Pitt-Greensburg’s VOICES Reading Series Brings Literary Luck Your Way This St. Patty’s Day

Literary luck will be easy to find this St. Patrick’s Day as VOICES, Pitt-Greensburg’s reading series celebrating the beauty and diversity of America’s literary landscape, welcomes authors Dana Johnson and Richard Gegick for the third reading of the 2021-2022 season.

The reading--Thursday, March 17 at 7 p.m. EST—also features student writers from the Pitt-Greensburg Creative & Professional Writing Program. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Collage of Dana Johnson and Richard Gegick photosAward-winning author Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection “In the Not Quite Dark.” She also is the author of “Break Any Woman Down,” winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel “Elsewhere, California.” Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Her work has appeared in “Zyzzyva,” “The Paris Review,” “Callaloo,” “The Iowa Review” and “Huizache,” among others, and anthologized in “On Girlhood: 15 Stories from the Well-Read Black Girl Library,” “Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest,” “Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women,” and “California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century.”

Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California where she serves as director of the PhD in Creative Writing and Literature Program.  

Local author Richard Gegick

Richard Gegick was born in Trafford, Pennsylvania. For years, he worked in the restaurant industry and lived on tips. His stories and poems have been published in journals and magazines around the world, including “Barrelhouse” (online), “Burrow Press Review,” “Chiron Review,” “Hot Metal Bridge,” and “Nerve Cowboy.”

He is the author of “Greasy Handshakes,” a collection of poems detailing working-class lives in Western Pennsylvania. He lives in Pittsburgh. 

Lori Jakiela, professor of English and director of the Creative and Professional Writing Program, and Dave Newman, visiting teaching-writer at Pitt-Greensburg, co-direct Pitt-Greensburg’s VOICES series.

“Nobody in America writes better stories about the intersection of class and race than Dana Johnson,” Newman says. “And nobody in America writes better poems about class and what it means to be in the service industry or to grow up in the Rust Belt than Rich Gegick.”

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. Pitt-Greensburg writers Sam Burnette and McKenzie Bonar will join Gegick and Johnson for this month’s reading.

“I’m so proud of our student writers,” Jakiela says. “They are talented and dedicated and they remind me—during VOICES and every day—why I love writing and writers so much.”

The VOICES readings are funded by the Pitt-Greensburg Academic Villages and the Office of Academic Affairs.

For more information about the series or about the Creative & Professional Writing Program at Pitt-Greensburg, please visit the campus website or contact Jakiela at loj@pitt.edu.



Publication Date

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 09:30