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The Marcum Hotel & Conference Center at Miami University View map

951 E Withrow St, Oxford, OH 45056

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The 2023 Marianne D. McComb Conference: Resilience & Joy

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

Calling all creative writers, literary scholars, and visual thinkers!

The Miami University Creative Writing Program is hosting the 2023 Marianne D. McComb Conference on Resilience and Joy on April 14-15th at the Marcum Center. Award-winning authors will present and lead generative writing workshops. Students from across the university (and beyond!) are invited to participate. 

The 2023 Marianne D. 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 writing or comic-making? Is joy necessarily tethered to sorrow?

The conference features sessions on graphic novels, nonfiction, poetry, and fiction by world-renowned authors Ross Gay, Lydia Conklin, and Yalie Kamara.

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 5 pm here:

Are you an undergraduate 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.

Participants on conference panels presenting their scholarly or creative work receive a free t-shirt. All registrants receive free swag and food throughout the conference weekend.



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

4/14 Friday

  • Keynote talk by Ross Gay at 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 Dr. TaraShea Nesbit via email at The deadline to register is 3/25 so that we can plan food/swag. We hope you will join us!

  • Etha Walters
  • Trudy Jane Shellenbarger

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