How Writers of Color Use Humor To Tell Their Stories

Terrace Suite I, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Friday, March 10, 2023
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Sometimes the truth is funny, even when it hurts. There is a long tradition of Black, Indigenous, and other writers of color combining humor and wit to wrestle with heavy themes to make their audiences laugh and reflect on the page. In this panel, five creators in various prose genres discuss carrying on this lineage through the art of comedic storytelling. This craft discussion will delve into set-up to delivery, considering one’s audience, gaze, and being vulnerable but always honest.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: How_Writers_of_Color_Use_Humor_To_Tell_Their_Stories_AWP_event_outline.pdf



Mark Galarrita is a graduate of the 2017 Clarion West Writers Workshop. His writing can be found in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, Split Lip, and elsewhere.

Gene Kwak has published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, Wigleaf, and Electric Literature. Go Home, Ricky! is his debut novel. He teaches at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and We Cast a Shadow: A Novel, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize.

Kendra Allen is the author of essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet and winner of the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction. Her poetry collection is The Collection Plate (Ecco). She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.

Edgar Gomez is a Florida-born writer with roots in Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. He has written for POPSUGAR, Narratively, Longreads, Catapult, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, and elsewhere online and in print. He is also the author of the recent memoir High-Risk Homosexual. For more, visit EdgarGomez.net.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center