IU Writers’ Conference to be held virtually; Ross Gay to lead the 81st-anniversary celebration

BLOOMINGTON – The IU Writers’ Conference will go virtual this year, June 3 to 6. Founded in 1940 by Herman B Wells, the annual event is the second-oldest continually operating writer’s conference in the U.S.

Ross Gay
Ross Gay. Photo by Adewale Agboola

This year, the IU Writers’ Conference also will celebrate its 81st anniversary. It will mark the occasion by sharing artifacts from its archives, with photos and correspondence from award-winning writers such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Carver. English professor Ross Gay, who recently won the 2021 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for his book “Be Holding: A Poem,” will lead a special evening event in honor of the conference’s anniversary.

The conference will feature poetry, fiction and memoir workshops, as well as writing craft classes and evening readings online in live/synchronous gatherings. Award-winning conference workshop faculty for the event include ZZ Packer, (fiction), Maggie Smith (poetry) and Jaquira Díaz (memoir). Classes will be taught by Joseph Cassara (fiction), Tiana Clark (poetry), Hannah Bae (creative nonfiction), Brando Skyhorse (publishing) and Shawna Ayoub (writing through trauma). Register for the conference on the IU Writers’ Conference website.