R272. Un-Workshop: Towards an Expansive Critical Response For Writers

E143-144, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Thursday, March 28, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


In "MFA vs POC," Junot Díaz writes: "When I think on it now what's most clear to me is how easily ours could have been a dope workshop." Given that the workshop almost always magnifies negative power structures, how do we get to this dope workshop? What do we do instead? Is there a way to recreate the transcendent moments of workshop without the tears? Five writer/educators share their Un-Workshop methods, what has worked, what hasn't, what possibilities they've glimpsed along the way.



Carson Beker is a writer and storyteller, cofounder of The Escapery Writing Unschool, a Lambda Fiction Fellow, and Tin House Fiction Scholar. Their plays have been produced in the Bay Area, and their stories have appeared in Foglifter (Pushcart nominee), Gigantic Sequins, and Bourbon Penn.

Nancy Au’s stories appear in Tahoma Literary ReviewLunch TicketThe Pinch, among many others. She teaches creative writing to biology majors at California State University, Stanislaus. Her flash fiction is included in Best Small Fictions 2018. Her full-length collection of short stories is forthcoming.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and the author of You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened. She collaborates with other artists to expand readership for poetry and to center the narratives of marginalized voices. White is an assistant professor of English at Colby College.

Miah Jeffra is author of The First Church of What's Happening. They have been awarded the New Millennium Prize, Sidney Lanier Fiction Prize, and fellowships and residencies from Ragdale, Hub City Writers Project and Lambda Literary Fellowship. They are editor of Foglifter Press.

Ploi Pirapokin's work is featured in Tor.com, Apogee Journal, the Bellingham Review, and other journals. She has received grants and fellowships from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Clarion Writer's Workshop, Kundiman, and others. She holds an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center