R213. Poetic Labor: The Paradoxes of Making (It) Work

Room M100 D&E, Mezzanine Level
Thursday, April 9, 2015
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


When is poetic activity poetic labor? When is it something other than labor? How does participation in the field of poetry—its production and distribution—invoke, resist, and realize contemporary labor structures? How are conferences, as nodes for professionalization and community, positioned in these dynamics? Can poem and poet respond positively to cultures around labor while remaining critical? In roundtable format to provoke discussion, our panel will ask how poets get to work.



Catherine Wagner has published four books of poetry, including My New Job; her latest is Nervous Device. Her work is anthologized in the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry and elsewhere. She is professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Miami University of Ohio.

Rodrigo Toscano is the author of six books of poetry, including Deck of Deeds and Collapsible Poetics Theater (a 2007 National Poetry Series selection). His writing has appeared in the anthologies Against Expression and Best American Poetry. He is a labor coordinator for the United Steelworkers.

Duriel E. Harris is the author of Amnesiac; Speleology, with artist Scott Rankin; and Thingification, a verse-based solo play with music. Editor of Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora and co-founder of the Black Took Collective, she is an associate professor of English at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Marie Buck is the author of a book of poetry, Life and Style, and several chapbooks. Her work has been anthologized in Against Expression and translated for the Italian magazine Abbiamo Le Prove. She is a PhD candidate at Wayne State University and adjunct faculty at the College for Creative Studies.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center