#AWP17 Featured Presenter Q&A with Margot Livesey

AWP | January 2017

Event Title: A Reading and Conversation with Margot Livesey and Colum McCann, Sponsored by Arts & Letters / Georgia College
Description: Join us for a reading and conversation with two critically acclaimed authors, Margot Livesey and Colum McCann. Livesey, a Scottish-born writer and a New York Times bestseller, has written eight novels, in addition to her work featured inThe New Yorker andThe Atlantic, among others. McCann is the Irish-born writer of the National Book Award-winning novel, Let the Great World Spin. McCann has written six novels, three short story collections, and his work has been featured in The New Yorker, Esquire, The Paris Review, Granta, and The Atlantic.
Participants: Margot Livesey, Colum McCann
Location: Ballroom C, Washington Convention Center, Level Three
Date & Time: Saturday, February 2 (2/11/17) from 8:30pm-10pm

Q: What are some of the conference events or bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing?
A: I will be going to the Warren Wilson MFA faculty event and as many poetry readings as I can.

Q: Has public funding for the arts made a difference in your life and career as a writer?
A: Yes. Getting an NEA grant in the 1980s—I don’t remember the exact date—gave me both the time and the confidence to finish my first novel.

Q: When AWP was founded in 1967, there were a dozen creative writing programs. Now there are approximately 1,800 undergraduate and graduate programs. What do you think has changed for readers and writers since creative writing became ascendant as an academic discipline?
A: Flaubert wrote in a letter: For me a book has always only been a way of living in some particular milieu. That is what explains my hesitations, my anguish and my slowness. So it seems a wonderful thing that so many people are now getting to live in the world of words. Academia is the main patron of that world but I wouldn’t want to think it was the only one, or that young writers felt they had to teach to be taken seriously.



Margot Livesey Margot Livesey was born and grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. She is the author of a collection of stories and eight novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, and most recently, Mercury. The Hidden Machinery, a book about the craft of writing, will be published in 2017. She has taught in numerous writing programs including Emerson College, Boston University, and the Warren Wilson low-residency MFA program, and has been the recipient of grants from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute. She is on the faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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