Participant Spotlight: Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora’s first full-length collection, Unaccompanied, debuted in September of 2017 with the kind of fanfare most poets only dream of. But he remembers when, just seven years earlier, he attended the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference as a novice. “I was 20 years old, a sophomore in college, and someone there  believed in me enough […]

Participant Spotlight: Vanessa Hua

Vanessa Hua’s debut collection of short stories, Deceit and Other Possibilities, was published late last month — just over a decade after Hua workshopped one of the volume’s stories at the conference. Deceit and Other Possibilities won the Grand Prize for Prose in the Willow Books Literature Awards competition. O, The Oprah Magazine calls the […]

Participant Spotlight: Catherine Abbey Hodges

We were delighted to learn Catherine Abbey Hodges accorded us the honor of an acknowledgement in her collection, Instead of Sadness, which was published last year by Gunpowder Press as the inaugural winner of the Barry Spacks Poetry Prize. Why the conference mention in her book? In the four times Hodges attended the conference since […]

Participant spotlight: Daphne Larkin

If you’ve attended the conference any time in the last decade, Daphne Larkin‘s face is likely familiar to you. Not only has she been a fiction participant several times, but she’s a supporter, community housing host, and frequent attendee of evening readings during conference week. Larkin’s life in writing was featured in the 5-MINUTE MEMOIR […]

John Leggett / November 11, 1917 – January 25, 2015

Program Director Anne Evans authored this tribute.  Jack Leggett at the 2014 conference. (Photo by Mary Shea) John Leggett, or Jack as we all knew him, was co-founder and Program Director of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference from 1987 until his passing last Sunday at age 97. Jack loved to tell the story of meeting […]

Meet the 2014 Faculty: Justin Torres

This profile was penned by Angela Pneuman, who will introduce Justin at the conference’s opening reading July 27, and who will appear on our “First Books” panel for conference participants. Her first novel, Lay It on My Heart, was released July 1.     Justin Torres’ bestselling novel, We the Animals, is a raw, devastating, […]

Meet the 2014 Faculty: Brian Teare

A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Brian Teare is the recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts and the American Antiquarian Society. He’s the author of four full-length books, The Room Where I Was Born, Sight Map, the Lambda-Award-winning Pleasure, […]

Meet the 2014 Faculty: Welcome Back, Ayana Mathis

Assistant Fiction Director Patrick Vogelpohl penned this profile of Ayana Mathis. Before Ayana Mathis earned praise for her debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, she was a standout student at the 2011 Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. “She was clearly a gifted and exciting writer who came to us as she was finishing up her […]

Meet the 2014 Faculty: Kazim Ali

Assistant Poetry Director Iris Dunkle interviewed poet Kazim Ali for the journal Chautauqua in 2012. In the excerpt below, they discuss history, place and their intersection. You may read the full interview in PDF format or visit the journal Web site for further info.   Note: Kazim Ali and I met at the Crooker Art […]

Meet the 2014 faculty: Brenda Hillman

Poetry Assistant Iris Dunkle penned this profile. Returning to our faculty this year is the highly esteemed poet, Brenda Hillman. Hillman has been on the faculty at Napa Valley Writers’ Conference for over two decades and anyone who has had the distinct pleasure of working with her in a workshop setting has left with a […]