S193. Writing into the World: Memoir, History, and Private Life

Room L100 D&E, Lower Level
Saturday, April 11, 2015
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

 

Memory drives memoir, but it can take writing to realize that while we thought we were just living, history was unfolding. Contemporary memoir has been ridiculed as MEmoir, but where would history be without the testimony of individuals, whose memories of “how it was” bring into focus, add nuance, even contradict received accounts? Even what seems private is subject to the dynamics of political, economic, and cultural change. How do we bring the larger world into our autobiographical writing while retaining the intimacy of the personal voice and affirming the uniqueness of each life?

Moderator:

Honor Moore is the author of The Bishop's Daughter: A MemoirThe White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent By Her Granddaughter, and of three volumes of poems: Red ShoesDarling, and Memoir. She coordinates nonfiction and teaches in the New School graduate writing program.

Carolyn Forché’s books of poetry include Blue Hour; The Angel of History, which received the Los Angeles Times Book Award; and The Country Between Us. She is also the editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness and the co-editor of Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English 1500-2001. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and holds the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University.

Catina Bacote is the Provost Visiting Writer in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, the Sun, the Common, and the Southern California Review. Her essay “Inheritance” was awarded the Creative Arts Prize at the Jakobsen Conference in 2014.

Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book ReviewVogue, and TheAtlantic.com. A former producer at WNYC radio, she currently teaches at Grub Street.

Garth Greenwell is the author of Mitko, which won the Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and a Lambda Award. His novel, What Belongs to You, is forthcoming in May 2015. He is currently an arts fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

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