The Opening Session featured Ingrid Rojas Contreras, born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, her memoir, The Man Who Could Move Clouds, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It tells the story of the author's lineage of curanderos, shamans, and ghost whisperers, and her mother, who was the first woman in her family to become a curandera. The book won a Medal in Nonfiction from the California Book Awards, was a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and was long-listed for a Carnegie Medal in Excellence in Nonfiction. It was named a “Best Book of the Year” by TIME, People, NPR, Vanity Fair, Boston Globe, among others. Her first novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree was the silver medal winner in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Cut, and Zyzzyva, among others. She lives in California.
Ingrid is in conversation with Grace Loh Prasad.
Tonya M. Foster is a poet, essayist, editor, and Black feminist scholar. The author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court, the bilingual chapbook La Grammaire des Os; and coeditor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing through Visual Art, Dr. Foster’s work focuses on poetry, poetics, ideas of place and emplacement, and on intersections between the visual and the written. Forthcoming publications include poetry collections—Thingifications (Ugly Duckling Presse); A History of the Bitch, as well as a 2-volume compendium on the Umbra Writers Workshop (Wesleyan University Press); and an anthology of experimental creative drafts (Nightboat Books). A Radcliffe Institute @ Harvard University, a Creative Capital awardee, recipient of awards from Macdowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, NYFA, SF MOAD, and the Ford and Mellon Foundations, among others, Dr. Foster is the inaugural George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Poetry at San Francisco State University.
Tonya is in conversation with Maw Shein Win.