Author Archives: Catherine

Catherine is the conference's media and events manager.

Faculty Profile: Crossing Borders with Forrest Gander

Born in California’s Mojave desert with roots in the South, schooled in Virginia and California, now living in Rhode Island, but frequently traveling abroad: Forrest Gander’s itinerant physical existence is mirrored in his writing, which travels widely. Gander has authored 12 books of poetry, a novel, a book of essays, and a “hybrid book,” and […]

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NaNoWriMo: Significance Beyond the Purple Bar

It’s the first of November already, and across the land thousands of NaNoWrimo participants are feverishly writing their first 1,666-word installment — the magic number to attain daily if they’re to complete a 50,000-word novel by month’s end. The appeal of NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) is simple and potent: Participants pledge to […]

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It’s book season!

Here in Wine Country, most associate autumn with the grape harvest. But we at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference are celebrating a different bounty — the wealth of local literary festivals this month and next, often featuring Napa faculty, attendees and staff. The word harvest began with last weekend’s Petaluma Poetry Walk, which gave participants […]

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Meet the 2011 Faculty: Jane Hirshfield

Poet, essayist, teacher, translator: Jane Hirshfield’s writing persona is multi-faceted, her body of work diverse. But if there is a unifying element in her pursuits, it lies in her formative experience as a student of Zen Buddhism, which has guided her writing and led to her engagement with not only the Western canon but with […]

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Meet the 2011 faculty: Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang was born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Chinese immigrant parents. Growing up, she experienced both the Chinese cultural traditions her family upheld and Midwestern sensibilities — a contrast that honed Chang’s powers of observation and yen for writing. In an interview on the Penguin Web site, she says: … our family […]

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Meet the 2011 faculty: Major Jackson

Our last faculty profile described how Adam Haslett’s law school studies have informed his work. Like Haslett, poet Major Jackson has a white-collar profession in his past: accounting. Yes, accounting. In fact, his first job in the arts was as a number cruncher, he told Identity Theory. “I started work at the Painted Bride Art […]

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Meet the 2011 faculty: Adam Haslett

The beginning of Adam Haslett’s literary career is the stuff of fiction writers’ dreams: An undergraduate degree at Swarthmore, where he worked with novelist Jonathan Franzen; a year-long fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center; an MFA from the University of Iowa; and a debut short story collection, 2002’s You Are Not a Stranger […]

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Meet the 2011 faculty: Daniel Alarcón

New conference faculty member Daniel Alarcón was born in Lima, Peru. When he was three, he and his family moved to Birmingham, Alabama. He was educated in the United States, returned to Peru on a Fulbright scholarship, and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He’s currently both a visiting scholar at the University of California at […]

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Meet the 2011 Faculty: David St. John

Poet David St. John is a California native who has roved in the course of his literary career from Fresno to Iowa to Ohio to Baltimore before returning to the West Coast, where [he teaches at the University of Southern California]( In his nine volumes of poetry, a similarly roving, restless sensibility emerges — one […]

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Meet the 2011 Faculty: Michelle Huneven

We’re excited to welcome back faculty member Michelle Huneven, who last joined us at the conference in 2006. Huneven hails from the Los Angeles area, which is stereotypically associated with mass media entertainment rather than literary fiction. But in her works, Huneven infuses the sprawling landscape with gravitas. Her novels _Round Rock_ (1997), _Jamesland_ (2003) […]

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