Dan Chaon is the author of the novel You Remind Me of Me, a national bestseller, and the short story collection Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition, it was listed as one of the ten best books of 2001 by The American Library Association, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and Entertainment Weekly. It was also cited by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of the best books of the year. Chaon’s stories have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories for 1996 and 2003; Prize Stories 2001: The O. Henry Awards, and The Pushcart Prize for 2000, 2002, and 2003. His work has been translated into ten languages. He is, most recently, the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with his wife and two sons, and teaches at Oberlin College.
Laura Kasischke has published four novels, most recently Be Mine (Harcourt, 2007). Her novel, The Life Before Her Eyes, is presently being produced as a feature film starring Uma Thurman. She has also published a novel for young adults. She has published work in Harpers, The New Republic, The Iowa Review, and Ploughshares. She is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes. Kasischke is also the author of five books of poetry, most recently Dance and Disappear (Juniper Prize, 2002). Her poetry has received many honors, including the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Beatrice Hawley Award. She teaches at the University of Michigan.
Antonya Nelson is the author of five story collections, including Some Fun, and three novels (Talking in Bed, Nobody’s Girl, and Living to Tell). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and in Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. The New Yorker named her one of the “twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium.” Michael Chabon said of Nelson, “I scan the tables of contents of magazines, looking for Antonya Nelson’s name, hoping that she has decided to bless us again. She’s absolutely one of my favorites among story writers today, and I envy the reader who has yet to discover her work.”
Christopher Tilghman is the author of the novels Roads of the Heart (2004) and Mason’s Retreat and of two story collections: The Way People Run and In a Father’s Place, which was called “the debut of the year” by The New York Times. His stories have appeared in Best American Stories, The New Yorker, and in other magazines. He is a tenured professor at the University of Virginia, where he teaches creative writing, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award. This year marks his seventh appearance at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.
Elizabeth Alexander’s most recent collection of poems, American Sublime, was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. Her other books of poetry are Antebellum Dream Book, Body of Life, and The Venus Hottentot. Also a scholar of African-American literature and culture, she has published a book of essays, The Black Interior. Alexander is the inaugural recipient of the Jackson Poetry Prize. The $50,000 prize honors an American poet of exceptional talent who has published at least one book of recognized literary merit but has not yet received major national acclaim. Her short stories and critical prose have been widely published in such periodicals and journals as Signs, The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The Village Voice, The Women’s Review of Books, and The Washington Post, and her poems are widely anthologized. Among her many honors and awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, the George Kent Award, and the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship for work that “contributes to improving race relations in American society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.” Formerly the Grace Hazard Conkling Poet-in-Residence and first director of the Poetry Center at Smith College, she is currently Professor of African-American Studies at Yale University.
Stephen Dunn is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, including Different Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, and Loosestrife, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist in 1996. A new book of poems, Everything Else in the World, was issued by W.W. Norton in September 2006. Other books include New & Selected Poems: 1974-1994, Landscape at the End of the Century, Between Angels, Riffs & Reciprocities: Prose Pairs, and Walking Light: Memoirs and Essays on Poetry. He is the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts & Letters and many other awards and grants, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, but spends most of his time in Frostburg, Maryland, with his wife, the writer Barbara Hurd.
Jane Hirshfield is the author of six collections of poetry, including After (which was shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and also chosen as one of the best books of 2006 by both the Washington Post and the London Financial Times); Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award), The Lives of the Heart, and The October Palace, as well as a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. She also edited and co-translated The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, and Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems. Her other honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University’s Translation Center Award; and the Commonwealth Club of California’s Poetry Medal. In 2004,she was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American Poets.
David St. John
David St. John is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently The Face: A Novella in Verse. Other collections include Prism, The Red Leaves of Night, In the Pines: Lost Poems 1972-1997, and Study for the World’s Body: New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, both the Rome Fellowship in Literature and an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Jr. Prize from The Folger Shakespeare Library, and a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation. He is Professor of English at the University of Southern California.
Robert Boswell, Guest Lecturer
Robert Boswell is the author of seven works of fiction including Century’s Son and Mystery Ride, a cyberpunk novel (Virtual Death), a prize-winning play (Tongues), and a forthcoming book of essays on writing (The Half-Known World). He has received two NEA Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous prizes for his fiction. His stories appear in Esquire, The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, and in many literary magazines. He teaches at New Mexico State University, the University of Houston, and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.