The 2019 Napa Valley Writers’ Conference faculty members in fiction, poetry, and translation are listed below. Be sure to click through to read their complete profiles on our blog.

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


Eavan Boland

Eavan Boland is the author of, most recently, A Woman Without a Country and New Collected Poems. Her other books of poetry include Domestic Violence, Against Love Poetry, The Lost Land, and In a Time of Violence. Boland is also the author of two books of prose, Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time and A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet.

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature. He was born in the Mojave Desert, grew up in Virginia, and taught for many years at Brown University with his wife, the poet CD Wright. Among Gander’s most recent books are Be With, the novel The Trace, and Eiko & Koma, a collaboration with the eponymous movement artists. Gander’s book Core Samples from the World was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently The Beauty, a San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year and long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award. Her second collection of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, received the 2015 Northern California Book Award. Hirshfield’s work appears frequently in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, and eight editions of The Best American Poetry.

Major Jackson

Major Jackson is the author of four books of poetry, including Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He is the editor of the Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. Jackson is the recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.


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, and more.

Ryan Harty

Ryan Harty’s story collection Bring Me Your Saddest Arizona (2003) received the John Simmons Award for Short Fiction, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Book of 2003, and Book of the Year from the Arizona Library Association. He is the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and the Henfield-Transatlantic Review Award. Harty has taught at California College of the Arts, University of Michigan, Columbia University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Baruch College.

Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years (2013) received The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for The Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s other honors include a Whiting Award, fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, and the NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts). His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Paris […]

Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer is the author of two award-winning books: The Invisible Bridge, a novel, and the short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater, both New York Times Notable Books; her new novel, The Flight Portfolio, will be published this May. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Zoetrope All-Story, and the Washington Post Magazine, as well as in anthologies such as The Granta Book of the American Short Story and The Scribner Anthology of American Short Fiction.


Howard Norman

Howard Norman received the Harold Morton Landon Prize in translation from the Academy of American Poets, a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a Merrill Foundation Fellowship, and the Lannan Award in fiction. His memoir about working in the arctic with Inuit language and folklore is In Fond Remembrance of Me. He has taught in the MFA program at the University of Maryland since 1988.