GRANT TO FUND EXPANSION OF WORDS WITHOUT WALLS
PITTSBURGH: Chatham University announced today that it has been awarded a $50,000 Humanities Access “challenge” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand Words Without Walls, a creative partnership between the Chatham MFA Creative Writing Program, Allegheny County Jail, State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh, and Sojourner House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for mothers and their children.
Chatham’s grant is among $16.3 million in funding approved by the NEH for 290 projects in 43 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico supporting a variety of humanities-based research and programs. The Humanities Access grant program provides grants to help enhance and support existing cultural programs for youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations. In order to receive the full amount, the institutions and organizations receiving this grant must match the NEH funds with the same amount of money raised from non-federal, third party donors. Donations to Words Without Walls in support of the matching grant can be made on Chatham’s online giving page.
PITTSBURGH: Joseph Bathanti will read on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 at 8:30 pm in Rea Coffee House at Chatham University as part of the Words Without Walls Reading Series. A book signing and reception will follow the reading. This project is supported in part by a grant from the A. W. Mellon Foundation. The reading is free and open to the public.
Joseph Bathanti was born in Pittsburgh, on July 20, 1953, and grew up in an Italian neighborhood called East Liberty. His father was a steelworker and his mother was a seamstress, both children of immigrants who arrived from Italy and France in the early 1900s. As a teenager Bathanti held a number of working class jobs: he was a hod carrier for a contractor, carrying bricks in a box on his shoulder; a busboy; a dishwasher; a truck driver for a flower shop; a stock boy and a roofer.
PITTSBURGH: Mark Nieson, associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing program recently published a memoir, Schoolhouse: Lessons on Love & Landscape, which concerns the search for where identity, place, and heart intersect. The memoir opens with its Brooklyn-born narrator standing on his head outside an old one-room schoolhouse amid 500 acres of remote woodlands in Iowa, his new home. Why this Walden-like retreat? Is it to attend the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, or is he actually on the lam from love?
Nieson will be giving a number of readings in the Pittsburgh area this fall, including one on the Chatham’s Shadyside campus on November 9 at 8 p.m. along with Jenny Ashburn, Alison Taverna & Dakota Garilli, three recent MFA graduates who also have books/chapbooks coming out.
PITTSBURGH: Conversations and Connections: Practical Advice on Writing will take place, October 22, 2016 starting at 9:00 a.m. in Mellon Board Room at Chatham University with programming until 6:00 p.m. With a $70 registration fee, participants pay for the full day conference, including the keynote by featured authors, three craft workshop or panel sessions, one ticket for “Speed Dating with Editors”, a choice of one of the four featured books, one subscription to a participating literary magazine, and (for those 21 or over) our world famous Boxed Wine Happy Hour.
This conference is organized by Barrelhouse Magazine and has been held for the past nine years in Washington DC, and the past two at Chatham University. All proceeds go to Barrelhouse and participating small presses and literary magazines. Please register online at www.writersconnectconference.com.
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.
PITTSBURGH: Poet and author, Philip Terman, will read on Wednesday March 23, 2016 at 8:00 pm in Rea Coffeehouse, Chatham University, Shadyside Campus. A book signing and reception will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public. Chatham poets Heather McNaugher, Sheryl St. Germain and Sheila Squillante will also read.
PITTSBURGH: Bonnie Jo Campbell will read on Wednesday February 17th, 2016 at 8:00 pm in the Welker Room, Chatham University Shadyside Campus, as part of the Words Without Walls Reading Series. A book signing and reception will follow the reading. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pittsburgh Foundation. The reading is free and open to the public.
Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of the National Bestselling novel Once Upon a River (Norton, 2011), a river odyssey with an unforgettable sixteen-year-old heroine, which the New York Times Book Review calls “an excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom.” Her first novel, Q Road, delves into the lives of a rural community where development pressures are bringing unwelcome change in the character of the land.
PITTSBURGH: Jimmy Guignard will read on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. in Beckwith Hall at Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pittsburgh Foundation. The reading is free and open to the public.
Living on seven acres above the Marcellus Shale – an active gas play in Pennsylvania, Jimmy Guignard has witnessed the gradual transformation of the rural landscape his family calls home into an industrial sacrifice zone.
In his new book Pedaling the Sacrifice Zone: Teaching, Writing, and Living above the Marcellus Shale, the English professor and experienced cyclist grapples with the meaning of place and the power of words.
PITTSBURGH: Award-winning children’s book author, Lois Lowry, will discuss her work and answer questions on Monday, November 23, 2015, at 1:00 pm in the Welker Room, James Laughlin Music Hall, on Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus.
Held in collaboration with Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing program and Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures, the event is free and open to the public.
PITTSBURGH: The Fourth River, a journal of nature and place-based writing published by Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program will launch a special issue entitled, Queering Nature, on Friday, November 13, 2015 from 7 to 9 pm. This joint event with Chatham MFA Word Circus will be held at the Rea Coffeehouse on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus. Featured readers are James Crews and D. Gilson, followed by readings by current Chatham MFA students. The event is free and open to the public.