Wesleyan Writers Conference

Anne Greene

Wesleyan Writers Conference Address:
Downey House
294 High Street, Room 207
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT 06459

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2019 Faculty and Speakers 

Sarah Moon Steve Almond Salvatore Scibona Amy Bloom
Honor Moore Lis Harris Joseph J. Fins MD Courtney Maum
Hirsh Sawhney Paul Morris Libby Flores William Finnegan

Keynote Speaker

Amy Bloom AMY BLOOM Author of two New York Times best-sellers and three collections of short stories, a children’s book and a ground-breaking collection of essays. She’s been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, O Magazine and Vogue, among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award for Fiction. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages.

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She has written many pilot scripts, for cable and network, and she created, wrote and ran the excellent, short-lived series State of Mind, starring Lili Taylor. She lives in Connecticut and is now Wesleyan University’s Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing.(http://www.amybloom.com/about/)

Novel and Short Story

Salvatore ScibonaSALVATORE SCIBONA - Salvatore Scibona's first novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award. He has won fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as a Whiting Writers' Award.  His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space, and Harper's and has won a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Award.

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In 2010 the New Yorker named him one of its "20 Under 40" writers to watch. He is the Sue Ann and John Weinberg Director of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. His new novel, The Volunteer, will be published in 2019.


Honor MooreHONOR MOORE is the author of three poetry collections: Red ShoesDarling, and Memoir as well as 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 a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. 

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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.


Literary Journalism & Memoir

Lis HarrisLIS HARRIS was a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1970 to 1995 and is the forthcoming Chair of the Writing Department of Columbia University’s School of the Arts. In addition to innumerable articles, reviews and commentaries, she is the author of Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Rules of Engagement: Four American Marriages, and Tilting at Mills. A two-time Woodrow Wilson Lila Acheson Wallace Fellowship recipient, she has been awarded grants from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Fund for the City of New York, and the Rockefeller Fund.


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Her work has been widely anthologized, most recently in The Stories We Tell: Classic True Tales by America’s Greatest Women Journalists. Her latest book, In Jerusalem: Three Generations of an Israeli Family and a Palestinian Family, a work she researched for over a decade, will be released in September 2019.

William Finnegan is the author of Cold New World, A Complicated War, Dateline Soweto, Crossing the Line, and Barbarian Days. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, he lives in Manhattan.

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (Tin House Books, 2019), Touch (Putnam, 2017), and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You (Touchstone, 2014), and the handbook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, forthcoming from Catapult in 2020. read more

Her writing has been widely published in such outlets as BuzzFeed; the New York TimesO, the Oprah Magazine; and Modern Loss. She is the founder of the learning collaborative, The Cabins, and also works as a product and cosmetic shade namer from her home in Connecticut.

Her website is courtneymaum.com.

Libby Flores is a 2008 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Post Road Magazine, Tin House The Open Bar, The Guardian, The Rattling Wall, Paper Darts, Bridge Eight, FLASH: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the former Director of Literary Programs at PEN Center USA (now PEN America LA). She was the Director of the Believer Festival in 2018 and is the NYC Director of the Freya Project.

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She is now the Director of Audience Development at BOMB magazine. Libby holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. She lives in Brooklyn, but will always be a Texan. More info at libbyflores.com

Paul W. Morris serves as Vice President of Membership and Outreach at the Authors Guild. He also oversees operations for the storytelling cabaret and literary nonprofit House of SpeakEasy Foundation as its Strategic Director. Formerly, he was Director of Literary Programs at PEN America. He has held positions as a book editor at Viking Penguin and managing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, as well as at Entertainment Weekly and several other publications.read more
From 2004 to 2011, he oversaw digital strategy, cultural programs, and partnerships at BOMB Magazine, where he was General Manager. His writing has appeared in several anthologies, and his essay on Hermann Hesse was included as the introduction to a recent translation of Siddhartha. He sits on advisory councils for the Brooklyn Book Festival, Lit Crawl NYC, and National Book Foundation.

Sarah Moon is a teacher, writer, and translator. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-editor of The Letter Q, a young adult anthology. Sparrow is her first young adult novel.

Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP is the E. William Davis, Jr, MD Professor of Medical Ethics and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he also serves as Professor of Medicine, Professor of Health Care Policy and Research, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. He is the founding chair of the Ethics Committee of New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center where he is an attending physician and Director of Medical Ethics.

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Dr. Fins co-directs the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury (CASBI) and is an adjunct faculty member and senior attending physician at the Rockefeller University and Rockefeller University Hospital. The author of over 250 publications, Fins is a co-author of the landmark 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state. He is an elected Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Academico de Honor of the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain.

Hirsh Sawhney is the author of a novel, South Haven, which was a 2016 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick and has been nominated for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. His writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, the Indian Express, the Financial Times, Outlook, and numerous other periodicals. His story "The Diary of Rehan Malhotra" was recently published as an e-book by Juggernaut Books. Hirsh is the editor of Delhi Noir, a critically-acclaimed anthology of original fiction. He is an advisory editor at Wasafiri, a magazine of international writing based out of the Open University.
He has spoken at the Kennedy Center, London's National Portrait Gallery, and the 92nd Street Y. He was formerly a Spanish translator for the Indpendent Press Association of New York and also ran adult education program serving undocumented workers in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. He currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut and teaches at Wesleyan University.

Steve Almond - Steve Almond is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His new book, Bad Stories, "is a literary investigation of what the hell just happened to our country. He wrote it to keep from going crazy."

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He hosts the New York Times Dear Sugars podcast with his pal, Cheryl Strayed.

His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series.



Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Erin Almond
Allison Manuel
Daniel Horowitz



Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Na Zhong: Teaching Fellow in Fiction
Chris Ciarmiello: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction
M.K. Foster: Teaching Fellow in Poetry
J.J. Starr: Teaching Fellow in Poetry



Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Elizabeth Poliner: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Elizabeth Poliner's new novel, As Close to Us as Breathing, has been named an Amazon Best Book for March 2016.  She is also the author of Mutual Life & Casualty, a novel in stories, and Sudden Fog, a chapbook of poems. Her stories and poems have been published in literary journals nationwide, and her awards include numerous individual artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ conferences, and residencies at Yaddo and the Virginia Center in the Creative Arts.

Catina Bacote: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction

Catina Bacote’s nonfiction has appeared in The Gettysburg ReviewThe Sun, The Common, Heart & Soul, The Southern California Review, and Trace: Transcultural Styles + Ideas. She wrote a companion guide to the documentary Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Catina holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was admitted as a Dean’s Fellow and subsequently served as the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. She is a professor of creative writing at Warren Wilson College.

Kathryn Nuernberger: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Kathryn Nuernberger was born in St. Louis,  Missouri, on August 1, 1980. She earned a BA from the University of Missouri, an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and a PhD from Ohio University.

Nuernberger is the author of The End of Pink (forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2016), which received the 2015 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, given to recognize a superior second book of poetry by an American poet. She is also the author of Rag & Bone, which won the Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press and was published in 2011.

Her honors include fellowships from The American Antiquarian Society and The Bakken Museum. Nuernberger teaches creative writing at the University of Central Missouri, where she also serves as the director of Pleiades Press. She lives in Columbia, Missouri.


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, 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.



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, 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.


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.