The Florida Literary Arts Coalition will be hosting the 2016 Other Words Literary Conference between Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 at Flagler College. This year's theme of “Writing Funny: The Literary Art of Humor” will focus on the intersection of comedy and literary writing.
The event will include readings by featured authors, discussions on a variety of humor-centered topics, writing workshops, book fair and reception.
Below are a few of the conference’s featured evening readers:
Thursday, Nov. 3
Donald Morrill is the author of three volumes of poetry, “Awaiting Your Impossibilities” (Florida Book Award, Silver Medal for Poetry), “At the Bottom of the Sky” and “With Your Back to Half the Day,” as well as four books of nonfiction. He has taught at Jilin University, Peoples’ Republic of China, and has been a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Lodz, Poland, as well as the Bedell Visiting Writer in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa and Writer-in-residence at the Poetry Center at Smith. Currently he teaches in the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Tampa and is Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies there.
Brandi George's first collection of poetry, “Gog” won the gold medal in the 2015 Florida Book Awards. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Best New Poets 2010, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, Columbia Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, and Prairie Schooner, also winning first place in the Dana Awards and the Zone 3 Poetry Awards. Brandi has been awarded residencies at Hambidge Center for the Arts and the Hill House Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design, and she attended the Sewanee Writer’s Conference as a Tennessee Williams Scholar. Brandi currently resides in Tallahassee, where she is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University.
Helen Pruitt Wallace is the Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg and the 2016 recipient of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance Sunlit Award. Her first collection of poems, “Shimming the Glass House” won the Richard Snyder Prize for Poetry and a bronze Florida Book Award, and a new chapbook, “Pink Streets,” will be published by Yellow Jacket Press. She's received a McKay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award, the dA Center for the Arts Poetry Award, a residency fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference. She earned her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University, and teaches poetry and nonfiction at Eckerd College.
Friday, Nov. 4
Michael Martone's most recent books are, among others, “Winesburg, Indiana,” “Four for a Quarter,” and “Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fiction from the Flyover.” He is the author of five other books of short fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, Story, Antaeus, North American Review, Benzene and Epoch. Martone has won two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation. His stories have won awards in the Italian Americana fiction contest, the Florida Review Short Story Contest, the Story magazine Short, Short Story Contest, the Margaret Jones Fiction Prize of Black Ice Magazine, and the first World's Best Short, Short Story Contest. His stories and essays have appeared and been cited in the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Stories and The Best American Essays anthologies. Martone is currently a professor at the University of Alabama where he has been teaching since 1996.
Michelle Boisseau won the Tampa Review Prize for her fifth book of poems, “Among the Gorgons,” published by University of Tampa Press in 2016. Her “A Sunday in God-Years,” Arkansas 2009, in part examines her paternal ancestors’s slave-holding past in Virginia, into the 17th century. “Trembling Air” was a PEN USA finalist, University of Arkansas Press, 2003. Recent poems appear in Best American Poetry 2016, Poetry Daily, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, Yale Review, and Shenandoah. Her textbook, “Writing Poems,” is now in its 8th edition, with her colleague Hadara Bar-Nadav. Boisseau has twice been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she is Senior Editor of BkMk Press and Contributing Editor of New Letters.
The annual Other Words Conference aims to “to bring together hundreds of the region's literary arts people and form a regional coalition that promotes our mutual literary efforts in as many ways as possible.”
For more information on this year’s conference, visit http://www.floridarts.org/other-words-conference/.