Toward a Poetics of Tenderness: Hegemonic Masculinity & the Poetic Imagination

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


The culturally-dominant conceptualization of masculinity is characterized by intermale dominance, relentless competition, emotional inexpressivity, and attendant violences (interpersonal, ecological). This damaging, hegemonic masculinity impacts every aspect of daily life, from the personal to the geopolitical. This panel confronts masculinity narratives, explores craft strategies to subvert destructive notions of “manhood,” and considers what it means to embody a poetics of tenderness.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Poetics_of_Tenderness_Event_Outline.pdf



Issam Zineh is a Palestinian-American poet and clinician-scientist. He is author of Unceded Land (Trio House Press, 2022), Editors’ Selection and finalist for the Trio Award, and Medal Provocateur. His writing appears in AGNI, Guernica, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. He lives on Paskestikweya land.

Hayan Charara is the author of four poetry books, including These Trees, Those Leaves, This Flower, That Fruit. He edited Inclined to Speak, an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry, and edited the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize with Fady Joudah. He teaches at the University of Houston.

Matthew Olzmann is the author of three collections of poems including Constellation Route, Mezzanines, and Contradictions in the Design. He teaches at Dartmouth College and in the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Taylor Johnson is from Washington, DC. He is the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Taylor was the inaugural 2022 poet-in-residence at the Guggenheim Museum. He is the poet laureate of Takoma Park, Maryland.

Ross Gay is the author of the poetry collections Against WhichBringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude; and the essay collection The Book of Delights. He teaches at Indiana University.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center