Writing through the Pain: Faces of Chronic Illness in Contemporary Literature

Rooms 445-446, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Thursday, March 9, 2023
10:35 am to 11:50 am


Join these writers to explore different approaches to chronic illness across nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Whether drawing from or challenging an extended metaphor, crafting a crucial detail that creates the larger reality, or mustering the clarity or energy the writing process demands, these writers talk honestly about the challenges and successes in finding form and language for the experience of chronic illness. In the process, the panel re-envisions expectations and literary conventions. Presenters on this event prefer all attendees wear a mask while in attendance at the event.

Outline & Supplemental Documents




Ja’net Danielo

Emily Alta Hockaday's first full-length collection, Naming the Ghost, touches on chronic illness, grief, and parenthood. It was published September 2022 by Cornerstone Press. Her second collection is forthcoming 2023, and she is the author of five chapbooks. www.emilyhockaday.com/@E_Hockaday

Allison Blevins is a queer disabled writer. She is the author of the collections Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir and Slowly/Suddenly. She is also the author of four chapbooks. Allison is the director of Small Harbor Publishing and the executive editor at the museum of americana.

Tina Jenkins Bell is a published fiction writer, playwright, journalist, and literary activist. Her work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. She's worked with writing/arts organizations, authors, and bookstores to offer free literary programming on Chicago's south side.

Eshani Surya's writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, [PANK], Catapult, and Joyland, among others. She was a 2021 Mae Fellow and Semi-Finalist for Key West Literary Seminar’s award for novel-in-progress. Eshani is a flash fiction editor at Split Lip magazine.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center