UND Writers Conference Panel: "Artistic Beginnings"

Thursday, March 23, 2023 12 pm to 1 pm

UND Memorial Union, Ballroom
Cost: Free Event

Join us at the 54th Annual UND Writers Conference, "The Healing Arts," featuring a panel discussion on "Artistic Beginnings" featuring award-winning fiction writers Morgan Talty and Alejandro Varela, as well as artist, poet, musician and UND Alum, Xavier Pastrano!

About the authors


Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. He is the author of the critically acclaimed story collection Night of the Living Rez from Tin House Books, which won the New England Book Award, was a Finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers, and is a Finalist for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. His writing has appeared in Granta, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. A winner of the 2021 Narrative Prize, Talty’s work has been supported by the Elizabeth George Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts (2022). Talty is an Assistant Professor of English in Creative Writing and Native American and contemporary Literature at the University of Maine, Orono, and he is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in creative writing as well as the Institute of American Indian Arts. Talty is also a Prose Editor at The Massachusetts Review. He lives in Levant, Maine.

Access his work at https://www.morgantalty.com/


Alejandro Varela is a writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the Point Magazine, Boston Review, Harper's, Split Lip, the Georgia Review, the Rumpus, the Brooklyn Rail, the Offing, and the New Republic, among other publications. He is a 2019 Jerome Fellow in Literature. He was a resident in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s 2017–2018 Workspace program and a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Nonfiction. Alejandro is an editor-at-large of Apogee Journal. His graduate studies were in public health. His first book, The Town of Babylon (National Book Award nominee, longlist), was published by Astra House in 2022. His second book, The People Who Report More Stress, is forthcoming (Astra House, 2023). Varela believes strongly in reparations, land back, a national health service, and a thirty dollar minimum wage pegged to inflation as interventions essential for the collective liberation of our society. Access his work at alejandrovarela.work. You can also find him on Twitter: @drovarela and IG: @alejandrovarela.work



Xavier Pastrano earned his BA in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University, his Masters of English from the University of North Dakota, and his M.Ed from the University of Sioux Falls. He currently resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with his wife and son, where he teaches high school English and College Composition. When not writing, teaching, or reading, he enjoys nerding out about music and films, spending time with his family, making zentangle art, and playing in his band Skin of our Teeth. Published works include the chapbooks XXX: Thirty (Prolific Press), Seeing Sounds (Harsan Publishing), and Hey Kid (self published). Individual poems appear in the anthologies Thunderstorms and The Scandalous Lives of Butterflies (Scurfpea), and South Dakota in Poems (South Dakota State Poetry Society).

See more of his work on Instagram.

2901 University Ave Grand Forks, ND 58202

https://undwritersconference.org/ #UNDWC2023
  • David Knittel

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