It’s my great pleasure to welcome our new MFA blogging intern, Daniel Jenkins.  A student in the poetry program, Daniel lives and works in the Virginia suburbs of DC where, despite all evidence, he remains hopeful for the prospects of the local NFL franchise.

Thanks to Megan Williams for her outstanding service over the past year.

AND we’re pleased today to offer you an update of the schedule for AWP panels featuring faculty and alums of the MFA program.  As before, if we missed you, let me know immediately.  An updated version will be available at the program booth in the book fair.

Download the current version here:

Download File


OR read the entire list below:

WARREN WILSON MFA at AWP Washington, D.C. 2017




 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

R139. Which Comes First, Activism or Artist?

(George Higgins [poetry, 2004]Reginald Dwayne Betts [poetry, 2010]Martin Espada, Eleanor Wilner)

Marquis Salon 5, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

Confronted with social wrongs, should we, as writers, feel obligated to use our art to advocate for our gender, race, or a political cause? What goes into that choice and what is at stake? If we do so use our art, how do we face injustice and still craft aesthetically compelling poems? Five poets explore the question raised at Fisk in 1966 between Robert Hayden and the Black Arts movement—Am I a poet first, or am I a black poet?—and explore how this question applies to all of us today. 

R141. Global Narratives Within US Literature.

(Carolina De RobertisLaleh KhadiviAchy Obejas [fiction, 1993], Patricia Engel , M. Evelina Galang)

Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

In a world where cultures transcend borders, what defines US literature? How is a writer’s experience, aesthetic, and vision shaped by carrying more than one country in her skin? What particular challenges and opportunities exist for writers whose work springs from a global, multicultural source? Authors of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from Iran, Lebanon, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Uruguay discuss their experiences as global voices working within the United States.

R 146. Noemi Press: 15th Anniversary Reading.

(Evan Lavender-SmithSandy FlorianCarolina EbeidRyo YamaguchiGabriel Blackwell [fiction, 2009])

Liberty Salon I, J, & K, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Noemi Press was founded in 2002 to publish and promote the work of emerging and established writers, with a special emphasis on writers traditionally underrepresented by mainstream publishers, including writers of color, women writers, and genre-defying writers. On the occasion of Noemi’s 15th anniversary, the founding editor will talk about the press’s history and mission, and four Noemi authors will read from and discuss their work.

R159. Protean Acts: The Art of Reinvention

(Victoria Chang [poetry, 2005], Dana LevinRichard SikenSarah VapJaswinder Bolina )

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

How do we avoid writing the same poem our entire lives? How do we frame reinvention from project to project? When can the pressures of reinvention become limiting and when transformative? How does material success and failure affect artistic change? Five poets try to shed light on these questions by providing ideas, inspiration, and one poem from their own reinvention projects. 

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

R168A. Adaptation in Three Acts: Adventures in Adapting Material for Scripts.

(Elizabeth SearleDavid ShieldsSuzanne Strempek SheaDanny Eaton)

Room 209ABC, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Authors of multiple books who have segued into professionally produced script projects share samples of their adapted works and discuss with a playwright different forms of adaptation, including adapting a book for film or stage and adapting another author’s work. Adaptation is an adventure. From collaborating on a successful 2016 Indie feature film to premiering work at a local theater, the authors cover a range of stories and strategies and offer film clips plus mini-performances.

R189. Finding a Way: The Secret Life of a Solo Mom Writer

(Marika LindholmGolda Goldbloom [fiction, 2011], Domenica RutaCheryl DumesnilAngie Ricketts)

Cody D. Todd Memorial Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Halls D & E, Convention Center, Level Two

Solo mom writers often feel pressure to create art as if we didn’t have children—and simultaneously raise children alone as if we didn’t have art. In the present literary discourse, there are few places to acknowledge this dissonance. Creating a space to celebrate our shared experience is an important beginning to re-shaping the world we inhabit. Join us for a conversation with solo mom writers of various genres whose stories may be both validating and surprising.

R196. A 25th Anniversary Reading by CGU’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award Winners  

(Lori Anne FerrellSusan MitchellCarl PhillipsMarianne BoruchAngie Estes)

Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Claremont Graduate University’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is one of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was created in 1993 to both honor a poet and provide resources to allow literary artists to continue honing their craft. These past recipients of the Kingsley Tufts Awards showcase the breadth and depth, as well as geographic and aesthetic diversity, of the poetry that CGU’s Tufts Awards supports and celebrates.

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

R200. News of the World: Fact-Based Practice in the Creative Writing Classroom

(Nathalie F. AndersonBetsy BoltonNzadi KeitaLisa SewellElaine Terranova [poetry, Goddard, 1977]) 

Room 209ABC, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

How do we engage undergraduate writers, so often invested in personal expression, in the more analytical processes of fact-based exploration? How do we guide them in incorporating archival and observational materials into their work? How do we encourage them to give dry facts—scientific or historical or statistical—new life on the page? Five teachers, including poets, memoirists, and fiction writers, explore this pedagogic challenge through their project-oriented course designs.

 R201. Mining a Dark Vein: Writing About Appalachia and America’s Working Class. 

(Larry Bingham [fiction, 2006]Amy ClarkCrystal WilkinsonJeff MannJill McCorkle)

Marquis Salon 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

Six hours from the capital, in the Appalachian coalfields, lives a working class—people feeling angry, marginalized, and stereotyped. On display during elections, this misunderstood population spans thirteen states but is largely absent from America’s literary conversation. In this panel, five writers with intimate knowledge of Appalachia explore how we can understand its traumas, value its truth, and tell its complex stories.

R208. Diode Poetry Journal‘s 10th Anniversary Reading.

(Victoria Chang [poetry, 2005]Andrea CohenPatty PaineSam SaxT.R. Hummer)

Supreme Court, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Founded in 2007, in Doha, Qatar, Diode Poetry Journal has published a stunning array of poets from Pulitzer Prize winners to MFA students. Diode has become known for its expansive and eclectic aesthetic, and its rigorous and attentive editorial practice. To celebrate, five influential poets whose work has appeared over the span of ten years read their poetry. With diverse and bold voices, these poets make an argument for the importance, necessity, and power of the written word.

R224. Celebrating the Hurston/Wright Foundation: Twenty-Seven Years of Literary Legacy. 

(Laurie Jean CannadyYona HarveyDarlene TaylorA. Van Jordan [poetry 1998; faculty], Dereck Rodriguez)

Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Before articles decrying the limited opportunities for writers of color in publishing, there was Hurston/Wright, discovering, mentoring, and honoring African American writers. For more than a quarter of a century, Hurston/Wright has fostered a rigorous, nurturing space for writers at varying stages. This celebratory panel includes Hurston/Wright award winners, former workshop participants and faculty, and the current board chair, as they honor the legacy of this essential DC organization.

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

R234. Literary Fascination: What Happens When Non-Native American Writers Write About Native Americans.

(Kimberly Blaeser, Erin Stalcup [fiction,2004]Alexandria Delcourt, Kristiana Kahakauwila)

Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

Why do non-Native writers want to write about Native American cultures? Is this a form of colonization? A mixed panel of Native and non-Native writers will approach these questions from both a historical and literary lens. The panel will discuss the effect this phenomenon has on contemporary Native writers, and also American fiction and history as a whole, considering how books about Natives are actually written by Natives themselves.

R246. But Do You Have a Novel? How and Why Short Story Writers Transition into Novelists.

(Susan PeraboDavid James PoissantCaitlin HorrocksKirstin Valdez QuadeAmina Gautier)

Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Even the most successful short story writers face this daunting question: “Is there a novel coming?” Agents and publishers contend that the market simply does not exist for story collections. Thus many story writers embark on novels in part to secure publishing contracts, and then struggle with a new form they have promised to deliver. We take on practical questions of transitioning to a new genre, and also consider the issue of navigating the professional complexities of this transition.

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

R283. An Invitation to Poetic Discovery, Sponsored by Poets House. 

(Kevin YoungRowan Ricardo PhillipsMonica YounJ. Mae Barizo)

Ballroom C, Washington Convention Center, Level Three

How do you find inspiration? Poets House invited three contemporary poets to our 70,000-volume library in New York City to discover new poetic voices, traditions, and forms. Poets will share their discoveries and read some of their own poems that will inspire your reading, writing, and life. Kevin Young will introduce and moderate.

R286. Celebrating 50 Years of Southern Humanities Review. 

(Jerald WalkerGarrard ConleyR. T. SmithRose McLarney [poetry, 2010],  Chantel Acevedo)

Room 102B, Washington Convention Center, Level One

Founded in 1967 at Auburn University, Southern Humanities Review celebrates fifty years of publishing fine essays, fiction, and poetry. A panel of SHR contributors and past editors discuss the journal’s rich history, its current and future place in our literary landscape, and the ways the journal has impacted their writing lives.

6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m

R298. Latino Caucus

(Ruben QuesadaFred Arroyo [fiction, 1997]Suzi GarciaAlexandra RegaladoDan Vera)

Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One

The visibility of Latinos and Latin Americans is growing in the literary community. However, a discussion surrounding systematic, institutional, and aesthetic challenges is needed. Latinos need a space to come together, to address inequalities in access, to meet with writers of varied Latino and Latin American identities, to discuss the obstacles to publishing (e.g., cultural expectations, stereotypes, and marginalization), and to discuss event planning to increase participation at AWP..


9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

F108. A 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Kenyon Review Fellows

(Melinda MoustakisElizabeth Lindsey RogersMargaree Little [poetry, 2012]Jaquira DíazDavid Lynn

Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

What do Flannery O’Connor, W.S. Merwin, and Jaquira Díaz have in common? They’ve all been Fellows of the Kenyon Review. The new KR Fellows Program celebrates its 5th anniversary with a presentation by Jaquira Díaz, Margaree Little, Melinda Moustakis, and Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers. They will gather to read from their recent work and discuss the benefits and challenges of the fellowship life, including their individual projects.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

F141. Writing the Dual Self: Opening Spaces for Hybrid Identities . 

(Philip MetresTomas MorinThrity UmrigarMichael CroleySonya Larson [fiction, current])

Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

Writers with dual ethnicities or hybrid backgrounds often struggle to find ways to tell a nuanced story of identity and community. Five writers with diverse racial, ethnic, and gender identities share experiences of the struggle and strategies for forging a space for the dual, hyphenated, multiple self—one that does justice both to our art and our ancestors, working through the liberatory possibilities of writing and to resist the urge—or to market’s demand—to self-stereotype.

F155. Literary Awards: Help or Hindrance?.

(Tiphanie YaniqueJess RowMia Alvar, Leslie Shipman [poetry, 2007])

Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One

Literary awards and prizes excite regular interest; writers, editors, publishers, and readers all pay attention to them. What roles do awards and prizes play in our literary culture? Who judges them, and for what constituencies? How are individual writers and groups of writers helped or hindered by them? What role can and should money play? Several writers who have judged or received literary awards and prizes will discuss the pros, cons, implications, and complications.

 F157. Four Way Books Poetry & Fiction Reading, Part 1.

(Karen BrennanJen LevittApril OssmannGrace Bonner, Nathan McClain [poetry, 2013] )

Cody D. Todd Memorial Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Halls D & E, Convention Center, Level Two

Reading with Four Way Books’ authors of poetry and fiction.

 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

F177. From the Margins to the Mainstream: Mixed Writers on Representation.

(Emily PerezSun Yung Shin, Nina McConigleyAmmon MedinaGlenn Shaheen)

Monument, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Writers who straddle multiple identities—Arab American, Ecuadorian/White, Indian/Irish, Mexican/White, Transnational Korean Adoptee—examine how race and culture translate into their work and writing communities. How do mixed identities compete and cooperate: for airtime, authority, and claims to authenticity? In what ways might mixed writers pass or pander? How might editors and publishers include mixed voices without either exoticizing or erasing minoritized positions

F191. Raising Hell: Writing from the Extremes

(R. O. KwonRoxane GayTéa ObrehtLaura van den Berg, Catherine Chung)

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Terrorists! Cult leaders! Violent criminals! Psychopaths! This reading presents fiction writers who have given voice to the baleful extremes of human experience. What are the joys, risks, and responsibilities of writing sinister characters whom many readers might have trouble understanding? How should fiction writers think about depicting evil? What are potential difficulties? Join the panelists as they share perspectives and read from their work. 

F196. George Mason Poetry Faculty Reading.

(Eric PankeyJennifer AtkinsonSally KeithSusan TichyPeter Streckfus)

Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

The five poets on the permanent faculty of George Mason University’s BFA and MFA programs are an eclectic group, with interests in hybrid, documentary, eco-poetic, spiritual, political, research-based, visual, and conceptual poetries. These poets reflect part of the range of aesthetics practiced in the lively metro DC poetry scene.


F200. “Times They Are A-Changin”: Reinventing the MFA

(Alan SoldofskyFred D’AguiarKathleen GraberDaniel Tobin [poetry 1990; faculty]David Keplinger)

Room 209ABC, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

How are MFA programs re-envisioning themselves for the 21st century? Responding to changing student needs, many programs have revised the curriculum to include more professional development tracks like translation, literary editing, and digital publishing. And more teaching and internship opportunities. This panel of seasoned MFA administrators from across the nation will discuss best practices that programs are following to keep the MFA viable for an increasingly diverse cohort of students.


1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


F226. I Told the Paper with the Pencil: How Refugee and Immigrant Teens Find and Share Their Voices Through Writing. 

(Sarah SchneiderRichard Russo, Lewis RobinsonMolly McGrath, Molly Haley)

Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

We understand each other through stories. How can writers and teachers use writing to help the newly arrived balance the challenges they face? How can sharing stories and building community in the teaching setting help students and writers do the same outside of it? The Telling Room of Portland, Maine, honored by the White House for its writing program for immigrant youth, discusses and demonstrates the power of connecting teens to their community through writing—and what we gain when we listen.



3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.


F226.Alice James Books New and Emerging Authors Reading.

(francine harrisJamaal May [poetry, 2011 Matthew Olzmann [poetry,2009; faculty]Janine JosephMatthew Nienow)

Marquis Salon 5, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

A dynamic reading by poets with first and second books who are blazing the trail in American letters. Their work highlights the breadth and scope of Alice James Books’ publishing list. Introduced by AJB director and editor Carey Salerno, five AJB authors read from recently published books.


F247. The Art of Perspective: How Narrative Strategies Reflect Contemporary Culture . 

(Lee HopeChristopher Castellani, Sunil YapaMarjan KamaliSarah Colwill-Brown

Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

How can the novel respond to a culture dominated by the microform interactions of social media? Increasingly, we experience the world as a series of information fragments, a mode of communication that seems at odds with the long form of the novel. Five novelists, whose books explore multiple perspectives, discuss the narrative strategies writers use to explore the composite structures of contemporary storytelling and reflect the fractured nature of everyday narratives.



F252. School of Exactly One: C.D. Wright Memorial, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press. 

(Michael WiegersBen LernerDana LevinRikki DucornetPura López-Colomé)

Ballroom B, Washington Convention Center, Level Three

The New York Times wrote that poet C.D. Wright was so original, so fiercely independent, that she belonged to “a school of exactly one.” C.D. died unexpectedly in early 2016, just before her new book, ShallCross, appeared. To honor her life, legacy, and legendary generosity, three celebrated writers and her longtime editor share her poems, their personal stories about C.D., and a conversation about how C.D.’s poems and collaborations are high art and groundbreaking tools for social justice.


F259. The MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro Celebrates 50 Years.

(Stuart DischellAnsel ElkinsMichael Parker, Craig Nova)

Cody D. Todd Memorial Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Halls D & E, Convention Center, Level Two

Formalized in 1965, The MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro is one of the oldest such programs in the country. Join us for multi-genre reading to celebrate our long history.


F263. A 10th Anniversary Reading from Bull City Press

(Ross White [poetry, 2008], Anne ValenteAnders Carlson-WeeEmilia PhillipsTiana Clark)

Room 203AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

For ten years, Bull City Press has focused on representing brevity in its many incarnations. Now publishing chapbooks from established and emerging writers in poetry and short prose, Bull City Press showcases unique voices and the vibrancy of compressed forms. We celebrate the first decade with a reading from recent winners of the Frost Place Chapbook Competition, contributors to Inch magazine, and authors from our chapbook series.


F266. A Reading by the University of Maryland’s MFA Program Faculty. 

(Elizabeth Arnold [poetry, 1996]Maud CaseyEmily MitchellMichael CollierJoshua Weiner)

Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

A reading by five faculty members from the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland who have won major literary awards, including Guggenheim Fellowships, NEA Fellowships, and the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship. The reading will be followed by a Q & A.


F268. The Village of Your Novel

(Rebecca SmithCarole BurnsRobin Black [fiction, 2005]Margot Livesey)

Room 207B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Jane Austen advised that three or four families in a country village was the very thing to work on. Two hundred years since the publication of Emma, the idea of the village of your novel can help you manage a cast of characters, build tension, and create a sense of place. This international panel looks at ways writers create villages (inner city or rural) and demonstrates practical methods and exercises for leading readers into a convincing world, utilizing its spaces and playing with its rules.


4:30 p.m. — 5:45 p.m.

F282. Writing Neighborhoods: (Re)Creating the Places We Live

(Kathy FlannD. WatkinsDavid EbenbachPatrice HuttonMary-Sherman Willis [poetry, 2005])

Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

We’re told to write what we know, but it can be daunting to portray the places we know best: our own communities. Where do we find the authority to get it right? This panel explores the challenges, responsibilities, and rewards of writing from the particular home places of Baltimore and Washington, DC. The founder of Writers in Baltimore Schools, which runs workshops for low-income students, joi s poets and prose writers to discuss the transformative possibilities for writers and readers alike.

F291. Double Bind: Women Writers on Ambition.

(Robin Romm, Pam HoustonErika SanchezClaire Vaye WatkinsHawa Allan)

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

A woman must be ambitious in order to have a meaningful career in the arts. But ambition in women is often seen as un-feminine, egoistic, and aggressive rather than crucial to great work and identity. Until recently, no conversation has taken place to help women navigate this pervasive but unspoken double bind. On this panel, women across diverse backgrounds genres provide both stories from the trenches and practical strategies for progressing in the arts, academia, and beyond.



F296. A Celebration of Michael Collier

(Jennifer GrotzTom SleighC. Dale YoungAlan ShapiroA. Van Jordan

Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

On the 30th anniversary of his appointment to the University of Maryland faculty, and in recognition of his ongoing success as director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, this panel celebrates the writing, teaching, and literary citizenship of Michael Collier. In his many roles, he has recognized, developed, and provided opportunity for the pluralism of American writing to flourish. Panelists will discuss Collier’s contributions to literary culture and read from his acclaimed body of work.


g Join us!




of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College


Morrison-Clark Inn

1011 L Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20000


Light refreshments       h Cash bar







9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.


S110. Money, Power, and Transparency in the Writing World

(Natalie ShaperoKima Jones [fiction, current]Morgan ParkerJane FriedmanRachel Mennies)

Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

As writers, we’re too often in the dark about how money is allocated in the institutions where we work, publish, and produce. When we’re negotiating paychecks and contracts, we often don’t know how much to ask for, or we don’t have access to how the surrounding systems work. When we’re asked to do uncompensated work, we often don’t know if it’s worth it. Join us for some much-needed frankness about money from the worlds of publishing, publicity, academia, and freelancing.


S122. The Southampton Review: A 10th Anniversary Reading

(Lou Ann WalkerRoger RosenblattNeel N. PatelMichelle WhittakerRebecca Foust [poetry, 2010])

Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One

Novelist Ursula Hegi has this to say about TSR: “The juxtaposition of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual arts is incredible.” And author Anne Fadiman says, “In the realm of memoir and personal essay, I can think of no journal in America—or, indeed, anywhere—that surpasses TSR .” Join the panelists as they celebrate TSR’s tenth anniversary with a reading from contributors, past and present. TSR is dedicated to publishing work from emerging and established authors.


S125. You’re on the Tenure Track: Congratulations! Now What? .

(Joe OestreichErica DawsonCaitlin Horrocks, Marcus JacksonJoey Franklin)

Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One

Many writers hope to one day secure a tenure-track teaching position, but few have a clear idea of what the job actually entails. What are the course load, scholarship, and service demands, and how do you balance them? How do you assemble a successful tenure file? Is it possible to switch schools mid-career? Panelists—all tenured or tenure-track and from universities of varying sizes—discuss strategies for navigating toward the tenure decision and beyond.



10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.


S140. Committing to Inclusion: What Does It “Really” Mean?. 

(Sonya Larson [fiction, current], Jonathan EscofferyDeborah PlummerAlison Murphy)

Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

So your writing organization believes that race, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of diversity are integral to artistic excellence. But what does that really mean? What vision and work does it entail? Since 2012, Grub Street has been reckoning with its own shortcomings in this area, and working toward real and meaningful change. Come hear from board members, staff, and instructors about our ongoing structural efforts to ensure that our community is fully inclusive to all.


12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


S154. Translating Iraq 

(Alana Levinson-LaBrosse [poetry, 2012], Neil SheaHeather RaffoAndrew Slater)

Room 102B, Washington Convention Center, Level One

Since before the Iraq War began in 2003, Americans have worked to understand Iraq: a country incomprehensible to many of its own citizens. The major and minute divisions and the competing desires can overwhelm even the most conscientious observer. The participating American writers of this panel have lived and worked in Iraq. Bringing home Iraq’s realities, whether through poetry, fiction, documentaries, Instagram, plays. or operas, is an act of delicate artistic and cultural translation.

S157. Four Way Books Poetry & Fiction Reading, Part 2

(Andrea CohenChristopher KempfMegan StaffelChristina Pugh, Henry Israeli

Cody D. Todd Memorial Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Halls D & E, Convention Center, Level Two

Reading with Four Way Books’ new authors.



S175. What’s Found in Translation.

(Jennifer GrotzSusan BernofskyGeoffrey BrockBill Johnston)

Marquis Salon 12 & 13, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

While many lament what they fear is “lost in translation,” this panel considers what is actually discovered in the act of literary translation. Four veteran translators and faculty of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference reflect on what literary translation has the potential to introduce into a given culture and language while meditating on their own practices as writers and translators.


S180. The Path to Publishing a First Story Collection.

(Erin Stalcup [fiction, 2004]Robin Black [fiction, 2005]Lori OstlundMelissa Yancy)

Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Four authors discuss their different paths to publishing their first books. One of the panelists got an agented two-book deal with a big New York house, one got an unagented contract with a small university press, and two won contests: the Drue Heinz Prize and the Flannery O’Connor Award. They’ll share their stories, and provide resources and handouts to help audience members understand ideal and realistic possibilities, and navigate their own journeys to publication.


S181. Immigrants/Children of Immigrants: A Nontraditional Path to a Writing Career .

(Ken Chen Monica Youn, Marie Myung-Ok LeeJuan MartinezIrina Reyn )

Liberty Salon N, O, & P, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Not only do you not have an uncle in publishing or see people from the neighborhood get MFAs, immigrants and children of immigrants are inculcated to opt for “safe,” “secure,” often well-paying jobs; a writing career may seem like an unimaginable luxury or a fantasy. This panel of working writers looks at both psychic and structural issues that add a special challenge for writers from immigrant families.


S188. Persian Poetry as American Influence: A Multigenre Discussion .

(Roger SedaratDon ShareTom Sleigh Elizabeth T Gray [poetry, 2009] )

AWP Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Halls D & E, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Over a half century before Ezra Pound turned to Chinese and Japanese poetry to help establish a poetics of western modernism, Ralph Waldo Emerson found his way to another, less recognized region of Asia. While poetry from Iran continues to inform American writing, its significance remains somewhat neglected. Five acclaimed American and Iranian American authors offer new insights about the influence of Persian poetry upon their fiction, criticism, poetry, journalism, and literary translation.





S198. A Tribute to Bill Knott (1940–2014). 

(Thomas LuxDenise DuhamelJonathan GalassiHeather McHughJohn Skoyles)

Room 207B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Knott was a highly original American poet, sometimes controversial, often reclusive. The panelists, Knott’s students, colleagues, and publishers, read his poems and comment on his life and work. The poems are selected from I Am Flying into Myself: The Selected Poems of Bill Knott. This book includes poems from his earliest volumes, when he wrote under the name of St. Geraud (1940–1966), through unpublished poems from the last decade of his life.



1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


S227. We Go On Saying Thank You: A Tribute to W.S. Merwin. 

(Michael WiegersNaomi Shihab Nye Maurice ManningChase Twichell)

Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

A celebration of W.S. Merwin, whose poetic works have won praise and high honors over seven decades. Poets will pay tribute to Merwin with a discussion of his work and career, including readings from two new books: Garden Time, a new collection which Merwin composed via dictation to his wife after losing his sight, and a new edition of Merwin’s 1967 collection The Lice.


S228. Contemporary Translation and Performance in the Americas. 

(Kristin DykstraT. Urayoán NoelAchy Obejas [fiction, 1993]Rosa AlcaláJacqueline Loss)

Room 204C, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Contemporary writers in every nation explore eclectic forms. How can performance impact strategies and contexts for translation in our hemisphere? Along with altering words, translation complicates factors central to performance: the identity of the performer, communities/sites associated with meaning, ephemerality. Examples reference translation as script, use of digital technologies, musical and theatrical influences, translation in/as archive, the manifesto as a performative form, and more.


3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.


S237. Wayfaring Stranger: Writing Away from Our Experience 

(Michael CroleyRichard BauschBrad WatsonAnne ValenteLaura van den Berg)

Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

Fiction that goes beyond the self—the kind that strays from one’s own gender, ethnicity, class, and personal experience—may be the truest form of storytelling and our greatest act of empathy as artists. Five writers discuss and share the challenges posed both in writing and publishing wayfaring stories and the process they use to allow themselves the courage to write about what they don’t know.



S246. The Speculative Essay. 

(Robin HemleyLia PurpuraBonnie RoughNicole WalkerBrian Blanchfield [poetry, 1999])

Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

Many essayists have employed speculation throughout the form’s history, relying wholly on speculation (relating nothing verifiable) rather than engaging “fact.” Virginia Woolf’s “Death of a Moth,” for example, does not require a verifiable moth to achieve its power. But what are the limits to speculation? Must essayists always signal their speculative intentions? Can an essayist delve into the traditional realm of the fiction writer, overturning traditional notions of point of view in the essay?


S254. Beyond Accommodation: Supporting Disabled Writers at Conferences and Residencies 

(Leigh SteinCamisha JonesRyan WalshConnie Voisine)

Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One

While people with disabilities are the largest minority group in America, making up twenty percent of the population, writers with disabilities are vastly underrepresented at conferences and residencies that are so often essential to career advancement. Join the founders and directors of Zoeglossia, BinderCon, Vermont Studio Center, and Split This Rock for a discussion on best practices for ensuring an event or residency is not only accessible—financially and logistically—but also inclusive.


S258. The Art of War: The Power and Role of the Writer in Times of Crisis.

(Pireeni SundaralingamViet Thanh NguyenLidia YuknavitchDavid Shields)

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

As an increasing percentage of the world is plunged into conflict, our panel brings together award-winning novelists, poets, and nonfiction writers to explore how creative writing can shape, distort, and challenge the way we understand war. Drawing on examples from our own work and the work of others, we will discuss the power of the written word in relation to image and other forms of propaganda, and share our personal experiences of how our books have influenced a wider political discussion.


S259B. Poets as Translators: Versionists, Revisionists, or Vehicles? Sponsored by ALTA. 

(Barbara GoldbergDavid KeplingerNancy Naomi CarlsonMark IrwinAlana Levinson LaBrosse [poetry,‘12])

Room 203AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Do poets who translate produce a new poem that imitates the source material, or do they bring across the idiom and word in the full definition of the word “translating”? Are poets vehicles for the work they translate, or are they called on to recreate? If the latter, what is permissible within the context of literary translation? The following languages are used as examples in this panel: Danish, French, Hebrew, Kurdish, and Romanian.


4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

S270A. Us & Them: A Writer/Translator Reading 

(Todd PortnowitzPeter ColeJennifer GrotzGeoffrey BrockSusan Bernofsky)

Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

This Brooklyn-based reading series comes to AWP. Four authors celebrated for their translations and original writing read from both sides of their work.


S277. Poetry in the Age of the Drone: A Reading. 

(Corey Van LandinghamSolmaz SharifPhilip MetresNomi Stone [poetry, current]Jill McDonough

Liberty Salon N, O, & P, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four

How does poetry function in the age of the drone? Can poets avoid the anesthetizing remove enacted by the drone when writing about political subjects from a safe distance? What is the role of poetry in a time of perpetual war—does it, as Auden says, make nothing happen? Five poets read work that shows the different ways poetry reacts to, and interacts with, the idea of the militarization of the drone, targeted killing, and the difficulty of writing about war from afar.



8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.


S301. A Reading and Conversation with Margot Livesey and Colum McCann

(Margot Livesey, Colum McCann)  

Ballroom C, Washington Convention Center, Level Three  

Join us for a reading and conversation with two critically acclaimed authors, Margot Livesey and Colum McCann. Livesey, a Scottish-born writer and a New York Times bestseller, has written eight novels, in addition to her work featured in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, among others. McCann is the Irish-born writer of the National Book Award–winning novel, Let the Great World Spin. McCann has written six novels, three short story collections, and his work has been featured in The New YorkerEsquireThe Paris ReviewGranta, and The Atlantic.

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