Acquired Taste: A Reading Series

I’m so excited about my latest project: curating a new, food-themed reading series in and around Pittsburgh. Those of you who follow me on various social media will likely have already seen this, but I wanted to gather all the current info in one place and officially introduce the series.

Acquired Taste is a series of public readings, each featuring 3-4 local or touring authors reading their work around a food-related theme. I decided to curate this series because I wanted to showcase the outstanding literary talent in Pittsburgh, and to be part of expanding the literary world’s understanding of food writing to something beyond restaurant reviews and cookbooks.

Our first event will be held at the wonderful indie East End Book Exchange, on December 14th at 7pm. Our readers for this inaugural event are showstoppers Dave Housley (founding editor of Barrelhouse magazine, in promotion of his new book Commercial Fiction), and Sheila Squillante (Asst. Director of Chatham University’s MFA program and author of four poetry chapbooks). Plus, ok, me. Our theme is “Fast Food,” loosely interpreted, so come expecting something that’s cheap, greasy, and over before you know it!

Our second event, to be held on January 18th, at 8pm, at The Shop (a studio/performance space) is already shaping up to be awesome. This one, called Punky Foodster: Readings on Food, Sex, and Rock and Roll, will feature three readers and three local bands, alternating their performances. Pittsburgh’s own Father Flamethrower, Boom River, and UMLAUT will be rocking out, and poet Lisa Panepinto will be our first reader. We’re still looking for a few more to round out the lineup, so get in touch if you’re interested!

If you’re reading this and you’re within traveling distance of the Pittsburgh area (or are about to embark on a book tour), and you’re interested in reading at an Acquired Taste event, please get in touch by leaving a comment or using my contact page above. I’m eager to feature as many writers, at any stage of their career, as possible.

Nuts and bolts for submissions: The work may be in any genre — fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and poetry are all welcome, but pieces should be around or under 15-20 minutes long. The work may also, of course, have been previously published, or under consideration for publication.

Themes are meant to be interpreted as broadly or narrowly as each writer likes, and do not need to be taken literally.

My hope is that this will be a playful reading series, one that welcomes humor, smut, irreverence, etc. One that makes food tasteful or tasteless. One that engages our audience’s imagination to make them salivate, and to extend our ideas of what “food writing” looks like.

Learn more by getting in touch, or head on over to like us on Facebook, and stay up to date with future events and calls for submission.

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