Creative Writing (MFA) Faculty and Staff
Paola (PJ) Corso
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
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 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 recently moved back to Pittsburgh after living in New York City for nearly 20 years.
- MA, Creative Writing/English, City College of New York/CUNY, 1999
- MPA, Public Admin/Community Organizing, San Francisco State Univ.
- BA, Sociology, Boston College
- 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, USA Today, U.S. Catholic
- 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
- GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution)
- Malia: A Collective of Italian American Women
- Italian American Studies Association
- Working Class Studies Association
- Founder, Writers in the Wall: Aspinwall’s Creative Writing Workshop and Reading Series
- 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