S173. How to Be a Literary Activist (Or Advocate)

Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Join PEN America to discuss how—and indeed whether—to harness your skill and passion as a writer and an advocate for free expression. Many writers believe they have both the power and the responsibility to speak out; others wonder if an activist role aligns with their art. Our panel of socially engaged literary professionals takes on this question and shares what they have found to be tools and techniques for “speaking (or writing) truth to power.”



Kyle Dacuyan is a poet and activist. As senior manager of literary outreach and activism for PEN America, he convenes events and demonstrations focused on protecting free expression. He has also worked as an organizer on issues related to LGBTQ protections, prison abolition, and police reform.

Jennifer Mayer is a screenwriter, playwright, and political activist. She is the cofounder of Creatives In Action, a collective of artists, creative professionals, and activists who work to educate and activate the creative community. She received her BA from Yale University.

Katie Freeman is executive publicist at Riverhead Books, and she is getting her MA in arts administration. She serves on committees for the National Book Foundation, PEN America, Libraries Without Borders, Narrative 4, and Community-Word Project. Find her online @foxyhedgehog.

Eloisa Amezcua's debut collection, From the Inside Quietly, is the inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. Author of three chapbooks, she is the founder and editor of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center