Autumn in Spring

On the first Monday in May, the press invites you to join us for our annual gala, Autumn in Spring (AIS). The benefit brings philanthropic and literary communities together for an evening of celebration and poetry. During the event, notable Pittsburghers share their favorite poems and speak about how we all—from artists to business executives, sports figures, and civic leaders—have a common love for the language of poetry. Before the reading, guests are invited to a hors-d’oeuvre and cocktail reception.

Mark your calendar for next year’s event, May 5, 2025!

2024 Autumn in Spring Event Recap 

On Monday, May 6, we convened at the Duquesne Club with a wonderful group of supporters, who are dedicated to supporting the arts in Pittsburgh. Our eighteenth Autumn in Spring celebrated and expanded the appreciation of poetry with readings from five notable Pittsburghers, Tom Atkins, Rocky Bleier, Eliza Smith Brown, Marianne Cornetti, and Angela Reynolds, and AHP poet Cameron Barnett.

After opening remarks by Board President Betsy Teti, audiences enjoyed,

  • Actor Tom Atkins recited “Love Poem” by John Frederick Nims and offered a lovely tribute to Sam Hazo
  • Former Pittsburgh Steeler Rocky Bleier thrilled the audience when he read a poem he wrote for the event, entitled “Memories”
  • Author Eliza Smith Brown, read two poems, Robert Southey’s “The Old Man’s Comforts and How He Gained Them” and then the wonderful parody of Southey’s poem, Lewis Carroll’s “Ballad of Father William”
  • Internationally known opera singer Marianne Cornetti recited “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns and then delighted the audience by singing the poem accompanied by her keyboardist
  • YWCA CEO Angela Reynolds offered a moving reading of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”
  • Cameron Barnett finished the evening by reading his poem “I cut a sprig from a rosemary plant” from his new Autumn House collection, Murmur

Ozzy Samad of the Brother’s Brother Foundation served as the MC, leading the evening with warmth, and as many audience members noted, it was an evening of profound beauty and inspiration that illuminated again the enduring promise and potential of poetry.

On behalf of our dedicated staff, board, and planning committee, we are honored by the support from our Honorary Chairs, Anne and Jim Burnham and Peggy and Max King; Honorary Chair Emerita, Lea Hillman Simonds; and our Honorary Co-Chairs, Debby and Dan Booker, Susan and Roy Dorrance, Gail and Phillip Jones, Robert Levin and Kerry Bron, Nancy and Woody Ostrow, and Elaine Wertheim and Betsy Teti. Their support is key to the success and longevity of both the event and the press, and we are so very appreciative of all they do. In addition, we would like to thank our corporate sponsors, AJM Mortgage; BD&E, a Pittsburgh-based branding firm; and Compass Real Estate. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Duquesne Club Literary Society and the Duquesne Club for their ongoing support and hospitality. We could not ask for a better host.

Thanks to all who attended and donated for their support of Autumn House Press. Because of their generosity, Autumn House Press will continue to publish exceptional literature by emerging and established authors with eight new titles scheduled for publication in 2024 alone. As Autumn House poet Cameron Barnett, whose second book, Murmur, was just released this spring, eloquently stated, “The support of donors to Autumn House has literally made my dreams come true—twice. And so, I’m very grateful to all those who support the press and its mission to make my writing career possible.”

We would also like to thank John Colombo for being the event’s photographer this year! To see all of John’s photos, visit our shared folder here.

List of Notable Pittsburghers Who Had Read Over the Years


  • Kevin Acklin
  • Joe Edelstein
  • Kara Holsopple
  • Rob Rogers
  • AHP Author Sherrie Flick


  • Helen Hanna Casey
  • Simin and Greg Curtis
  • Dan Dupee
  • Louise Sturgess
  • Robert Mangino


  • Christina Cassotis
  • Michele Fabrizi
  • Dr. Richard Moriarity
  • Ozzy Samad
  • Bill Strickland
  • AHP Poet Cameron Barnett


  • Karen Wolk Feinstein
  • Ken Gormley
  • Ted Pappas
  • Joanne Rogers
  • Anne Martindale Williams


  • Karla Boos
  • Julia Erickson
  • Bill Flanagan
  • Andy Masich
  • J.T. Thomas


  • Jim Cunningham
  • Robert Levin
  • Jo Ellen Parker
  • Peggy Finnegan
  • Mayor Bill Peduto


  • Meg Cheever
  • Richard Rauh
  • Kiya Tomlin
  • Alan Stanford
  • Anne Burnham


  • Carol R. Brown
  • Yona Harvey
  • Woody Ostrow
  • Henry Reese


  • Daniel I. Booker
  • Judith Davenport
  • Stewart O’Nan
  • Mary Rawson


  • Rabbi Aaron Bisno
  • Lynn Cullen
  • Patrick Dowd
  • Margaret Whitford


  • Suzy Broadhurst
  • Sharon Dilworth
  • Rev. Harold Lewis
  • Tony Norman


  • Terrance Hayes
  • Charlie Humphrey
  • Art Rooney II
  • Helana Routi
  • Anna Singer


  • Toi Derricotte
  • Franco Harris
  • Marty McGuinn
  • Rick Sebak
  • Sally Wiggin


  • Patricia Jabbeh Wesley


  • David C. Conrad II


  • Jan Beatty
  • Philip Terman