The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2019

Conference Schedule 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Literary Citizenship Panel: Craft as Culture with Kirstin Chen, Bill Konigsberg, Jennine Capó Crucet, Matthew Salesses, Jake Friedman

Date(s): Friday, February 22, 2019, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Carson Ballroom, Old Main (view map)
Genre and Form(s): Community, Social Justice, Social Practice, Writing Life

About the Session

We often think about mass media and journalism in the context of social responsibility: what and how news is covered, as well as accuracy and objectivity. What about literature? Do writers have a responsibility to engage with critical societal issues or movements? What brings a writer to feel compelled to use their art as social commentary or activism? How do race, class, and other social categories affect our lives and lead us toward certain subject matter or genre? Can creativity even be obligated at all? Join authors Kirstin Chen, Bill Konigsberg, Jennine Capó Crucet, and Matthew Salesses as they explore these ideas and share their understanding of what being a good literary citizen means.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019 Kirsten Chen
Kirstin Chen's new novel, Bury What We Cannot Take (Little A, March 2018), has been named a Most Anticipated Upcoming Book by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle, among others. She is also the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. She was the fall 2017 NTU-NAC National Writer in Residence in Singapore, and has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Born and raised in Singapore, she currently resides in San Francisco.
Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019 Bill Konigsberg

Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning author of five young adult novels, including The Porcupine of Truth, which won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Stonewall Book Award in 2016, and Openly Straight, which won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and was a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award and Lambda Literary Award in 2014 and has been translated into five languages. In 2018, The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)'s Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) established the Bill Konigsberg Award for Acts and Activism for Equity and Inclusion through Young Adult Literature. He lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck, and their Australian Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford.

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019 Jennine Capó Crucet
Jennine Capó Crucet is a novelist, essayist, and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. Her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers was the winner of the International Latino Book Award, a New York Times Editor's Choice book, and was cited as a best book of the year by NBC Latino, the Guardian, and the Miami Herald. She is also the author of the story collection How to Leave Hialeah (winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize and the John Gardner Book award), and of a forthcoming essay collection, Never Imagined Me Here. Her writing has been awarded an O. Henry Prize and Picador Fellowship, among other honors, and her work has appeared in venues including Medium, the Los Angeles Review, Guernica, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and on PBSNewsHour. Raised in Miami, she’s currently an associate professor of Creative Writing and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska.
Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference 2019 Faculty Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses is the author of the novel The Hundred-Year Flood (Little A/Amazon Publishing), an Amazon Bestseller, Best Book of September, and Kindle First pick; an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015; a Millions Most Anticipated of 2015; a Thought Catalog Essential Contemporary Book by an Asian American Writer; and a Best Book of the season at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and Gawker, among others. Forthcoming are a new novel, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear (Little A, 2020), and a collection of essays, Own Story (Little A, 2021). His previous books and chapbooks include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying (Civil Coping Mechanisms), Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity (Thought Catalog Books), and The Last Repatriate (Nouvella). Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers in 2015. Matthew is an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College and teaches in the Low-residency MFA Program at Ashland University.

Picture of Jake Friedman

Jake Friedman currently serves as the Marketing and Outreach Specialist at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, where he is responsible for marketing and outreach, graphic design, the website, newsletters, special projects, social media, and more. Prior to that, he served as a Coordinator. He joined the Piper Center in August of 2016. Jake was the Founder, Director, and Editor in Chief of an independent community literary magazine and small press called Four Chambers, and has extensive experience organizing numerous grassroots events and programs throughout the Valley (including readings, writing groups, workshops, classes, presentations, public art partnerships, and more). He graduated from McDaniel College in 2011 with a BA in English and Philosophy. He served as an intern with the Arizona Commission on the Arts in early 2016. Before that, he bartended and waited tables. As a writer, Jake usually writes poetry and experimental prose and has a few publications, including the 7th Avenue Streetscape Project on the corner of 7th Avenue and Glenrose in the city of Phoenix. He has also been known to speak to groups, edit, and occasionally teach. He is always down to schedule a phone call or get coffee to talk shop or have other conversations. He lives in Phoenix with his partner and a cat.