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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Life + Arts

Boldface Conference Features Presenter David Maclean


Boldface Conference Speaker David Maclean. Photo courtesy of Heather Eidson Photography

UH alumnus, professor, award-winner and, as of this January, published writer, David Stuart MacLean will bring a unique experience to the 2014 Boldface Conference, which began on Monday and concludes on May 25.

MacLean will offer students advice on creative nonfiction writing, reading from his January 2014 memoir and hosting a craft talk, based on “the intersection between trauma and narrative.”

“It’s always great to be at a writing conference just because everyone is on the same page and everyone is so excited and engaged with writing,” MacLean said.

“­­­There’s not a lot of evangelical talk going on, you don’t have to get anybody excited, they’re already excited.”

In 2006 while pursuing his Ph.D. in fiction from UH, he co-founded the Poison Pen Reading Series, which features several national and local writers at the Poison Girl bar.

MacLean’s first book, “The Answer to the Riddle is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia,” recounts MacLean’s struggles with amnesia which began in the middle of India. The amnesia itself was brought on by a malarial medication he had been taking at the time. The book was drawn from an award-winning essay that premiered on Ira Glass’ “This American Life” radio program. The book, MacLean said, was difficult to write.

“I tried not to write the book for a very long time, and that wasn’t turning out to be very healthy as a writer for me, because I started to notice that the thing that I was actively not writing was bleeding into all of my other work. So finally, I decided I needed to write the thing itself.”

“I had to relive a lot of this stuff in order for it to be effective for the reader, I had to go back to those places, which was really difficult,” MacLean said.

The Boldface Conference is hosted by the student-run publication “Glass Mountain.”


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