26th ASU Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton
March 2-3, 2023
The 2023 conference will commemorate the 26th Angelo State University Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton. Our two-day conference is one of the few in the state that requires no registration or attendance fees for presenters and guests.
Featured Writer: Dr. Brandon Hobson
We are pleased to announce this year’s featured writer is critically acclaimed fiction writer Dr. Brandon Hobson.
Hobson is the author of “The Removed,” as well as the novel, “Where the Dead Sit Talking,” which was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, winner of the Reading the West Award and longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. He has won a Pushcart Prize, and his fiction has appeared in such places as McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, American Short Fiction, NOON and elsewhere. Hobson is an assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University and also teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.
7 p.m.: “Reading and Presentation by Brandon Hobson”
The ASU Writers Conference brings award-winning authors from all genres to campus to share their works and their creativity with the ASU community and the public. Featured speakers have included renowned authors, such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Craig Johnson, Leslie Marmon Silko, Art Spiegelman and Tim O’Brien.
Melanie Alberts works at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A member of the Austin Haiku Study Group and Haiku Society of America, Alberts is writing a spiritual memoir in haibun, a form of autobiographical prose mixed with haiku. She’s a contributing editor of “Lone Star Poetry: Championing Texas Verse, Community, and Hunger Relief” (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022). You can read samples of her poetry paired with her artwork at The Haiku Foundation. Follow her on Instagram @clair.circles.spirit.art.
Megan J. Arlett was born in the UK, grew up in Spain and now lives in New Mexico, where she teaches at Eastern New Mexico University. The recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes, her work has appeared in:
Best New Poets 2019
Best New British and Irish Poets
The Kenyon Review
New England Review
Alan Berecka is the author of five books of poetry. The latest, “A Living is Not a Life: A Working Title” (2021, Black Spruce Press), was a finalist in the Hoffer Awards. His poetry has appeared in journals and websites, such as:
The Christian Century
The Concho River Review
The Texas Review
The Texas Poetry Assignment
The Main Street Rag
Since his last trip to Angelo State, he was invited by the Lithuanian Writers Union to take part in its international spring poetry festival, which took place in May 2022. This was the second time Berecka had been invited to read in the birthplace of two of his grandparents. He earned his living for many years as a librarian at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, but he finally lived long enough to retire in January 2023. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Sinton, where they raised their now two adult children.
Caleb Braun earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Washington, where he received the Harold Taylor Prize. He is a Ph.D. candidate in creative writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. His poems have appeared and are forthcoming in:
Best New Poets 2022
The Gettysburg Review
Rachel Crawford’s “Sometimes They Sound Like Women” explores how people living in the desert along the border between Texas and Mexico shape, and are shaped by, the landscapes around them. Her fiction and poetry appear in numerous journals, including:
Rock and Sling
Crack the Spine
Shot Glass Journal
She’s an editor of the anthology, “Her Texas” (Wings Press 2015), and poetry editor of “A Fire to Light Our Tongues” (TCU Press 2022). She’s currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Melissa Cundieff is the author of “Darling Nova,” a poetry collection selected by Alberto Ríos for the 2017 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her new work has appeared twice in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review and Nashville Review, among other places. She lives and teaches in Saint Paul, Minn.
David Estringel is a Xicanx writer/poet with works published in literary publications, such as:
Somos en escrito
The Milk House
Beir Bua Journal
The Blue Nib
Estringel received his B.A. in English at the University of Texas at Brownsville and his M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Currently, he is a graduate student, working on a Ph.D. in English (World Literature) at Texas A&M-Commerce and his M.A. in English studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
His first collection of poetry and short fiction, “Indelible Fingerprints” (Alien Buddha Press), was published in 2019, followed by his second and third poetry collections, “Blood Honey” (Anxiety Press) and “Cold Comfort House” (Anxiety Press) in 2022. David has written five poetry chapbooks, “Punctures” (2019), “PeripherieS” (2020), “Eating Pears on the Rooftop” (2022), “Golden Calves” (coming March 2023) and “Blue” (coming September 2023). His new book of micro poetry, “Little Punctures,” a collaboration with UK illustrator, Luca Bowles, will be released in February 2023. Connect with Estringel on Twitter @The_Booky_Man and his website davidaestringel.com.
Lisha Adela García has an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently resides in Texas with her beloved four-legged children. Her books, “A Rope of Luna” and “Blood Rivers,” were published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco. Her chapbook, “This Stone Will Speak,” was published by Pudding House Press. In addition, she is widely published in various journals, including:
Crab Orchard Review
Muse and Mom Egg Review
Garcia has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a recipient of the San Antonio Tri-Centennial Poetry Prize. She has served as a judge for various poetry prizes. Most recently, she served as a judge for the Chicago Poetry Prize of Chicago’s Poetry Society. She leads the Wyrdd Writers, a writing group based in San Antonio with participants from Kerrville and San Marcos. She co-facilitates a poetic medicine group named Poetry Exile Group founded by Jungian analyst, Dr. James Brandenburg. She also facilitates poetic medicine classes in social justice, archetypes and other topics. She has given workshops for various colleges and universities, and she is a candidate for certification from the Institute of Poetic Medicine.
Daniel Kennedy grew up in rural Pennsylvania. He holds an M.F.A. from Virginia Tech, where he won the Emily Morrison Prize in Fiction. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where he won the Inprint Donald Barthelme Memorial Prize in Nonfiction. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in:
The Florida Review
New England Review
The Carolina Quarterly
Arts & Letters
The Madison Review
His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was listed among Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction in Best American Essays 2022.
Maria Martin was born in a coastal village in British Columbia, Canada, and bounced around the Midwest before landing in the San Francisco Bay area. She served as a nurse in the U.S. Army before dedicating herself to the study of world mythologies and folklore, with a particular interest in early British literature.
Martin obtained B.A. degrees in English and history from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and has served as an adjunct professor of English at UMHB. A published poet and recipient of academic and creative writing awards, she is currently pursuing an M.A. in English literature and a graduate certificate in medieval and renaissance studies at Texas Tech University.
In “Fallout: An Elegiac Memoir,” Martin unravels uniquely American social issues through the experience of one brilliant, blighted family. When not expanding intellectual horizons, she enjoys classical piano, competitive ballroom dancing and Kansas City Chiefs football, featuring Texas’ own Patrick Mahomes II.
Colleen Mayo’s writing appears in:
The Sun Magazine
The Baltimore Review
Salt Hill Journal
Her work has received special mention for the 2019 Pushcart Prize, the Jerome Stern Series Spotlight Award for nonfiction, and an AWP Intro Journals Award for fiction. She has served a Fulbright Fellowship in South Korea, holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Florida State University, and is currently a Ph.D. student in fiction and a Voertman-Ardoin Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas in Denton. She’s currently at work on a novel set in her hometown of Austin.
Kelan Nee is a poet, educator and carpenter from Boston, Massachusetts. He holds an M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Houston. He is the winner of the 2023 Vassar Miller Prize for his manuscript, “Felling,” which is forthcoming from the University of North Texas Press. His poems appear in:
The Missouri Review
The Yale Review
Irish-Australian poet Nathanael O’Reilly teaches creative writing at The University of Texas at Arlington. His ten collections include:
“Selected Poems of Ned Kelly” (Beir Bua Press, 2023)
“Dear Nostalgia” (above/ground press, 2023)
“Boulevard” (Beir Bua Press, 2021)
“(Un)belonging” (Recent Work Press, 2020)
“BLUE” (above/ground press, 2020)
“Preparations for Departure” (UWAP, 2017)
His work appears in over 100 journals and anthologies published in 14 countries, including:
Another Chicago Magazine
The Elevation Review
New World Writing Quarterly
He is also the poetry editor for Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature.
Bibiana Ossai is a Nigerian fiction writer and an award-winning poet based in Lubbock. She is currently a Ph.D. fiction student at Texas Tech University, where she teaches first-year writing. She is an associate editor of the Iron Horse literary magazine and has an M.F.A. from Long Island University in Brooklyn, where she received the Marilyn Boutwell Graduate Award in Fiction. She is the winner of the 2019 Equinox Poetry Contest.
Her works have been supported by scholarships and a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, The Poetry Project and an Idyllwild Arts Writers Week Fellowship. Her writings appear or are forthcoming in African Writer Magazine, The Poetry Project Footnotes, Flash Fiction Magazine and The Dillydoun Review, among others.
Her creative work examines the notion of human contradictions, trauma, loss, oppression, religion and gender roles. Drawing inspiration from her Nigerian roots and immigration experiences, she applies fantasy and alternate history fiction, with a preference for mythical realism and horror, as a platform that depicts death, oppression, fears and hauntings.
Sebastián H. Páramo is the author of the forthcoming collection, “Portrait of Us Burning” (Northwestern University Press/Curbstone Books, 2023). His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in:
The Arkansas International
the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series
He received his M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and Ph.D. in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas. His work has received fellowships and support from the Vermont Studio Center, the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program at The University of Texas at Austin, and CantoMundo. He is the founding editor of The Boiler, poetry editor for Deep Vellum and a visiting assistant professor of English at Austin College in Sherman.
Leslie Jill Patterson teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University, where she serves as editor of Iron Horse Literary Review. Her prose has appeared in:
among other venues
Her awards include an Embrey Human Rights Fellowship, a Soros Justice Fellowship with the Open Society Foundations, the Richard J. Margolis Award for Social Justice Writing and a Pushcart Prize. Since 2009, she has worked as the case storyteller for public defenders representing indigent men and women charged with capital murder and facing the death penalty across the American South.
Raised in St. Louis, Matthew Pitt previously worked in L.A. on a sitcom, in New York City as an editor and in Massachusetts as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. These days, he operates out of Fort Worth as an associate professor and director of English undergraduate studies at TCU. A novella, “The Be-Everything! Brothers,” is forthcoming. His prior books are the fiction collections, “These Are Our Demands” (Midwest Book Award winner) and “Attention Please Now” (Autumn House Prize winner). His individual stories have won numerous awards, been cited in several “Best of” anthologies, and have been spotted in dozens of publications, including:
Michigan Quarterly Review
The Southern Review
Sara Ryan is the author of “I Thought There Would Be More Wolves” (University of Alaska Press), as well as the chapbooks “Never Leave the Foot of an Animal Unskinned” (Porkbelly Press) and “Excellent Evidence of Human Activity” (The Cupboard Pamphlet).
In 2018, she won Grist’s Pro Forma Contest and Cutbank’s Big Sky, Small Prose Contest. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Brevity, Kenyon Review, Diode, EcoTheo and others. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University.
John Schulze is an associate professor of English at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, where he teaches creative writing. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska— Lincoln and an M.F.A. from the University of Memphis. He publishes as Penn Stewart and is the author of the novel, “Fertile Ground,” and the short-story collection, “The Water in Our Veins.” He has also published short fiction in such markets as:
Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature
Iron Horse Review
Pacifica Literary Review
He has also published several creative nonfiction essays in Hippocampus Review, Fresh Yarn, Gravel and elsewhere. Learn more about his creative work by visiting pennstewart.com.
Carly Susser is a writer and educator. She received her Ph.D. in fiction from the University of North Texas, where she is currently a lecturer, and her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. A certified yoga instructor, she has published prose and poetry that centers on mindfulness and mental health. Her flash-fiction piece, “Small World,” was adapted into an award-winning animation short and selected by the New York Critic Film Series for screenings. She is currently finishing her coming-of-age novel, “Molt.”
Mathew Weitman is a first-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Houston in creative writing and literature. He is the winner of the 2021 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, and his work appears or is forthcoming in:
Alaska Quarterly Review
The Georgia Review
The Missouri Review
The Southwest Review
and many other outlets.
The conference is held every year in honor of the late Elmer Kelton, who wrote more than 40 books, including “The Time it Never Rained,” “The Man Who Rode Midnight” and “The Good Old Boys.” He was a seven-time winner of the Western Writers of America’s (WWA) Spur Award, and the WWA named him the “all-time best Western author.” Additionally, local and regional writers are invited to showcase their works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and prose. The event is hosted by the Natalie Zan Ryan Department of English and Modern Languages and sponsored by the university with support from the ASU Alumni Association, the College of Arts and Humanities, and Guy and Eva Choate.
Help support and enhance the Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton with a tax-deductible gift to its endowment. For more information, contact the Office of Development at 325-942-2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.