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The Northern Appalachia Reading Series : Fall 2021 Reading Series

Schedule of events

Tuesday, November 9 2021

12:45-2PM: Self-Publishing Workshop in the Student Success Club Room

5-5:45 PM: Flash fiction workshop in the HFLC in Room 232. 

Join award-winning author Damian Dressick for the creative writing workshop focusing on stories under 1,000 words. Participants will create and receive feedback as well as examine examples of flash fiction from one of the most recognized practitioners in the field. 

The flash fiction workshop is free and attendance is capped at 12 participants. Please email Mike Dittman to register (

6-8PM: Reading with Damian Dressick from his books 40 Patchtown and Fables from the Deconstruction along with a Q & A session, book signing, and refreshments. Books will be available to purchase. There will be a raffle to win one of Dressick's books. 

*The reading will be streamed, check back later for the URL*

Guest speaker

Damian Dressick

Born and raised in Pennsylvania’s coal country Damian Dressick is the author of the novel 40 Patchtown (Bottom Dog Press). His creative work has appeared in more than fifty literary journals and anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s New Micro, Post Road, New Orleans Review, Cutbank,, Hippocampus, Smokelong Quarterly, HeartWood, and New World Writing. A Blue Mountain Residency Fellow, Dressick is the winner of the Harriette Arnow Award and the Jesse Stuart Prize. His story collection Fables of Deconstruction is forthcoming from CLASH Books in early 2021. He co-hosts WCONA: LIVE!, a virtual reading series that brings some of the best Appalachian writers to the world.

40 Patchtown

Pennsylvania coal miners' strike of 1922 was both prolonged and brutal, especially in the coal patch towns surrounding Windber. Inspired by the violence and heroism of the strike, Damian Dressick spent months researching the rhythms of early coal town life. Immersing himself in coal heritage materials and interviewing retired miners and their wives, he brings us the story of Chet Pistakowski, a teen miner forced to provide for his family during one of the most brutal labor struggles in American history.

Fables of the Deconstruction

Not unlike his literary forebearers Donald Barthelme and Robert Coover, Damian Dressick brings us a crackling series of dispatches fresh from the postmodernist front. This daring gathering of brief, innovative stories tantalizes the intellect nearly as much as it illuminates the human heart. Drawing from his quiver of flash fictions, prose poems, lists, pie charts and micros, Dressick's narratives are fully engaged with the wild disorder that everyday feels more and more like the sine qua non of our fractured now. Meet meth-addicted grizzly bears, a coal mining Jesus, grieving alcoholic parents, and murderous villagers whose only speech is culinary in this fleeting edge tour de force....Fables of the Deconstruction.