The #AWP21 subcommittee is tasked with evaluating conference event proposals and is comprised of writers, teachers, arts administrators, publishers, and editors with an array of literary expertise. The AWP Board of Directors and conference staff do their best to ensure the subcommittee is representative of AWP’s various communities.
For #AWP21, we limited the opportunity to propose to first-time event organizers, hoping to create more space for new voices at the conference. Because of the more limited proposal process this year, the subcommittee is smaller than it would normally be as there will be fewer proposals overall. We will return to the full 18-person subcommittee for #AWP22 in Philadelphia.
AWP 2021 Subcommittee
January Gil O'Neil, AWP Committee Chair
January Gill O'Neil is the author of Rewilding (CavanKerry Press, 2018), Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press, 2014), winner of a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and Underlife (CavanKerry Press, 2009). She is an associate professor at Salem State University. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O'Neil is the 2019-2020 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Oxford where she lives. January previously served as the Northeast Council Chair on the AWP board.
Susan Jackson Rodgers, AWP Conference Chair
Susan Jackson Rodgers is the author of the novel This Must Be the Place and two story collections: The Trouble With You Is and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review,
Ryan Stone, AWP Conference Chair
Ryan Stone is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, AZ. His short story collection, Best Road Yet, was published by Press 53 (2010). His stories have appeared widely in journals including The South Carolina Review, Wisconsin Review, Karamu, RE:AL, and others. The Director for Young Authors of Arizona, the statewide affiliate for the Scholastic Writing Awards, he is a former Vice President and President for the Two-Year College Creative Writing Caucus.
Jason Lee Brown
Jason Lee Brown is the author of four books, including the forthcoming story collection, Midwest Everyman (MadHat Press, 2020). His writing has appeared in literary journals such as Kenyon Review, Literary Review, North American Review, The Journal, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Ecotone. Brown is the editor-in-chief of River Styx literary magazine, director of the River Styx Reading Series, and co-series editor of New Stories from the Midwest (New American Press). He also co-edited the poetry anthology The Book of Donuts (Terrapin Books).
Ching-In Chen is a genderqueer Chinese American hybrid writer, community organizer, and teacher. They are the author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017; winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry) as well as the chapbooks how to make black paper sing (speCt! Books, 2019) and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2020 and a Finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award). They are currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell.
José Faus is a writer, performer, visual artist, and independent teacher/mentor with an interest in the role of artists as creative catalysts for community building. He received degrees in Creative Writing/Journalism and Art/Painting from UMKC. He is a founder of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the UMKC Friends of the Library, The Latino Writers Collective, and Charlotte Street Foundation. His chapbook This Town Like That was released by Spartan Press. His first full-length book of poetry The Life and Times of José Calderon was published by 39 West Press.
Jim Ferris is author of Slouching Towards Guantanamo, Facts of Life, and The Hospital Poems. Past president of both the Society for Disability Studies and the Disabled & D/deaf Writers Caucus, he has received awards for performance and mathematics as well as for poetry and creative nonfiction. He was Poet Laureate of Lucas County, Ohio (2015-2019) and is working on a performance and book project entitled Is Your Mama White? Excavating Hidden History. Ferris, who earned a doctorate in performance studies, currently holds the Ability Center Endowed Chair in Disability Studies at the University of Toledo.
Patricia Spears Jones
Patricia Spears Jones is a poet, educator, cultural activist, anthologist, and recipient of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize. She is the author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems in addition to three other collections and five chapbooks. She curated programs at The Poetry Project of St. Mark's Church and created the WORDS Sunday series in Brooklyn. She has taught Creative Writing at Hunter College, Adelphi University, and Hollins University as the 2020 Louis D. Rubin Jr. Writer-in-Residence. She is an Emeritus Fellow for Black Earth Institute and organizer of the American Poets Congress.
Terese Marie Mailhot
Terese Marie Mailhot is the New York Times best-selling author of Heart Berries: A Memoir. Her work has also appeared in Mother Jones, Al Jazeera, The Best American Essays, and Guernica.
Hadara Bar-Nadav is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and the author of several award-winning collections of poetry, among them The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin,, and others. In addition, she is co-author of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th ed. Individual poems appear in the American Poetry Review, The Believer, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is a Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Jess Silfa is a writer and poet from the South Bronx. They graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s in psychology and live in Tampa Bay, Florida. Silfa is currently working on their first novel about a tight-knit immigrant community as well as a chapbook of poems. They have received a Displaced Artist Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and serve as secretary for the Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus.
Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang is an award-winning Hmong-American writer. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer, The Song Poet, and an anticipated memoir of refugee stories titled Somewhere in the Unknown World. She is also co-editor of the collection What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Indigenous Women and Women of Color. Her children's books include A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, and The Most Beautiful Thing. Her titles have been recognized by the National Book Critics Circle, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Chautauqua Prize, and the Minnesota Book Awards.