R181. From the Drudges: Sustaining a Writing Life from Outside of Academia

Room 408 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


The lion’s share of prizes, grants, fellowships, and accolades originates in academia and is awarded to academics. Does this mean we have to teach in order to sustain a writing life? Five panelists discuss how a meaningful and successful writing career can be established and sustained from outside of the university cycle.


Jen Fitzgerald is a poet and essayist. She is a member of the NY Writer’s Workshop and was a Bread Loaf 2014 attendee. Her first collection of poetry, The Art of Work is forthcoming. Her work has been featured on PBS Newshour, Tin House, and Salon among others.

Rodrigo Toscano is the author of six books of poetry, including Deck of Deeds and Collapsible Poetics Theater (a 2007 National Poetry Series Selection). He works for the Labor Institute in New Orleans.

Alyss Dixson has a BA in comparative literature from Yale and an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State. She ran Director Brett Ratner's company, and then was a vice president of production at Paramount Pictures. Now, she is an independent writer-producer, a Cave Canem Fellow, and a Callaloo Fellow.

Ashaki M. Jackson is a social psychologist, program evaluator, and poet who has worked with at-risk and post-incarceration youth through research, evaluation, and creative arts mentoring for over one decade. She is a Cave Canem alumna, VONA/Voices alumna, and WriteGirl mentor.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center