|38th annual Writers Conference focuses on "Writing the Body"|
“Writing the Body” is the theme of the 38th Annual University of North Dakota Writers Conference, March 27-31. Most of the events take place in the Memorial Union.
Miller Williams, only the fourth person selected as an inaugural poet by a United States president (Bill Clinton in 1996), will be the UND Presidential Lecturer. Other featured artists attending the conference include: Stuart Dybek, Mary Gaitskill, Anne Harris, Li-Young Lee, Timothy Liu, Leslie Adrienne Miller, and Michelle Richmond.
Heidi Czerwiec (English) and Liz Harris-Behling (English) are the new co-directors of what has been called North Dakota’s premier cultural event.
“(The body) is something that I’ve been writing a lot about and I’ve been noticing in other people’s writing,” said Czerwiec. “We’re looking at the body as subject, whether it is gender, sex, etc., but also a lot of writers use the body as part of the subjective experience.”
Their fundraiser letter makes the case:
“The UND Writers Conference has become increasingly successful over the past decade and now stands as one of the best literary events in the United States. Writers from around the world are honored to be invited to participate because they have heard of our conference and know its stellar reputation. Because of the conference’s success, between 600 and 1,000 people attend conference events everyday for four days. Hundreds of these people travel to Grand Forks exclusively to attend the conference, making use of the town’s amenities and contributing to its economic growth.
“Of course, we are unique because we are free and open to the public. Most conferences of our stature require heavy registration fees and are thus limited to those who can afford such a luxury. We are quite proud of the fact that we have never allowed that to happen with our conference – that we remain completely available to anyone who wants to come.”
Although UND provides more than 50 percent of the budget, Harris-Behling and Czerwiec still need to come up with another $25,000-$35,000 annually to supplement university funding and to add to the UND Writers Conference endowment, which also helps fund the conference.
To find out more about how to make a donation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All Writers Conference events are free and open to the public. Here’s a look at the schedule (which can be found at http://www.und.edu/org/writers/index.html ):
Tuesday, March 27:
4 p.m. -- Reading Panel, Minnesota State University-Moorhead (MFA);
7 p.m.-- Presidential Lecture: Miller Williams, UND Memorial Union Ballroom Reception and opening of exhibit "Beyond Likeness" to follow at the North Dakota Museum of Art.
The art exhibit “Beyond Likeness,” is at the North Dakota Museum of Art March 27 and showcases the figurative work of Lalla Essaydi, Anne Harris, Elizabeth King, and Jennifer Onofrio. The opening of the exhibition, curated by Laurel Reuter, coincides with the University of North Dakota Writers Conference, “Writing the Body”.
Wednesday, March 28:
10-11:30 a.m. -- Public Readings
Noon -- Panel: "The Metaphorical Body" Miller Williams, Li-Young Lee, Michelle Richmond, Anne Harris, moderated by Darin Kerr
2 p.m.-- Film: They Might Be Giants, Directed by Anthony Harvey, 98 minutes
4 p.m.-- Reading: Timothy Liu
5:45 p.m.-- Film: Mysterious Skin, Directed by Gregg Araki, 99 minutes
8 p.m.-- Reading: Stuart Dybek
Thursday, March 29:
10 a.m.-- Public Readings
Noon -- Panel: "The Body Politic" Miller Williams, Timothy Liu, Stuart Dybek, moderated by Adam Kitzes
2 p.m.-- Film: La Jetée, Directed by Chris Marker, 28 minutes
4 p.m.-- Reading: Michelle Richmond
5:45 p.m.-- Film: The Pillow Book, Directed by Peter Greenaway, 126 minutes
8 p.m.-- Reading/Conversation: Li-Young Lee (held in the Josephine Campbell Recital Hall at the Hughes Fine Arts Center)
Friday, March 30:
10 a.m.-- Public Readings
Noon -- Panel: "The Sexual Body" Timothy Liu, Mary Gaitskill, Stuart Dybek, Leslie Adrienne Miller, moderated by Yvette Koepke
2 p.m.-- Film: Love Serenade, Directed by Shirley Barrett, 101 minutes
4 p.m.-- Reading/Slide Show Presentation: Historical Medical Images, Leslie Adrienne Miller
5:45 p.m.-- Film: Little Otik, Directed by Jan Svankmajer, 132 minutes
8 p.m.-- Reading: Mary Gaitskill
Saturday, March 30
10 a.m.-- Community Writers Workshop
Noon -- Emerging writers reading
Miller Williams (Presidential speaker) is a distinguished American contemporary poet, as well as an essayist, fiction writer, translator, and editor. He has authored more than 25 books of poetry, criticism, fiction, and literature in translation, including "Living on the Surface" (1990), "Patterns of Poetry: An Encyclopedia of Forms" (1996), "The Ways We Touch" (1997), "Some Jazz a While" (1999), and "Making a Poem: Some Thoughts About Poetry and the People Who Write It" (2006). In 1997, he was President Clinton's inaugural poet.
Stuart Dybek's short-story collections include "Childhood and Other Neighborhoods" (1980), "The Coast of Chicago" (1990), and most recently, "I Sailed with Magellan" (2004), which was named a New York Times Notable Book. He also has two collections of poems: "Brass Knuckles" (1979) and "Streets in Their Own Ink" (2004). He has received the 1994 Academy Institute Award in Fiction, the 1995 PEN/Bernard Malamud Prize, the 1998 Lannan Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Writers' Award, four O. Henry Awards, and his work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Poetry.
Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels "Two Girls, Fat and Thin" and "Veronica," as well as the story collections "Bad Behavior" and "Because They Wanted To," which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner in 1998. Her story "Secretary" was the basis for the feature film of the same name. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories.
A figurative painter and drawer who often does self portraits, Anne Harris uses the form, as she puts it, “to show and hide” herself: “I want my paintings and drawings to function as my skin does, shifting from tense to loose, dry to wet, lovely to ugly.” She views drawing as a way to investigate and discover; the pencil, for her, touches and moves across what she draws. “That touch,” she says, “can be soft and slow or aggressive, depending on my mood, but as I touch form, form appears.”
Li-Young Lee has written several poetry collections including "Rose" (1986, New York University's Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award), "The City in Which I Love You" (1990, Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets), and "Book of My Nights" (2001). His memoir, "The Winged Seed: A Remembrance" (1995), received an American Book Award from The Before Columbus Foundation, and a collection of interviews with Lee, "Breaking the Alabaster Jar," was released in 2006. Lee's father was personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China; in 1959, after spending 19 months as a political prisoner in President Sukarno's jails, Lee's father fled Indonesia with his family to escape anti-Chinese sentiment. Between 1959 and 1964 the Lee family traveled through Hong Kong and Japan before settling in the United States.
Poet Timothy Liu’s first book of poems, "Vox Angelica" (1992), received the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His other books are "Burnt Offerings" (1995), "Say Goodnight" (1998), "Hard Evidence" (2001), "Of Thee I Sing" (2004), selected as a 2004 Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and "For Dust Thou Art" (2005).
"The Resurrection Trade," Leslie Adrienne Miller's fifth full-length collection of poems, was published by Graywolf Press in February 2007. Her previous collections include "Eat Quite Everything You See" (2002), "Yesterday Had a Man In It" (1998), "Ungodliness" (1994), and "Staying Up For Love" (1990), as well as several chapbooks of poems, "No River," chosen by William Stafford as the winner of the Stanley Hanks Chapbook Award from St. Louis Poetry Center, and "Hanging on the Sunburned Arm of Some Homeboy" (Domino Impressions Press, 1982). Her poems have also appeared in many magazines and anthologies including American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, and Ploughshares.
Michelle Richmond is the author of the story collection "The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress" (2001), which won the Associated Writing Programs Award, and the novel "Dream of the Blue Room" (2003). Her new novel, "The Year of Fog," will be released in spring 2007. Her stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer Train, Playboy, the Mid-American Review, Salon.com, and 7x7, among other journals.
The Community Writers Workshop is the fiction workshop that will examine different writing styles in an attempt to identify the best strategy for specific literary needs. Participants will get a chance to introduce their work, ideas, goals, aspirations, plans, and artistic concerns.
Sponsors for the conference include: Barnes & Noble UND Bookstore, The Charlotte B. Lewis Trust, Fine Print of Grand Forks, Inc., Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Grand Forks Herald, High Plains Reader, Hilton Garden Inn, North Dakota Council on the Arts, North Dakota Humanities Council, North Dakota Museum of Art, North Valley Arts Council, Red River Valley Writing Project, Rite Spot Liquor, Conlin's Furniture, The Ten Percent Society, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, University of North Dakota Foundation, President’s Office, School of Medicine, Women’s Center, Richard A. Brandt, Dr. Joanne Gaul, Daniel J. Howell, Dr. and Mrs. John T. Martsolf, Mike Meyer, Lynn D. Middleton-Koller, Karen T. Miller, Dr. Patrick and RoxAnne Moore, SuEllen A. Okeson, Rhonda-Lee and Michael Poellot, Elizabeth Rankin and Tom Steen, Jennifer Tarlin, Cecilia Volden, Margaret M. Zidon. -- English.