Sarah Shotland

Sarah Shotland is a literary artist, educator, and citizen. She is the author of the novel Junkette, and a playwright whose work has been performed in professional theaters around the world.

Sarah was a 2019 Fort Lyon Writer-in-Residence and a 2018 Equal Justice Resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute, where she worked on her current project, a collection of essays about teaching creative writing in jails and prisons. Her essays about the subject have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Baltimore Review, Lunch Ticket, and Proximity, where she won the Proximity Personal Essay Prize, judged by Paul Lisicky. Sarah regularly speaks and writes about art as a tool for prison abolition. You can listen to a super-quick, 140 second talk here.

She is the cofounder and Program Director of Words Without Walls, which brings creative writing classes to jails, prisons and rehabilitation centers in Pittsburgh, PA. With Sheryl St. Germain, she coedited the literary anthology Words without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence & Incarceration, published by Trinity University Press in spring of 2015.

Her most recent play, Cereus Moonlight, was commissioned by miR Theater. After opening on the Space Coast of Florida, it played at the 25th annual Rhino Fest in Chicago. Other work for the stage has been performed in theaters in Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, and Chicago, and internationally in Spain and China. She’s also written commissioned work for Corningworks Dance and Sonarcheology Pittsburgh.

She is Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University, where she teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing program.




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