This Year's Conference

Keynote Speaker

mai-derBorn and raised in Fresno, Mai Der Vang is the author of the poetry collection Afterland, published in 2017 by Graywolf Press. Her debut book won the 2016 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, as selected by Carolyn Forché, and it was longlisted for the National Book Award in Poetry.

Mai Der’s poetry has appeared in Poetry magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the LA Review of Books, Guernica, and elsewhere. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Her work has been anthologized in the collection Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora. As an editorial board member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle, she was co-editor of How Do I Begin: A Hmong American Literary Anthology.

In addition to participating in Kundiman, a national organization that cultivates Asian American creative writing, Mai Der has completed residencies at Civitella Ranieri and Hedgebrook. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Mai Der formerly served as director of The kNOw Youth Media in Fresno. She graduated from McLane High School.

Mai Der currently serves as a 2017-18 visiting writer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the MFA Writing Program.

On the Web

See Mai Der read her poetry at Fresno State in May 2017, as part of the Fresno Poets' Association reading series. [video]