S265. Acts of Decolonization: Writing About Southwestern American Identity

Grand Salon C, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


The American Southwest is a land rich in cultural, geographical, and linguistic diversity. However, political forces have always sought to categorize, invalidate, or extinguish the identities of those who call the borderlands their home. This makes being a Southwest writer both rewarding and treacherous. Our panelists will discuss how their poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction are defiant acts of decolonization and declarations of convergence and hybridity.


Dan Darling is the author of Archaeopteryx, a novel of magical realism set in New Mexico. He teaches writing and literature at Normandale College.

Casandra Lopez, Chicana/Cahuilla/Tongva/Luiseño, is the author of the chapbook, Where Bullet Breaks, and cofounder and editor in chief of As/Us. A CantoMundo and Jack Straw fellow, and Santa Fe Art Institute, SAR, and Hedgebrook resident, she teaches at Northwest Indian College.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is the author of The Verging Cities, winner of the 2017 PEN American/Joyce Osterweil Award. Her second book, Lima :: Limón, is forthcoming. Her most recent poems appear in Poetry, Tin House, Boston Review, and more. She teaches at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

Benjamin Garcia, a CantoMundo fellow, completed his MFA at Cornell University. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference and the Taos Summer Writer's Conference. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in As/Us Journal, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, and Best New Poets.

Cynthia Sylvester is Diné and was born into the Kiyaa'áanii Clan (Towering House) for the Bilagáana (White) Clan. She is a graduate of The University of New Mexico, and is currently a student in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside