Jan Beatty, poetaboutpublicationspoemsnewsnewscontacthome


Jan is available for readings, lectures, and workshops around the country on poetry and nonfiction, as well as individual manuscript work.

For fee and honorarium information, please contact Jan directly by email.

Readings and Lecture Topics:
  • Collison as Poetic Strategy
  • Adoption: The Writing of American Bastard, a hybrid memoir.
  • Workshop: Writing the Impossible
  • The Road and the Map: The Body as a Site of Change

    Related Themes:
  • Poetry as Resistance
  • Abortion: the War Against Women
  • Poetry and Music
  • Violence Against Women
  • Gender

    "Beatty has carved out a much-needed place in American poetry. Her work is alive with fire and truth." - Sandra Cisneros

    "Having mastered the art of fury, Jan Beatty does not merely write a poem, she wrenches it into being..." - Wanda Coleman



    From The Columns by Emily Innes, February 20, 2024 (link)

    Poet and Memoirist Jan Beatty to Give Glasgow Endowment Reading at W&L
    The public reading will take place March 6 at 6 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.


    Photo: Beth Kukucka

    Washington and Lee University presents a public reading with poet and memoirist Jan Beatty on March 6 at 6 p.m. in the Northen Auditorium inside Leyburn Library. The event is sponsored by the Glasgow Endowment.

    "Jan Beatty's poetry knocks the breath out of me," said Lesley Wheeler, Henry S. Fox Professor of English and poetry editor of W&L's Shenandoah literary magazine. "In book after prize-winning book, she refuses fear even as she confronts, with amazing clarity, the most powerful threats to our bodies and identities. I've wanted to bring her to campus for a long time, and I'm thrilled that it's finally happening."

    Beatty's eighth book, "Dragstripping," explores the restricted roles and burdens placed on women by a culture unwilling to complicate the idea of gender and is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press later this year. Her 2021 memoir "American Bastard" won the Red Hen Nonfiction Award, and other recent works include "The Body Wars" (2020), "Skydog" (2022), and "Jackknife: New and Selected Poems" (2017), which won the 2018 Paterson Prize. Beatty's work has been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Poetry, BuzzFeed, North American Review and Best American Poetry. She has received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize, an Artists Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation, a Creative Achievement Award in Literature from the Heinz Foundation, and was a finalist for the Discovery/The Nation Prize.

    Beatty is a Professor Emerita at Carlow University, where she was the director of the creating writing program, director of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and distinguished writer in residence of the university's MFA program. She received her bachelor's degree in social work from West Virginia University and her MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh.


    Long Bio: 673 words

    Jan Beatty's eighth book, Dragstripping, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in fall, 2024. She is the winner of the Red Hen Nonfiction Award for her memoir, American Bastard, October, 2021. A chapbook, Skydog, was published by Lefty Blondie Press in fall, 2022. Beatty's sixth book, The Body Wars, was published in fall, 2020 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. In the New York Times, Naomi Shihab Nye said: Jan Beatty's new poems in "The Body Wars" shimmer with luminous connection, travel a big life and grand map of encounters. Beatty is at work on her ninth full-length book, a collection of essays about gender and censorship. Other books include Jackknife: New and Collected Poems (2018 Paterson Prize) named by Sandra Cisneros on LitHub as her favorite book of 2019. Sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, it's a national prize for the strongest collection of poems published in 2018. Of Jackknife, poet and Poetry Center Director Maria Mazziotti Gillan said: "Jackknife is a book that secures Jan's place in American literature as one of the fiercest and bravest poets writing today." Beatty's fourth book, The Switching/Yard, was named by Library Journal as one of ...30 New Books That Will Help You Rediscover Poetry. The Huffington Post called her one of ten "advanced women poets for required reading." Beatty's work has been published in the Atlantic, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Poetry, BuzzFeed, North American Review, and Best American Poetry.

    Her poem, "Shooter" was featured in a paper delivered in Paris by scholar Mary Kate Azcuy: "Jan Beatty's 'Shooter,' A Controversy For Feminist & Gender Politics." Books include Red Sugar, finalist for the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize; Boneshaker, finalist, Milton Kessler Award; and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, all published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Of Beatty's work, Pitt Poetry Series Editor Ed Ochester said, "Nobody has a better sense of the colloquial American idiom. Nobody among her contemporaries writes better poems about urban working-class life." A limited edition chapbook, Ravage, was published by Lefty Blondie Press in 2012. Another chapbook, Ravenous, won the 1995 State Street Prize. Awards include the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Discovery/The Nation Prize finalist, $10,000 Artist Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation, a $15,000 Creative Achievement Award in Literature, Heinz Foundation, and two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

    Beatty's 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, Keystone Books, and the University of Iowa Press. Beatty's work has earned writing fellowships at Storyknife; the Santa Fe Arts Institute; the MacDowell Colony; Ragdale; the Montana Artist Refuge; Jentel, Wyoming; Ucross, Wyoming; Brush Creek Ranch, Wyoming; Hedgebrook, Washington; Whooping Crane Trust, James L. Grahl Research Center; and Leighton Studios at Banff, Alberta, Canada. Beatty's essays on writing have appeared in anthologies by Autumn House Press, Creative Nonfiction, Terrapin Books, 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 Folger Shakespeare Library, Grollier Poetry Book Shop, University of San Francisco Reading Series, Sarah Lawrence College, the KGB Bar in New York City, and as a featured reader at the Split This Rock Poetry Festival and the Geraldine R. Dodge Festival.

    For twenty-five years, Beatty hosted and produced Prosody, a public radio show on NPR-affiliate WYEP-FM featuring the work of national writers. She worked as a waitress, a welfare caseworker, an abortion counselor, and in maximum-security prisons for many years. She was the managing editor of MadBooks, a small press that published a series of books and chapbooks by women writers. Beatty has lectured in writing workshops across the country, and has taught at the university level for over twenty-five years at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Carlow University. She is Professor Emerita at Carlow University where she directed creative writing, the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops, and the MFA program.




    Short Bio: 181 words

    Jan Beatty's eighth book, Dragstripping, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press, September, 2024. Her memoir, American Bastard, won the Red Hen Nonfiction Award. Recent books include The Body Wars and a chapbook, Skydog (Lefty Blondie Press, 2022). In the New York Times, Naomi Shihab Nye said: Jan Beatty's new poems in "The Body Wars" shimmer with luminous connection, travel a big life and grand map of encounters. Other work includes Jackknife: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh, 2018 Paterson Prize) named by Sandra Cisneros on LitHub as her favorite book of 2019. Beatty's work has been published in the Atlantic, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, POETRY, BuzzFeed, North American Review, and Best American Poetry. Awards include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, Discovery/The Nation Prize finalist, Pablo Neruda Prize, Artists Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation, and a Creative Achievement Award in Literature, Heinz Foundation. Beatty worked as a waitress, abortion counselor, and in maximum security prisons. She is Professor Emerita at Carlow University, where she directed creative writing, the Madwomen in the Attic workshops, and the MFA program.








    All work copyright © Jan Beatty 2024