Feb
23
7:00 PM19:00

Word Circus

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Chatham's MFA program hosts a night of reading and community, featuring Cedric Rudolph, Samantha Smith, Claire Wozniak, and Rachel Roupp. The readers will be followed by an open mic, open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. 

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Feb
24
7:00 PM19:00

Todd Boss

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Todd Boss is a critically-acclaimed poet, librettist, public artist, and film producer whose poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, The London Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Best American Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Boss’s 2008 poetry debut Yellowrocket was called “one of the year’s 10 best poetry books” and received numerous awards. His follow-up, Pitch, was also a Minnesota Book Award finalist and won the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award. Tough Luck (2017) is his newest collection with W. W. Norton & Co.

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Mar
2
7:00 PM19:00

Young/McGrath Smith/Bogen Poetry Reading

Margaret Young's poetry collections are Willow From the Willow and Almond Town plus a new chapbook, Blight Summer. She is translating the work of Sergio Inestrosa (Mexico) and Debora Benacot (Argentina). Young is on the faculty of the Global Center for Advanced Studies and Endicott College.

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Her writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, Quiddity, Cimarron, and elsewhere. Nobody's Jackknife (2015) is her most recent book.

The latest of Deborah Bogen's four poetry collections, In Case of Sudden Free Fall, was published by Jacar Press in 2017. She's a political activist and plays uke in the Highland Park Mini-Band.

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Mar
3
7:00 PM19:00

Moriel Rothman-Zecher: Sadness is a White Bird

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is a MacDowell Fellow and a rising literary star. In his lyrical and searing debut novel, Sadness is a White Bird, a young man is preparing to serve in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country. Called "Nuanced, sharp, and beautifully written" by Michael Chabon, the novel--both a love store and an examination of a never-ending conflict that has shaped generations--is powerful and timely. 

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Mar
6
7:00 PM19:00

Feminist Book Club: The Power

About Naomi Alderman's latest offering, Margaret Atwood says, "Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything." A recommendation from Atwood (and one with exclamation points, at that) is good enough for us. Plus, Tyler says it's awesome and it will probably be his staff pick, as well. AND the editors over at the gray lady just picked it as one of their top 10 of 2017 as well, so. The premise: women develop the power to literally shock, a la electric eels, and because of this new strength, become dominant in society. 

*Note: All proceeds from Feminist Book Club support Planned Parenthood. 

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Mar
10
11:00 AM11:00

Story Time With Picture Book Author Matthew Van Fleet

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Bring your little minnows for a special Saturday morning story time with picture book author/illustrator Matthew Van Fleet. His uniquely designed board books invite toddlers to touch, press, pull, lift, and even sniff as they explore colors, shapes, numbers, letters, opposites, and more. A New York Times bestselling author, his books include CatHeadsAlphabet, Moo, Tails and Dog. A fun, interactive experience for the kids!

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Mar
20
7:00 PM19:00

Mackenzi Lee: Bygone Badass Broads

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Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers and takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Lee is also the author of the buzzed-about YA book of the year, A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (a NYT bestseller, Kirkus Prize nominee, Stonewall Honor book, and named a best book of the year by NPR and the New York Public Library). 

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Feb
17
7:00 PM19:00

Robin Becker Launch Party: The Black Bear Inside Me

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Robin Becker will read from her new book, The Black Bear Inside Me, releasing with the University of Pittsburgh Press. She has also published Tiger Heron; Domain of Perfect Affection; The Horse Fair; All-American Girl, which won the 1996 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry; Giacometti’s DogBacktalk; and Personal Effects. About her work, Stephen Dunn has said: “Robin Becker achieves what may be one of the early twenty first century’s most difficult accomplishments—to write a credible poetry of affirmation. In the doing, she doesn’t pretty up the world. Rather, she finds language that embraces our dualities, our many-selved presences, regularly demonstrating her kind of perfect affection.” Pittsburgh poet and CMU staffer Rachel Mennies, who is the author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, will join her. 

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Feb
15
7:00 PM19:00

Third Thursday Book Club: The Book of Joan

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An inventive, brilliant retelling of the story of Joan of Arc by bestselling author Lydia Yuknavitch (The Small Backs of Children). In her first foray into sci-fi, Yuknavitch sets her novel in a near-future dystopia, where most of the remaining humans have fled a radioactive, violent world to live on CIEL, a platform hovering above the earth and sucking the remainder of its resources. Joan is a child warrior still trying to save a ravaged world and free it from the grip of a despot. Christine Pizan (whose namesake wrote a tribute to the real Joan during her lifetime) is one of the elite, sexless survivors on CIEL who burns the rebel's story into her flesh. This novel balks categories; it is an ambitious, smart, literary, fantastical genre-and-gender bender that moves through time and space. A lot to talk about!

*Book club picks are 15% off!

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Feb
12
7:30 PM19:30

Joe Biden at Carnegie Music Hall

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Note: This event is at Carnegie Music Hall (4400 Forbes Ave), NOT at the bookstore!

Former Vice President Joe Biden travels to Pittsburgh on his American Promise tour, and White Whale is thrilled to provide the books for the event at Carnegie Music Hall. 
**Each ticket includes a copy of Joe Biden’s memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose (a $27 value).** Tickets can be purchased here

Join Vice President Biden for a night of conversation that will go beyond the 24-hour news cycle and 140-character arguments to connect friends and neighbors around the topics that matter most. Vice President Biden will reveal the big political moments of his career, the life-altering choices he made, and the key traits that have helped him persevere through challenges. He will share how the loss of his son Beau tested his resolve, and how he is finding new purpose in a time of uncertainty.

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Feb
3
7:00 PM19:00

Muriel Rukeyser Night: The Book of the Dead

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Feel like we’re a little short on heroes lately? Please join us at White Whale as we celebrate the life and writing of prolific poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser (1913–1980) to coincide with the release of a new edition of her most salient work, The Book of the Dead. 

Written in response to the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel disaster of 1931 in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia--one of the worst industrial catastrophes in American history--The Book of the Dead investigates the roots of a tragedy that killed hundreds of workers, most of them African American. These poems are a rare engagement with the overlap between race and environment in Appalachia. Published for the first time alongside photographs by Nancy Naumburg, who accompanied Rukeyser to Gauley Bridge in 1936, this new edition includes an introduction by Catherine Venable Moore, whose writing on the topic has been anthologized in Best American Essays.

Moore will join us for the evening, along with writer Kevin Haworth to read from the book and discuss Rukeyser's legacy. Help us celebrate by sharing some of your own favorite Rukeyser poems, or other work to honor her lasting impact. 

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Jan
19
3:00 PM15:00

Dar Williams: What I Found in A Thousand Towns

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Dubbed by the New Yorker as "one of America's best singer-songwriters," folk musician Dar Williams has made her career touring small towns. In WHAT I FOUND IN A THOUSAND TOWNS: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities—One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, & Open-Mike Night at a Time, Williams writes about places that have taken steps to cultivate what she calls “positive proximity.” By embracing their public spaces, drawing on their area’s unique attributes and identities, and allowing all willing citizens to put their gifts and talents to good use in the commons of town, these locations have become the types of places in which communities are vibrant and joyous—and the economic benefits have followed. Williams's book celebrates the creativity, hard work, and determination of average people who want to build something meaningful, and offers a roadmap for other communities seeking to do the same. 

She will read from her book in-store, and we'll cross our fingers that she'll treat us to a few songs, as well. :)

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Jan
18
7:00 PM19:00

Third Thursday Book Club: Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward is having a very good year. First she received a MacArthur Genius grant, and then she won the National Book Award for the second time (!) for her newest book. In Sing, Unburied, Sing, Ward returns back to Bois, Miss.—setting of her other NBA-winning novel, Salvage the Bones—and her writing is as haunting and magical as ever. A book to stay up reading late into the night. 

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Jan
10
7:00 PM19:00

David Lebovitz Reading: L'Appart

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World-renowned chef, baker, blogger, and best-selling author David Lebovitz is headed to White Whale! After nearly thirteen years at Berkeley's famous Chez Panisse, he left the restaurant business and the U.S. to write books in Paris. In his newest, L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home, Lebovitz describes the business of updating his apartment in his adopted city with characteristic humor, wit, and delicious recipes. Beth Kracklauer, the Food and Drinks Editor (Off Duty Section) at the Wall Street Journal, will host a Q&A.

Please note: the event is free, but seating is limited, so get there early! 

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Jan
9
7:00 PM19:00

Feminist Book Club: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

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This is poet and essayist Julia Alvarez's first novel. A fictionalized account of the author's childhood, it is a coming-of-age story of four sisters who flee the Dominican Republic for NYC in the 1960s. They are caught between two worlds, the old and the new, and each sister discovers a new identity and her own distinct voice. Widely acclaimed when it was published in 1991. 

*Note: All proceeds from Feminist Book Club support Planned Parenthood. 

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Dec
21
7:00 PM19:00

Third Thursday Book Club: Little Fires Everywhere

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We loved Ng's 2014 debut, Everything I Never Told You, and we think her sophomore release is even better. Little Fires Everywhere deals with themes of identity, family, class, and centers around secrets and suspicion. It's a page-turner, and though you'll want to savor Ng's accomplished prose, you might just read this one in a single sitting. 

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Dec
9
7:00 PM19:00

Versify GRAND FINALE Reading!

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The great Bob Walicki has been curating the Versify reading series for over five years, featuring Pittsburgh's most talented poets, and bringing in many amazing out-of-town cameos as well. He says: "I would like to thank you all, for your support and your poems.  There are no words to express how much it has meant to me to provide this forum for so many poets!" It is our honor to host the final reading, which features Krista Cox, John Fantin, Brianne Griffith, RB Mertz, and Adriana Ramirez. It should be one for the ages!

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Dec
7
7:00 PM19:00

Pittsburgh Poetry Review #MeToo Benefit Reading

News today got you wanting to do something positive? Local poets Judith Volmer, Teddi Salsgiver, Ellen Mcgrath Smith, Jill Khoury, Rachel Mennies, Leslie Anne Mcilroy, and Ava C. Cipri will be raising their voices, as well as raising money to benefit Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, a local organization dedicated to assisting victims of sexual abuse and ending sexual violence in our community. 

Sexual violence can affect anyone. If you are the victim of rape or sexual assault, or want to help someone who has been, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) is here to help. Their experienced, trained, counselors and advocates provide services that are completely confidential, and just a phone call away: 1-866-363-7273. 

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Dec
3
12:00 PM12:00

Fifth Annual Holiday Book Sale @ Stephen Foster Community Center

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Catch us offsite at the Stephen Foster Community Center, where Karen's Book Row is hosting the FIFTH Annual Holiday Book Sale. "It features Steel City’s favorite indie book vendors (including US!), and is a great way for holiday shoppers to browse a wide variety of books from Pittsburgh’s knowledgeable literary curators. Both new and gently used, indie bestsellers and one of a kind finds, titles by local authors and books on spectacular sale. Fiction, poetry, mysteries, creative nonfiction, art books, children’s books, graphic novels, and much more. This event is also a great way to showcase and celebrate the best of Pittsburgh’s own literary indies: Indie bookstores, indie publishers, and small press authors."

Check out the event's Facebook page for more info: click!

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Dec
2
7:00 PM19:00

Mennies, Russell, Klahr Poetry Reading

Pittsburgh, come join us for a night of poetry and joy at the start of December! Featuring readers Sophie Klahr (Meet Me Here At Dawn), Lauren Russell (What's Hanging on the Hush), and Rachel Mennies (The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards). Poets will have their books available for sale (and nobody's ever lamented receiving a book of poetry for the holidays, so...).

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Dec
1
7:00 PM19:00

Pitt Speakeasy

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Current Pitt MFA candidates Rachel Ann Brickner, Anna Claire, and Brennan Chambre will be reading at White Whale as part of our regular series. As always, there will be free drinks + snacks. Maybe some holiday music too! Definitely some Mariah Carey. And perhaps an afterparty!

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Nov
30
7:00 PM19:00

Pittsburgh Poetry Review #MeToo Benefit Reading

News today got you wanting to do something positive? Local poets Kayla Sargeson, Jamilla Rice, Emily Mohn-Slate, Kelly Andrews, Brittany Hailer, and R/B Mertz will be raising their voices, as well as raising money to benefit Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, a local organization dedicated to assisting victims of sexual abuse and ending sexual violence in our community. 

Sexual violence can affect anyone. If you are the victim of rape or sexual assault, or want to help someone who has been, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) is here to help. Their experienced, trained, counselors and advocates provide services that are completely confidential, and just a phone call away: 1-866-363-7273. 

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Nov
17
7:00 PM19:00

Lauren Russell Book Launch

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Join us for the launch of What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta) by esteemed Pittsburgh poet, Lauren Russell. A 2017 NEA Creative Writing Fellow, she has also received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, VIDA/The Home School, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is Assistant Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh.

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