Super Splendid Terrific Conference News

Last Friday, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), announced its “tentative list of accepted panels for the AWP 2011 Conference & Bookfair in Washington,” The final list will be available in October (the conference is slated for early February 2011).

I was thrilled to learn that the following panel is among the accepted events:

Beyond Bagels and Lox: Jewish-American Fiction in the 21st Century
Erika Dreifus, Andrew Furman, Kevin Haworth, Margot Singer, Anna Solomon
Jewish-American fiction has long been seen as a literature of emigration from the shtetl, assimilationist angst, and overprotective parents. But what’s nu? How do Americans born decades after the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel deal with those complex subjects in fiction? Who are the new Jewish immigrant characters? How does American Jewry’s more than 350-year history inspire plot/setting? And how are writers today influenced by Judaism’s rich multilingual and spiritual legacy?

At least two other events on the list seem linked to issues of Jewish writing: “Two Jews, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Mennonite Sufi Shaman, and a ________ walk into an AWP Panel: Geography’s Influence on Writers Writing Religion and Culture,” featuring Eric Wasserman, Ira Sukrungruang, Heather Derr-Smith, Bich Minh Nguyen, Erika Meitner, and Mary Biddinger; and “Jewish Guilt,” with Janice Eidus, Carol V. Davis, Marjorie Agosin, Ruth Knafo Setton, and Elaine Terranova.

It’s wonderful to see Jewish writing acknowledged and celebrated in the conference program. Now, to prepare some excellent presentations! Stay tuned–I’ll be asking for reader input!