Sheila Squillante, MFA

Photo of Sheila Squillante

Hometown:  Pittsburgh, PA
Joined Chatham:  2013


Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Personal Essay, Lyric Essay, Writing Motherhood, Feminist Collaboration, Domestic Fabulism, Publishing, Public Art, Literary Citizenship, Solarpunk, Cli-fi, Nature/Environmental Writing, Pop-culture



Cooking, eating, writing about cooking & eating, my dogs, thrifting, gardening badly but with deep sincerity, collecting weird baby heads, writing about how ridiculous I was in the 80s, teaching my kids that "weird" and "ridiculous" are great things to be. 


Sheila Squillante is a poet and essayist living in Pittsburgh. She is the author of two full-length volumes of poetry, Mostly Human, winner of the 2020 Wicked Woman Book Prize from BrickHouse Books, and Beautiful Nerve, (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2014.) as well as three chapbooks of poetry: In This Dream of My Father (Seven Kitchens Press, 2014), Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and A Woman Traces the Shoreline (dancing girl press, 2013). With Dr. Sandra L. Faulkner, she is co-author of the nonfiction craft book, Writing the Personal: Getting Your Stories Onto the Page (Brill/Sense, 2016), as well as scholarship on literature as public art. Her fourth chapbook, Dear Sunder, will be published in 2022 by dancing girl, and her debut essay collection by CLASH Books in 2023. Her creative work has appeared widely in print and online journals like Indiana Review, Copper Nickel, Waxwing, Crab Orchard Review, Brevity, The Rumpus, River Teeth, Literary Mama, Glamour Magazine, Food: A Reader for Writers (Oxford University Press) and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, Dzanc’s Best of the Web and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net anthologies. She directs the MFA program in creative writing at Chatham University where she also serves as Executive Editor of The Fourth River. She is a coordinator of the Conversations and Connections writers conference, which takes place at Chatham every fall, and an editor-at-large for Barrelhouse Magazine.

  • MFA, Poetry, Penn State University. 2002
  • B.A. English and Creative Writing, Manhattanville College, 1993
  • Winner: "The Story of Your Life" Creative Nonfiction Contest, Glamour Magazine, 2003
  • In This Dream of My Father (poetry chapbook), Seven Kitchens Press (forthcoming, 2014)
  • Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry (poetry chapbook), Finishing Line Press, 2012
  • A Woman Traces the Shoreline (poetry chapbook), Dancing Girl Press, 2011