On Wednesday and Thursday, March 16-17, 2022, the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, in partnership with the schools of the Atlanta University Center (Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University), will host its second Craft & Conversation Creative Symposium at the Atlanta University Center’s Woodruff Library.
The mission of the symposium is to increase the diversity of voices represented in the literary landscape. Over two days, the symposium will highlight intimate conversations about the practice and teaching of creative writing, the professional writing life, writing curricula and resources, and co-curricular opportunities for AUC students.
"Our goal is to encourage emerging writers at HBCUs. We want to show students that they can accomplish anything and that there are many different ways they can nurture and pursue their passions,” says Lan Samantha Chang, Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
This year’s symposium highlights the legacy of the late MacArthur Fellow James Alan McPherson (1943-2016), a Morris Brown alumnus, Georgia native, and the first African American winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. McPherson was instrumental in developing generations of writers at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The tribute will feature Chang and National Book Award Finalist Jamel Brinkley, followed by the keynote speaker poet and Guggenheim Fellow Tracie Morris, also a faculty member at the Writers’ Workshop.
Wednesday, March 16, features morning and afternoon craft workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with MFA candidates and alumni of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with professors from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. In a later afternoon panel, Iowa and AUC faculty authors, including Daniel Black, Stephane Dunn, and Wandeka Gayle (among others) will read from their recently published or forthcoming books.
Thursday, March 17, opens with a conversation among AUC writing faculty and Leah Creque, Associate Provost of Pedagogy and Assessment at Morehouse College, on creative writing program development and opportunities for students. The second day closes with AUC student performances.