MELISSA BANK is the author of The Wonder Spot (2005) and the best-selling The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing (1999). She was the winner of the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and has published stories in The North American Review, Zoetrope, The Chicago Tribune, Ascent, and Other Voices. Her work has been heard on "Selected Shorts" on National Public Radio. Bank holds an MFA from Cornell University, and divides her time between New York City and Sag Harbor.
KIM BARNES is the author of two memoirs and three novels, most recently In the Kingdom of Men, the story of a young American couple living in 1960s Saudi Arabia. A Country Called Home, which received the 2009 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Fiction, was named a best book of 2008 by The Washington Post, Kansas City Star, and The Oregonian. She is the recipient of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award for an emerging woman writer of nonfiction, and her first memoir, In the Wilderness, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including the New York Times, MORE Magazine, O Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Fourth Genre, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. Barnes is a professor of writing at the University of Idaho and lives with her husband, the poet Robert Wrigley, on Moscow Mountain.
BILLY COLLINS is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Horoscopes for the Dead (Random House, 2011). Others titles include Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Nine Horses, Ballistics and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of three anthologies: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Bird Poems. His poems have been published in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The American Scholar, and he appears regularly in The Best American Poetry. A Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Public Library "Literary Lion," he is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He served as New York State Poet (2004-5) and United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003).
URSULA HEGI is the author of 12 books. Her Burgdorf Cycle encompasses 4 of her novels: Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, The Vision of Emma Blau, and now Children and Fire. Hegi's work has been translated into many languages, and her awards include the Italian Grinzane Cavour, an NEA Fellowship, and a PEN/Faulkner Award. She has taught at Barnard College, the University of California at Irvine, and Bread Loaf. She has also served as a juror for the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle. A bi-cultural writer, Ursula didn’t plan to set nearly half of her work in Europe and the other half in the Americas—but that's how the pages have opened for her, reflecting what it is like to be an immigrant.
MATTHEW KLAM was named one of the 20 best young fiction writers in America by The New Yorker in 1999. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim, a PEN/Robert Bingham Award, an NEA grant, a Whiting Writers' Award, and an O. Henry Award. His first book, Sam the Cat and Other Stories (Vintage), was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and Esquire, was chosen by Borders Books for their New Voices Series, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, GQ, Harper’s, Nerve, and The New York Times Magazine, where he is a contributing writer. He has taught creative writing at the University of Michigan, American University, and Stockholm University in Sweden.
PATRICIA MCCORMICK, a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award, is the author of four critically acclaimed novels – Purple Heart , a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold , a deeply moving account of sexual trafficking; My Brother’s Keeper , a realistic view of teenage substance abuse and Cut, an intimate portrait of one teenager’s struggle with self-injury. Her books have earned many honors: Sold was named by Publishers Weekly as one of Best 100 Books of the Year and was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults in 2006. Cut was an ALA Best Book for Teenagers. McCormick was named a New York Foundation of the Arts fellow in 2004. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives in Manhattan.
DAVID RAKOFF is the author of the essay collections Half Empty, Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable. He is a regular contributor to Public Radio International’s “This American Life,” Outside Magazine, and is writer-at-large for GQ. He has also written for The New York Observer, The New York Times Magazine, Salon, Slate, Seed Magazine, and Wired, among others.
ROGER ROSENBLATT's essays for Time magazine have won two George Polk awards, among others. His television essays for the NewsHour on PBS have won the Peabody and the Emmy. He is the author of six off-Broadway plays and 15 books, published in 13 languages. They include the New York Times bestsellers, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, and Making Toast, a memoir of his family, which initially appeared as an essay in The New Yorker. Other books are the novels Beet and Lapham Rising, another bestseller, as were Rules for Aging and Children of War, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy book prize. His one-man show, Free Speech in America, was cited by the Times as one of the 10 best plays of 1991. In 2008, he was appointed Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook.
MEG WOLITZER is the author of nine novels, including The Uncoupling; The Ten-Year Nap; The Position; and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Wolitzer has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Columbia University, Skidmore College, the University of Houston, Boston University and Barnard College. Her children's book, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, was published in the fall.
ROBERT WRIGLEY grew up in Collinsville, a coal-mining town. The first member of his family to graduate from college and the first male in many generations never to work in a coal mine, he attended Southern Illinois University and the University of Montana, where he studied with the late Richard Hugo and developed an abiding love for the western wilderness. He has published eight books of poetry: The Sinking of Clay City (Copper Canyon Press, 1979); Moon In a Mason Jar (University of Illinois, 1986); What My Father Believed (Illinois, 1991); In the Bank of Beautiful Sins (Penguin, 1995, San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award winner and Lenore Marshall Award finalist); Reign of Snakes (Penguin, 1999, Kingsley Tufts Award winner); Lives of the Animals (Penguin, 2003, The Poets’ Prize winner); Earthly Meditations: New and Selected Poems (Penguin, 2006); and most recently, Beautiful Country (Penguin, 2010). He is the recipient of two NEA fellowships and a Guggenheim. Wrigley’s poems have twice been anthologized in Best American Poetry and have appeared in dozens of magazines and literary journals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Poetry. Since 1977 he has lived in Idaho, where he and his wife, the writer Kim Barnes, teache in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Idaho.
*Participating authors subject to change. Schedule of events will be forthcoming.