September 13-16, 2018
Lexington, Kentucky

2017 Presenters

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. Diaz... more

Camille Dungy

Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry: Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), Smith Blue (Southern Illinois UP, 2011), Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006). Her debut... more

Olivia Gatwood

Olivia Gatwood’s best-selling debut poetry collection, New American Best Friend (2017), is a tribute to contemporary American womanhood that deconstructs stereotypes from childhood to adulthood, gender to sexuality, violence to joy. The book moves toward celebration, culminating in a series of odes:... more

Jessica Handler

Jessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief. Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Her essays and nonfiction features have... more

Annie Hwang

Annie Hwang is originally from Los Angeles and represents a range of fiction and select nonfiction. As a former journalist, she possesses a keen editorial eye which she brings to her approach to agenting, taking an active role in helping clients reach their full potential and guiding them through every stage of their writing career... more

Martyna Majok

Martyna Majok's play Cost of Living began previews off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club on May 16, 2017. Highly recommended: this short video about the play and its cast, and this New York Times... more

Kristi Maxwell

Kristi Maxwell is the author of five books of poetry: Realm Sixty-four (Ahsahta, 2008), Hush Sessions (Saturnalia, 2009), Re- (Ahsahta, 2011), That Our Eyes Be Rigged (Saturnalia, 2014), and PLAN/K (Horseless Press, 2015). Her scholarly work appears in Anne... more

Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her second essay collection, Animals Strike Curious Poses, was recently reviewed in the New York... more

Raegan Payne

Raegan Payne is an award-winning playwright whose plays are regularly produced and performed in the U.S. and internationally. Innovations in stem cell technologies have long been a fascination for her and are the context for her play Timeless: A Scientific Comedy. Payne began college as a pre-med student... more

Melynda J. Price

Melynda J. Price is the Robert E. Harding, Jr. Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky and Director of the African American and Africana Studies Program in its College of Arts and Sciences. She was named University Research Professor for the 2017–18 academic year by the UK Board of Trustees... more

Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead is the author of two novels, Astonish Me and Seating Arrangements, which was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of... more

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California, in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California, and across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada. She is the author of ... more

Kayla Rae Whitaker

Kayla Rae Whitaker’s debut novel The Animators (Random House) was a Spring 2017 Discover Great New Writers Pick from Barnes & Noble. Her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, Split Lip Magazine, Bodega, Joyland, Five Quarterly, American Microreviews and Interviews,... more