UND Writers Conference: Panel, "Stewardship" with Joy Harjo, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, & Ross Gay

For over 50 years, the UND Writers Conference, which is completely free and open to the public, has brought some of the most influential authors of the 20th and 21st century to the Northern Red River Valley to further our mission of creating the opportunity for a discussion of the literary arts as they relate to our everyday lives.

Although the UND Writers Conference does have some guaranteed funding thanks to a number of generous donors who helped found various endowments, these funds are not enough to pay for our annual Conference. Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the Conference's annual budget is raised through yearly grant writing and additional donations.

Please consider donating online.

In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. She is the author of nine books of poetry and a memoir. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett's memoir, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, explores how the Japanese cope with grief and tragedy and is set against the backdrop of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Tōhoku, Japan and her family’s 350 year old Buddhist temple. The memoir was a New York Times Editors Choice, a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, an Indie Next Pick, a Finalist for the 2016 Pen Open Book Award, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015 and a Finalist for the Indies Choice Best Book for Adult Nonfiction for 2016.

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against WhichBringing the Shovel DownBe Holding; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new poem, Be Holding, will be released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in September of 2020. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019.