Chatham News

Chatham University to host Sept. 7 reading to celebrate the publication of new books by creative writing faculty

Event to also feature author BK Loren

PITTSBURGH (August 28, 2012) … In celebration of the recent publication of two new books by Chatham creative writing faculty members Heather McNaugher, author of System of Hideouts (poetry); and Sheryl St. Germain, author of Navigating Disaster: 16 Essays of love and a poem of despair (nonfiction, poetry), will give free public readings at 7:30 p.m. on September 7. Also featured will be well-known author BK Loren, author of Theft (fiction). The event will be held in the Welker Room of James Laughlin Music Hall on the Shadyside Campus; a reception and signing will follow.

McNaugher teaches poetry, nonfiction, and literature at Chatham, her alma mater, and is poetry editor of the MFA program’s annual literary journal Fourth River. Her work has appeared in 5 A.M., The Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Leveler, and The Cortland Review, and on the radio show, Prosody. She is also the author of the chapbook Panic & Joy. After working as a house cleaner and barista in Seattle and as a dog walker in Brooklyn, she got her Ph.D. in English from The State University of New York at Binghamton.

St. Germain, a native of New Orleans, is the director of Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Her poetry books include Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade, and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems. She has also published a chapbook of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien, and a collection of essays about growing up in south Louisiana, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman. She recently co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.

Loren, in addition to teaching at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and elsewhere throughout the United States and Canada, has worked as a naturalist, large predator monitor for Colorado State Parks, professional ‘brainstormer,’ assistant chef, ranch hand, furniture maker, and UPS driver. She is a winner of the Mary Roberts-Rinehart National Fellowship and has also received The Dana Award for a novel-in-progress for Theft. Loren currently lives with her partner, two dogs, and two cats in Colorado.

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’s historic Shadyside Campus, founded in 1869, is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa. With accelerated bachelor’s degree and graduate degree programs, residential and low-residency degree programs, and comprehensive online programming, Chatham students from around the world can balance their personal lives while continuing their education. Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the region. In 2008, Chatham received the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus in Pine-Richland, the future home of the School of Sustainability and the Environment, which will be a place of learning, research, and practicing sustainable behaviors that can be replicated elsewhere to make the world a better place.

The Chatham College for Women is dedicated to fostering the next generation of women leaders with more than 40 majors, internship and study abroad opportunities, and an academic approach developed to help students think creatively and communicate more effectively. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham’s College for Graduate Studies and College for Continuing and Professional Studies offers co-educational post-baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Integrating strong community partnerships and innovative programming in such burgeoning fields as sustainability and the health sciences, Chatham programs are designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy.

Chatham has demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit