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Previous Conferences

2019: Writing Against the Edge

Elisa Gabbert

Creative Nonfiction

Elisa Gabbert is a poet and essayist and the author of four collections: The Word Pretty (Black Ocean, 2018), L’Heure Bleue, or the Judy Poems (Black Ocean, 2016), The Self Unstable (Black Ocean, 2013), and The French Exit (Birds LLC, 2010). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Guardian Long Read, Boston Review, the Paris Review Daily, Pacific Standard, Guernica, and many other venues. She is currently writing a book about disaster culture and human failure, The Unreality of Memory, forthcoming from FSG Originals.

Teague Bolen


Teague Bohlen is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Colorado Denver, where he serves as Fiction Editor for the literary magazine Copper Nickel and Faculty Advisor for the student newspaper The Sentry. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for fiction, his shorter work has been seen in journals nationwide, and he covers the literary and pop culture beats as a regular contributor to the alt-weekly Westword. His latest is Flatland, a collection of flash fictions set in the American midwest, as befitting his corn-fed heart.

Joy Roulier Sawyer


Joy Roulier Sawyer is the author of Lifeguards (Conundrum Press) and Tongues of Men and Angels (White Violet Press). Her poetry appears in LIGHT Quarterly, Lilliput Review, New York Quarterly, St. Petersburg Review, Theology Today, and many others. Joy holds an MA from New York University, where she was the recipient of the Herbert Rubin Award for Outstanding Creative Writing, and teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. She also facilitates Lighthouse community writing groups for those experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges, as well as workshops for women transitioning out of incarceration.


Creatice Nonfiction: Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, author of Descanso for My Father: Fragments of a Life(winner of the Colorado Book Award, and Presentimiento: A Life in Dreams.

Fiction: Naima Coster, author of Halsey Street.  Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Arts & Letters, Catapult, The Rumpus, Aster(ix), A Practical Wedding, and Guernica.

Poetry: Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men and What I Had On (2017).


Fiction: Brad Watson, author of Last Days of the Dog-Men, The Heaven of Mercury (shortlisted for the 2002 National Book Award in fiction), Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives, and more.

Creative Nonfiction: Felicia Rose Chavez, writer and multimedia artist, founded GirlSpeak, a literary webzine for young women, and taught writing at the University of New Mexico, the University of Iowa, and Colorado College.

Poetry: Juan Morales, author of the poetry collections The Siren World, Friday, The Year That Followed, and more and teaches at Colorado State University-Pueblo.


Fiction writer Jon Clinch, author of Finn, winner of American Library Association Notable Book, and other novels

Poet Beth Bachmann, whose first book, Temper, won the AWP Donald Hall Poetry prize and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award

Creative Nonfiction writer Steven Church, author of The Guinness Book of Me: A Memoir of Record (winner of the 2006 Colorado Book Award in Creative Nonfiction)


Creative Nonfiction writer Ava Chin, author of Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal

Poet Ilyse Kusnetz, winner of the 2014 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry with Small Hours

Fiction writer Steven Schwartz, author of Little Raw Souls and other books of fiction