Conference Presenters

2018 Presenters

Jill Christman

 Jill Christman is the author of Darkroom: A Family Exposure (AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction winner), Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood (Shebooks 2014), and essays in magazines and journals such as Brevity, Fourth Genre, Iron Horse Literary Review, Literary Mama, Oprah Magazine, River Teeth, & Brain, Child. She serves on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and teaches creative nonfiction writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she lives with her husband, writer Mark Neely, and their two children. Read more about Jill at

Michael Downs is the author of House of Good Hope: A Promise for a Broken City (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), winner of the River Teeth Prize for Literary Nonfiction, The Greatest Show: Stories (Louisiana State University Press, 2012), and The Strange and True Tale of Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentistwhich will be published by Acre Books in May 2018. He currently teaches creative writing at Towson University, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife, Sheri Venema, and their dog, Mimsy. 

Andre Dubus III Andre Dubus III's books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, published in the fall of 2013, was a New York Times “Notable Book” selection, a New York Times “Editors’ Choice”, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. His new novel, Gone So Long, is forthcoming.
Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, who is a modern dancer, and their three children.
Steve Harvey

Steven Harvey is the author of The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, a memoir about coming to terms with the suicide of his mother published by Ovenbird Books as part of the "Judith Kitchen Select" series. A section of the memoir appeared in The Best American Essays 2013 selected by Cheryl Strayed.  He is also the author of three books of personal essays, A Geometry of LiliesLost in Translation, and Bound for Shady Grove, and edited an anthology of essays about middle age called In a Dark Wood. He is a professor emeritus of English and creative writing at Young Harris College, a senior editor for River Teeth, and the creator of The Humble Essayist, a website designed to promote literary nonfiction. He lives in the north Georgia mountains. You can learn more about Steve and his work at his web site:

Richard Hoffman is author of the memoirs Half the House (Harcourt Brace; New Rivers Press) and Love & Fury (Beacon Press;) the poetry collections Without Paradise (Cedar Hill Books); Gold Star Road (Barrow Street Press), winner of the 2006 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the 2008 Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club; Emblem (Barrow Street Press); and most recently Noon until Night (Barrow Street Press). A fiction writer as well, his Interference & Other Stories (New Rivers Press) was published in 2009. A former Chair of PEN New England, he is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College and an adjunct assistant professor of nonfiction in the graduate program at Columbia University.

Kate Hopper is the author of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers (2012) and Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood (2013), winner of a 2014 MIPA Midwest Book Award. She is co-author of Silent Running (2015), a memoir of one family's journey with autism and running. Kate holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and has received a Fulbright Scholarship, two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, and a Sustainable Arts Grant. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including BrevityLos Angeles Review of BooksThe New York Times online and Poets & Writers. She teaches online in Ashland University's low-residency MFA program, and at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Sonya Huber is the author of five books, including three books of creative nonfiction: Opa Nobody (University of Nebraska Press), Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir (University of Nebraska Press), and Pain Woman Takes Your Keys: Essays from a Nervous System (University of Nebraska Press)Her work has been published in literary journals and magazines including The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Fourth Genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post Magazine. She currently teaches in the Department of English at Fairfield University and in the Fairfield Low-Residency MFA Program. Her work won the 2012 Award in Nonfiction and is included in True Stories, Well Told: From the First Twenty Years of Creative Nonfiction.

Thomas Larson Journalist, critic, and memoirist, Thomas Larson is the author of three books: The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart DiseaseThe Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," and The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative. He is a longtime staff writer for the San Diego Reader, now its Critic-At-Large, and Book Reviews editor for River Teeth.  His website is
Dan Lehman

Dan Lehman is author of John Reed and the Writing of Revolution (Ohio University Press) and Matters of Fact: Reading Nonfiction over the Edge (Ohio State University Press); co-editor of The River Teeth Reader (University of Nebraska Press) and River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative; and series co-editor of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize series (University of Nebraska Press). A former journalist, Lehman has written for newspapers and magazines in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Va. He has a Ph.D. in English from The Ohio State University, an M.A. in English from Georgetown University and a B.A. in English from Eastern Mennonite University. He recently retired from full-time teaching, but continues to be a vital part of River Teeth and the Ashland University literary community.

Joe Mackall

Joe Mackall is the author of Plain Secrets: An Outsider among the Amish (Beacon Press, 2007) and The Last Street Before Cleveland: An Accidental Pilgrimage (University of Nebraska Press, 2006). He is the co-founder and co-editor of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and co-editor of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize Series (in partnership with the University of New Mexico Press). His articles have been published in a number of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He wrote for The Washington Post for two years. He also served as editor of Cleveland Magazine. His essays have appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and recently on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." He is the director of the undergraduate Creative Writing Program and Professor of English at Ashland University.

Angela Morales, a graduate of the University of Iowa's nonfiction writing program, is the author of The Girls in My Town, a collection of personal essays. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays 2013, Harvard ReviewThe Southern ReviewThe Southwest ReviewThe Los Angeles Review, Arts and Letters, The Baltimore Review, The Pinch, Hobart, River Teeth, Under the Sun, Puerto del Sol, and The Indianola Review. She was the winner of the 2014 River Teeth Book Prize, and is a MacDowell Fellow. Her book was the 2017 winner of the PEN Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Currently, she teaches composition and creative writing at Glendale Community College and is working on her second collection of essays. She lives in Pasadena with her husband Patrick and their two children, Mira and Leo.

Robert Root is author of the memoir Happenstance, the essay collection Postscripts: Retrospections on Time and Place, and the recent narrative of place Walking Home Ground: In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth. He is the author of The Nonfictionist's Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction, editor of Landscapes With Figures: The Nonfiction of Place, and co-editor (with Michael Steinberg) of The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction. His award-winning essays have been listed as Notable Essays in Best American Essays and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His website is

Ana Maria Spagna

Ana Maria Spagna is the author of five nonfiction books, including the memoir/history Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus, winner of the River Teeth literary nonfiction prize, two collections of essays, Potluck and Now Go Home, and most recently, Reclaimers, the story of people reclaiming sacred land and water. She has twice been a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and she has published essays and stories in magazines including Orion, Utne, Ecotone, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, and High Country News. After working many years on backcountry trail crews, she now teaches nonfiction writing and serves as Director of the MFA program at Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. In 2017, she will publish her first book of fiction, a young adult novel about a snowboarder, titled The Luckiest Scar on Earth.

Michael Steinberg is the founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. He's written and co-authored five books and a stage play. In 2004, Still Pitching won theForeWord Magazine/Independent Press Memoir of the Year. An anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (with Robert Root) is in a sixth edition.  In addition to being nominated for the Pushcart Prize, several essay/memoirs have been listed as Notables in Best American Essays. Currently, he's Nonfiction-Writer-in-Residence in the Solstice/Pine Manor College MFA program. Read more at


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