R197. We All Have to Start Somewhere: How Bad Writing Gets Good

Room 207A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Five intrepid poets and fiction writers defy shame to share work they thought they'd put far behind them, at the same time exploring: How do we know what’s good or bad, in our writing or in others’? What does it mean to outgrow our own work, and what can we learn from the writers we used to be? What leads us to write dreadful stuff, even now? And what alchemy turns cringeworthy words into strong, enduring work? Warning: This panel promises to be immensely entertaining.



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.

Richard Bausch is the author of twelve novels, including Peace and Before, During, After. His ninth book of stories, Living in the Weather of the World, is forthcoming. He also has published a volume of prose and poetry, These Extremes.

Tayari Jones is the author of three novels, most recently Silver Sparrow. She is an associate professor at Rutgers-Newark University, and the recipient of fellowships from The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists Foundation.

Natalie Diaz is a poet with too many colors and voices and places and identities to live in this short reservation of a bio.

Nick Flynn


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center