R210. Who Says?

Room 304, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


Some believe that poems with a sociopolitical edge are not poetic, not art but propaganda. Why? At what point does a poet's work become political—or cease to be—and who decides its aesthetic value? Are poets of color perceived to be political "because they are poets of color"? Given this, do white poets hesitate to write poems of protest, particularly where the subject of race is concerned? The answers to these questions have far-reaching implications for the future of American poetry.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Who_Says.docx



Tim Seibles has published several collections of poetry, including Buffalo Head Solos, Fast Animal—a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012—and, most recently, One Turn around The Sun. He is a professor of English at Old Dominion University and the current Poet Laureate of Virginia.

Sarah Browning is cofounder and for ten years was executive director of Split this Rock. Author of Killing Summer and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden and co-editor of three special issues of Poetry magazine, she is the 2019 recipient of the Lillian E. Smith Writer-in-Service Award.

Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is the fact of blackness in American society. He is the recipient of the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is the author of This Glittering Republic.

Gretchen Primack is the author of three poetry collections, Visiting Days, Kind, and Doris's Red Spaces, and a chapbook, and she is the coauthor of the memoir of Jenny Brown, The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals.

Ailish Hopper is the author of Dark~Sky Society and the chapbook Bird in the Head. Poems have appeared in APR, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Tidal Basin Review; essays on racism in the poetry world in Boston Review, and elsewhere. A MacDowell Fellow and Yaddo grantee, she teaches at Goucher College.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center