Will Flow Through The North Side

A North Side-based group known most for its support of exiled writers is spreading the word, literally. 

The City of Asylum has partnered with the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art to connect its Alphabet City, a literary center, to its Alphabet Reading Garden, the residential part of the neighborhood, by creating what it is calling a River of Words. The “River” will consist of area neighbors hosting words made out of  plastic placed on the outside of their homes.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:17 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Exiled Writer Moniru Ravanipur Shares Insight on Free Speech in Iran

Exiled Iranian Writer, Moniru Ravanipur, is in Pittsburgh for a joint residency at City of Asylum and The Ellis School.
Credit Nick Frost / 90.5 WESA

As a young writer, Moniru Ravanipur, hoped that her writing would keep her alive. But more often than not it caused conflict with the Islamic government of Iran, where she grew up.

After waiting nearly seven years to get permission to publish her work, then ten years for her first novel, Ravanipur’s work was quickly banned.

“I didn’t write before the revolution. I wrote a short collection story that immediately they burnt and banned...That was not the only story that they banned.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:19 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Breaking Down Global and Local Barriers Through City of Asylum

The colorful buildings of the City of Asylum on the North Side, a sanctuary for writers in exile.
Credit Joseph A / Flickr

City of Asylum Pittsburgh was launched in 2004 and has since been a hub of activity on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Created as a sanctuary for writers in exile, City of Asylum is expanding into a vehicle for community development on the city’s North Side.

Henry Reese, founder of City of Asylum, says the organization's role in the community is constantly evolving.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:19 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Exiled Voices of China and Tibet Come To Pittsburgh

Dr. Martin-Liao is President of Independent Chinese PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists) and Poet and musician Liao Yiwu will read from his prison memoir
Credit City of Asylum

The Pittsburgh based online magazine, Sampsonia Way, seeks to protect and advocate for writers in asylum, educate the public about threats to literary expression, and to create a community where endangered writers can thrive. This is made possible by the Northside's City of Asylum Pittsburgh.

Exiled Voices of China and Tibet is an event taking place this weekend at the City of Asylum.  Notable international writers will for the first time, be able to talk about the exercise of fundamental human rights in China. For many of these writers, they've never been in the same room at the same time or been able to speak freely about human rights.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo: An Activist and Artist Blogging from Havana

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo lives in Havana Cuba and is a columnist for the Pittsburgh-based magazine Sampsonia Way.
Credit Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

For the first time in nearly 50 years, Cubans no longer need a special permit to travel outside the country. With the new potential for travel freedom, how does one's view of the world change? Because of the relaxed restrictions, Cuban writer and photographer, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo is now visiting Pittsburgh and the United States for the first time. He joins us to talk about his work for City of Asylum's Sampsonia Way Magazine, publishing Voces, Cuba's first independent e-zine,  and what it took to travel to the U.S.