R300. Beyond the Wallpaper: Women Writing Mental Illness in 2019

D131-132, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Thursday, March 28, 2019
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Hysteria. Nervous conditions. Women's complaints. These terms were all once used to name women's mental illness, and often to dismiss it as a result of our delicate minds. This multi-genre panel, made up of women experiencing PTSD, depression, addiction, postpartum bipolar disorder, anxiety, and eating disorders, re-centers the discussion of women's mental health and how we write about it from a place of power and use it as a tool for coping and a method for dispelling stereotypes.



Katie Bickham is the author of two books of poetry: Mouths Open to Name Her and The Belle Mar. Katie's work has won The New Millennium Poetry Prize, The Missouri Review Editor's Prize, and The Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize. Katie teaches creative writing at Bossier Parish Community College.

Martha Silano is the author of five collections of poetry, including Gravity Assist, Reckless Lovely, and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception. She also coedited, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet, Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice. Martha teaches at Bellevue College.

Alana Saltz is the Editor in Chief of Blanket Sea, a magazine showcasing creators with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability. Her essays have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post. Her poetry has been featured in Rust+Moth, Words Dance, and Five:2:One.

LaToya Jordan is a writer from Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of the chapbook, Thick-Skinned Sugar. Her essay, After Striking a Fixed Object, published by The Manifest-Station, was named Notable in Best American Essays 2016.

Penny Guisinger is the author of Postcards from Here and the founding director of Iota: Short Prose Conference. Her work has appeared in Fourth Genre, River Teeth, the Rumpus, and others. Pushcart-nominated and a Best American Essays notable, Guisinger is an assistant editor at Brevity Magazine.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center