S270. Teaching the 21st Century Poetry of Witness

F151, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


In a time of social and political crisis, how can we foster a poetics of witness among students at all levels, fellow community members, and others we may seek to collaborate with or mentor? How can we responsibly nurture writing that gives voice to resistance, to new conceptions of the historical record, and to survival of trauma? This panel explores a wide range of approaches, methods, and teaching contexts to imagine what Michael Davidson has called “new forms of citizenship” in poetry.



Elisabeth Frost, a poet and critic, is the author of All of Us, among other books. Selections from her text-image collaborations with the artist Dianne Kornberg appear in the volume Bindle. She is Professor of English at Fordham University and editor of the POL Prize series from Fordham Press.

Julia Bouwsma is the author of two poetry collections, Midden and Work by Bloodlight. She lives and works on an off-the-grid farm in the mountains of western Maine, serving as Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine.

Henk Rossouw is the author of Xamissa, which won the Poets Out Loud Editor's Prize. New-Generation African Poets: Tano and Best American Experimental Writing 2018 both include excerpts. An assistant professor, he teaches poetry writing and poetics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Loves You, Delivered, and Matadora. She is Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University as well as cofounder of Kundiman, a nonprofit organization serving Asian American writers

Natalie Graham, associate professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton, earned her MFA in Creative Writing and PhD in American Studies. She is author of Begin with a Failed Body, winner of the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center