Re-Membering Past and Present: The Practice of Documentary Poetry

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Documentary, or “research-based,” poetry provides writers with opportunities to present contemporary or historical complexities through wedded structure and content. The panelists include leading theorists and practitioners who will reflect on seminal texts within documentary poetry and examine the subgenre’s benefits, including how chosen forms can further a text’s message, demonstrate an artistic version of a truth commission, decenter hegemonic or colonial narratives, and chronicle the now.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Event_Outline_Re-Membering_Past_and_PresentThe_Practice_of_Documentary_Poetry.pdf



Tara Ballard is the author of House of the Night Watch. A PhD student in English at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Tara is an assistant poetry editor for Prairie Schooner and affiliate editor for Alaska Quarterly Review.

Philip Metres is the author and translator of a number of books, including Shrapnel Maps, The Sound of Listening, Sand Opera, Pictures at an Exhibition, and To See the Earth. His work has garnered Guggenheim and Lannan fellowships, two NEAs, three Arab American book awards, and the Hunt Prize.

Joseph Harrington is the author of Of Some Sky; Goodnight Whoever’s Listening; Things Come On (an amneoir); and the critical work Poetry and the Public. For several years he has written a real-time online verse-chronicle of the climate crisis, The Poem of Our Climate.

Michael Leong's most recent books are Words on Edge (Black Square Editions, 2018) and Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2020). He is Robert P Hubbard Assistant Professor of Poetry at Kenyon College.

Paisley Rekdal is the author, most recently, of West: A Translation, Appropriate: A Provocation, and Nightingale. A Guggenheim fellow and Utah's former Poet Laureate, she teaches at the University of Utah, where she edits the web archive Mapping Literary Utah and directs the American West Center.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center