One of the highlights of Springtime here at the University of North Dakota is the University of North Dakota’s Writers Conference. In its 51st year, the Writers Conference has brought some of the most prominent authors in the world to UND and dodged blizzards, floods, and freezing temperatures to host panels, readings, films, discussions, and social events that are the cultural highlight of the year in Grand Forks.
This past spring, the in-person writers conference was the victim of the COVID pandemic and postponed until the fall. This fall, with The COVIDs still raging in our community and across the US, they decided to make the UND WC virtual. While this is disappointing for our local community, it’s good for the larger world because it is now possible to share some of the magic of the UND WC with a global audience!
Starting next Thursday and, then continuing every Thursday through November, the UND WC will feature readings and panels from Roy G. Gozmán, Matt Young, Laila Lalami, Jenny Zhang, Dwayne Betts, and Richard Tsong-Taatarii. The theme this year is “The Working Classes,” and all the events are free and open to the public via The Zooms.
This year, we’re also happy to announce that our poetry editor, Paul Worley, will be moderating a panel on “Class and Place” on October 15th that will include Reginald Dwayne Betts, Roy G. Guzmán, Laila Lalami. Paul interviewed Laila Lalami this spring for NDQ. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the UND WC is directed by Crystal Alberts, who guest edited an issue of NDQ a couple of years back on the work of William Gass.
Hopefully we’ll see some of you this fall on Thursdays as we share the conversation, fellowship, and art of the 51st annual UND Writers Conference.
And, please remember that arts organizations like the UND WC continue to do what they do during the COVID crisis, but remain particularly vulnerable to economic turbulence and changing priorities brought about by the pandemic and our struggle to adapt to the new normal. Consider giving to the UND WC and helping to ensure that the Writers Conference can continue for another 50 years.