S238. Coloring Outside the Gender Binary: How Transgender Poets are Redefining What It Means to Be Human, Sponsored by AWP

Oregon Ballroom 201-202, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Saturday, March 30, 2019
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Until very recently, the English language, and most of the poetry written in it, has been based on the gender binary assumption that all human beings are always, either, and only male or female, as determined by the sex of their bodies at birth. We see this assumption at work in the traditional system of gendered pronouns and honorifics, in words for our most intimate roles and relationships, which designate parents as mothers or fathers, children as daughters or sons, and so on, and in subtler habits that reflect and reinforce the idea that human beings are born and remain simply male or female.



Trace Peterson is a trans woman poet critic and author of the poetry collection Since I Moved In, she is also Founding Editor/Publisher of EOAGH Books which has won 2 Lambda Literary Awards, and Co-editor of the anthology Troubling the Line, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in 2014.

Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, is the author of nine books of poetry, including Lambda Literary Award finalists Transmigration and Impersonation, and memoir, National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life, She is a 2016 NEA fellowship recipient.

Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster and the chapbook Transit. A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine, he teaches in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst.

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic and recombinant, and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities. They are part of Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Callaloo, Macondo and VONA communities and poetry editor of the Texas Review.

Max Wolf Valerio is author of the Lambda Finalist, The Testosterone Files; the performance, Exile: Vision Quest at the Edge of Identity; the poetry book, The Criminal:The Invisibility of Parallel Forces; and work in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center