#AWP20 Featured Presenter Q&A with Eileen Cronin

AWP | February 2020

Event Title: Disability’s Influence on Literature: Realism as a Craft Concept, Sponsored by AWP
Description: Literature has long defined disability erroneously. Movements started by disabled people have shifted the narrative. With false, manipulated, or erased narratives surrounding us in a 24/7 news cycle, the truth is more important than ever. Disability literature offers a deeper exploration of adaptation, survival, and humanity.
Participants: Marlena Chertock, Eileen Cronin, James Tate Hill, T.K. Dalton
Location: Lila Cockrell Theatre, Henry B. González Convention Center, Street Level
Date & Time: Saturday, March 7, 12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.


Q: What are some of the conference events or Bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing at AWP? 
The mentorship booth is always one of my first stops. This program deepened my relationship with AWP immensely. 

I try to support panels where a friend is participating, especially writers who have historically been cut out of literature, and that seems to me to be the disabled writers at this point. 

I love going to the readings. I also like to stop by the booths of favorite publishers. 

Q: What do you remember most about your first AWP? What advice would you give to an AWP first-timer?
Of all people, I ended up on a panel with Cheryl Strayed! It was incredible.

Q: What is your favorite AWP conference memory?
Definitely being on a panel with Cheryl Strayed.

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
I’m teaching Memoir at UCLA Extension, and I have my class reading Modern American Memoirs. It’s older but full of classics, and a lot of great novelists’ memoir excerpts are in it. Fiction writers who are jaded about memoir should read it. 

Q: If you’ve been to San Antonio before, what places do you recommend that our attendees should visit?
I have not been, but I will check out the River Walk.


Eileen CroninEileen Cronin’s Mermaid, translated into three languages, was one of O Magazine’s Best Memoirs of the Year. She’s held fellowships with Vermont Studio Center and American Psychological Association. She won the Washington Writing Prize in fiction. She's a writing instructor and a psychologist at UCLA.

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