University of Pittsburgh
April 8, 1998


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, April 9 -- The University of Pittsburgh Department of English will host a Reading and Literary Series beginning in the Fall term of 1998, featuring major writers among whom will be eminent poets, novelists, and writers of creative non-fiction on the current national and international scene.

The reading series will be free and open to the public and will underline the University's importance as a literary center and cultural resource. In addition to public readings from their work, the writers will meet with students in workshops and seminars.

Sponsored by the Writing Program in the English Department, the series will be coordinated by Lynn Emanuel -- poet, faculty member and, beginning in September 1998, director of Pitt's Writing Program.

"This reading series will serve at least three important functions," said Emanuel. "First, it will bring both our graduate and undergraduate students into contact with a wide variety of writers. Second, it will provide the larger community of the city of Pittsburgh access to these same writers. And third, it will enable the Writing Program to work with other departments and programs in the University and with other organizations in the city to co-sponsor a variety of events having to do with both literature and the other arts."

The oldest and one of the largest in the country, Pitt's Writing Program offers undergraduate concentrations in journalism, poetry and fiction. The Masters of Fine Arts program is one of the most highly regarded in the field.

Emanuel is the author of three books of poetry: "Hotel Fiesta," "The Dig," and "Then Suddenly -- ." Featured on the cover of the March/April issue of "The American Poetry Review," Emanuel has been a recipient of two NEA Fellowships, the National Poetry Series Award, and two Pushcart Prizes.

Ed Ochester, originator of the new series, professor, and current director of the Writing Program, will serve as adviser for the Reading and Literary Series. Author of "Allegheny," "Changing the Name to Ochester," and "Miracle Mile," Ochester is also editor of the University of Pittsburgh Press Poetry Series.