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The Blue & Gray Press | August 23, 2019

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Award-winning Jon Pineda joins English department

Pineda-Author-Photo4webBy AMANDA MOTLEY

Jon Pineda, assistant professor of English, is the University of Mary Washington’s newest addition to the English, Linguistics and Communication department.

Pineda is a four-time national prize winning author, and his latest book “Apology,” received the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize.

Pineda’s work was featured in numerous literary journals and anthologies with awards, including the 2010 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers award.

In addition, Pineda also received the 2007 Green Rose Prize in Poetry from New Issues and the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry Open Competition for his poem “Birthmark.”

“I feel so lucky to have won four national awards, going up against tons of others writers,” Pineda said.

“I’ve had a lot of rejection but it’s about staying in a place where I am still writing.”

Originally from Charleston, SC, Pineda went to James Madison University for his bachelor’s degree in English and continued to Virginia Commonwealth University for his Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.

Before Pineda became a member of the UMW administration, his material was taught in some English classes at UMW.

Once Pineda saw an open position in the UMW English department, he left his full-time adjunct teaching position at Old Dominion University and assumed his position on campus.

Pineda is also a professor of creative writing, a subject he has great passion for. He currently teaches several sections of introductory creative writing classes.

“When we are growing up, we are told we should go after what we love,” Pineda said.

“Writing has always been important to me. Even if I wasn’t teaching I would be writing.”

As a new professor, Pineda is still adjusting to life at UMW.

“Everyone has been so welcoming, I even got to participate in the welcome week activities,” Pineda said.

“It was great being a part of that and seeing how UMW welcomes its students. I look forward to the time ahead.”