2012 Conference Readers

Stephen Kampa, who currently lives and works as a musician in Daytona Beach, holds degrees from Carleton College and the Johns Hopkins University. His work has appeared in the Hopkins Review, Southwest Review, River Styx, Subtropics, and Smartish Pace. His first book of poetry, Cracks in the Invisible, won the Hollis Summers Award and was published by Ohio University Press last year. 

Kelle Groom is currently completing a national tour in connection with her memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Free Press/Simon & Schuster 2011; paperback 2012), which is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection, a Library Journal Best Memoir of 2011, a Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month, Oprah.com O Magazine selection, and an Oxford American Editor's Pick. Her poetry collections are Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press 2010), Luckily (Anhinga 2006), and Underwater City (University Press of Florida 2004). Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2010, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Poetry, among others, She is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence (2012-2013) in the Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, where she is also on the faculty of the low-residency MFA Program. Former poetry editor of The Florida Review, she is now a contributing editor.

Bob Shacochis, acclaimed for both his fiction and nonfiction, is well-known for writing about travel in both. His new novel, set on several continents, is The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, scheduled for publication this year by Grove/Atlantic. His first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, won the National Book Award for First Fiction in 1985, and his second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1989. He is a former columnist for Gentleman's Quarterly and a contributing editor for both Outside and Harper's. A collection of his columns for GQ, Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love, was published by Scribner in 1994. Swimming in the Volcano, the first book in a projected trilogy, was a 1993 National Book Award Finalist. The Immaculate Invasion, a chronicle of the 1994 military intervention in Haiti, was a finalist for The New Yorker Magazine Award for best nonfiction of 1999. He has also received a James Michener Fellowship and a grant from the NEA. He is Writer-in-Residence at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Enid Shomer's first novel, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, will be published in August 2012 from Simon & Schuster. Her first collection of stories, Imaginary Men, won the Iowa Fiction Prize and the LSU/Southern Review Prize. Her second collection, Tourist Season won the Florida Book Awards Gold Medal and was also chosen for Barnes and Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" series. She is also the author of four books of poetry and edits the poetry series at the University of Arkansas Press. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Paris Review, Boulevard, etc. and in more than sixty anthologies. She lives in Tampa.

2012 Conference Workshop Leaders

Jeff Bens directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Manhattanville College. He is author of the novel Albert, Himself and director of the documentary film, Fatman's. His short fiction and essays are published widely. Jeff has served on film festival juries around the world including the 2011 Slamdance feature film jury. He was a founding faculty of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Bob Kunzinger is the author of five collections of essays, including the forthcoming "Borderline Crazy" (Nov 2012). He is a repeat offender for such diverse publications as Southern Humanities Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as many other regional and national reviews, and his work has been noted in Best American Essays.  He is a professor of humanities and creative writing in Virginia.

Terri Witek is the author of four books of poems-- Exit Island (2012), The Shipwreck Dress (2008), a Florida Book Award winner; Carnal World (2006); Fools and Crows (2003); and Courting Couples (2000), a Center for Book Arts Prize winner. She holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University where she has received the McInery Award for Teaching and the John Hague Teaching Award for outstanding teaching in the liberal arts and sciences.

Mark Powell is the author of four novels: Blood Kin, which received the Peter Taylor Prize, Prodigals, both published by the University of Tennessee Press, The Dark Corner (2012), and The House of the Lord (2012) and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Breadloaf Writers' Conference. He was educated at The Citadel, The University of South Carolina, and Yale Divinity School. He teaches in the English Department at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

Ira Sukrungruang is author of the memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy and the co-editor of What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He has published his essays, poems, and short stories in many literary journals and anthologies, including Creative Nonfiction, The Bellingham Review, North American Review, Isotope, Crab Orchard Review, Post Road, and Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing. He teaches at the University of South Florida, Tampa.