R144. Be Your Own Agent

Portland Ballroom 256, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Thursday, March 28, 2019
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Some poets are represented by literary speaking agents who arrange events, manage logistics, and set fees and conditions. And then there’s everybody else. This panel, aimed at both emerging and established writers, discusses how to advocate for oneself. Four poets share experiences with touring and with running institutional and independent readings; the discussion demystifies booking and negotiation, offering concrete advice on how to know what to ask for and how to get it.



Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University, an editor at large of the Kenyon Review, and the author of the books Hard Child and No Object. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Kenyon Review Fellowship.

Leah Umansky is the author of four books of poetry: The Barbarous Century, Don Dreams and I Dream, Straight Away the Emptied World, and Domestic Uncertainties. She earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is the host and curator of the COUPLET Reading Series in New York City.

Vi Khi Nao is the author of a novel, Fish in Exile, and The Old Philosopher, a poetry collection. She was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest for A Brief Alphabet of Torture, a collection of short stories.

Adam Clay


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center