University of Pittsburgh
August 19, 2001


Contact:  412-624-4147

August 20, 2001

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series will open its fourth season with Richard Ford, The 2001 William Block Sr. Writer, at 8:15 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, in 125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Schenley Drive, Oakland.

Novelist and short story writer Richard Ford is described as one of "the United States' finest storytellers." His novel, Independence Day, is the only novel to have received both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ford is author of several other novels including, The Ultimate Good Luck, A Piece of My Heart, Wildlife, and The Sportswriter, for which he also won a PEN/Faulkner Award. Also known for his short stories, Ford has published two collections: Rock Springs and his most recent work, Women with Men: Three Stories.

In addition, the season presents novelists and several poets, including Pitt's own

Ed Ochester, editor of the Pitt Poetry Series, and director of its writing program from 1978 to 1998. The series is free and open to the public. All readings begin at 8:15 p.m. and will be held at 125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Schenley Drive, Oakland.

Featured writers are:

Thursday, Nov. 1 – Double Feature

Ed Ochester, Poet, The Land of Cockaigne; Snow White Horses

One of the founders of the graduate Writing Program at the University

of Pittsburgh, Ochester won the Devins Award for his first book of poems,

Dancing on the Edges of Knives.

C. G. Hanzlicek, Poet, Against Dreaming; The Cave: New and Selected Poems

Stars, his first book, was awarded the 1977 Devins Award for poetry.

He retired from California State University at Fresno this summer, where he taught writing for 35 years and served as director of its Creative Writing

Program for most of those years.

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2002

Jayne Anne Phillips, Fiction Writer, Machine Dreams; Shelter; MotherKind

Machine Dreams was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award

and Shelter received an Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Rick Bass, Nature Essayist and Fiction Writer, The Ninemile Wolves; Oil

Notes; Winter: Notes from Montana

Educated as a petroleum geologist, Bass is author of six volumes of

natural history essays. His other books include The Deer Pasture and

a highly praised book of short stories, The Watch.

Thursday, March 21

Alice Notley, Poet, The Descent of Alette; Mysteries of Small Houses

She is a leading figure in the American avant garde. Author of 21 books,

Notley received a San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award for How

Spring Comes.

Thursday, April 4

Wanda Coleman, Poet, African Sleeping Sickness; Hand Dance;

Bathwater Wine

She is winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and is one of the most

celebrated poetry performers in the country. Coleman is described as "A

modern day Langston Hughes," who captures urban African-American

experience with a unique and vibrant energy.

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