John Wideman
John Edgar Wideman

Kaufmann Center at Hill House Association

March 27
4 – 7 p.m.

The themes, issues and narratives explored in the powerful writings of John Edgar Wideman are as relevant and compelling as ever today, which is why fans of the award-winning author won’t want to miss him sharing words from his books, short stories and personal experiences on Friday.

The Pittsburgh native and world-renowned writer returns to his hometown to present a free public reading and book signing at the Hill House Association.

Author of 10-plus novels, as well as memoirs and various collections, Wideman was born in Pittsburgh in 1941. Much of his writing is set here in the city, especially in Homewood where he grew up. Wideman graduated from Peabody High School, and then went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania and later the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

A widely lauded writer, Wideman was the second African American to become a Rhodes Scholar and the first author to twice receive the International PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction—in 1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and again in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire.

Many of Wideman’s acclaimed literary works address the contemporary urban experiences of African American men, and his significant contributions to understanding racism and appreciating diversity led him to receive a prestigious MacArthur genius grant in 1993.

A professor at Brown University in Providence, RI, Wideman established the African American Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the University of Massachusetts and University of Wyoming, and he serves on the editorial board for Conjunctions, a literary journal based at Bard College.

Teaming up to present the free Words of Wideman event are the Hill House Association and Duquesne University’s McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

A reception will follow the event.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.