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Queens MFA Panelists at the AWP Conference in ChicagoMarch 1, 2012 - March 3, 2012 8:00 AM - 10:00 PMHilton Chicago & Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference typically features 400 presentations: readings, lectures, panel discussions, and forums plus hundreds of book signings, receptions, dances, and informal gatherings. The conference attracts more than 9,000 attendees and more than 550 publishers. The Queens MFA faculty members will be serving on many panels. Below is a selection. Please visit the AWP website for room assignments and a complete schedule.
Thursday, March 1
Kim Wright Wiley, 9:00 am R116. It's the End of the World as We Know It (But Some of Us Will be Fine). This panel will explore changes in publishing and how books find their readers. We will discuss how writers are now expected to participate in their own publicity-maintaining a blog, blog tours, virtual book groups, social media-as well as the rise of indie publishing and e-books.
Lauren Groff, 12:00 pm: R170. Villains and Killers and Criminals, Oh My: Representing Evildoers in Literary Fiction. Iago, the Misfit, Milton's Satan, Judge Holden-some of the most memorable characters in literature have been the evil ones. "The death of Satan was a tragedy / For the imagination," said Wallace Stevens. If this is true, how can fiction writers profit from the inclusion of villainy, and what might be lost? Join writers as they discuss their experiences incorporating elements of evil into their fiction, providing examples from their own and others' work.
Ann Cummins, 12:00 pm: R168. Graduates of the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins UniversityFor over sixty years, the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University has graduated some of the most notable writers in American fiction and poetry. Join five writers as they read from their own work and the work of other fiction writers and poets of the Writing Seminars, such as John Barth, Wes Craven, John Gregory Brown, Ellen Sussman, Greg Williamson, Elizabeth Spires, Vikram Chandra, Z.Z. Packer, Chimamanda Adichie, and Louise Erdrich.
Rebecca McClanahan, 12:00 pm: R164. A Reading from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop Instructors. Held annually in the month of June, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop is a week-long residential writing experience that focuses on the generation of new material in an intimate, creative, and productive setting. This reading by recent faculty offers the opportunity to hear the work of returning instructors and will include an audience guided Q&A about Kenyon's process-oriented approach.
Kim Wright Wiley, Elizabeth Stuckey-French* 1:30 pm: R176. What I Wish I'd Known. A panel with four novelists discussing what caught them by surprise in the publishing process: what agents can and cannot do, working with editors, the importance of publicity, launching books, being a small book in a big house, dealing with reviews and feedback, and the emotional ups and downs of the debut experience.
Alan Michael Parker, 1:30 pm: R185. Out of the Stacks and onto the Market: The MFA Poetry Thesis Gets Serious, and Faculty Members React. Autobiographical treatises, project books, greatest hits of the workshop-MFA faculty (who moonlight as press editors and book-contest judges) discuss pedagogical issues on advising MFA poets at the culmination of the degree. What makes for ideal thesis advising? Is an MFA thesis meant to be a book? We will explore the range of ways to shape a first collection, transcend conventions and clichés, and best advise students on balancing their development as poets with their professional goals.
Rob Spillman (Tin House Books, Alumni Program Instructor and Friend of the Program), 4:30 pm: R246. Cross-Country Collaboration: How Tin House and the Normal School Make Real Publications in Virtual Offices
Friday, March 2
All Queens Panel with Fred Leebron, Andy Levy, Brigdhe Mullins, Alan Michael Parker, and Katherine Min 9:00 am: F121. Why Time Matters: A Discussion across the Genres. Our panel will focus on why time is the most crucial element in all genres of creative writing, beginning with how much time we choose to depict and extending beyond that to approach how we vary the treatment of time within each genre. While others might argue that character or point of view or narrative arc is the essential ingredient that shapes our work, we will argue that time is that ingredient.
Pinckney Benedict, 10:30 am: F138. Apocalypse Now: A Multi-Genre Reading of Apocalyptic Literature. Earthquakes, global warming, peak oil, and giant, man-eating ants: every generation has its version of the apocalypse and an abundance of writers who write about it. In recent years, the end of the world has become the subject for a number of literary writers, and a new genre of literature is emerging. Five award-winning poets and novelists read from their apocalyptic literature, examining how their work has been influenced by recent events and by the sense of impending doom we humans share.
Patricia Powell, 1:30 pm: F190. Caribbean Literature: Fifty Years Since the End of Colonialism. n 2012, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica will celebrate their 50th anniversary since independence from Britain. Writers Elizabeth Nunez (Trinidad), Patricia Powell (Jamaica) and Robert Antoni (Trinidad) will discuss how their writings reflect and critique the colonial experience. They will be joined by literary critic Donette Francis (Jamaica), to explore the arc of post colonial Caribbean literature, including the work of two major writers from these regions, VS Naipaul and Lorna Goodison.
Nick Lantz, 1:30 pm: F194. First Things First: What It's Really Like to Win a Book Contest. What actually happens after winning a first-book prize? Recent winners of five top poetry awards-the Walt Whitman, APR/Honickman, Bakeless, Cave Canem, and A. Poulin, Jr.-candidly discuss surprises and challenges and how publication changed (and didn't change) their lives and their relationships to their writing. With all the benefits of 20/20 hindsight, they'll share experiences with-and tips on-manuscript submission, the revision process, cover design, and the mysteries of book promotion.
Saturday, March 3
Rob Spillman, 10:30 am: S146. Agents & Editors: Partners in Publishing: Four established publishing professionals provide advice to writers about the best practices for submitting queries and proposals; an inside look at the acquisition process, including how subsidiary rights are handled and how publishers determine the promotional push for titles; and an update on the most recent changes in the industry and how they affect authors.
Robert Polito, 12:00 pm: S149. Literary Necromancy: The Art of Writing Biography. This panel will discuss the craft and art of writing biography, primarily about other writers and artists. Questions addressed include: How to decide who to write about? What ethical considerations occur in reconstructing the details of someone else's life? How does one navigate the challenges of writing about public figures who might be beloved or reviled? How do questions of literary form and style shape the writing of a life?Robert Polito, 3:00 pm: S198. Critical Divide: The Personal Essay and the Critical Essay. New nonfiction writing often blurs the autobiographical and the critical. At its best, that can result in something daring, collage-like, lyrical, and illuminating. The divergent writers here will discuss their recent works of nonfiction and strategies for writing the personal and the critical.