Friday Schedule // Meridian Contributors at AWP 2014

Below you’ll find the second day of the Meridian guide to AWP 2014. All of the panels listed include at least one participant who is a former Meridian writer or editor; those names are bolded.

Friday 9:00 am to 10:15 amRoom 3A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 3 F111. The New Translation: Writing through Rewriting. (Joe Milutis,  Paul Legault,  Craig Dworkin,  Clark Lunberry) Experimental translation techniques have taken up attitudes toward the nature of the original that complicate or conflict with more dutiful notions of translation. From the carefully oblique to the wildly discrepant, we are interested in techniques of translation that seek to heighten the noise that exists at the fragile moment of cultural transfer. This panel will speak both to the long tradition of these kinds of techniques as well as incarnations potentiated by new media.


Friday 9:00 am to 10:15 amRoom 607, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 F117. Tupelo Press 15th Anniversary Reading. (Jeffrey Levine,  Ilya Kaminsky,  C.M. Burroughs,  Amaud Johnson,  Stacey Waite) This showcase reading by four important American poets of diverse aesthetic, regional, and ethnic backgrounds celebrates 15 years of independent literary publishing on the part of Tupelo Press. Tupelo authors write for and speak to issues national and international and explore questions of migration and immigration, slavery, racial, gender, and national identity, and ultimately, of life in the balance.


Friday 9:00 am to 10:15 amRoom 301, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3 F129. Let It Come Down: Violence in Contemporary Poetry. (Douglas Smith,  Denise Duhamel,  Bruce Beasley,  Kathy Fagan,  John Bradley) “We sleep in language,” Robert Kelly tells us, “if language does not come to wake us with its strangeness.” Such awakening is one desired end of the use of violence in contemporary poetry. What meaning can the poet shape from the violence of human nature? What happens when violence—murder, torture, rape—enters the realm of poetry? This panel will explore these questions in the poems of Ai, Frank Bidart, Stephen Dobyns, Michael Ondaatje, and other writers.


Friday 10:30 am to 11:45 amWillow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor F136. The Well-Feathered Nest: Family as Fodder in Southern Fiction. (Nicole Louise Reid,  Jill McCorkle,  Bret Anthony Johnston,  David James Poissant) A survey of Southern fiction reveals a common thread. From Twain to Faulkner, from Welty to Wendell Berry, Southern writers can’t escape the anxiety, the complexity, or the gift of family. Whether blood family or the families we make for ourselves, Southerners have long been cognizant of the foundational struggle of the family unit. Five writers will explore the power and peculiarity of family in Southern fiction, observing how sometimes the best drama is the drama we find on our own doorstep.


Friday 10:30 am to 11:45 amRoom 613/614, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 F153. New Stories from the Southwest. (Justin St. Germain,  Claire Vaye Watkins,  Paula McLain,  Ron Carlson,  D. Seth Horton) Road to Nowhere and Other New Stories from the Southwest is the second volume in the Southwest anthology series, which was published in July 2013 by the University of New Mexico Press. Four award-winning contributors gather to read from their recently anthologized work. They will be introduced by the founder of the series.


Friday 10:30 am to 11:45 amRoom LL5, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level F157. Dwelling on the Edge: New California Writing 2013, Heyday/California Legacy(Kirk Glaser,  Juan Velasco,  Zara Raab,  Alexandra Teague,  Steve Gutierrez) Culturally and geologically, California rests on shifting ground. This third annual anthology continues asking what is unique in California literature by assembling fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from publications large and small. What emerges reveals the proximity of Latin America and Asia, whose cultures clash and mix with those of Europe and Africa in ruthless and enchanting landscapes that render people as nowhere else. Join renowned contributors reading from and discussing this anthology.


Friday 10:30 am to 11:45 amRoom 101, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 1 F158. When a Poem Can’t Tell the Whole Story: Why Poets are Taking up Nonfiction. (Danielle Deulen,  Katharine Coles,  Gregory Orr,  Julia Koets,  Linwood Rumney) As creative nonfiction becomes more popular and expands to push against the boundaries of convention, poets increasingly adopt it as a second genre. Five poets who also write nonfiction and who are at various stages in their careers discuss nonfiction from the poet’s perspective. How does working in two genres change the way we think about craft? How does writing in a second genre open up career opportunities in a difficult job market?


Friday 12:00 pm to 1:15 pmAspen Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor F165. Verses Versus Verses: Perspectives on Poetry Contests(Eric McHenry,  Joseph Harrison,  Sandra Beasley,  Dora Malech,  David Hassler) In 1950, the Yale Series of Younger Poets was the only contest for book-length poetry manuscripts in the United States. Today there are more than 300, and conventional wisdom holds that winning one is the best way to get a first or second book published. A panel of poets with vast and diverse experience founding, running, entering, winning, and losing such contests will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the system, and offer insights into how to succeed within it, or without it.


Friday 12:00 pm to 1:15 pmWillow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor F168. All Publishers Great and Small: Reexamining the Book Business in the 21st Century(Peter Mountford,  Amelia Gray,  Kevin Sampsell,  Matt Bell,  Tara Ison) Major publishers increasingly chase blockbusters and avoid literary authors. Smaller presses still have less money for advances and marketing, but their titles attract an ever-growing share of award and review attention. The paradigm is shifting. A unique group of authors who have straddled this hinge—they each have at least one book out from a large trade house and one from a small independent press—offer an unusually honest and intimate appraisal of the rapidly changing book business.


Friday 12:00 pm to 1:15 pmRoom 2A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2 F169. Ergo Sum Game: Poetry as Philosophical Foray.(Michael Morse,  Catherine Barnett,  Mary Szybist,  Kevin Prufer,  Joy Katz) Five poets, each of whose poetry is informed by philosophical or critical inquiry, take on a topic that informs their thinking, their feeling, and their work. Each poet will present an essence (Ambivalence, Apology, Oblivion, Reverence, and Sentimentality) and discuss its presence in critical or philosophical thinking, in the work of an influential (and influencing) poet, and in her or his own poems. Join us as we explore how a bewitched intelligence works within and towards poetry.


Friday 12:00 pm to 1:15 pmRoom 305, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3 F198. Gaming Social Media(Emily Warn,  Catherine Halley,  Erin Belieu,  Brian Spears) Some poets are tapping into social networks to share, promote, and critique poetry. Others open accounts and let them languish or turn people off through constantly promoting readings or books. We’ll talk from our own experiences, addressing how you can use Facebook and Twitter to participate in a new form of criticism, build a community around an issue, expand the readership of an online magazine, effectively promote a reading or book, and just have fun.


Friday 1:30 pm to 2:45 pmWillow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor F202. From Thesis to Book: The Stretch Run. (Mark Neely,  Elena Passarello,  Marcus Wicker,  Celeste Ng,  Bonnie Rough) Most MFA programs require students to produce a “publishable, book-length” thesis. Some theses go straight to publishers, but usually it takes time and hard work before these projects become published books. We’ll talk about how to turn a thesis into a successful book and about our own paths to publication. We’ll also discuss what expectations students and teachers should have for the thesis. Is a publishable manuscript realistic, or should we be thinking about the thesis in different terms?


Friday 1:30 pm to 2:45 pmScott James Bookfair Stage, Washington State Convention Center, Level 4 F210. Celebrating december. (Nance Van Winckel,  Gianna Jacobson,  H.L. Hix) Celebrate the rebirth ofdecember, a pioneer of the “little” magazine days and one of the most important and influential literary journals of its time. Resuming regular publication in 2013, december reestablished its role in the literary world. The current editor/publisher will outline the process of bringing december back to life, with readings by several contributors to december’’s revival issue.


Friday 1:30 pm to 2:45 pmRoom 615/616/617, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 F223. In Your Next Letter I Wish You’d Say: Epistolary Impulse and Innovation. (Jenny Browne,  Mark Jarman,  Paul Guest,  Laynie Browne,  Idra Novey) While Congress and the U.S. Postal Service debate ending Saturday delivery and many mourn the lost art of letter writing, contemporary poets continue to explore and expand the artful possibilities of writing in the epistolary mode. These panelists investigate exciting variations of poetic correspondence, including collaboration, homage, and performance, as well as discuss their own epistolary processes, influences, and teaching strategies.


Friday 3:00 pm to 4:15 pmPatricia Olson Bookfair Stage, Washington State Convention Center, Level 4 F244. Randall Jarrell’s 100th Birthday(Stuart Dischell,  David Roderick,  Rachel Richardson,  Terry Kennedy,  Rebecca Black) Join the faculty, alumni, and friends of the UNC Greensboro MFA Program for a rousing reading/tribute to Randall Jarrell and his poetry on his 100th birthday. Sponsored by the UNCG Class of 1952 Distinguished Professorship.


Friday 3:00 pm to 4:15 pmScott James Bookfair Stage, Washington State Convention Center, Level 4 F245. Celebrating Northwest Poets: Crab Creek Review’s 30th Anniversary Reading. (Peter Pereira,  Nancy Pagh,  Molly Tenenbaum,  Marjorie Manwaring,  Michael Schmeltzer) Five outstanding Northwest poets, featured in the special 30th anniversary issue of Crab Creek Review, read their work. Crab Creek Review is one of Seattle’s most prominent print journals, publishing both local and national writers. Started in 1984 by Linda Clifton, Crab Creek Review has published William Stafford, Madeline DeFrees, Rebecca Wells, and David Wagoner, among other notable Northwest writers and poets. Get a taste of Seattle poetry and discover why so many writers call this area home.


Friday 3:00 pm to 4:15 pmRoom LL4, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level F259. When Genres Collide: Teaching Prose Poetry and Flash Fiction. (Katie Manning,  Hadara Bar-Nadav,  Forrest Roth,  Tyrone Jaeger,  John Talbird) The collision of prose poetry and flash fiction can provide productive and challenging points of discussion and inspiration in the multi-genre classroom. What can prose poetry teach flash fiction? How can theories of narrative inform understandings of prose poetry? Join our panel of writer-teachers for a discussion about how to navigate the sometimes blurry boundary between prose poetry and flash fiction in the undergraduate classroom.


Friday 4:30 pm to 5:45 pmBallroom E, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 F280. Roads (Not) Taken: Joy Harjo, Harryette Mullen, and Carl Phillips on Craft, Sponsored by Cave Canem.(Camille T. Dungy,  Harryette Mullen,  Joy Harjo,  Carl Phillips) Three prize-winning poets give brief readings of their innovative work, followed by a moderated conversation on a range of topics, including cultural influences, legacy, shifts in traditional aesthetics, and the contemporary poet’s evolving role and responsibilities. Attention is paid to the particular challenges and rewards of being minority poetic voices within a literary landscape at once predominantly Eurocentric and rapidly diversifying.


Friday 4:30 pm to 5:45 pmRoom 608, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 F285. From Finding Your Muse to Finding Your Readers: Book Promotion in the 21st Century(Midge Raymond,  Kelli Russell Agodon,  Wendy Call,  Janna Cawrse Esarey,  Susan Rich) Panelists from a variety of genres—poetry, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir—will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of transitioning from writer to published book author. Through specific experiences and using real-world examples, panelists will offer tips for finding one’s natural niche and audience and how to reach out to readers authentically and generously. Topics include book promotion through conferences, book clubs, social media, awards, blogs, events, and salons.


Friday 4:30 pm to 5:45 pmRoom 609, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 F286. McSweeney’s Poetry Series Launch: A Reading and Discussion. (Victoria Chang,  W.S. Di Piero,  Carl Adamshick,  Zubair Ahmed,  Dan Chelotti) This reading and discussion will feature the diverse and talented line-up of poets whose books have been published as part of the newly launched McSweeney’s Poetry Series. Award-winning authors will read from new collections. A Q&A will follow on poems, editing poetry, and publishing with McSweeney’s.

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