Arrange two cameras in close proximity to a subject. Then press record. Close-Up is both a formal exercise and a video series taking a literal close look at Pittsburgh artists in performance. See more in this series here.




Poet Nikki Allen, whose work appears in the chapbooks ligaments of light/tigering the shoulders, Gutter of Eden, and Quite Like Yes, has lit up stages across the country for over fifteen years, originally working with slam poetry structures before emerging with a voice that is uniquely hers. Two years ago, Allen left her life in Pittsburgh, first with a move to Egypt and then to Ohio, where she lives today. Trips back to Pittsburgh still turn up feelings of nostalgia and loss.

“I left in 2014 and [Pittsburgh is] so different now. I miss how it was,” she says. “It’s like missing something that doesn’t exist anymore. All of my friends are here, and I cut my teeth with writing here, so I always want to come back—but it isn’t what it was. It makes me sad.”

For our Close-Up series, Allen shares a reading for “for the get-gone.”