Pitt–Greensburg series celebrates diversity of American literature

Pitt–Greensburg will host a new monthly reading series, “Voices: Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of America’s Literary Landscape,” to celebrate the richness of human lives and stories.

 "What does it mean to be an American? The writers in this series answer that question again and again — with depth, honesty, and a sense of diversity that spans race, gender, class, region and more,” said Lori Jakiela, professor of professional and creative writing at Pitt–Greensburg. “It's a celebration of the gorgeous crazy-quilt that is America, at a time when we may need to celebrate that the most. I'm so excited for this series, which highlights the incredible depth and diversity of American voices."  

The online readings, which are free and open to the public, will be at 8 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month from January through April. Register in advance in advance to receive a confirmation email with the Zoom meeting information. 

“Voices” will bring together undergraduate student-writers with award-winning authors. The readings are funded in part through Pitt’s Year of Engagement initiative as well as through the Pitt-Greensburg Office of Student Life, Academic Village, and Student Government Association. The series is being coordinated by Jakiela, Sheila Confer, director of the Academic Village, and Albert Thiel, director of Campus Center and Student Engagement.

The first reading will be Jan. 28 and will feature poets Dilruba Ahmed and Sheila Squillante, memoirist Nancy McCabe, and poet/nonfiction/performance artist Adriana Ramirez. Pitt–Greensburg junior Madison Jarnot will join these authors in reading from her work at the January event.

The other readings:

Feb. 25: Memoirist/spoken word artist Brian Broome; Syrian short-short story author Osama Alomar; poet, playwright, and oral historian Kelli Stevens Kane; and oral historian and poet Rich Gegick

March 25: Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly; crime writer Bill Boyle; National Book Award finalist Deesha Philyaw; and poet Nancy Krygowski. 

April 22: “Beyond Hillbilly Elegy,” featuring voices of Appalachia, including novelist Damian Dressick; author, storyteller and photographer Greg Clary; and poet Byron Hoot.