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Jeanne Marie Laskas

Director of Writing Program
CL 517-H


Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of six books, a National Magazine Award finalist and a corespondent at GQ.  Her newest book is the award-winning Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work (Putnam, 2012).  Her other titles include a trilogy of memoirs:  Growing Girls (Bantam Dell, 2006), the award-winning The Exact Same Moon (Bantam Dell, 2003), and the widely acclaimed Fifty Acres and a Poodle (Bantam Dell, 2000). Most of her magazine feature stories now appear in GQ, where she writes about everything from Iraq to face transplants to Joe Biden. Formerly a contributing editor at Esquire, and a columnist for The Washington Post Magazine her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Best American Magazine Writing 2008 and Best American Sportswriting 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008. Her earliest essays and features are compiled in the award-winning The Balloon Lady and Other People I Know (Duquesne, 1996). 

Jeanne Marie is a professor and director of The Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She lives with her husband and two daughters at Sweetwater Farm in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania.


  • Read a spotlight piece about Jeanne Marie Laskas and her new book, Hidden America, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Read “Underworld,” which was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.
  • Read an interview from about the writing of “Underworld.”
  • Listen to Jeanne Marie Laskas on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

Teaching and Writing

“Good writing comes from the truth you have to offer – you. If you’re not offering that, you’re just doing somebody else’s work. It sounds so Pollyanna but I do believe the best thing anybody in the arts has to offer is themselves.”

Revised 09/30/2015
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