As part of the Inkubator Conference, Literary Cleveland presents the Decolonizing Craft: The Future of Creative Writing Instruction, a panel discussion featuring teaching experts Matt Bell, Ru Freeman, and Matthew Salesses.
How we teach creative writing matters. Without careful examination, writing instructors and programs can reinforce the same white supremacist, colonialist, misogynist, and heteronormative values of the culture at large. This panel will discuss strategies for resisting problematic workshop structures, challenging biased craft assumptions, and creating a more equitable and just world of words.
Matt Bell’s next novel, Appleseed, is forthcoming from Custom House/William Morrow in 2021. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.
Ru Freeman is a Sri Lankan and American writer, poet, and activist whose work appears internationally in English and in translation. She is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf, 2013), a New York Times Editor's Choice Book. She is the editor of the anthology, Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine (2015, 2016) and co-editor of Indivisible: Global Leaders on Shared Security (2019). She writes for the UK Guardian, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe and blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics. She is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review, and is the recipient of many fellowships including from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Lannan Foundation. She is a winner of the Mariella Gable Award for Fiction, and the JH Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman. She teaches creative writing at Columbia University.
Matthew Salesses is the author of the novel The Hundred-Year Flood (Little A, 2015), an Amazon Bestseller, Best Book of September, and Kindle First pick; an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015; a Millions Most Anticipated of 2015; a Thought Catalog Essential Contemporary Book by an Asian American Writer; and a Best Book of the season at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and Gawker, among others. Three new books are forthcoming: Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear: A Novel (Little A, 2020); Craft in the Real World (Catapult Books, 2021); and Own Story: Essays (Little A, 2021). His previous books and chapbooks include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying (Civil Coping Mechanisms), Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity (Thought Catalog Books), and The Last Repatriate (Nouvella).