S170. We Are Who We’ve Been Waiting For: Writers of Color Talk Peer Mentorship

Room 217B, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, March 7, 2020
10:35 am to 11:50 am


Multigenre writers and editors of color discuss the importance of peer mentors: fellow writers at similar career stages who can offer support, encouragement, and access to valuable resources in the absence (or unavailability) of traditional mentorships, such as those forged between teachers and students in MFA and PhD programs. Panelists will individually discuss their experiences with peer mentors, followed by a roundtable discussion and Q&A.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2020_OUTLINE-1.pdf



Maya Marshall is cofounder of underbellymag, a magazine focused on the art and magic of poetry revision. She holds fellowships from MacDowell, Callaloo, and Cave Canem. She is an editor for PANK, the author of Secondhand, and is a manuscript editor at Haymarket Books.

Destiny Birdsong is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer whose work has appeared in Adroit Journal, The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature, storySouth, and other publications. A Cave Canem and Callaloo alum, she has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and elsewhere.

Natasha Oladokun is a Cave Canem fellow, poet, and essayist. Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Harvard Review Online, Kenyon Review Online, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She holds the inaugural First Wave Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she currently teaches.

Claire Jimenez is a fiction writer who received her MFA from Vanderbilt University and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook Aviarium and the full-length collection Bestiary, winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and long listed for the National Book Award. She is an assistant professor at Baruch College.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center