Warren Wilson MFA Program at AWP Seattle 2014

The following is a schedule of events featuring alumni and faculty of the Warren Wilson MFA Program at the AWP Conference in Seattle, Washington, February 26-March 1, 2014:

THURSDAY, February 27

12:00 noon—1:15 p.m.

R163. Grub Street National Book Prizewinners Reading

(Rick Barot, Christopher Castellani, Ellen Cassedy, Sheri Joseph, Reiko Rizzuto)

Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

This reading features a diverse and dynamic cross-section of authors who have won Grub Street’s prestigious National Book Prize in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Literary merit is the top criterion for this prize, which celebrates a variety of styles, influences, and genres and is the only significant award designed for non-debut writers from outside New England.

R169. Ahsahta Press 40th Anniversary Reading

(Heidi Lynn Staples, Lucy Ives, Kathleen Jesme [2000], Rusty Morrison, Stephanie Strickland)

Room 609, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Ahsahta Press, publishing at Boise State University in Idaho, celebrates its 40th year by bringing together women poets from its current season. Ahsahta champions an aesthetic that embraces experimental, highly voiced writing, and each of these writers plays the language differently. At this reading, they come together to celebrate the Press and its vision as it looks toward its future.

R174. Walt Whitman’s Niece: Poetry and Popular Music

(Matt Hart [2002], Steve Dickison, Julia Bloch, Harmony Holiday, Jeffrey Sirkin)

Room 606, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Popular music and its images reflect our changing values, desires, and identities, and offer poets a rich source of material and a key into social, political, and economic realities. Taking on punk, jazz, R&B, and celebrity culture, this panel explores the possibilities and implications of engaging with popular music through poetry, thinking not only about how poetry can illuminate popular music, but how music can help us reimagine poetry as a force of resistance and transformation. 

1:30 p.m-2:45 p.m.

R193. Hot off the Presses: A Reading by Copper Canyon Poets

(Michael Wiegers, Marianne Boruch, Ellen Bass, Mark Bibbins, Matthew Zapruder)

Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

An event featuring the freshest work by Copper Canyon poets, with an introduction by executive editor Michael Wiegers. Hear poetry from the newest collections on the market by a diverse group of voices.

R201. Before the Door of God

(C. Dale Young, Mary Szybist, Bruce Beasley, Mark Jarman, Jacqueline Osherow)

Room 602/603, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Before the Door of God is a poetry reading in celebration of the publication of Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry, edited by Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson, and published by Yale University Press.

3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

R244. Designed Instability: Open Endings in Short Fiction

(Edward Porter [2007], Robin Black [2005], Shannon Cain [2004], Erin Stalcup [2004])

Room 101, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 1

Since Chekhov, writers of literary fiction have praised the “open” ending, since life itself seldom provides us with definite resolutions to our conflicts. But if an ending doesn’t provide closure, what does it provide instead? How do writers leave readers satisfactorily unsatisfied? This panel of short story writers, teachers, and editors will examine the structure of open-ended stories and offer practical strategies to achieve their pleasures and avoid their pitfalls.

R248. Get Out of Town: Fulbright Opportunities for Writers

(Jeffrey Thomson, Christopher Bakken, Marianne Boruch, Ann Fisher-Wirth)

Room 303, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Four writers who have received fellowships for work and study around the globe from the Fulbright Scholar Program will discuss the application process for receiving funding and share their experiences as Fulbright scholars. Panelists will provide advice on navigating the complicated world of fellowship opportunities, provide their best strategy tips for maximizing application success, talk about the realities of teaching abroad, and read work that derived from their Fulbright experiences.

R249. The Kenyon Review 75th Anniversary Reading

(David Lynn, Kimiko Hahn, Charles Baxter, Jaquira Diaz)

Room 304, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

A reading from writers featured in the Winter 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review, our 75th anniversary issue. The Winter 2014 issue marks our ongoing commitment to publish the very best writing from established and emerging writers. Founded in 1939 at Kenyon College and first edited by poet-critic John Crowe Ransom, The Kenyon Review continues in its 75th year to celebrate writing that maps the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional tides of our contemporary culture.

R226. Writing Toward the Future: High School Creative Writing Programs. 

(Monika Cassel,  Jamie Figueroa,  Kim Henderson,  Anne-Marie Oomen,  Scott Gould [2006]) 

Room 2B, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2

As writing programs multiply around the nation, high school writing majors in arts schools are the new frontier. What does such an early emphasis on the craft of writing offer young students during the high school years and beyond? What should a writer hoping to teach at such a program expect? Instructors and program directors of arts school creative writing programs across the country explore what intensive training in creative writing can offer today’s youth and today’s teachers of writing.

4:30 pm-5:45 pm

R267. CW at the U: A Poetry Reading

(Andrew Feld, Linda Bierds, Richard Kenney, Heather McHugh, Pimone Triplett)

Room 609, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Founded in 1947 by Theodore Roethke, the University of Washington Creative Writing Program is one of America’s oldest MFA programs and the preeminent literary institution in the Pacific Northwest. Current faculty members will read their own work along with selected poems by former UW CW faculty members Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, William Matthews, Denise Levertov, and David Wagoner. 

R277. Literary Matriarchs: Thinking Through Our (Writerly) Mothers

(Karen Brennan, Antonya Nelson, Alix Ohlin, Nina Swamidoss McConigley, Robin Romm)

Room 301, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Tolstoy, Chekhov, Hemingway, Joyce, Carver, Roth… it’s not uncommon for us to discuss the patriarchs of contemporary fiction. This panel will pay homage to the women who have been just as crucial to growing and cementing our literary tradition. Who are our literary matriarchs and what debts do we owe them? Panelists will discuss Welty, Bowen, Fox, Roy, Gallant, Woolf, and others. What do we stand to learn through close study, and how do we strike out on our own?

FRIDAY, February 28

9:00 am to 10:15 am

F108. Coming of Age Tales in Fiction and Nonfiction

(Adam O’Connor Rodriguez, D’Arcy Fallon, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, James Bernard Frost, Scott Nadelson [2011] )

Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

Oregon small press Hawthorne Books presents four authors reading from their respective coming of age novels and memoirs and discussing the ways in which fiction and nonfiction tackle this always-relevant narrative arc differently. Their books, set on both coasts, represent a variety of approaches to the universal journey from innocence to wisdom, from conventional retrospective to collage to hybrid graphic novel.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

F169. Ergo Sum Game: Poetry as Philosophical Foray

(Michael Morse, Catherine Barnett [2002], Mary Szybist, Kevin Prufer, Joy Katz)

Room 2A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2

Five poets, each of whose poetry is informed by philosophical or critical inquiry, take on a topic that informs their thinking, their feeling, and their work. Each poet will present an essence (Ambivalence, Apology, Oblivion, Reverence, and Sentimentality) and discuss its presence in critical or philosophical thinking, in the work of an influential (and influencing) poet, and in her or his own poems. Join us as we explore how a bewitched intelligence works within and towards poetry.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

F207. Plotting the Realist Novel

(Leah Stewart, Marjorie Celona, Brock Clarke, Lan Samantha Chang, Amanda Eyre Ward)

Room 400, Washington State Convention Center, Level 4

What are the mechanics of plot in the realist novel, and what do they have in common with those of other genres? How do you decide what kind of story you’re writing? What should happen around page 100? How do you create urgency and momentum? What’s the relationship between plot and structure? Participants describe how they’ve turned a character sketch into a plot, how to use mystery to drive a narrative, what’s necessary for a compelling first page, and other plotting tips and techniques. 

F214. Wayward: An Examination of the Modern Flaneur

(Matthew Batt, David Shields, Robin Hemley, Vanessa Veselka, Amy Leach)

Room 602/603, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Walter Benjamin suggests “empathy is the nature of the intoxication to which the flaneur abandons himself in the crowd.” Part of the seduction of the concept is that it’s a chance to physically interact with a living text, but it’s also a concept freighted with the baggage of European male privilege. Panelists will address and contest the intellectual as well as physical ways of the modern flaneur, covering city streets and wilderness paths, national highways and international flight patterns.

F227. Narrative and Other So-Called Lapsed and Retrograde Forms of Lyric Expression: A Post-Mortem

(Lynn Emanuel, Amy Gerstler, Lisa Lewis, Adrian Blevins [2002])

Room 101, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 1

In Cooling Time, C.D. Wright says, “Exceptional intellection is being exercised to decry narrative. I am not learning much from that line of refutation.” This panel of diverse poets will interrogate narrative, “confessional,” and coherent syntactical moves in their own work and in American poetry today. Has narrative really gone by way of the chastity belt? The risks of too much story and coherence are well-known. What are the risks of too little?

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

F282. Beg, Borrow, Steal: Twenty-five Best Teaching Practices from Teachers Who Write for Writers Who Teach

Caroline M. Mar [2013], Paul Rankin [2010], Xochiquetzal Candelaria, Nick Vagnoni, Denise Delgado [2002])

Room 604, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Effective teaching requires training, yet few writing programs include a pedagogical focus. This interactive workshop demonstrates methods begged, borrowed, and stolen from successful classes. We’ll model best practices for developing: student engagement; classroom community; thoughtful craft discussions; dynamic, even fearless writing; useful peer workshops; and meaningful revision for every teaching level and institutional context––things you can use in your next class.

F297. Tribute to Margarita Donnelly and Calyx, One of the Nation’s Oldest Feminist Presses

(Elizabeth Woody, Marianne Villanueva, Angela Narciso Torres [2009], Margarita Donnelly, Frances P Adler)

Room 302, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

This Tribute event honors Margarita Donnelly for her thirty-six years as Director and Managing Editor of Calyx, the first feminist press on the West Coast. Calyx Journal, begun in Corvallis, Oregon in 1976, and Calyx Books in 1986, are known for discovering women writers early in their careers and opening the eyes of mainstream publishers. Four prominent writers, published early on by Calyx, celebrate one of publishing’s literary treasures and consider the continued importance of Calyx today.

F310A. Salmon Poetry: A Reception and Reading to Celebrate our Spring Poetry Collections. Our Spring Poetry Collections

Kirkland Room, Sheraton Seattle, 3rd Floor

Featuring Raina Leone, Cameron Conaway, Stephen Powers, Philip Fried, Jean Kavanagh, Kelly Moffit, Lex Runciman, John Menaghan, John Fitzgerald, Kevin Higgins, Jo Slade, Ed Madden, Joseph P. Woods, Jo Pitkin, Mary Pinard, Dan Moran, Robert McDowell, Alan Jude Moore, Jacqueline Kolosov-Wenthe, and Laura-Grey Street [1997]. 

Friday, 9:00 till midnight

MFA PROGRAM AT WARREN WILSON COLLEGE RECEPTION

The Loft, Westin Seattle                                                                     1900 5th Avenue

Join Warren Wilson faculty, alumni and students  for our annual AWP reunion!  Light refreshments, and a cash bar.

SATURDAY, March 1

9:00-10:15 a.m.

S124. New America

(Wang Ping, Joan Silber, Jason England, Carlos Hernandez, Holly Messitt)

Room 615/616/617, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

We frequently see celebrations of American diversity through readings of individual ethnic or identity literature. This panel will gather contemporary fiction writers from New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society to celebrate the diversity of American literature by featuring a polyglot of voices from across the spectrum that reflects a range of experiences and backgrounds and frames a contemporary American literature that is at once inclusive, substantial, and well-written.

10:30-11:45 a.m.

S136. Resisting Rise, Fall, Resolve: Strategies for the Anti-Memoir

(Elizabeth Kadetsky, Robin Romm, David MacLean, Joanna Smth Rakoff, Liz Scarboro)

Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

Traditional memoir suggests a journey from tragedy to redemption with a sane narrator who provides a handrail through chaos. This panel discusses possibilities for disrupting the classic rise-fall arc of the confession, exploring ways to rough up the memoir genre. Authors can create danger through form: 2nd and 3rd person, graphics and text/image hybrid, novelization, fractured narrative, scrambled chronology, meta-textual deconstruction, or, simply, falling deeper and deeper as narrative arc.

S145. Poetry from WordTech

(Mary-Sherman Willis [2005], Marcene Gandolfo, Aimee Suzara, Zara Raab, Roy Mash)

Scott James Bookfair Stage, Washington State Convention Center, Level 4

Poets published by WordTech Communications read from their new books.

S146. What We Talk About When We Talk About Subtext

(Catherine Brady, Marlon James, Thaisa Frank, Ilie Ruby, Pablo Medina)

Room 602/603, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Fiction writers from within and outside the traditional bounds of realism consider how elements of craft are orchestrated to generate subtext, examining how standard formulas for depicting character in conflict leave out essential dimensions of the relationship between the literal and the figurative, how the narrative arc can be exploited to generate subtext, and how patterns of imagery and diction are welded to plot development.

S163. This is Not Your Country: Creating Characters Outside the Landscape of Our Lives

(Q Lindsey Barrett, Caitlin Horrocks, Donna Miscolta, Benjamin K. Drevlow, Sharisse Tracey Smith)

Room 303, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

To whom does the literary landscape belong? Memoirs of a Geisha, The Education of Little Tree, Patty’s memoir within Freedom: who gets to write about the female experience, indigenous people, an ethnicity or religion not the writer’s own? There are ethical considerations, yes, when memoirists speak for others, when fiction characters’ lives are quite unlike their creator’s personal history, but should there be taboos? Or is the quality of the writing what truly matters in our interwoven world?

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm 

S187. The Supernatural School of Poetry

(Emily Warn, Brenda Hillman, Robert Polito, Dana Levin, Norman Fischer)

Room 618/619/620, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Poets have long turned to the supernatural as muse and as source for symbolic systems which shape their work; such poets include Blake, Yeats, James Merrill, Margaret Walker, and H.D. to name just a few. Hear from a Merrill scholar and from contemporary poets who are writing in this tradition, using symbols, rituals, magic, and automatic writing to investigate the relationship between spirit and our worlds.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

S200. Reading Stevens for Writers: The Mind at the End of the Palm

(Linda Gregerson, Stanley Plumly,  David Baker, Carl Phillips)

Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

“We think by feeling,” writes Roethke, but Wallace Stevens proposes more complex methods of inquiry. Our panel of poet-critics reads the poems, essays, and letters of this “philosophical” poet through contemporary workshop practices as well as both romantic and post-structural language theories to interrogate how this heady Modernist speculates, meditates, and reflects. We hope our examination will reveal how Stevens helps us sharpen and sustain our own ability to think in lyric poems.

S209. Lessons from The Grind: Fostering an Online Writing Community

(Ross White [2008], Michael Broek, Suzanne Parker, Jamaal May [2011], Matthew Olzmann [2009])

Room 606, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

Even the most isolated of writers must find community. The Grind has been one such online space, including now scores of writers, each committed to one demand—writing one complete piece every day and then sharing with each other. Over the last six years, writers in The Grind have produced dozens of published books and fostered exploration, innovation, and practice. Five participants share their work completed during the Grind and discuss how to (and not to) create online writing communities.

S221. Please Mind the Gap: Innovative Approaches to Writing Historical Figures

(Kelcey Parker, Caitlin Horrocks, Kathleen Rooney, Gretchen Henderson, Cathy Day)

Room 202, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 2

The past, says Jessamyn West, is as much a work of the imagination as the future. Inspired by writers like Italo Calvino and Anne Carson, the writers on this panel embrace the fragmented nature of history and approach the depiction of historical figures more as collagists than as traditional portraitists. Panelists share literary examples, research strategies, and practical methods for portraying famous and obscure historical figures in prose, in poetry, and in the classroom.

S222. Comedy, and Errors

(Peter Turchi, Antonya Nelson, Steven Schwartz, CJ Hribal)

Room 301, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Comedy isn’t easy, and characters conceived in comedy often have the dual task of being both amusing and serious, either alternately or simultaneously. Their stories often achieve sharpest focus at the intersection of the comic and the solemn, and it’s the author’s job to make sure one quality works in tandem with the other. The panel will discuss how a variety of such characters come to reach their fullest serio-comic potential.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

S229. Beyond Kimchi: Writing Through Ethnicity

(Katherine Min, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Cathy Chung, Matthew Salesses, Krys Lee [2008])

Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

Four novelists and a poet, all of Korean descent, will read from current work, followed by a discussion of how their work has evolved with respect to ethnicity, theme, and aesthetic vision. With changing publishing trends and readers’ attitudes toward “ethnic” writing, panelists will also discuss various perspectives of writing toward ethnicity, of writing “beyond” it, and of other ways to approach the gift/challenge of “double consciousness.”

S247. Modernism and the Lyric Essay

(Joey Franklin, Dinty W. Moore, Mary Cappello, David Shields, Lia Purpura)

Room 615/616/617, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

What can Joyce, Woolf, Pound, Eliot, and other modernists teach us about the poetics of the lyric essay? And can answering such a question help the lyric essay find its aesthetic roots? Join us as we discuss how modernist preoccupations with impressionism, self-consciousness, fragmentation, and free association (among other things) can not only inform the way we read, write, and teach lyric essays, but can also help us place this popular genre in the larger tradition of western poetics.

S254. A Tribute to the Poetry of Raymond Carver

(Justin Bigos [2008], Rick Ryan, Ashley Reis, Jynne Dilling Martin [2006], Carol Sklenicka)

Room 302, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Raymond Carver is widely considered a master of the short story form, and yet Carver was also, from the time he began writing in 1957 and until his death in 1988, a poet. Carver’s partner, Tess Gallagher, describes the poems as the spiritual current running through the stories. While this is true, the poems also ask to be reckoned with in their own right. This panel gathers three poets, a poet/eco-critic, and Carver’s biographer in order to praise the poetry of Raymond Carver.

 

S262. Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Lose: Introducing People to Poetry without Scaring Them Away

(Michele Russo, J. C. Todd [1990], Crystal Bacon [1995], Renee Ashley, Martin Farawell)

Room 2B, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2

What keeps people from embracing poetry? Were they taught it in a way that made it seem an intellectual puzzle they weren’t smart enough to solve? Did the poetry they were exposed to seem irrelevant to their lives? The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program staff and poets will share an approach for engaging newcomers in poetry that reduces their fear and values their individual response. The program has introduced thousands of teachers and students to the pleasure of reading and hearing poetry.

S254. A Tribute to the Poetry of Raymond Carver

(Justin Bigos [2008], Rick Ryan, Ashley Reis, Jynne Dilling Martin [2006], Carol Sklenicka)

Room 302, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Raymond Carver is widely considered a master of the short story form, and yet Carver was also, from the time he began writing in 1957 and until his death in 1988, a poet. Carver’s partner, Tess Gallagher, describes the poems as the spiritual current running through the stories. While this is true, the poems also ask to be reckoned with in their own right. This panel gathers three poets, a poet/eco-critic, and Carver’s biographer in order to praise the poetry of Raymond Carver.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

S263. Social Responsibility, Creative Writing, and the Urban-Serving University

(Liam Callanan, Julie Marie Wade, Nicole Cooley, Michael Kula)

Room 3A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2

Urban-serving universities, which serve a high percentage of diverse, first generational students, place high value on workforce development. This presents challenges and opportunities for Creative Writing programs in these contexts, and this panel will address questions such as: How can we balance a practical-minded mission with our artistic pursuits? What can our diverse classrooms teach us about authorship? What role can our programs play in serving the wide audience of an urban environment?

S273. Page Meets Stage

(Taylor Mali, Nick Flynn, Tara Hardy, Jamaal May [2011], Rachel McKibbens)

Room 609, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

“Where the Pulitzer Prize meets the Poetry Slam.” Taylor Mali returns to AWP for the third year in a row with another iteration of this popular New York City reading series. Four poets, from “page” and “stage,” are paired in several different ways to read back and forth, poem for poem, in an ongoing “verse conversation” on craft. Neither a competition nor an ivory circle, Page Meets Stage has built a vital bridge between two camps that keep forgetting they live under the same tent.

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