Celebrating Four Decades of the Affrilachian Poets: A Multigenre Reading

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Since 1991, the Affrilachian Poets—a multicultural group of writers who consider Appalachia home—have defied the stereotype of the region as rural and racially/religiously homogenous. Join members of this diverse collective for a multigenre reading of new and selected work that connects intersectional identities to family roots, culture, and deep connections to the land.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Affrilachian_Poets_Reading_at_AWP_2024.pdf



Amy M. Alvarez is the author of Makeshift Altar and coeditor of Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology. A neurodivergent Jamaican and Puerto Rican Affrilachian poet, she has published in PloughsharesThe Acentos Review, and Obsidian. Alvarez currently teaches at West Virginia University.

Kelly Norman Ellis is an associate professor of English at Chicago State University and poetry editor at Third World Press. She is a poet who is Cave Canem fellow and a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. She has written two poetry collections, Offerings of Desire and Tougaloo Blues.

Ricardo Nazario y Colón is a member of a new generation of Kentucky writers destined to forge a New Kentucky Home. He is a cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets and author of the books Of Jíbaros and Hillbillies and The Recital. His work has been anthologize and appeared in various publications.

Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate, is the award-winning author of Perfect Black: Poems, The Birds of Opulence (2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize,) Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackberries. She is the recipient of a 2021 O. Henry Prize and a 2020 USA Artists Fellowship.

Marta Miranda-Straub is an Afro-Caribean Queer woman, poet, and storyteller who was inducted into the Afrilician Poets in 2009 by Frank X Walker. Her bilingual memoir, Cradled by Skeletons, was published in winter 2019 and her children's book, Lullaby for Maddie, was published in November 2022.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center