R115. #saferLIT: Fighting Sexual Misconduct in the Literary World

B110-112, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Thursday, March 28, 2019
9:00 am to 10:15 am


In the #metoo era, we recognize that abuse and sexual harassment consume community members’ time and energy, and silence marginalized voices. Join VIDA, as well as reps from the Academy of American Poets, CLMP, and Canto Mundo, as we discuss how to make conferences, residencies, workshops, literary events and organizations, presses, and writing programs as safe as possible from nonconsensual sexual advances, requests for unwanted sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment.



Lynn Melnick is author of the poetry collections Landscape with Sex and Violence and If I Should Say I Have Hope, both with YesYes Books. She is a 2017-2018 Cullman Center Fellow at the NYPL. She serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Jen Benka is the Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets. In her role she advocates for poets and poetry and oversees Poets.org, Poem-a-Day, National Poetry Month, prizes, readings, and more. She is the author of two books of poetry and holds an MFA from the New School.

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the author of two books, My Body Is a Book of Rules and Starvation Mode. She is an assistant professor at the Ohio State University.

Deborah Paredez is the author of the poetry collection This Side of Skin and the critical study Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory. She is an Associate Professor at Columbia University and cofounder of CantoMundo, a national organization for Latina/o poets.

Jeffrey Lependorf serves as the shared Executive Director of our two national service organizations for independent literary publishing—the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and Small Press Distribution (SPD)—providing technical assistance to and advocating on behalf of the indies.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center