The 2020 Napa Valley Writers’ Conference faculty members in fiction, poetry, and translation are listed below.

You may also peruse the full list of visiting faculty and speakers from 1981 to the present.


Victoria ChangVictoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s poetry books include OBIT (2020), Barbie Chang, The Boss, Salvinia Molesta, and Circle. Her children’s books include the New York Times Notable Book Is Mommy?, illustrated by Marla Frazee, and Love, Love, a middle grade novel. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and many other awards, she lives in Los Angeles and is the Program Chair of Antioch’s Low-Residency MFA Program.

brenda hillmanBrenda Hillman

Brenda Hillman is the author of ten full-length collections, the most recent of which are Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, which received the International Griffin Poetry Prize for 2014, and Extra Hidden Life, among the Days (2018), which received the Northern California Book Award. Among Hillman’s other honors are the William Carlos Williams Prize from Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Currently a Chancellor at the Academy of American Poets, Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College in Moraga California where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry.

Brian Teare

Brian Teare is the author of six critically-acclaimed books, the most recent of which, Doomstead Days, was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. His honors include Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards, and fellowships from the NEA, the Pew Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia and makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day, from Copper Canyon in Fall 2019, as well as Why Poetry, a book of prose. He is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-7 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine. He teaches in the MFA and English Department at Saint Mary’s College of California.


Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author, most recently, of There’s Something I Want You to Do, published in February, 2015; his new novel, The Sun Collective, will be published in early 2021. He has published six other works of fiction, including the novel The Feast of Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000. He has received the Award of Merit in the Short Story and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rea Award in the Short Story in 2012. His fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories seven times and eleven times in The Pushcart Prize Anthology. He is currently the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota.

Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost (2010), Inheritance (2004), and Hunger (1998). Her works have also appeared in Ploughshares, The Atlantic, and Best American Short Stories. Chang’s work was nominated for the PEN Center USA West Award and the PEN/Hemingway Literature Prize. She received the Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships from Stanford, and the Teaching-Writing fellowship and Michener-Copernicus fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as well as fellowships from Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2005, Chang became the fifth director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer is working on a novel about Reconstruction and the Buffalo Soldiers. She is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere and has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GRANTA, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, and other magazines and journals. She was selected as one of The New Yorker’s “Best 20 Under 40” American writers and GRANTA’s Best Young American Novelists. She was most recently selected for 100 Years of Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim, a Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Rona Jaffe Award, and was a Hutchins Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. She teaches at Harvard University.

Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. The most recent, Improvement, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.  She also received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.  Her previous book, Fools, was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.  The Size of the World was a finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and Ideas of Heaven was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize.  She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.


Robert Hass

Robert Hass is a poet, translator and essayist, whose collection Time and Materials was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He has co-translated many volumes of the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz and is the author or editor of several other collections of essays and translations, including The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa; Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry; and Now & Then: The Poet’s Choice Columns 1996-2000. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and, twice, the National Book Critics Circle Award, he is a professor of English at UC Berkeley.