Chatham University

Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Faculty and Staff

Paola (PJ) Corso

Paola (PJ) Corso

paola_corso@hotmail.com
Lecturer
Hometown : Alle-Kiski Valley, Pittsburgh Area
Joined Chatham : 2012

Academic Areas of Interest

Short Stories, Poetry, Ethnic/working class writing, Writing with a social context, Magical leaps

Personal Areas of Interest

Community organizing, Photography, Italian Americana

Personal Website : Visit Website

Biography

Paola Corso’s books are set in the Pittsburgh area where her Southern Italian immigrant family found work in the steel mill. A New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow and Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award Winner, she is the author of Catina’s Haircut: A Novel in Stories on Library Journal’s notable list of first novels in Fall 2010, Giovanna’s 86 Circles And Other Stories, a John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist, a book of poems, Death by Renaissance, and newly released poetry collections, The Laundress Catches Her Breath, winner of the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing, and Once I Was Told the Air Was Not for Breathing about Pittsburgh steelworkers and garment workers in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. She also co-edited Politics of Water: A Confluence of Women’s Voices with Dr. Nandita Ghosh. Formerly a writer-in-residence in Western Connecticut State University’s MFA Program in Creative and Professional Writing, she is currently poetry editor at The Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice and a book columnist for Group Against Smog and Pollution. Her community service earned her a place on the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's Artist & Communities Short List.

Education

  • Master's Degree, Creative Writing/English, City College of New York/CUNY, 1999
  • Master's Degree, Public Admin/Community Organizing, San Francisco State University
  • Bachelor's Degree, Sociology, Boston College

Publications

  • The Laundress Catches Her Breath. CavanKerry Press, 2012. (poems)
  • Once I Was Told the Air Was Not for Breathing. University of Wisconsin’s Parallel Press, 2012. (poems)
  • Catina’s Haircut: A Novel in Stories. University of Wisconsin Press, 2010.
  • Giovanna’s 86 Circles and Other Stories. University of Wisconsin Press, 2007, 2005.
  • Politics of Water: A Confluence of Women’s Voices. International Feminist Journal of Politics/Routledge Press, 2007. (introductory essay; co-editor with Dr. Nandita Ghosh)
  • Death by Renaissance. Bottom Dog Press, 2004. (poems)
  • A Proper Burial. Pudding House, 2003. (poems)
  • Articles and essays about writing and publishing for The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Women’s Review of Books, Editor & Publisher, The Progressive, USA Today, U.S. Catholic

Awards

  • Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing, 2012
  • New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow, 2004
  • Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award Winner, 2000
  • Jerome Lowell Dejur Award for Creative Writing, 1999
  • Irwin and Alice Stark Short Fiction Prize, 1999

Organizations

  • Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice
  • GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution)
  • Malia: A Collective of Italian American Women
  • Italian American Studies Association
  • Working Class Studies Association

Achievements

  • Resident Writer, NEA’s WritersCorps administered by Bronx Council for the Arts
  • Co-founder, National Writers Union NYC Local’s Community Writing Project
  • Co-founder, Park Slope Food Coop’s Reading Series, WORDsprouts in Brooklyn, NY