Chatham News

Author Readings at Chatham Jan 2013

PITTSBURGH-The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Chatham University will kick off 2014 with three readings this January. On January 14, Ashton Nichols will present his book Beyond Romantic Ecocriticism: Toward Urbanatural Roosting. Christopher Bakken and Katherine Ayres will follow on January 21 with readings from their latest books. Joseph Bathanti will round out the month with a reading on January 31. All events are free and open to the public. Contact Erin Hutton, Program Assistant for MFA Creative Writing,, 412-365-1685, for more information.

Ashton Nichols, January 14, 2014
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Beckwith Auditorium, Chatham University

 Ashton Nichols is the Walter E. Beach ’56 Chair in Sustainability Studies at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Revolutionary “I”: Wordsworth and the Politics of Self-Presentation and The Poetics of Epiphany: Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Modern Literary Moment, and the editor of Romantic Natural Histories: Wordsworth, Darwin, and Others. He has published articles in The Wordsworth Circle, ISLE, and The Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, among numerous other journals. He is currently completing Thoreau’s Walden: An Ecocritical Edition.

Praise for Beyond Romantic Ecocriticism: Toward Urbanatural Roosting:

“There is no question that Nichols has written a wondrous book, innovative in its merging of genres, richly veined with intellectual history, literary criticism, and a passionate vision for the future of environmentalism.”- NBOL-19

Christopher Bakken and Katherine Ayres, January 21, 2014
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Mellon Board Room, Chatham University

Christopher Bakken is the author of a culinary memoir, Honey, Olives, Octopus, and two books of poetry, Goat Funeral (2006) and After Greece (for which he was awarded the 2001 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry).  He is also co-translator of The Lions’ Gate: Selected Poems of TitosPatrikios.  Bakken has been awarded the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, the Helen C. Smith Memorial Prize for Poetry, and he served as a Fulbright Scholar atUniversity of Bucharest. He is Chair of the Department of English at Allegheny College and he directs a summer writing program on the island of Thasos.

On Honey, Olives, Octopus:

“Christopher Bakken celebrates Greek food in the Greek style, sharing it with those he loves at joyous tables filled with overflowing trays of mezedes, carafes of wine, and cloudy glasses ofouzo. But he doesn’t just look at the way the food is prepared or harvested—or eaten—he also immerses himself in the process and introduces us to the friends he makes along the way. This is food writing that goes beyond the simple pleasure of eating—Honey, Olives, Octopus illuminates something about what it means to be alive.”—Natalie Bakopoulos, author of The Green Shore

Katherine Ayres lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she writes and teaches writing to graduate students in Chatham University’s MFA Program. She also lives in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where she writes, gardens, hikes, kayaks, and watches for bears. She is theauthor of ten books for children and teens, as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She has been honored as a Champion of Literacy, as Outstanding Writer for Children by the Pennsylvania School Library Association. Her picture book, Up, Down, and Around was chosen as the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child, and as the Kansas Reads to Preschool selection. Bear Season is her first collection of essays.

Joseph Bathanti, January 31, 2014
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Mellon Board Room, Chatham University

 This program is offered in conjunction with the Senator John Heinz History Center’s Italian American Collection Scholar-in-Residence Program.

Joseph Bathanti is Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, he has BA & MA degrees in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Bathanti came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University, he is also Writer-in-Residence and Director of Writing in the Field for the University’s Watauga Global Community. Bathanti is the author of eight books of poetry and several fiction and nonfiction books. His new book of personal essays, Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, winner of the Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction, is forthcoming from Mercer University Press in 2014.He was named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Western Region for the North Carolina Poetry Society for 2011-12.