F225. Writing in the Margins

Room LL4, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level
Friday, February 28, 2014
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Many people in this country have very difficult lives. What can reading and writing offer them? Are creative arts only for those who can afford to seek them out? Five writers discuss teaching in prisons, homeless shelters, gang rehab programs, with veterans, and in poor rural areas. When students are given tools, space, and encouragement to write, story becomes both an escape from difficult circumstances and a deep entry into human potential. How does such teaching change the teacher as well?



Christine Byl is the author of Dirt Work: An Education In the Woods. Her prose has appeared in the Sun, Crazyhorse, and Glimmer Train. A recipient of Rasmuson Foundation and Alaska State Council on the Arts awards, she makes a living doing trail design and construction across Alaska.

Jill McDonough is the recipient of three Pushcart prizes as well as NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships. Her books include Habeas Corpus and Where You Live. She directs the MFA program at UMass-Boston and 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center online.

Ruthie Rohde LICSW, MFA, teaches writing in a residential treatment program for homeless veterans at a VA hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. She has worked in the field of social work for over twenty years specializing in trauma work with individuals and families.

Fred Marchant is the author of four books of poetry, including Tipping Point, recently reissued in a 20th anniversary second edition. He is also the editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-47. He is the founding director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center