University of Pittsburgh
October 23, 2006

2006 Drue Heinz Literature Prize Winner Todd James Pierce to Speak at Pitt Nov. 1

Walter D. Wetherell, 1985 Drue Heinz winner, also to give reading as part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Fiction writer Todd James Pierce, winner of the 2006 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his latest book, Newsworld (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), will give an evening reading at the University of Pittsburgh as part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Frick Fine Arts Building Auditorium, Schenley Drive, Oakland. Walter D. Wetherell, the 1985 winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for The Man Who Loved Levittown (Avon Books, 1987), also will speak at this event, which is free and open to the public.

A California native, Pierce is the author of two other books, titled The Sky Like Tamara Blue (Quintet Books, 2004) and The Australia Stories (MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2003). He also has published short stories in The Georgia Review (2001), the Indiana Review (2003), and North American Review (2004).

Pierce earned the M.F.A. degree at the University of California at Irvine, the M.A. degree at Oregon State University, and the Ph.D. degree at Florida State University. He is the recipient of the Individual Artist Program Award for Fiction, a Kingsbury Fellowship, and the Charles Angoff Award.

Wetherell has published several books, including Souvenirs (Random House, 1981), Chekhov's Sister (Little Brown & Co., 1990), and A Century of November (University of Michigan Press, 2004), which won the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award. He is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two O. Henry Awards, and a fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Literatures.

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize is awarded annually to a short fiction writer; it includes a cash award of $15,000 and publication of the writers' work by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, which runs through April 4, is cosponsored by the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place and the Pitt's Book Center, University of Pittsburgh Press, and Creative Nonfiction and Film Studies Programs.

For more information, call 412-624-6505 or visit