R291. United Artists: Creative Writers in the Trenches of the American Education System

Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


How is creative writing taught and celebrated in the American school system? Before MFAs and undergraduate literature programs analyzing the likes of Chaucer and Baldwin, how does the K–12 community incorporate creative writing and its literary giants in the curriculum and beyond? Four award-winning writers and teaching artists from East to West Coast, discuss the triumphs and challenges of keeping creativity in education and the artistic cultivate of America’s youth.



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.

Paula Whyman is the author of You May See a Stranger, a linked story collection. Her fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, VQR, and McSweeney’s Quarterly. She teaches in writers-in-schools programs through the Hudson Review in New York and PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, DC.

Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer, educator, and author of Crowned. Her latest collection is Hemisphere. A proud Kentucky writer, Ellen is a member of Affrilachian Poets and Conjure Woman, and cofounder of girlstory.

Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel: Poems and recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. She currently holds positions as sales and subsidiary rights manager and poetry editor for Northwestern University Press.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center