Ad-Hoc Committee on Conference Accessibility

The AWP Ad-Hoc Committee on Conference Accessibility develops best practices for general conference accessibility, increases awareness of accessibility to the broader AWP membership, and strategizes solutions for city-specific accessibility obstacles. The overarching purpose of this committee is to establish consistent, open, and productive communication about accessibility at the AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair.

The #AWP21 Ad Hoc Committee is still coming together, and we will release more information soon. Below are the participants from last year's #AWP20 Ad Hoc Committee. AWP thanks them for all of their work!

We would like to thank the members of this committee for their invaluable work.

Members of this committee include:

  • Suzanne Bair

    Suzanne Bair

    Suzanne Bair is a disabled multi-genre writer, photographer, and community advocate. She is the founder and lead writer of Accessible Family Travel, an online travel resource for travelers with disabilities and other chronic medical conditions. Her previous work can be seen in Tiny Tim Literary Review, Bellingham Alive!, North Sound Life, and North End Metro magazines, encompassing a variety of literary, editorial, and photography work. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Western Connecticut State University and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English: Creative Writing from Western Washington University. Find her at or on Twitter @AccessibleTrav.


  • Marlena Chertock

    Marlena Chertock

    Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized (Unnamed Press, 2017) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016). She lives in Washington, DC and uses her skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Paper Darts, Rogue Agent, Wordgathering, and other journals. Chertock is the communications specialist for World Resources Institute’s Governance Center and serves as the communications coordinator for the LGBTQ Writers Caucus. Find her at or on Twitter @mchertock.


  • Jess Silfa

    Jess Silfa

    Jess Silfa is a writer and poet from the South Bronx. They graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and live in Tampa Bay, Florida. Silfa is currently working on their first novel about a tight-knit immigrant community as well as a chapbook of poems. They have received a Displaced Artist Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and serve as secretary for the Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus. Follow Jess on Twitter @jesilfa.


  • Ellen McGrath Smith

    Ellen McGrath Smith

    Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Times, Gargoyle, The Seattle Review, The Collagist, The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, Quiddity, Cimarron, and other journals, and in several anthologies, including Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Smith has been the recipient of an Orlando Prize, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 individual artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her second chapbook, Scatter, Feed, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in the fall of 2014, and her book Nobody's Jackknife was published in 2015 by the West End Press. Visit her website at

If you have any questions regarding conference accessibility, please email Colleen Cable at or check out our Accessibility Services page.


Accessibility Services

Attendee Terms & Conditions

Refund Policy


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center