The following comes from a mid-Jan. posting on the blogsite of First Things magazine.

A conference at University of Southern California next month looks to be an important event for Catholic novelists, poets, critics, and editors, one that may give us a sharp assessment of Catholic literary expression at the present time. 

The title is “The Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination.” Speakers include Julia Alvarez (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent and In the Time of the Butterflies), Ron Hansen (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Alice McDermott (Charming Billy and At Weddings and Wakes), Tobias Wolff (This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army), and poet Dana Gioia, organizer of the conference. (A full schedule is here.)

Plenary Speakers

Julia Alvarez
Ron Hansen
Alice McDermott
Kevin Starr
Tobias Wolff

Plenary Poetry Reading
Dana Gioia
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell
Paul Mariani


A Poet in the 21st Century
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham), moderator
Paul Mariani (Boston College)
James M. Wilson (Villanova)
Patricia Hampl (Minnesota)

Curating the Catholic Literary Imagination: The Role Editors Play in Shaping the Conversation

Gregory Wolfe (Image/Seattle Pacific University), moderator
Joe Hoover, S.J. (America)
Maire Mullins (Christianity & Literature/Pepperdine)
Mark Bauerlein (First Things/Emory University)

The Jesuit Literary Imagination

Steve Mailloux (Loyola-Marymount), moderator

Raymond Schroth, S.J. (America)

Maureen O’Connell (LaSalle University)

Mark Bosco, S.J. (Loyola Chicago)

Catholic Literati: The New Generation

Maire Mullins (Christianity & Literature/Pepperdine), moderator

James M. Wilson (Villanova)

Joshua Hren (University of Mary)Randy Boyagoda (Ryerson College)

Faith and Fiction

Jon Peede (Virginia Quarterly Review), moderator

Mark Eaton (Azusa Pacific)

Paul Contino (Pepperdine)

Alice McDermott

Spirituality and Literature

Catherine Wolff, moderator

Paul Mariani (Boston College)

Albert Gelpi (Stanford)

Kaya Oakes (UC Berkeley)

Latino Catholic Writers

Francisco Aragón (Notre Dame), moderator

Gina Franco (Knox)

H.G. Carillo (George Washington)

Orlando Ricardo Menes (Notre Dame)

Catholic Writers and California

Barbara Nicolosi-Harrington (Azusa Pacific), moderator

Heather King

D.J. Waldie

Carol Zapata-Whelan (CSU-Fresno)

Ecumenical Perspectives

Beverly Schneller (Belmont), moderator

Marc Malandra (Biola)

Brett Foster (Wheaton )

Nicole Coonradt (Hillsdale)

Literary Journals and Anthologies

Sam Maio (San Jose State University)

Mary Ann Miller (Caldwell)

Meredith McCann (Dappled Things)

William Baer (University of Evansville)

The State of Catholic Publishing

Una Cadegan (University of Dayton)

Mark Brumley (Ignatian Press)

Joe Durepos (Loyola Press)

High School Seminars (Friday)

The Craft of Writing with Hansen

Ron Hansen, (Santa Clara)

The Craft of Writing with Hampl

Patricia Hampl, (University of Minnesota)

The Art of Poetry with Mariani

Paul Mariani, (Boston College)

The Art of Poetry with Wilson

James M. Wilson (Villanova)

Workshops (Saturday)

Workshop: Poetry

James M. Wilson

Workshop: Getting Published

Jon Peede and Joshua Hren

Workshop: Non-Fiction

Patricia Hampl


Words Made Flesh: Reading and Response

Gregory Wolfe is the mentor for this program.

Gregory Wolfe (Image/Seattle Pacific University), moderator

David Griffith (Interlochen Center for the Arts)

Lisa Ampleman (University of Cincinnati)

Samuel Martin (Northwestern College of Iowa)

Kathleen Tarr (In residence in Alaska and Poland)

Brian Volck, M.D.

Jenny Shank (Regis University, Mile High MFA)

To read the original story, click here.