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Event Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 11:00am
Free and open to the public

TAMPA Florida, February 15, 2018—The University of South Florida’s English Department and the Humanities Institute host the fifth annual Blank Pages Creative Writing Symposium on Wednesday, February 28 beginning at 11:00 a.m. in Marshall Student Center 2702. Featured guest Ravi Howard will present a reading at 6:00 p.m. in Marshall Student Center 3713. These events are free and open to the public, and a light lunch will be provided.


“Our goal for this symposium is to foster a conversation that discusses the relationship of writing and race,” say Blank Pages coordinators Alison Missler and John Williams, second year MFA candidates. “Moreover, how do we, as writers, foster an environment of inclusivity while not perpetuating stereotypes?”


Keynote Ravi Howard is the author of two novels, Driving the King and Like Trees, Walking, for which he received the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in 2008. He has recorded commentary for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Massachusetts Review and Callaloo. He also appeared in the Ted Koppel documentary, The Last Lynching, on the Discovery Channel. Howard has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Hurston-Wright Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


Notable alumni from USF’s English Department, Gloria Muñoz, Liz Kicak, and Chelsea Dingman will give a reading at 12:30 p.m. in Marshall Student Center 2702. Muñoz is the author of the poetry chapbook Your Biome Has Found You and professor at Eckerd College. Kicak is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the director of the Humanities Institute at USF. Dingman is the author of the poetry collection Thaw, which was a winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series Competition, and chapbook What Bodies Have I Moved, and is a Visiting Instructor at USF.


The symposium will feature an 11:00 a.m. graduate student panel including James Josue, Maggie Romigh, Macey Sidlasky, Calyn Waddington, Ashley Adams, and Jade Weiss.


For more information about this and other events hosted by USF’s English Department, or to learn more about USF’s creative writing program in the Department of English, contact Program Director John Fleming at


The University of South Florida’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a graduate-level program offering concentrations in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. The program emphasizes the craft of writing and concentrates on students’ original work. For more information, see



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