Pitt-Greensburg’s Literary and Online Publishing class—an innovative, experiential-based course offered through the university’s undergraduate Creative & Professional Writing Program—will launch two new chapbooks by authors Adam Matcho and Celeste Gainey Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Chambers Hall/Fireside Lounge. The book launch, which will feature readings by both authors as well as Pitt-Greensburg students, is free and open to the public.
The chapbooks—"Cash for Gold,” a long-form essay by Matcho, and “…while we were waiting to become part of our century,” a collection of poetry by Gainey—were chosen, edited, designed, and produced by Pitt-Greensburg undergraduate students under the direction of Dave Newman, an award-winning author and assistant professor of Creative & Professional Writing.
Both books are limited editions and will be available exclusively at the book launch for $8. Proceeds of all sales will go directly to the authors.
“This publishing class has been such a unique experience,” Newman says. “It gives students hands-on practice in publishing, which is not something most undergraduate writing programs offer. It's also been exciting to read earlier work by Matcho and Gainey, then see the students get inspired to write their own work based on the readings.”
Newman says that securing the right to publish new work by Matcho and Gainey was a high point for the class.
“We feel so lucky to work with these writers and to have the opportunity to turn their new work into chapbooks with stunning content and beautiful cover designs by Caitlin Cruser, an amazing writer and student in the class,” Newman says.
In addition to “…while we were waiting to become part of our century,” Gainey is the author of the poetry collection, “the GAFFER,” (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press), cited by “O, The Oprah Magazine” as one of “8 New Books of Poetry to Savor.” Her chapbook, “In the land of speculation & seismography” (Seven Kitchens Press), was runner-up for the prestigious Robin Becker Prize. She has been a Hedgebrook Writer in Residence as well as a presenting poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Graduating with a BFA in Film & Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, as well as earning an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Carlow University, Gainey was the first woman to be admitted to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees as a gaffer and has spent many years working with light in film and architecture.
Matcho is the author of an essay collection and two books of poems, most recently “ask your undertaker” (WPA, 2022). His poems and essays have been widely published in such places as “The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,” “Chiron Review,” “Tears in the Fence” (UK), “Sterling ClackClack,” and elsewhere. An alumnus of the Creative & Professional Writing program at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, he works as a manager at a big box store and lives with his family in Apollo, PA. “Cash for Gold” details his experiences working in America’s gig economy while trying to support a family and keep his writer-heart alive.
Pitt-Greensburg students Misha Laity and Caitlin Cruser, both members of the Literary and Online Publishing class, will open for Matcho and Gainey.
“We’re all very excited to hear the authors read, and to give our students the chance to read their own work alongside such accomplished writers,” Newman says. “It’s been a great learning experience with fantastic results all around.”
For more information about Creative & Professional Writing at Pitt-Greensburg, email Lori Jakiela.