S283. How to Cuss on the Page & Get Away With It: The Katherine Dunn Formula

B113, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Our panel of writers will reflect on the genius and practical wisdom of one of America’s great literary mavericks, Katherine Dunn, and her outrageously funny and classically constructed exploration of swearing and expletives in literary arts. Three writers and an editor explore the lessons of Dunn’s essay, “On Cussing,” and celebrate her as one of Portland’s great literary icons.



Kwame Dawes is author of eighteen collections of poetry, two novels, several anthologies, and plays. He has won a Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Emmy. At the University of Nebraska he is a Chancellor's Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner.

Chris Abani's recent books are The Secret History of Las Vegas, The Face: A Memoir and Sanctificum. Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, an Edgar Prize, a Ford USA Artists Fellowship, and the PEN Beyond the Margins Award. He is Professor of English at Northwestern University.

Kellie Wells is the author of Compression Scars, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award, two novels, Skin and Fat Girl, Terrestrial, and God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna, winner of the Sullivan Prize. She teaches in the MFA programs at the University of Alabama and Pacific University.

Debra Gwartney is the winner of the 2018 River Teeth Nonfiction Prize for I Am A Stranger Here Myself, and author of a memoir, Live Through This, plus coeditor of Home Ground, Language for an American Landscape. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University.

Tony Perez is an editor at Tin House Books.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center