S142. Joy Is an Act of Resistance: A Poetry Reading by Women of Color

Room 301, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Saturday, March 7, 2020
9:00 am to 10:15 am


In a culture where women of color are ever-expected to perform rage/anger as a primary mode of social protest, five poets flip the script and read poems with joy as their primary focus. The panelists find strength in Toi Derricotte’s poem and notion “Joy Is an Act of Resistance.” They explore the powers of gratitude, eros, humor, devotion, and love—those forces necessary to defy/oppose/disarm regimes of hate and division.



Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of five poetry books, most recently The Octopus Museum. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, and elsewhere. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013 and is associate professor at Rutgers University-Newark.

Tina Chang, Brooklyn poet laureate, is the author of the poetry collection Hybrida. She is also the author of Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers, and she is the co-editor of the international anthology Language for a New Century.

Patricia Smith's books include Incendiary Art (2018 Kingsley Tufts, 2018 Pulitzer finalist, LA Times Book Prize), Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2013 Lenore Marshall), and Blood Dazzler (2008 National Book Award finalist). She is a Guggenheim fellow, twice a Pushcart winner, and a professor at CUNY and in Sierra Nevada's MFA program.

francine j. harris is the author of play dead, winner of 2017 Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards. She has received fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a Cave Canem poet, and is the 2018/2019 Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the Cullman Center at New York Public Library.

Rachel McKibbens is the author of three full-length books of poetry, blud, Into the Dark & Emptying Field, and Pink Elephant, as well as the chapbook Mammoth. She is a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and founder of the Pink Door Writing Retreat.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center