Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop Fall Reading

Saturday, October 21st, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

The Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop presents their annual fall reading, featuring works by the members of their group. This event will also be livestreamed and recorded via Zoom.

Click here to join the event virtually.

Meeting ID: 856 4480 2592

Poets will be introduced by the group’s facilitator, Rosaly DeMaios Roffman. This year’s event will include readings by:

  • Joan E. Bauer
  • Erin Garstka
  • Mark Garstka
  • Nancy Esther James
  • Christine Doreian Michaels
  • Randy Minnich
  • Rosaly DeMaios Roffman
  • Joanne Matone Samraney
  • Arlene Weiner
  • Lawrence Wray

About the Readers

Joan E. Bauer

Joan is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Fig Season (Turning Point, 2023), The Camera Artist (Turning Point, 2021) and The Almost Sound of Drowning (Main Street Rag, 2008). In 2007, she won the Earle Birney Poetry Prize from Prism International and in 2018, she was a finalist for the John Ciardi Poetry Prize from BkMk Press. With Kristofer Collins, she co-hosts and curates the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series at White Whale Bookstore in Pittsburgh.

Erin Garstka

Erin is a retired home health occupational therapist. She is a past winner of the Taproot Prize and the 2023 winner of the Westmoreland Award. Her poems have appeared recently in The Lyric, California Quarterly, and Time of Singing.

Mark Gastka

Mark met his wife, Erin, in Laguna Beach in 1990 at the oldest continuous poetry reading in California. They married and moved to Pittsburgh. Later in 1999, the pair founded and ran the “Monroeville Poets” group for nearly 22 years. They retired in 2021 and left the group in capable and talented hands.

Nancy Esther James

Nancy’s poems have appeared in Christianity and Literature, Time of Singing, Poet Lore and other journals. Her poem “To a Friend,” originally published in Christianity and Literature, was reprinted in the 2003 Poet’s Market. Her collection of poems, No Time to Hurry, was published by Dawn Valley Press (Westminster College) in 1979, and her chapbook, Resilient Spirit: Poems for Lorraine, by Finishing Line Press in 2013. Her most recent book, Avenues Toward Light, was published by Dawn Valley Press in 2019.

Christine Doreian Michaels

Christine is a retired psychologist who lives in Oakland, Pittsburgh. Her publications can be found in Fission of Form and Labyrinth Pathways, Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami, Along These Rivers; Voices from the Attic; The Exchange, No Choice but to Trust; Pittsburgh and Tri-State Area Poets; First Decade, anthologies of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society, Taproots, Signatures, Songs for the Living, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and In the Land of the Friendly Creatures, verses in a children’s book with artwork by Ruth Drescher.

Randy Minnich

Randy was a research chemist and chemistry professor. He is now retired and focusing on writing, environmental issues, and family. He is a member of the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop and has published two books, Wildness in a Small Place and Pavlov’s Cats: Their Story. His poetry has appeared recently in Main Street Rag, Muddy River Review, Uppagus, US 1 Worksheets, Blueline, and other publications.

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman

Rosaly has been the facilitator of the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop for 23 years. She co-edited the prize-winning Life on the Line, and is the author of Going to Bed Whole, Tottering Palaces, The Approximate Message, In the Fall of a Sparrow, and I Want to Thank My Eyes. She has published in journals, magazines and anthologies and was invited to read on a BBC production, “The Wild and the Sacred.” Rosaly has worked on 23 collaborations with dance companies, composers, and other poets. She has read her poems in Ireland, Mexico, Greece, Israel, Spain, and Bratislava, and her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Japanese, Slovak, and Hebrew. Most recently she was honored in a dedication ceremony that revived a journal ARISTEIA she founded and an ongoing Center for her contributions (the Dessy-Roffman Mythology Collaborative) to the study of a Myth and Folklore at IUP.

Joanne Matone Samraney

Joanne is the author of the poetry chapbook Grounded Angels, which won the 2001 Acorn-Rukeyser Award, and co-author of Breaking Bread with the Boscos, a collection of family memoirs and recipes. She has had poems in many literary magazines and journals such as Main Street Rag, Verve, Voices in Italian Americana, Loyalhanna Review, and most recently, Paterson Literary Review, Earth Daughters and Steam Ticket. Her poems have also appeared in the Along These Rivers and Sandburg-Livesay anthologies. Her latest chapbook, Remaking Driftwood (2010), and her full-length collection Split (2017) were published by Finishing Line Press.

Arlene Weiner

Arlene, author of More, is a longtime resident of Squirrel Hill and is active in Pittsburgh’s poetry community. She is a member of Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop. Arlene has been a den mother, a Shakespeare scholar, a cardiology technician, part of a group developing computer-based education, and an editor. Her poems have been published in such journals as Pleiades, Poet Lore, and Paterson Literary Review, online, and in anthologies; and read on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. Arlene was awarded a MacDowell fellowship. She also writes plays. Her play Findings was produced by Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Co.

Lawrence Wray

Lawrence is a poet, teacher, and parent. His poetry has been internationally published, and he teaches high school literature and composition. Lawrence has degrees in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University and English Literature from Duquesne University. Following his studies, he worked for a local peace and justice organization, The Thomas Merton Center. Lawrence is a native of southern Arizona with ancestral ties to Pennsylvania. He lives in Pittsburgh, where he is an active volunteer for the community food bank. His first collection of poems is called The Wavering Fledge of Light (Wipf & Stock, 2023).

About the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop

The Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop is a group of poets in the Pittsburgh area who gather twice a month at the C.C. Mellor Memorial Library in Edgewood, PA to discuss our work.

The professional backgrounds of members over the years have included a kindergarten teacher, a salesman, editors, a science writer, high school teachers, college professors, an architect, a retired biochemist. Members’ works have been published in a wide variety of journals, and some also teach writing classes or run their own workshops.

Group members have varied backgrounds in writing and literature, representing a diversity of viewpoints and poetic styles, but all share a love for poetry and the multitude of voices it brings into being.

Click here to visit their website and learn more about the workshop and its members.