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Presented by the Inspired Writers Series of the Fairfield University MFA Program and College of Arts & Sciences, in collaboration with the Quick Center for the Arts and the Media Institute, The 2024 Writers Colloquium is free and open to the public.

What is the role of the writer today in a world shaped by vast, impersonal forces — from climate change to modern warfare — and a culture riven by partisanship and discord where the nuances and beauties of a well-wrought line command less attention than sloganeering?

Join award-winning authors for a day of generative workshops, panels, and readings in which writers committed both to beauty and to speaking honestly in the public square discuss ways of engaging with the broader culture and preserving space for the full expression of human life. All genres and levels welcome. Registration options include full-day (lunch included), morning, and afternoon.

Co-Hosted by Fairfield University MFA in Creative Writing Professors:

  • Phil Klay,
    MFA Faculty Member & National Book Award-Winning Author
  • Carol Ann Davis,
    MFA in Creative Writing Program Director, Professor, and Founding Director of Poetry in Communities 
Schedule of Events

Morning Session

10 a.m. | Doors Open – Coffee and light snacks will be provided

10:30 a.m. | Brief Welcome & Invocation

11 a.m. | Shane McCrae – Reading and Discussion

Lunch Break

12 p.m. | Lunch will be provided on-site for full-day participants.

Afternoon Session

1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. | Writing Workshops – Meet our MFA faculty and explore the themes of the day by generatively writing and sharing in small groups.

3 p.m. | Colum McCann – Reading and Discussion

4:30 p.m. | Close of program

Shane McCrae
Shane McCrae, Poet
11 a.m. Morning Session Reading & Discussion

Shane McCrae, is the recipient of a Whiting Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has been named a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the William Carlos Williams Award, and was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize. His most recent memoir, Pulling the Chariot of the Sun, which deals with being kidnapped from his Black father at age three by his maternal white supremacist grandparents, was published in August of 2023.

Colum McCann
Colum McCann, Author
3 p.m. Afternoon Session Reading and Discusssion

Colum McCann is the author of twelve books. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honors, including the U.S National Book Award 2014. His work has been published in over 40 languages. He is the president and co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organization, Narrative 4. His first major non-fiction book, American Mother, will be published in March 2024 and he is working on a new novel, Twist, due out in 2025.

McCann will give a short reading and be in conversation with Phil Klay about his work, both literary and in the nonprofit space, where he tries to bridge cultural, racial, and class divides through storytelling at the non-profit organization Narrative 4.

Fairfield University MFA in Creative Writing Program

If you have ever considered joining a community centered on using writing to explore your own imaginative life, we offer workshops with our distinguished faculty from Fairfield Universitys MFA in Creative Writing program. Join us for generative writing workshops in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry that will help you open up the possibilities for your writing. No need to bring prepared work and no prior experience required —  faculty members will provide prompts and lead participants in discussion and sharing of work. 

Participating MFA Faculty

Fiction with Rachel Basch and Karen Osborn

Poetry with Carol Ann Davis

Nonfiction with Phil Klay 

WHO IS Phil Klay? → READ The New York Times’ Review of Phil Klay’s Most Recent Novel, Missionaries → READ an Essay by Phil Klay in The New Yorker on Firearms → LISTEN to Phil Klay’s Podcast, Manifesto → LEARN MORE About Phil Klay and the MFA Veterans Community at Fairfield University →
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