Poets & Writers Live Media

Austin, Texas: Inspiration

The seventh Poets & Writers Live event was held on January 9, 2016, at the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus in Austin. A wealth of prolific authors from the area and beyond—including Elizabeth McCracken, Ben Fountain, David Searcy, Naomi Shihab Nye, Benjamin Percy, Alex Lemon, Susan Schorn, Karan Mahajan, Ebony Stewart, and many more—joined agents, editors, and critics Saeed Jones, Scott Hoffman, Michael Schaub, and Jill Meyers, and the editors of Poets & Writers Magazine, for an inspiring day of readings, craft talks, and performances.

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Poet and essayist Alex Lemon delivers a poetry craft talk on "Breaking or Entering: Titles & First Lines."

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Texas author Ben Fountain, author of the award-winning novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and the story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara, talks about his inspirations and process on the Why We Write panel.

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Award-winning novelist, short story writer, and comic book writer Benjamin Percy delivers a heart-stopping, pulse-pounding lecture on Writing with Urgency.

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Poet Carrie Fountain leads the audience in a poetic experiment—creating a collective exquisite corpse.

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David Searcy reads from his new essay collection, Shame and Wonder, published by Random House in January, as part of the Nonfiction Spotlight.

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Three-time slam champion Ebony Stewart talks to participants after closing out the day with a poetry performance—and a standing ovation.

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Author and illustrator Edward Carey answers questions from the audience about creative process and publishing.

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Austin-based fiction writer Elizabeth McCracken, author most recently of the collection Thunderstruck and Other Stories, delivers the keynote address on creativity and inspiration.

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Jill Meyers, the codirector of the Austin-based small press A Strange Object, offers her feedback on a participant's elevator pitch as part of the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Karan Mahajan, whose second novel, The Association of Small Bombs, is forthcoming from Viking in March, gives a craft talk on the tragicomic impulse in fiction.

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Poets & Writers editor in chief Kevin Larimer gets into character as participants deliver their elevator pitches.

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Kirk Lynn, a novelist and the artistic director of Rude Mechs theater collective, leads the audience in a prayer of inspiration.

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Austin fiction writer Lara Prescott talks with other writers at the literary mixer.

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Texas writer and teacher Darius Frasure stops for a smile between mingling at the Literary Mixer.

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Matthew Gavin Frank reads from his newest book, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food, which was published by Liveright in November, as part of the Nonfiction Spotlight.

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As part of the Perfect Pitch Panel, book critic Michael Schaub offers his input on one partcipant's elevator pitch.

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Naomi Shihab Nye, the author of thirty-five books of poetry, prose, and works for young readers, leads a conversation with fellow poets and authors about Why We Write.

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Participant Jan Rider Newman receives feedback on her novel pitch during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Editor Jill Meyers and agent Scott Hoffman offer feedback on Dallas writer Leah Tieger's elevator pitch.

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Editor Jill Meyers and agent Scott Hoffman offer feedback to writer Amy Rutten on her elevator pitch.

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Nevada City writer Amy Rutten delivers an elevator pitch for her first novel as part of the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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An audience member poses a question for one of the day's panelists.

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An audience member asks a question about publishing during the Advice Bites panel.

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A writer surveys the scene at the Literary Mixer.

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Two writers share thoughts from the day and a glass of wine at the Literary Mixer.

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Poets & Writers Magazine editorial assistant Caroline Davidson and one of the day's helpers, Alex Layman, serve wine for partipants at the Literary Mixer.

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Poet and BuzzFeed executive culture editor Saeed Jones talks inspiration and process during the Why We Write panel.

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Agent Scott Hoffman, a founding partner of Folio Literary Management, offers his publishing advice for writers during the Advice Bites panel.

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Poets & Writers Magazine editorial assistant Caroline Davidson and assistant editor Dana Isokawa at the Literary Mixer.

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Creative nonfiction writer Susan Schorn delivers a craft talk on "Finding Magnetic North: Revising and Shaping Your Creative Nonfiction."

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Portland, Oregon: Independent Publishing

The sixth Poets & Writers Live event was held on October 17, 2015, at the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Mediatheque theater. The editors of many of the area's most exciting presses and literary magazines, including Heidi Broadhead of Wave Books, Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press, Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Books, and Cheston Knapp of Tin House, joined the editors of Poets & Writers Magazine and authors such as Matthew Dickman, Debra Gwartney, Barry Lopez, Elena Passerello, Tom Spanbauer, Justin Taylor, and many more to explore the art of writing and the business of independent publishing.

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Award-winning author Barry Lopez delivers the keynote address to kick off Poets & Writers Live: Independent Publishing in Portland, Oregon.

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Tin House managing editor Cheston Knapp talks about Portland's rich tradition of independent literary magazines.

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Poets & Writers Magazine assistant editor Dana Isokawa moderates a panel on literary magazines in the Portland area.

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Essayist Elena Passarello presents a craft talk, "Point Sublime: Research and Uncertainty in the Literary Essay."

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Heidi Broadhead, managing editor of the Seattle-based poetry press Wave Books, talks about the independent publishing community in the Pacific Northwest.

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Fiction writer Justin Taylor, author of the story collections Flings and Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy, talks to participants during the literary mixer.

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Kevin Sampsell, publisher of Future Tense Books, talks with the editors of some of the Pacific Northwest's most successful independent presses.

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Kim Winterheimer, the founding editor of the Masters Review, talks about the magazine's mission to publish new and emerging writers of fiction and creative nonfiction. 

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LeAnna Crawford, managing editor of Gertrude—the biannual arts and literary magazine of Gertrude Press—talks independent publishing and Portland's queer community.

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Fiction writer Leni Zumas delivers her craft talk "In Praise of Debris: On Using Shards, Dregs, and Detritus in Fiction."

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Small-press and literary magazine editors show off their wares at the Poets & Writers Live book fair.

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Novelist Monica Drake talks to a participant over a glass of wine at the literary mixer.

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Liz Mehl, cofounder and director of Poetry Press Week, speaks as part of a panel on organizations that support the Portland writing community.

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Portland-area magazine and small-press editors share a laugh at the book fair.

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Writer Margaret Malone, a student of Tom Spanbauer's Dangerous Writing workshop, shares some of her own dangerous writing.

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Poet Matthew Dickman delivers the craft talk "Skinheads, Suicide, and Government Assistance: Why Subjects Don't Make Poets Into Heroes."

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Writer Matty Byloos, a student of Tom Spanbauer's Dangerous Writing workshop, reads his work.

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Michael Wiegers, editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press, talks independent publishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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Portland performance poet and storyteller Mindy Nettifee presents a PowerPoint presentation on how to survive astrological threats to the creative process.

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Portland performance poet and storyteller Mindy Nettifee reads a powerful poem to close out the night.

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Natalie Garyet, managing editor of Tavern Books, talks all things independent publishing in Portland. With Heidi Broadhead, managing editor of Wave Books.

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Andrew Proctor, executive director of Literary Arts, and A. M. O'Malley, program director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center, talk resources for writers in Portland.

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Poets & Writers Magazine editor in chief Kevin Larimer, editorial assistant Caroline Davidson, and assistant editor Dana Isokawa kick back at the literary mixer.

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Rhonda Hughes, publisher of the Portland-based fiction and nonfiction press Hawthorne Books, talks independent publishing.

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William Hertling, the self-published author of the best-selling Singularity series, and book publicist Jessica Glenn discuss the opportunities available to independent authors as well as the challenges they face as part of Debra Englander's Savvy Self-Publisher panel.

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Portland-area writers and editors mingle at the Poets & Writers Live book fair.

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Portland writer Marilyn Stablein at the literary mixer.

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Critically acclaimed novelist Tom Spanbauer, author of Faraway PlacesThe Man Who Fell In Love With The MoonIn The City of Shy HuntersNow Is the Hour, and, most recently, I Loved You More (Hawthorne Books, 2014), presents a talk on Dangerous Writing, an innovative approach to writing that forms the basis of the workshop he has been teaching in Portland for years.

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A group of writers chat over wine and cheese at the literary mixer.

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Editors Panel: Chicago 2015

Melissa Faliveno, associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, talks with Victor Giron of Curbside Splendor, Adrienne Gunn of TriQuarterly, Jeff Pfaller of Midwestern Gothic, and Don Share of Poetry magazine about the kind of work they publish and advice for writers looking to submit their work and tips for how to establish successful working relationships with editors.

Megan Stielstra: Chicago 2015

Megan Stielstra, author of the essay collections Once I Was Cool (Curbside Splendor, 2013) and Come Here Fear, forthcoming from Harper Perennial, reads an essay as part of the Page on Stage segment of Poets & Writers Live in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

Lindsay Hunter: Chicago 2015

Lindsay Hunter, author of the novel Ugly Girls (FSG, 2014), and the story collections Don't Kiss Me (FSG, 2013) and Daddy's (Featherproof Books, 2010), reads "Hit or Miss" as part of the Page on Stage segment of Poets & Writers Live in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

Stuart Dybek: Chicago 2015

Stuart Dybek reads an excerpt of his story "Tosca," from Paper Lantern: Love Stories (FSG, 2014), as part of the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

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Chicago: Agents & Editors

The fifth Poets & Writers Live event was held on June 20, 2015, at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago and featured Li-Young Lee, Kevin Coval, Haki Madhubuti, Jeff Kleinman, Renée Zuckerbrot, Don Share, Roger Reeves, Edward Kelsey Moore, Jenny Boully, Megan Stielstra, Parneshia Jones, Lindsay Hunter, Stuart Dybek, Marc Kelly Smith, and many other authors, editors, and publishing professionals.

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Elliot Figman, executive director of Poets & Writers, introduces the fifth annual Poets & Writers Live event at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago.

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Award-winning poet Li-Young Lee reads a selection of his work during his poetry keynote address at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Kevin Coval, poet and artistic director of the Chicago nonprofit Young Chicago Authors, discusses the importance of finding a writing community during the Resources for Writers in Chicago and the Role of Community panel.

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Poet and professor Kelly Norman Ellis talks about the various resources available for writers in Chicago at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Haki Madhubuti, a writer, educator, and founder and president of Third World Press, discusses resources for writers in Chicago at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Perfect Pitch panelists Michael Taeckens, a publicist at Broadside: Expert Literary PR, and Jeff Kleinman of Folio Literary Management.

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Literary agent Renée Zuckerbrot responds to a query letter written by an audience member during the Perfect Pitch panel.

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Publicist Michael Taeckens critiques an audience member's query letter during the Perfect Pitch panel.

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An audience member, poet Jessica Walsh, gets advice from a surprise guest (Michael Wiegers, executive editor of Copper Canyon Press) during the Perfect Pitch Panel in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

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During the Editors panel, Don Share discusses his role as the editor of Poetry magazine.

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Adrienne Gunn of TriQuarterly discusses her work as a literary journal editor on June 20, 2015.

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From left: Melissa Faliveno of Poets & Writers, Jeff Pfaller of Midwestern Gothic, Don Share of Poetry, Adrienne Gunn of TriQuarterly, and Ben Tanzer of Curbside Splendor.

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Self-published author Clayton Smith talks about the self-publishing process with editor Kim Bookless on June 20, 2015.

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Publicist Lissy Peace speaks during the Savvy Self-Publisher panel on June 20, 2015.

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Debra Englander, a freelance editor, writing coach, and former editorial director at John Wiley & Sons, discusses self-publishing at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Poets & Writers editor in chief Kevin Larimer (left) and poet Roger Reeves listen to a craft talk at Poets & Writers Live in Chicago.

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Novelist Edward Kelsey Moore gives a craft talk about using real-life experiences to enhance fiction writing.

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Essayist Jenny Boully talks about the art of revising beginnings and endings in nonfiction at Poets & Writers Live.

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During his craft talk, poet Roger Reeves discusses the work of poetry in the age of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston.

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Poet Roger Reeves gives a craft talk at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Lindsay Hunter, author of the novel Ugly Girls, performs a Live Lit reading during the Page on Stage segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Parneshia Jones (left) and Megan Stielstra engage in discussion following their Live Lit performances.

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Writer Ines Bellina leads a discussion about Live Lit storytelling at Poets & Writers Live in Chicago.

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Poet Parneshia Jones (left) and essayist Megan Stielstra talk about their work and involvement in Chicago's Live Lit scene.

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Jennifer Day, books editor at the Chicago Tribune, introduces novelist Stuart Dybek on June 20, 2015.

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Acclaimed author Stuart Dybek reads from his work during the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Mark Eleveld of EM Press introduces slam poetry founder Marc Kelly Smith during the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Marc Kelly Smith, creator and founder of the poetry slam movement, performs at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Chicago literary icon Marc Kelly Smith performs at Poets & Writers Live.

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Acclaimed author Stuart Dybek discusses his work during the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Musician Marvin Tate (left) performs an original song with his guitarist on June 20, 2015.

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Marvin Tate wows the audience with his closing performance at Poets & Writers Live.

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Marvin Tate performs at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Audience members chat at the wine reception following Poets & Writers Live in Chicago.

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Poets & Writers Live panelist Lindsay Hunter chats with audience members during the reception on June 20, 2015.

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Poets & Writers Live panelist Megan Stielstra talks with an audience member at the wine reception.

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Poets & Writers Live attendees browse books written by the panelists, courtsey of Chicago bookseller City Lit Books.

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Audience members enjoy the reception following the Poets & Writers Live event in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

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Kevin Larimer of Poets & Writers talks with poet and panelist Parneshia Jones during the wine reception on June 20, 2015.

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