“Working Stiffed,” by Lisa A. Phillips (MFA 1998), appears in The Boston Globe Magazine.
The English translation of Senselessness, a novel by visiting writer Horacio Castellanos Moya, has been released. Read about it here in City Paper .
Peter Oresick’s most recent book of poetry, Warhol-O-Rama, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press on August 6, 2008, the occasion of Andy Warhol’s 80th birthday. Peter is currently coordinator of the Chatham University Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and lecturer in Pitt’s Creative Writing Program.
Eugene Cross (MFA 2005) attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Middlebury, Vermont, where he attended a workshop led by Robert Boswell and served many drinks to many thirsty writers.
MFA student Emily Stone's piece, "On the Occasional Importance of a Ceiling Fan," recently appeared in the Best Travel Writing 2009 anthology (Traveler’s Tales). Stone, a former New Yorker who has also lived in Guatemala and Australia, has seen her work appear in a wide variety of places, from Travel + Leisure magazine to her own blog, Chocolate in Context.
We have more good news about upcoming publications from Visiting Lecturer Robin Clarke. Fresh from having three poems appear in the journal Sentence, Clarke will also have two poems in the April issue of the magazine Fence. The titles of the poems are "The missing silicone in valley" and "This descent less decisive." Clarke, who teaches Composition and works at the Writing Center, also holds received two graduate degrees from Pitt: an MA in Literature and an MFA in Poetry.
Discipline by Dawn Lundy Martin, selected for publication in 2011 by Fanny Howe, recently won the 2009 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize.
Fanny Howe writes:
“These poems are dense and deep. They are necessary, and hot on the eye. I was reminded of Leslie Scalapino, the sensitivity to the surrounding arrangements and to human suffering. There is no distance from Martin’s subject, but immersion and emotional conflict. Discipline is what it took to write such a potent set of poems.”
For more information on Dawn Lundy Martin, an Associate Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program, please visit her faculty biography.
How do we encounter the many hours past twilight? We understand
that the light is something other, that / it catapults us toward a desire or two if we’re lucky. But, lately, daylight eats itself, and is percussive/ in its chewing, a carnival of curses and thumps. Nothing is wrong. In / the hours after the whinny of the long train passing, we continue to/ think, how special we are, how born and cosmic, how just plain indi-/vidual, but it is not enough. Nothing out there. Everything out there./What does it matter then, if the body climbs into a plastic car, drives/into a deserted driveway and becomes another self? Elsewhere: One/body found. One policeman shot. One 4-year-old girl shot. Teeter,/ tweeter, la, la, la, la, la. I am the I watching the I lift. Roads are short/with darkness. I think, this is what they mean when they say, Savage.
HarperCollins India proudly presents its newest release, Cloud Nine Minus One, by Pitt MFA Alumnus Sangeeta Mall (MFA Fiction, 2007).
Mall's debut novel has already been garnering great reviews, as evidenced by a recent write-up in India Today:
The novel, an inquiry into "friendship, relationships, nostalgia and moving on," tells the story of a woman caught between her husband and the memories of long-lost love.
Katy Rank Lev (MFA Creative Nonfiction, 2008) recently published a piece in the September issue of My Midwest Inflight Magazine. Rank Lev writes about an abandoned highway in Pennsylvania and one man's pursuit of a road less traveled.
Professor Cathy Day’s book Comeback Season has been nominated for a Great Lakes Book Award.
Eugene Cross (MFA 2005) was awarded a three-year lectureship at Penn State Behrend, where he’ll be teaching creative writing and composition.
Professor Toi Derricotte was awarded the Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award, sponsored by Poets and Writers, Inc., for her service to the writing community.
Professor Jeanne Marie Laskas was nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award for “Underworld,” an article on coal mining that originally appeared in GQ.
Professor Dawn Lundy Martin was announced as a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award for her book A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering.
Current MFA student Laurie Koozer has a short story, “Hillcrest Valley Parade,” in the Autumn 2008 issue of The Fourth River, Chatham University’s literary journal.
Sam MacDonald’s book, The Urban Hermit, snagged a feature review in the LA Times.
Robyn Murphy (MFA 2007) was selected as one of seventeen finalists for this year’s Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her short story “Hungry Ghost” will appear in the January 2009 issue of the New Orleans Review.
Brendan Kerr’s (MFA 2007) “The Sunbather” won second place in the Wordstock 10 Short Fiction competition.
As one of the oldest writing programs in the United States, the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh has an excellent record of not only producing talented creative writers but also developing the writing skills of undergraduates who go on to work in a variety of professions, including journalism, law, and publishing.
We created the Minor in response to a number of students saying they were passionately interested in writing but their main major required too much of a commitment for them to take on a second major. The Minor in Creative Writing fulfills a need that is different from the certificate in Public and Professional Writing, with its particular focus on writing in business, nonprofit, government, and legal environments, and the Writing Major, which requires a more substantial commitment of time and study.
We know from many different sources (CEOs, personnel and graduate school committees) that those students who write well, no matter what their major might be, are the students who get noticed by employers. The kind of self-examination that the practice of writing encourages, as well as the ability to organize information into narrative, expressive and communicative forms, will always make candidates stand out. We hope, as a side effect, to also attract students who might want to work at the intersections of, say, Neuroscience and the Humanities, or students who want to think about and articulate the kind of complex relationships a more connected world creates.
Visiting Lecturer CM Burroughs (MFA 2007) has been named a finalist for the 2009 Gift of Freedom, a gift of $50,000 sponsored by the Room of Her Own Foundation. Burroughs is happily one of five finalists from 760 applications. Also, she has new poetry in the upcoming issue of jubilat. You may read other of her new poems at Eleven Eleven Journal and LaFovea..
Pitt Alumnus John Temple (MFA Nonfiction) writes about Ken Rose, a North Carolina attorney fighting to save the wrongfully convicted in Raleigh, North Carolina, in his newest book The Last Lawyer.
From the Publisher's Weekly review:
For years, lawyer Ken Rose has fought to save wrongly-condemned prisoners; chronicling the story of Rose and death row inmate Bo Jones, author Temple (Dollhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office) finds high drama in Raleigh penitentiaries, North Carolina backroads, cramped law offices, and sweltering courtrooms. Investigators, criminals, judges, witnesses, and attorneys are all finely, vividly drawn in this disturbing account of a justice system hijacked by officials whose prime interest is finding criminals to execute: “[E]ven if Bo Jones wasn’t one of the worst of the worst, they pursued him because he was one of the ones they could get.” Reviewing the original 1987 murder, the consequent trials and endless hearings, Temple creates an intimate portrait of Rose and his Center for Death Penalty Litigation as they trudge through a decade of work on this case, a typical example that pits the odds and public opinion against them: “To question capital punishment was to appear soft on crime… In court, one well known district attorney sported a golden lapel pin shaped like a hangman’s noose.” Ultimately, Temple’s account is a stand-up-and cheer account of one man standing up for justice.
John Temple is currently an associate professor of journalism at West Virginia University. He teaches reporting and writing courses and serves as the associate dean of the P.I. Reed School of Journalism.