Chatham News

April 9th Reading & Music Series To Explore Themes of Loss & Personal Struggle

PITTSBURGH: On Saturday, April 9th at 8:00 pm, Chatham will host Gray’s Skies, an annual reading and music series founded in honor of Gray St. Germain Gideon, a musician, composer and creative thinker who died in 2014 of a drug overdose. This series focuses on celebrating the works of writers, artists and musicians whose work uses the imagination to explore loss or personal struggle.

This year’s series will feature poet and singer-songwriter, Jen McClung and her band; poet and writer, Michael Walsh; and poet and Chatham MFA in Creative Writing Program Director, Sheryl St. Germain. The event is free and open to the public.

The series is funded through the generosity of Melanie and Fred Brown, and Margret and Tom Whitford, in collaboration with Chatham University’s MFA program.

About the Authors & Performers
Jen McClung is a Pushcart-nominated poet, a finalist in the Creative Nonfiction/W.W. Norton Program-Off, and an avid fiction writer. Her work appears in journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, and in anthologies such as Floating Worlds and If Solitude Inspires. Originally from Southern California, Jen is a full-time lecturer at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. In addition to her writing, Jen is a singer/songwriter with two albums and a long list of live performances:

Michael Walsh is a poet and short story writer who grew up on a dairy farm in western Minnesota.  He often writes about the queer and rural Midwest. The Dirt Riddles, his first full-length collection of poetry, won the inaugural Miller Williams Prize in Poetry in 2010.

Sheryl St. Germain’s poetry books include Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade (University of North Texas Press), and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems. She has published two memoirs, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman, and Navigating Disaster:  Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair. She directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University where she also teaches poetry and creative nonfiction.