Jan Beatty's fourth full-length book, The Switching/Yard, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in February, 2013. 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. A limited edition chapbook, Ravage, was published by Lefty Blondie Press in 2012. Another 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, 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 and MFA in Creative Writing at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and teaches in the MFA program.      


The Switching/Yard, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013.
Red Sugar, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008.
Boneshaker, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002.
Mad River, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995, Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry.
Ravage, Lefty Blondie Press, 2012, chapbook.
Ravenous, State Street Press, 1995, chapbook.


Quarterly West, Indiana Review, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Court Green, Third Coast, Willow Springs, others.
Place: Putting Your Finger On It, essay in anthology: The Working Poet: 75 Writing Exercises and a Poetry Anthology, Edited by Scott Minar, Autumn House Press, 2010.
Finding Red Sugar, essay in anthology: Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets, State University of New York Press, 2009.
American Life in Poetry, Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s weekly column, 2006.
Writer’s Almanac, National Public Radio performed by Garrison Keilor, March 15, 2006.
Ghost Story, essay in Creative Non-Fiction, 2000.
My Pittsburgh, introductory essay to Pittsburgh Revealed, Photographs Since 1850, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997, accompanying book to Carnegie Museum exhibit.


L.A. Times Book Festival; Geraldine R. Dodge Festival, Waterloo, New Jersey; Split This Rock Poetry Festival, Washington, D.C.; Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York; Columbia College, Chicago; SUNY Binghamton, New York; St. Mark’s Theater, New York City; KGB Bar, New York City; Writers Out Loud, New York City; University of the Pacific, Stockton, California; the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; Clark College, Mountain Writers Series, Vancouver, Washington; Florida International University, Miami; Elliott Bay Books in Seattle; University of Vermont, Burlington; Paradise Valley College, Phoenix, Arizona; Cody’s Bookstore, Berkeley, California; Fresno State University, Fresno, California; Tebot Bach Reading Series, Orange, California.

Research Interests


Host and Producer of Prosody, WYEP-FM, Public radio show, NPR affiliate, interviewing national and international writers, 1994—present. 

Judge, 2011 Public Poetry Project, Pennsylvania Center for the Book.    Judge, 2010 Split This Rock Poetry Contest.  

Judge, 2009 Liam Rector Book Prize.

Juror, Ragdale artist residency, Chicago, 2007, 2006.

Screener, Wick Poetry Prize, Kent State University Press, 2004.