As always, the MFA program will be in the

house for AWP Tampa.  Any hour of every day you can hang out with one of our amazing faculty or alums.  Start planning now: A list of WWC/MFA events starts below.

Did we miss your event?  Email us immediately through .   We’ll add you to the updates.

(Space limitations-as well as the prolific nature of our community in terms of planning and hosting events–requires us to limit our listings to on-site events.)

Stay tuned for a list of AWP book signings.




R113. The Pleasures and Pains of Small Press Publishing.

(Thais MillerOlivia Kate CerroneMonica WendelPeg Alford Pursell [poetry, 1996], Conner Bassett)

Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

Small presses offer unique advantages and challenges for writers. This panel seeks to help writers successfully navigate the world of indie publishing across genres, especially as additional work falls on writers’ shoulders, from hiring outside editors to generating publicity. Poets, playwrights, fiction writers, essayists, and editors discuss the practices that helped them foster high quality books and connect with readers while addressing the limitations of the small press world.


R182Arab & Muslim Writers Surviving Trump’s America: A Reading and Discussion Presented by Mizna 

(Lana BarkawiGlenn ShaheenSagirah ShaheedJess RizkallahTariq Luthun [poetry, current])

Room 1, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Heeding Edward Said’s call for cultural resistance to “write back” against forces seeking to marginalize and vilify Arabs and Muslims, Mizna, the only Arab American lit journal, presents its issue themed “Surviving” with readings and discussion about our communities’ latest bouts with xenophobia and Islamophobia. Acclaimed and important emerging authors will discuss the maneuvers the Trump era has us making—resisting, dodging, bearing, and more—surviving.

R186. Jewish Writing Versus Writing by Jews

(Goldie Goldbloom [fiction, 2011]Sarah StoneYehoshua NovemberMatthue RothRiva Lehrer)

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Many of the great writers of the 20th century, from Kafka to Proust to Roth, were Jewish, but they rarely dealt with Judaism in their writing or work lives. In the fraught environment on campus today, it can be hard to come out as a religious minority. How do Jewish writers honor the human spirit while writing about religion and culture and what role does Judaism play in their work lives? Secular Humanists and Ultra-Orthodox Jews discuss their experiences as minority writers in today’s world.

R194. The Revival of Aphrodite’s Daughter: Rhetoric in Contemporary Poetry

(Jericho BrownSharon DolinLinda GregersonPablo MedinaAnge Mlinko)

Room 20 & 21, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

“Persuasion is Aphrodite’s daughter: it is she who beguiles our mortal hearts.” So wrote Sappho 2,600 years ago, and rhetorical figures, once considered disingenuous outliers, have undergone a shift in perception by poets who recognize them as the enduring armature of many memorable lines of poetry—from the political to the postconfessional. After two previous panels on rhetoric, five poets discuss additional rhetorical figures as they exist in their own poems and in those of poets they admire.


R206Poets of Color Read Poetry on Parenting

(Hayes DavisTeri DavisJuliet HowardJon PinedaVictoria Chang [poetry, 2005])

Florida Salon 5, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

Hear poetry that navigates the ins and outs of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion all from poets who are also parents, juggling identities, professional careers, and raising children of color in an increasingly complicated world.


R243. The Politics of the Personal: Writing Large by Writing Small

(CJ HribalPeter Ho DaviesValerie LakenDean BakopoulosLan Samantha Chang)

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

We’re not all going to write dystopian novels of resistance, yet we also all know the political affects us every day. Does that show up in our narratives? How can writers express the political within the personal? How can we “write large” without being preachy or overbearing? Perhaps by writing “small.” Five fiction writers will discuss narrative techniques gleaned from some of their favorite novels where the political and the personal are intertwined.

R244. The Arts of Death, Mystery, and Perspective: Edwidge Danticat, Maud Casey, and Christopher Castellani, Sponsored by Graywolf Press(Fiona McCraeEdwidge DanticatMaud CaseyChristopher Castellani)

Ballroom C, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Three acclaimed novelists explore territory often left unturned—the arts of death, of mystery, and of perspective. How can one extend craft into areas and techniques like these, and how does one make space for the personal in criticism and fiction? Three acclaimed novelists answer these questions and read from their recent books in the Graywolf Press Art Of series. Introduced and moderated by Graywolf Press director and publisher Fiona McCrae.

R249. Revoicing the Real: The Poem as Passionate Investigator

(Peter BalakianMary-Sherman Willis [poetry, 2005], David GewanterJoshua Weiner)

Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

In an era when basic facts are disbelieved, how can poems represent the real and explore its several truths? Four poets read distinctly personal poems that incorporate public voices, hidden histories, and documents; poems that use convict ledgers, newspaper reports, and government files; and poems that use memoirs and graffiti. How do these poems turn their investigations into passionate versions of the real? How do they grapple with cultural materials, and “derange history into poetry”?

R250. Finding the Understory: What Connects a Collection. 

(Josh WeilMia AlvarLaura van den BergNina McConigley, Ramona Ausubel)

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Story collections can gain resonant coherence through the very tissue that connects their individual pieces and yet remain unequivocally collections, resisting novelization, or overt linkages such as recurring characters. What are the risks and rewards of writing a story collection with thematic through-lines? This panel will discuss collections that are unified by thematic currents but squarely resist novelization.

R256. The Poem’s Country: Place and Poetic Practice.

(Philip MetresShara LessleyBruce SniderJoan KaneSandra Lim)

Room 17, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

For all of its virtual connection America is as divided as ever. Negotiating this contradiction as it manifests on our home-screens and in our hometowns has become an essential subject for 21st century writers. Sharing essays from the newly published anthology, “The Poem’s Country,” a diverse group of American poets discusses how and why they write about the Middle East, displaced Native communities of Alaska, cosmopoetics, gay rural America, and even invented landscapes of their own making.


R293Our Brilliant Friends: Women, Friendship, and Art.

(Nicky BeerGabrielle CalvocoressiDanielle EvansCatherine PierceJennifer De Leon)

Room 25, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

The popularity of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, as well as TV shows such as Broad City and Insecure, points to a new visibility of the representation of friendships between women in contemporary culture. As writers, how do friendships between women—in our lives, our careers, our reading—affect our art? What are our own cultural touchstones of friendship? This panel seeks to explore, interrogate, and celebrate friendships between women in all their passionate complexities. Bring a friend!

F298. Oceans Among Us: Toward a Migrant Poetics.

(Cynthia Dewi Oka [poetry, current], Patrick RosalHari AlluriChristina Olivares, Diana Garcia)

Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Poets hailing from and with roots in the Caribbean, the Philippines, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Canada, explore the ways in which experiences and histories of migration function as a point of origin, a means of creative perception, and a practice of gathering divergences in their craft. They investigate how the work of making poems—with its attendant losses, adaptations, discoveries—is situated within broader political struggles to interrogate and confront the root causes of displacement.




F142. Beyond “Add one and stir”: Negotiating Race, Gender, and Class as Female Faculty of Color. 

(Val WangRu FreemanDanielle EvansJennifer De Leon)

Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

As of 2013, only 9% of full-time faculty positions in the US were held by women of color and the percentage who are creative writers is even lower. How do these women navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education? Panelists will discuss experiences in the classroom, hallways, and meeting rooms, as well as in the hiring, promotion, and tenure process. Together we will develop strategies to build community and challenge institutional biases on the bases of race, gender, and class.

F143. A 25th Anniversary Reading by Kate Tufts Discovery Award Winners

(Lori Anne FerrellAdrian Blevins [poetry, 2002]Janice HarringtonPhillip B. WilliamsCatherine Bowman)

Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

Claremont Graduate University’s Kate Tufts Discovery Award, presented annually for “a first book of genuine promise,” was created in 1994 to honor poets in the initial stages of their careers and encourage their future writing. These past recipients of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award demonstrate how early career prizes have a positive creative impact. Too, their readings will showcase the breadth, depth, and diversity of the poetry that CGU’s Tufts Awards supports and celebrate

F155. Apollinaire 100 Years On. 

(Catherine Barnett [poetry, 2002], Roger ReevesMatthew RohrerAma CodjoeJulie Carr)

Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

One hundred years ago, in the last year of his life, Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a poem celebrating the “long quarrel” between “order and adventure,” a tension still animating our best poems. Panelists reconsider this modernist and his influence on our ongoing experiments. In a moment riddled with hate crimes, it is a tonic to encounter a poet who said, in a poem written just after his return from WWI, that all he wanted was to “explore kindness the enormous country where everything is silent….”

  1. A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny

(Tom HazukaWendy BrennerMichael MartoneSandra Gail LambertSuzanne Strempek Shea)

Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Flash Nonfiction Funny, edited by Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore and published in 2018, provides a unique perspective on the flash genre: working within a 750-word limit, each of these nonfiction pieces is designed to make readers laugh. Satire, burlesque, farce, slapstick—all of it true, told in just 1–3 pages. The panelists will read their own stories from the book, as well as favorite pieces by other authors from the anthology.

F164. Slam, Veer, Hush, and Hook: On Ending Poems.

(David BakerLinda GregersonStanley PlumlyAnn Townsend)

Room 20 & 21, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Prompts, assignments, workshops, those snappy first lines—we’re awfully good at beginning poems. Ending a poem well is much harder. Our panel of esteemed poet-critics looks at varieties of closure and nonclosure in poems ranging across cultures, historical periods, and styles—and including their own work. What are the shopworn gestures, the easy or predicable endings, the clichés? How may we push harder toward the surprise and the rigorous originality of genuine poetry?

F178. Beyond 140 Characters and the Canon: The Growth of Undergraduate Creative Writing. 

(Laura van den BergAnne ValenteSequoia NagamatsuShane McCraeKirstin Valdez Quade )

Meeting Room 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

As undergraduate creative writing programs become increasingly popular, many teachers of writing must learn and explore strategies specific to undergraduate instruction that may differ vastly from their graduate school experience. Five professors working exclusively with undergraduates will address conducting workshops, challenges specific to their students and, in turn, their teachers, as well as how to build, maintain, and identify the hallmarks of a dynamic undergraduate program.

F180. Reimagining Our Family Tree: New Poetry of Inheritance and Survival. 

(Traci BrimhallVictoria Chang [poetry, 2005]Brenda ShaughnessyJavier ZamoraRachel McKibbens)

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Five authors of hot-off-the-press poetry collections from Copper Canyon Press trace and reinvent family ties. Through readings and conversation, we’ll share vital stories including a multi-generational migration from El Salvador to the United States; an immersive journey with the ghosts of Brazilian ancestors; identity in adventures in high-stakes suburbia; and notions of inherited madness, marked names, and queer chosen family—this is poetry that claims a lineage of survival.

F190. New England Review 40th Anniversary Reading.

(C. Dale YoungCate MarvinKathryn DavisKate LeboHai-Dang Phan)

Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

New England Review celebrates forty consecutive years of publishing new voices in poetry, fiction, and essays. Featuring writers who appeared in NER as early as 1978 and as recently as last year, this event offers a range of voices and genres, styles and viewpoints. Come hear some of the authors who have distinguished and sustained NER through the past four decades, making it one of the nation’s most reliably inventive cross-genre literary journals.

F198. Preserving the Memory: Strategies for Keeping the Work of Deceased Poets Alive. 

(John HoppenthalerBrian TurnerSidney CliftonLaure-Anne Bosselaar [poetry, 1994]Gregory Donovan)

Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

A staggering number of poets have left us over the past decade, poets whose presence in our ongoing conversations about poetics and culture remains important. Creative actions by family members, editors, publishers, academics, and readers can help to make sure these writers retain a seat at the table. This panel will speak to specific cases, what has been done, and what we hope to do in the future to preserve their memory.

12:30 – 1:45

F207. Poems and Poets from Between the Coasts

(Jenny XuKeith LeonardMarcus WickerRodney Jones)

Florida Salon 5, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

Living and working away from the East and West coasts, regional voices can complicate conversations about art, politics, current events, race, and class in illuminating and unexpected ways. What does verse coming out of the Midwest and South sound like today? What does a life in poetry look like there? Three poets—with roots in states including Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama—read and discuss place, inspiration, and finding community and opportunities.

F212. Dazzling Jimi: A Tribute to Patricia Smith

(Danez SmithFatimah AsgharPaul TranPatricia SmithAngel Nafis [poetry, current])

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Patricia Smith, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize, has made American poetry swagger with righteous funk for over three decades. Her poems close imagined gaps between “page” and “stage,” making her the great Black formalist of our time. In this tribute to her teaching and literary citizenship, emerging poets of color taught by Smith will read work inspired by and from her catalogue. We offer testimonies on her good name and conclude with a brief reading by Smith herself.

F227. Four Way Books 25th Anniversary Reading

(Kevin (Mc) McIlvoyAaron ColemanKamilah Aisha MoonKevin PruferValerie Wallace)

Room 16, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2018, Four Way Books presents five writers from around the country reading from recent work. Since its founding, Four Way Books has been revered for its commitment to showcasing a wide range of poetry and short fiction by debut and established writers. From the elegant lyric to the disruptive narrative, in gritty portrayals of the interior to near-apocalyptic visions, this celebratory reading offers new writing across genres and aesthetic divides.

F230. Persea Books: Poetry of Protest. 

(Randall MannGabrielle CalvocoressiMolly McCully BrownMitchell L.H. DouglasHeather Derr-Smith)

Room 20 & 21, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

The American cultural landscape has shifted radically in the wake of the 2016 presidential campaign, with the rights and dignity of so many groups of people under attack. In such times, poetry is more important than ever in its capacity to both resist and connect memorably, potently, and portably. Join Persea poets as they discuss crafting political poems and read from their newest work.


F248. Nathan Englander and Lauren Groff: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau(Nathan EnglanderLauren Groff, Colette Bancroft)

Ballroom C, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Masters of contemporary fiction Nathan Englander and Lauren Groff will read and discuss their craft. Pulitzer Prize–finalist and Pen/Faulkner Award–winner Nathan Englander is the author of Dinner at the Center of the EarthWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and For the Relief of Unbearable Urges. National Book Award–finalist Lauren Groff is the author of Fates and FuriesArcadia, and Delicate Edible Birds. Her forthcoming book, Florida, is named after her adopted home state.

F251. Four Way Books Stage Reading, Part 1

(Panio GianopoulosDaniel Tobin [poetry 1990; faculty], Maggie AndersonJoan HoulihanMargaree Little [poetry, 2012]) Virginia Barber Middleton Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Hall, Tampa Convention Center, Third Floor

Come join us for a Four Way Books reading, featuring distinguished authors from our Fall 2017/Spring 2018 seasons!

F256. Writing as Migration.

(Nancy W. AuMay-Lee ChaiPloi PirapokinNayomi MunaweeraAchy Obejas [fiction, 1993])

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Meaning thrives within the liminal linguistic space between words. For translators, this space is uniquely fraught. How do translators carry the scars of history, intersecting cultures and languages under their skin? What forms of resistance subsist and thrive within the art of translation? How do translators translate the untranslatable? What are the different ways and reasons translators might resist translation?

F260. Why Start a Literary Magazine?. 

(Erin Stalcup [fiction, 2004]Kenzie AllenGabriel Blackwell [fiction, 2009], Levis Keltner)

Room 15, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Some say more excellent literary journals exist than anyone could ever read, so there’s no need for any more. We disagree. The founders and editors of four mission-driven magazines—The CollagistAnthropoidNewfound, and Waxwing—discuss why we started our journals, and how we’re changing the literary landscape by publishing aesthetically brilliant, diverse voices. We are doing the necessary work of expanding the conversation through the range and rigor of our authors.

F262. Poetry on the Big Screen. 

(Kai Carlson-WeeSara NordgrenTodd BossMichele PoulosJamaal May[poetry, 2011])

Room 17, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

With recent blockbuster films like Paterson and Neruda, poetry has been having a Hollywood moment on the screen. While poetry and film have had a long history, increased interest in indie filmmaking and social media has made it possible for poets to reach a larger, more diverse audience through multimedia. Five panelists–who have directed award-winning poetry films, documentaries, and visual poems–will screen their work and discuss the process of adapting poetry to the big screen.


F273. Understanding Novel Structure

(Arna Bontemps HemenwayLan Samantha ChangPeter Ho DaviesSusanna DanielBonnie Jo Campbell)

Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

It can be a lodestar, a revelation, a voice in the wilderness, the solution to a riddle. From premise to final revision, structure is at the core of successful fiction. But where, for the author, does it come from? And how does one conceive of, execute, and/or repair a manuscript’s shape? Four writers—including the director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, winners of the PEN/Hemingway and PEN/Bingham Awards, and a Man Booker long-listed novelist—discuss the ins and outs of structuring a novel.

F280. The Unreliable Speaker

(Catherine Barnett [poetry, 2002]Monica YounDonika Kelly)

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

In an era of fake news and eroded trust, let’s reconsider the unreliable speaker. What inaccessible territories, motivations, and truths does an unreliable speaker reveal? Panelists discuss vexed notions of truth, sincerity, persona, facts, performance, authority, illusion, self and the counterfeit self, all of which have taken on increasing urgency in the past year. This is a chance to challenge, revitalize, and prod the unreliable speaker to see where the limits lie.

F290. Whatever it Takes: Get Your Book the Attention It Deserves. 

(Sean BernardVanessa HuaAlicia Rabins [poetry, 2009]Douglas ManuelAriel Lewiton)

Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

any authors don’t realize that in many ways, their work actually increases when the writing is done. Four recent first-book writers and one publicist will discuss the pitfalls and successes they’ve encountered in book promotion, sharing how to avoid mistakes both common and unique as well as strategies—from hustling reviews and doing book tours to selling poetry scarves, giving away temporary tattoos, making promotional trailers, and more—in order to usher works into happy existence.

F292. Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence in the U.S.. 

(Alexandra TeagueMatthew Olzmann [poetry, 2009; faculty]Dana LevinWayne MillerBrian Clements)

Room 16, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

In this reading from the new anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence in the U.S. (Beacon, December 2017)—the first to gather contemporary poets writing about gun violence, along with responses from gun-violence-prevention advocates and victims—five poets will share work from the anthology. The panelists will also show brief video clips of their poems’ accompanying responses, and answer questions about the role of poetry in this pressing social conversation.

F294. Redemption in the Pen: Insights from the Journeys of Formerly Incarcerated Writers(Michael FischerAlexis PaigeReginald Dwayne Betts [poetry, 2010]Randall Horton, James Allen) Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Over two million Americans live behind bars. Many write to ease the pain of confinement and forge paths to reinvention. This panel offers perspectives from formerly incarcerated writers of both poetry and prose, discussing how they chose language to express such personal and stigmatized experiences. Topics include how to write an ongoing trauma, maintain a healthy writing practice in a toxic environment, and discussion of how writing programs and journals are incorporating these new voices.


F316A Reading & Conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah and Carmen Maria Machado, Sponsored by The Authors Guild 

(Carmen Maria MachadoLesley Nneka ArimahRichard Russo)

Ballroom C & D, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Lesley Nneka Arimah’s short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. She was also a finalist for a National Magazine Award and the Caine Prize, and won the African Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award, among other honors. Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. Her stories have appeared in Best American Science Fiction & FantasyBest Horror of the YearYear’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. The reading & conversation will be moderated by Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls.


9:00 – midnight: RECEPTION FOR FACULTY, ALUMNI, and CURRENT STUDENTS of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College

Gandy Ballroom, Embassy Suites     513 S. Florida Street                 Tampa, FL 33602




S147. The Life and Work of Lucille Clifton

(Crystal Simone SmithReginald Dwayne Betts [poetry, 2010]Jonathan FarmerTara BettsSidney Clifton)

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

There are many ways we honor the poets of our lifetimes. We memorialize them in collected volumes, establish contests, and we continue the discourse on their various works. Although she has amassed all fore-mentioned, if there is one poet worthy of more praise, it is Lucille Clifton. Seven years ago, cancer claimed the body she often celebrated in poems. Our panel will honor this poet great through a rousing homage of personal words, readings, and community conversation.

S154. The Future of Forms.

(Stephen BurtMonica YounKazim AliSandra Beasley)

Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Poets in each generation—in classrooms and elsewhere—reject, or adopt, or remake the forms we learn to recognize. Some new forms take off (golden shovels; erasures). Others emerge, through imitation and admiration, before they get names. Some reflect new demographics; others, new media (are there distinctive Tumblr poems?). We’ll see how, and ask why, forms rise or fall, and for whom, looking at our own work, at our elders, at emerging writers, and at new-to-English and digital forms.


S174. We Will Survive, But We Will Not Forget: Poetry by Muslims as Historical Documentation in Post-9/11 America

(Adam HamzeMarwa HelalSafia ElhilloAngel Nafis [poetry, current])

Florida Salon 5, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

It’s incredibly difficult for many Muslims to feel safe practicing Islam in America. Since 9/11, Muslims have tried to live peacefully despite the violence and bigotry that has attempted to scare them away. This era may pass, but years from now, what medium will hold our stories of survival? Join four contemporary Muslim poets in discussing this crucial role that poetry can play: Documenting the history of a people who refused to give up a religion and its community, despite the risk of erasure.

S179. The Persona Poem.

(Justin Bigos [poetry, 2008]Vievee FrancisTyehimba JessDiane SeussStacey Lynn Brown)

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Persona poetry offers poets a way to forge voices more distant and difficult than the casually assumed autobiographical mode. The panel will gather four poets in order to discuss subtle versus overt forms of persona, as well as the choice to write in persona. While persona can be a way to deepen explorations of self and subject, the form often recontextualizes cultural narratives not only to better understand those stories, but also to shed light on our current cultural moment and conflicts.

S180. The Worst Writing Advice I Ever Got. 

(Melissa SteinMark Doty [poetry, Goddard, 1980]Chris AbaniAda LimonHannah Tinti)

Ballroom C, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Bad advice: it’s all over the place. Five intrepid prose writers and poets dish up counterproductive counsel offered by teachers, by friends and family, by other writers, by naysayers and ambition-squashers and status-quo-preservers everywhere (sometimes even in our own heads). We’ll explore how we develop resilience and courage and confidence and voice as writers and, along the way, may just sneak in a wealth of eminently useful, real-world advice.

S188. The Ganesh in the Room: Speaking of Faith in the Literary Community

(Richard ChessAmy FrykholmShadab Hashmi [poetry, 2009], Amy Gottlieb)

Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

While contemporary American literary culture embraces multiculturalism, mainstream publishing tends to favor a secular, agnostic worldview. Faith-infused literature doesn’t always fall into prescribed categories, yet nuanced, nondogmatic explorations of theology, belief, and doubt are central to the intercultural literary conversation. A Muslim poet, Christian essayist, and Jewish novelist explore these tensions from the perspectives of their own traditions and genres, sharing common ground.

S198. Reading and Writing the Body Free: Literature as a Subversive Force in Prison

(Karen Smyte [fiction, 2015]Roger Bonair-AgardRandall HortonAngel Pantoja)

Room 25, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

How can literature and storytelling offer a means to interrogate, resist, speak to, and speak back to mass incarceration? What transformative possibilities occur when people inside correctional facilities are given tools to speak, to control their narrative and define themselves outside their immediate circumstances? In what ways does reading and writing set bodies free, as well as offer those of us on the outside opportunities to witness?


S208. Writ Large: Expansion in the Short Story.

(Siân GriffithsEric SassonCaitlin HorrocksMarie-Helene Bertino Diane Cook )

Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

William Strunk said, “Vigorous writing is concise.” Professors and craft books tend to agree, emphasizing the importance of cutting and concision. However, what’s good for the sentence is not always good for the story. Our panel suggests that sometimes a story benefits from more, not less. We examine ways to know if a story needs another dimension and in those instances, discuss strategies the writer might explore to help their stories find their best length.

S226. We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America

(Lisa PageAchy Obejas [fiction, 1993]Sergio TroncosoBrando SkyhorseMarc Fitten)

Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Essayists from the anthology, We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America, will discuss misrepresentations of identity through gender, class, and race and other categories. Panel will feature five creative nonfiction essayists, all of whom are part of this anthology.

S230. Into the Expanse: Reinventing the Contemporary Long Poem

(Sumita ChakrabortyRobin Beth SchaerMarianne BoruchDeborah LandauLindsay Garbutt)

Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

The revolutionary space in contemporary long poems can sustain innovative explorations of gender, race, family, ecology, and the tradition of poetry itself. Inspired by the recent resurgence of long and book-length poems, this panel asks how the form advances experimental voices and unlocks multifarious possibilities. How are contemporary writers forging a new, expansive epic that is both intimate and universal? When is the wild and impractical venture of a long poem exactly right for the job?

S221. Draining the Swamp: The Future of Environmental Writing on a Changing Planet

(Taylor BrorbyNick NeelyAlison DemingJoe WilkinsRose McLarney [poetry, 2010] )

Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

This panel explores environmental creative writing in the midst of radical political and climatic change. If stories help us imagine alternatives to how we live, then inspired and strategic writing is our best hope to keep this planet alive and healthy. These five cross-genre writers will discuss environmental writing’s Transcendental roots, its strides towards greater inclusiveness, and where it must go now given rising tides, species loss, and overall environmental injustice and instability.


S239. Women for Women—Building Community Through Mentorship.

(Cheryl Boyce-TaylorParneshia JonesPatricia SmithCynthia Dewi Oka [poetry, current]Ellen Hagan)

Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

Friendships with fellow women writers are essential. They are balm and salve, they mend and protect, they channel and calm. Northwestern University Press gathers its powerhouse of women writers for a reading and celebration. This multigenerational, multicultural collective of poets is dedicated to building a thriving and diverse range of voices that act as a buoy for one another, lifting and encouraging both craft and community as they rise up together.

S243. Can Poetry Hold the Center? Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press

(Michael WiegersLisa OlsteinMaurice ManningHa Jin)

Ballroom B, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Yeats writes, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” In this era when objective facts become alternative and science is willfully ignored, how do writers respond effectively? These acclaimed poets have faced, in their lived experiences, destabilizing forces and rapid cultural change—the chaos of early communist China, the shifting cultural landscape of rural Kentucky, and the volatility at play on our current political stage. Together they ask: How do literary artists help hold the center?

S259. The Dream Work of Poetry. 

(Bruce BeasleyBrian TeareDana LevinSaskia Hamilton)

Room 22, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

“The dream,” says Jean Paul Richter, “is an involuntary form of poetry.” Four poets known for their dreamlike forms discuss how the work of dreams and the work of poems overlap through such shared techniques as metaphor and metonymic substitution, hyperassociation, parataxis, puns, and other wordplays, radical condensation and juxtaposition, multiple meanings, homophones, allusion, resistance to paraphrasable meaning, and granting of permission for strange and jarring new ways of making sense.


S265. Acts of Decolonization: Writing About Southwestern American Identity

(Dan DarlingCasandra LopezNatalie Scenters-ZapicoBenjamin GarciaCynthia Sylvester [fiction, current])

Grand Salon C, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

The American Southwest is a land rich in cultural, geographical, and linguistic diversity. However, political forces have always sought to categorize, invalidate, or extinguish the identities of those who call the borderlands their home. This makes being a Southwest writer both rewarding and treacherous. Our panelists will discuss how their poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction are defiant acts of decolonization and declarations of convergence and hybridity.

S278. Workshop Pedagogy and the Fiction of George Saunders

(Ted PeltonAlissa NuttingThaddeus RutkowskiChristina MillettiDean Bakopoulos)

Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Five writers, all seasoned fiction workshop leaders, will discuss craft via the fiction of George Saunders. Saunders’s texts bridge several fiction-writing divides. His bestselling work is nevertheless informed by language-centered aesthetics; as well, Saunders blends the historical and documentary with exaggeration, hyperreality, and magic. Panelists will tease out how Saunders does what he does and what we can learn from this work, offering also GS-inspired exercises for fiction classrooms.

S279. Writing Women’s Interior Lives

(Julia PhillipsJessie ChaffeeLeigh SteinKrys Lee [fiction, 2008]Mia Alvar)

Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Five years ago, Meg Wolitzer wrote in The New York Times of “that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated.” The five panelists here, all of whom recently published or will publish books emphasizing those very subjects, discuss their intentions, craft, and relegation (or not) to that lower shelf. What’s changed in the five years since Wolitzer’s essay was printed? What can we expect to change in the five years to come?

S286. Open Letter’s Poetry in Translation Series: A 10th Anniversary Celebration

(Patrick PhillipsRachel GalvinBenjamin PaloffHarris FeinsodJennifer Grotz)

Room 22, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

In honor of Open Letter’s tenth anniversary, this panel will discuss the importance of access to contemporary world poetry via literary translation. Four Open Letter translators from Spanish, Polish, and Danish will present their poets, how they found and delineated their projects, how they undertook the always fraught if crucial art of translating poetry, and what poetry in translation introduces to the landscape and conversations of contemporary American literature.

S288. To the Left of Time: A Tribute to Thomas Lux. 

(Travis DentonLaure-Anne Bosselaar [poetry, 1994]Ginger Murchison [poetry, 2010]Stuart DischellKatie Chaple)

Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Thomas Lux was among the most influential poets in contemporary American poetry. Over his more than forty-year career as poet and teacher, he published sixteen collections of poems, helped to define some of the most celebrated writing programs in the United States, and mentored thousands of students. His friends Stuart Dischell, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Alan Shapiro, Katie Chaple, Ginger Murchison, and Travis Denton celebrate Lux’s life and work.


S294. A Reading by Mark Doty, Khaled Mattawa, and Layli Long Soldier, Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets(Jen BenkaMark Doty [poetry, Goddard, 1980], Khaled MattawaLayli Long Soldier)

Ballroom A & B, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Join the Academy of American Poets for an evening reading by three award-winning poets. Executive Director Jennifer Benka will introduce the event. Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s largest membership-based organization promoting contemporary poets and poetry.


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