S261. I Did It My Way: Writing Who We Are

Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


What is this writing voice we’re always hearing about, and do we need one? Does a unifying vision or voice just happen, or is it something we work at? And once we've established a style that feels like our own, how do we avoid pigeonholing ourselves? How can we counter pressures and expectations—internal, cultural, racial, gendered, genre, professional—and just write? Five respected poets and prose writers demystify, and perhaps remystify, how they stay true to themselves.



Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, New England Review, Harvard Review, Best New Poets, and many others. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and MacDowell.

Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of sixteen books, including Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Devil's Highway. A member of the Latino Literary Hall of Fame, he has also won an Edgar, American Book Award, Lannan Literary Prize, and Pacific Rim Prize. He is a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry and prose, most recently Book of Hours, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Young’s The Grey Album won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2012, and finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Celeste Ng is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Everything I Never Told You. Her stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, One Story, TriQuarterly, the Bellevue Literary Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center