Faculty and Guests Will Include:

Nonfiction

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jennifer Finney Boylan is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her column appears on the op-ed page of the New York Times on alternate Wednesdays. Author of sixteen books, her 2003 memoir She’s Not There was the first bestselling work by a transgender American. She serves on the Board of Trustees of PEN America, the nonprofit advocating for authors, readers, and freedom of expression. From 2011 to 2018 she served on the Board of Directors of GLAAD, acting as co-chair from 2013-17.

Jane Brox

Jane Brox‘s fifth book, Silence, was published in January 2019, and was selected as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Book Review. Her previous book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine.  She is also the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm, Five Thousand Days Like This One, and Here and Nowhere Else. Brox’s essays have appeared in many journals and magazines, including the Georgia Review and NewYorker.com, and they’ve been anthologized in Best American Essays, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has been awarded grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She is on the faculty of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA Program and lives in Maine. 

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of seventeen books and is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. He won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction award and his collection of short stories, The Water Museum, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN-Faulkner Award, and was named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and Kirkus Reviews, among others. Into the Beautiful North, his 2009 novel, is a Big Read selection by the National Endowment of the Arts and has been chosen by more than 50 different cities and colleges as a community read. The Devil’s Highway, Urrea’s 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. The Hummingbird’s Daughter, his 2005 historical novel, which involved twenty years of research and writing, won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction and, along with The Devil’s Highway, was named a best book of the year by many publications. His newest book is The House of Broken Angels. Urrea is a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Poetry

Reginald Dwayne Betts

Reginald Dwayne Betts transformed himself from a sixteen-year old kid sentenced to nine-years in prison to a critically acclaimed writer and graduate of the Yale Law School. He has written three collections of poetry, Bastards of the Reagan EraShahid Reads His Own Palm, and, most recently, Felon. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison won the 2010 NAACP Image Award. Named a 2018 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Betts’s writing has generated national attention and earned him a Soros Justice Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Ruth Lily Fellowship, and a New America Fellowship. Betts has been featured in the New York Times, New Yorker, and the Washington Post. He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, The Travis Smiley Show and others. He holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland; an MFA from Warren Wilson College, where he was a Holden Fellow; and, a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was awarded the Israel H. Perez Prize for best student note or comment appearing in the Yale Law Journal. He is a PhD in Law candidate at Yale University and as a Liman Fellow, he spent a year representing clients in the New Haven Public Defender’s Office.

Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart; Apocalyptic Swing, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize; and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer’s Award, a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from the Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella di Ranieri Foundation, among others. Calvocoressi’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous magazines and journals including The Baffler, New York TimesPoetryBoston ReviewKenyon ReviewTin House, and the New Yorker. Calvocoressi is an Editor-at-Large at Los Angeles Review of Books, and Poetry Editor at Southern Cultures. Works in progress include a non-fiction book entitled, The Year I Didn’t Kill Myself and a novel, The Alderman of the Graveyard. Calvocoressi teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, where joy, compassion, and social justice are at the center of their personal and poetic practice. 

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s latest book of poems is OBIT, her middle grade verse novel, Love, Love, and a book of essays, are all forthcoming. Her other poetry books are Barbie Chang, Salvinia Molesta, and Circle.  Her children’s picture book, Is Mommy?, was named a New York Times Notable Book. She has also published a middle grade novel, Love, Love. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship. She serves as the program chair for Antioch’s low-residency MFA program in creative writing. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. 

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union and is now an American citizen. He is the author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa. He’s also the co-editor of the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry and co-translator of Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, among other books. Deaf Republic was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the Los Angeles Times Prize and the Anisfield Wolf Book Award. Ilya Kaminsky lives in Atlanta.

Carl Phillips

Carl Phillips is the author of 15 books of poetry, most recently Pale Colors in a Tall Field (2020) and Wild Is the Wind (2018), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Other honors include the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Kingsley Tufts Award, a Lambda Literary Award, the PEN/USA Award for Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Academy of American Poets, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Phillips has also written two prose books: The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (2014) and Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (2004); and he has translated the Philoctetes of Sophocles (2004). He is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis.

Brenda Shaughnessy

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Octopus Museum (2019). 2012’s Our Andromeda was a New York Times’ 100 Notable Book, a finalist for the Griffin International Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Prize. She received a 2018 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2013 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Nation, New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in Verona, New Jersey. 

Craig Morgan Teicher

Craig Morgan Teicher is the author of four books of poems, including The Trembling Answers, which won the 2017 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and Welcome to Sonnetville, New Jersey, forthcoming in Spring 2021. He is also the author of a collection of essays, We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress. He edited Once and For All: The Best of Delmore Schwartz, teaches at New York University and the Bennington Writing Seminars, and works as Digital Director of the Paris Review.

Fiction

Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author of six books of stories and six novels. He was the general editor for The Art of … series for Graywolf press. His newest novel, The Sun Collective, was published in November, 2020. He has taught in the Warren Wilson MFA program for writers and at the University of Minnesota, and he lives in Minneapolis.

Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies’ books include The Fortunes, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and the bestselling The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. His latest novel, A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself is forthcoming in 2021. His short stories have appeared in HarpersThe Atlantic, and Paris Review and have been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. A Granta “Best of Young British Novelists” pick, he’s also a recipient of the PEN/Macmillan and PEN/Malamud Awards. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, he teaches at the University of Michigan.    

Stacey D'Erasmo

Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of the novels Tea; A Seahorse Year; The Sky Below; and Wonderland; and the nonfiction book The Art of Intimacy: The Space Between. She is a former Stegner Fellow, the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the winner of an Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her essays, features, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New York Times Book Review, New Yorker, Boston Review, Bookforum, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She was a Frederick Lewis Allen Room Fellow at the New York Public Library for 2016-17. She is an Associate Professor of Writing and Publishing Practices at Fordham University.

Mat Johnson

Mat Johnson is the author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Incognegro and its prequel Incognegro: Renaissance, and Dark Rain. He is a recipient of the American Book Award, the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and is a Professor at the University of Oregon Creative Writing Program.

Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois. His fiction and journalism have been published in the New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. Mengestu was chosen for the 5 under 35 Award by the National Book Foundation in 2007 and was named on the New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list in 2010. He is also the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, The Guardian First Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards. He is the author of three novels: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008), How to Read the Air (2010), and All Our Names. His work has been translated into more than fifteen languages.

Elizabeth Nunez

Elizabeth Nunez immigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad after completing high school. She is the award-winning author of a memoir and nine novels, four of them selected as New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her two most recent books are Not for Everyday Use, a memoir, and Even in Paradise, a novel.  Not for Everyday Use won the 2015 Hurston Wright Legacy Award for nonfiction and is an Oprah online book club selection. Even in Paradise, was an O, the Oprah Magazine and Essence Magazine selection. Nunez’s other novels are: Boundaries, nominated for the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Fiction; Anna In-Between which won the PEN Oakland Award for Literary Excellence and was long-listed for an IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award; Prospero’s Daughter which was 2006 Novel of the Year for Black Issues Book Review and for Mosaic Magazine. Her novel, Bruised Hibiscus, won an American Book Award, and Beyond `the Limbo Silence won the Independent Publishers Book Award.  Her other novels include Grace; Discretion, short-listed for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and When Rocks Dance. She is co-editor of the anthology Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad. Nunez is the co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference and was director for fourteen years. She is executive producer of the New York Emmy-nominated CUNY-TV series Black Writers in America and has served on the jury for national and international literary prizes/awards, including the international Dublin IMPAC Literary prize, the Ernest Gaines Literary prize, and the Fulbright Award for Creative Writing. Nunez received her PhD in English Literature from New York University and is currently a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York. 

Jess Row

Jess Row is the author of the novel Your Face in Mine, a book of essays, White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination, and two collections of short stories, The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Tin House, and Granta, and he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Whiting Writers Award. He teaches writing at the College of New Jersey, serves on the curatorial board of the Racial Imaginary Institute, and is a senior dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen.
 

Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver’s most recent novel, The Mysteries, was published in May. She is the author of six other works of fiction, including the novels Mary Coin, a New York Times Bestseller, and Little Nothing, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker and The Atlantic.com, as well as other publications and has been included in Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. She teaches at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg is the author of the story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, and the novels Find Me and The Third Hotel, a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She is the recipient of a Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri fellowships, and is a two-time finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her most recent collection, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, was published by FSG in 2020 and named a “best summer read” by the New York Times, Time Magazine, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. Born and raised in Florida, Laura splits her time between Central Florida and the Boston area, where she is a faculty member of the creative writing program at Harvard.

 

Paul Yoon

Paul Yoon is the author, most recently, of the novel, Run Me to Earth. His other works are Once the Shore, which was a New York Times Notable Book; The Mountain, which was a NPR Best Book of the Year; and Snow Hunters, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award.

Special Guests

Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling.  A new novel, Afterlife, was published in April 2020.

John Elder

John Elder taught English and environmental studies at Middlebury College from 1973 until his retirement in 2010 and lives in the Green-Mountain village of Bristol with his wife, Rita. His books Reading the Mountains of HomeThe Frog Run, and Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa form a sequence that explores the meaning of Vermont’s landscape and environmental history for him as a teacher, writer, and householder. Picking Up the Flute, which came out in 2016, connects the geology, cultures, and environmental controversies of Connemara and Vermont through the story of his immersion in Ireland’s traditional music. John is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Nature Writing.