9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Room 103, Plaza Level
F106. Post-Genre Lit: Form in the 21st Century. (Lacy M. Johnson, Nick Flynn, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kazim Ali, Stephen Elliott) An increasing body of literature not only blurs the boundaries between creative and critical, prose and verse, observation and invention, but also transcends and transgresses our most basic convictions about genre. Postgenre lit can alter our conversations about perception, experience, and reality; or it can kindle deep-seated animosities about the rules and limits of form. These divergent writers will discuss how they read, teach, write, and publish work that defies classification.
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Room 200, Level 2
F142. Essaying the Essay. (David Lazar, Phillip Lopate, David Shields, Lia Purpura, Reda Bensmaïa) This panel will speak to the essentially self-reflective nature of the essay: the ways essays have, historically, insistently talked about themselves. All the panelists have work in the newly released anthology Essaying the Essay, from Welcome Table Press, which presents essays on the essay from Montaigne to the present; they will read portions of their work and reflect/revise ways their views of the essay have modified over time.
12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m.
Room 210, Level 2
F180. The Urge Toward Memoir. (Elisabeth Schmitz, Jill Kneerim, Michael Thomas, Jeanette Winterson, Lily King) Novelists Jeanette Winterson, Emily Raboteau, Michael Thomas, agent Jill Kneerim, and editor Elisabeth Schmitz discuss the writer’s urge toward memoir. What defines memoir and is it any more “true” or less creative a process than fiction? Panelists will talk about a favorite memoir and the forms they invented for their own.
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Room 101, Plaza Level
F190. Options of the I: The Post-Memoir Memoir. (Alex Lemon, Lia Purpura, Brian Christian, Nin Andrews) AGNI marks its 40th birthday with an exploration of personal writing in the age of the complexified I. Panelists will consider issues of obliquity, fragmentation, collage, and counterpoint, truth-telling, personae, tonal ventriloquism, and other approaches that conduce to projecting new configurations of the contemplative and narrative self. Moderated by Sven Birkerts.
3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m
Room 109, Plaza Level
F228. The Arcadia Project: Writing the Postmodern Pastoral. (Joshua Corey, Brenda Iijima, Dan Beachy-Quick, Jennifer Moxley, Jonathan Skinner) The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral is a groundbreaking new anthology from Ahsahta Press of contemporary poems that interrogate, refurbish, and upend the American pastoral tradition of Emerson and Thoreau. Four poets represented in the book discuss their work and explore the relevance of the ancient genre of idealized nature poetry to a world increasingly dominated by the discourse of disaster and environmental crisis
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Room 206, Level 2
F266. Bring Out Your Dead: Writing Ghosts (and Zombies) in Literary Fiction. (Rebecca Makkai, Tea Obreht, Lauren Groff, Dan Chaon, Alexi Zentner) The ghost story thrives in literary fiction as well as the oral tradition, defying genre. How do we keep these compelling tales fresh? How do we frighten without resorting to cheap tricks? How do we navigate the borders between spirituality, science, doubt, and a reliable narrative voice? And why are we drawn to these themes again and again? Five writers introduce you to their ghosts and tell you how they summoned them.
10:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight
Sheraton Boston Hotel, Constitution Ballroom, Level 2
F287. AWP Public Reception & Dance Party, Sponsored by Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department & Story Week. A dance party with music by DJ Neza. Free beer and wine from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Cash bar from 11:00 p.m. to midnight.