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Category Archives: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Author Jimmy Guignard to Read at Chatham University

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.

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Award-Winning Children’s Book Author, Lois Lowry, to Speak at Chatham University Nov 23, 2015

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.

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The Fourth River Writing Journal to Launch Next Issue at Reading on November 13

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.

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Nick Flynn to Read at Chatham University for Words Without Walls Reading Series on October 23 at 8:00 pm

PITTSBURGH:    Nick Flynn will read on Friday October 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm in the Welker Room, 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 an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pittsburgh Foundation.   The reading is free and open to the public.

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Author Natalie Diaz to Read at Chatham University for Words Without Walls Reading Series

PITTSBURGH:   Poet Natalie Diaz will read on Thursday September 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm in the Welker Room at Chatham University as part of the Words Without Walls Reading Series.   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. A book signing and reception will follow the reading.

Natalie Diaz
Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River.  She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe.  After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She is a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellow and a 2012 Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. In 2014, she was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, as well as the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, and a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Residency MFA program and lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining Mojave speakers at Fort Mojave to teach and revitalize the Mojave language.

Praise for When My Brother Was An Aztec:

“In her debut, Diaz portrays experiences rooted in Native American life with personal and mythic power. The poems are narrative and surreal—bodies are wracked by addiction and diabetes, but sometimes “a gunnysack full of tigers wrestles in our chests.” – Publishers Weekly

“Unapologetically political and emotionally difficult, this collection is certainly not for those seeking “easy” poetry that will stroke them to sleep with purple mountain ranges, a lover’s midnight whisper and a spoonful of nostalgia. It is, however, for the reader who allows her consciousness to be challenged and their spine chilled by the drawing voice and fresh language of excellent narrative and surreal poetry.” – Kasey Erin, The Adirondack Review

 

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Chatham’s Creative Writing Program Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

PITTSBURGH: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has a awarded a grant to support the Make Mine Words Reading Series, part of the Words Without Walls program, 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.

The NEA grant will allow Chatham to host three nationally recognized authors featured in the anthology Words without Walls:  Writers on Addiction, Violence, and Incarceration for public readings and book signings to the Pittsburgh community.   Sheryl St. Germain, director of Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program and co-founder of the Words Without Walls program, leads the Make Mine Words series. For a full listing of speakers and other events, please visit www.chatham.edu/mfa/news.cfm.

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John Amen to read April 15 at Chatham University as part of the Words Without Walls Reading Series

PITTSBURGH:  John Amen will read on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 5:00 pm in the Mellon Living Room, Chatham University. A book signing and reception will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

John Amen is the author of four collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer (Uccelli Press, 2003), More of Me Disappears (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2005), At the Threshold of Alchemy (Presa, 2009), and strange theater (New York Quarterly Books, 2015). The New Arcana—a multi-genre collaborative work co-written with Daniel Y. Harris—was released by New York Quarterly Books in October 2012.  His work has appeared in journals nationally and internationally and been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. In addition, he has released two folk/folk rock CDs: All I’ll Never Need and Ridiculous Empire. He is also an artist, working primarily with acrylics on canvas. Further information is available on his website: www.johnamen.com. John travels widely giving readings, doing musical performances, and conducting workshops. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine (www.thepedestalmagazine.com).

Praise for strange theater :

“John Amen’s incredible release, strange theater, is a perceptive, insightful commentary on the mystery hidden within the ordinary…. This collection is exquisite, a book to be savored and discussed and treasured.”   —Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Funding for the Words Without Walls reading series provided by A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation and Chatham University.

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