THURSDAY, February 27

 9:00 a.m.—10:15 a.m.

R128. The Poet, the Scholar, and the Critic.

(David Baker, Kimberly Blaeser, Troy Jollimore, Julie Carr, Dean Rader)

Room 302, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

The relationship of poetry to criticism and scholarship is unique among literary genres. It is codependent, vexed, necessary, and contradictory, and it has become a central issue in today’s literary world. How does one form of expression enable, ignore, or impair the other? What intellectual, artistic, and professional issues arise in and out of the academy? Does writing about poetry have the same social function as poetry itself? In 2014, what is at stake to be a poet/critic or a poet/scholar?

12:00 noon—1:15 p.m.

R163Grub 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.

R201Before 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.

3:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

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.

R244Designed 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.

R247Creating Emotional Depth: Tools and Inspiration from Various Genres.

(Laure-Anne Bosselaar [1994], David Jauss, Tim Seibles, Karin de Weille, Robert Vivian)

Room 302, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

One of the biggest challenges a writer faces is capturing emotion—or rather evoking it in the reader or audience. This panel provides a comprehensive look at the challenge. What radical relationship to language and the creative process is required? And what panoply of techniques—drawn from the various genres, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and playwriting, and illustrated by concrete examples in exemplary work—are available to us so that we can push our own work to its fullest potential?

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.

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.

R272. The Long Distance Race: Making a Life in Poetry.

(Dana Levin, Richard Siken, Tyehimba Jess, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Cate Marvin)

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

Poetry is a long distance race, Hayden Carruth once advised. What do you wish you’d known about professional and personal stamina when you first discovered your devotion? Five poets, some emerging, some at mid-career, discuss the difficulty of achieving and sustaining a life in poetry. Topics will include rejection, success, mentorship, community, and the kinds of negotiations poets must make to establish themselves artistically and professionally. Experiences will be shared, scrapes confessed.

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

(Karen Brennan, Nina Swamidoss McConigley, Robin Romm, Joan Leegant)

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?

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