Writers’ Week

2019 Participating Writers


Buckner Keynote Speaker—Ayana Mathis


Ayana Mathis’s New York Times bestselling debut, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012), was selected as the second book for the Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and as a Best Book of the Year in 2013 by the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and NPR. Mathis’s nonfiction has been published in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the New Yorker, Brick, and Glamour. She is the first Black woman to be a permanent member of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty, where she teaches English and creative writing. She is at work on her second novel.


Guest Speakers


George David Clark’s Reveille (Arkansas, 2015) won the Miller Williams Prize and his recent poems can be found in AGNI, the Georgia Review, the Gettysburg ReviewEcotone, the Southern Review, and elsewhere. The editor of 32 Poems, he teaches creative writing at Washington and Jefferson College and lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife and their four young children.


Laurie Corral has an MFA in Printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a BFA in Printmaking from West Virginia University and an MA in Art Education from the University of Illinois. Laurie moved to Asheville in 2001 and created Asheville BookWorks in 2004, a hive of artistic printmaking, letterpress and book arts.  BooksWorks hosted exhibitions, visiting artists, and workshops as well as featured events such as BookOpolis and PrintOcracy and Vandercooked Poetry Nights, co-created with Landon Godfrey and Gary Hawkins, which paired poets and printers in designing and printing a series of broadsides.


Katie Farris is the author of the hybrid-form text boysgirls (Marick Press, 2011; Tupelo Press 2019), lauded as “truly innovative” by the Prague Post, and as “a tour de force” by Robert Coover. She is also author of the chapbooks Thirteen Intimacies (Fivehundred Places, 2017), and Mother Superior in Hell (Dancing Girl, 2019). Her work has appeared in literary journals including Poetry, the Believer, and the Massachusetts Review. She is the co-translator of several books of poetry, including Gossip and Metaphysics: Russian Modernist Poems and Prose. She is currently Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Institute of Technology. 


Cameron Dezen Hammon’s writing appears in The Kiss anthology from W. W. Norton, CatapultEcotone, the Literary Review, the Houston Chronicle, and NYLON, among other places, and was noted in The Best American Essays 2017. She hosts The Ish podcast, conversations from the liminal spaces of life, and co-founded The Slant reading series. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University and is a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools in Houston, where she lives with her family. This Is My Body (Lookout, 2019) is her debut book.


Tomás Q. Morín is the author of Patient Zero (Copper Canyon Press, 2017and A Larger Country (American Poetry Review, 2012), winner of the APR/Honickman Prize. He translated Pablo Neruda’s The Heights of Macchu Picchu and with Mari L’Esperance co-edited Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine. He teaches at Drew University and in the low residency MFA program of Vermont College of Fine Arts. Currently, he is the Visiting Writer-in-Residence at Texas Tech University. 


Etaf Rum, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has a Masters of Arts in American and British Literature as well as undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and English Composition and teaches undergraduate courses in North Carolina. A Woman is No Man (Harper Collins, 2019) is her first novel.


Beth Staples is editor of Shenandoah at Washington & Lee University, where she is assistant professor of English. Previously, she was senior editor at Ecotone and editor at Lookout Books at UNCW, and editor of Hayden's Ferry Review. She received her MFA from Arizona State University and is working on a novel.


Anna Stein opened and ran the New York office of Aitken Alexander Associates from 2009 to 2015 and is now an agent with ICM Partners. Previously, she was an agent and foreign rights manager at the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Barnard College, an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a M.Phil. in Textual and Visual Studies from Trinity College, Dublin. Her authors include Ben Lerner, Maria Semple, Hanya Yanagihara, Etgar Keret, Andrew Cockburn, Claire Dederer, and Max Blumenthal. She is looking for literary fiction and investigative journalism and narrative non-fiction.


Inara Verzemnieks is the author of the award-winning memoir, Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming (W.W. Norton., 2017).  A Pushcart Prize winner and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, as well as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, she previously worked as a newspaper journalist for thirteen years. Her essays and journalism have appeared in such publications as the New York Times MagazineTin House, and the Iowa Review.  She is an assistant professor in the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. 




Melissa Crowe is the author of Dear Terror, Dear Splendor (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019). Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Baltimore Review, Crab Orchard Review, Seneca Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Poetry, among others. She's editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and coordinator of the MFA program at UNCW, where she teaches courses in poetry and publishing. 


Sayantani Dasgupta is the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between (Two Sylvias Press, 2016)—a Finalist for the Foreword Indies Awards for Creative Nonfiction—and the chapbook The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016). Her writings have appeared in several national and international publications such as the Rumpus, the Bellingham Review, and the Hindu. She teaches in the MFA program at the UNCW, and has also taught in India, Italy, and Mexico.  


Clyde Edgerton is a writer/professor living in Wilmington with his family. He has published 10 novels and two books of nonfiction. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Lyndhurst Prize. Five of his novels have received New York Times notable book awards. He has been banned from New Hanover county schools for three years.  


David Gessner is the founder of Ecotone magazine and the author of ten books of nonfiction, including New York Times bestseller All the Wild That Remains (W.W. Norton, 2015) and The Tarball Chronicles, (Milkweed, 2011) 2012 Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment. In 2006 his work appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology; in 2007 he won the John Burroughs Award for Best Natural History Essay. His work has appeared in many magazines and journals including the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, Outside, the Georgia Review, the Harvard Review, and Orion. In 2016 he was the host of National Geographic’s Explorer TV show, Call of the Wild.


Melody Moezzi is an Iranian-American Muslim author, attorney and activist—as well as a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at UNCW this year. Her next book, The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life, will be released this spring from an imprint of Penguin Random House and is currently available for pre-order. She is a United Nations Global Expert and an Opinion Leader for the British Council’s Our Shared Future initiative. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and many other outlets.





Morgan Davis earned her MFA in Fiction from UNCW in 2018, where she taught Bookbuilding and worked in the Pub Lab, staffed Chautauqua, Ecotone, Lookout Books, and Writers’ Week, co-directed the Young Writers’ Workshop, and co-hosted Reading Crew. She is an alumna of Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Workshop, Tin House, One Story, Lit Camp, and Esalen summer writing workshops. She is the associate prose editor for Shenandoah and her author interviews can be read on True. An eighth-generation West Virginian, Morgan lives in Marin County, California, where she works in a bookstore and daydreams about becoming the next Terry Gross.


Adam Gnuse graduated UNC Wilmington’s MFA program in spring 2019. His debut novel, Girl in the Walls (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (U.S.) & Fourth Estate/HarperCollins (U.K.), 2021). A former Kenyon Review Peter Taylor Fellow, he has had short stories published in Guernica, Los Angeles Review, New South, Passages North, Potomac Review, and other magazines. He lives in College Station, Texas with his partner, Donnie, and her cat, Shakti. You can reach him on Twitter (@ajgnuse) or through his website (adamgnuse.com).


Katie O’ Reilly is adventure + lifestyle editor of Sierra, national magazine of the Sierra Club. She edits and writes articles about outdoor adventure, sustainable travel and food, wildlife, eco-centric culture (books, films, and ideas), and science. She previously worked as managing editor of Ecotone, as a general assignment reporter for WHQR Radio, as managing editor of Dayspa magazine, and as an assistant to media pundit Arianna Huffington. Her writing appears in Atlantic Science, Outside, Buzzfeed, Bitch, Bustle, Vela, Narratively, Runner's World, the LA Review of Books, and more. She has an MFA in creative non-fiction from UNCW (2016), and a bachelor’s in journalism from Northwestern (2007). 


Leah Poole Osowski is the author of hover over her (Kent State University Press, 2016), chosen by Adrian Matejka for the 2015 Wick Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in the Southern Review, the Cincinnati ReviewGettysburg ReviewNinth LetterjubilatPoetry Northwest, and the Massachusetts Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, and Quarterly West. She has received fellowships from Image  Journal's Glen Workshop and the Vermont Studio Center, and is on the editorial staff of Raleigh Review.  Originally from Massachusetts, she holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She was the 2018 Emerging Writer in Residence at Penn State Altoona.


Eric Tran is a resident physician in psychiatry in Asheville, NC. He is the winner of the Autumn House Press Emerging Writer's contest and the author of The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer (Autumn House Press, 2020). He is also the author of the chapbooks Revisions and Affairs with Men in Suits. His work appears or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Indiana Review, 32 Poems, Missouri Review Poem of the Week, and elsewhere.