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Emerson Writing MFA Celebrating 40th Anniversary at AWP Conference

ciera burch resting elbows on gravestone
Ciera Burch, MFA ’20 will join a panel of MFA alums at AWP to celebrate the program’s 40th anniversary.

Writing, Literature and Publishing’s MFA turns 40 in 2024, and in celebration, a panel of alums will converge on the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference in February to present a panel, Emerson MFA at Forty: Celebrating Four Decades of Writing & Publishing.

The five alum writers – Ciera Burch, MFA ’20; Rebecca Morgan Frank, MFA ’03; Kenan Orhan, MFA ’18; Shuchi Saraswat, MFA ’10; and Madeline Sneed, MFA ’20 – will discuss how their work in publishing informs their writing, and give readings of work (poetry, essays, stories, novels, YA, and translation) they have published.

Joining them in Kansas City or online will be dozens of alums and faculty members, who are sitting on panels, giving readings, and talking about teaching writing.

Madeline Sneed head shot
Madeline Sneed, MFA ’20

The AWP Conference & Bookfair convenes writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers of contemporary creative writing for four days of events and exhibits that celebrate the joy and value of the written word. This year’s conference (Feb. 7-10) will feature a keynote address by poet Jericho Brown.

On Thursday, Feb. 8, 6-7:30 pm CST, Emerson will host a 40th anniversary celebration at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. All conference attendees are invited.

Here’s who’s participating in the conference (visit the website for descriptions/schedules):

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, MFA ’10 is on three panels — Queer Speculation: Transing Genre, Transing Gender; The Hybrid Memoir: Weaving Personal Narrative with Research; and Writing Trans Sex.

Headshot of Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, MFA ’10

Danielle Legros Georges ’86, LHD ’16 will sit on Gathering the Loose Petals: A Celebration of the Work of Afaa Michael Weaver, and Readings from Wheatley at 250: Black Women Poets Reimagine the Verse of Phillis Wheatley Peters.

Matthew Salesses, MFA ’10 will join Crafting Unforgettable Characters – A Writer’s Guide to Storytelling and Vision & Re-Vision: Teaching Revision in University & Community Workshops.

Sophie Klahr ’07 will sit on Against Tradition, Tradition: Contradiction & the Prose Poem and Whose Line Is It Anyway? The Ecstasy & Agony of Collaborative Books

Rachel Simon ’15 will join Everything Is Awful: Sustaining Through Shitstorms & Systemic Obstacles and Exhausted & Overwhelmed: Attempting Queer Joy in 2024.

Danielle Legros Georges head shot
Danielle Legros Georges ’86, LHD ’16

More Emersonians:

Eloisa Amezcua, MFA ’14Biography: The Radical Work of Writing Lives

G’Ra Asim ’14Rebel Voices Only

Kurt Baumeister, MFA ’99Down to the Wire: The Nuts & Bolts of Editing a Manuscript to Publication

Devon Capizzi, MFA ’20Split/Lip Press 10th Anniversary Reading

Sarah Chaves ’11The Stages of Writing & Publishing a Memoir

Kirstin Chen, MFA ’10 and Kim Liao, MFA ’09Beyond the Debut: Publisher One-Night Stands vs. Long-Term Relationships

Andrea Dupree, MFA ’97Evolving Literary Landscape: Creating Innovative Programming at Literary Centers

Lorena Hernández Leonard, MA ’11 and Shuchi Saraswat, MFA ’10 – Lit Mags Explore Challenges & Methods of Expanding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Edwin Hill, MFA ’03, affiliated faculty member – It’s a Crime! Genre Fiction’s Bad Rap (Sheet) in Academia’s Mean Streets

Taylor Johnson ’17Toward a Poetics of Tenderness: Hegemonic Masculinity & the Poetic Imagination

Alden Jones head shot
Writer-in-Residence Alden Jones

Alden Jones, writer-in-residence, and Zoe Sprankle ’20Queer Architectures: New Models for Memoir

Joanna Luloff, MFA ’02Collaboration in the Creative Writing Classroom

Matt Miller, MFA ’01Heroic Crowns: On the Values of Difficulty & Dazzle

Matt Miller, MFA ’05When the Old Names Fail Us

Phong Nguyen, MA ’02Show (Me), Don’t Tell: Missouri Writers Grappling with the State of Their State

Kim Roberts ’84Creating Community Residencies to Celebrate Queer Writers

Ivelisse Rodriguez, MFA ’00Breaking Silence: The Ethics of Writing Inherited Trauma across Genres

Ivelisse Rodriguez headshot B&W
Ivelisse Rodriguez, MFA ’00

Anna Ross, affiliated faculty member – Inside Out, Outside In: How Teaching in Prison Affects Creative Pedagogy

Wesley Rothman, MFA ’12Communing with James Baldwin: A Centennial Celebration

Asako Serizawa, MFA ’01Fictionalizing Marginalized Histories: India, Jamaica, Japan, USA

Kimberly Southwick-Thompson ’06 Experiential Learning, Multimodality & the Publishing Classroom, Oh My!

Sebastian Stockman, MFA ’11About That Book Life: A Publishing Round Robin

Viktoria Valenzuela ’11Sin Fronteras: Navigating, Representing, and Publishing Latine Authors

asako serizawa head shot
Asako Serizawa, MFA ’02. Photo/Matthew Modica

Did we miss anyone? If so, email alumni@emerson.edu with the name of the panel or session they’re in.

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