University of Pittsburgh
September 21, 2011

Pitt to Feature Essayist John D’Agata Sept. 27

The event is part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series
Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—Essayist John D’Agata will read from and discuss his work as part of the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program’s Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 SchenleyJohn D’Agata Dr., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

D’Agata’s first book, Halls of Fame (Graywolf Press, 2001), is a collection of lyric essays; it was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Pittsburgh native and author Annie Dillard called it “A daring, utterly original book by a young writer of rare intelligence and artistry . . .With wit and finesse, and writing that’s as much poetry as it is prose, D’Agata is redefining the modern American essay.”

Editor of two essay collections, The Next American Essay (Graywolf Press, 2002) and The Lost Origins of the Essay (Graywolf Press, 2009), D’Agata also is author of the creative nonfiction book About a Mountain (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010). His next book, a collaboration with fact-checker Jim Fingal, is titled The Lifespan of a Fact and is scheduled for publication next year by W.W. Norton and Company.

D’Agata received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007. He earned a BA from Hobart College and holds MFA degrees in both nonfiction and poetry from the University of Iowa where he teaches creative writing.

A native of Cape Cod, Mass., D’Agata lives in Iowa City.

In addition to Pitt’s Writing Program, the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is sponsored by Pitt’s Book Center. For more information, call 412-624-6508 or visit