S243. Can Poetry Hold the Center? Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press

Ballroom B, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Yeats writes, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” In this era when objective facts become alternative and science is willfully ignored, how do writers respond effectively? These acclaimed poets have faced, in their lived experiences, destabilizing forces and rapid cultural change—the chaos of early communist China, the shifting cultural landscape of rural Kentucky, and the volatility at play on our current political stage. Together they ask: How do literary artists help hold the center?



Michael Wiegers is the editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press, and the poetry editor of Narrative magazine. The editor of What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, he translates poetry from Spanish and has edited books from around the globe by poets at every stage in their careers.

Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, Late Empire. She is a member of the poetry faculty for the New Writers Project and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Maurice Manning’s latest book is One Man's Dark. A former Guggenheim fellow, Manning has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers. He teaches at Transylvania University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center