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Robert Stevens (Fiction MFA 2008)
William Faulkner once said that few wish to write; most wish to have written. Pitt was where I fell in love with writing. Chuck Kinder was Director of the program, and he’d host legendary parties at his house in Squirrel Hill. It’s hard to explain how hanging out with Tobias Wolff or Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, affected me as a 23-year old writer. The program also brought Maxine Hong Kingston, ZZ Packer, and George Saunders to campus while I was there. Being around all these writers (in some cases, eating pizza with them at the scarred wooden table in the secret poker room of the Panther Hollow Inn) was intimidating, but I learned several things, chiefly that these successful people were much more well-read (and well-practiced) than I was, and I’d better get with the program.