R241. CANCELLED: The Path To Rad Empowerment: YA Lit Today, Sponsored by Blue Flower Arts

HemisFair Ballroom C3, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Literary revolutionaries Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne, Carrie Fountain, and Marilyn Nelson are breaking into the new ground of representation and empowerment in YA lit. Illuminating anew the coming-of-age experience, they bring to life real-world youth awakening to activism: from the streets of NYC to the Dominican Republic, from first loves to freedom fighting, they show young people of color for whom defiance holds the key to decoding the complexities of our present and shared histories.


Moderator: Anya Backlund is the vice president of Blue Flower Arts, a literary speakers agency. She represents internationally acclaimed poets, authors, and artists for lectures, readings, and appearances across the country and around the world.

Marilyn Nelson is a recipient of the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Frost Medal, the NSK Neustadt Award, and the NCTE Poetry Award, and a former chancellor of the Academy and former poet in residence at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Her most recent books are My Seneca Village and American Ace.

Carrie Fountain is the author of poetry collections Burn Lake and Instant Winner, as well as a novel, I'm Not Missing, and a forthcoming kids' book, The Poem Forest. She is writer-in-residence at St. Edward's and hosts NPR's poetry podcast This is Just to Say. She is the 2019 Texas poet laureate.

Elizabeth Acevedo, a National Poetry Slam Champion, received the 2018 National Book Award for her New York Times bestselling novel, The Poet X. Acevedo holds a BA in performing arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland.

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer, educator, and spoken word poet. She is the author of the YA poetry book Black Girl Magic, and the children’s book Woke Baby. Her poetry collections include Kissing Caskets and Redbone. She co-edited the poetry anthology The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 3: Black Girl Magic and is at work on WOKE: A Young Poets Guide To Justice. Browne is the recipient of numerous literary fellowships and has appeared on BuzzFeed Live, HBO & PBS NEWShour. She is the Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC and the Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College’s MFA Program. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center