Praise for A Tree or a Person or a Wall


"These fables plumb the depths of human longing... a collection that resonates like a tuning fork, lingering after the book is closed." 

Publishers Weekly


"A clutch of stories with a flavor of the experimental, the apocalyptic, and often both...Admirable efforts to strip familiarity and sentiment from stories of humanity at its worst." 

Kirkus Reviews


"Told in a mythic, ­omniscient voice, some of these pieces read like cruel fairy tales... Imagine a tale from Lydia Davis on a bad trip... smart and edgy." 

—Library Journal



Praise for White Nights in Split Town City


“A bold word-drunk novel by a wonderful new writer.”

– Ben Marcus


White Nights in Split Town City is a ferocious tumble of a book, told from the wild edge of the 90s. Follow the sharp wonder of Jean’s voice through the electrifying night of this novel and you will emerge breathless, exhilerated, changed. Annie DeWitt is a daring and spectacular new talent.”

– Laura van den Berg


"A strange and striking debut"



"A marvelous, beautiful, and painful journey"

—Electric Literature


"Spectacularly seductive"

—Tin House

Concentrating on Craft: Matt Bell and Annie DeWitt

Thursday October 13, 2016
07:00 pm

Tags: Event





Photo Credit: Elijah Tubbs (Bell) 

Inspired by their time at the Center’s workshops, Matt Bell (Scrapper, A Tree Or A Person Or A Wall) and Annie DeWitt (White Nights in Split Town City) joined us to explore sentence craft and precision prose writing.



About A Tree or a Person or a Wall by Matt Bell

A Tree or a Person or a Wall gives us Matt Bell at his most inventive and uncanny: parents and children, murderers and monsters, wild renditions of the past, and acute takes on the present, all of which build to a virtuoso reimagining of our world.


A Tree or a Person or a Wall brings together Bell’s previously published shorter fiction — the story collection How They Were Found and the acclaimed novella Cataclysm Baby — along with seven dark and disturbing new stories, to create a collection of singular power.


About White Nights in Split Town City by Annie DeWitt

Both coming-of-age story and cautionary tale. In her mother's absence, Jean is torn between the adult world and her surreal fantasies of escape as she and Fender build a fort to survey the rumors of their town.”



Matt Bell is the author of Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, a Michigan Notable Book, and an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year Honor Recipient, as well as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. His stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, The American Reader, and many other publications. Born in Michigan, he now teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.


Annie DeWitt it a fiction writer, essayist and critic. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Tin House, The Believer, Guernica, Esquire, BOMB, Electric Literature, Bookforum, NOON, The LA Review of Books, The American Reader, art+culture, and The Faster Times, amongst others. Annie holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia School of the Arts where she now teaches. Her story “Influence” was recently anthologized in Short: An International Anthology, edited by Alan Ziegler, distributed by Norton in March 2014. Annie was a Co-Founding Editor of Gigantic, a literary journal of short prose and art carried throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her debut novel White Nights in Split Town City is forthcoming from Tyrant Books in Summer 2016. Her debut story collection Closest Without Going Over was shortlisted for the Mary McCarthy prize. Annie pens an occasional nonfiction column about art, literature, film and criticism for The Believer, called “Various Paradigms.” She was recently recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship.