Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Opens Sept. 29

Issue Date: 
September 13, 2010

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series will open its 2010-11 season with a reading by the 2010 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Tina May Hall, at 8 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.

Speakers in this year’s series include Mark Kurlansky, the 2010 William Block Senior Writer and author of such notable titles as Salt (Penguin, 2002) and Cod (Vintage, 1997), and Michael Thomas, the Fred R. Brown Literary Award winner and author of Man Gone Down (Grove Press, 2006), which narrates the struggle of a young father in a biracial marriage working towards the American Dream.

An Arizona native, Hall graduated with a BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona. She later earned her MFA from Bowling Green State University and her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Hall has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Minnesota Review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, Water-Stone Review, and Fairy Tale Review, among other journals. She currently resides in Clinton, N.Y., where she teaches at Hamilton College.

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize recognizes and supports writers of short fiction and makes their work available to readers around the world. The honor includes a cash prize of $15,000, and Hall’s short-story collection, The Physics of Imaginary Objects, will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this fall.

The complete schedule for the 2010-11 Pittsburgh Writers Series follows.

Sept. 29

Drue Heinz Literature Prize Reading and Award Ceremony

8 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Tina May Hall, 2010 Drue Heinz Literature Prize recipient

Renata Adler, 2010 Drue Heinz Literature Prize judge, is the author of the novels Speedboat (HarperCollins, 1976) and Pitch Dark (Perennial, 1983), as well as several books of nonfiction, including Irreparable Harm (Melville House, 2004), detailing the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold George W. Bush as the winner of the U.S. 2000 presidential election.

Oct. 5

2010-11 William Block Senior Writer

8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Mark Kurlansky, 2010-11 William Block Senior Writer. In addition to writing Salt and Cod, Kurlansky is the author of The Last Fish Tale (Ballantine Books, 2008).

Nov. 4

8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Kimiko Hahn,
author of several collections of poetry, including The Artist’s Daughter (W.W. Norton, 2004), Mosquito and Ant (W.W. Norton, 2000), Narrow Road to the Interior (W.W. Norton, 2006), and Toxic Flora (W.W. Norton, 2010).

Nov. 11

Fred R. Brown Literary Award Reading

8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Michael Thomas, 2010 Fred R. Brown Literary Award winner, will give a reading of his work.

March 24

Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry

Reading by the editor, Camille T. Dungy, and guest contributors: 7 p.m., August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

On March 25, there will be a discussion with Dungy at 2 p.m. in Room 501 of the Cathedral of Learning.

April 7

8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Lydia Davis is the author of The End of the Story: A Novel (Picador, 2004), Samuel Johnson Is Indignant (Picador, 2002), and Varieties of Disturbances (Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 2007).

The 2010-11 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is cosponsored by Pitt’s Writing Program, Book Center, University Library System, and University of Pittsburgh Press.

All events in the Writers Series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeff Oaks at oaks@pitt.edu or visit www.english.pitt.edu.