Poets & Writers Live Photos

Austin, Texas: Inspiration

The seventh Poets & Writers Live event was held on January 9, 2016, at the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus in Austin. A wealth of prolific authors from the area and beyond—including Elizabeth McCracken, Ben Fountain, David Searcy, Naomi Shihab Nye, Benjamin Percy, Alex Lemon, Susan Schorn, Karan Mahajan, Ebony Stewart, and many more—joined agents, editors, and critics Saeed Jones, Scott Hoffman, Michael Schaub, and Jill Meyers, and the editors of Poets & Writers Magazine, for an inspiring day of readings, craft talks, and performances.

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Poet and essayist Alex Lemon delivers a poetry craft talk on "Breaking or Entering: Titles & First Lines."

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Texas author Ben Fountain, author of the award-winning novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and the story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara, talks about his inspirations and process on the Why We Write panel.

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Award-winning novelist, short story writer, and comic book writer Benjamin Percy delivers a heart-stopping, pulse-pounding lecture on Writing with Urgency.

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Poet Carrie Fountain leads the audience in a poetic experiment—creating a collective exquisite corpse.

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David Searcy reads from his new essay collection, Shame and Wonder, published by Random House in January, as part of the Nonfiction Spotlight.

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Three-time slam champion Ebony Stewart talks to participants after closing out the day with a poetry performance—and a standing ovation.

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Author and illustrator Edward Carey answers questions from the audience about creative process and publishing.

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Austin-based fiction writer Elizabeth McCracken, author most recently of the collection Thunderstruck and Other Stories, delivers the keynote address on creativity and inspiration.

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Jill Meyers, the codirector of the Austin-based small press A Strange Object, offers her feedback on a participant's elevator pitch as part of the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Karan Mahajan, whose second novel, The Association of Small Bombs, is forthcoming from Viking in March, gives a craft talk on the tragicomic impulse in fiction.

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Poets & Writers editor in chief Kevin Larimer gets into character as participants deliver their elevator pitches.

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Kirk Lynn, a novelist and the artistic director of Rude Mechs theater collective, leads the audience in a prayer of inspiration.

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Austin fiction writer Lara Prescott talks with other writers at the literary mixer.

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Texas writer and teacher Darius Frasure stops for a smile between mingling at the Literary Mixer.

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Matthew Gavin Frank reads from his newest book, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food, which was published by Liveright in November, as part of the Nonfiction Spotlight.

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As part of the Perfect Pitch Panel, book critic Michael Schaub offers his input on one partcipant's elevator pitch.

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Naomi Shihab Nye, the author of thirty-five books of poetry, prose, and works for young readers, leads a conversation with fellow poets and authors about Why We Write.

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Participant Jan Rider Newman receives feedback on her novel pitch during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Editor Jill Meyers and agent Scott Hoffman offer feedback on Dallas writer Leah Tieger's elevator pitch.

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Editor Jill Meyers and agent Scott Hoffman offer feedback to writer Amy Rutten on her elevator pitch.

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Nevada City writer Amy Rutten delivers an elevator pitch for her first novel as part of the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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An audience member poses a question for one of the day's panelists.

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An audience member asks a question about publishing during the Advice Bites panel.

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A writer surveys the scene at the Literary Mixer.

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Two writers share thoughts from the day and a glass of wine at the Literary Mixer.

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Poets & Writers Magazine editorial assistant Caroline Davidson and one of the day's helpers, Alex Layman, serve wine for partipants at the Literary Mixer.

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Poet and BuzzFeed executive culture editor Saeed Jones talks inspiration and process during the Why We Write panel.

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Agent Scott Hoffman, a founding partner of Folio Literary Management, offers his publishing advice for writers during the Advice Bites panel.

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Poets & Writers Magazine editorial assistant Caroline Davidson and assistant editor Dana Isokawa at the Literary Mixer.

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Creative nonfiction writer Susan Schorn delivers a craft talk on "Finding Magnetic North: Revising and Shaping Your Creative Nonfiction."

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Portland, Oregon: Independent Publishing

The sixth Poets & Writers Live event was held on October 17, 2015, at the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Mediatheque theater. The editors of many of the area's most exciting presses and literary magazines, including Heidi Broadhead of Wave Books, Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press, Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Books, and Cheston Knapp of Tin House, joined the editors of Poets & Writers Magazine and authors such as Matthew Dickman, Debra Gwartney, Barry Lopez, Elena Passerello, Tom Spanbauer, Justin Taylor, and many more to explore the art of writing and the business of independent publishing.

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Award-winning author Barry Lopez delivers the keynote address to kick off Poets & Writers Live: Independent Publishing in Portland, Oregon.

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Tin House managing editor Cheston Knapp talks about Portland's rich tradition of independent literary magazines.

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Poets & Writers Magazine assistant editor Dana Isokawa moderates a panel on literary magazines in the Portland area.

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Essayist Elena Passarello presents a craft talk, "Point Sublime: Research and Uncertainty in the Literary Essay."

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Heidi Broadhead, managing editor of the Seattle-based poetry press Wave Books, talks about the independent publishing community in the Pacific Northwest.

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Fiction writer Justin Taylor, author of the story collections Flings and Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy, talks to participants during the literary mixer.

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Kevin Sampsell, publisher of Future Tense Books, talks with the editors of some of the Pacific Northwest's most successful independent presses.

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Kim Winterheimer, the founding editor of the Masters Review, talks about the magazine's mission to publish new and emerging writers of fiction and creative nonfiction. 

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LeAnna Crawford, managing editor of Gertrude—the biannual arts and literary magazine of Gertrude Press—talks independent publishing and Portland's queer community.

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Fiction writer Leni Zumas delivers her craft talk "In Praise of Debris: On Using Shards, Dregs, and Detritus in Fiction."

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Small-press and literary magazine editors show off their wares at the Poets & Writers Live book fair.

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Novelist Monica Drake talks to a participant over a glass of wine at the literary mixer.

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Liz Mehl, cofounder and director of Poetry Press Week, speaks as part of a panel on organizations that support the Portland writing community.

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Portland-area magazine and small-press editors share a laugh at the book fair.

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Writer Margaret Malone, a student of Tom Spanbauer's Dangerous Writing workshop, shares some of her own dangerous writing.

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Poet Matthew Dickman delivers the craft talk "Skinheads, Suicide, and Government Assistance: Why Subjects Don't Make Poets Into Heroes."

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Writer Matty Byloos, a student of Tom Spanbauer's Dangerous Writing workshop, reads his work.

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Michael Wiegers, editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press, talks independent publishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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Portland performance poet and storyteller Mindy Nettifee presents a PowerPoint presentation on how to survive astrological threats to the creative process.

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Portland performance poet and storyteller Mindy Nettifee reads a powerful poem to close out the night.

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Natalie Garyet, managing editor of Tavern Books, talks all things independent publishing in Portland. With Heidi Broadhead, managing editor of Wave Books.

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Andrew Proctor, executive director of Literary Arts, and A. M. O'Malley, program director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center, talk resources for writers in Portland.

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Poets & Writers Magazine editor in chief Kevin Larimer, editorial assistant Caroline Davidson, and assistant editor Dana Isokawa kick back at the literary mixer.

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Rhonda Hughes, publisher of the Portland-based fiction and nonfiction press Hawthorne Books, talks independent publishing.

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William Hertling, the self-published author of the best-selling Singularity series, and book publicist Jessica Glenn discuss the opportunities available to independent authors as well as the challenges they face as part of Debra Englander's Savvy Self-Publisher panel.

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Portland-area writers and editors mingle at the Poets & Writers Live book fair.

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Portland writer Marilyn Stablein at the literary mixer.

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Critically acclaimed novelist Tom Spanbauer, author of Faraway PlacesThe Man Who Fell In Love With The MoonIn The City of Shy HuntersNow Is the Hour, and, most recently, I Loved You More (Hawthorne Books, 2014), presents a talk on Dangerous Writing, an innovative approach to writing that forms the basis of the workshop he has been teaching in Portland for years.

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A group of writers chat over wine and cheese at the literary mixer.

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Chicago: Agents & Editors

The fifth Poets & Writers Live event was held on June 20, 2015, at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago and featured Li-Young Lee, Kevin Coval, Haki Madhubuti, Jeff Kleinman, Renée Zuckerbrot, Don Share, Roger Reeves, Edward Kelsey Moore, Jenny Boully, Megan Stielstra, Parneshia Jones, Lindsay Hunter, Stuart Dybek, Marc Kelly Smith, and many other authors, editors, and publishing professionals.

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Elliot Figman, executive director of Poets & Writers, introduces the fifth annual Poets & Writers Live event at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago.

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Award-winning poet Li-Young Lee reads a selection of his work during his poetry keynote address at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Kevin Coval, poet and artistic director of the Chicago nonprofit Young Chicago Authors, discusses the importance of finding a writing community during the Resources for Writers in Chicago and the Role of Community panel.

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Poet and professor Kelly Norman Ellis talks about the various resources available for writers in Chicago at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Haki Madhubuti, a writer, educator, and founder and president of Third World Press, discusses resources for writers in Chicago at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Perfect Pitch panelists Michael Taeckens, a publicist at Broadside: Expert Literary PR, and Jeff Kleinman of Folio Literary Management.

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Literary agent Renée Zuckerbrot responds to a query letter written by an audience member during the Perfect Pitch panel.

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Publicist Michael Taeckens critiques an audience member's query letter during the Perfect Pitch panel.

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An audience member, poet Jessica Walsh, gets advice from a surprise guest (Michael Wiegers, executive editor of Copper Canyon Press) during the Perfect Pitch Panel in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

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During the Editors panel, Don Share discusses his role as the editor of Poetry magazine.

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Adrienne Gunn of TriQuarterly discusses her work as a literary journal editor on June 20, 2015.

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From left: Melissa Faliveno of Poets & Writers, Jeff Pfaller of Midwestern Gothic, Don Share of Poetry, Adrienne Gunn of TriQuarterly, and Ben Tanzer of Curbside Splendor.

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Self-published author Clayton Smith talks about the self-publishing process with editor Kim Bookless on June 20, 2015.

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Publicist Lissy Peace speaks during the Savvy Self-Publisher panel on June 20, 2015.

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Debra Englander, a freelance editor, writing coach, and former editorial director at John Wiley & Sons, discusses self-publishing at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Poets & Writers editor in chief Kevin Larimer (left) and poet Roger Reeves listen to a craft talk at Poets & Writers Live in Chicago.

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Novelist Edward Kelsey Moore gives a craft talk about using real-life experiences to enhance fiction writing.

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Essayist Jenny Boully talks about the art of revising beginnings and endings in nonfiction at Poets & Writers Live.

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During his craft talk, poet Roger Reeves discusses the work of poetry in the age of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston.

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Poet Roger Reeves gives a craft talk at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Lindsay Hunter, author of the novel Ugly Girls, performs a Live Lit reading during the Page on Stage segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Parneshia Jones (left) and Megan Stielstra engage in discussion following their Live Lit performances.

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Writer Ines Bellina leads a discussion about Live Lit storytelling at Poets & Writers Live in Chicago.

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Poet Parneshia Jones (left) and essayist Megan Stielstra talk about their work and involvement in Chicago's Live Lit scene.

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Jennifer Day, books editor at the Chicago Tribune, introduces novelist Stuart Dybek on June 20, 2015.

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Acclaimed author Stuart Dybek reads from his work during the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Mark Eleveld of EM Press introduces slam poetry founder Marc Kelly Smith during the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Marc Kelly Smith, creator and founder of the poetry slam movement, performs at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Chicago literary icon Marc Kelly Smith performs at Poets & Writers Live.

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Acclaimed author Stuart Dybek discusses his work during the Chicago Icons segment of Poets & Writers Live.

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Musician Marvin Tate (left) performs an original song with his guitarist on June 20, 2015.

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Marvin Tate wows the audience with his closing performance at Poets & Writers Live.

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Marvin Tate performs at Poets & Writers Live on June 20, 2015.

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Audience members chat at the wine reception following Poets & Writers Live in Chicago.

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Poets & Writers Live panelist Lindsay Hunter chats with audience members during the reception on June 20, 2015.

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Poets & Writers Live panelist Megan Stielstra talks with an audience member at the wine reception.

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Poets & Writers Live attendees browse books written by the panelists, courtsey of Chicago bookseller City Lit Books.

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Audience members enjoy the reception following the Poets & Writers Live event in Chicago on June 20, 2015.

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Kevin Larimer of Poets & Writers talks with poet and panelist Parneshia Jones during the wine reception on June 20, 2015.

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San Francisco: Inspiration

The fourth Poets & Writers Live event was held on January 10, 2015, at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco and featured Joyce Carol Oates, Kay Ryan, D. A. Powell, Wendy Lesser, Yiyun Li, Alejandro Murguía, David Shields, Michelle Tea, Caleb Powell, Keith Devlin, Nick Twemlow, and many other authors, editors, artists, and publishing professionals.

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Former United States poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winner Kay Ryan reads a selection of her work during her poetry keynote address at Poets & Writers Live on January 10, 2015.

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The Resources for Writers in San Francisco and the Role of Community panelists, from left: Jamie Fitzgerald of Poets & Writers, Stacey Lewis of City Lights Books, Laura Moriarty of Small Press Distribution, Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash, Janis Cooke Newman of the Grotto, and Jason Bayani of Kearny Street Workshop.

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Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash (left) talks about the role of community for writers in San Francisco with Janis Cooke Newman of the Grotto.

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Jason Bayani of Kearny Street Workshop (right) talks about the importance of being engaged in a writing community and building relationships by attending reading series and other events.

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The Savvy Self-Publisher panelists, from left: moderator Debra Englander, publicist Amy Packard, and literary agent Ted Weinstein.

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Literary agent Ted Weinstein (right) talks about the rewards and challenges of self-publishing with publicist Amy Packard (left).

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An audience members asks a question during the Savvy Self-Publisher panel at Poets & Writers Live in San Francisco.

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Debra Englander, a freelance editor, writing coach, and former editorial director at John Wiley & Sons, discusses self-publishing at Poets & Writers Live on January 10, 2015.

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The Perfect Pitch panelists, from left: Kevin Larimer of Poets & Writers, literary agent Danielle Svetcov, Ethan Nosowsky of Graywolf Press, Jordan Bass of McSweeney's Publishing, and publicist Megan Fishmann of Counterpoint Press.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, introduces the Perfect Pitch panel, during which an agent and other publishing professionals critiqued query letters written by members of the audience.

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Audience member and writer Georgia Kolias reads her query letter as part of the Perfect Pitch Panel. 

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Ethan Nosowsky, editorial director at Graywolf Press, responds to a query letter written by Gerogia Kolias during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Publicist Megan Fishman (left) and writer and Poets & Writers Live audience member Georgia Kolias, whose query letter is projected behind them, share a light moment during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Writer and Poets & Writers Live audience member Richard Slota (far left) responds to feedback from the Perfect Pitch panelists.

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Writer and Poets & Writers Live audience member Michael Karpa reads his query letter on stage during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Caleb Powell (left) and David Shields, coauthors of I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (Knopf, 2015), discuss preconceived divisions between reality and fiction, life and art, following a screening of the film adaptation of the book by James Franco.

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Caleb Powell (left) and David Shields, coauthors of I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (Knopf, 2015), engage in some intellectual sparring at Poets & Writers Live on January 10, 2015.

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An audience member asks a question during the quarrel between David Shields and Caleb Powell.

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The Why We Write panel takes center stage at the Poets & Writers Live event in San Francisco.

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Why We Write panelists, from left: Melissa Faliveno, Wendy Lesser, Yiyun Li, Alejandro Murguía, D. A. Powell, and Michelle Tea.

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Wendy Lesser (left) and Yiyun Li discuss the personal and professional reasons for doing what they do during the Why We Write panel.

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Poet D. A. Powell (center) talks about his reasons for writing during the Why We Write panel on January 10, 2015.

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Joyce Carol Oates reads her poem "Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die" as part of the Insipration Experiment at San Francisco's Brava Theater Center.

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Novelist and singer-songwriter Ben Arthur performs an original song inspired by Joyce Carol Oates's poem "Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die" as part of the Inspiration Experiment.

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Sarah Fiske performs a dance inspired by Joyce Carol Oates's poem "Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die" as part of the Inspiration Experiment.

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Artwork by Roman Muradov, inspired by a poem by Joyce Carol Oates, is projected behind Sarah Fiske as she performs her dance inspired by the same poem.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, talks with Joyce Carol Oates following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Nick Twemlow (right) talks about his short film "As the Sky Shifts Overhead," with Sarah Fiske during a conversation following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Artist Roman Muradov (right) discusses the experience of creating art inspired by a poem, with filmmaker Nick Twemlow, during a conversation following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Sarah Fiske talks about her dance interpretation of a Joyce Carol Oates poem during a discussion following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Artist Roman Muradov chats with audience members during the wine reception following Poets & Writers Live in San Francisco on January 10, 2015.

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Washington, D.C.: Independent Publishing

The third Poets & Writers Live event was held on October 25, 2014, at the Library of Congress and featured indie-press editors Jeff Shotts of Graywolf Press, Chuck Adams of Algonquin Books, Abigail Beckel of Rose Metal Press, Robert Giron of Gival Press, Andy Hunter of Black Balloon Publishing, Kimberly Steele of Augury Books, and Kathleen Wheaton of Washington Writers' Publishing House; authors Charles D'Ambrosio, Carlos Parada Ayala, Jeffrey Blount, Elizabeth Bruce, Regie Cabico, Amy Rowland, and Jeffrey Yang; and many others.

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Elliot Figman, executive director of Poets & Writers, Inc., welcomes audience members to Poets & Writers Live and introduces Bonnie Marcus, director of the Readings & Workshops Program (East).

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From left: Jeffrey Blount, Anna Sproul-Latimer, and Debra Englander talk with audience members following the Savvy Self-Publisher panel.

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Poets & Writers Magazine associate editor Melissa Faliveno introduces the Indie Editor Roundtable.

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Andy Hunter, the publisher of Black Balloon Publishing, speaks about the relationships that small-press editors cultivate with their authors.

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Robert Giron of Gival Press speaks about independent publishing at the Library of Congress on October 25, 2014.

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An audience member reacts to comments made during the Indie Editor Roundtable.

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Kathleen Wheaton of Washington Writers' Publishing House listens to questions from the audience during the Indie Editor Roundtable.

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Audience members listen to the advice and insight of editors and authors at Poets & Writers Live in Washington, D.C.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, poses a question to panelists during the Authors & Editors Roundtable.

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Jeff Shotts (left), executive editor of Graywolf Press, speaks about the author-editor relationship with poet Jeffrey Yang, who is also an editor at New Directions.

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Chuck Adams (left), executive editor at Algonquin Books, talks about working with Amy Rowland, author of the novel The Transcriptionist.

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Sarah Browning, executive director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness, speaks about resources available to writers in Washington, D.C.

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Amy Rowland, author of the novel The Transcriptionist, discusses independent publishing at the Library of Congress on October 25, 2014.

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Poet Jeffrey Yang, who is also an editor at New Directions and New York Review Books, participates in the Editors & Authors Roundtable at the Library of Congress on October 25, 2014.

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Jeff Shotts, executive editor of Graywolf Press, answers a question during the Editors & Authors Roundtable.

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Featured author Charles D'Ambrosio reads from his new collection of essays, Loitering: New and Collected Essays, at Poets & Writers Live in Washington, D.C.

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Audience members listen to panelists discuss independent publishing at Poets & Writers Live in Washington, D.C.

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Audience members listen and take notes at the Library of Congress on October 25, 2014.

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Debut novelist Amy Rowland (left) speaks with an audience member during the literary mixer at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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Poets & Writers Live attendees enjoy wine and conversation during the Literary Mixer at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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Poets & Writers Live participants mingle during the Literary Mixer on October 25, 2014.

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Robert Giron, founder of Gival Press, chats with an audience member during the reception at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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Carlos Parada Ayala, the author of the poetry book La luz de la tormenta/The Light of the Storm (Zozobra Publishing, 2013) and coeditor of the anthology Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, D.C. (North American Academy of the Spanish Language, 2010), speaks about the importance of community in a writer's life.

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Self-published author Jeffrey Blount (left), Poets & Writers executive director Elliot Figman (center), and an audience member enjoy conversation at the Folger Shakespeare Library on October 25, 2014.

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Author Charles D'Ambrosio speaks with an audience member after his featured reading at Poets & Writers Live.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers (left), speaks with Kelly Forsythe, director of publicity at Copper Canyon Press, at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

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Poets & Writers Live attendees chat during the reception at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

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Poets & Writers Live attendees share a laugh at the Literary Mixer on October 25, 2014.

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Audience members take notes during the third Poets & Writers Live event, held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on October 25, 2014.

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Three-time National Poetry Slam champion Regie Cabico talks about how various writing communities can support one another in the Washington, D.C. area.

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Poets & Writers Magazine contributor Debra Englander gives an overview of self-publishing options at the Library of Congress on October 25, 2014.

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Self-published author Jeffrey Blount (left) answers a question from an audience member as bookseller Bradley Graham of Politics & Prose listens as part of The Savvy Self-Publisher panel.

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Literary agent Anna Sproul-Latimer speaks about the opportunities available to independent authors as well as the challenges they face.

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Participants enjoy coffee, fruit, and pastries during a break at the Poets & Writers Live event on October 25, 2014, at the Library of Congress.

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New York City: Literary Agents

The Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014, featured agents Amy Berkower, Eric Simonoff, Molly Friedrich, Meredith Kaffel, Jim Rutman, and Michelle Tessler; editors Michael Szczerban and Jofie Ferrari-Adler; and authors Frank Bidart, Edward Hirsch, Roxana Robinson, Tayari Jones, Victor LaValle, Mira Jacob, Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Tiphanie Yanique, William Giraldi, Tina Chang, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Karma Mayet Johnson, and Rich Vallar.

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Agents & Authors moderator Jofie Ferrari-Adler (far left) with panelists Michelle Tessler, Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Jim Rutman, and Mira Jacob.

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Agent Michelle Tessler (center) discusses the author-agent relationship with Simon & Schuster editor Jofie Ferrari-Adler (left) and author Yelena Akhtiorskaya.

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Debut author Yelena Akhtiorskaya (center) discusses the author-agent relationship with agents Michelle Tessler (left) and Jim Rutman. 

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Agent Jim Rutman of Sterling Lord Literistic (center) discusses the author-agent relationship with debut authors Yelena Akhtiorskaya (left) and Mira Jacob.

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Mira Jacob (right), author of the debut novel The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing, discusses the author-agent relationship with agent Jim Rutman.

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Simon & Schuster editor Jofie Ferrari-Adler, who moderated the Agents & Authors panel with agents Michelle Tessler and Jim Rutman and debut authors Yelena Akhtiorskaya and Mira Jacob.

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Audience members listen to advice from literary agents during the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014, in New York City.

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Audience members listen to advice from literary agents during the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014, in New York City.

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Poet Edward Hirsch (left) talks about writing with fiction writer Tayari Jones during the Why We Write panel at the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014, in New York City.

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Fiction writer Tayari Jones (center) talks about why we write with poet Edward Hirsch (left) and fiction writer Victor LaValle.

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Fiction writer Victor LaValle (center) talks about why we write with moderator Kevin Larimer (far left), poet Edward Hirsch, and fiction writers Tayari Jones, Roxana Robinson, and Tiphanie Yanique.

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Tiphanie Yanique (right), author of the novel Land of Love and Drowning, talks about why she writes with novelist Roxana Robinson.

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Novelist Roxana Robinson (left) talks with audience members following the panel on Why We Write at the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014.

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Poet Edward Hirsch (right) speaks with an audience member following the Why We Write panel at the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, introduces poet Frank Bidart at the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014.

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Poet Frank Bidart reads from his collection Metaphysical Dog at the Poets & Writers Live event on June 21, 2014.

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Poet Frank Bidart (left) and novelist William Giraldi field questions from the audience during a Q&A session following Bidart's poetry reading on June 21, 2014.

Los Angeles: Inspiration

The Poets & Writers Live event on January 11, 2014, featured Dani Shapiro, Ron Carlson, Charles Yu, Meghan Daum, Harryette Mullen, Lauren Humphrey, Rick Lupert, Tracy Kato-Kirayama, Terry Wolverton, Cheryl Klein, and Kevin Larimer.

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Featured reader Dani Shapiro talks with an audience member following the inaugural Poets & Writers Live event in Los Angeles.

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Panelist Rick Lupert talks about opportunities for writers in Los Angeles.

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Panelist Ron Carlson talks about why he writes.

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Audience members talk during a break.

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Panelist Ron Carlson (left) talks with featured reader Dani Shapiro.

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Panelist Traci Kato-Kiriyama talks about opportunities for writers in Los Angeles.

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Why We Write panelists (from left) Ron Carlson, Harryette Mullen, Charles Yu, and Meghan Daum.

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Featured reader Dani Shapiro, author most recently of Still Reading: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life.

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Audience members talk during a break.

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Opportunities in LA panelists Traci Kato-Kiriyama (left) and Lauren Humphrey.

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Why We Write panelist Meghan Daum (right) talks with an audience member.

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Featured reader Dani Shapiro.

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Poets & Writers managing director Melissa Ford Gradel (right) talks with an audience member.

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From left: poet Harryette Mullen, Poets & Writers editor in chief Kevin Larimer, and fiction writer Charles Yu.

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Why We Write panelist Charles Yu (left) talks with Opportunities in LA panelist Traci Kato-Kiriyama.

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From left: former director of Poets & Writers’ California office and Readings/Workshops (West) Cheryl Klein with Opportunities in LA panelists Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Lauren Humphrey, Rick Lupert, and Terry Wolverton.

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Why We Write panelist Harryette Mullen.

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The inaugural Poets & Writers Live event was held at the literary arts center Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles.

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