R263. What's Craft Got to Do With It?: On Craft, Race, and the Black Imagination

C124, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Thursday, March 28, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


In an age when Black authors are on the rise, why is craft still dismissed as "bougie" or adjacent to whiteness? Why are Black narratives analyzed primarily through a sociological or anthropological lens rather than one of literary craft? Why do so many readers and writers still resist the merit of craft when it comes to Black literature? This dialogue examines, confronts, and unpacks the creative and cultural implications and potential of craft within the contemporary Black literary canon.



Dianca London Potts earned her MFA in fiction from the New School and is the former online editor of Well-Read Black Girl. Her work has been featured in Vice, Lenny Letter, Obsidian, and the Village Voice. She is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, VONA Voices alumna, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Jessica Lanay is a poet, short fiction, and art writer. Her poetry has appeared in Fugue, THE COMMON, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, and others. Her art writing can be found online at BOMB and ArtSlant. She is a 2018 recipient of a Millay Colony Residency. She is also a Cave Canem Fellow.

Dennis Norris II is a 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow, a 2016 Tin House Scholar, and a 2015 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. His writing appears in SmokeLong Quarterly and Apogee Journal, where he currently serves as Fiction Editor. He holds degrees from Haverford College and Sarah Lawrence College.

Cole Lavalais received her MFA from Chicago State University. She is a fellow of the Callaloo, VONA, and Kimbilio Writer’s Workshops. Her work has appeared in several print and online literary journals. 


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center