F218. Going There: Writing the Complicated Truth in the World’s Hot Spots

Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One
Friday, February 10, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


In the age of the 30-second news clip, too often places of crisis beyond our borders become oversimplified and stereotyped. In this roundtable panel, four writers practicing in a variety of genres and writing about diverse hot spots—Norway’s collapsing glaciers, bankrupt Greece, the Sinai Desert with ISIS in the north, the US with its racial injustice—will examine ways to harness the energy bred by news clips while navigating the preconceptions readers bring to our work.



Joanna Eleftheriou teaches creative wriing at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, which offers a masters degre in literature to incarcerated men in a Texas state prison. Her translations, fiction, essays, and poetry appear in journals including Arts & Letters, Chautauqua, and Crab Orchard Review.

Kimberly Meyer’s memoir, The Book of Wanderings, recalls the journey she and her daughter made by retracing a medieval pilgrimage route to the Holy Land and St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Desert in the days after the Arab Spring. She teaches at the University of Houston's Honors College.

Beth Peterson is a nonfiction writer and assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University. A wilderness guide before she began writing, Beth is finishing her first book of lyric essays, set in a disappearing glacial landscape in Norway.

Brit Bennett earned her MFA in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers' Program. Her essays appear at the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Paris Review, and Jezebel. She recently published her debut novel, The Mothers.

Natalie Bakopoulos is the author of The Green Shore. Her work has appeared in Tin House, VQR, Salon, The New York Times, Granta, O. Henry Prize Stories, and other publications. She has received fellowships from the Camargo and Macdowell foundations and was a 2015 Fulbright Scholar in Athens, Greece.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center