University of North Dakota Writers Conference

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The University of North Dakota Writers Conference is an annual literary event held at the University of North Dakota (UND) located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, whose mission is to offer open access to the arts and create opportunities for discussion of how they impact our every day lives. The Writers Conference is known for being one of the most distinguished cultural events on campus and the state, it brings prominent writers from the United States and abroad to Grand Forks. To date, the Conference has hosted over 360 authors (most genres) and artists to its literary event, including thirty-five Pulitzer Prize winners,[1] four recipients of the Nobel Prize,[2] and many others who have received awards from the MacArthur Foundation, National Book Foundation, National Book Critics Circle, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and more; the participants are by invite only, but all events are, and have always been, free and open to the public.

In recent years, thanks in part to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, over 150 hours of archival video footage is now freely available for educational, scholarly, and historical purposes at digital.undwritersconference.org.

Number Year Theme Participants
50th 2019 What the Future Holds Heid E. Erdrich Kiese Laymon Sally Wen Mao Patrick Martinez Tommy Orange Sarah Smarsh
49th 2018 Truth & Lies Molly McCully Brown Nicholas Galanin David Grann Marlon James Lauren Markham Lorenzo Serna of Unicorn Riot
48th 2017 Citizen Viet Thanh Nguyen NoViolet Bulawayo Jennine Capó Crucet Layli Long Soldier Jeff Shotts Mai Der Vang Mario Ybarra, Jr.
47th 2016 The Art of Science Brian Greene Kim Stanley Robinson Katherine Coles Tania James Allison Leigh Holt Frank Huyler
46th 2015 The Other Half Roxane Gay Gish Jen Bonnie Jo Campbell Carol Muske-Dukes Alexandra Grant Torill Stokkan
45th 2014 Imagine: A Literary Festival on the Prairie Colson Whitehead Robert Pinsky Geoff Dyer Sarah Leavitt Jessica Lott Brian Maxwell
44th 2013 A Portrait of an Artist Dorothy Allison Mary Jo Bang Richard Bausch Nick Flynn Tony Kushner Ed Bok Lee Gary Shteyngart Cheryl Strayed
43rd 2012 humanimal Mark Doty Hal Herzog Pam Houston Brenda Miller Aaron Poochigian Lee Ann Roripaugh Jane Smiley
42nd 2011 (Inter)National Affairs Sean McLain Brown Jim Castellanos Susan Deer Cloud Jamaica Kincaid Maxine Hong Kingston Amoussa Koriko Carl Phillips Matthew Sienkiewicz Russell Scott Valentino
41st 2010 Mind the Gap: Print, New Media Art Mark Amerika Cecelia Condit Deena Larsen Nick Montfort Stuart Moulthrop Art Spiegelman Frank X Walker Saul Williams Zeitgeist
40th 2009 Wit Steve Almond Charles Baxter
(Presidential Lecture)
Marco Candida Chuck Klosterman Jacqueline Osherow Karen Russell Greg Williamson
39th 2008 Revolutions Russell Banks
(Presidential Lecture)
Junot Díaz Alexandra Fuller Alice Fulton Peter Kuper Salman Rushdie
38th 2007 Writing the Body Stuart Dybek Mary Gaitskill Anne Harris (painter) Li-Young Lee Timothy Liu Leslie Adrienne Miller Michelle Richmond Miller Williams
(Presidential Lecture)
37th 2006 Border Crossings Carol Gilligan Barry Lopez
(Presidential Lecture)
Robin Magowan Sam Pickering Mark Salzman Fan Shen Nance van Winckel Branca Vilela
36th 2005 Hope/Illusion Chris Belden Carolyn Forché Charles Johnson Marilyn Nelson Kathleen Norris Jane Urquhart Jane Varley
35th 2004 35th Anniversary Writers Conference Elmaz Abinader Tony Buba Annie Dawid Louise Erdrich
(Presidential Lecturer)
Albert Goldbarth Tony Khalife Marilynne Robinson Mark Turcotte Larry Woiwode
34th 2003 Art & Science Natalie Angier Rafael Campo Devra Davis Alison Hawthorne Deming Thomas Disch Ted Mooney Pattiann Rogers Oliver Sacks Julia Whitty
33rd 2002 Explorations Kate Daniels Sharon Doubiago Eddy Harris Ursula Hegi Bill Holm David Treuer Sara Wheeler
32nd 2001 Worklife/Lifework Peter Carey Gary Fisketjon Kent Haruf Natasha Trethewey Joy Williams Frederick Wiseman Ofelia Zepeda
31st 2000 Writing War John Balaban Eavan Boland Tessa Bridal Robert Olen Butler Helen Fremont Arnold Isaacs Ha Jin Louis Simpson Barbara Sonneborn
30th 1999 Expressing the Sacred Joseph Bruchac Robert Clark Mark Doty Galway Kinnell Victor Masayesva Jr. Peter Matthiessen Ruhama Veltfort Terry Tempest Williams
29th 1998 The Use of History Toi Derricotte Patricia Hampl John Hanson Paulette Jiles Arnošt Lustig Josef Škvorecký August Wilson Susan Yuzna
28th 1997 Writing Nature: The Nature of Writing Susan Griffin Linda Hogan Garrett Hongo Bill McKibben Bill Morrissey Annick Smith David Treuer Meeka Walsh
27th 1996 Living in America Rosellen Brown Jon Hassler Sydney Lea Li-Young Lee David Mura Susan Power Pattiann Rogers
26th 1995 States of the Art Sherman Alexie Gordon Henry Jr. Yusef Komunyakaa Bharati Mukherjee Tim O’Brien Sharon Olds Marge Piercy
25th 1994 Homelands Jonis Agee Sandra Benitez Adrian Louis John Stone Jervey Tervalon Larry Watson James Whitehead
24th 1993 La Literatura: Contemporary Latino/Latina Writing Gloria Anzaldúa Ana Castillo Martín Espada Francisco Goldman Luisa Valenzuela Ed Vega
23rd 1992 A Festival of Publishers and Writers Carol Bly Diane Glancy Linda Hasselstrom William Kloefkorn Ted Kooser Lon Otto David Pichaske Maura Stanton Thom Tammaro Mark Vinz
22nd 1991 The Literatures of Canada David Arnason Ven Begamudré Di Brandt Roch Carrier Madeleine Gagnon Kristjana Gunnars W.P. Kinsella Dorothy Livesay Michael Ondaatje Carol Shields David Williamson
21st 1990 The Literature of Immigration Karen Karbo James McAuley Reginald McKnight Lore Segal Ron Vossler Will Weaver Solveig Zempel
20th 1989 Circle of Many Colors Gretel Ehrlich Richard Ford William Least Heat-Moon N. Scott Momaday Leslie Silko David Solheim Tobias Wolff
19th 1988 Parent and Child Michael Dorris Louise Erdrich Patrick Hemingway Adam Hochschild Mona Simpson W. D. Snodgrass
18th 1987 Writers of the Purple Sage Ralph Beer Joy Harjo Robert Kammen Larry McMurtry Paul St. Pierre Elizabeth Tallent James Welch
17th 1986 To Make a Prairie Raymond Carver Ellen Gilchrist Rebecca Hill Maxine Kumin Jay McInerney Ernest Mickler Robert Ward John Yount
16th 1985 Narratives Ann Beattie Sandra Birdsell Amy Clampitt Jorie Graham Alex Haley Barry Hannah Norman Mailer Thomas McGrath (poet)
15th 1984 Nineteen eighty-four Harlan Ellison Gay Haldeman Joe Haldeman Robert Silverberg Jane Sturgeon Theodore Sturgeon Luisa Valenzuela Roger Zelazny
14th 1983 The Centennial Year Joseph Brodsky Carolyn Forché Richard Howard Bobbie Ann Mason James Alan McPherson James Merrill Czesław Miłosz
13th 1982 International Writers Ellen Gilchrist Thomas McGrath (poet) Alain Robbe-Grillet Susan Sontag Arturo Vivante Derek Walcott
12th 1981 Voices Esther Broner Robert Creeley Etheridge Knight Denise Levertov Ntozake Shange Richard Wilbur
11th 1980 The Storyteller Harry Crews Selo Black Crow James Crumley James Dickey June Jordan Richard Kostelanetz Leslie Silko
10th 1979 Epitomes, Bombast, and Climaxes Edward Albee Robert Bly Frederick Exley N. Scott Momaday Grace Paley Megan Terry
9th 1978 The Mirror and the Lamp John Ashbery Amiri Baraka William Burroughs Ring Lardner Jr. Tillie Olsen Eudora Welty
8th 1977 Literature and Film Harlan Ellison George Garrett John Houseman Larry McMurtry Marcel Ophüls Joan Tewkesbury
7th 1976 New Journalism and the Novel Truman Capote Ed McClanahan B.J. Phillips Alix Kates Shulman Larry Woiwode Tom Wolfe
6th 1975 Spirit of Place John Barth Wendell Berry William Gass Ken Kesey N. Scott Momaday Ishmael Reed Alice Walker
5th 1974 City Lights Bookstore in North Dakota Gregory Corso Lawrence Ferlinghetti Allen Ginsberg Michael McClure Peter Orlovsky Kenneth Rexroth Gary Snyder Miriam Patchen
4th 1973 Women in the Arts Gwendolyn Brooks Carolyn Kizer Myrna Lamb Mary McCarthy Diane Wakoski Sylvia Wilkinson
3rd 1972 American Indian Writers Conference Frederick Manfred Ed McGaa Thomas McGrath (poet) Simon Ortiz Jerome Rothenberg James Welch Ray Young Bear
2nd 1971 Northern Plains Writers Conference David Evans Roland Flint Lois P. Hudson Richard Lyons Thomas McGrath (poet) John R. Milton Antony Oldknow
1st 1970 Southern Writers Conference on the Arts William Anderson John C. Carr Fred Chappell Jesse Hill Ford George Garrett Peter Taylor James Whitehead

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