adriana-e-ramirez - photo credit Heather Kresge

Photo Credit: Heather Kresge



Adriana E. Ramírez wins 2017 City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Prize

 Local writer awarded prestigious international writing residency to develop forthcoming book


PITTSBURGH, PA — May 19th, 2017 — City of Asylum today announced that Adriana E. Ramíreza Pittsburgh-based writer, critic and nationally-ranked performance poethas won the 2017 City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Prize. Previous prize winners include Terrance Hayes (2011), Román Antopolsky (2013) and Lori Jakiela (2015).

The 2017 City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Prize consists of a month-long (June 12-July 9), all-expenses-paid summer writing residency in Brussels, Belgium. During her residency in Brussels, Ramírez will work on a nonfiction book,The Violence (forthcoming in 2018)the story of a Colombian family based on real-life oral accounts of drug tourism.

The Prize is part of City of Asylum’s Bridges initiative, which will create a number of international writer residencies for Western Pennsylvania writers. This residency is a collaboration with the Belgian literary organization, Het beschrijf, and is hosted at the Passa Porta literary center in Brussels. Like City of Asylum, Passa Porta is a hub for international writers and readers, and presents a diverse selection of literary programs to the public. While in Brussels, Ramírez will offer two public workshops on poetry writing and on “slam”-style poetry performance as part of Passa Porta’s program of multilingual “literary encounters.”

“I’m pleased and proud to announce Adriana E. Ramírez has won our 2017 prize,” said Henry Reese, Co-founder and President of City of Asylum. “We selected her for her unique voice, her strong trajectory as a writer, and her commitment to transforming Pittsburgh through the power of words.”

About Ramírez:

Adriana E. Ramírez is a Mexican-Colombian nonfiction writer, storyteller, critic, and performance poet based in Pittsburgh. She’s the winner of the 2015 PEN/Fusion Emerging Writer’s Prize, which is given to recognize a promising writer under age 35 for an unpublished work of nonfiction that addresses a global or multicultural issue, for her nonfiction novella, Dead Boys (Little A, 2016).

In 2016, she was named “Critic At Large” by the Los Angeles Times’ Book Section.Her writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, Guernica/ PEN America, Convolution, HEArt, Apogee, and Nerve.com.

She is the author of two small-press poetry books—The Swallows (Blue Sketch Press, reissued 2016) and Trusting in Imaginary Spaces (Tired Hearts Press, 2010)—as well as the nonfiction editor of DISMANTLE (Thread Makes Blanket Press, 2014).

Ramírez co-founded Aster(ix) Journal in 2013 with novelist Angie Cruz. Aster(ix) is a literary arts journal dedicated to social justice, as well as giving voice to the censored and the marginalized. Once a nationally ranked slam poet, she co-founded the Pittsburgh Poetry Collective (home of the Steel City Slam) and Nasty Slam, while continuing to perform on stages around the country. She was featured in the 2014 Legends of Poetry Slam Showcase and TEDxHouston, as well as the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Born in Mexico City, she grew up in McAllen, TX and is a graduate of both Rice University (B.A. English) and the University of Pittsburgh (MFA in Nonfiction Writing). She then went on to teach at the University of Pittsburgh as a lecturer and visiting lecturer in the writing program for almost a decade. Ramírez now teaches in the MFA program at Carlow University.

She is VONA alum, a perpetually-disappointed fan of Mexican soccer, and a lover of large bodies of water. She lives with her husband and two adorable dogs that are probably fighting each other right now. She’s currently into vegetable gardening, planning bike rides that never happen, and collecting pop culture figurines. She’ll rarely say no to a taco. Or a margarita.

Her debut full-length nonfiction book, The Violence, is forthcoming from Scribner (2018).


About City of Asylum

Since 2004, City of Asylum has provided sanctuary for exiled writers endangered in their native lands. In a row of Northside homes, whose facades are covered with texts in many languages, City of Asylum provides the writers with stipends and the support to become self-sustaining and engaged members of the community.

Building on that mission, City of Asylum has grown into a dynamic arts organization that has showcased over 390 writers, artists and musicians from 70 different countries. In 2016, it presented over 70 programs to diverse audiences of over 5,000 people. City of Asylum’s hallmark is accessibility and diversity, and all performances are free to the public. City of Asylum is also the U.S. headquarters for the International Cities of Refuge Network.   


For more information, contact:

Ayne Terceira

City Of Asylum




0 No comments

Leave a Reply