University of Pittsburgh



Michael Meyer named NEH Public Scholar

A big, big up to Professor Michael Meyer. He's been offered a 2016-2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar award to undertake the project, “Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet: How a Founding Father's Daring Philanthropy Reshaped the American Will." According to the NEH: "The Public Scholar Program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship. They must address significant humanities themes likely to be of broad interest and must be written in a readily accessible style. Making use of primary and/or secondary sources, they should open up important and appealing subjects for a wide audience. The challenge is to make sense of a significant topic in a way that will appeal to general readers." 

Pitt's Center for African American Poetry and Poetics in the News

Pitt's new Center for African American Poetry and Poetics is getting noticed. It's the subject of a celebratory article in Poets & Writers magazine, which hails it as the nation's first "creative think tank to spark conversation and collaboration among poets and other artists, and to promote and archive the work of African American poets for future generations." Congratulations, CAAPP, and congratulations to Co-directors Terrance Hayes and Dawn Lundy Martin and Assistant Director Lauren Russell. 

Six Outstanding Writers Join the Faculty

Come to Pitt and work with our nationally-acclaimed authors and poets, a roster that includes six outstanding writers who have recently joined our faculty and made Pitt their home.

Angie CruzAngie Cruz is the author of two novels, Soledad (Simon & Schuster 2001), which she has adapted into a screenplay, and Let It Rain Coffee (S & S 2005), which was also a finalist in 2007 for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She has published short fiction and essays in magazines and journals, including Callaloo, a journal of African Diaspora, The New York Times, KweliPhatitude, and South Central Review. Currently she is finishing her third novel, In Search of CaridadMore >

Yona HarveyYona Harvey is the author of the poetry collection, Hemming the Water (Four Way Books 2013), and the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation. Her poems can be found in jubilat, Gulf Coast, Callaloo, West Branch, and various journals and anthologies, including A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry (Ed. Annie Finch). More >

Terrance HayesTerrance Hayes is the author of Lighthead (Penguin, 2010), which won the National Book Award for Poetry; Wind in a Box (2006); Hip Logic (2002), which won the 2001 National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award; and Muscular Music (1999), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, three Best American Poetry selections, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Guggenheim Foundation. More >

Bill LychakWilliam Lychack is the author of a novel, The Wasp Eater, and a collection of stories, The Architect of Flowers. His work has appeared in The Best American Short StoriesThe Pushcart Prize, The American Scholar, Life Magazine, and on public radio’s This American Life.  More >

Michael MeyerMichael Meyer is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction book The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed. He first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps, and for over a decade has contributed from there to The New York Times, Time, the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Architectural Record, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian, and many other outlets. Michael’s next book, In Manchuria will be published by Bloomsbury in 2014. More >

Peter TrachtenbergPeter Trachtenberg has written about genocide tribunals in Rwanda, funerary rituals in central Borneo, the Book of Job, and marriage and missing cats. He's the author of Another Insane Devotion, The Book of Calamities, and 7 Tattoos: A Memoir in the Flesh. His honors include Whiting and Guggenheim fellowships and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. More >

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 >

Program Announcements 2012-13

Two members of the Writing Program's Digital Media Lab have won recognition by the 2013 Digital Storymakers Award: Erin Anderson was a grand prize winner in the Graduate Visual division for "What Hadn't Happened," and Sarah Menkedick was a finalist in the Graduate Long Form division for "A Rider's Prayer."

Assistant Professor Michael Meyer had updated editions of his Chinese language book, The Last Days of Old Beijing published in both mainland China and in Taiwan/Hong Kong. (2013)

Lecturer Robin Clarke won Omnidawn’s 1st/2nd Book Prize for Lines the Quarry (forthcoming September 2013).

Professor Lynn Emanuel was awarded a Fellowship in Writing at the Civetella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, in 2013/14.

Assistant Professor Peter Trachtenberg published Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons. (Boston and Berkeley: Da Capo Press) in November, 2012. His book was an Editors’ Choice of The New York Times Book Review.

Associate Professor Jeanne Marie Laskas published Hidden America with G.P. Putnam's Sons, in September 2012. In Fall 2012, she launched a national media tour connected for the book, including appearances on NPR, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, FOX, and National Satellite Radio. The book is under contract for use in television programming.

Lecturer Ellen Smith won the Orlando Prize for Creative Nonfiction (Fall 2012) for "The Locust: A Foundational Narrative" by A Room of One's Own Foundation, Placitas, NM.

Assistant Professor Peter Trachtenberg received a Pushcart Prize Nomination. Puerto del Sol. For the essay “The Finish of All Things,” published in the fall issue.

In 2012, Assistant Professor William Lychack received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and a Residency Fellowship from The Corporation of Yaddo.

Assistant Professor Peter Trachtenberg was awarded a Residency by the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio Italy, from May–June of 2012.

Assistant Professor William Lychack received two Pushcart Prize Nominations for New Ohio Review and American Antheneum.

Assistant Professor Dawn Lundy Martin was a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee for “Maybe You Exist Outside of Time,” published in They Will Sew the Blue Sail.

Lecturer Adriana Ramirez was the Grand Slam Champion of the Steel City Poetry Slam and was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association.

Revised 09/21/2022
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