S258. The Art of War: The Power and Role of the Writer in Times of Crisis

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


As an increasing percentage of the world is plunged into conflict, our panel brings together award-winning novelists, poets, and nonfiction writers to explore how creative writing can shape, distort, and challenge the way we understand war. Drawing on examples from our own work and the work of others, we will discuss the power of the written word in relation to image and other forms of propaganda, and share our personal experiences of how our books have influenced a wider political discussion.



Pireeni Sundaralingam is coeditor of Indivisible: South Asian American Poetry. Born In Sri Lanka, her poetry and essays discuss issues of war, genocide, and propaganda. She is a professor in the Writing, Consciousness & Creative Inquiry MFA Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the novel The Sympathizer and short stories in venues like Best New American Voices and Narrative. He is the founder and editor of the blog diaCRITICS, the leading online source for Vietnamese and diasporic arts, culture, and politics. He teaches at USC.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the bestselling novel The Small Backs of Children as well as the forthcoming novel The Book of Joan, the anti-memoir The Chronology of Water, the novel Dora: A Headcase, three books of short stories, and a critical book on war and narrative. She swims.

David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead and Black Planet. Other People: Takes & Mistakes is forthcoming. His work has been translated into twenty languages.


March 23–26, 2022
Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania Convention Center