S204. Healing Harm/Harming Heal: The Power and Pain in Writing Through Trauma

F151, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Trauma is rarely simple. When writing on trauma, we hope it is an incising of a painful thing, cauterizing the injury. As a medical term, "trauma" is a systemic change—one that can harm or heal. The idea of "closure" is often elusive or impossible to attain. To write "through" trauma is perhaps misrepresentative, for what's on the other side? During this panel, each of these writers will attempt to consider what, exactly, writing through trauma does—if it healed or harmed, and how.



Diana Arterian is the author of Playing Monster :: Seiche, the chapbooks With Lightness & Darkness and Death Centos, and co-editor of Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics. She's a poetry editor at Noemi Press and earning her PhD in Literature & Creative Writing at USC.

Natalie Eilbert is the author of the poetry collections, Indictus, which won the 2016 Noemi Press Poetry Prize, and Swan Feast. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, Tin House, Granta, and elsewhere. 

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley borderlands to formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California, a CantoMundo Fellow, and the author of the mythic hybrid poetry collection, Beast Meridian.

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of Seam and Register of Illuminated Villages. She is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright fellowship, and a GLCA award, among other honors. She is a visiting artist-in-residence at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Tiana Clark is the author of two collections: I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Equilibrium, winner of the Frost Place chapbook competition. She teaches at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center