S210. Blood of My Blood: Writing About Family, Tribe, and Inheritances of the Heart

Meeting Room 9 & 10, Marriott Waterside, Third Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Writers of personal essay and memoir know that their story is shaped by family influences. But we may be more connected to the emotional life of our ancestors than we realize. Recent discoveries in behavioral epigenetics reveal that memory can be passed on in the genes, meaning that our stories are intrinsically tied to those who have gone before us. This diverse panel will explore what it means to mine truth by writing from the lens of generational legacies and inheritances of the heart.



Janice Gary is the author of Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance, winner of two Nautilus Silver Awards and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. A faculty member at ASU's Master of Liberal Arts Program, she teaches memoir workshops at writing centers and conferences.

Camille T. Dungy's four books of poetry include Trophic Cascade. Her first book of personal essays is Guidebook to Relative Strangers. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and coedited two other anthologies. Dungy is a professor at Colorado State University.

Angie Chuang is a nonfiction writer and an associate professor of journalism at University of Colorado Boulder. Her first book, The Four Words for Home, tells the immigrant stories of an Afghan American family after 9/11 and her own Chinese American one. She was a newspaper reporter for thirteen years.

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.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center