National Undergraduate Literature Conference (NULC)
March 28 - March 30, 2019
Each year, nearly 200 undergraduate writers and poets throughout North America, and sometimes beyond, come to Weber State University to present their work and learn from some of the most important writers in contemporary literature.
Featuring Award-Winning Authors
Michelle's writing stems from deep and intimate experience as a teacher, advocate, and lawyer. At Centro Legal de la Raza, Michelle worked as a lawyer for undocumented immigrants in Oakland, including day laborers, domestic workers, and restaurant workers. Her cases involved eviction, abusive housing conditions, wage theft, and threats of deportation. Michelle has taught English at an alternative school at the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta for students who are expelled from other schools, and volunteered as a teacher at the Prison University Project at San Quentin Prison.
The daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, Michelle currently teaches at the American University of Paris, where whe engages students in school justice and nonfiction writing and hopes to create a spirit of generosity rather than condemnation. In 2016 she won the Board of Trustees Award for teaching.
Reading with Patrick, Michelle's first book, is a memoir of teaching literature in a rural Arkansas county jail. Her book asks how literacy can grant freedom, why inequality persists, and what it means to live the good life. Reading with Patrick continues to receive high praise and has been short-listed for the Goddard Riverside Social Justice Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. As James Forman, Jr. and Arthur Evenchik write in The Atlantic, "Impassioned writing and hard-earned wisdom set the book apart . . . In all of the literature addressing education, race, poverty, and criminal justice, there has been nothing quite like Reading with Patrick."
MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been hailed as the standout writer of her generation, proving her “fearless and toughly lyrical” voice in novels, memoir, and nonfiction. Betsy Burton of the American Booksellers Association has called her “the new Toni Morrison.” In 2017, she became the first woman and the first person of color to win two National Book Awards for Fiction—joining the ranks of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Philip Roth, and John Updike.
Ward often speaks about her writing process and how her experiences growing up poor and Black in the South continue to influence her work. As she said in her acceptance speech at the 2011 National Book Awards, "I understood that I wanted to write about the experiences of the poor, and the Black and the rural people of the South, so that the culture that marginalized us for so long would see that our stories were as universal, our lives as fraught and lovely and important, as theirs."
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The WSU National Undergraduate Literature Conference is sponsored by generous support from:
- J&J Ferree Foundation
- John E. Lindquist
- Kathryn Lindquist
- Suzanne M. Lindquist
- WSU Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities
- WSU Office of the Provost
- Dean W. and Carol W. Hurst Artist-in-Residence Endowment
- Suzanne M. Lindquist & John E. Lindquist National Undergraduate Literature Conference Endowment*
- The National Undergraduate Literature Conference Endowment*
- *Endowments established in honor of Mikel Vause, Carl Porter and John A. and Telitha E. Lindquist