Faye Rapoport DesPres

In Praise of the Essay: Practice & Form

I am lucky to have met the talented essayist Kim Dana Kupperman at Pine Manor College, and I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of  volunteer work for her non-profit organization, Welcome Table Press, which is dedicated to publishing and celebrating the essay in all its forms.

On Saturday, October 15, Welcome Table Press will host a symposium in New York City titled “In Praise of the Essay: Practice & Form.” From everything I’ve heard, the first symposium hosted by WTP was a fantastic event, and I have no doubt this one will be, too. The honoree is Phillip Lopate, and speakers include Robin Hemley, Barbara Hurd, Helen Benedict, Joshua Wolf Shenk, and Matthew Swanson & Robbi Behr (creators of Idiots’ Books).

A panel on teaching the essay will feature presentations by Richard Hoffman, Patrick Madden, Suzanne Menghraj, Robert Root, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and Dustin Beall Smith. There will also be readings by Amy Leach, E. J. Levy, Shelley Salamensky, Jerald Walker, and Ryan Van Meter, and a Q&A with editors from Best American Essays, Cabinet, Creative Nonfiction, Defunct, Fourth Genre, Graywolf Press, The Pedestrian, River Teeth, Sarabande Books, and more.

If you’d like to register for the symposium, a registration form can be found online here. You can also stay in touch with Welcome Table Press through Facebook and Twitter:

I’m hoping to make it to the symposium this year. If so, maybe I’ll see you there!