S126. Profundity as Purpose: Thoughts on Sentences, Vocabulary, and Style

Room 15, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Thrilling! I couldn't put it down! A literary page-turner! Such exclamations speak to a particular set of reader values, namely that writing should be entertaining, concise, clear, and propulsive. This panel speaks to its political opposite: writing that stretches boundaries, considers musicality as important, searches for vocabulary and meaning. Where is today’s writing that takes up the gauntlet of Faulkner, Woolf, Dos Passos, and what can such writing mean in the 21st century?



Christian Kiefer is author of the novels The Infinite Tides and The Animals and the novella One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide. He is recipient of a Pushcart Prize and directs the low-res MFA program at Ashland University. His new novel, Phantoms, Is forthcoming.

Christine Schutt is the author of two story collections and three novels, Florida, All Souls, and Prosperous Friends. A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, Schutt has also been awarded Guggenheim and New York Arts fellowships. Schutt's newest fiction is Pure Hollywood.

John Keene is the author of Annotations; Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse; and Counternarratives; and is the translator of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer. He teaches at Rutgers University-Newark.

Kim O'Neil is a senior lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and assistant director of the Writing Center. She has an MFA from UC Irvine.

Caroline Casey


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center