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Jan Beatty’s fourth full-length book, The Switching/Yard, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in February, 2013. A limited edition chapbook, Ravage, was published by Lefty Blondie Press in 2012. Other books include Red Sugar, finalist for the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize; Boneshaker, finalist, Milton Kessler Award; Mad River, Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize—all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her chapbook, Ravenous, won the 1995 State Street Prize.
Other awards include the $15,000 Creative Achievement Award in Literature from the Heinz Foundation, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Discovery/The Nation Prize finalist, and two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Individual poems have appeared in journals such as TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Court Green, and Best American Poetry 2013. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies published by Autumn House Press, Coffee House Press, Houghton Mifflin, Oxford University Press, University of Illinois Press, Kent State University Press, and the University of Iowa Press. Beatty’s work has earned writing fellowships at the Santa Fe Arts Institute; the MacDowell Colony; Ragdale; the Montana Artist Refuge; Jentel, Wyoming; Ucross, Wyoming; Hedgebrook, Washington; Whooping Crane Trust, James L. Grahl Research Center; and Leighton Studios at Banff, Alberta, Canada. Her essays on writing have appeared in anthologies by Autumn House Press, Creative Nonfiction, and The State University of New York Press. She has read her work widely, at venues such as the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, the Geraldine R. Dodge Festival, Split This Rock Poetry Festival, Sarah Lawrence College, and the KGB Bar in New York City.
Beatty worked as a waitress for fifteen years, and as a welfare caseworker, an abortion counselor, and a social worker and teacher in maximum-security prisons. She is the managing editor of MadBooks, a small press that has published a series of books and chapbooks by women writers. For the past twenty years, Beatty has hosted and produced Prosody, a public radio show on NPR affiliate WESA-FM featuring the work of national writers. She has lectured in writing workshops across the country, and has taught at the university level for over twenty years at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Carlow. Beatty directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and teaches in the MFA program.