F151. The Craft of Empathy

Archives, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Friday, February 10, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Writing with empathy in mind, especially in nonfiction, can create texture in our work and be transformative for both writer and reader. On this panel we explore various angles of perspective: scenes where narrators show empathy toward other characters—especially ones who are unlikeable—and vice versa, reflections that suggest empathy of a memoirist for a younger self, as well as techniques for showing empathy, as a writer, for the reader, and from both reader and writer for the nonhuman world.



Ana Maria Spagna is the author of the braided narrative, Reclaimers, the memoir/history, Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus, winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize, and two essay collections, Now Go Home and Potluck. She teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University.

Kate Hopper is the author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers and coauthor of Silent Running, a memoir of running and autism. She teaches in Ashland University's low-residency MFA program, online, and at the Loft Literary Center.

Adriana Páramo is a cultural anthropologist, writer, and women’s rights advocate. She is the author of two books of creative nonfiction and multiple essays, one of which appeared in The Best American Travel Writing 2015. Her work on women's issues has had multiple Pushcart Prize nominations.

Kim Stafford is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared; The Muses Among Us; Having Everything Right; and Early Morning: Remembering William Stafford. He directs the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center