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Kelly Wilson
IU Writers' Conference

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009 IU Writers' Conference features award-winning poets, novelists, essayists and journalists

WHAT: 2009 IU Writers' Conference
WHEN: June 14-19
WHERE: Indiana University Bloomington
REGISTRATION: Application materials and reservation information are available at For classes only, the fee is $250, while the cost for a workshop (which includes all classes) is $500. The nonrefundable $50 registration fee is applied to the final amount. Applications are also available by e-mailing or by calling the IU Writers' Conference office at 812-855-1877.

May 26, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The annual Writers' Conference at Indiana University Bloomington, now celebrating its 69th year, will welcome eight nationally renowned writers to Bloomington June 14-19 for a weeklong festival of classes, workshops and readings.

This year's conference faculty includes poets Thomas Lux and David Trinidad; novelist Julia Glass; Aracelis Girmay, a poet and author of fiction and essays; short-story writers Manuel Muñoz and Danit Brown; fiction writer Alyce Miller; and Tom Chiarella, fiction editor for Esquire Magazine.

Past conference faculty members include Gwendolyn Brooks, John Crowe Ransom, Madeleine L'Engle and Raymond Carver. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. once described the IU Writers' Conference as "the most respectable writers' conference that I know of."

Kelly Wilson, associate director of the IU Writers' Conference, said conference faculty are chosen for both their recent work and their potential to lead workshops. "I have the sense Thomas Lux would be a great person to work with, in addition to being a fantastic writer," she said, after watching videos of him reading his poetry online. "Aracelis Girmay was here last year and gave a reading during one of the Indiana Review readings for the 'funk' issue. We were so impressed by her and her work, we invited her to come for the conference this year."

IU senior Kaleb Havens, an English major with a concentration in creative writing, serves as an intern for the Writers' Conference. Havens said the conference brings together people of all ages and writing styles, offering them the chance to devote a week to improving their work.

"We have undergraduates, graduate students, people who have just written their first poem or short story, retirees ... We're getting everyone together with one common goal: making sure the writing they're putting out is as good as they can possibly make it."

A free, open-to-the-public evening reading series featuring conference faculty and conference participants takes place each evening at 8 p.m. in the Rose Firebay Room at the John Waldron Arts Center (122 S. Walnut St., Bloomington).

Free Reading Series Schedule

Sunday, June 14: Manuel Muñoz and Aracelis Girmay

Monday, June 15: Danit Brown and David Trinidad

Tuesday, June 16: Tom Chiarella and Alyce Miller

Wednesday, June 17: Conference participant reading

Thursday, June 18: Thomas Lux and Julia Glass

About the 2009 Writers' Conference faculty

Thomas Lux
Thomax Lux is the current Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne Jr. Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech. His work includes his most recent book of poetry, God Particles (Houghton Mifflin, 2008); The Cradle Place (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); The Street of Clocks (2001); New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995 (1997), which was a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Split Horizon (1994), for which he received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; and The Land Sighted (1970). Lux has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and has received three National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Julia Glass
Julia Glass, of Massachusetts, is the author of the novels Three Junes (winner of the National Book Award for Fiction) and The Whole World Over. Her most recent work of fiction is I See You Everywhere. She has published feature articles and essays in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Secret Currency of Love and An Uncertain Inheritance and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Aracelis Girmay
Aracelis Girmay writes poetry, fiction and essays. A Cave Canem Fellow and Acentos board member, she is the visiting writer at Queens College and leads arts and activism workshops with the Bronx-based ACTION Project. She is the author of the poetry collection Teeth, for which she was awarded the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award and was named a Pan-African Literary Forum Fellow. She is also the author of Changing, Changing, a collage-based picture book. Most recently her work has been published in ELEM magazine, Ploughshares, Indiana Review, The November 3rd Club and The Massachusetts Review.

Manuel Muñoz
Dinuba, Calif., native Manuel Muñoz is assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the author of two collections of short stories: The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, (Algonquin Books, 2007), and Zigzagger (Northwestern University Press, 2003). A finalist for the 2007 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize, Muñoz is the recipient of a Constance Saltonstall Foundation Individual Artist's Grant in Fiction, an NEA literature fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a 2008 Whiting Writers Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Rush Hour, Swink, Epoch, Glimmer Train, Edinburgh Review and Boston Review, and has aired on National Public Radio's "Selected Shorts."

David Trinidad
The New York Times Book Review recently wrote that David Trinidad's "most impressive gift is an ability to dignify the dross of American life, to honor both the shrink-wrapped sentiment of the cultural artifacts he writes about and his own much more complicated emotional response to them." His work includes his most recent book of poetry, The Late Show (Turtle Point Press, 2007), and Phoebe 2002: An Essay in Verse (Turtle Point, 2003) -- a 650-page mock-epic based on the 1950 film All About Eve that he co-wrote with Jeffery Conway and Lynn Crosbie. His other books include Answer Song (High Risk Books, 1994), Hand Over Heart: Poems 1981-1988 (Amethyst Press, 1991), and Plasticville (Turtle Point, 2000) -- a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets.

Alyce Miller
Alyce Miller is a professor of English in the graduate writing program at Indiana University Bloomington and is an attorney with a special interest in animal rights law. She is the author of three books of fiction, including a collection of stories, Water (Sarabande Press, 2008), which won the Mary McCarthy Prize; a collection of stories, The Nature of Longing (W.W. Norton, 1995), which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction; and a novel, Stopping for Green Lights (Anchor Doubleday, 1999). She has published more than 150 short stories, poems and essays in literary magazines and anthologies and received the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence in Fiction, the Lawrence Prize from Michigan Quarterly Review and honorable mentions and distinguished story citations in Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best American Stories, Best American Essays and O. Henry Prize Stories. Her recent work has appeared in Iowa Review, Witness, New England Review, Ascent, Legal Studies Forum and North American Review.

Danit Brown
Danit Brown is the author of Ask for a Convertible (Pantheon), a collection of linked short stories. Her stories have appeared in many literary journals, including Story, Glimmer Train, StoryQuarterly, and One Story. She teaches at Albion College and lives in Ann Arbor, Mich. with her family.

Tom Chiarella
Tom Chiarella is writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, where he also serves as fiction editor. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Story, Golf Digest, O: The Oprah Magazine, Travel and Leisure Golf, Links, and elsewhere. He's the author of three books: a collection of stories (Foley's Luck, 1992), a writer's guide (Writing Dialogue, 1997) and a collection of golf writings (Thursday's Game, 2004). A National Magazine Award Finalist, winner of an NEA grant in fiction writing, Chiarella is a visiting professor of creative writing at Depauw University, where he served five years as chair of the English Department. He lives in Greencastle, Ind.

More Information
Registered conference attendees can attend workshops, classes, presentations on writing, publishing and editing and informal presentations, discussions and Q-and-A sessions. For a complete schedule of events, see

The Indiana University Writers' Conference is a nonprofit organization that supports creative writing in Indiana, the Midwest and throughout the country. For an application and more information, visit