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Grant number: ZH-252863-17

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Chatham University (Pittsburgh, PA 15229-1232)
Sheryl St. Germain (Project Director: May 2016 to present)

Words Without Walls

The expansion of Chatham University’s creative writing outreach program, a stipend for a writer/teacher of color, and fellowships for eight to twelve people who have recently left incarceration or rehabilitation.

Words Without Walls (WWW) is a collaborative venture between the Chatham University Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program, the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ), State Correctional Institution, Pittsburgh (SCI) and Sojourner House (a drug and alcohol treatment facility for mothers and their children). With the support of the NEH, WWW plans to engage the public in literature with the following major project activities: 1. creative writing courses for inmates in the ACJ, SCI Pittsburgh and Sojourner House; 2. a reading series that features contemporary writers who perform publicly as well enter the jail, prison and treatment facility to interact with the writer-inmates and residents; 3. annual publications of the best work and reading series for those writers who have been released from the three facilities; 4. and a community creative writing workshop to continue to support the writers when they leave the jail, prison or the residence facility.

Project fields:
American Literature

Humanities Access Grants

Challenge Grants

Total amount offered:

Grant period:
5/1/2016 – 9/30/2021