Dana Spiotta

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"Number 1: Don't write what you know. Start with what you don't know, what you don't understand." In her craft talk at the 2012 Colgate Writers' Conference, novelist Dana Spiotta explains how she wrote Stone Arabia (Scribner, 2011) in six (not-so-easy) steps. Her new novel, Innocents and Others (Scribner, 2016), explores a friendship between two female filmmakers.

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Tim Seibles

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"In this country, poetry is largely ignored." Tim Seibles speaks with City of Asylum Pittsburgh about poetry in the United States, his fascination with how sexuality is expressed, and how he gets into the minds of characters. Seibles's latest collection, Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2012), was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award in poetry.

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Amber Sparks

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"'Old people,' whispers Anna to her brother, 'are actually half robot. Only a robot could walk that slow.'" Amber Sparks​ reads ​"Cocoon​"​ from her first story collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies (Curbside Splendor, 2012). Her second story collection, The Unfinished World: And Other Stories (Liveright, 2016), explores star-crossed lovers, taxidermists, time travelers, and space janitors.

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Diane Williams

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Diane Williams reads seven stories from her collection Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty (McSweeney's Books, 2012) for the Franklin Park Reading Series in Brooklyn. Williams's newest collection of stories, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine (McSweeney's Books, 2016), is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Matthew Gavin Frank

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Matthew Gavin Frank talks about one of his favorite characters from Pot Farm (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), a nonfiction account of his experience living on a marijuana farm in Northern California. Frank, whose most recent book, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food, was published by Liveright in November, will be a panelist at Poets & Writers Live in Austin, Texas on January 9.

Chris Cleave

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"People think I'm a writer of these very sad stories. Well, I wanted to write about something that was joyful and I wanted to write about how much people will sacrifice of their ambition in order to care for the people they love," says Chris Cleave, the best-selling author of Little Bee (2009), about his next novel, Gold, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster next summer.

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