Pitt-Greensburg celebrates authors and stories with four-day event

A series of events at Pitt–Greensburg April 18 to 21 will attract a mix of visiting writers, students, faculty and alumni authors to celebrate the power of stories.

“What’s Your Story? A Week of Storytelling and Literary Community” will feature readings, performances and book-launch celebrations. All events are free and open to the public. 

“Our students love many writers, but one who is dear to them is John Green,” said Lori Jakiela, Pitt-Greensburg professor of creative and professional writing. “John Green tells young writers to read a lot and write a lot, but he says the thing that’s most vital is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories of others. Stories, the uniquely human tradition, mean so much.” 

Jakiela and Dave Newman, visiting instructor of creative and professional writing, organized and will host the events. Jakiela has authored seven books, including the award-winning memoir “Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe.” Newman’s seven-book body of work includes his most recent novel, “East Pittsburgh Down Low.” 

The writers, who are married to one another and can be seen on the WQED Pittsburgh documentary “People Who Write Books Around Here,” direct the Pitt–Greensburg Creative & Professional Writing Program.

Storytellers Showcase includes the following events, each of which is followed by a reception:

  • 7 p.m. April 18, Pendulum Literary Magazine launch, Mary Lou Campana Chapel & Lecture Center. Hear authors featured in the 2021-22 issue of Pendulum read their work. Edited by Caitlin Cruser, this year’s issue features work by students and alumni, including Adam Matcho, Carrie Smith, Joyce Lin, McKenzie Bonar, Bailey Weber, Madison Jarnot, Caitlin Cruiser, Nicole Cortino and others. Free copies of the magazine are available.

  • 7 p.m. April 19, Storytellers Showcase 1, Ferguson Theater. Stories with writers, poets, filmmakers and musicians.

  • 7 p.m. April 20, Storytellers Showcase 2, Village Hall 118. Stories with writers, poets, filmmakers, musicians and more. More free books and story-swag.

  • 7 p.m., April 21, Capstone Book Launch, Hempfield Room. Readings, book signings and sales with senior Pitt–Greensburg student authors. A book signing will follow.  

  • 7 p.m. April 22, Voices Reading Series Presents, via ZOOM. Pitt-Greensburg’s Voices Reading Series welcomes poet and writer Paul Kareem Tayyar and the winners of the Pitt–Greensburg’s 2022 Writing Awards: Madison Jarnot (winner of Ida B. Wells Award for Excellence in Journalism); Caitlin Cruser (winner of Gerald Stern Prize for Excellence in Poetry); Joyce Lin (winner of Joan Didion Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction); and Samantha Burnette (winner of Scott Turow Prize for Excellence in Fiction). Register here.

For more information, contact Jakiela at loj@pitt.edu or 724-836-7481.

— Shannon Wells


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