2012 Conference Special Guests

Lory Bedikian won the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry for her collection, The Book of Lamenting. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. Poets & Writers chose her work as a finalist for the 2010 California Writers Exchange Award. She teaches poetry workshops in Los Angeles.

Michael Gills

Michael Gills' first collection of short fiction, Why I Lie, was published by U. of Nevada Press/2002. It won a Utah Book Prize and was chosen as a top literary debut by The Southern Review. A novel, Go Love, came out in Fall 2011 from Raw Dog Screaming Press. A second collection, The Death of Bonnie and Clyde, was published by Texas Review Press in February 2012, the title story of which won Southern Humanities Review's Hoepfner Prize for the best story published there in 2010. A third collection of stories, Eternally Yours, is currently on the market, with stories appearing in Boulevard, Texas Review, New Madrid and elsewhere. Gills is currently the Distinguished Honors Professor of Writing at the University of Utah.

Lola Haskins taught Computer Science at the University of Florida for many years, and is currently (since 2006) on the faculty of Rainier Writers Workshop, a low residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She is the owner of a split heart, being passionate about both Florida and North Yorkshire. Most of the time, she lives in Gainesville, FL.  Her most recent Anhinga Press book, The Grace to Leave (2012), was selected as one of the titles in the Van K. Brock Florida Poetry Series.

Rosalynde Vas Dias is the 2011 winner of the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry. She was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Warren Wilson College's MFA Program for Writers. Her poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, New Orleans Review, and The Pinch. Ms. Vas Dias lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Only Blue Body is her first book of poetry.

Eric Miles Williamson is the author of three novels, a short story collection, and two books of criticism. His latest is Say It Hot: Essays on American Writers Living, Dying, and Dead. Widely published in Europe and America, he is senior editor of Boulevard, fiction editor of Texas Review, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle. Williamson was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and is currently Professor of English at the University of Texas—Pan American.