City Books is pleased to announce Kelsey Swintek and Dade Lemanski as Writers-in-Residence from July 1 – November 30, 2021.
Kelsey Swintek’s essays have appeared in Hobart and Nowhere. She publishes a weekly newsletter called Lucky Rigatoni, where she writes about musings, shares her photography, and renders occasional epiphanies. Kelsey received her Masters of Arts in Comparative Literature and Art History from the University of St Andrews. She is currently working on her first collection of essays and can be found on Twitter at @kelseyswintek.
Dade Lemanski writes about whiteness, Appalachia, Jewishness, antisemitism, and white supremacy through a trans(sexual)-historical lens. They are currently at work on a book about Polish folk magic, dad(die)s, and anti-Blackness among white punks. Their writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, DIAGRAM, the Village Voice, and In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. Dade teaches seventh grade and can be reached at @dclarkwithane.
The writers will receive a $500 stipend, discounts and curation opportunities at City Books. In addition, Swintek and Lemanski will spend at least 3-5 hours a week writing in the bookstore, and be available on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) and for media requests.
Owner Arlan Hess says the Residency has had its limitations during COVID, but its obstacles have not been impossible to overcome. She describes the hurdles as detours rather than blockades. “The closure of the bookstore last year forced us to expand the definition of ‘resident’ and ‘space’ in ways that we hadn’t initially considered. During lockdown, instead of requiring Residents to come to the Northside, we met them where they were at home and on their screens.” The Fall 2021 Residency will be the first since last year’s launch to require vaccinated writers to complete of their hours in the bookstore.
The City Books Writer’s Residency offers flexible access to a comfortable, creative space within Pittsburgh’s oldest bookstore for adult writers to develop new writing or to advance existing work-in-progress. The opportunity allows writers to pursue individual writing goals or projects without the expectation of a page count or publication. It is intended for local/regional writers within driving distance of the bookstore.