S285. Not an Island: The Place of Literary Citizenship in the Writer’s Life

Room 20 & 21, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


How can we lift others with our words and works? Literary citizenship can be as complex as running an organization or as easy as donating a book to a student. Speaking from experience with Cave Canem, VIDA, PEN America, Lambda Literary, Undocupoets, and individual initiatives, panelists address topics such as community organizing, balancing activism and writing, choosing and implementing projects, good colleagueship and mentorship, the politics of saying "no," and writing as an agent of change.



Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, the middle-grade novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, and more. She is the executive producer and host of VIDA Voices & Views and a vice president for the Women's Caucus.

Christopher Soto is the author of Sad Girl Poems and the editor of Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. In 2017, he was awarded The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism by Split This Rock. He cofounded the Undocupoets.

Gregory Pardlo's collection Digest won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He has received Guggenheim, NEA, and NYFA fellowships. His essay collection, Air Traffic is forthcoming. He teaches in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program.

Pam Uschuk's six books include Crazy Love and Blood Flower. Translated into twelve languages. Prizes include American Book Award, Best of the Web, and Dorothy Daniels Writing Award from Nat. League of American PEN Women. She is finishing The Book Of Healers Healing: An Odyssey Through Ovarian Cancer.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the novel The Book of Joan and and the bestselling novel The Small Backs of Children, as well as the the anti-memoir The Chronology of Water. She founded the Corporeal Writing Workshops.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center