The third annual Voices of the Middle West “celebration of Midwestern writers and publishers” was held Saturday, March 12, 2016, at the RC. Ross Gay was keynote speaker.
The festival panel discussions included Storytelling as Community,” “Where Memoir and Fiction Meet,” “Unheard Voices in Publishing,” and “Is there a Midwestern character?”
There was also an open mic, and a bookfair with 43 booths staffed by Midwestern publishers and book sellers. Writers, editors, and publishers on the panels included Fred Arroyo, Melissa Falivino, Angela Flournoy, Matthew Gavin Frank, Peter Geye, Naomi Huffman, Matthew Kirkpatrick, Alrea D. Matthews, Phong Nguyen, Christina Olson, Anne-Marie Oomen, Jared Yates Sexton, Emily Schultz, Amber Sparks, Ben Tanzer, Jim Warner, and Erika T. Wurth.
The festival was coordinated by the RC and Midwestern Gothic, and supported by the Zell Visiting Writers Series and the Michigan Humanities Council, the U-M Departments of Afroamerican and African Studies, American Culture and English Language and Literature, English Language and Literature, Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, and Research, and Fiction Writers Review.
Last year’s Voices was held March 21, 2015 and featured Stuart Dybek. Writers, editors and publishers on the panels included Matt Bell, Anna Clark, Caitlin Horrocks, C.J. Hribal, Naomi Huffman, Allison Joseph, Laura Kasischke, Alissa Nutting, Anne Valente, Marcus Wicker, and Steven Woodward.
The first Voices festival was held March 22, 2014 and featured Curtis Sittenfeld. Writers, editors, students, and publishers on panels included Aaron Burch, Abigail Cloud, Jack Driscoll, Alison Epstein, Lolita Hernandez, Page Lester, Annie Martin, Ken Mikolowski, Jamie Monville, Leigh Sugar, Keith Taylor, Laura Thomas, Jeff Vande Zande, Alexander Weinstein, and Dan Wickett.