Boldface Visiting Writers are special guests to the conference who are graduates of the University of Houston’s renowned Creative Writing Program. They give craft talks and readings at the conference, and are available for individual manuscript consultations.
Meet the 2016 Visiting Writers
Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction. the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Book of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and is currently a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. She is also the author of a collection of stories, How to Escape from a Leper Colony, which won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5Under35. BookPage listed Tiphanie as one of the 14 Women to watch out for in 2014. Her writing has won the 2011 Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places. Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands and is a professor in the MFA program at the New School in New York City, where she is the 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. She lives in New Rochelle, New York with her husband, teacher and photographer Moses Djeli, and their two children. Her collection of poems, Wife, will be published in November 2015.
Lauren Berry received a BA in creative writing from Florida State University and an MFA from the University of Houston, where she won the Inprint Verlaine Prize and served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. From 2009 to 2010 she held the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute. Her first collection of poems, The Lifting Dress, was selected by Terrance Hayes to win the National Poetry Series and was released by Penguin in 2011. She currently teaches AP English Literature and English Four at Cypress Woods High School.
Kimberly Meyer’s memoir, The Book of Wanderings (Little, Brown), recalls the journey she and her eldest daughter made by retracing a medieval pilgrimage route to the Holy Land and St Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Desert in the summer after the Arab Spring. Other writing has appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, Ecotone, The Oxford American, The Georgia Review, Agni, The Southern Review, and Third Coast. An audio-documentary she produced aired on Public Radio International’s This American Life. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been awarded a Houston Arts Alliance grant and a Michener Fellowship in Non-Fiction, and she has received fellowships to attend the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. She teaches in a Great Books program at the University of Houston’s Honors College.