When the Old Names Fail Us

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2
Saturday, February 10, 2024
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


Language evolves. Words both gain and lose power with social movements, cultural expectations, and personal transformation. Sometimes vocabulary evades inspiring a search for a new expression to hold all our meanings. In this panel, five poets will consider the role of poetry in the process of naming and renaming as personal, social, and cultural evolution demands shifts in how we speak about ourselves and contemporary themes.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2024_When_the_Old_Names_Fail_Us_Presentation_Outline.pdf
Supplemental Document 1: When_the_Old_Names_Fail_Us_Panel.pdf
Supplemental Document 2: When_the_Old_Names_Fail_Us_Poetry_Prompts.pdf
Supplemental Document 3: When_the_Old_Names_Fail_Us_Panel_Accessibility_Copy.pdf



Kimberly Ann Priest is an assistant professor at Michigan State University, poetry editor for West Trade Review, and the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress), as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She writes gender violence, narrative identity, embodiment, trauma, motherhood, and environment.

Octavio Quintanilla is the founder of the literary festival VersoFrontera & publisher of Alabrava Press. His poetry collection, The Book of Wounded Sparrows, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press. He teaches literature and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University. IG: @writeroctavioquintanilla

Lynn Melnick is the author of the memoir, I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton (2022), as well as three poetry collections, Refusenik (2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012).

Matt W. Miller is the author of Tender the River, The Wounded for the Water, Club Icarus, and Cameo Diner. A winner of the Pablo Neruda Prize, The Trifecta Poetry Prize, and fellowships from Stanford University and the Sewanee Writers Conference, he teaches and lives in coastal New Hampshire.

Maya Williams


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center