University of Pittsburgh

news

News Archive

November 2008

Current MFA student Laurie Koozer has a short story, “Hillcrest Valley Parade,” in the Autumn 2008 issue of The Fourth River, Chatham University’s literary journal.

Sam MacDonald’s book, The Urban Hermit, snagged a feature review in the LA Times.

Robyn Murphy (MFA 2007) was selected as one of seventeen finalists for this year’s Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her short story “Hungry Ghost” will appear in the January 2009 issue of the New Orleans Review.

Brendan Kerr’s (MFA 2007) “The Sunbather” won second place in the Wordstock 10 Short Fiction competition. 

 

Creative Writing Minor

As one of the oldest writing programs in the United States, the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh has an excellent record of not only producing talented creative writers but also developing the writing skills of undergraduates who go on to work in a variety of professions, including journalism, law, and publishing.

We created the Minor in response to a number of students saying they were passionately interested in writing but their main major required too much of a commitment for them to take on a second major. The Minor in Creative Writing fulfills a need that is different from the certificate in Public and Professional Writing, with its particular focus on writing in business, nonprofit, government, and legal environments, and the Writing Major, which requires a more substantial commitment of time and study.

We know from many different sources (CEOs, personnel and graduate school committees) that those students who write well, no matter what their major might be, are the students who get noticed by employers.  The kind of self-examination that the practice of writing encourages, as well as the ability to organize information into narrative, expressive and communicative forms, will always make candidates stand out.  We hope, as a side effect, to also attract students who might want to work at the intersections of, say, Neuroscience and the Humanities, or students who want to think about and articulate the kind of complex relationships a more connected world creates.

Read the Major & Minor Requirements >

CM Burroughs named Finalist for Gift of Freedom

Visiting Lecturer CM Burroughs (MFA 2007) has been named a finalist for the 2009 Gift of Freedom, a gift of $50,000 sponsored by the Room of Her Own Foundation. Burroughs is happily one of five finalists from 760 applications. Also, she has new poetry in the upcoming issue of jubilat. You may read other of her new poems at Eleven Eleven Journal and LaFovea..

John Temple's The Last Lawyer: "An Unforgettable Story"

Pitt Alumnus John Temple (MFA Nonfiction) writes about Ken Rose, a North Carolina attorney fighting to save the wrongfully convicted in Raleigh, North Carolina, in his newest book The Last Lawyer. 

From the Publisher's Weekly review: 

For years, lawyer Ken Rose has fought to save wrongly-condemned prisoners; chronicling the story of Rose and death row inmate Bo Jones, author Temple (Dollhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office) finds high drama in Raleigh penitentiaries, North Carolina backroads, cramped law offices, and sweltering courtrooms. Investigators, criminals, judges, witnesses, and attorneys are all finely, vividly drawn in this disturbing account of a justice system hijacked by officials whose prime interest is finding criminals to execute: “[E]ven if Bo Jones wasn’t one of the worst of the worst, they pursued him because he was one of the ones they could get.” Reviewing the original 1987 murder, the consequent trials and endless hearings, Temple creates an intimate portrait of Rose and his Center for Death Penalty Litigation as they trudge through a decade of work on this case, a typical example that pits the odds and public opinion against them: “To question capital punishment was to appear soft on crime… In court, one well known district attorney sported a golden lapel pin shaped like a hangman’s noose.” Ultimately, Temple’s account is a stand-up-and cheer account of one man standing up for justice.

John Temple is currently an associate professor of journalism at West Virginia University. He teaches reporting and writing courses and serves as the associate dean of the P.I. Reed School of Journalism.

Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction Awarded to Irina Reyn

Irina Reyn (Assistant Professor, Fiction) was recently named winner of the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction for her 2008 novel, What Happened to Anna K. 

From the Foundation for Jewish Culture website:

Established in 1999 and supported through a generous grant from the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Foundation, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers is among the very first of its kind to highlight new works by contemporary writers exploring Jewish themes.

The prize spotlights promising new talent, and is awarded to an American fiction writer for a first or second full-length work that was published in the previous calendar year. Submissions must be made by the publisher.

The award includes a prize of $2,500, as well as a one-week residency at Ledig House International Writers Colony in New York’s Hudson Valley.

For more information on Reyn, visit her faculty web page

September 2007

Professor Ben Lerner had two poems from Angle of Yaw included in Best American Poetry 2007, edited by Heather McHugh (Scribner).

June 2008

Professor Toi Derricotte was presented (along with Cornelius Eady) with the Elizabeth Kray Award for her work with Cave Canem, a national community of African-American poets committed to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African-American poetry.

 

February 2009

Eugene Cross (MFA 2006) strikes again! Read his short short story “Loyalty” on Guernica: a Magazine of Art and Politics.

"The Brother," a story by Eugene Cross (MFA 2006), is just out in the online magazine Narrative, alongside fiction by T.C. Boyle and Jayne Anne Phillips. Esquire calls Narrative “the gold standard for online literary magazines,” and you can read more about their innovative approach to literary publishing here.

Visiting Lecturer Micki Myers recently had two new poems published in the journal La Fovea.  You can read the poems, “New Year’s Day, 1912” and “Friendship 7 Splashes Down and Almost Undiscovers the New World” here.

Three poems from Visiting Lecturer Robin Clarke will appear in an upcoming volume of Sentence: A Journal of Prose PoeticsSentence is a journal that is dedicated to both continuing the tradition and expanding the definition of the prose poem. Clarke’s poems are untitled, but the first few words of each have piqued our interest: “God’s talents include ice,” “The Sons of Liberty,” and “Do you know anything about history?”

Join the Conversation on Facebook and Twitter

The Writing Program has a lively presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Follow us for the latest news about the program, students, faculty, and alumni. We also share strategies and news for writers to nurture your writing life.

University of Pittsburgh Pushcart Nominations

We are proud to announce that Sal Pane (MFA Fiction, 2010) and Aubrey Hirsch (MFA Fiction, 2007) have both been nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize, a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot."

The Minnetonka Review selected Aubrey's short story, "Five for New Orleans," as one of their six nominees. 

Sal's nomination comes from the recent publication of his short story, "Fences Fly By," in Quick Fiction. 

The Pushcart Prize has been called "the most honored literary project in America." More from their website

 Little magazine and small book press editors (print or online) may make up to six nominations from their year’s publications by our December 1, (postmark) deadline. The nominations may be any combination of poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot. Editors may nominate self-contained portions of books — for instance, a chapter from a novel. We welcome translations, reprints and both traditional and experimental writing. One copy of each selection should be sent. No nominations can be returned. There is no entry fee and no forms to fill out. We also accept nominations from our staff of distinguished Contributing Editors.

Revised 12/09/2014
| Copyright 2014 | Site by Communications Services