2015 Gathering Faculty Bios


This year’s Keynote speaker, Scott Russell Sanders
, has written passionately about the world we live in all of his life. He is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Hunting for Hope, Earth Works, and Divine Animal. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University.



Andrew Black
has an MFA in playwriting from Ohio University, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Trisolini Fellowship. His full-length play Strange Bedfellows (co-written with Patricia Milton) is currently being produced by Theater Out in Orange County. Andrew’s full-length play Another Dude’s Slingbacks won the New Works of Merit award in 2008 and received its world premiere at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre in New York City in March, 2010. His full-length The Second Weekend in September had its world premiere at City Lights Theater in San Jose, California, in May of 2010. His newest work, Puppet Man, was read at the Multi-Stages Theater in New York in early 2014. Andrew has had many short plays produced in festivals around the country.  http://blackandmilton.wordpress.com/ 


Former Indiana Poet Laureate, Karen Kovacik
is a poet and translator of contemporary Polish poetry. Her books include Metropolis Burning, with many evocations of cities at war; Beyond the Velvet Curtain, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize; and Nixon and I. Her translation of Agnieszka Kuciak’s Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don’t Exist,  longlisted for the 2014 National Translation Award, is available from White Pine Press, and in 2016, White Pine will be publishing Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets, edited and selected by her. She’s Professor of English at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she teaches creative writing and American poetry. Her work has been honored with the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, a Fulbright Research Grant to Poland, and a Fellowship in Literary Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sarah Layden is the author a novel, Trip Through Your Wires. Her short fiction and poetry appear in Stone Canoe, Blackbird, Gargoyle, The Evansville Review, PANK, the anthology Sudden Flash Youth, and elsewhere. She is the winner of two Society of Professional Journalists awards, an AWP Intro Award, the Allen and Nirelle Galson Prize for fiction, and Purdue University’s Paul Sidewell Award for her novel, Sleeping Woman, which is excerpted in Freight Stories and the Dia de los Muertos anthology. She teaches writing at IUPUI. Find her online at www.sarahlayden.com.


Kevin McKelvey teaches writing, editing, and publishing at the University of Indianapolis. His poetry chapbook, Dream Wilderness, was published in 2010, and he is currently at work on a novel, Wabash Poems, and editorial and design projects.


William O'Rourke
is the author of The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left (1972), Signs of the Literary Times: Essays, Reviews, Profiles (1993), and On Having a Heart Attack: A Medical Memoir (2006), as well as the novels The Meekness of Isaac (1974), Idle Hands (1981), Criminal Tendencies (1987), and Notts (1996). He is the editor of On the Job: Fiction About Work by Contemporary American Writers (1977) and co-editor of Notre Dame Review: The First Ten Years (2009). His book, Campaign America ‘96: The View From the Couch, first published in 1997, was reissued in paperback with a new, updated epilogue in 2000. A sequel, Campaign America 2000: The View From the Couch, was published in 2001. His most recent books are Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer (2012) and a 40th anniversary edition of The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left, with a new Afterword (2012). He has been awarded two NEAs and was the first James Thurber Writer-in-Residence in Columbus, Ohio. He is the current editor of the Notre Dame Review and a Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.


Salvatore Pane is the author of the novel Last Call in the City of Bridges. His work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Hobart, The Collagist, The American Book Review, and many other venues. He is an assistant professor of English at the University of Indianapolis and can be reached at www.salvatore-pane.com.


Dan Wakefield's best-selling novels Starting Over and Going All The Way were produced as feature films. His memoirs include New York in the Fifties, which was the basis of a documentary film that aired on Showtime, and Returning: A Spiritual Journey, which Bill Moyers called "One of the most important memoirs of the spirit I have ever read." He edited and wrote the introduction for Kurt Vonnegut: Letters and If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Kurt Vonnegut's Advice to The Young.


Elizabeth Weber
has published three collections of poetry, Small Mercies (Owl Creek Press), The Burning House (Main Street Rag) and Porthole Views: Watercolors and Poems on which she collaborated with artist Hazel Stoeckeler (Nodin Press). Her poem “City Generations” was chosen to be a permanent part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail in 2010. Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines including Calyx, Verse, Kalliope, Puerto del Sol, as well as others. Her essays and reviews have been published in CutBank, Prairie Schooner, The Human Tradition and The Vietnam War, Montana Magazine, and Consequence. Her translations have appeared in Kalliope and CutBank. She is an associate professor at the University of Indianapolis where she teaches creative writing and co-directs the Kellogg Writers Series.


Ben H. Winters
is the author of eight novels, including most recently World of Trouble, the concluding book in the Last Policeman trilogy. Countdown City was an NPR Best Book of 2013 and the winner of the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished Science Fiction. The Last Policeman was the recipient of the 2012 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America; it was also named one of the Best Books of 2012 by Amazon.com and Slate. Ben’s other books include Literally Disturbed, a book of scary poems for kids; the New York Times bestselling parody novel Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and a novel for young readers, The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2011 as well as an Edgar Nominee in the juvenile category.

© Indiana Writers Center 2012