S238. Race and Belonging: Navigating the MFA Program as a Writer of Color

Room 602/603, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
Saturday, March 1, 2014
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


How does one navigate the literary world as a writer of color? Often, the MFA and the publishing world exclude, exoticize, tokenize, and even deride the experiences of writers of color. This panel—with representatives from Kundiman, CantoMundo, and Cave Canem—will provide a place to air out and discuss systemic problems but also will serve as a space to discuss solutions.



Sejal Shah's work appears in journals including Brevity, the Kenyon Review Online, the Literary Review, and forthcoming in the Writer's Chronicle. A Kundiman Fellow, she teaches English at The Harley School and creative writing at the University of Rochester. www.sejal-shah.com.

Eduardo C. Corral is a CantoMundo fellow. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Slow Lightning, his first book, won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and an NEA Fellowship.

Crystal Williams's fourth collection, Detroit as Barn, is forthcoming in 2014. She has received numerous fellowships, awards, and honors and is associate vice president, chief diversity officer, and professor of English at Bates College. www.crystalannwilliams.com.

Jon Pineda is the author of the novel Apology, winner of the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize. His memoir Sleep in Me was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. His poetry collections include The Translator's Diary and Birthmark. He teaches creative writing at the University of Mary Washington.

Tim Seibles is the author of several collections of poetry, including Hammerlock, Buffalo Head Solos, and most recently, Fast Animal, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 2012. He is a professor of English at Old Dominion University and visiting faculty for the Stonecoast MFA program.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center