R243. The Politics of the Personal: Writing Large by Writing Small

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


We're not all going to write dystopian novels of resistance, yet we also all know the political affects us every day. Does that show up in our narratives? How can writers express the political within the personal? How can we "write large" without being preachy or overbearing? Perhaps by writing "small." Five fiction writers will discuss narrative techniques gleaned from some of their favorite novels where the political and the personal are intertwined.


C.J. Hribal is the author of two novels and two short fiction collections, including The Company Car and The Clouds in Memphis, which won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. An NEA and Guggenheim Fellow, he teaches at Marquette University and for the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.

Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novels The Fortunes and The Welsh Girl, and the story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, Granta, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories.

Valerie Laken is the author of the story collection, Separate Kingdoms, and the novel, Dream House. Her work has received a Pushcart Prize and has been longlisted for the Story Prize, the Frank O’Connor Award, and Best American Short Stories. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Dean Bakopoulos is the author of the novels Please Don't Come Back from the Moon, My American Unhappiness, and Summerlong. The recipient of a Guggenheim and two NEA fellowships, he teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and is writer-in-residence at Grinnell College.

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of two novels, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost, and Inheritance, and a collection of short fiction, Hunger. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is professor of creative writing and director of the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside