Wesleyan Writers Conference
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Featured faculty and speakers for the 

Wesleyan Writers Conference 

Amy Bloom Roxana Robinson William Finnegan
 Honor Moore Lis Harris Hirsh Sawhney 
 Adam Harrison Levy Pamela Dorman     Vicky Bijur

FACULTY/SPEAKERS

Amy BloomWriting Fiction

AMY BLOOM is the author of two novels and three collections of short stories, and she has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her book Lucky Us was published by Random House in July 2014.

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AMY BLOOM is the author of two novels and three collections of short stories, and she has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her book Lucky Us was published by Random House in July 2014. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and the Atlantic, among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. Her novel, Away, is an epic story about a Russian immigrant. Her recent collection of short stories is Where the God of Love Hangs Out.


Roxanna

Novel and Short Story

ROXANA ROBINSON's most recent novel, Sparta, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the Washington Post, and it received the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction from the USMC Heritage Foundation.

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ROXANA ROBINSON's most recent novel, Sparta, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the Washington Post, and it received the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction from the USMC Heritage Foundation. Her other novels include Sweetwater, This is My Daughter, Summer Light, and Cost. Cost was named one of the five best fiction books of its year by the Washington Post, won the Maine Writers Fiction Award and was on the best books of the year list of the Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune and elsewhere. Her short story collections include A Perfect Stranger and Other Stories, Asking for Love and A Glimpse of Scarlet and Other Stories. She is also the author of the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of her books have been New York Times Notable Books. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, One-Story, Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. Her books have been published in England, Holland, France, Spain and Germany. She is a regular essayist for the NPR station WSHU, and her fiction has been read on Symphony Space’s “Selected Shorts.” She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation. 


Photo of Honor MoorePoetry

Honor Moore is the author of three poetry collections: Red ShoesDarling, and Memoir and two memoirs: The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margaret Sargent by Her Granddaughter and The Bishop’s Daughter, named an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, a “Favorite Book of 2008” by the Los Angeles Times, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Honor Moore is the author of three poetry collections: Red ShoesDarling, and Memoir and two memoirs: The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margaret Sargent by Her Granddaughter and The Bishop’s Daughter, named an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, a “Favorite Book of 2008” by the Los Angeles Times, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her play Mourning Pictures was produced on Broadway and published in The New Women’s Theatre: Ten Plays by Contemporary American Women, which she edited.  She has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Her poems and prose have appeared in The New Yorker, Salmagundi, Conjunctions, The New Republic, The American Scholar, Open City, The Paris Review and other journals and anthologies.

 


Lis Harris

Nonfiction and Memoir

LIS HARRIS is now at work on a book about three generations of a Palestinian family and three generations of an Israeli family. Her previous books include Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family.

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LIS HARRIS is now at work on a book about three generations of a Palestinian family and three generations of an Israeli family. Her previous books include Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family, Rules of Engagement, and Tilting at Mills: Green Dreams, Dirty Dealings and the Corporate Squeeze, the story of an eight-year struggle to build a paper mill in the South Bronx. Her work appears in a forthcoming anthology, The Stories We Tell: America's Great Legacy of Women in Longform. As a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than two decades, she wrote on a wide range of social and cultural matters, and she has received awards from the Woodrow Wilson, Rockefeller, and J. M. Kaplan foundations. She teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University.


William Finnegan

Writing About Social and Political Issues

WILLIAM FINNEGAN has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. He writes about politics, war, poverty, race, organized crime, immigration, counterterrorism, and international trade. He has contributed articles on surfing, the Olympics, and punk-rock music. 

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WILLIAM FINNEGAN has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. He writes about politics, war, poverty, race, organized crime, immigration, counterterrorism, and international trade. He has contributed articles on surfing, the Olympics, and punk-rock music. Among his many awards, Finnegan has twice received the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism and has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist. In 2010, his report from Mexico, “Silver or Lead,” won the Overseas Press Club’s award for Best Reporting in Any Medium on Latin America. His piece "Slow and Steady" is cited as a year's outstanding piece in the 2013 editions of both Best American Travel Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. He is the author of four books, Crossing the Line, Dateline Soweto, A Complicated War, and Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country. His book Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life is forthcoming in July 2015.
 

Adam Harrison LevyDocumentary Film and Journalism

Adam Harrison Levy is a contributing writer for the website Design Observer and a documentary film producer and director.

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Adam Harrison Levy is a contributing writer for the website Design Observer and a documentary film producer and director. He has conducted interviews with Meryl Streep, Chuck Close, Paul Auster, Philip Glass, for the BBC and directed the documentaries Step Right Up and War Machine, both of which aired on the BBC seriesWhite Heat. He was the US Producer for Selling the Sixties: How Madison Avenue Dreamed a Decade and Close Up: Chuck Close.   He wrote the catalogue introduction for the exhibition Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945 at the International Center of Photography and writing has appeared in The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among other publications. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  In 2012 was a Poytner Fellow at Yale University.


Fiction and Nonfiction

Hirsh Sawhney is the author of the forthcoming novel South Haven and editor of the critically acclaimed anthology of original fiction Delhi Noir, published by Akashic Books and HarperIndia.

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Hirsh Sawhney is the author of the forthcoming novel South Haven and editor of the critically acclaimed anthology of original fiction Delhi Noir, published by Akashic Books and HarperIndia. He is a regular contributor to The Times Literary SupplementThe Guardian, and The New York Times Book Review. His writing has also appeared in The Financial TimesThe Indian Express, and numerous anthologies and journals. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Wesleyan.


Pamela DormanPublishing

Pamela Dorman, in her more than twenty-five years at Penguin, Pamela Dorman acquired and edited the multi-million copy #1 bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and The Deep End Of The Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, which was the first selection of the Oprah Book Club, along with many other fiction and non-fiction bestsellers.

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Pamela Dorman, in her more than twenty-five years at Penguin, acquired and edited the multi-million copy #1 bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and The Deep End Of The Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, which was the first selection of the Oprah Book Club, along with many other fiction and non-fiction bestsellers. She founded her eponymous imprint, Pamela Dorman Books, in 2008, where she has focused on the kind of books she has published throughout her career: fiction—especially debut fiction that is both well-written and accessible–character-driven novels propelled by strong storytelling and rich emotional cores. She also publishes upmarket suspense fiction, especially that aimed at women readers. Dorman also publishes the occasional non-fiction title, particularly books that have a distinctive voice and compelling narrative drive, including memoirs, psychology and books geared towards women’s interests.


BijurVickyLiterary Agent

Vicky Bijur started her agency in 1988 after working at Oxford University Press and with the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency.  

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Vicky Bijur started her agency in 1988 after working at Oxford University Press and with the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. She represents fiction and non-fiction. Books she represents have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, in the New York Times Notable Books of the Year, Los Angeles Times Best Fiction of the Year, Washington Post Book World Rave Reviews of the Year, and been nominated for the L.A. Times Book Award as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Three of her mystery writers have won Edgar awards. She has served as president of the AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives), the only organization of literary and dramatic agents in North America. She has been a member of the AAR Royalties Committee since 1993 and is currently Chair of its Ethics Committee. Vicky has been profiled in Poets & Writers and in Literary Agents: A Writer’s Introduction by John Baker (Macmillan).

2015

Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry 

Pamela Erens: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Pamela Erens’ most recent novel, The Virgins, was a New York Times Book Review and Chicago Tribune Editors' Choice and was named a Best Book of 2013 by The New Yorker, The New Republic, Library Journal, and Salon. She is also the author of The Understory, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of literary, cultural, and mainstream publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, The Millions, Aeon, Chicago Review, Boston Review, and New England Review. For many years Pamela was an editor at Glamour magazine. Her third novel, Eleven Hours, will be published by Tin House Books in May 2016.

William Klaber: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

William Klaber is a part-time journalist who lives in upstate New York on a hill overlooking Basket Creek, a short ways upstream from where Lucy Lobdell lived 160 years ago. The old farmhouse that he bought with his wife Jean in 1980 (and where they raised three children) had a history with Lucy’s legend, but he didn’t know that till years later when he sat down with Jack Niflot, a long-time local historian. Jack told him Lucy’s story and showed him a leather satchel filled with recollections and articles about her, gathered over years. What Jack hadn’t found with his searching was the memoir that Lucy had promised. Saying that he no longer felt up to writing a book of his own, Jack handed the satchel to the author. Following the gift of Jack’s research, Klaber made his own effort to find Lucy’s memoir. When nothing came of it, he decided that the finding would have to be by way of echoes and dreams. Mr. Klaber is a graduate of Wesleyan University and is best known for producing the public radio documentary, "The RFK Tapes," and co-authoring the book Shadow Play (St. Martins, 1997). The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is his first foray into fiction.


Karin Lin-Greenberg: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Karin Lin-Greenberg’s story collection, Faulty Predictions, won the 2013 Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction from the University of Georgia Press. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals including The Antioch Review, Bellevue Literary ReviewBerkeley Fiction ReviewEpochFive ChaptersKenyon Review Online, and North American Review. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA from Temple University, an AB from Bryn Mawr College and has been awarded fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught creative writing at Missouri State University, the College of Wooster, and Appalachian State University. Currently, she lives in upstate New York and is an assistant professor in the English Department at Siena College. 


Lisa Reisman: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction

Lisa Reisman is currently a Connecticut freelance reporter whose work has appeared in The Shoreline Times, The New Haven Register, The Middletown Press, Connecticut Magazine, The New Haven Advocate, and Poets & Writers Magazine. She has written copy for The New Yorker and Conde Nast Traveler.  Reisman studied Ancient Greek and Latin at Haverford, Oxford and Yale, and law at the University of Virginia. She practiced law in New York City for four years. A Dean's Fellow at Columbia University's School of the Arts, she has been supported by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and a work study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her first book, 5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours, was published in March 2015.

 

Rebecca Morgan Frank: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of The Spokes of Venus and Little Murders Everywhere, one of the three finalists for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for her next manuscript-in-progress. Her poems, essays, and stories have recently appeared in such places as Ploughshares, New England Review, Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, Literary Imagination, Guernica, 32 Poems, Los Angeles Review of Books, Five Chapters, and Washington Square, and have been reprinted in Best New Poets 2008, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA), Catwalk, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her poems have been set as art song by composers Eric Malmquist and Brian Baxter, as well as by Aaron Stepp, with whom she recently collaborated on a work of digital music as joint fellows at VCCA. Her poem “Caught,” which first appeared in New England Review, has been made into a film by Jay Buim through Motionpoems.





2014

Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction

DAVID JAMES POISSANT: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals: Stories (Simon & Schuster, 2014). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in the New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices anthologies. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

ERIC BURGER: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

 Eric Burger has received fellowships/awards from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Writers at Work.  His poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review Online, Indiana Review, Rattle, Sentence, Phoebe, Best New Poets 2011, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, CutBank, Court Green, Mid-American Review, and Passages North, among others.  He teaches at the University of Colorado and lives in Longmont, CO with his wife Katherine and children Willem and June.

SARAH WILDMAN  Barach Fellow in Nonfiction

Sarah Wildman writes on the intersection of culture and politics, history and memory in Europe and America. Over the last decade, she has lived in and reported from Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Washington, Jerusalem and Berlin. She was the 2010 Peter R. Weitz Prize winner, from the German Marshall Fund, a prize awarded for excellence and originality in European coverage, a 2011 Rockower Award winner from the American Jewish Press Association for commentary, and a 2008 Lowell Thomas Award Winner for travel writing. She is a regular contributor toThe New York TimesThe New Yorker on lineThe Guardian, The Washington Post and Slate, among many others, as well as  a contributing editor at The Forward.  A former New Republic staffer, Wildman's book - Paper Love - for Riverhead/Penguin Press on the lover her grandfather left behind when he fled Vienna is expected Fall 2014.

Wildman has also received numerous grants and competitive fellowships including an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship in Berlin, an American Council on Germany Fellowship in Berlin, a Milena Jesenska Fellowship in Vienna, Austria (the first North American to receive this honor), and a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism (now called the International Reporting Project). Her work in America has focused on our culture wars and how we export them.  In March 2013 she received a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant to report on the future of Jerusalem.  From 2011 through 2014 she has been a visiting scholar at the International Reporting Project, based at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

 

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Fellows in previous years: Amy Bloom, Amanda Davis, Paul LaFarge, Suji Kwok Kim, Bruce Bond, Judy Jordan, G.E.Patterson, Tom Hallman (Pulitzer winner), John D'Agata, Beverly D'Onofrio, Jennifer Haigh, Daniel Handler (author of Lemony Snicket), Wendy Rawlings, Jess Row, Jim Tomlinson, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Ravi Shankar, Alexandra Peers, and Roya Hakakian, Michelle Hoover, Jonathan Thirkield, Alta Ifland, Miranda Kennedy, Irina Reyn, Jeff Jones, Steve Almond.


 2014 Joan Jakobson Fellows 

CINDY WOLFE BOYNTON

Cindy Wolfe Boynton is an award-winning writer and editor whose background includes more than fifteen years as a regular correspondent for the New York Times and nine years as editor of Better Health magazine. Her one-woman plays Right Time to Say I Love You and Dear Prudence both made their premieres at New York City's United Solo Theatre Festival, with Right Time continuing on for performances that took her to Brighton, England, and one of the largest theater festivals in the world. A Connecticut resident, Cindy an English and communications instructor at the Yale School of Medicine and Housatonic Community College, as well as host of the weekly Literary New England Radio Show podcast. She is also the author of two books written for The History Press,  Remarkable Women of Hartford, published this past March, and Connecticut's Witch Trails: The First Panic in the New World, to be released this coming October. 

ALEXANDRIA MARZANO-LESNEVICH

bio coming

 

JILL SISSON QUINN

Jill Sisson Quinn's essays have appeared in Orion, Ecotone, OnEarth, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. Her work has been reprinted in Best American Science and Nature Writing and received special mention in the Pushcart Anthology 2011. She has won the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, the John Burroughs Award for Outstanding Published Nature Essay, a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and a fellowship from the National Science Foundation's Think, Write, Publish program. Her collection of essays on sense of place, titled Deranged, was published by Apprentice House in 2010. She has an M.A. in environmental studies and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction. A regular commentator for Wisconsin Public Radio's Wisconsin Life program, Jill lives and writes in Scandinavia, Wisconsin.

 

ANNITA SAWYER

Annita Sawyer is a psychologist in practice over thirty years, a member of the clinical faculty at Yale. Inspired by her first writers conference (Wesleyan!) in 2003, a gift for her 60th birthday, she has worked to develop herself as a writer. A local writers group, national writers’ conferences, and generous artists' residencies have provided her literary education. She has been awarded scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan Writers Conferences and has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, VCCA, and Hambidge Center for the Arts. Her work has appeared in both literary and professional journals and been included among Notables in Best American Essays. Her book, Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass: A Psychologist’s Memoir, was selected by Lee Gutkind for the 2013 Santa Fe Writers Project nonfiction grand prize. It will be published by SFWP in May 2015.

 

TRACY STRAUSS

Tracy Strauss has published narrative nonfiction and essays in The Huffington PostSalonPoets & Writers MagazineWriter’s Digest Magazine, CognoscentiThe Feminist WireThe DodoThe Southampton ReviewThe Briar Cliff ReviewSolstice Literary MagazineBeyond the Margins, and other publications. She received the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award for her as-yet-unpublished memoir, Notes on Proper Usage. Tracy is a manuscript editor for Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 2nd Draft Critique Service and has taught writing at Boston University, Emerson College, New England Conservatory of Music, Lesley University, Grub Street, and Writer's Digest University, and has been a guest speaker in memoir at Harvard University. She was the 2013-2014 Vice President of Communications & Internship Mentor for the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Boston Chapter, and a judge for the 57th Annual New England Book Show. She is currently at work on a novel.