Stop Being So Dramatic!

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
9:00 am to 10:15 am


There are some stories so unbelievable, so horrible, or merely awful, but they must be told, for survival. How do we write about the overwhelming without overwhelming the reader? We are five memoirists and poets who write about things others would probably rather not hear about, but we've mastered drama (and dramatic technique), the understatement, humor, the fable, the archetype, third-degree emotion. We will share these techniques that help us develop an audience that asks to hear more.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Stop_Being_So_Dramatic!_outline.pdf
Supplemental Document 1: Stop_Being_So_Dramatic!_excerpts_.pdf



Marcela Sulak's fifth collection, The Fault, is a forthcoming novella-in-verse; she's coedited Family Resemblance, a hybrid anthology and was a National Jewish Book Award finalist, an NEA fellow, and a PEN Translation Award nominee. She edits The Ilanot Review and directs a creative writing program.

Jeannine's memoir, The Part That Burns, was a Kirkus Best 100 Indie Book, received starred reviews from PW and Kirkus, and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award. She teaches writing at the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, Catapult, and Elephant Rock.

Esteban Rodríguez, author of six poetry collections, most recently Ordinary Bodies (word west press 2022), and the essay collection Before the Earth Devours Us (Split/Lip Press 2021). He currently lives in south Texas.

Sabrina Orah Mark is the author of Wild Milk, a collection of fiction, as well as two collections of poetry, The Babies and Tsim Tsum. Happily, which began as a monthly column on fairytales and motherhood in the Paris Review, is now out from Random House.

Debora Kuan is the author of three poetry collections: XING, Lunch Portraits, and Women on the Moon. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, New Republic, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She has received residences at Yaddo, Macdowell, and the Santa Fe Art Institute.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center