Chatham News

Poet Tim Seibles to give reading at Chatham as part of the Words Without Walls Black Writers Reading Series

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
March 13, 2012

PITTSBURGH (March 13, 2012)… Chatham University will host poet Tim Seibles for a free public reading and book signing at 7 p.m. on March 23 in the Mellon Board Room, Shadyside Campus. The event is part of Chatham’s “Words Without Walls Black Writers Reading Series” funded by the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation. The grant supports the visits of five black writers throughout the year, who present their work at the Allegheny County Jail for the inmates studying creative writing there through Chatham’s Words Without Walls program. While in Pittsburgh, writers give public readings of their work. More information about the series is available on Chatham’s news page.

Mr. Seibles is the author of five books of poetry; Buffalo Head Solos (2004) and Hammerlock (1999) are among the most recently published. His work has been featured in The Kenyon Review and Black American Literary Forum. His poetry has also been included in five anthologies: Outsiders, Verse and Universe, In Search of Color Everywhere, A Way Out of No Way, and New American Poets of the ‘90s.

His honors, awards, and grants are numerous, including National Endowment for the Arts, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and Open Voice Award.

Mr. Seibles is a faculty member at Old Dominion University in Virginia, where he teaches in the MFA in creative writing program. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Seibles received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist College. After working as a high school English teacher for ten years, he received his MFA in creative writing from Vermont College.

About Words Without Walls
Words Without Walls is a creative collaboration between Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing program and the Allegheny County Jail. It fosters and supports creative expression and personal growth by exposing men and women at the jail to literature, award-winning visiting authors, and the opportunity to publish their work. Words Without Walls grew from a residency program started by artist Sandra Gould Ford. Because of the program’s reach, Chatham University committed to continuing the program’s creative writing classes at Allegheny County Jail in June 2010. Because of its innovative approach to learning and teaching, Words Without Walls has received support from the A. W. Mellon Education and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, a partnership of The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation.

About Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program
Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing allows students to focus on tracks in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and writing for children, while encouraging them to explore two tracks simultaneously. Students take innovative field seminars that include travel to such places as Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, and Germany. In 2007 Poets & Writers named the MFA one of “Nine Distinctive Programs” and The Atlantic Monthly named it one of five innovative/unique programs in the country in its “Best of the Best” graduate program listings. In January 2012, The Writer named it one of the “4 top schools you should consider” and in 2009, named it one of ten programs that offer a specialty focus. Chatham University also offers an undergraduate BFA in Creative Writing, an online Master of Professional Writing, and a low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. For more information, visit or contact Sheryl St. Germain at

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

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