Voices: Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of America’s Literary Landscape will offer its fourth round of author readings on Thursday, April 22, at 8 p.m.

This virtual gathering is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and is designed to celebrate the richness of human lives and stories. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required at http://bit.ly/ 2021VoicesRegistration. A confirmation will email with information to join the Zoom meeting will be sent.

The April reading will focus on the theme of Beyond Hillbilly Elegy, featuring the voices of Appalachia through the work of author, storyteller, and photographer Greg Clary; poet Byron Hoot; novelist Damian Dressick; and author and essayist Christina Fisanick. Two Pitt-Greensburg seniors, Joseph Alexander and Colin Covada, will read excerpts from their work.

“The late, great author Chuck Kinder called Pittsburgh ‘The Paris of Appalachia.’ We are delighted to welcome voices from our corner of the world and show people that books like ‘Hillbilly Elegy’—not to mention the movie—aren’t the beginning and end of our story,” said Lori Jakiela, professor of English and director of creative and professional writing at Pitt-Greensburg. “Our Appalachia is rich with literary talent and history, and the writers for this month’s Voices are wonderful examples of that.”

Building on the campus’s 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, the Academic Village, and the Student Government Association. The series is coordinated by Jakiela, Sheila Confer, EdD, director of the Academic Village, and Albert Thiel, director of Campus Center and Student Engagement.

“One unique thing about the Voices series is that it pairs student authors with our visiting writers,” said Jakiela.

This month, two senior creative & professional writing majors will share their work. Colin Cavada will read from his chapbook, Maybe We Know Nothing About Love, a collection of short stories in the spirit of Raymond Carver that focuses on the lives of working-class people in Jeannette, PA. Joseph Alexander will read from his speculative novella, A Journey Just to Walk, about an unlikely friendship between a young man and a robot in search of her human body.

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