The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College is delighted to announce its faculty for the July-November 2022 semester:


Debra Allbery (Director)

Sally Ball

Oliver Baez Bendorf

Robert Boswell

CM Burroughs

Maud Casey

Christopher Castellani

Adrienne Celt

Carolyn Ferrell (visiting)

Daisy Fried

David Haynes

Christine Kitano

Maurice Manning

Alix Ohlin

Matthew Olzmann

Peter Orner

Hanna Pylväinen

Jason Schneiderman

Dominic Smith

Anna Solomon

Peter Turchi

Alan Williamson

C. Dale Young



9:00 – 10:15 a.m. 

T121. American Regional Poets Laureate 

Lloyd Schwartz, Bobby LeFebre, Leslie Contreras Schwartz (po,’11), Brian Sonia-Wallace, Georgina Marie Guardado 

120C, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

What does it involve to be a poet laureate of a state, city, or county? The five laureates on this panel, each of whom has received a laureate fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, come from diverse locations and backgrounds, just as the style of their poems is diverse. What do they hope to accomplish as their local poet laureate? What has it meant for them to be appointed poet laureate of their community, and what has it meant for their community? 

T126. This Is How We Do It: Periplus Collective Mentoring BIPOC Writers 

Bix Gabriel, Lan Samantha Chang, Kimberly Wong, Adrienne Raphel, Dasia Moore 

125, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

In an open chat, Periplus mentors Lan Samantha Chang and Adrienne Raphel and fellows Kimberly Wong and Dasia Moore will share their experiences about mentorship. Formed in 2020, the Periplus Collective of more than fifty writers is committed to mentoring fellows—promising BIPOC writers in the US who are at an early stage in their careers. Hear why Periplus was formed, what works or not, and how to make the most of mentorship as a fellow or a mentor! 

10:35 – 11:35 a.m. 

T155. Story & Sound: The McSweeney’s Audio Issue 

Andrew Leland, Rion Amilcar Scott, Andy Slater, Shayla Lawz 


Join us for a discussion about and live performance of McSweeney’s Quarterly‘s first ever audio issue—a riotous exploration of audiovisual storytelling, coproduced with Radiotopia from PRX. We’ll talk about the way sound and text can come together to create an immersive experience of story and experience live excerpts of a handful of pieces in the issue. 

T158. New Poetry from Graywolf Press 

Tracy K. Smith, Vijay Seshadri, Jim Moore, Donika Kelly, Solmaz Sharif 


Five extraordinary poets will present and read from their new collections published by Graywolf Press, one of the leading independent publishers in the country. In singular, profound voices, these poets reckon with the gravity of what it is to witness and live through the vital struggles and issues of our time—colonialism, domestic violence, police murders, racism, sexuality, existential grief, mortality—and, with care, disrupt the borders between our interior and political realities. 

10:35 – 11:50 a.m. 

T149. Writing Young Protagonists: YA or A & Who Decides? 

Donna Miscolta, Leslie Pietrzyk, Jessica Barksdale Inclán, Lan Samantha Chang, Amanda J- Floresca 

122AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Why do we write young protagonists? Are coming-of-age stories YA? What happens when our young protagonist is defined as YA contrary to our intentions? What craft choices do we make when we intend to write YA? Panelists discuss when writer intentions and reader perceptions coincide and when they diverge with respect to writing young protagonists. They share the changes they did or didn’t make in the writing, revising, and marketing of their work to satisfy their own intentions and perceptions. 

T153. Lily Poetry Review Books Reading 

Michener Center for Writers Bookfair Stage 

Stage reading by poets Mary Lou Buschi (po.’04), Jennifer Jean, Renuka Raghavan, Josette Akresh-Gonzales, Eric Hyett, Frances Donovan, Robin Reagler, Judson K. Evans, Susan Berger Jones, and Gale Bachelder. 

12:10 – 1:25 p.m. 

T168. Building a Bridge: The Linked Story Collection & the Novel 

Cara Blue Adams, Asako Serizawa, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Jonathan Escoffery 

116, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

The linked short story collection is capacious. By considering a range of formal possibilities—from collections loosely linked by voice or theme to more traditionally linked collections united by place or character to novels that make use of the form of the collection through, for example, the use of an episodic structure—we will investigate ways to conceive of and begin (or finish!) book projects along this spectrum, guided by a sense of what the writer wants to collect. 

T173. Twenty-Five Years of Poetry Daily! 

Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Jennifer Chang, Danielle P- Williams, Lisa Russ Spaar, Martin Mitchell 

120C, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

In 1997, when most readers accessed the Internet through dial-up—if at all—Don Selby and Diane Boller launched an elegant, user-friendly website to help people discover poets and poetry they like—and to help publishers spread news of their books, magazines, and journals to more readers. Join Poetry Daily readers and members of its new staff and prominent editorial board as they read outstanding poems, share Poetry Daily stories and visions, and celebrate the retirement of Don and Diane. 

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. 

T211. W.W. Norton Poets: A New Generation 

Jill Bialosky, Major Jackson, Roger Reeves, Meghan O’Rourke (po,’04), Sandra Lim 


W.W. Norton’s historic list of poets includes Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, A R. Ammons, Ai, Stanley Kunitz, and Joy Harjo—poets who published books that reflect their social moment and resonate beyond, yet not at the expense of craft and meaningful individualism. In this panel, midcareer and younger poets to Norton will read their work and discuss what it means to be part of a socially conscious tradition of poetry that adheres to democratic ideals of diversity and aesthetic innovation. 

T215. Who Are Adoptees & Who Has the Right to Write about Them? 

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Tiana Nobile (po,’17), Leah Silvieus, Ansley Moon 


Books featuring adoption have garnered attention in recent years, and yet many portrayals of adoptees in literature continue to be one-dimensional. This panel takes a critical look at adoptee representations in several examples of contemporary literature in order to interrogate the ways in which adoptee narratives reflect broader understandings of adoptee identity. Panelists also examine the consequences that such problematic depictions can have on US international relations and policy-making. 

1:45 – 3:00 p.m. 

T198. Change of Plans: The Pleasure & Pain of Walking Away from Academia 

Sonia Greenfield, Andres Rojas, Chloe Martinez (po,’09), Sarah Kersey, Pamela Hart 

120AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Did you think you’d finish graduate school and then score a great gig at an institution of higher learning? But now you’re tired of the hustle? For many of us, the dream is over as jobs in humanities departments dwindle. So what are the options? Join this diverse panel of professionals who have let go of academic aspirations—some happily, some not so much —and who have found new ways to work while still maintaining their identities as writers. 

T209. Writers Are Laborers, Too: Building a Road to Relief, Recovery, & Representation 

Cathy Linh Che, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, David Haynes 


In the wake of COVID, arts communities, including literary communities and artists, have been devastated. As we emerge, arts activists are looking beyond relief to new modes for supporting artists and the arts. Can there be a new new deal for artists? What might it include? Four thinkers explore how the arts build equity and discuss art as labor, art as a component of repair and reparation, and current initiatives designed to create a richer, more abundant future for working artists. 

3:20 – 4:35 p.m. 

T226. Ten Years After Occupy: Writing, Capital, & Power 

Jess Row, Rion Amilcar Scott, Alexandra Kleeman, Tracy ONeill, Matt Bell 

118BC, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

In the decade since Occupy Wall Street, American writers have focused on questions of money and power to a degree not seen at least since the 1930s. On this panel, five novelists will discuss how recent critiques of capitalism have shaped their writing, their teaching, and their approach to the literary community. 

T235. Women’s Caucus 

Melissa Studdard, Jennifer Givhan (po,’15), Rosebud Ben-Oni, Patricia Spears Jones, Erika Meitner 

126A, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

The Women’s Caucus offers a space to network, plan events, and discuss issues concerning women writers (eg., ways to support each other, lack of access to literary power structures, conference childcare, obstacles to publication, keeping literary events safe, etc.). The Women’s Caucus is an inclusive space, and it welcomes the diverse perspectives of women writers. This meeting will be accessible to in-person and virtual attendees. 


9:00 – 10:10 a.m. 

F127. Admit It, You’re Writing a Poem: Ars Poetica & the Awkward Confession 

Chloe Martinez (po,’90), Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Diamond Forde, Rachel Zucker, Matthew Olzmann (po,’09, faculty) 

124, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

An ars poetica is a poem about poetry, one that makes an argument about what poetry should be or that explores why we write. In writing an ars poetica, though, poets must also confess to craft, artifice, and intention—to this strange thing we’re doing, making art out of life. What else comes out when we pull back the curtain on our own making? What does this form give us permission to say? Panelists will read and discuss both their own work and key examples by others; audience Q&A will follow. 

10:35 – 11:50 a.m. 

F141. Beyond Motherhood: Ritual, Myth, & Self-Fashioning in Poetry 

Karen Kovacik, Ewa Chrusciel, Maudelle Driskell (po,’08), Vievee Francis 

115C, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

This panel combines readings by four lively poets with a discussion centered around the following questions: How do suppressed or redirected desires for motherhood (or nonmaternity) reside in our poems? How do our identities as cisgender or nonbinary, Black or white, immigrant or native-born make their way into poems that critique, reject, or resurrect the maternal? How do our forms give voice to the silenced or forbidden? Our collaborative conversation invites audience participation. 

F145. Fifty Years of the American Poetry Review: A Celebration 

Elizabeth Scanlon, Major Jackson, Jason Schneiderman, Ada Limon, Megan Fernandes 

119AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

The American Poetry Review has been in continuous publication since 1972. In honor of our anniversary, we are proud to present four writers whose work is exemplary of the excellence and range we publish. Contributing poets will read in honor of the occasion. 

F154. Lily Poetry Review Books 

Michener Center for Writers Bookfair Stage 

Join Lily Poetry Review Books for a reading by Shari Caplan, David P. Miller, Beth Mercurio, Martha McCollough, Robbie Gamble, Laura Van Prooyen (po,’10), Rikki Santer, and Max Heinegg. 

12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. 

F171. The Best Apology Is Changed Behavior: An Editorial Call to Action 

Adrienne Perry (fic,’13), Monica Prince, Somayeh Shams (fic,’14), Julia Brown 

118BC, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

The permanent impacts of COVID and the Black Lives Matter movement on the publishing industry have yet to be determined, but the early ripples prove a need for a top-down reassessment of editorial practices. Small presses and literary magazines must reckon with patriarchal white supremacy if they plan to survive this social justice moment. Writers/editors discuss how identity impacts editorial biases, while offering strategies such as apprenticeships and training, to create lasting change. 

F172. How to Win a Book or Chapbook Contest 

Joseph J- Capista (po,’16), Christina Chiu, Cecilia Martinez-Gil, Robert Giron, Thaddeus Rutkowski 

119AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Many writers have completed a manuscript of prose or poetry and are ready to publish their book. However, the traditional agent-to-editor route may not be available. This panel discussion will provide advice on finding a suitable book contest and giving your manuscript the best chance of success. Past winners of book and chapbook contests will share their experience and knowledge. Also, a publisher of a small press that holds annual poetry and fiction contests will tell the inside story. 

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. 

F219 Celebrating the National Book Critics Circle’s First Book Award 

David Varno, Carmen Maria Machado, Raven Leilani, Kirstin Valdez Quade 

Terrace Ballroom III & IV, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 400 Level 

A literary partner featured event focused on the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard award winners, introduced by NBCC VP/Events Jane Ciabattari, moderated by NBCC President David Varno, featuring Leonard award winners Raven Leilani, Carmen Maria Machado, and Kirstin Valdez Quade. They’ll focus on launching a literary career, inspiration and research for their work, the influence of Leonard and other awards, evolving forms, the unique challenges of writing in these times, and the imaginative process that shapes their work. This event will be livestreamed. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided. 


9:00 – 10:15 a.m. 

S121. The Value & Use of Ecopoetry Anthologies in a Time of Environmental Crisis 

Elizabeth J Coleman, Ruth Nolan, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Craig Santos Perez, Laura-Gray Street (po,’97) 

121BC, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Five ecopoetry anthology editors will discuss editing and publicizing anthologies (international, national, or local) encouraging action on our environmental crisis and environmental injustice that can help readers feel a sense of both urgency and hope. Some of us have collaborated with scientific or environmental organizations, donating royalties and developing action guides. We will discuss organizing the book, finding a publisher, and working with the publisher to develop a unique point of view. 

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

S127. Opening the Gate: Poetry Reviewing as an Agent of Inclusivity 

Ruben Quesada, Emily Perez, Emilia Phillips, Victoria Chang (po,’05), Mandana Chaffa 


What is the role of the book reviewer? Are current critics engaging with new poetry in ways that are illuminating and rewarding for readers and writers of different genders, races, and ethnicities? As readers demand that institutions support poets who write into the many traditions outside the historical center, what’s the responsibility of the critic? This diverse group of poet/critics considers these questions and others within the context of the changing landscape of writing and publishing 

12:10 – 1:35 p.m. 

S168. Living as Exposition: Asian American Poets in the Southern United States 

Asa Drake, Ina Cariño, Tiana Nobile (po,’17), Sasha Pimentel, Adrienne Su 

121A, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Asian Americans are rarely depicted as Southerners. Ours is an invisible history and a conspicuous existence. So to whom do we write? Whom do we preserve by writing? Heritage has long concealed a threat in Southern lexicon. And yet at the root, heritage is an act of transmission from one generation to the next. Join panelists in a discussion to push Southern poetics towards wholeness by asserting that the Asian American experience in the South is vaster than one generation. 

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. 

S205. In the Cosmopolis of Memory: Women on Cultural Selfhood in a Globalized World 

Alison Mandaville, Samina Najmi, Shadab Hashmi (po,’08), Zeina Hashem Beck, Deema Shahabi 

Setting and place are at the center of our stories and identities—yet globalization and territorial violences create a complicated spatial “belonging.” How do we place ourselves in our writing? Braving political strife, war, and displacement coupled with traumas of misrepresentation by dominant narratives, five women grounded in (global) Lebanese, Azerbaijani, Palestinian, and Pakistani cultures write and/or translate poetry, fiction, and memoir to recast histories and cultures in our own voices. 

1:45 – 3:00 p.m. 

S181. Love, Grief, Resistance: A Reading & Craft Conversation, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press 

Victoria Chang (po, ’05), Chris Abani, Christopher Soto, Michael Wiegers 

Michael A. Nutter Theater, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Three powerhouse poets debut their new collections from Copper Canyon Press and discuss craft as it meets content. Resisting police brutality, lamenting the loss of the natural world, and grieving across distances of time and geography, these poems carry tremendous weight. How can poetry give shape and voice to complex emotional truths and urgent political convictions? These radically inventive authors explore transformative possibilities as they defy collapse and expand out of the status quo. This event will be prerecorded and available on the virtual conference platform, in addition to being screened onsite. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided. 

3:20 – 4:35 p.m. 

S211. Each Book Another Me: Mapping the Progression of Self Over a Career 

Andrea Ross, Daniel B- Summerhill, Roberto Carlos Garcia, Dzvinia Orlowsky (po,’91), Molly Peacock 

115AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

One joy of being an avid reader is discovering a fresh voice, new to and in love with literary self-expression, but so, too, is there joy in following the growth of a voice over the course of an author’s lifetime. Each book is a time capsule of sorts: the representation of an individual’s understanding of the world, forever preserved on page. This event will feature writers in various stages of life, reflecting on all the people they’ve been over the years, charting out the many maps of the self. 

S217. In Order to Be Totally Free: Teaching via the Writing Constraint 

Alexander Lumans, Joanna Luloff, Jane Wong, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Hasanthika Sirisena 

120C, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level 

Oulipo writer Georges Perec says, “I set myself rules in order to be totally free.” From word limits to time limits, writing with constraints can be a powerful tool when teaching writers to expand their first-draft strategies as well as further hone their craft through imposed limitations. In this panel, five instructors discuss what specific rule-based exercises they employ in the writing classroom and how those constraining prompts allow students to find greater freedoms in their own work. 

WHO DID WE MISS? Send us your panel info, and we’ll update!

Mark your calendars! 

The organizers of the 2022 Summer Virtual Goddard/Warren Wilson Alumni Conference (“Wally Camp”) are happy to announce that the conference date has been set! Clear your calendars for Wednesday, July 13 through Sunday, July 17. 

As with the last three conferences, it will be hosted via Zoom. We’re sorry that we can’t meet in person this year, but the vagaries of the pandemic continue to make that unworkable. 

On May 3 we will send out a registration form, and you will have between then and June 5 to submit it. In the meantime, work up your manuscripts; dream up your classes, caucuses, and bookshops; and get ready to rally with Wallies! 

If you’re new or have forgotten how a Virtual Wally Conference operates, see the Wally Camp website at to get an idea of what it was like last year. (The 2021 website will be taken down in April.)

Please direct any questions to [email protected] 

We can’t wait to see you!

Your happy conference organizers, 

Jennifer Leah Büchi

Alison Moore

David Ruekberg

Friends of Writers congratulates the class of January 2022

Megan Alyse

Chas Carey

Liza Katz Duncan

Karen Hildebrand

Sasha Hom

Karin Killian

Jared Levy

Kirsten Lind

N.O. Moore

Kathy Nelson

April Purvis    

Mallory Rodenberg

Kristen Sahaana Surya

Heidi Vogt