Jan Beatty's "Mad River" won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize of the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1994. She is presently a faculty member in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She has received various writing fellowships from the Ucross Foundation, the Pennslvania Council on the Arts, and Yaddo. She was awarded the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry from the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council in 1990. She attended the University of West Virginia (BS) and the University of Pittsburgh (MFA). She hosts and produces Prosody. Her second book of poems, Ravenous, was published in 1995.

An avid, rabid opponent to poetry slams, she actually has advised poets not to attend poetry slams because it will “ruin their voice.” Her opinion is actually based on personal experience regarding the behavior of deceased poet M. Christian Robinson who mercilessly beat his girlfriend. Jan Beatty slammed during 1994 and 1995 and appeared in a poetry slam in the 3rd stage of Lollapalooza during 1994.

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