R258. Writerism: The Intersection of Community Activism and Writing Within and Beyond the Academy

Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Panelists include creative writers who have also been founders or key players in community centers, cultural spaces, magazines, and advocacy organizations. The panel will address the conflicts and confluences of meaningful community activism with writing of skill, integrity, and substance. How does one balance aesthetics, ethics, and social engagement? Where is the border between art and the pamphlet? Writers in communities of color face unprecedented violence today. Are we writers in wartime?



Luis J. Rodriguez was named poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014. He is the author of fifteen books across a number of genres. He has been the recipient of a PEN West/Josephine Miles Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He serves as founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and cofounder and president of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore in California.

Rubén Martínez is an author, journalist, and performer. He books include Crossing Over and Desert America. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University and is an artist in residence at Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts.

Dagoberto Gilb is a writer living in Austin, Texas.

Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performing artist based in Oakland, California. Her accomplishments include a Willa-Award finalist book of poems, Souvenir, a YBCAway award and AROHO Spirited Woman Award. She is currently on the faculty of language arts at De Anza College.

Michael Warr's most recent book is Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. Other books include The Armageddon of Funk and We Are All the Black Boy. His awards include a Creative Work Fund Award, Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, and an NEA creative writing fellowship.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center