Be Gay, Do Crime: Teaching Queer and Trans Poetics in Dangerous Times

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Saturday, February 10, 2024
10:35 am to 11:50 am


Given our nation’s latest investment in suppressing both bodies and books, what is at stake—newly, historically—in the teaching of queer and trans poetics? Five seasoned poet-educators, working inside the classroom, libraries, and community centers, gather to discuss navigating threats on the poems they teach, the poems they make, and the bodies they occupy as they do both. Panelists will offer experiential commentary and strategies for protecting, generating, and sustaining queer and trans people and poems.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP24_BeGayDoCrime_EventOutline.pdf



Meg Day is the 2015–2016 recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level. Day is an assistant professor of English and creative writing in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University.

Oliver Baez Bendorf's third book of poems Consider the Rooster is forthcoming from Nightboat Books (September 2024). A 2021 NEA fellowship recipient and CantoMundo and Lambda fellow, he has taught poetry widely in classroom and community settings and is the teen librarian at Boulder Public Library.

Donika Kelly is the author of the full-length collections The Renunciations and Bestiary. She is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa.

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Trafficrecombinant, to make black paper sing, and Kundiman for Kin. A Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, they teach at the University of Washington Bothell and are coeditor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities.

Melissa Crowe is the author of the poetry collections Dear Terror, Dear Splendor, and Lo. She is coordinator of the MFA program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she teaches poetry and publishing.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center