Annual Writing Conference to Take Place

March 31, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The fifth annual Tongue and Ink Undergraduate Writing Conference will take place on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Co-sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan University’s creative arts journal, Tributaries, and Illinois State University’s creative arts journal, Euphemism, the event will feature keynote readings and master classes given by fiction writer Alex Shakar and poet Simone Muench, a variety of sessions and workshops, student readings and a performance by Sean Patrick Conlon.

All conference events are free and open to the public.  Registration information is available at A registration and check-in table will be in the Hansen Student Center (300 E. Beecher St., Bloomington) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday.

The conference events will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday in Hansen with a reading by Shakar, whose novel, The Savage Girl, was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and a Booksense 76 Pick.  His story collection, City in Love, was selected as an Independent Presses Editors Pick of the Year. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he currently teaches fiction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Shakar will hold a master class at 5:15 p.m. on Friday in Hansen.

At 8:30 p.m. in Hansen, there will be a poetry slam and performance by Sean Patrick Conlon, founder of the first nationally certified spoken word venue based on a college campus. As a competitor at the 2008 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational and the 2008 National Poetry Slam, Conlon was the first person asked to read an opening poem on the final night of competition for both tournaments in a single year. He is the author of The Pornography Diaries and a companion CD featuring both music and poetry, has released five chapbooks in the last year, and has two more chapbooks forthcoming.

Saturday’s events will start at 9 a.m. with a master class given by Muench in the Davidson Room of the Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington).  Muench is the author of The Air Lost in Breathing, Lampblack & Ash and Orange Crush (forthcoming). Her latest chapbooks are Orange Girl and Sonoluminescence, written with Bill Allegrezza. The recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, Muench received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is director of the Writing Program at Lewis University where she teaches creative writing and film studies. She will also give a reading at 4:30 p.m. in Hansen.

Rounding out Saturday afternoon will be workshops, sessions and panel discussions, all of which will be held in the Memorial Center between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tongue and Ink events will conclude at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Hansen with the release of the Spring 2009 issue of Tributaries and student readings from those published in Tributaries, Euphemism, and Tongue and Ink’s online publication.

For additional information about or to register for Tongue and Ink, visit  Questions may also be directed to Tributaries Co-Editors Leila Whitley or Jessica Block at

Contact: Jessica Block ‘09, (309) 556-3181