Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘conferences’

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Desert Nights, Rising Stars: the Arizona State University writing conference

Sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, the 2012 Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference will be held February 23-26 in Tempe.  The conference brings writers of all levels together for four days in Tempe to study fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. This year’s conference faculty includes Sally Ball, Robert Boswell, Bernard Cooper, Denise Duhamel, Carolyn Forche, Pam Houston, Adam Johnson, Mat Johnson, A. Van Jordan,  Antonya Nelson, Alix Ohlin, Jem Poster, Melissa Pritchard, Jeannine Savard, Eleanor Wilner and Xu Xi. Additional guests include: Norman Dubie, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Cynthia Hogue, T.R. Hummer, Tara […]


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By the Numbers

Several months ago, during AWP, a young writer approached the FWR table while I was working the bookfair. He asked about our organization, and I happily launched into my usual pitch about our mission–to promote and support the work of emerging writers, as well as to re-professionalize writing about writing. We chatted a bit about some of the content I was excited we’d soon be publishing on the site, about some of the conference events that he and I had each attended, and so on. It was normal bookfair banter. But when I asked the young man what sort of […]


Essays |

Some Thoughts on Reviewing Poetry in 2011

In the final essay in our series on criticism, Keith Taylor recalls the pleasure of a “chance to review a new collection of poems in a place where several thousand people might read it, and to actually be paid something for our labors.” Has the Internet created room for “a more expansive tone to the discussion of contemporary poetry” – or made an already diminishing realm more clubby? Taylor’s experience as both poet and reviewer reveals the shaping potential of creating art and criticism.


Essays |

An Education in Book Reviews

Third in our series on criticism, Stacey D’Erasmo’s essay tackles the misconception that reviewing “is, at best, a career opportunity and, at worst, a distasteful and potentially troublesome task best avoided.” In particular, she addresses the fact that the culture of the MFA program may have steered fiction writers away from the craft of reviewing. Yet she urges us to remember that many of our greatest writers were also critics who engaged in the vigorous cultural conversation that centers on books. And that it’s not only necessary for us to revive this discussion, but also a pleasure to be involved.


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AWP in photos

This week we’re revisiting the 2011 AWP Conference in more ways than one. Yesterday we posted Jeremiah Chamberlin’s introductory talk for the AWP panel he moderated, “The Good Review: Criticism in the Age of Book Blogs and Amazon.com.” This morning, we posted Charles Baxter‘s discussion of “Owl Criticism” from the same panel. Stay tuned for two more essays by the panelists Stacey D’Erasmo (tomorrow) and Keith Taylor (Friday). Seeing so many contributors, and connecting with writers, teachers, publishers, agents and lit journals who share our enthusiasm for FWR, was amazing. It also reminded us of the vital role you, dear […]


Essays |

The Good Review

Earlier this month, Editor Jeremiah Chamberlin moderated a panel on criticism at the 2011 AWP Conference entitled “The Good Review: Criticism in the Age of Book Blogs and Amazon.com.” Joining him were Charles Baxter, Stacey D’Erasmo, Gemma Sieff, and Keith Taylor. In this essay, adapted from his talk at that panel, he discusses why liking a book should have nothing to do with a review, and how this thoughts on criticism have changed since running an independent bookstore.


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Reminder: Sozopol Fiction Seminar Deadline February 15th

Each year the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation selects five native English speaking (NES) writers and five Bulgarian writers to participate in the Sozopol Fiction Seminar, which takes places in the tiny, historic town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea. In 2009 I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the NES fellows. Joining me were Kodi Scheer, Lana Santoni, Maya Sloan, and now contributing editor Steven Wingate. For one week we lived together, shared meals together, discussed writing together, and discovered the odd similarities in our work and our lives. It was, in a word, amazing. And now […]


Essays |

The 2010 Sozopol Fiction Seminar

Each spring the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation selects five English speaking writers and five Bulgarian writers to participate in the Sozopol Fiction Seminar, which takes places in the tiny, historic town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea. Four of the 2010 English speaking fellows–Kelly Luce, Carin Clevidence, Charles Conley, and Paul Vidich–collaborate on a group portrait of their experience at this year’s seminar.




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