Sarah Shotland / Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Sarah Shotland is a literary artist and educator based in Pittsburgh. She’s the author of the novel Junkette, and a playwright whose work has been produced nationally and internationally. Sarah is also the co-founder of Words Without Walls, which brings creative writing classes to jails, prisons, and rehabilitation centers in Pittsburgh, PA. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University. She is currently working on a collection of essays that explore her work teaching in prisons, centered around the body and what happens to it when it is kept in a cage.
It’s hard to overstate the gift of time and perspective that my stay at SFAI offered. Having a studio in Santa Fe and time to concentrate on my work without the external pressures of teaching, arts administration, and advocacy allowed for a tremendous amount of reflection and observation: two elements crucial to the art of writing. In my short time in Santa Fe, I was able to write a full draft of what will be my next book, and I’m certain that when it’s published, Santa Fe will be the first stop on a reading tour.
In addition to providing solitude, the residency also offered solidarity. To meet other artists whose work intersected with my own; who challenged and inspired me; and who reminded me of the abundant goodness in the world was something that will last long after I’m back at home. I am grateful to know a new group of working artists from around the world, and honored to have shared such a special space with them at SFAI.