[VIRTUAL] Cultivating Voices: Navigating the MFA Journey as BIPOC Writers
[VIRTUAL] Cultivating Voices: Navigating the MFA Journey as BIPOC Writers


Is an MFA right for me? How do I make sure my application is the best it can be? Should I consider a low-residency program? This October, join AAWW for a panel that will address all these questions, and beyond. This event will feature faculty members Sindya Bhanoo, Don Lee, Beth Nguyen, and Jess Silfa, as they seek to empower and celebrate the unique experiences and voices of BIPOC writers as they embark on their MFA journeys. Panelists will discuss the process of applying to MFA programs as well as what to expect as you work to complete the degree. so come prepared with questions for all things MFA.

Sindya Bhanoo is the author of the collection Seeking Fortune Elsewhere. She is the winner of an Oregon Book Award, the New American Voices Award, and an O. Henry Prize. Seeking Fortune Elsewhere was a finalist for the Pen/Bingham Award and longlisted for both the Story Prize and ALA’s Carnegie Medal for Excellence. A longtime newspaper reporter, Sindya has worked for The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches creative writing at Oregon State University.

Don Lee’s latest book is the story collection The Partition, which was longlisted for The Story Prize. He is also the author of the novels Lonesome Lies Before Us, The Collective, Wrack and Ruin, and Country of Origin, and the story collection Yellow. A 2023 Guggenheim Fellow, he has also received an American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. His stories have been published in One Story, The Sewanee Review, VQR, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. He lives near Baltimore with his wife, the writer Jane Delury, and directs the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Beth Nguyen is the author of the recently published memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart, the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, and two novels. Her work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Best American Essays. She is a professor of creative writing and director of the MFA Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Jess Silfa is a writer and poet from the South Bronx. They have a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and an MFA from Vanderbilt University in Creative Writing (Fiction). They will begin a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati in Fall 2023. Jess has received a Displaced Artist Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Mae Fellowship, and a Ricardo Salinas Scholarship for Aspen Summer Words. Jess currently serves as President of the Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus. They are working on their first novel and are repped by Annie DeWitt at The Shipman AgencyFollow Jess on Twitter @jesilfa.



This event will be auto-captioned by Zoom. ASL Interpretation is provided by our friends at Pro Bono ASL.


[VIRTUAL] Cultivating Voices: Navigating the MFA Journey as BIPOC Writers

Wednesday, October 4, 2023
7:00 PM

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