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Acclaimed poet and best-selling novelists visit Pittsburgh.

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The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series' season of regarding literary futures comes to a close March 25. The series, sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh English Department, has already considered the future of fiction and the future of poetry. (A session on the future of the artifact known as "the book" was snowed out.)

Now the series takes a second stab at assessing the future of poetry with two emerging names in the field. One is Nathaniel Mackey, the University of California, Santa Cruz, literature professor whose Splay Anthem won the National Book Award for poetry in 2006. Mackey is also a critic, literary theorist and a former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Mackey will be interviewed on stage by Pitt associate professor Ben Lerner, whose Angle of Yaw was a National Book Award finalist that very same year. Lerner also co-founded and co-edits No: a journal of the arts, and was recently appointed poetry editor for Critical Quarterly. Mean Free Path, his third book of poems, is due out on Copper Canyon in May. 

The Future of Poetry II 8:30 p.m. Thu., March 25. Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Schenley Plaza, Oakland. Free. 412-624-6506 or www.english.pitt.edu (Bill O'Driscoll)

 

The best-selling novelist team of Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant visit Pittsburgh on Mon., March 22, as part of their national tour behind their latest, Uptown (Touchstone Books).

The novel follows one man's ambition to take over his father's Harlem real-estate empire and build a luxury high-rise on Central Park North. The story is set during the recent real-estate boom, and the authors tackle politics, social class and worldly ambition with a sometimes Tom Wolfe-ish snap.

DeBerry and Grant's earlier titles include Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made. Their tour is a varied one, including not only bookstores but libraries, restaurants, book fairs and literary festivals. In Pittsburgh, they'll read and sign at the Homewood Carnegie Library Courtesy of the United Black Book Clubs of Pittsburgh.

7 p.m. Mon., March 22. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh -- Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. (BO) 

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo introduced America to the wild world of Scandinavian mysteries. But close on author Steig Larrson's coattails is Norwegian Joe Nesbo, author of the popular Detective Harry Hole novels.

Nesbo's maverick protagonist sleuths through the dastardly dark side of Oslo. The suspenseful twists and juicy plots have renowned authors like Michael Connelly throwing Nesbo kudos. The author visits Mystery Lovers Bookshop tonight to discuss his new release, The Devil's Star (HarperCollins).

7 p.m. Thu., March 18. 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. Free (RSVP via Web site). 412-828-4877 or www.mysterylovers.com (Anna Reilly)

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