University of Pittsburgh


News Archive

Kusnic Named Semifinalist in 1st Annual Norman Mailer Competition

Peter Kusnic (Senior, Creative Writing) has earned recognition as a national semifinalist in the first annual Norman Mailer College Writing Award for Creative Nonfiction competition. 

From the National Council of Teachers of English:

Norman Mailer produced extraordinary writing in many genres, and he was a true pioneer in the emerging realm of creative nonfiction. Thus, evaluation criteria for this award reflected qualities of writing he pursued across a lifetime: originality; insight; clear voice and style; artful arrangement of elements and materials; and overall aesthetic, emotional, or intellectual effect. Out of the extraordinarily rich pool of
work submitted, [Kusnic's] was deemed to show considerable promise, and fell within the top 3% of entries received from College writers.


April 2008


Robin Clarke’s poetry manuscript, “Cryptography for R. Lansberry,” was selected as a finalist for the Fence/Motherwell prize. Fence is a print and online literary journal that offers the Motherwell prize for a first or second book of poems by a woman writer. (MFA 2008)

Professor Fiona Cheong was named one of four finalists for the Make It Your Own Award for her proposal, “Re-Imagining Our City.” 

Karin Lin-Greenberg (MFA 2005) just heard that she’ll be a Visiting Assistant Professor at College of Wooster for the next three years.

“The Plain, Unmarked Box Arrived,” an essay by Lori Jakiela (MFA 1992), was published in the April 13, 2008 edition of The New York Times. Lori is an associate professor at Pitt-Greensburg and directs the writing program. 

Lecturer Jeff Oaks received the 2008 David and Tina Bellet Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.  The award recognizes outstanding and innovative teaching in Arts and Sciences.

Professor Irina Reyn participated in the Hedgebrook Writer’s Residency.

December 2008

Liz Ahl’s chapbook, A Thirst That’s Partly Mine, won the 2008 Slapering Hol Press chapbook competition and has been published in a handbound/numbered edition of 500. She is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. (MFA 1995)

Pitt faculty member Jeanne Marie Laskas appeared on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show, talking about the changes in the world of magazine publishing and what effects, if any, are being felt in graduate creative writing programs. Listen in.

Gregory Lawless’s debut book of poems, I Thought I was New Here, will be published by BlazeVOX in 2009. (B.A. 2001)

Ashleigh Pederson (M.F.A 2009) had a story accepted at The Iowa Review. "Small and Heavy World" will appear in the August 2009 issue.

The English translation of Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness made NPR’s Best Foreign Fiction of 2008 list!

"Hunters," a short story by Eugene Cross (MFA 2005), is out in Hobart.


Kelly Ramsey's Reading Receives Good Review

Congratulations to MFA student Kelly Ramsey, whose reading at Garfield's Modern Formations Gallery garnered a nice review from City Paper's Bill O'Driscoll. Click here to read the article.

Pitt MFA Student Publication News

David James Keaton's (MFA Fiction, 2010) short story "Nine Cops Killed For A Goldfish Cracker" appears in the new Comet Press dark crime anthology The Death Panel. His online publications in 2009 included fiction in Thuglit, Espresso Stories, Big Pulp, Six Sentences, Pulp Pusher, and Crooked. A review of his work is available here.

Two essays by Joshua Schriftman (MFA Nonfiction, 2010) have just been accepted for publication. "How to Build Your Own Labyrinth" was accepted for publication in The Pinch, and "On Silence" was accepted by The Ninth Letter.

Emily Testa (MFA Fiction, 2009) breaks down Papirmasse Magazine for The Walrus.

"Eschaton," by Jonathan Callard (MFA Nonfiction, 2010) has been chosen for publication in an upcoming issue of Arts & Letters.

An essay by Emily Stone (MFA Nonfiction, 2010), "On the Occasional Importance of a Ceiling Fan," was recently cited among the "Notable Travel Writing of 2008" in The Best American Travel Writing 2009, edited by Simon Winchester. "On the Occasional Importance of a Ceiling Fan" was also included in the Best Travel Writing 2008, published by Travelers' Tales.

"Clear Blue Michigan Sky" written by Robert Yune (MFA Fiction, 2008) will appear in volume 23 of Green Mountains Review.

Pitt Alumnus Carolyn Kellogg Named Judge for Story Prize

Carolyn Kellogg (MFA Fiction, 2008) has recently been named a judge for the prestigious Story Prize, along with author A.M. Homes and librarian Bill Kelly. 

From the Story Prize website

Each year, The Story Prize selects its judges from fields associated with short fiction. Past judges have included writers, editors, booksellers, librarians, and critics. Larry Dark, director of The Story Prize, and Julie Lindsey, who founded The Story Prize in 2004, will select the three story collections from which the judges will choose. The winner will be announced at The Story Prize Awards Ceremony on March 3, 2010 at The New School.

The Story Prize is an annual book award for short story collections written in English and published in the U.S. during a calendar year. The winner receives $20,000, and each finalist receives $5,000. Previous winners include works by Edwidge Danticat, Patrick O'Keeffe, Mary Gordon, Jim Shepard, and last year's winner, Tobias Wolff.

Kellogg, a critic for the Los Angeles Times, has recently interviewed Sherman Alexie, reviewed Nick Hornby and spoken to the Guardian about Lorrie Moore. You can also catch her Interviewing Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, and James Ellroy.


October 2007

Michael Rosenwald’s (MFA 2007) essay, “The Flu Hunter,” was chosen for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007, edited by Richard Preston and published this month by Houghton Mifflin.


August 2008

“Working Stiffed,” by Lisa A. Phillips (MFA 1998), appears in The Boston Globe Magazine.

The English translation of Senselessness, a novel by visiting writer Horacio Castellanos Moya, has been released. Read about it here in City Paper .

Peter Oresick’s most recent book of poetry, Warhol-O-Rama, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press on August 6, 2008, the occasion of Andy Warhol’s 80th birthday. Peter is currently coordinator of the Chatham University Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and lecturer in Pitt’s Creative Writing Program.

Eugene Cross (MFA 2005) attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Middlebury, Vermont, where he attended a workshop led by Robert Boswell and served many drinks to many thirsty writers.


Dawn Lundy Martin's new book is here

Good Stock Strange Blood , the new book of prose poems by Professor Dawn Lundy Martin, will be published on August 1 by Coffee House Press. It arrives with this praise from Maggie Nelson: "Every time I read Good Stock Strange Blood a new deepened book awaits me. Which is to say, i's got trapdoors, trick sleeves; it swerves, detours, and dives. Dawn Lundy Martin's poems read like a real-time excavation of what poetry can and can't do."  

Revised 10/17/2018
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