Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Due to unforeseen circumstances and with great regret, Mr. Wideman has had to cancel his participation.
John Edgar Wideman is a MacArthur Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award twice and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award. He divides his time between New York and France.
Phil Wiggins is a virtuoso blues harmonica player from Washington, D.C. With Piedmont guitar master John Cephas, the duo Cephas and Wiggins delighted audiences around the world for more than thirty years. A gifted singer and songwriter, Wiggins has carried on his artistry with such artists as Corey Harris, John Dee Holman, Rick Franklin, and many others.
Lillie Williams was born and raised in Albemarle County, Va., and is a member of Chihamba, a local West African dance company that celebrates the spirit of African dance, drum, and culture.
Rose Williams, author of Tiny Steps, lives in her hometown, Charlottesville, Va. She is a poet and essayist and can be found presenting poetry workshops and motivational speeches in local schools and agencies through the Charlottesville/Albemarle VSA Program with a big smile!
Brendan Wolfe, author of Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend, is an Iowa native and graduate of the University of Iowa’s program in nonfiction writing. His work has appeared in The Morning News, Colorado Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He lives in Charlottesville, Va.
Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, author of Northern Character: College-Educated New Englanders, Honor, Nationalism, and Leadership in the Civil War Era, is an assistant professor of history at Angelo State University and co-editor of So Conceived and So Dedicated: Intellectual Life in the Civil War Era.
Martha Woodroof, author of Small Blessings, was born in the South, went to college in New England, ran away to Texas for awhile, and fetched up in Virginia. She is a contributor to NPR. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times.
Wayne T. Wright works with music as a social pleasure. He brings music and songs to less-served populations so that they can relax, enjoy, and participate in a number of ways. He is always looking for ways to get more music energy and “soundaffects” out to larger audiences.
Allison Wright is the executive editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review. She serves as the president of the nonprofit literary organization WriterHouse and editor of Tiny Hardcore Press. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, VQR, Popular Mechanics, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from UT-Austin.
Erica Wright, author of The Granite Moth, has published two crime novels and two poetry collections. She is a senior editor at Guernica Magazine as well as an editorial board member for Alice James Books.
Robin Yocum, author of A Brilliant Death, is a critically acclaimed novelist and former investigative reporter with the Columbus Dispatch. He is the author of five books, including Favorite Sons and The Essay. He lives in Westerville, Ohio.
Sonja Yoerg is the author of three novels, House Broken, Middle of Somewhere, and the forthcoming All the Best People. She earned her PhD in biopsychology from the University of California at Berkeley and published a book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox. She lives in Glasgow, Va.
Joe Yonan, contributor to Best Food Writing, is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and the author of two cookbooks. His work has appeared in multiple editions of the Best Food Writing anthology.
Elizabeth Young, author of Fugo: Terror from the Sky, has worked in public broadcasting, aerospace, and satellite communications; taught at several universities; and written three books. She consults for international companies.
Robert S. Young is the director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University. Young is a leading authority on the impacts of coastal storms, sea level rise, and U.S. coastal management. In addition to producing numerous scientific publications, he has written on coastal issues for the New York Times and USA Today and has testified before Congress and numerous state legislatures.
Jung Yun, author of Shelter, has had work appear in the Emerging Voices issue of Tin House, The Best of Tin House: Stories, The Massachusetts Review, and The Atlantic Monthly. She is also the recipient of two artist fellowships.
Dan Zak, author of Almighty: Courage, Resistance & Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age, is a reporter for The Washington Post, where he has written a wide range of news stories, narratives, and profiles while on local, national, and foreign assignments. He is from Buffalo, N.Y. and lives in Washington, D.C.
Miguel-Angel Zapata, author of Hoy Dia es Otro Mundo, is a Peruvian poet whose other works include Today is Another World, Note 13, The Window, and The Sky That Writes Me. A professor at Hofstra University, Zapata was awarded the 2011 Latino Literature Prize in the poetry category.