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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?”

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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.

Sal Pane Reviews Michael Mewshaw for Bomblog

University of Pittsburgh MFA graduate student Sal Pane (MFA Fiction, 2010) reviews Michael Mewshaw's Lying with the Dead for Bomblog. 

Click here to read the article

February 2008

Professor Lynn Emanuel’s poem, “Dreaming of Rio at Sixteen,” was included in The Best American Erotic Poems:  1800 to the Present, David Lehman, ed., published this month by Scribner.

Kellie Wells (MFA 1994) is the visiting writer at Western Michigan University for the Spring 2008 semester. The author of Skin (University of Nebraska Press, 2006), she teaches fiction in the Writing Program at Washington University, St. Louis. 

 

October 2008

Lecturer Lois Williams's memoir "The House of Provisions" appears in Granta.

Sam MacDonald's memoir, The Urban Hermit, will be on shelves November 25th! (MFA 2008)

Lynn Emanuel has been named the 2009 Elliston Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati.  She will receive an award of $20,000.00. In addition to teaching an intensive five week course for graduate students at the McMicken School of Arts and Sciences, Emanuel will give a poetry reading and two public presentations. Past Elliston poets have included CD Wright and Carl Phillips.

Visiting Lecturer CM Burroughs is a nominee for the 2009 Pushcart Prize for her poem "Dear Incubator,"  which appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of Runes literary journal.  

Visiting Lecturer Dave Newman's chapbook, Allen Ginsberg Comes To Pittsburgh, won the 2008 Evil Genius Chapbook award. Publication is scheduled for January 2009 (Platonic 3Way Press). Newman is also one of the featured writers in the current issue of Chiron Review. In addition, three of his poems have been accepted for the online literary magazine Word Riot. His story, "It's Not As Bad As It Was," is forthcoming in the Winter issue of Tears in the Fence, a literary journal in the U.K. Two poems, "The God in Walt Whitman" and "Aliens," will appear in Beside the City of Angels: An Anthology of Long Beach Poetry (World Parade Books). 

At Pitt’s Homecoming celebration on October 26th, Toi Derricotte received a Sankofa Award from the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council. The award honors members of the University community who have provided outstanding support and service to students of African descent. Read about Toi here in the Pitt Chronicle.

Current MFA student Cara Hayden received the Pittsburgh chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators’ Award of Honor in News Writing for her article “The Greening of Vandergrift,” which appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of Pitt Magazine.

And the IABC’s Award of Honor in Feature Writing went to Elaine Vitone (MFA 2006) for “What Possessed You?,” which appeared in the Fall 2007 issues of Pitt Med magazine.

Claire Donato’s first chapbook, Someone Else’s Body, is forthcoming from Cannibal Books. Claire earned her B.A. in creative writing at Pitt in 2008 and is currently an MFA Literary Arts candidate at Brown University.

Professor Cathy Day’s story, “Genesis” is out in Freight Stories.

Professor Jeanne Marie Laskas’ article “Underworld,” which originally appeared in GQ and was also nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award, has been selected for Best American Magazine Writing 2008. The book, compiled by the American Society of Magazine Editors, will be published in December.

Professor Laskas’ article, “G-L-O-R-Y,” appears in Best American Sports Writing 2008, edited by William Nack and published this month by Houghton Mifflin. 

David Griffith (MFA 2001) published an homage to David Foster Wallace in Time Out Chicago. He is an assistant professor at Sweet Briar College.

Revised 11/10/2014
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