Occupational Hazards: Teaching and Writing Risk across Genres

Rooms 435-436, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Thursday, March 9, 2023
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Writers conjure literary power by putting something real on the line. Yet risk operates differently across nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and translation, raising craft questions as well as the challenge of inspiring students to bring vulnerability to their writing. Panelists with experience in many teaching contexts—including universities, conferences, and community workshops—will share concrete ideas for empowering and equipping students to take personal and aesthetic chances.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Occupational_Hazards-event_outline.pdf



Lesley Wheeler’s books include the hybrid memoir Poetry's Possible Worlds; The State She's In, her fifth poetry collection; and Unbecoming, a novel. She is poetry editor of Shenandoah. Her work appears in American Poetry Review, Ecotone, Poetry, Massachusetts Review, and other magazines.

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in 2020, and her debut novel, Nobody's Magic, was published by Grand Central in 2022. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University.

Jan Beatty's sixth book, The Body Wars, was followed by her award-winning memoir, American Bastard. Beatty worked as a waitress, abortion counselor, and in maximum security prisons. For fifteen years, she directed the creative writing program at Carlow University and directed the Madwomen in the Attic Workshops.

Asali Solomon is the author of two novels: The Days of Afrekete and Disgruntled, as well as the short story collection, Get Down. She teaches fiction writing and the literature of the African Diaspora at Haverford College.

Erika Meitner is the author of six books of poems, including Useful Junk (BOA Editions in 2022), and Holy Moly Carry Me, which won the 2018 National Jewish Book award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. She is an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center