Biographies of Writers Conference guests

Art Spiegelman Art Spiegelman has been described as a genius, a tortured artist, "a Michelangelo and a Medici both" to the comics world. "Maus," a 300-page memoir of his parents' experience of the Holocaust, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and popul...

Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman has been described as a genius, a tortured artist, "a Michelangelo and a Medici both" to the comics world. "Maus," a 300-page memoir of his parents' experience of the Holocaust, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and popularized the term graphic novel.

He will deliver the presidential lecture at the UND Writers Conference at 8 p.m. March 23 in Chester Fritz Auditorium and will be part of a noon March 23 panel called "Are Books Obselete?" with Deena Larsen and Cecelia Condit.

Born in Stockholm in 1948 to Polish Jewish refugees, Spiegelman rejected his parents' aspirations for him to become a dentist and began to study cartooning in high school and drawing professionally at age 16, according to the UND Writers Conference Web site. He studied art and philosophy at Harpur College before joining the underground comics movement.

In 1980, he founded RAW, the acclaimed avant-garde comics magazine, with his wife, Françoise Mouly. His work has been published in The New Yorker, where he was a staff artist and writer from 1993 to 2003, has published a children's book and other graphic novels. He received a Guggenheim fellowship and was nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award. His drawings and prints have been widely exhibited. He and his wife and two children live in New York City.


Pantheon Graphic Novels Web site quotes the New York Times Magazine: "Art Spiegelman ... to the comics world is a Michelangelo and a Medici both, an influential artist who is also an impresario and an enabler of others."

Mark Amerika

An author and a Time magazine-nominated innovator in their list of the most influential artists, scientists, entertainers and philosophers, Amerika in 1993 founded Alt-X, called by Publisher's Weekly "the literary publishing model of the future." His novel "Grammatron" is an online narrative that uses the capabilities of cyberspace to tie the conventional story line into complicated knots. See

Cecilia Condit

The Electronics Arts Intermix Web site says Condit fuses humor and horror, the whimsical and the macabre, to tell stories of the subconscious beneath the suburban landscape of Middle America. "Condit's elliptical narratives, which have been termed 'feminist fairy tales,' put a subversive spin on the traditional mythologies of female representation and the psychologies of sexuality and violence." See an excerpt from "Annie Lloyd," her film about her mother, at .

Deena Larsen

Larsen's Web site, , opens thusly: "Hi, I am Deena. I'm a hypertext / electronic literature / new media / electronic expression addict." She has published numerous works and helps create more addicts to this new forum with chats and workshops, as well as working with the Electronic Literature Organization and trAce. She has published more than 30 works, ranging from mysteries ("Disappearing Rain") to poems and short stories that appear in online journals such as Iowa Review Web and Cauldron and Net.

Nick Montfort


Author of "Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction," Montfort works at Massachussets Institute of Technology, where the digital writing projects he has undertaken include the blog Post Position, where he writes about computer narrative, poetry, games and art. His work includes "Implementation," a novel on stickers written with Scott Rettberg. He is a featured author/programmer interviewed in "Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary," set to premiere March 26 in Boston. For more, go to .

Stuart Moulthrop

An award-winning artist, writer and scholar of digital culture, his electronic literary works began the hypertext fiction "Victory Garden" in 1991, which drew widespread critical attention. The New York Times Book Review called it "the new benchmark" for digital literature and named Moulthrop the foremost practitioner and theorist of the craft. Later projects, including "Hegirascope," "Reagan Library," "Pax" and "Deep Surface," were subjects of many studies and commentaries.

Frank X. Walker

The self-described "Affrilachian" poet is author of four poetry collection and editor and publisher of PLUCK!, the new Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture. From a 2006 NPR "This I Believe" interview: "Ever since high school, words have continued to serve as my first weapon of choice and my salvation. Many of life's challenges need creative solutions. I believe creativity -- in all its many forms -- can change the way we think and operate. Celebrating the creativity around us helps maintain our sanity and keeps us happy."

Saul Williams

Described as gifted and fiery, Williams is a former Grand Slam Champion who explores social consciousness with passionate poetry. He co-wrote and starred in "Slam," a Sundance Film Festival and Camera d'Or Cannes Film Festival winner. His debut album, "Amethyst Rock Star," earned him critical acclaim, and he's written four collections of poems, including "The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop." Check out "Saul Williams Amethyst Rock" on YouTube.

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