Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Launches Season Sept. 25

Issue Date: 
September 22, 2014

CelebratingQuill its 15th anniversary at the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series will open its 2014-15 season with a poetry reading by Squirrel Hill native Lucie Brock-Broido at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.

“The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series is thrilled to bring seven nationally acclaimed journalists, poets, and writers to share their personal perspectives on art and literature with the city of Pittsburgh,” said Lynn Emanuel, series director and a professor of English in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. “The 2014-15 season is composed of a diverse collection of innovative minds whose life experiences, artistic philosophies, and unique approaches toward the craft of writing will make each session of the series a special occasion.”

Brock-BroidoLucie Brock-Broido is the director of poetry in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where she was the recipient of the 2013 Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is the author of four acclaimed books of poetry. Her notable works include her most recent book, Stay, Illusion (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), which was a finalist for both the National Book Award in Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as Trouble in Mind (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), which won the 2005 Massachusetts Book Award. Brock-Broido also has been honored with the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

All readings in the 2014-15 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season are free and open to the public and will be held at 8:30 p.m. in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. A complete series schedule, with brief speaker bios, follows.

Sept. 25, Lucie Brock-Broido, poet, opens the 2014-15 season.

Oct. 16, Adam Hochschild, nonfiction, writes on issues of international human rights and social justice. Among his most notable works are King Leopold’s Ghost (Mariner Books, 1998) and Bury the Chains (Macmillan, 2005).

Nov. 20, NoViolet Bulawayo, fiction, is Pitt’s 2014 Fred R. Brown Literary Award winner. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel We Need New Names (Reagan Arthur Books, 2013). The Fred R. Brown Literary Award recognizes the accomplishments of fiction writers in the early stages of their literary careers. The award is named for Pitt alumnus Fred R. Brown (A&S ’71). He and his wife, Melanie Brown (CGS ’86, BUS ’90G, ’93G), are longtime supporters of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series.

Jan. 29, Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Jen Bervin offer a joint poetry reading. Wilkinson is the founding editor of the literary journal, The Volta, and author of 12 collections of poetry. Bervin is one of the editors of The Gorgeous Nothings (New Directions Publishing, 2013), which was listed among The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2013.

Feb. 19, Jennifer Clement, fiction, is noted for founding the San Miguel Poetry Week, a renowned writing workshop held annually during the first week of January in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She is the author of three novels and a memoir.

April 2, Peter Hessler, nonfiction, is Pitt’s 2014-15 William Block Senior Writer. He is the author of numerous books focusing on his experiences living abroad, including River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (HarperCollins, 2001). The William Block Senior Writer designation acknowledges the career accomplishments of esteemed writers and poets. The award is named for William Block Sr., the late publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program and University Store on Fifth cosponsor the 2014-15 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. For more information, visit www.pghwriterseries.wordpress.com or contact 412-624-6508.