R189. Fierce Muses: Inspiration During Times of Social Unrest

Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Shakespeare invokes "a muse of fire, to ascend the brightest heaven of invention." What fierce muses can inspire our own artistry and personal commitment in an increasingly fraught world? Does inspiration come from confrontation and subversion? Contemplation and turning inward? How to engage with our work when danger and despair loom? Five award-winning novelists, poets, and nonfiction writers will discuss their sources of inspiration in these challenging social and political times.



Gina Frangello is the author of four books of fiction: Every Kind of Wanting, A Life in Men, Slut Lullabies, and My Sister's Continent. She is a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the faculty editor of The Coachella Review.

Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey was an AWP Award Series winner. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, and she has coedited an essay collection, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean. She teaches at Gettysburg College.

Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Evening Hour, and the editor of Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity. He is assistant professor of creating writing at Eastern Kentucky University.

Paul Lisicky is the author of five books including The Narrow Door, Unbuilt Projects, and The Burning House. A 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, he teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden and serves on the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Eiren Caffall


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center