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The 2023 Marianne D. McComb Conference: Resilience & Joy

Saturday, April 15, 2023
9:15 am
Marcum Center

“Joy is an act of resistance.” –Toi Derricotte

Calling all creative writers, literary scholars, and those interested in joy:

The Miami University Creative Writing Program is hosting the Marianne D. McComb Conference on Resilience and Joy April 14-15th at the Marcum Center. Award-winning authors will present and conduct generative writing workshops. Writers from across the university (and beyond!) are invited to participate.

The 2023 McComb conference is a two-day conference, open to all, with the theme this year of resilience and joy. How do we write or draw joy and resilience? How can we find resilience and joy in the writing or comic-making? Is joy necessarily tethered to sorrow?

The conference features generative writing sessions on graphic novels, nonfiction, poetry, and fiction by world-renowned authors Ross Gay, Lydia Conklin, and Yalie Kamara. These authors will also give talks and participate in panels.

The conference will be held at the Marcum Center, kicked off by keynote speaker Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights and Inciting Joy, followed by a reception on Friday, April 14th. Saturday offers generative writing sessions led by our three guest writers, fiction writer and graphic memoirist Lydia Conklin, and Cincinnati’s poet laureate Yalia Kamara. There will also be a plenary panel by our guests on resilience and joy, as well as a panel and a reading by Miami students.  

To help with planning, please register by March 25th by 5pm here:

Interested in presenting a 5-7 minute reading of your scholarly paper or creative work related to the theme? Use the same registration form and tick the box to indicate your interest.

All registrants receive free swag and food throughout the conference weekend. Participants who present their scholarly or creative work also receive extra gifts.

The full schedule is to come but key highlights are below. All events take place at the Marcum Center and are free for all to attend.

4/14 Friday

  • Keynote talk by Ross Gay 6 pm, followed by a reception

4/15 Saturday

  • 9:15-10:30: Morning Session w/ Ross Gay
  • 10:40-11:55:  Plenary Panel: “The Art of Resilience and Cultivating Joy: Three Perspectives” with Yalie Kamara, Ross Gay, and Lydia Conklin
  • Buffet Lunch
  • 1:00-2:15: Afternoon Session I w/ Yalie Kamara & Student Panels
  • 2:20-3:35: Afternoon Session II w/ Lydia Conklin & Student Panels
  • Closing Remarks to follow

Please share this information widely. Any questions can be addressed to TaraShea Nesbit via email We hope you will join us!