{{featured_button_text}}
Globe

The Napa Valley Writer's Conference take place July 28 - Aug. 2.

Literature is often credited with transporting readers to other worlds. This exploration across borders – linguistic, historic, and geographic – is a central preoccupation for visiting authors who will serve as faculty at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference July 28 to Aug. 2.

The annual conference includes readings and lectures to which the public are invited.

Poet Forrest Gander, who won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for his collection “Be With,” is a translator, essayist, and frequent collaborator with other artists, from ceramicists to photographers to dancers.

“Be With” includes a version of a poem by a Spanish mystic and a multilingual exploration of the U.S.-Mexico border that draws on his background in both geology and literature to describe “a luminous borderland where the self dissolves into the world,” wrote The New York Times.

Serving on the poetry faculty with Gander will be:

  • poet Eavan Boland, one of the foremost voices of Irish literature;
  • Jane Hirshfield, who has collaborated on four collections co-translating the works of world poets in addition to authoring eight collections of poetry and two books of essays;
  • Major Jackson, author of four poetry collections and winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a Whiting Writers’ Award.

Julie Orringer’s second novel, “The Flight Portfolio,” takes readers to occupied France during World War II, when real-life American philanthropist Varian Fry orchestrated the escape of some 2,000 refugees, including prominent intellectuals, writers, and artists.

Orringer navigates the zone between historical fact and fiction, an experience she’ll reference in her conference lecture on writing craft, titled “The Crossroads of Circumstance: Why Setting Matters.”

The conference will also debut a translation workshop this year, led by Howard Norman, winner of the Harold Morton Landon Prize in translation from the Academy of American Poets. Norman has taught translation at the Smithsonian Institute as well as in Amsterdam, Montreal, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Genoa. He is the author of nine novels, most recently “The Ghost Clause,” to be published in July 2019.

Along with Orringer, the fiction faculty includes Mitchell S. Jackson, whose memoir, “Survivor Math,” was published in March; Ryan Harty, whose story collection “Bring Me Your Saddest Arizona” received the John Simmons Award for Short Fiction; and Lan Samantha Chang, whose debut story collection, “Hunger: A Novella and Stories,” examines the Chinese-American immigrant experience, and whose novel “Inheritance” depicts the world left behind.

Public events

The public is invited to attend daytime lectures and evening readings as well as free pre-reading discussions at the St. Helena Public Library during the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

Evening readings will be held Sunday, July 28, through Thursday, Aug. 1, and cost $20 per person, with free admission for students. The afternoon discussion sessions at the library will be led by Bay Area poet Caroline Goodwin Monday, July 29, through Wednesday, July 31, and will focus on the authors slated to read at the wineries each evening.

Admission to the daytime lectures, which will be held at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, costs $25 each, or $15 for students. A Wednesday afternoon reading by conference participants in St. Helena is free and open to the public.

The lineup of public events includes:

— Sunday, July 28:

7 p.m.: Poet Major Jackson and fiction writer Ryan Harty will read following a half-hour wine reception to open the event; the evening’s program will begin at 7:30. Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

— Monday, July 29:

9 a.m.: Eavan Boland will give a talk about poetry titled “From Object to Author,” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena. 1:30 p.m.: Mitchell S. Jackson will give a talk about fiction titled “Voice as Composition” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

3 p.m.: Howard Norman will give a talk about translation titled “Homesickness Guides the Plovers: Letters to/from W. S. Merwin—an Epistolary Biography of a 46-year Friendship” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

4:30 p.m.: Caroline Goodwin will discuss the works of Jane Hirshfield and Lan Samantha Chang at the St. Helena Public Library, 1492 Library Lane, St. Helena.

6 p.m.: Poet Jane Hirshfield and fiction writer Lan Samantha Chang will read at Clos Pegase Winery, 1060 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga. A half-hour wine reception will open the event, with the evening’s program beginning at 6:30.

— Tuesday, July 30:

9 a.m.: Forrest Gander will give a talk about poetry titled “Documentary Poetics, the Long Poem, and CD Wright” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

1:30 p.m.: Ryan Harty will give a talk about writing fiction titled “The Hook: How to Engage Your Readers and Keep Them on the Line” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

4:30 p.m.: Caroline Goodwin will discuss the works of Eavan Boland and Julie Orringer at the St. Helena Public Library, 1492 Library Lane, St. Helena.

6 p.m.: Poet Eavan Boland and fiction writer Julie Orringer will read at Robert Mondavi Winery, 7801 St. Helena Highway, Oakville. A half-hour wine reception will open the event, with the evening’s program beginning at 6:30.

— Wednesday, July 31:

9 a.m.: Major Jackson will give a talk about poetry titled “Once More, With Feeling: Writing Poems of Passion,” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

1:30 p.m.: Lan Samantha Chang will give a talk about writing fiction titled “Thoughts on Novels and the Novel Process” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

4:30 p.m.: Caroline Goodwin will discuss the works of Forrest Gander and Mitchell S. Jackson at the St. Helena Public Library, 1492 Library Lane, St. Helena.

6 p.m.: Poet Forrest Gander and fiction writer Mitchell S. Jackson will read at Solage, 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga. A half-hour wine reception will open the event, with the evening’s program beginning at 6:30.

— Thursday, Aug. 1:

9 a.m.: Jane Hirshfield will give a talk about poetry at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

1:30 p.m.: Julie Orringer will give a talk about writing fiction titled “The Crossroads of Circumstance: Why Setting Matters” at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

6:30 p.m.: On the closing night of the conference, Howard Norman will read fiction and translation and conference participants will present their best works at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.

For more about the conference’s visiting faculty writers, and full details about the event schedule, visit napawritersconference.org. To join the conference community online, “like” the conference at facebook.com/napawriters or follow twitter.com/napawriters.

Get News Alerts delivered directly to you.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
1
0
0
0
0