New Pitt-Greensburg Reading Series Focuses on Diversity of America

A collection of photographs of five people in front of a bookshelf

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg invites the public to join them at its newest reading series, Voices: Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of America’s Literary Landscape.

Designed to celebrate the richness of human lives and stories, the readings will occur at 8 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month from January through April. These virtual events are free and open to the public.

More speakers in the series

Feb. 25
The February event features memoirist/spoken word artist Brian Broome; acclaimed Syrian short-short story author Osama Alomar; poet, playwright and oral historian Kelli Stevens Kane and oral historian and poet Rich Gegick.

March 25
Hear Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly, international award-winning crime writer Bill Boyle, National Book Award finalist Deesha Philyaw and poet Nancy Krygowski.

April 22
The last event is themed Beyond Hillbilly Elegy: Featuring Voices of Appalachia. Hear from novelist Damian Dressick, author, storyteller and photographer Greg Clary and poet Byron Hoot. 

"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." 

Building on the campus’ long-running Written/Spoken Series, Voices showcases Pitt-Greensburg's focus on experiential learning by bringing 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.

"Our undergraduate writers at Pitt-Greensburg are the most talented, big-hearted and serious young writers I've ever known,” said Jakiela. “What a joy and honor it is to work with them. Pairing them with award-winning, internationally-acclaimed authors gives these young writers wings. It helps our next generation of writers engage with a brilliant community and helps them find their rightful place in the literary landscape."                

The first reading in the series will be held Jan. 28 and will feature award-winning poets Dilruba Ahmed (A&S ’96, EDUC ’97G) and Sheila Squillante, memoirist Nancy McCabe, and poet/nonfiction/performance artist Adriana Ramirez (A&S ’09G). Pitt-Greensburg junior Madison Jarnot, an award-winning writer in her own right, will join these authors in reading from her work. For biographies of the speakers, visit the reading series’ site.

Please register in advance to receive a confirmation email containing the information needed to join the Zoom event.