Karla Lamb is a poet, the senior programming director at City of Asylum, and the founder of Latinx & Proud!, a literary series whose mission is to “incite conversation, empower, and amplify the Latinx community in Pittsburgh.” In this episode, Lamb speaks about identity and she shares the story of her own experiences as a self-labeled Chicana and Latinx poet, including having her work translated for the first time. She talks about finding a local community through the series and working with writers Adriana Ramírez, Malcolm Friend, Eloisa Amezcua, and M. Soledad Caballero to curate a vibrant lineup of readers from all over the country.
Oct. 27 celebrates one year of the Latinx & Proud! reading series; in anticipation of that anniversary event, Lamb shares what has made her most proud so far and what she hopes to accomplish.
Flyer from last year’s first Latinx & Proud! event
For all the details on the Latinx & Proud! one-year anniversary event
What’s a poet laureate?
In this episode, Lamb also explains the “All Pittsburghers are Poets” initiative recently launched by City of Asylum and what exactly a poet laureate is. It’s essentially a fancy title that really is just “a position of honor and service given to a poet that has demonstrated commitment to poetry through readings and publications as well as civic duties and interests in connecting the community.” City of Asylum recently named the first poet laureate of Allegheny County (Celeste Gainey), as well as an emerging poet laureate (Paloma Sierra), an American Sign Language poet laureate (Maryjean Shahen), and a youth poet laureate (Vincent Folkes). In addition to all these awards, City of Asylum is publishing one poem a week as part of the initiative.
ICYMI: a socially distant, pop-up beer garden is now open in the South Side. Lagerlands is a four-way collaboration between Hop Culture magazine, Cinderlands Beer Co., Burgh’ers Brewing, and De Fer Coffee and Tea. Located right off the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Lagerlands runs through October. Reservations are required.
If you liked this episode, you might also want to press play on:
- Episode 23 – Poet and publisher Kristofer Collins
- Episode 41 – Blending spices and stories with Veda Sankaran of Jalsa by Veda
This episode was hosted by Aadam Soorma, recorded remotely, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios.
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📸 Header photo credit: Maranie Rae Photography