A. Van Jordan reading various poems including "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing" and "The Red Balloon" at the Arizona State University "Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference."
A. Van Jordan was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and is currently a member of the MFA in Creative Writing faculty at the University of Michigan. He previously taught at Prince George's Community College in Maryland, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds an MA in Communications from Howard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. His first book, Rise (2001), published by Tia Chucha Press and distributed by Northwestern University Press, tracks not only the history of African American music, but also the music of his life growing up in Ohio. His second book, M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A published by W.W. Norton & Co, tells the story of MacNolia Cox, an Akron resident who was the first African American to reach the final round of the National Spelling Bee competition in 1936. Rise won the Josephine Miles PEN/Oakland award; M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A was awarded an Anisfield-Wolf Award and selected as one of the Best Books of 2005 by the London Times (TLS). Van has also been awarded a Whiting Award and a Pushcart Prize. He published his third collection of poems, Quantum Lyrics in 2007.
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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