R246. Sensitivity Snaggle: Why the Industry Still Can’t Get Race and Diversity Correct

Room 305, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Viet Thanh Nguyen has said that we don’t need more sensitivity readers but rather more people of color in all areas of publishing: editors, publishers, agencies, and reviewers. Books are getting pulled from shelves due to insensitive treatment of race and culture, and authors are still confused. This panel explores why this is the case and what to do about it. How can an industry that bandies about diversity buzzwords put better approaches into practice and avoid the sensitivity snaggle?

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_Panel_Outline_-_Luu.docx



Phuc Luu is the chief creative officer at Bloomsday Literary, an independent literary press in Houston, Texas. He is also a writer, philosopher, and theologian. He has published a number of articles on philosophy, theology, and culture, and has completed a forthcoming book.

Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton is internationally known poet, writer, educator, and first Black poet laureate of Houston, Texas. This seven-time National Poetry Slam Competitor has been ranked the #2 Best Female Performance Poet in the World. Her recent collection, Newsworthy, is available now.

Anna Meriano is the author of the Love Sugar Magic series. She earned her MFA from The New School, works with Cake Literary, and is represented by Patricia Nelson.

Daniel Peña is a Pushcart Prize-winning writer and assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown. Formerly, he was a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar in Mexico City where he finished his first novel, Bang. He's a regular contributor to the Ploughshares Blog.

Jessica Cole is a poet, novelist, and editor. She teaches and coruns Bloomsday Literary.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center