The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2019

Conference Schedule 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Writing the Dead with Kirk Wisland

Date(s): Saturday, February 23, 2019, 4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Basha, Old Main (view map)
Generative Workshop, Presentation
Genre and Form(s): Essays, Journalism, Memoir, Mixed Genre
Tags: The Dead

About the Session

This session explores the ethics, challenges, and diverse approaches to writing about the dead. Wisland will discuss the ways in which several writers (essayists, memoirists, journalists) have tackled narratives that require new and alternative approaches to their writing. Based on his own work and that of Adriana E. Ramirez, Tommy, and Maggie Messitt, Kirk Wisland will explore difficult questions: What do we do with the unanswerable and what does it mean to crowdsource the narrative of a life? When someone’s life ends in tragedy, how do we avoid writing a final moment that might define—or defame—that person? This session will include discussion and generative exercises.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Fellow 2019 Kirk Wisland

Kirk Wisland is a Ph.D. Candidate in Creative Writing at Ohio University. His essay collection, The Melancholy of Falling Men, was selected by Roxane Gay as the winner of the 2015 Iron Horse Chapbook Contest. His work can also be found in Brevity, The Diagram, Proximity, The Normal School, Essay Daily,, Electric Literature, and Paper Darts. Wisland lives in Tucson, where he teaches Composition and Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.