S138. Subverting Reality: Using Real People in Fictionalized Settings

Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Writing from the voices of historical characters gives us an opportunity to subvert what has—or hasn’t—been written about them. They can also be used to strengthen a theme or to try to understand history. These diverse poets and writers have re-imagined parts of the lives of Marie Antoinette, Leadbelly, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, York, and Guy Debord. This lively panel chats about subversion, why characters were chosen, the power of persona writing, and how to create believable renderings.



tammy lynne stoner is the author of Sugar Land, the former fiction editor of Gertrude Press, creator of Dottie’s Magic Pockets, and a loser of a Million Writers Award. Her work has appeared in Folio, the Portland Review, and American Fiction 2015, among others.

Chrys Tobey is the author of the poetry collection A Woman Is a Woman Is a Woman Is a Woman and the chapbook Wash Away: Marie Antoinette Visits My Mind. Her poetry has been published in Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, and the minnesota review, among others.

Frank X Walker is the founder of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and editor of PLUCK!. The author of eight collections of poetry and a recipient of a Lannan Foundation Poetry Fellowship, he is professor of English and African American and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky.

Claudia H Long's historical novels include Josefina's Sin, The Duel for Consuelo, Marcela Unchained, and The Harlot's Pen. She has spoken on Our History—Women's Stories, Turning Fact into Fiction, and Write the Sizzling Sex Scene. She's a founder of Las Terremotas, writers of the Latina experience.

Nicelle Davis is a teacher, poet, and performance artist. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Becoming Judas, In the Circus of You, and Circe. Her poetry film collaborations have been featured at many film festivals. She runs the Living Poetry Project at the Bees’ Knees Blog.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center