Visiting Writers Series Hosts John Edgar Wideman and Sejal Shah
October 3, 2013
UMass Amherst Campus
John Edgar Wideman is a celebrated writer of more than twenty works of fiction and non-fiction, including Brothers and Keepers, Philadelphia Fire and Fatheralong. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the O. Henry Award, the American Book Award for Fiction, the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He was the first individual to win the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction twice. His articles on Malcolm X, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Emmett Till, and Thelonius Monk have appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, Esquire, Emerge, and the New York Times Magazine. He wrote the introduction to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Live From Death Row. Wideman is also subject of the text, Conversations with John Edgar Wideman, a collection of nineteen interviews spanning three decades. John Edgar Wideman has taught in the University of Massachusetts’ MFA Program and is currently Professor of Africana Studies and Literary Arts at Brown University.
Sejal Shah’s stories, essays, interviews, and profiles appear in journals and Sejal Shah (MFA ’02) is a writer and teacher of writing. Her short stories, lyric essays, and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals and books including The Kenyon Review Online; Brevity; The Literary Review; The Massachusetts Review; Web Conjunctions; Denver Quarterly; Indiana Review; The Asian American Literary Review; Meridians; and Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press). Her interview with John Wideman will be appearing in AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle in 2014. A Kundiman Fellow, she is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and artist residencies from Blue Mountain Center, the Millay Colony for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, NYU, and the Ragdale Foundation. She has taught creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College, Luther College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts. Currently, she lives in Upstate New York, and teaches English at The Harley School and creative writing at the University of Rochester; she also co-leads writing & yoga retreats.