Leipzig University, in co-operation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Veranstaltungsforum of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, initiated the Picador Guest Professorship for Literature at the University of Leipzig aiming at conveying and critically reflecting on Anglo-American Literature.
The democracy of language and literature is a key note of the Picador Guest Professorship. This vivid mediation of literature will contribute to distinguish the subject according to international standards and place it among the leading programmes for the promotion of Anglo-American Studies in Germany. Authors, screenwriters and critics will be invited; next to recognized and well-known personalities, newcomers and avant-garde writers will be addressed. The Picador Guest Professorship is not only intended to supplement the scientific syllabus of the University of Leipzig but also to interconnect university and city life.
Josh Weil is born in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia and currently lives with his family in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California. A recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Merrill House, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, he has been the Tickner Writer-in-Residence at Gilman School, the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bowling Green State University, the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, and the Distinguished Lecturer at The Sozopol Writing Seminars. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, The New School, Brooklyn College, Sierra Nevada College, and Bennington College, as well as at numerous conferences, including the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Bread Loaf.
He is author of the novel The Great Glass Sea, the novella collection The New Valley, and story collection The Age of Perpetual Light. Published internationally, his books have been New York Times Editor’s Choices and selected for the Powell’s Indiespensable program. They have been awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Sue Kaufman Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the California Book Award, the Library of Virginia’s Literary Award, the GrubStreet National Book Prize, the New Writers Award from the GLCA, and a “5 Under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation. Weil’s short fiction has garnered a Pushcart Prize.
Sasha Pimentel is a Filipina poet and author. Her book For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017), was selected by Gregory Pardlo as a winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series, longlisted for the 2018 PEN America Open Book Award. Winner of the 2015 University of Texas System’s Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, Sasha Pimentel teaches contemporary American poetry, poetry writing and creative nonfiction writing, with research foci on Asian American, Black, Jewish American, and Latin American poetics at the University of Texas at El Paso. She's an Associate Professor in a bilingual (Spanish-English) MFA Program to writers from across the Americas in the Department of Creative Writing, and serves as affiliated faculty in the Chican Studies Program.