Issue #15, 2000

Lessons In Persuasion: Writers with Pittsburgh Roots

Although Pittsburgh is not the subject of most of the essays in this issue, the writers are bound by their affinity for the written word and their collective fondness for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has always been--despite its industrial reputation--a great city in which to be a writer. Its active, close-knit writing community has seen the rise of several luminaries with Pittsburgh connections, such as Annie Dillard and Stewart O'Nan, and the caliber of Pittsburgh's writing community today is better than ever. Lee Gutkind has assembled a reunion of sorts with writers from across the nation, as well as the up-and-coming stars on the local scene--each of whom has a Pittsburgh connection. Many grew up in the region, others attended college here: all of them have an association with the city. The resulting collection of essays is both gentle and jarring, eclectic and persuasive, covering a range of topics-from a stripper's work ethic to West Virginia's famed Matewan shootout, Atlantic City's Boardwalk before Donald Trump, and the uses of poetry to better understand one's own life.

This issue is out of print.

Table of Contents

FROM THE EDITOR: Leaving Home? Lee Gutkind ... read more
Notes for Young Writers Annie Dillard
Notes from the Catwalk Elissa Wald ... read more
My Mysteries of Pittsburgh: An Alphabet Stewart O'Nan
The Conjurer's Profession Lester Goran
In the Woods Leslie Rubinkowski
That Sweet Anarchy We Call Youth Chuck Kinder
Passing Through Pittsburgh Hilary Masters
Lessons in Persuasion Kathleen Veslany ... read more
Who Am I to Speak? Natalie L.M. Petesch
A Way to Make Some Money Lea Simonds
Language at Play Diane Ackerman
Skin Deep Megan Foss
The Preacher Says Malcolm Cash
The Poor People's Campaign Peter S. Beagle
How Butterflies Grew Wings Keely Bowers
As I Was Walking Down Carson Street: A South Side Childhood Richard F. Peterson
Ghost Story Jan Beatty


Diane Ackerman

Diane Ackerman is the author of 20 works of poetry and nonfiction, including, most recently, "An Alchemy of Mind" and "Origami Bridges:... read more

Peter S. Beagle

Peter S. Beagle is the author of the novel Tamsin, and of such other books as The Last Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place, and the Innkeeper... read more

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty's collection of poetry, Mad River, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, and was a... read more

Keely Bowers

Keely Bowers has published stories in journals such as Crazyhorse and Dickinson Review, and she won The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren... read more

Malcolm Cash

Malcolm Cash is the father of a wonderful ten-year-old daughter. He is an essayist and poet from Lorain, Ohio, and will complete his MFA in... read more

Omari Colley Daniel

Omari Colley Daniel received his BA from the University of Pittsburgh and his MFA (poetry) and his MAT (secondary English education) from... read more

Annie Dillard

For more information please visit, read more

Jack L. Daniel

Jack L. Daniel is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh. He conducts research... read more

Megan Foss

Megan Foss earned her MA at Western Washington University. read more

Lester Goran

Lester Goran currently teaches in the English Department of the University of Miami, where he started the Creative Writing Program and,... read more

Chuck Kinder

Chuck Kinder is the author of the novels Snakehunter, The Silver Ghost, and Honeymooners, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. "... read more

Hilary Masters

Hilary Masters was born and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. His recent novel "Post" includes an account of the demise of the passenger... read more

Stewart O'Nan

Stewart O'Nan's first collection of stories, In the Walled City, won the 1993 Drue Heinz Prize. His first novel, Snow Angels, set in Butler... read more

Natalie L.M. Petesch

Natalie L.M. Petesch has published five novels and five collections of short stories. Among her awards and honors are the Iowa School of... read more

Richard F. Peterson

Richard F. Peterson teaches at Southern Illinois University. He is the editor of Crab Orchard Review and the SIU Writing Baseball series.... read more

Leslie Rubinkowski

Leslie Rubinkowski teaches writing at West Virginia University and at Goucher College. She is the author of the book Impersonating Elvis. read more

Lea Simonds

Lea Simonds is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Creative NonFiction. read more

Kathleen Veslany

Kathleen Veslany's work has appeared in Sycamore Review and you are here, among other journals. In 1999 she won second prize in the Annie... read more

Elissa Wald

Elissa Wald is a writer, ex-stripper, and long distance runner living in New York City. She is the author of Meeting the Master (1996),... read more