University of Pittsburgh
September 13, 2004

Poets Open Pitt Contemporary Writers Season Sept. 15

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Poets Eve Alexandra and Tracy K. Smith will open the 2004 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in Room 501 of the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Alexandra won the 2002 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize for her book The Drowned Girl (Kent State University Press, 2003). Her manuscript was selected by poet

C.K. Williams, a judge in this first-book-of-poems competition. In the fall of 2002, Alexandra also was featured as an outstanding emerging writer in The American Poet, the journal of the Academy of American Poets. Other poems by Alexandra have appeared in The American Poetry Review and The Harvard Review

Alexandra earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in theater at Sarah Lawrence College in 1991 and the Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Vermont.

Smith received the 2002 Cave Canem prize for The Body's Question (Graywolf Press, 2003). The prize is awarded annually for the best first collection of poems submitted by an African American poet whose work is selected for publication by an accomplished writer. Poet Kevin Young chose her manuscript.

Smith holds degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard and Columbia Universities. She was a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University from 1997 through 1999. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boulevard, Callaloo, and PN Review. Smith teaches in the English and humanities departments at Medgar Evers and Marymount Manhattan Colleges, as well as with the Gotham Writer's Workshop.

The Contemporary Writers Series is cosponsored by the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place, Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies, University Center for International Studies, The Book Center, and the University of Pittsburgh Press.