Upcoming Readings, Workshops, & Events:
(The following conferences–Grub Street and AAAS–have been canceled.)
Grub Street’s Marketplace and the Muse, Session: The Things People Don’t Say: Writing What Is Taboo with Pooja Makhijani. Sunday, 4/5, 11:45 AM.
The Annual Conference of the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS). Roundtable S15. Creative Politics, Political Poetics. Chair: Purvi Shah, Northwestern University Press; Participants: Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center; Cathy Linh Che, Kundiman; Ching-In Chen, University of Washington-Bothell; Sejal Shah, University of Georgia Press. Washington, D.C. Saturday, April 11 (8:15 AM – 9:45 AM).
Select Past Readings, Panels, Talks, & Workshops:
Looking Back to the Future / 5 Colleges A/P/A Studies 20th Anniversary Symposium:”The Essay As a Way to Dance” Smith College, March 6, 2020.
Keynote Address at UNC Charlotte: “Performing Health, Unmasking Pain: Wellness, Illness, and Diversity in the Workplace, part of the campus-wide initiative: Chronic Yet Unseen: Making Hidden Disability Visible. Charlotte, NC. Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 12:30-2:00 PM.
Keynote Speaker for Princeton University’s Graduate Student Government’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Princeton, NJ. Thursday, November 21, 2019, 5:30-6:30 PM.
VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts) / SBC (Sweet Briar College) Fellows’ Salon. With filmmaker Ginny Mohler. Cochran Library, Sweet Briar College, VA. Thursday, October 3, 2019, 7:30 PM.
Speak Easy: Stories with Cocktails. Reading at Rochester Spoken Word at Cheshire (upstairs of Solera Wine Bar). Rochester, NY. Sunday, June 9, 2019, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM.
Strange Attractors: Women Writing Chance. Edie Meidav, Debra Immergut Marks, Jenni Quilter, Sejal Shah, Rebecca Wolff and others. An event to celebrate the publication of Strange Attractors and to discuss the role surprise plays in our creative lives. AWP 2019 Conference. F152, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. Portland, OR. Saturday, March 30th, 2019, 12:00 PM-1:15 PM.
Writing Away, Writing Toward: Belonging as a Narrative Force in Memoir. Erin White (moderator), Natalie Singer, Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros, and Sejal Shah in conversation. AWP 2019 Conference, B115, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1. Portland, OR. Thursday, March 28, 2019, 12:00 PM-1:15 PM.
2nd Annual International Women’s Day Reading: Lindsay Herko, Kristen Gentry, Rachel Hall, Christine Green, Gregory Gerard, Sejal Shah, and Sonja Livingston (host). Rochester writers pay tribute to their favorite women authors by reading from their work. Writers & Books, Rochester, NY. Friday, March 8th, 2019, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM.
Kundiman at The Spirit Room: A reading celebrating Asian American writers in Western New York. Hosted by Sejal Shah and The Spirit Room (owned by poets Rachel McKibbens and Jacob Rakovan) and featuring Mara Ahmed (filmmaker and activist), Albert Abonado (poet), and Chen Chen (poet and essayist). The Spirit Room, Rochester, New York. Sunday, October 28, 2018, 7:00 PM-8:30 PM.
Mini-Workshop: Love, Loss, Memory—The Stories You Always Meant to Write Down. A one-hour creative nonfiction workshop, exploring personal writing, memoir, reflection. Writers & Books, Rochester, New York. Saturday, September 8, 2018. 11:00 AM-12:00 PM. ***I will be teaching this again in early 2019.
Writers & Books’ Gell Intensive: I’ll be teaching at this all-day workshop with other faculty including Ralph Black, Sarah Freligh, Kristen Gentry, Anne Panning, and Stephen Schottenfeld in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. The Gell Center, Bristol, New York, Saturday, July 21, 2018.
The Ladder Literary Conference: I’ll be on a panel tackling the question of genre in one’s writing—fiction versus nonfiction versus poetry—a conversation between myself, Sonja Livingston, and poet Chen Chen, at a new conference hosted by Writers & Books. The Rochester Riverside Hotel, Rochester, New York, Saturday, June 16, 2018, 3:15-4:30 PM.
1st Annual Bluestocking Salon and Reading in Honor of International Women’s Day: with writers Stephanie Woodward, Donna Jackel, Angela Pichichero, Reenah L. Golden, Nadia Ghent, Sonja Livingston, & Annette Ramos. Writers & Books, Rochester, New York. Thursday, March 8, 2018, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM.
The University of Rochester: (Dis)placement, Memory, and Colonial Partitions: A reading and conversation with writer Uzma Aslam Khan and Sejal Shah, moderated by filmmaker Mara Ahmed. Rochester, New York. The Welles-Brown Room at Rush Rhees Library. Friday, January 19, 2018, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM.
The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Tower View: Artist-in-Residence. Red Wing, Minnesota, October 1-31, 2017.
Silence, Voice, & Power in Creative Nonfiction: A talk given to The Red Wing Area Women’s Network for the community service component of my residency at The Anderson Center. Red Wing, Minnesota, Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM.
Writing Workshop—Personal Legacy Writing: Fairport Public Library, Fairport, New York, September 11, 2017, 2:30 PM-5:00 PM.
Smithsonian Asian American Literature Festival: Washington, DC, July 27-29, 2017. Co-sponsored by Kundiman. A Lecture on Asian American Literary History by Karen Tei Yamashita, followed by Kundiman Fellows Reading: Vt Hung, Mark Keats, & Sejal Shah. Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building LJ119. Saturday, July 29, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM.
Gell Summer Intensive: A day of nonfiction craft, workshop, and readings, hosted by Writers & Books. Faculty: J.R. Fenn, Sejal Shah, and Stephen J. West. Saturday, July 22, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM. The Gell Center: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat, Naples, New York.
Speak Easy Salon: Memoir Edition: A reading featuring the six writers in my advanced creative nonfiction class—and myself. Cheshire Cocktail Bar, Rochester, New York. Sunday, July 9th, 2017, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM. Ticket info in link—$7.
Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop Fellows’ Reading: I’ll be the Peter Taylor Fellow in Dinty Moore’s literary nonfiction workshop (June 17-June 24, 2017). The Fellows’ reading & book signing is Sunday, June 18th, 2017. Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.
India Community Center: Personal Legacy Writing—The Stories You Need to Tell. Writing workshop led by Sejal Shah and co-sponsored by Poets & Writers. ICC, Macdeon, New York. Sunday, May 21, 2017, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM. Free.
Poets House: Rooms Are Never Finished: The Legacy of Agha Shahid Ali: With Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, Amanda Golden, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, Patricia O’Neill, and Sejal Shah. Poets House, New York, New York. Friday, April 21, 2017, 7:00 PM.
Words on the Verge: I’ll be reading at this monthly literary salon, hosted by Christine Green. A Different Path Gallery, Brockport, NY. Saturday, February 25, 2017, 5:00-7:00 PM.
AWP 2017 Offsite Reading with Newfound, Waxwing, As/Us Journals: Writers Jen Moore, James Poissant, Maggie Smith-Beehler, MJ Gette, and Sejal Shah. At Busboys and Poets, Washington, DC. Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 6:00-9:00 PM.
Rochester Spoken Word’s Inaugural Speak Easy Reading & Literary Salon: Cheshire Cocktail Bar, Rochester, NY. Sunday, January, 8, 2017, 1:00-3:00 PM.
Poetry / Nonfiction Reading and Master Class on Political Writing: Writers Willa Carroll and Sejal Shah. School of the Arts, Rochester, New York. Tuesday, November 22, 2016.
Poetry Reading & Book Signing: Mark Pawlak & Sejal Shah. Sponsored by Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library and Writers & Books. At Writers & Books, Rochester, New York. Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 7:00-9:00 PM.
The Task of Witnessing: A Symposium in Honor of James W. Foley Honoring the life and work of American journalist James Foley. The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Mon-Tues, September 19-20, 2016. Writers Yago Cura, Tom Durkin, Daniel Johnson, Erin White, Sejal Shah, and Jim’s mother, Diane Foley. Tuesday, September 20th, 3:45-4:30 PM. For details and full symposium program, click on the link above.
NYC Book Launch for Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion. I’ll be moderating the Q&A at this event, featuring editor Piyali Bhattacharya and contributors Swati Khurana, Jyothi Natarajan, Ankita Rao, and Rajpreet Heir. The Asian American Writers Workshop, 110-112 West 27 Street, Suite. 600, New York, NY. Wed, September 7, 2016, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM.
Instructors Reading: Teen Masters’ Writing Workshop leaders reading—Sejal Shah, Kitty Jospe, and Sarah Cedeno. Writers & Books, Rochester, New York. Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 7:00 PM.
Keynote Speaker at the Rochester Public Library’s Sokol High School Literary Awards: The Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Thursday, May 5, 2016, 4:00 PM.
Guest Speaker at the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) April Meeting: I’ll be talking about the pleasures and pitfalls of writing memoirs and personal essays. Renaissance Apartment Building, Rochester, NY. Tuesday, April 26, 2016. 6:30-8:30 PM.
Yoga & Writing: A Mindfulness Retreat led by Erin Garvin & Sejal Shah. Midtown Athletic Club, Rochester, NY. Sunday, April 17th, 2016, 10:30 AM-4:30 PM. For more information or to register, click on the workshop title.
AWP: “Invisible Ethics: Values, Practices, and Greater Goods in the Creative Writing Classroom,” with Taylor Brorby, Patrick Hicks, Athena Kildegaard, Sejal Shah, & Amy Weldon (moderator). Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Los Angeles, CA. Friday, April 1st, 2016, 10:30-11:45 AM.
NonfictioNOW: “The Lyric Moments,” a panel on the lyric essay, with Justin Bigos, Bojan Lewis, Matthew Olzmann, & Sejal Shah. NonfictioNOW Conference, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ. Friday, October 30, 2015, 2:30-3:45 PM.
Writing & Yoga: A day-long writing & mindfulness workshop taught by Sejal Shah at Writers & Books, Rochester, NY. Sunday, October 18, 2015, 11:00 AM-4:00 PM.
Season of Reflection (A Day of Nonfiction): A day-long autumn retreat, co-taught by Gregory Gerard & Sejal Shah. Writers & Books’ Gell Center, in Naples, NY. Saturday, October 3rd, 2015, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. For more information, click on the title of the workshop.
Rochester Stories at the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival: Aprille Byam (aka “Storychick”) presents stories from Rochesterians, told to her at the Public Market. Four actors tell the stories, including one I told Aprille. Read my blog post about the experience here. Rochester, NY, Writers & Books, September 20 and 26, 2015.
WXXI AM 1370’s Connections: Summer Book Week: Guest host Scott Fybush with a panel on writing in Rochester on its local NPR affiliate– featuring poet Tony Leuzzi, fiction writer Stephen Schottenfeld, and nonfiction / fiction writer Sejal Shah. You can hear our conversation in the second half of the program, following Scott’s interview with novelist Louise Wareham Leonard. July 20, 2015. Listen to the podcast here.
WXXI AM 1370’s Connections: To Kill a Mockingbird‘s sequel: Host Evan Dawson on the controversy around the publication of Go Set a Watchman with guests Evvy Fanning (English teacher at Pittsford Sutherland High School), Sejal Shah (writer & teacher of creative writing), and Carlo Devito (publishing industry exec.). July, 14, 2015. Listen to the podcast here.
A Conversation with Artist Alysia Kaplan: a roundtable on the role of memory in art-making. Artist Alysia Kaplan with Gabriella D’Angelo, Alyssa Ibarra, & Sejal Shah. Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. June 10th, 2015, 6:00 PM.
WXXI AM 1370’s Poetry Moments: A collaboration for National Poetry Month between BOA Editions & WXXI. Sejal Shah reads “Penelope Unravels,” by Francisca Aguirre. April 23, 2015.
Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference in Minneapolis: “Writers Write, No Matter What: The Role of the Writing Prompt in the (Elementary to Post-Graduate) Classroom,” with Wendy Call, Stephanie Elizonda Griest, Sejal Shah, and Anastacia Tolbert. Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. Thursday, April 9th, 2015, 4:30 PM-5:45 PM, Auditorium 3, Level 1.
The Big Brick Review Launch Party: Celebration of the inaugural issue of The Big Brick Review, a new journal devoted to creative nonfiction, and featuring readers Jenny Lloyd, Georgia Beers, Judy Fuller (representing Erin Green), Sonja Livingston, Sejal Shah, and Gregory Gerard. Writers & Books, Rochester, NY. Friday, January 9th, 2015, 7:00 PM.
Writers & Books’ “Get Lit” Pub Crawl – The Lit Crawl will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Participating Readers: Joanna Scott, Kristen Gentry, Bill Capossere, Nate Pritts, Sejal Shah, and Jacob Rakovan. I read at 6:30 PM, at RocBrew. Rochester, NY. Thursday, August 21st, 2014.
School of the Arts: Creative Writing Reading and Master Class at a magnet high school with poet Willa Carroll and writer Sejal Shah. Rochester, New York. Thursday, June 12, 2014.
Writing Aerobics: Learn to tap into your creative subconscious and write with the ease that comes only with practice at pumping the brain muscles. Writers & Books, Rochester, NY. Saturday, May 10, 2014, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM. To register or for more information, click here.
College of Staten Island: Creative Writing Reading with fiction writer Stephen Schottenfeld. Staten Island, New York. Friday, April 11, 2014, 2:30 PM-3:30 PM.
Relax Into Writing: a day-long Writing & Yoga Retreat co-taught with yoga teacher Marijana Ababovic at The Gell Center of Writers & Books. Naples, NY. Sunday, April 6, 2014, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. For more information, click here.
Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference: Moderator & Panelist. “Race and Belonging: Navigating the MFA Program as a Writer of Color,” with Eduardo C. Corral, Crystal Williams, Jon Pineda, and Tim Seibles. Seattle, WA. Saturday, March 1st, 2014, 3:00-4:15 PM, Room 602/Room 603, Washington State Convention Center Level 6. For more information, click here.
Writing & Yoga Co-taught with Yoga Teacher Mary Aman: An afternoon-long creative workshop/retreat. Midtown Athletic Club, Rochester, NY. November 9, 2013.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MFA Program: Visiting Writers Series Reading with John Edgar Wideman. Amherst, MA. October 3, 2013, 8:00 PM, Memorial Hall.
Litsplosion: Pub Fair at Visual Studies Workshop. Creative Writing Reading with Stephen Schottenfeld, Rachel Hall, Cori A. Winrock and others. Hosted by Albert Abonado. Rochester, NY. September 14, 2013.
Denise Iris Studio: Reading/Performance/Salon with filmmaker Denise Iris. New York, NY. July 13, 2013.
Into the Light: Writing & Yoga: A Summer Solstice Workshop / Retreat with Yoga Teacher Marijana Ababovic: Writers & Books’ Gell Center. Naples, NY. June 23, 2013.
Blue Mountain Center: Presentation & Reading (an improvised performance/live jam) with filmmaker Denise Iris. Blue Mountain Lake, NY. May 25, 2013.
Peabody Essex Museum / 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival: Panelist, Revolution and Art: Ekphrasis by Kundiman / Asian American Poets, with Joseph O. Legaspi, R.A. Villanueva, Ching-In Chen, and Tamiko Beyer. Salem, MA. May 4, 2013.
Smith College: Creative Writing Reading at the Smith College Poetry Center. Northampton, MA. October 15, 2012.
Amherst College: Guest Lecturer in Professor Wendy Bergoffen’s course, “Writers in Conversation.” Amherst, MA. October, 15, 2012.
Writing & Yoga: An Afternoon of Writing, Yoga, and Nature with Yoga Teacher Marijana Ababovic: Writers & Books’ Gell Center. Naples, NY. June 9, 2012.
Cakeshop: Featured Nonfiction Reader at Monkey Bicycle Lightning Round. New York, NY. July 13, 2011.
The Bowery Poetry Club: Poetry & Nonfiction Reading, with Stephen Motika. New York, NY. July 7, 2011.
Kenyon Review Writers Workshop Fellows Reading: Jenny Patton, Sejal Shah, Hope Maxwell Snyder, Jess Lacher, Jennifer Luebbers, Kristin Ginger, Jennifer Delahunty, and Helen Hooper. Kenyon College, Gambier, OH. June 19, 2011.
Parijat Desai Dance Company at the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center: I will be moderating a Q&A following the performance of this fusion of modern American and Indian Classical Dance. Sunday, June 5, 2011.
Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS) Annual Conference: Chair, “Asian American Poetics,” with panelists Christopher Eng, Rei Magosaki, and Audrey Wu Clark. New Orleans, LA. May 2011.
University of Michigan: Book event/Reading for Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. With editor Neelanjana Banerjee and contributor Faisal Mohyuddin. Co-sponsored by the English Department, the Center for South Asian Studies, and the Creative Writing Program. Ann Arbor, MI. November, 1st, 2010.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey: Fiction Reading. Visiting Writer in Professor Nathan Long’s fiction class. Pomona, NJ. October 5th, 2010.
MH Art and Framing Gallery: word! spoken and seen: original art exhibit & reading. Reading with Purvi Shah and R.A. Villanueva, curated by Patrick Rosal. New York, NY. October 2nd, 2010.
Hunter College of the City of New York: Panelist, Editors of and contributors to Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. With Bushra Rehman and Purvi Shah. New York, NY. May 6th, 2010.
The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church: Book launch/Poetry Reading for Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. With poets Monica Ferrell, Subhashini Kaligotla, Vikas Menon, and Purvi Shah, along with anthology editors, Neelanjana Banerjee, Summi Kaipa, and Pireeni Sundaralingam. Co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America. New York, NY. May 5th, 2010.
Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference: Moderator, & Panelist. “The Place of Place: Crafting Setting as Character in Fiction,” with Michael Byers, Margaret Lazarus Dean, Geeta Kothari, & Jesmyn Ward. Denver, Colorado. April 2010.
Pete’s Candy Store Reading Series: Fiction Reading with novelist Rachel Sherman, curated by Mira Jacob and Alison Hart. Brooklyn, NY. November 5th, 2009.
Vox Pop Café: Reading and benefit for the Brooklyn Zen Center. Brooklyn, NY. October 11, 2009.
Writers & Books: Reading with poet C.S. Carrier, Genesee Reading Series. Rochester, NY. May 2009.
Hudson Opera House: Millay Colony for the Arts Residents Reading & Presentation with writers Christian Nagler, Rachel Shaw Carpenter, Carla Cantrelle, painter Suzanne Onodera, and composer Timothy Brown. Hudson, NY. October 2008.
Luther College: Writer-in-Residence & Performer, Black Earth Collaborative Arts. Collaborated with a dance company for two weeks, generating text for performance, “Ball’s Out: Play to Win.” Decorah, IA. July 2008.
University of Rhode Island: Guest Lecturer/Visiting Writer. Reading and discussion of original fiction; guest speaker for Professor Stephanie Dunson’s undergraduate writing class. Kingston, RI. December 2007.
Luther College: Visiting Writer (two-day residency program). “Journeys of Faith: Migration and Writing for Change.” Public reading and chapel talk with poet Purvi Shah. Decorah, IA. October 2007.
Medaille College, Write Thing Reading Series: Featured Reader. Buffalo, NY. April 2007.
American University in Cairo: Dissent in America: An American Studies Conference. Paper: “Consent & Dissent: On the Use of Stereotypes in Contemporary Ethnic American Literature.” Cairo, Egypt. November 2006.
Mixed Messages Literary Festival, Marymount Manhattan College: Featured Reader, at the fourth annual SAWCC (South Asian Women’s Creative Collective) Literary Festival. New York, NY. May 2006.
Mixed Messages Literary Festival, Marymount Manhattan College: Panelist, “Supporting Your Habit: Making a Writing Life.” With Joseph O. Legaspi, Geeta Dayal, Mahmud Rahman and Ravi Shankar. Co-sponsored by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) and Marymount Manhattan College. New York, NY. May 2006.
Bloomfield College: Guest Speaker/Visiting Writer. Reading and discussion of original fiction in Professor Patrick Rosal’s undergraduate writing class. Bloomfield, NJ. April 2006.
Kundiman Reading Series at Verlaine, Co-sponsored by The Academy of American Poets: Poetry Reading with Luis Francia and Eugene Gloria. Curated reading series featuring Asian American poets. New York, NY. April 2006.
Marymount Manhattan College: Faculty Projects Luncheon. Reading and discussion of original creative work. New York, NY. February 2006.
University of Rhode Island: Guest Speaker/Visiting Writer, Reading and discussion of original fiction; guest speaker for Professor Stephanie Dunson’s class on short stories. November 2005.
University of Iowa, NonfictioNOW Conference: Panelist. “The Real, Imagined, and Imposed ‘I’.” With Faith Adiele and Wendy Call. Iowa City, IA. November 2005.
Denison University, CFD (Consortium for Faculty Diversity) Conference: Invited Panelist, “Next Steps in Your Academic Career.” Granville, OH. October 2005.
Yale University, Asian American Cultural Center: Visiting Writer: reading and discussion of original creative work. New Haven, CT. March 2005.
Bluestockings, Independent bookstore and Feminist Space: Reading for book tour of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press). New York, NY. March 2005.
Luther College: Sigma Tau Delta (national undergraduate English Honor Society) awards ceremony, Keynote Speaker and Public Reading. Decorah, IA. March 2005.
Hamilton College: Conference of the CSMP (now CFD) program, Reading and discussion of original creative work. Clinton, NY. October 2004.
Food For Thought Books, MFA Writers of Color Reading: Featured reader at the 5th Annual Writers of Color reading, an annual event I founded in 2000, at a nonprofit workers’ collective and bookstore. Amherst, MA. April 2004
Wesleyan University: Guest Speaker/Visiting Writer, Reading and discussion of creative nonfiction in Professor Anita Mannur’s Asian American Studies course. Middletown, CT. March 2004.
Smith College: “The Stories Between Us: Conversations on Race, History, Memory.” A reading, film screening and discussion with writer Sejal Shah and filmmaker and writer Kym Ragusa. Northampton, MA. March 2004.
Grinnell College: Conference of the CSMP Program, Presentation: “Who’s Indian?” Reading and discussion of creative nonfiction travel narrative. Grinnell, IA. October 2003.
The Asian American Writers’ Workshop: “Over Here: Desis in the Diaspora,” Roundtable Participant: South Asian Americans in Writing & Publishing, featuring Abha Dawesar, Pooja Makhijani, Sejal Shah, Anjali Singh. New York, NY. March 2003.