Speakers on Memoir & Essay

Ayad Akhtar

tells many stories in many ways.

Andrew Aydin

knows we must understand our history to fight for our future.

Elif Batuman

is un-put-downable.

Alison Bechdel

is one to watch out for.

Rich Benjamin

holds up a mirror.

Thi Bui

explores the borders - national, personal, and familiar.

Rebecca Carroll

is coming through loud and clear.

John Carter Cash

... yeah that “Carter Cash.”

Grace M. Cho

is exploring intergenerational trauma through the connective potential of food.

Sandra Clark

sees every side of the story.

Andrei Codrescu

is an OG.

Maureen Corrigan

reads a lot, like, A LOT!

Sloane Crosley

is a cultural critic with a punch(line).

David Dennis Sr.

helped start a movement.

David Dennis Jr.

is a living legacy.
Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer

is led by curiosity.

Hope Edelman

is true to her name.

Akwaeke Emezi

is a revelation.

Camonghne Felix

is equally at home in poetry and politics.

Isaac Fitzgerald

is who we want to be when we grow up.

Stephanie Foo

is helping us heal.

Roxane Gay

is feminist AF.

Sarah Gerard

labors out of love.

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

is a brilliant tour guide to the most fascinating places.

Alvin Hall

is showing his range.

Dave Isay

is saving our stories for our great-grandchildren.

Mira Jacob

has the hard conversations.

Evan James

has been called hilarious, sophisticated, and other things too.

Leslie Jamison

is required reading.

Saeed Jones

is one man made up of many parts.

Dan Kennedy

is a man with a story.

Rachel Kushner

writes like your favorite mixtape plays.

Lyz Lenz

will get you fired up.

Jacki Lyden

is a good person to have with you in a war zone.

Carmen Maria Machado

thinks misogyny is boring as hell (and genre, too).

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

is tearing down boundaries.

Sarah Thankam Mathews

builds community on and off the page.

Elizabeth McCracken

is a book lover's book lover. 

Natalia Molina

makes sense of community.

Viet Thanh Nguyen

calls us to re-examine our own history.

Sarah Parcak

is saving our lost civilizations, and she’s doing it from outer space.

Bethanne Patrick

is breaking stigma.

Junauda Petrus

meets the struggle with sweetness.

Liz Phair

is literally a rockstar.

Jon Ronson

is brill!

Liara Roux

is amplifying high-risk voices.

Sarah Ruhl

is pulling back the curtain.

Carina del Valle Schorske

translates beautifully.

Jennifer Senior

knows how you feel.

Sarah Smarsh

knows which way the wind is blowing.

Andrew Solomon

writes important books about the most important things.

Jason Stanley

knows that words matter and why.

Luis Alberto Urrea

is a literary badass with a rock and roll heart.

Daniel Wallace

tells tall tales in the tradition of tall tale telling.

Esmé Weijun Wang

is transforming limitations.

G. Willow Wilson

is a professional genre-bender and writes your favorite comic books.

Kao Kalia Yang

is a writer without a country.

Jenny Zhang

will make you laugh, cry, and (maybe) gag.

Rex Ziak

is a renaissance man who rewrote history.