F165. In Praise of Junot Díaz and Claudia Rankine: Furthering the MFA vs. POC and AWP 2016 Keynote Conversations

Room 207A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


This panel will address what Díaz calls “the oppressive biases of mainstream workshops,” and Rankine’s statement that “unintentionally discriminating is as bad as intentionally discriminating.” The panelists will speak about how MFA programs can best present writing traditions that all students need, including how to facilitate conflict and move beyond white fragility. They’ll offer strategies for students and faculty of color to thrive; they wish to set new priorities and define an MFA landscape for the future.



Allen Gee is professor of English at Georgia College, where he serves as the faculty fiction editor for Arts & Letters. He is the author of My Chinese-America, and his work has appeared in Ploughshares, the Crab Orchard Review, the Common, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere.

David Mura is the author the memoirs Turning Japanese and Where the Body Meets Memory, four poetry collections including The Last Incantations, and the novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire. He teaches at Stonecoast MFA and VONA Writers’ Conference. His blog is Secret Colors.

Faith Adiele has authored two memoirs, The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide To Lady Problems and Meeting Faith; coedited Coming of Age Around the World; and was writer/subject/narrator of the PBS documentary film My Journey Home. She teaches at VONA/Voices, SF Writers Grotto, and California College of the Arts.

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee is the author of a memoir, Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember, and the forthcoming novel, The Golem of Seoul. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, ZYZZYVA, Guernica, the Rumpus, Hyphen magazine, and BuzzFeed.

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer. He is an associate professor of English at Vassar College and is the author of the novel, Long Division, a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center