R263. Let’s Not Start From Scratch: How to Talk About Race in Poetry

Room 101 H&I, Level 1
Thursday, April 9, 2015
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Why does a discussion of the sonnet assume common knowledge, but a discussion of race in poetry always seems to be starting from scratch? How can we create shared bodies of knowledge regarding race, difference, and ethnicity so that conversations will turn on intellect, experience, and analysis, rather than accusation and defense? What tools do poets need for thinking about race that are larger than the self? Five poets present their vision for creating a foundation for productive conversation.



Jason Schneiderman is the author of two books of poems, Sublimation Point and Striking Surface. He is an assistant professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. He is the poetry editor of the Bellevue Literary Review and associate editor of Painted Bride Quarterly.

Timothy Leyrson's work has appeared in Atticus Review, Midwestern Gothic, Penduline Press, and elsewhere.

Rickey Laurentiis is the recipient of a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, a 2013 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2014 traveling fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in central Italy. He teaches writing to high school students in Harlem.

Ada Limón is the author of three books of poetry including, most recently, Sharks in the Rivers. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines including the New Yorker and Harvard Review. Her new book Bright Dead Things is forthcoming in 2015. She works as a writer.

Syreeta McFadden is one of the founding editors of Union Station. Her writing has appeared in the New York TimesHuffington PostReligion DispatchesFeministing, and Storyscape. She was a 2013 participant in CEC's Arts Link One Big City Program and teaches writing, literature, and the humanities at a community college in New York.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center