Bernard Cooper reading from "The Bill From My Father: A Memoir" at the Arizona State University "Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference."

With his razor-sharp wit and unsparing honesty, Bernard Cooper peels back layers of the familiar, exposing the surprising truths that shape our lives. Often described as a “writer’s writer,” his disarming memoirs and fiction and his open-hearted, humorous readings and lectures have won him a loyal audience. Growing up gay in the Los Angeles of the 1950s and 60s, sexuality, familial relationships, loss, and AIDS — these are among Bernard Cooper’s primary subjects. Cooper has written two collections of memoirs, Maps to Anywhere and Truth Serum, as well as a novel, A Year of Rhymes, and a collection of short stories, Guess Again. His work has appeared in Story, Ploughshares, Harper’s, The Paris Review, and The New York Times Magazine. His work has been included in five volumes of The Best American Essays, and in anthologies such as The Oxford Book of Literature on Aging, and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles. He is the author of The Bill From My Father: A Memoir (paperback 2007). He is currently completing a collection of essays under the working title My Avant Gard Education. He has won numerous awards and prizes, among them the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award, an O. Henry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has been read on This American Life and Selected Shorts from Symphonyspace. For many years, Cooper was the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine. He has taught at Antioch/Los Angeles and at the UCLA Writer’s Program. He is currently a core faculty member in the MFA Writing Program at Bennington College and also teaches at USC.

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference brings writers of all levels together for four exhilarating days in sunny Arizona. Participants get the chance to hone their craft in the classroom with distinguished writers, sharing dialogue during classes, readings, and other events. By keeping the number of participants small, we are able to offer an experience that is both intimate and affordable, all while maintaining our commitment to be the premier writers conference in the West.

2012 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference
Feb. 23-26 • ASU Tempe campus

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