The conference includes two keynote sessions designed to inform a collective vision related to book reviews and the current environment for book reviewing. The Friday night session, February 25, 7:00pm, and featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Brian Broome, Russell Jacoby, and Jennifer Harlan immediately follows a panel discussion with eight area authors. The Saturday evening session, February 26, 7:00pm, is featuring Marita Golden, E. Ethelbert Miller, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, and Gwydion Suilebhan. Both keynotes will be recorded and streamed to social media; to attend via zoom registration is required.

Day Eight is providing ASL interpreting for both keynote sessions. If you have other accessibility needs, or questions, please email admin <at> for service.

Keynote Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker: Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most prolific American writers of the 20th century. She is the author of over 70 books, including the novels Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. (2020); Blonde (2000), winner of the National Book Award; and them (1969), winner of the National Book Award. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Harper’s, and have been widely anthologized. Oates has also published numerous books of poetry, including American Melancholy (2021). Oates is the winner of the O. Henry Award, the National Humanities Medal, and additional significant recognitions. She is currently a visiting distinguished writer-in-residence in the graduate program at New York University.

Keynote Speaker: Brian Broome

Brian Broome, poet and screenwriter, is the author of Punch Me Up to the Gods (Mariner Books, 2021), which won the 2021 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction. He is K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Broome has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. Broome lives in Pittsburgh.

Keynote Speaker: Marita Golden

Marita Golden is an American novelist, nonfiction writer, professor, and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. She has been a faculty member in the MFA Creative Writing Programs at George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the MA Program in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University, and a Writer-in-Residence at the University of the District of Columbia and Prince George’s Community College. Her articles and essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Essence, and The Root. As co-founder with Clyde McElvene of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation she has supported the international community of Black writers for three decades.

Keynote Speaker: Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of A More Perfect Union (Mad Creek Books, 2021) winner of the 2019 Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize and Haint (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. In 2022, she was one of two recipients of a state-wide Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award and in 2020 she received the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award. She has been the recipient of grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and The Freya Project, as well as fellowships and scholarships to Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop and others. Her work has appeared in Academy of American Poets, Deep Beauty, Harvard Review, and many others. She was the 2019-2020 HoCoPoLitSo Writer-in-Residence for Howard County, Maryland, and is the current O.B. Hardison Poetry Series Curator and Poetry Programs manager for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.

Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Harlan

Jennifer Harlan is a staff editor for Special Projects at The New York Times, where she focuses on visually driven enterprise and archival journalism. She is a regular contributor to The Times’s Book Review, where she primarily reviews young adult fiction and writes about the history of reading. She is also the co-author of “Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote,” which was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library and others and selected as a 2020 honor book by the Jane Addams Peace Association, and of “Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter,” which was a 2021 Booklist Editors’ Pick and named an Orbis Pictus Honor Book by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Keynote Speaker: E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his work. For 17 years Miller served as the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. His poetry has been translated into nearly a dozen languages and he holds an honorary Doctor of Literature from Emory and Henry College. Miller’s most recent book, If God Invented Baseball, published by City Point Press, was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. For many years he contributed book reviews for NPR, and he continues to author reviews for New York Journal of Books.

Keynote Speaker: Gwydion Suilebhan

Gwydion Suilebhan is a writer and arts advocate who serves as both the Executive Director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Project Director of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network. As a writer, Suilebhan’s work has been noted for its “dexterous theatricality and unexpected pleasure” (Washington Post). He is the author of several plays, including The Butcher, Reals, Abstract Nude, and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated Transmission. His work has been commissioned, developed, and produced by theaters in DC and across the country. Suilebhan is also the author of Anthem, a short film directed by Hal Hartley, and a forthcoming web series called All Souls.

Keynote Speaker: Russell Jacoby

Russell Jacoby is the author of seven books including The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, an Andrew Mellon fellowship, a Lehrman fellowship and an NEH grant and has published articles and reviews in American Historical Review, Grand Street, Nation, Los Angeles Times, London Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s and elsewhere. He teaches history at UCLA.