Stonecoast at #AWP15

Are your bags packed? Have you gotten dizzy looking at the conference schedule yet? We are just days away from the 2015 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference in Minneapolis and the Stonecoast MFA Program will be there!

First, if you are new to the conference, here are a few helpful links:

Some describe AWP as the annual pilgrimage for writers or people in the industry of creative writing. We like to think of it as a time to connect with new writers and reconnect with old friends.

Review the schedule in advance and pick one or two “absolute-must-see” events per day to make sure you can fit it all in. And be sure to show up a few minutes early, sometimes the popular events fill up fast!

Also, check the Author Signings Schedule to meet some of your favorite writers.

Visit with the many writing programs across the country as well as literary journals and magazines, and of course, come visit us! We’ll be at the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast MFA Booth #1038 

When the panels are done for the day, stay inspired with the AWP Offsite Events. Attend reading, receptions, and mini-festivals around Minneapolis.

 If you will be attending AWP, whether this is your first time, or your seventh, we want to connect with you. Here are the opportunities to connect with Stonecoast alumni and faculty at #AWP15:

 Attend these Stonecoast Panels

Event Title: The Life of Poetry & Muriel Rukeyser

Scheduled Day: 4/10/2015

Scheduled Time: 10:30:PM – 11:45:AM

Scheduled Room: Auditorium Room #2, Level #1

Panelists: Jen Benka, Jan Freeman, Dennis Nurkse, and Tim Seibles (faculty). Moderator: Renee Olander (alum)

This panel of five poets explores and discusses approaches to teaching poetry using Muriel Rukeyser’s 1949 classic The Life of Poetry as a foundational text. Dimensions of our discussion include attending to the fear of poetry, writing, and reading poetry in times of political conflict, and the practical uses of poetry. As teachers, publishers, and practitioners of poetry, we address how to incorporate The Life of Poetry—including its radicalassertions and wide-ranging interrogation of public life—into workshops and other courses.

Event Title: Writers of Color Moving Beyond the Boundaries of Our Communities: A VONA/Voices Writers Panel

Scheduled Day: 4/10/2015

Scheduled Time: 12:00:PM – 01:15:PM

Scheduled Room: Room 101 F&G, Level 1

Panelists: David Mura (faculty), Tara Betts, Frank Wilderson, Elmaz Abinader, Marissa Johnson-Valenzeula

The VONA/Voices workshop fosters dialogues and learning between writers of color from different communities.  This panel will examine how such interactions are shifting our sense of the canon, complicating our histories and identities, exposing blinds spots within our communities, and connecting our writing to the contexts of global literature and politics.  In the process, we will be mapping a course for American literature in the 21st Century.

Event Title: You’ve Been Telling Me You Were a Genius Since You Were 17: Five Writers Reel In Their Earliest (and Often Embarrassing) Efforts

Scheduled Day: 4/10/2015

Scheduled Time: 04:30:PM – 05:45:PM

Scheduled Room: Room 208 C&D, Level 2

Panelists: Matthew Quinn Martin (alum), Libby Cudmore (alum), Suzanne Strempek Shea (faculty), Elizabeth Searle (faculty), Donna Minkowitz

Before the novels, the memoirs, the scripts and the awards, there were the schoolyard love poems, the fanfiction and the Mead-notebook revenge fantasies involving the bully down the street and a shark. These early musings directly informed the writers we would become, and five brave authors will discuss and share their unedited, unfiltered first steps, culminating with a live performance of Elizabeth Searle’s walkie-talkie radio drama, What A Way to Live.

Event Title: Beyond Lake Wobegon: Minnesota Writers of Color

Scheduled Day: 4/11/2015

Scheduled Time: 09:00:AM – 10:15:AM

Scheduled Room: Room 101 F&G, Level 1

Panelists: David Mura (faculty), Alexs Pate (faculty), Ed Bok Lee, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Susan Powers

This reading/panel addresses the question: How does a culture change its portrait of itself?  Minnesota writers of color explore a very different cultural landscape than the common clichéd images of the state.  These writers of color examine the lives not only of their own communities but the complex interactions between communities of color.  Stemming from the struggles of our communities, a strong activism also characterizes writers of color here.

Event Title: “Photographic” Memory, Why all Memoirists Tell Imperfect Truths

Scheduled Day: 4/11/2015

Scheduled Time: 04:30:PM – 05:45:PM

Scheduled Room: Room M100 A, Mezzanine Level

Panelists: Helen Peppe (alum), Sue William Silverman, Suzanne Strempek Shea (faculty), and Ann Hood

We always hear memoirists talk about truth and the importance of telling it, but memories are, in part, determined by how we perceive the world, which is defined by who we are at that moment in place and time. In this presentation we will discuss the importance of family and individuality, and we will view photographs that illustrate the impossibility of being able to tell a perfect truth based on personal memory, and we will discuss the difference between complete honesty and incomplete truth.

Attend these Stonecoast Readings

Ellen Meerpol (alumna) will read and sign books at Magers and Quinn Bookstore, 3038 Hennepin Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55408. Sunday, April 12, 2:00pm.

Stonecoast MFA Alumni, Student and Faculty Reception

Readers will include: Helen Peppe, Libby Cudmore, Cynthia Kraack, Kristin LaTour, Matthew Quinn Martin, and Ellen Meeropol. Thursday, April April 9, 6:30-8:00pm, Room 207 B, Level 2, Minneapolis Convention Center & Hilton Minneapolis Hotel.

And whether you’re attending #AWP15 or not, connect with us on social media. We’ll be tweeting from the conference!

Twitter: @stonecoasttweet #stonecoast





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