R197. Memoir as an Agent of Social Change

Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


In both root and blossom, memoir has always served as an agent of social change. James Baldwin’s nonfiction, for example, resonates with calls for societal transmutation. Our panelists work in the same tradition, exploring addiction, child abuse, climate change, disability, domestic violence, gender, the industrial prison complex, misogyny, racism, and more. We’ll examine the necessity and transformative power of writing our truths through a personal lens.



Connie May Fowler is the author of eight books, including the recent memoir A Million Fragile Bones. Her novel Before Women Had Wings won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She is on the faculty of the VCFA MFA writing program and directs the VCFA Novel Retreat and Yucatan Writing Conference.

Joy Castro is the author of the literary thrillers Hell or High Water and Nearer Home, the memoirs The Truth Book and Island of Bones, and the short fiction collection How Winter Began. Editor of the collection Family Trouble, she teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Sue William Silverman’s books are The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew; Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction; Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You; and Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel: Poems, winner of the Midwest Book Award. Jones is a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. She currently holds positions as sales and community outreach manager and poetry editor for Northwestern University Press.

Gale Massey


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center