Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"The Night: A Creative Nonfiction Release Party and Reading"


Pittsburgh Writers and Visual Artist to be Featured

PITTSBURGH, PA, AUGUST 8, 2011: "The Night: A Creative Nonfiction Release Party and Reading" celebrates the creation of new writing and art in and about Pittsburgh, on Saturday, September 10, 2011, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination.

The event marks the release of #42, CNF's summer reading issue, and is a true testament to the strength and scope of Pittsburgh's creative talent. The event features a reading by two writers—former UPMC surgeon Bud Shaw and former University of Pittsburgh student J.C. Hallman—and an exhibit of the issue's original illustrations, created by Pittsburgh artist Seth Clark.

Admission is free to the public, and the first 100 guests to arrive will receive a free copy of the issue. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by Whole Foods and other area caterers. The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination is located at 5006 Penn Avenue.

Creative Nonfiction #42 is the first of three issues, funded by a Small Arts Initiative grant from The Heinz Endowments, to feature original illustrations by Pittsburgh artists. Seth Clark, a Lawrenceville-based artist and designer, was chosen from over 60 applicants to illustrate the issue. His work, layering paint, pastel, charcoal and graphite, will be on display.

Clark earned his BFA in Graphic Design, focusing primarily on print design and alternative typography, at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has lived in Pittsburgh for almost three years and says the city's endless row houses and abandoned buildings continue to serve as an honest and readily available inspiration. Clark's work has been displayed in various galleries, locally and nationally, and was recently featured on the poster for the 2011 Three Rivers Arts Festival.

The event also marks the return of renowned surgeon Bud Shaw and writer and professor J.C. Hallman, each of whom moved to Pittsburgh as a student and left with tools sharp enough to carve a successful career in his chosen field. Now selected as the winners of "The Night," a themed creative writing contest, Shaw and Hallman will be published by Creative Nonfiction and will return to Pittsburgh to read from their winning pieces.

“The Night,” a writing contest co-sponsored by Creative Nonfiction and The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, based in Portland, Maine, presented $7,500 in prize money for the top two essays, chosen by contest judge Susan Orlean from a competitive pool of nearly 350 submissions. Susan Orlean is the author of The Orchid Thief, among six other books, and is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Bud Shaw won the $5,000 Prize for Best Essay about The Night and publication in Creative Nonfiction #42/Summer 2011. In his winning essay, “My Night With Ellen Hutchinson,” he recounts one sleepless night spent as a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s transplant team in 1983.

“This piece describes a chance but momentous encounter between a young doctor and a patient one bleak night. Told precisely, with spare elegance, it is both dry and haunting, a model of restrained but intense storytelling,” Susan Orlean says.

As a surgical fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, Shaw worked under Dr. Thomas Starzl during the early 1980’s, when the world-renowned doctor was pioneering techniques to perform liver transplantation surgery, then still considered experimental. Shaw left Pittsburgh in 1985 to found the liver transplant program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The former chairman of the surgery department there, Shaw now teaches and develops software for use by surgeons and other clinicians. He lives in Ponca Hills, just north of Omaha.

J.C. Hallman received the $2,500 Runner-up Prize for Best Essay about The Night for “Spate and Spite,” which will be published this fall on CNF’s website, www.creativenonfiction.org. The essay reports on a series of suicides as experienced through the eyes of a young casino employee.

“Evoking the tattered world of Atlantic City, a place of perpetual night, this piece fused reporting (about a ‘spate’ of suicides in town) with a vivid first-person narrative,” Susan Orlean says.

J.C. Hallman studied creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Iowa. He has published three books of nonfiction and one collection of short stories and will teach creative writing at Oklahoma State University, beginning this fall.

Creative Nonfiction #42 also features an Encounter with Susan Orlean; the winner of the 2011 Norman Mailer College Writing Award; columns by Phillip Lopate and Ira Berkow; a new Pushing the Boundaries essay by Paul West; and much more.

Edited by Lee Gutkind, Creative Nonfiction has been devoted exclusively to publishing vividly written literary nonfiction since its first issue, in 1994. In March 2010, with the publication of issue #38, the journal re-launched as a quarterly magazine with an updated look, larger size and expanded content. Known today as “the voice of the genre,” Creative Nonfiction is an essential resource for anyone with an artistic, professional or critical stake in the genre–or for anyone who simply enjoys true stories, well told.

For more information, please contact Creative Nonfiction at (412) 688-0304 or email knezovich@creativenonfiction.org.

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About the Creative Nonfiction Foundation: The Creative Nonfiction Foundation pursues educational and publishing initiatives in the genre of literary nonfiction. Its objectives are to provide a venue, the magazine Creative Nonfiction, for high quality nonfiction prose (memoir, literary journalism, personal essay); to serve as the singular strongest voice of the genre, defining the ethics and parameters of the field; and to broaden the genre’s impact in the literary arena by providing an array of educational services and publishing activities.

About The Heinz Endowments: The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

About The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies: The Salt Institute's mission is to educate and promote documentary storytellers. Documentary at Salt is, at its core, journalism; students seek the truth and report it. The Salt approach, however, differs from daily journalism in the depth of its reporting, the intimacy of its stories and its de-emphasis on spectacle and celebrity. Through fieldwork, collaborative critiques, and guided discussion of relevant work, students learn how to ethically research and gain access to a story, collect information, edit their work, and return to the field to refine the process. Borrowing from a variety of disciplines—art, sociology, anthropology, oral history—students produce a professional, intimate, humanistic body of work and leave Salt better equipped to work in their chosen fields.

Stephen Knezovich
Associate Editor / Mentoring Director
Creative Nonfiction
5501 Walnut Street, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15232


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20,2007. pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site www.PghGalleries.com.

the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh artist advocate rick byerly.