University of Pittsburgh
February 22, 2013

Pitt 2012-13 William Block Senior Writer Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts To Give Literary Reading Feb. 26

Event is part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series 2012-13 season

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

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PITTSBURGH—Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, the University of Pittsburgh’s 2012-13 William Block Senior Writer, will deliver a reading drawn from her award-winning works at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. This free publicSharifa Rhodes-Pitts event is a part of the University’s 2012-13 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series.

Rhodes-Pitts is the author of the nonfiction book Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America (Little, Brown & Co., 2011), which was named among the 100 Notable Books of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and shortlisted for the Dolman Best Travel Book Award.

Through the eyes of numerous characters, Harlem Is Nowhere delivers a personalized, insider’s view into the past and present of one of the nation’s most significant African American residential, cultural, and business centers. In her 2011 review of the work for Transition magazine, author and professor Farah Jasmine Griffin described Harlem Is Nowhere as, “Erudite and beautifully written…a book that will be read and re-read, taught and debated, and it will inspire response in multiple forms.”

In 2012, Rhodes-Pitts won a Whiting Writers’ Award for her work in nonfiction. She also has received awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has appeared in such notable publications as The New York Times, Essence, Harper’s, and Vogue.

A native of Houston, Texas, Rhodes-Pitts is a graduate of Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom.

Rhodes-Pitts is the series’ 12th William Block Senior Writer, a title created to honor the former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publisher for his support of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. Former honorees have included Pitt alumnus Terrance Hayes (A&S '97G), winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Poetry, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. 

The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program and The Book Center are cosponsors of the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season. Call 412-624-6508 or visit for more information.



Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts