Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

September 14, 2006

Contemporary writers series starts Sept. 22

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series begins its ninth season at Pitt Sept. 22 with a 10th anniversary celebration of Cave Canem, a retreat for African-American poets.

The Black Took Collective (BTC) featuring poets Duriel Harris, Dawn Lundy Martin and Ronaldo Wilson will open the series. Co-founded at the 1999 Cave Canem retreat by Harris, Martin and Wilson, BTC is a group of young black post-theorists who perform and write in hybrid experimental forms, embracing radical poetics and cutting-edge critical theory about gender, race and sexuality.

At Pitt, BTC will present a multi-media performance that explores the construction of a black unconscious. Using written and aural language, sound and imagery, the members of the collective enact poetries of inquiry that engage the psyche’s making of racial consciousness by conceptualizing unconsciousness.

The 2006-07 contemporary writers series season includes:

Sept. 22: “The Black Took Collective,” Duriel Harris, Dawn Lundy Martin and Ronaldo Wilson; noon, Frick Fine Arts auditorium; “Black Consciousness and Contemporary Poetry” panel discussion, Pitt professor Toi Derricotte (“The Empress of the Death House,” “Captivity,” “Tender,” “Natural Birth” and “The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey”) and poets Nikky Finney (“Rice” and “On Wings Made of Gauze”) and Terrance Hayes (“Muscular Music” and “Wind in a Box”), 2 p.m., 501 CL; poetry reading, Finney and Hayes, 7 p.m., Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

Oct. 4: Gabeba Baderoon, winner of the 2005 Daimler Chrysler Award for Poetry (“A Hundred Silences” and “The Dream in the Next Body”), 8:30 p.m., 501 CL.

Oct. 18: Dan Chaon, novelist (“You Remind Me of Me” and “Fitting Ends”) and finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for “Among the Missing,” 8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

Nov. 1: Drue Heinz Literature Prize reading and award ceremony, Todd James Pierce, 2006 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner for “Newsworld,” 7:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

Nov. 10: H. G. Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of “Friday Night Lights,” discussion and screening, 7 p.m., Alumni Hall auditorium.

Nov. 11: Kathryn Harris, memoirist (“The Kiss,” “Poison” and “The Mother Knot”), 7 p.m., Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

March 22: Patrick McCabe, 2006-07 William Block Sr. writer (“The Butcher Boy,” “Breakfast on Pluto” and “Call Me the Breeze”), Man Booker Prize nominee and Irish Times Literature Prize award winner, 8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

April 4: “Hybrid Vigor: American Poetry Out of School,” discussion: “The Death of the ‘Poetic School’” with David St. John and Cole Swenson, 2 p.m., 501 CL; St. John (“Study for the World’s Body: New and Selected Poems” and “The Face: A Novella in Verse”); and Swenson (“Goest,” “Try” and “The Book of a Hundred Hands”), 8:30 p.m., Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

The series is sponsored by the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place, the University of Pittsburgh’s Book Center, University of Pittsburgh Press and the creative nonfiction and film studies programs.

For more information, call 4-6505 or log on to

Filed under: Feature,Volume 39 Issue 2

Leave a Reply