S147. Invisible to Whom?: Black Fiction Writers on Craft and the White Gaze

Room 407, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Toni Morrison's initial reaction to Invisible Man was to ask herself, "Invisible to whom?" She explains that in her work, she's attempted to ignore the "white gaze." Her remarks expose a tension for black fiction writers. How do multiple audiences influence our craft decisions? The panel begins with an overview of inner-directed and other-directed black fiction. Then the panelists, whose work ranges from realism to speculative fiction, share their writing and how they negotiate audience and craft.



Renee Simms's fiction and essays appear in national news publications, literary journals, and anthologies. Her short story collection is currently under consideration. Her fiction has been supported by Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, Kimbilio, PEN, and VONA. She teaches at University of Puget Sound.

Amina Gautier is the author of three short story collections: The Loss of All Lost Things, which won the Elixir Press Award; Now We Will Be Happy, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize; and At-Risk, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. https://aminagautier.wordpress.com/

Dianca London Potts is the prose editor of LIT Magazine and she is currently earning her MFA in fiction from The New School. Her work has been featured in Kweli Journal, Obsidian, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. She is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, VONA Voices alumna, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Cole Lavalais received her MFA from Chicago State University. She is a fellow of the Callaloo, VONA, and Kimbilio Writer’s Workshops. Her work has appeared in several print and online literary journals. Her debut novel is forthcoming.

Andy Johnson is a Kimbilio Fellow. He teaches at the University of Alabama and directs the UA in Zanzibar study abroad program. His stories have been published in African American Review, Kweli, Lunch Ticket, and Echolocation.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center