R248. Race in Contemporary Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


With our changing racial landscape, writing on race autobiographically becomes more complex and pressing. For writers of color, issues of intersectionality, new theory, and contemporary context can require a wider, deeper and more intricate framework. For white writers, race can be daunting, fraught with potential missteps; yet those who address race can discover a deeper understanding of their own story and society. The panel explores these issues on a craft and theoretical level.


David Mura's books are the memoirs Turning Japanese, Where the Body Meets Memory, the novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire, andfour poetry books including The Last Incantations. His latest book is A Stranger's Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in Writing. He teaches at Stonecoast MFA and VONA Writers’ Conference.

Alexis Paige's first book, Not A Place On Any Map, won the 2016 Vine Leaves Press Vignette Collection Award. Her work has appeared as a notable in Best American Essays and received three Pushcart nominations. Paige is an editor at Brevity. alexispaigewrites.com.

Alexs Pate is the author of five novels including Amistad commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks/SKG and based on the screenplay by David Franzoni, which became a New York Times bestseller. The other novels are Losing Absalom, Finding Makeba, The Multicultiboho Sideshow, and West of Rehoboth.

Helen is the author of Pigs Can’t Swim, a 2014 Indie Introduce and Indie Next Title. She was one of seven finalists for the 2011 Annie Dillard Creative Nonfiction Award. Named one of the top ten horse photographers in the world by Top Tenny, Helen is working on her second memoir, Forever Home.

Vanessa Mártir has an unapologetically big mouth, and even bigger heart. Her work has been published in Poets & Writers, The Butter, and Dismantle, The VONA/Voices Anthology, among others. She created the Writing Our Lives Workshop and the #52essays2017 challenge. vanessamartir.net.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside