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Jewish Rust Belt

I'm the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Ohioana Book Award. The collection focuses on a trucking motel, a laundry, and diasporic culture in the Rust Belt. My chapbook Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013) examines relationships in Ohio while studying Yiddish in Lithuania. My article examining the implications of reading Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff in interminority frameworks was published in Studies in American Jewish Literature.   


Business, a novella about the nightlife of working-class women on the eve of Youngstown's deindustrialization, is forthcoming. My current poetry manuscript, which examines Judaism and gender, the aesthetics of excess, and the global Rust Belt, was awarded a 2024 Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award.  


My poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, The New Republic, The Missouri Review, Dusie, and elsewhere, and are forthcoming from The Oxford American and The Arkansas International. ​My work has been supported by Stanford University's Wallace Stegner program, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Severinghaus Beck Fund for Study at Vilnius Yiddish Institute. I hold a PhD in English and Creative Writing. I live with a historian and our children in the Rust Belt.


If you're struggling, know that I care about your art and health, and I'm committed to working on ways to make our field more equitable.  


​Note on pronunciation: Pitinii is pronounced pih-TEE-nee, from the Greek "Ptinis."


Poetry, Fiction,

+ Scholarship

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