R252. Writing the Mother Wound

A105, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Thursday, March 28, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


We live in a culture that idealizes mother love, and shames those who question it. Five multi-genre writers share how they address and interrogate the complex realities of mother-daughter relationships. How do we push back on the silence imposed on those who are un-mothered, abused, or choose to not be mothers themselves? How do we use our lives as fodder to create stories that are realistic and not overly sentimental, with the audacity of truth?



Vanessa Martir has been published in The Rumpus and Roxane Gay’s anthology Not That Bad, among others. She is the founder of the Writing Our Lives Workshop which she teaches online and in person in NYC. Vanessa is working on finishing her memoir A Dim Capacity for Wings.

Jaquira Díaz is the author of Ordinary Girls, forthcoming from Algonquin, and recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Kenyon Review. Her work appears in The Best American EssaysLongreads, and The New York Times Style Magazine.

Elisabet Velasquez is Latina writer from Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her work has been published by NBC, WeAreMiTu, and AJ+. She is the 2017 Button Poetry Video Prize Winner. She is the author of the chapbook PTSD.

Rene Denfeld is the bestselling author of The Enchanted and The Child Finder, novels inspired by her work on death row and with sex trafficking victims. Her work has won numerous prestigious awards. In addition to her activism and writing, she has been a foster-adoptive mother for over twenty years.

Michele Filgate is the editor of What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About, forthcoming. She’s a contributing editor at Literary Hub, and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She teaches creative nonfiction for Catapult and Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center