Faculty and Panelist Biographies
The distinguished participants in this summer's conference are all active and successful novelists, poets, screenwriters, critics, scholars, or publishing professionals. In addition to our graduate program faculty, other speakers and presenters join us from all over the country. This page includes all presenter biographies. Biographies of Workshop and Critical Seminar leaders and of participants in the Poetry Symposium can also be found on the pages with the descriptions of those programs.
For seven years, Michael Brody has directed, with his wife Jennifer, the Crested Butte Film Festival, a four day celebration of narrative and documentary film. In that time, total attendance has jumped a remarkable 147%. The festival is known for its challenging, provocative and international selections and has become a favorite of many filmmakers. Before that, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Creative Writing, Filmmaking, and Philosophy. His first screenplay The Sun King was optioned by Hollywood producer Jeff Mackler. In 2010, he wrote, directed and produced the low-budget feature film, Document. In 2012 he was hired to adapt the novel Created Equal for the screen. Most recently, he was invited to submit his TV pilot Sanctuary to Sundance's esteemed Episodic Story Lab, and is now working on another adaptation.
Brian Calvert is the Managing Editor of High Country News, the nation's leading source of reporting on the American west. A fourth-generation Wyoming native, he grew up in Pinedale and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1994 with a BA in English liberal arts and minors in writing and media studies. He has worked as a foreign correspondent, writer, audio journalist, and most recently, a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. After extensive time in Cambodia, China and Afghanistan, Brian has a new appreciation for the West and is thrilled to be back. When he's not working, you can find him outside, trying to regain his mountain hardiness. He is also earning an MFA in Poetry at Western.
Alice Quinn, this year's Poetry Keynote Speaker, is executive director of the Poetry Society of America, where she oversees an award-winning Chapbook Fellowship Contest and more than forty programs annually nationwide. She received a BA from Manhattanville College as well as an Honorary Doctorate in 2007. She also attended New York University for graduate study in English Literature. She is the editor of Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006), and she is currently working on an edition of Elizabeth Bishop’s journals and notebooks. From 1987 to 2007 she was poetry editor of the New Yorker, where for many years she was also a senior editor in the fiction department and an editor of memoirs, profiles, book reviews, and a variety of critics’ pieces, working with, among others, Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Rick Moody, Andrea Lee, Julie Hecht, Muriel Spark, Robert Stone, Joan Acocella, Anthony Lane, and Jamaica Kincaid. Prior to that, she worked at Alfred A. Knopf (1972-1986), publishing fiction, biographies, works of cultural history, and books on American folk art while editing the Knopf Poetry Series, which included Amy Clampitt, Edward Hirsch, Sharon Olds, and Marie Ponsot. She has lectured on poetry and given talks on publishing at many colleges and cultural institutions. Her articles on and interviews with poets and artists have appeared in Artforum, The Forward, Poetry Ireland, the Canadian National Post, the New Yorker, and the New Yorker Online.