Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Lori Jakiela

Lori Jakiela

Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoir, Miss New York Has Everything. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-​Gazette and elsewhere. She is a professor of English at The University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus.

The Union Project

“Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread.” –Studs Terkel

You’re not the boss of me

The sweatshirt is off-​pink. It has shoulder pads. “The shoulder pads make it slimming,” my mother says. “And it’s not pink. It’s burnt salmon.” We sit on my mother’s bed, two co-​eds at a sleepover. My mother is just back from a vacation she wasn’t well enough to go on. She’s still dressed…

The Chair, the Blow-​Dryer and the Bombshelter

The world, my father liked to say, is a dangerous place. “Just when you think you’re clear,” he’d say. “It sneaks up and bites you.” Which might explain how I ended up on the bathroom floor, my ankle twisted, my hairdryer whirring in the sink.

The Strange World of Elevens

The orderly’s name was Rich. He’d come to fill my mother’s water pitcher. Rich had eyebrows like steel wool and eyes that seemed focused anywhere but here.

Suitcase, Unpacked

I knew my son before he was born. “That’s ridiculous,” my mother said. I was seven months pregnant and had just told her that my unborn son had a great sense of humor.
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