University of Pittsburgh
September 19, 2001

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author to Open Fourth Season of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at the University of Pittsburgh

Contact:  412-624-4147

September 12, 2001

PITTSBURGH—Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer Richard Ford will open the fourth season of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at the University of Pittsburgh at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Schenley Drive, Oakland. Ford is the first William Block Sr. Writer, a title created to honor the former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publisher for his support of the Contemporary Writers Series.

The New York Times described Ford as "one of his generation's most eloquent voices." Ford's Independence Day (1995) is the only novel to have received both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, in 1996. He is the author of several other novels, including The Ultimate Good Luck (1981), A Piece of My Heart (1987), Wildlife (1990), and The Sportswriter (1986), which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Two collections of Ford's short stories have been published: Rock Springs (1987), and his most recent work, Women with Men: Three Stories (1997).

Ford also has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the 1994 Rea Award given annually to a writer who has made a contribution to the short story as an art form.

Ford earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and the Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Irvine.

The remaining writers in this year's series are Ed Ochester and C. G. Hanzlicek on Nov. 1; Jayne Anne Phillips on Feb. 7; Rick Bass on Feb. 26; Alice Notley on March 21; and Wanda Coleman on April 4. All readings are free and open to the public and begin at 8:15 p.m.

The Contemporary Writers Series is cosponsored by the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place, Pitt's East Asian Studies, The Book Center, Environmental Studies, the Environmental Committee of Student Government Board, and the Women's Studies Program.