F196. Peripheral Visionaries: Taking Action to Cultivate Literary Diversity

Room 303, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3
Friday, February 28, 2014
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


If literature is to depict our humanity, it must reflect the gamut of human experiences. While there is much work ahead, what literary diversity initiatives already exist and what can they teach us? This panel of academics, editors, nonprofit leaders, and grassroots activists shares their triumphs and obstacles and inspires attendees to help bolster under-represented voices. From data research to K-12 residencies, join this dialogue on diversity efforts as varied as the writers they champion.



Laura E. Davis is the author of poetry chapbook Braiding the Storm. Her poems have appeared in Sweet Lit, Muzzle, and So to Speak. The founder of Weave magazine as well as the grassroots collective Submission Bombers, she teaches poetry writing, recitation, and translation in San Francisco.

Jen Fitzgerald is the Count Director for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She received her MFA in Poetry from Lesley University. Her poetry has appeared on PBS Newshour, Open City, and elsewhere.

Rob Spillman is editor and co-founder of Tin House, a fifteen-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn and Portland) literary magazine, Executive Editor of Tin House Books, co-founder of the Tin House Writers Workshop, now in its 12th year, and editor of Gods and Soldiers; The Penguin Anthology of African Writing.

Ross Gay's books of poetry are Bringing the Shovel Down, Against Which, and the forthcoming Two Gardens, co-written with Aimee Nezhukumatathil. He teaches poetry at Indiana University and in Drew University's low-residency MFA program.

Monica Carter is a writer with ten years experience working in the Los Angeles literary community including managing independent bookstores, organizing and marketing LGBT literary events, and promoting translated literature. She is the Program Coordinator for LGBT Writers in Schools.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center