Matthew Pitt is the author of two short-fiction collections: These Are Our Demands (Engine/Ferry Street Books, 2017), and Attention Please Now (Autumn House Press, 2010). These Are Our Demands was the Midwest Book Award Winner while Attention Please Now won the Autumn House Fiction Prize, the Late Night Library’s Debut-Pulitzer Prize, and was a Writers’ League of Texas Book Award Finalist. His fellowships and awards include honors from the Mississippi Arts Commission, Bronx Council on the Arts, The New York Times, the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Taos Writers’ Conferences, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In a review of Attention Please Now, Coal Hill Review wrote, “Much of Attention Please Now feels familiar: marital strife, the bond between parents and children, the baseball field. But, as the title demands, the power in this collection is in the details, in the intricacies of the writing, and the tiny beautiful moments that punctuate these lovely stories.”
His fiction and non-fiction appeared in Oxford American, Epoch, The Southern Review, Cincinnati Review, Conjunctions, Smithsonian, and Best New American Voices. They have also been cited in editions of The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Pushcart Prize anthologies, and are cited in several “Best of” volumes. His short story, “A Shambles,” received the 2018 William Faulkner Society Prize in Short Fiction.
In a short interview with fortworth, Pitt discusses the art of short storytelling and how his teaching influences his writing. He shared, “If I’ve published or finished revising a new work, I might offer students a craft snapshot about how I navigated a thorny element or exciting challenge. Maybe they can apply that approach to their projects. It’s also a way to emphasize how each new artistic work presents its own set of peculiar problems and possibilities, and writers owe it to their work to not shy away from those. On the flip side, discussing craft matters or developing new prompts for my classes often sets me on new artistic adventures. Seeing my students strive amplifies my own artistic energy. Both roles (teaching and writing) bring about their stresses and doubts, but both, at their best, replenish one another too.”
Pitt attended Hampshire College for his B.A. in Creative Writing and received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Theatre Arts from New York University. He has previously worked on a sitcom, as an editor and freelance writer, and in a variety of costumed mascot roles: tooth for a dental practice, crash-test dummy, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. He has served as a Guest Judge for the Sarah Lawrence College Undergraduate Fiction Contest, an Associate Fiction Editor of West Branch, an Editor of descant, and a visiting Writer-in-Residence at multiple colleges and universities.
Born in St. Louis, Pitt lives with his family in Ft. Worth, where he is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Undergraduate Studies at TCU. He received the TCU English Department Teaching Award for 2013-2014. He has recently completed a novel and new story collection—but continues to struggle with some of his daughters’ homework assignments.
Updated July 2022