R162. Sound and Fury: Orality in Contemporary Literature

Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
10:30 am to 11:45 am


“Me a scream out lawd! Woi! Nonononononononono!” begins one chapter in A Brief History of Seven Killings. Although orality is expected in poetry, we are often surprised to encounter it in prose. This panel consists of writers and those who use the tools of spoken speech and verse to great effect. After an overview of the tradition of speakerly texts, the panelists will read their work and discuss challenges of writing and publishing their work.


A. Rafael Johnson's first novel, The Through, was released by Jaded Ibis Press in 2017. He has been published in African American Review, Kweli, Callaloo, and Spacecraft. He co-owns TerraLuna Collaborative, a research and evaluation firm based in Minneapolis. A. Rafael Johnson is a Kimbilio fellow.

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of five books of fiction and poetry, most recently the novel Song of the Shank. He teaches in the Writing Program at University of Virginia. He has received many accolades for his work, including a Whiting Writers Award and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Akwaeke Emezi is a writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. Freshwater is her debut novel.

Renee Simms is the author of the forthcoming story collection, Meet Behind Mars. Her fiction has been supported by Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, Kimbilio, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor of African American studies and contributing English faculty at University of Puget Sound.

Stephanie Han’s Swimming in Hong Kong won the Paterson Prize for Short Fiction, and was the sole finalist for both the AWP Grace Paley Prize and the Spokane Prize. Han is City University of Hong Kong's first English literature PhD, and lectures at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside