F133. After the Siege: Writing War Truthfully

Room 214C, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, March 6, 2020
9:00 am to 10:15 am


“Grief,” writes Rebecca West, “is not the clear melancholy the young believe it. It is like a siege in a tropical city.” How, then, does one go about depicting a war and all of the grief it portends? Does one need to have detachment from the conflict? What role do memory and “survivor’s guilt” play? More broadly, what does it mean to be classified as a “war writer” or speak from the vantage point of a survivor? These are just some of the questions we ask in probing the challenges of war writing.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Outline_-_After_the_Siege_-_Writing_War_Truthfully-updated.pdf



J.A. Bernstein is the author of Rachel's Tomb (AWP Award Series Prize) and Desert Castles. His honors include a Fulbright, the Hackney Novel Prize, and contests at Crab Orchard and Southern Indiana Review. He’s an assistant professor at the University of South Mississippi and the fiction editor of Tikkun.

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland, winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and a recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship. She teaches in the MFA creative writing program at Fresno State.

Brynn Saito is the author of two books of poetry, Power Made Us Swoon and The Palace of Contemplating Departure. Brynn is an assistant professor in the MFA program at California State University, Fresno.

Piotr Florczyk's latest books are East & West, a volume of poems, and two translations, I'm Half of Your Heart by Julian Kornhauser and Building the Barricade by Anna Świrszczyńska, which won the 2017 Harold Morton Landon Award. He is a doctoral candidate at USC.

Jayson Iwen


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center