- This event has passed.
Voting with Their Shovels: 40 Patchtown and the 1922 Pennsylvania Coal Strike
Sunday, June 14, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pmFree
To reserve your spot for this Free June 14th Zoom Event CLICK HERE
Dr. Damian Dressick discusses his new novel 40 Patchtown and how he made a long-ago rural coal strike come alive with a message for our time.
Pennsylvania coal miners’ strike of 1922 was both prolonged and brutal, especially in the coal patch towns surrounding Windber. Inspired by the violence and heroism of the strike, Damian Dressick spent months researching the rhythms of early coal town life. Immersing himself in coal heritage materials and interviewing retired miners and their wives, he brings us the story of Chet Pistakowski, a teen miner forced to provide for his family during one of the most brutal labor struggles in American history.
Damian Dressick’s stories and essays have appeared in more than fifty literary journals and anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s New Micro, New Orleans Review, failbetter.com, New Delta Review, Hippocampus, Smokelong Quarterly, and New World Writing. Dressick earned his Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and holds a PhD in English from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, with concentrations in Creative Writing, Contemporary Literature and Postcolonial Literature.
Dressick currently teaches writing at Clarion University, where he helps curate Clarion’s Visiting Writers Series. He has also taught writing at the University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University, and Pennsylvania State University. He designed and taught “Writing the 1000 Word (or less) Story” at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He was a residency fellow at the Blue Mountain Center and the Orchard Keeper Writers Residency Program. He serves as fiction editor for the Northern Appalachia Review, and was a founding curator of Pittsburgh’s UPWords Reading Series.
In 2008 and 2009 Dressick was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for short fiction. He is the winner of the Spire Press 2009 Prose Chapbook Contest for his collection Fables of the Deconstruction. In 2007 he won the Harriette Arnow Award for short fiction. In 2018 he won the Jesse Stuart Prize and was a Finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction.