This special podcast-only episode of Literary Arts’ The Archive Project, features a reunion of a panel discussion from the 2017 Portland Book Festival. (In fact, you can hear the original event on The Archive Project here.) Join poet Kaveh Akbar (Pilgrim Bell), memoirist and essayist Melissa Febos (Girlhood), and essayist Megan Stielstra (Once I Was Cool) and moderator Marisa Siegel (The Rumpus) as they revisit their 2017 discussion and share their new books and projects.
Kaveh Akbar’s second full-length volume of poetry, Pilgrim Bell, was published by Graywolf in August 2021. His debut, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is out now with Alice James in the US and Penguin in the UK. He is also the author of the chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, published in 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press. In 2022, Penguin Classics will publish a new anthology edited by Kaveh: The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine. His poems appear in the New Yorker, New York Times, Paris Review, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. In 2020 Kaveh was named Poetry Editor of The Nation. The recipient of honors including multiple Pushcart Prizes, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, and the Levis Reading Prize, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson.
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart and two essay collections: Abandon Me, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist, and Girlhood, a national bestseller. Catapult will publish a collection of her craft essays, Body Work, on March 15, 2022. A recipient of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and of fellowships from MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The BAU Institute at The Camargo Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Foundation, and others; her essays have appeared in the Paris Review, The Believer, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Granta, The Yale Review, Tin House, The Sun, and the New York Times Magazine. She is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.
Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: Everyone Remain Calm, Once I Was Cool, and The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, winner of the 2017 Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Review of Books. Her work appears in Best American Essays, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Believer, Poets & Writers, Tin House, and elsewhere. A longtime company member with 2nd Story, she has told stories for National Public Radio, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and theatres, festivals, and classrooms across the country. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University and weird, wonderful Zoom spaces in your living room.
Marisa Siegel lives, writes, and edits near NYC. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay “Inherited Anger” appears in the anthology Burn It Down (Seal Press, 2019) and her debut poetry chapbook, Fixed Stars, is forthcoming from Burrow Press in March 2022. She is senior acquiring editor for trade at Northwestern University Press, and owner/publisher of The Rumpus.