Two panelists speaking speaking at a #AWP24 Featured Event with Kansas City graphics in the background.

2024 AWP Conference Schedule

 

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Friday, February 9, 2024

7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F100.

Sober AWP

Daily 12-Step Meeting. All in recovery from anything are welcome.

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8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Room 2214, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F101.

Author Portraits by Adrianne Mathiowetz Photography

Stop being embarrassed of your author photo! A great portrait is not only flattering, but actively invites your audience to get to know you and your work. Returning for a fifth year at AWP, author photographer Adrianne Mathiowetz will be offering twenty-minute studio sessions on-site. See your proof gallery of images immediately; any portrait you choose will be fully processed and digitally delivered in high resolution for $125. (Conference discount: in Adrianne's Boston studio, hour-long portrait sessions with one image included are priced at $850.) Additional images: $75/ea. Fine processing (spot adjustments beyond usual file preparation): $175/file. Rush processing: $100/file. Put your best face forward on websites, book covers, social media, and published interviews. Advanced sign-up required: https://am-photography.ticketleap.com/awp24/dates

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8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2200 Lobby, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F102.

Coat Check

Coat check is available in Lobby 2200 on Level 2 of the Kansas City Convention Center. It is $5.00 per item checked. ATMs can be found in Lobby 2200, next to Room 2207, and in the Conference Center, across the hall from Room 2501A.

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Registration, Exhibit Hall E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F103.

Conference Registration

Attendees who have registered in advance, or who have yet to purchase a registration, may secure their registration materials in AWP’s registration area located in Exhibit Hall E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3. Please consult the bookfair map in the AWP mobile app for location details. Students must present a valid student ID to check-in or register at our student rate. Seniors must present a valid ID to register at our senior rate. A $50 fee will be charged for all replacement badges.

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Room 2201 & 2202, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F104.

Dickinson Quiet Space

A dedicated quiet space for you to collect your thoughts, unwind, and escape the literary commotion. "There is a solitude of space, / A solitude of sea, / A solitude of death, but these / Society shall be, / Compared with that profounder site, / That polar privacy, / A Soul admitted to Itself: / Finite Infinity." -Emily Dickinson

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Room 2525A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F105.

Low-light Space

A darkened, quiet, and more private space for attendees to gather their thoughts, reset, or take a break from the lighting of the convention center.

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Room 2213, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F106.

Nursing Lounge

The nursing lounge is located in Room 2213 on the Street Level of the Kansas City Convention Center, and is available for any nursing parent to use.

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9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F107.

AWP Bookfair

With more than 500 literary exhibitors, the AWP Bookfair is the largest of its kind. A great way to meet authors, critics, and peers, the bookfair also provides excellent opportunities to find information about many literary magazines, presses, and organizations. Please consult the bookfair map in the AWP mobile app for location details.

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Booth 1531, AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F108.

AWP Membership Booth

Stop by the AWP Membership Booth to meet with AWP board members during bookfair hours at the conference! Join us for coffee every day from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and chat with senior publications editor James Tate Hill to learn more about the Writer’s Chronicle and the AWP Award Series. Also from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., you can meet with a member of the AWP membership team to discuss the many year-round benefits of AWP membership, such as the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, the Intro Journals Project, and the AWP Prize for Undergrad Lit Mags.

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AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F109.

Bookfair Concessions, Bar, and Lounge

Breakfast and lunch concessions are available inside the Exhibit Hall in the Kansas City Convention Center. Debit cards, credit cards, and tap-to-pay are accepted at all food and beverage locations. Please consult the maps in the AWP mobile app for location details.

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AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F110.

The Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas Makerspace

In celebration of the Wick Poetry Center’s fortieth anniversary year, the Traveling Stanzas Makerspace offers conference attendees an opportunity to creatively engage with themes of health and healing, social and racial justice, nature and environment, and peace and conflict. This interactive exhibit invites participants to share their voice using a suite of digital expressive writing tools, such as Emerge (an erasure poetry app), Thread (community-generated poems), and the Listening Wall (thematically-driven touch-screen poetry displays). Visitors will be able to choose a theme, follow a prompt, then print and share their responses. More information can be found at http://travelingstanzas.com.

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9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Room 2203, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F111.

Yoga for Writers

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Join Manisha Sharma, a certified yoga practitioner, for a gentle, one-hour yoga and meditation practice, appropriate for practitioners of all levels and abilities. The hour-long practice will focus on stretches, asanas, physical postures, breathing, relaxation, and meditation. Please come wearing comfortable street clothes; mats and yoga apparel are not necessary.

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Manisha Sharma teaches at Iowa State University. Her poetry and fiction has been lauded by Lit Hub, Commonwealth Short Story contest, Amethyst Review, Cream City, Iron Horse, Arts & Letters, ASF, and more. She is also an internationally-certified yoga teacher.


Twitter Username: _sharmamanisha

Website: www.manisha-sharma.com

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F112.

Queer Architectures: New Models for Memoir

(, , , Kirsten Imani Kasai)

Queer stories break from traditional norms, so why wouldn’t their narrative shapes do the same? As our canon of queer memoir expands, memoir as a genre continues to open itself to experimental architectures that amplify narrative possibilities for all nonfiction writers. Three queer memoirists draw from their own work as well as the writers they love to explore the exhilarating possibilities for queer forms and how to find the containers that enable them to tell their truest stories.

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Alden Jones is the author of the books The Wanting Was a Wilderness, Unaccompanied Minors, and The Blind Masseuse. Her fiction and essays appear in The Rumpus, The Cut, AGNI, and The Best American Travel Writing. She is writer-in-residence at Emerson College and codirects the Cuba Writers Program.


Twitter Username: aldenejones

Website: aldenjones.com

Zoë Sprankle is an emerging queer writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She recently received her MFA from The Newport MFA at Salve Regina University. Her work has been featured in Roxane Gay’s The Audacity, Quarter After Eight, and Go Magazine.


Twitter Username: Zoesprankle

Putsata Reang is an award-winning author and journalist of the debut memoir, Ma and Me. She is an alum of writers residencies at Hedgebrook, Kimmel Harding Nelson and Mineral School, and of the Jack Straw Writers Program. Her writing has appeared in a variety of national and international publications.


Twitter Username: putsata

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F113.

Amplifying Ukrainian Voices in the English-Speaking Literary Environment

(, , , , )

Russia's war against Ukraine brought a realization that the global literary community had limited knowledge of Ukrainian literature past and present, and also a keen interest to learn more. Obscured by centuries of imperial discrimination and entrenched prejudicial stereotypes, Ukrainian literary voices are finally beginning to be heard. Leading translators from Ukrainian into English reflect on their efforts and challenges they face.

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Ostap Kin is the editor of Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond and New York Elegies: Ukrainian Poems on the City. He has translated, with John Hennessy, Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond and Serhiy Zhadan’s A New Orthography and, with Vitaly Chernetsky, Yuri Andrukhovych's Songs for a Dead Rooster.


Twitter Username: ostap_kin

Grace Mahoney is the series editor of the Lost Horse Press Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series. She is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. She translates literature from Ukrainian and Russian.

Olena Jennings is author of the poetry collection The Age of Secrets and the novel Temporary Shelter. Her translation with Oksana Lutsyshyna of Kateryna Kalytko's poetry from Ukrainian and her translation of Vasyl Makhno's poetry were recently published. She is founder and curator of Poets of Queens.

Oksana Maksymchuk is a bilingual Ukrainian American poet, scholar, and literary translator. In the Ukrainian, she is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, Xenia and Lovy. A 2019 NEA Translation Fellow, she was recently a writer in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study at CEU.


Twitter Username: ok_maksymchuk

Oksana Lutsyshyna is a Ukrainian writer, translator, and poet. For her novel, Ivan and Phoebe, she was awarded the Lviv City of Literature UNESCO Prize (2020) and the Taras Shevchenko National Award in fiction (2021). She holds a PhD in comparative literature, and teaches Eastern European literatures.

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F114.

Bridging the Diaspora: A Bilingual Reading by Letras Boricuas Fellows

(, , , , )

Among Puerto Rico’s great cultural traditions is literature, yet Puerto Rican writers past and present lack visibility in the United States and continue to face the effects and legacy of colonialism. Five award-winning recipients of the Letras Boricuas Fellowship share poetry and fiction that spans topics of identity, language, and climate disasters, among others. The presenters, from both Puerto Rico and the U.S. diaspora, offer readings in Spanish and English. ASL interpretation provided.

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Cezanne Cardona is a Puerto Rican writer, professor, and columnist. In 2018 he published Levittown mon amour, a short story collection, and won Premio Nuevas Voces from Festival de la Palabra and Premio Nacional from Instituto de Literatura Puertorriqueña. In 2021 Cardona received the Letras Boricuas fellowhip from Mellon Foundation


Twitter Username: CardonaCezanne

Carmen R. Marín is a Letras Boricuas Fellow (2021). She has published two books of poems and a book of hybrid texts. She writes about (and from) the feminine experience, from the joyfulness of being in love with another woman to motherhood to the many faces of violence against women and girls.

Urayoán Noel is a Letras Boricuas poetry fellow, a National Translation Award finalist, and the author or translator of a dozen books, most recently Transversal, an NYPL Book of the Year, and Nicole Cecilia Delgado's adjacent islands. Noel teaches at NYU and at Stetson University's MFA of the Americas.


Twitter Username: urayoannoel

Amina Lolita Gautier is the author of four short story collections: At-RiskNow We Will Be HappyThe Loss of All Lost Things, and The Best That You Can Do. For her body of work she has received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.


Twitter Username: DrAminaGautier

Website: https://aminagautier.wordpress.com/

Vanessa Martir is the founder of the Writing Our Lives Workshop and the Writing the Mother Wound Movement. A 2021 Letras Boricuas fellow, her work has appeared in the New York Times, the GuardianWashington PostThe RumpusLongreads, and the anthologies Not That Bad and So We Can Know among others.


Twitter Username: Vanessa_LaLoba

Website: vanessamartir.wordpress.com

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F115.

What Authors Need to Know about Generative AI and Copyright

(, )

The meteoric rise of generative AI technology like ChatGPT has generated a flurry of legal questions. Are images and text these programs produce copyrightable? Will using them in your work affect your rights? Is training data for AI infringing? Drawing on our expertise in the field of copyright and AI, Authors Alliance leads an interactive session explaining what authors need to know about how copyright and AI fit together, and how AI can serve both as a creative tool and potential disruptor.

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Rachel Brooke is a senior staff attorney with Authors Alliance. She previously served as a literary agent in New York before attending law school. She has also worked on first amendment issues at a nonprofit newsroom.

David Hansen is the executive director of Authors Alliance, a nonprofit that, through advocacy and education about the law, supports authors who write to benefit the public. He is an experienced copyright lawyer and has formerly held academic positions at Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and UC Berkeley.


Twitter Username: diglibcopyright

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F116.

Generative Poetry Workshops: Take 'Em or Teach 'Em

(, , , , )

A generative poetry workshop can get you there or help you break through. This panel addresses best practices from both teacher and student points of view. Teachers: structure a generative workshop and deploy methods beneficial to and inclusive of a wide variety of workshoppers. Students: identify strategies for framing expectations and seek definitions of success beyond yielding a few solid drafts. Panelists will address their own experiences as teachers, students, and the blurred role between.

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L.J. Sysko is the author of The Daughter of Man (University of Arkansas Press, 2023), selected by Patricia Smith for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is director of executive communications at Delaware State University.


Twitter Username: lj_sysko

Website: https://ljsysko.com/

Maya C. Popa is the author of Wound is the Origin of Wonder (W.W. Norton & Picador, UK) and American Faith (Sarabande), winner of the 2020 North American Book Prize. The poetry reviews editor of Publishers Weekly, she holds a PhD from Goldsmiths and University of London, and teaches at NYU and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: mayacpopa

Kim Addonizio has published a dozen books of poetry and prose. Her latest are a poetry collection, Now We're Getting Somewhere, and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life. She is author of the writing guides The Poet's Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius.


Twitter Username: kim_addonizio

Website: www.kimaddonizio.com

Flower Conroy is an LGBTQIA+ writer and artist, NEA and MacDowell Fellow, and former Key West Poet Laureate whose books include Snake Breaking Medusa Disorder, A Sentimental Hairpin, and Greenest Grass. Her/their poetry has appeared in numerous journals.


Twitter Username: flower_conroy

Sandra Beasley is author of four poetry collections, most recently Made to Explode, as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir. She lives in Washington, DC, and teaches with the University of Nebraska Omaha low-residency MFA in creative writing.


Twitter Username: SandraBeasley

Website: http://www.SandraBeasley.com

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F117.

Defying Category: How to Sell, Edit, and Market a Genre-Bending Novel

(, , , Amara Hoshijo, )

In this guided discussion, the audience will hear from a diverse array of participants who are currently operating in the genre-bending fiction space: a debut novelist whose novel was pitched as "literary science fiction," two literary agents, and two editors who specialize in books that defy easy categorization. We'll discuss the frustrations of categorization, and how to work around them, as well as how to find and build your own community even when convenient labels don't apply to your work.

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Lucy Carson has been with The Friedrich Agency since 2008, where she works with Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling authors including Elizabeth Strout, Ruth Ozeki, Leila Mottley, and Karen Joy Fowler. Lucy also manages the book-to-film rights for the entire Friedrich Agency roster.


Twitter Username: LucyACarson

Annie Hwang is a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary where she represents literary fiction with teeth and select nonfiction. Her authors include John Paul Brammer, Franny Choi, Lilly Dancyger, Carson Faust, Faylita Hicks, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Cleo Qian, and Alison C. Rollins.


Twitter Username: AnnieAHwang

Silvia Park is a Korean/American writer and assistant professor of English at the University of Kansas. Their work has been published in Black Warrior Review, Tor.com, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, among others. Their debut novel, Luminous, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in 2025.


Twitter Username: silviajpark

Carina Guiterman is a senior editor at Simon & Schuster, where she acquires literary and upmarket fiction, as well as select narrative nonfiction. Her taste in fiction spans many genres: domestic and psychological suspense, coming of age, family sagas, historical fiction, and more.

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F118.

Writing Interracial Narratives

(, , , )

All American literature might be read as intrinsically interracial because of how race thoroughly pervades our social realities. The writers on this racially diverse panel, representing both fiction and memoir, consciously interrogate interracial realities. How can we write stories to achieve relational depth and sensitivity? How do we address our challenges and limitations in portraying characters of other races? Which writers, past and present, offer us models for navigating the craft?

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Erik Gleibermann is a memoirist, poet, and social justice journalist in San Francisco. He has written for The Atlantic, New York Times, Guardian, Oprah Daily, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and Poets & Writers. His book-in-progress is JEWFRO AMERICAN: AN INTERRACIAL MEMOIR.


Twitter Username: erikgleibermann

Alexandra Chang is the author of Days of Distraction and Tomb Sweeping. She is a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree. She currently lives in Ventura County, California.

Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically-acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick and shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award.


Twitter Username: mirajacob

Website: mirajacob.com

Cleyvis Natera is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Neruda on the Park. She holds an MFA in Fiction from New York University.


Twitter Username: cleyvisnatera

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F119.

Defining Environmental Fiction: Writers and Editors Discuss

(, , , , Clare Beams)

Many have a narrow view of environmental fiction; they imagine lyrical encounters with nature or speculative, apocalyptic tales. However, this genre can and should be a capacious, varied genre where writers and readers reimagine place, reflect on our climate crisis, and imagine possibilities for sustainable living. In this panel, editors and writers discuss their definitions of this genre, how all fiction might be environmental, and craft strategies for engaging with the more-than-human world.

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Michelle Donahue is an assistant professor at University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she is associate editor of Ecotone. Her prose has been published in ​Passages North, CutBank, Arts & Letters, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Utah.


Twitter Username: ML_Donahue

Website: http://michelle-donahue.com/

Megan Giddings is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. Her first novel, Lakewood, was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and an LA Times Book Prize. Her second novel, The Women Could Fly, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Twitter Username: megiddings

Michael Mejia is the author of the novels TOKYO and Forgetfulness. A recipient of grants from the NEA and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, he is editor-in-chief of Western Humanities Review, a cofounding editor of Ninebark Press, and he teaches creative writing at the University of Utah.


Twitter Username: mfmejia

Website: http://english.utah.edu/profile.php?unid=u0143165

Erin Swan is the author of Walk the Vanished Earth, a work of speculative fiction focusing on intergenerational trauma and environmental upheaval. A graduate of Teachers College at Columbia University and the MFA program at the New School, she teaches English at a public high school in Manhattan.


Twitter Username: erintheswan

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F120.

CANCELED: How Writing Transforms: From the Pen to the Screen

(, , , )

Unfortunately, this event has been canceled by the event organizer.

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Jahaan Maiden is the director of operations of Muted Rays Melded Media and has years of experience working on the business side of film, especially with producers.

Ethan Avery is a writer-director known for his novel Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire which was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 30th Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards and included among Kirkus Reviews Great Indie Books Worth Discovering. Ethan is also known for his work directing a variety of films.


Twitter Username: StoriesByEthan

Vernon E. Williams adapted his story "The Mayor Jones" from a stage play into film. The Mayor Jones, a story inspired by Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, explores the ramifications mass incarceration can have on a community, and has been recognized in several film festivals.


Twitter Username: veezy89

Doug Hilson is a writer and filmmaker from the Midwest. Scriptwriting and screenwriting aren't the only areas of specialty either. He is also working on a few literary pieces and will soon be making his debut as a contemporary fiction and sci-fi author. He offers developmental editing services.

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F121.

Adjunct Assembly

Adjuncts, assemble! Join us for coffee and conversation with fellow adjuncts and AWP board and staff members. Come prepared to talk about potential solutions—big and small—for the challenges facing this growing population of higher educators.

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Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F122.

“To Confirm a Thing and Give Thanks”: Rereading May Swenson

(, , , , )

Though more widely acknowledged in her lifetime, May Swenson is now something of a “poet’s poet’s poet,” loved and admired by a select readership but generally overlooked by the wider public. This panel aims to elevate Swenson’s work, articulating the dynamics behind her richly varied oeuvre—lush, exploratory, imaginative, poised—and arguing for a twenty-first century return to this unduly neglected master and pioneering queer poet.

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Brian Brodeur is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Some Problems with Autobiography (2023), which won the 2022 New Criterion Prize. New poems and literary criticism appear in Hopkins Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Criterion, and the Writer’s Chronicle.


Twitter Username: bbrodeurpoet

Sara Eliza Johnson is the recipient of an NEA fellowship in poetry, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and Winter Fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, among other honors. Her first book, Bone Map, won the 2013 National Poetry Series. Her second book, Vapor, will be published in 2022.


Twitter Username: saraelizaj

Website: saraelizajohnson.com

Randall Mann is the author of six poetry collections, most recently DEAL: New & Selected Poems, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2023. He lives in San Francisco.


Twitter Username: randallmannpoet

Nancy K. Pearson is an English professor at West Chester University Pennsylvania. She is the author of the poetry collections, The Whole by Contemplation of a Single Bone and Two Minutes of Light, for which she received the PEN New England Award and a Lambda Literary finalist award.

Malachi Black is the author of Indirect Light, forthcoming from Four Way Books, and Storm Toward Morning (Copper Canyon, 2014), a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award and a PSA New American Poets series selection. Black teaches at the University of San Diego.

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F123.

A Tribute to Don DeLillo: A Literary Vandal and Bad Citizen

(, , , Rebecca Bernard)

A master storyteller, Don DeLillo has engaged American culture with prescience, writing about terrorism, white men with guns, a culture saturated by images and capitalism, and the necessity of the artist on the margins. Despite critics who complain that he is “woefully influential” (James Wood) or guilty of “literary vandalism and bad citizenship” (George Will), the panel will interrogate how DeLillo’s novels perform cultural critique and what we can learn from his craft as teachers and writers.

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Michael James Rizza is the author of the novel Cartilage and Skin and a monograph about Jameson, Baudrillard, and Foucault, along with various works of short fiction and academic articles. He is an associate professor of creative writing and the department chair at Eastern New Mexico University.

Ted Pelton has authored five fiction titles, numerous articles and reviews, and over fifty published stories, including in BOMB and Brooklyn Rail. He is a professor of English at Tennessee Tech University specializing in fiction writing, the novel, and American and world literatures.

John Domini has eleven books in print, including novels, short stories, a 2021 memoir, and an earlier selection of criticism. He's written extensively on contemporary fiction for Lit HubLos Angeles Review of BooksBrooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. Awards include an NEA; he has taught at Harvard and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: DavveroDomini

Website: http://www.johndomini.com

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F123A.

Diasporic Poetics: Reading by Debut Asian American Poets

(, , , , Xiao Yue Shan)

Join four award-winning Asian diasporic poets for a celebratory reading of their debut poetry books. Whether excavating diasporic grief; reckoning with the silence of language; questioning the role of faith and belonging; complicating the translator’s agency—these unique poets challenge what it means to write and belong to the contemporary Asian American diaspora. The reading will be followed by a conversation about their writing journeys including their advice for poets working on their debut.

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Jay Gao's debut poetry collection Imperium (Carcanet, 2022) is a winner of an Eric Gregory Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. He is a contributing editor at The White Review and a reader for Poetry magazine. Currently, he lives in New York and is a PhD student at Columbia University.


Twitter Username: Jay_Gao_

Website: https://www.jay-gao.com

Megan Pinto is the author of Saints of Little Faith (Four Way Books, 2024). Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn and holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson.


Twitter Username: megg_bean

Jimin Seo is the author of Ossia, a winner of The Changes Book Prize. He earned his MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts. His most recent project, Poems of Consumption, is a collaboration with artist Hamed Sinno premiering at the Barbican Centre in London.


Twitter Username: jimseoni

Susan Nguyen is the author of the poetry collection Dear Diaspora (University of Nebraska Press), which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and an AAAS Outstanding Achievement Award. She is currently the senior editor of Hayden's Ferry Review.

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F124.

Writing and Intellectual Disability: An Inclusive Panel

(, , , Laura Estreich, Sophie Stern)

Each of the published writers on this panel has written about a family member with Down syndrome, and each of us will speak to the ethical and aesthetic complications of that process. But our panel will also include two of those family members: Laura Estreich and Sophie Stern, who will discuss their lives and advocacy. With this shared approach, we hope to trace links between advocacy, activism, and writing, showing that all can spring from—and foster—a common wish for connection.

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Melissa Hart's writing has appeared in SmithsonianSlate, CNN, OrionThe Advocate, the New York Times, and many other publications. She's the author of seven books including the forthcoming Down Syndrome Out Loud. She teaches for the MFA program in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University and lives in Oregon. melissahart.com


Twitter Username: WildMelissaHart

Website: www.melissahart.com

George Estreich is the author of The Shape of the Eye: A Memoir and Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves. He teaches in the MFA program at Oregon State University.

Amy Silverman is a journalist, teacher and memoir writer in her hometown, Phoenix. She's executive producer for KJZZ/NPR's The Show and has contributed to This American Life, STAT, ProPublica, Lit Hub, Lenny Letter, Slate, The Forward, NYT, Washington Post, and more. See her work at amy-silverman.com


Twitter Username: amysilvermanaz

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F124A.

I Published My First Book After Age Fifty: A Reading and Conversation

(, , , , )

The publishing world can be discouraging for middle-aged beginners or vocational pivoters—but also for those who’ve been writing diligently for a long time and still don’t have a book. This panel will showcase four writers who published their first book after age fifty, with a short reading of these debut works (poetry and fiction) followed by a discussion of the advantages/challenges of debuting as an older writer.

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Anne Elliott is the author of The Artstars: Stories. Her short fiction can be found in A Public Space, STORY, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, Hobart, and other journals. Honors include the Blue Light Books Prize, the Story Foundation Prize, and a grant from the Elizabeth George foundation.


Twitter Username: bigfatpress

Website: http://www.anneelliottstories.com

Karen Schubert holds an MFA from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts and is the author of The Compost Reader (Accents Publishing) and five poetry chapbooks. Executive director and cofounder of literary arts nonprofit Lit Youngstown, she has taught in numerous academic and community settings.


Twitter Username: karen_jedemeure

Website: http://karenschubert.blogspot.com/

LeTonia Jones is a social justice advocate, author, poet, copywriter, editor, writing teacher, and a former newspaper columnist. Jones published her debut book, Black Girl at the Intersection, in 2023 at age fifty-one. This book represents her belief in the power of witnessing and being witnessed.


Twitter Username: lajone72

Louise Marburg is the author of three award-winning collections of stories, The Truth About Me, No Diving Allowed, and You Have Reached Your Destination. The Truth About Me, her debut collection, was published after age fifty, and went on to win an Independent Press Award for short story collections.

Jimin Han is the author of the forthcoming novel The Apology and A Small Revolution. She teaches at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and Pace University.

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F125.

Questions & Wonder: Science in Fiction

(, , , , Shena McAuliffe)

Scientific discoveries shape us and scientists themselves are driven and curious. Yet for all that dramatic potential, it can be hard to find fiction that incorporates science. Science is also not neutral, nor benevolent: it can be used for harm. These panelists take readers into the study of botany, nuclear research, anthropology, and more, exploring wonder, breakthroughs, prejudices, and ethical dilemmas. Writers and program directors share experiences and advice for writing science-informed fiction.

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TaraShea Nesbit is the author of two novels: The Wives of Los Alamos, about the making of the atomic bomb from the scientists' wives' perspective, and Beheld, about the arrival of the Mayflower from an indentured servant's and governor's wife's perspectives. She is an associate professor at Miami.

Kristen Millares Young is a prize-winning journalist, essayist, and author of the novel Subduction (Red Hen Press). Named a Paris Review staff pick, Subduction won Nautilus and IPPY awards. The editor of Seismic, a Washington State Book Award finalist, Kristen reviews books for the Washington Post.


Twitter Username: kristenmillares

Website: www.kristenmyoung.com

Elisabeth Eaves is the author of the The Outlier, a novel of psychological suspense with a neuroscientist in the main role. She also wrote the memoirs Wanderlust: A Love Affair With Five Continents and Bare: The Naked Truth About Stripping, and she was an editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.


Twitter Username: elisabetheaves

Natalie Green is the director of programs at the National Book Foundation. Before joining the National Book Foundation, Natalie was the manager of Los Angeles programs at PEN America. She holds a BA in English and creative writing from UCLA.


Twitter Username: Natalie_R_Green

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F126.

Our First Universe: The Aesthetics of Home in Fiction

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Five fiction writers from geographically far-flung homes discuss how our writing is influenced by where we grew up. These iconic places affect motif, rhythm, imagery, even the color palette of our prose. But how do writers embrace stylistic fingerprints without being limited by them? Bachelard says, “The house is our corner of the world. It is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word.” We’ll offer practical ways to seek new universes without abandoning the aesthetics of home.

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Miciah Bay Gault's debut novel is Goodnight Stranger (Park Row Books, 2019). She is faculty in the MFA in writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and coordinator of the Vermont Book Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, Southern Review, Agni, Harvard Review, Poets & Writers, Lit Hub, and the New York Times.


Twitter Username: miciahbay

Robin MacArthur is the author of Half Wild Stories (winner of the PEN/New England Award and a finalist for the New England Book Award), and the novel Heart Spring Mountain. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Orion Magazine and lives on the farm where she was born in Vermont.


Twitter Username: RobinMacarthur

Adam McOmber is the author of four queer speculative novels as well as three collections of short stories. He is the chair of the MFA writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and editor-in-chief of Hunger Mountain Review.

Samuel Kọ́láwọlé is an assistant professor of English and African studies at Pennsylvania State University, where he teaches fiction. He is also a member of the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Art's low-residency MFA in writing. His fiction has appeared in several publications. HarperCollins will publish his novel.


Twitter Username: SamuelKerubu

Michelle Ross is the author of three story collections: There's So Much They Haven't Told You, Shapeshifting, and They Kept Running. Her work is included in Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, the Wigleaf Top 50, and the Norton anthology, Flash Fiction America. She is editor of 100 Word Story.

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F127.

Embracing Our Writer Identities: Women of Color Speak Candidly about the Journey

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Our literary landscape tends to overlook and dismiss the experiences women of color encounter as they build writing lives. This reality can impact how some women of color see their writer selves. In this panel, women of color in various stages and places in their writing careers will discuss their journeys embracing their identity as writers. Panelists will consider questions of age, belonging, community, opportunities, the influence of non-writing backgrounds, and more.

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Patrice Gopo writes stories steeped in themes of place, belonging, and home. She is the author of two essay collections, Autumn Song and All the Colors We Will See. Her debut picture book, All the Places We Call Home, is based on one of her essays. Please visit patricegopo.com to learn more.


Twitter Username: patricegopo

Website: https://www.patricegopo.com/

Ramona M. Payne leads WRITE.PAUSE.REFLECT, an expressive writing workshop, and is working on an essay collection. Her work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She draws on her diverse background—corporate, education, and the arts—in her writing. Visit ramonapayne.com to learn more.

Lillie Pardo is a Los Angeles-based teacher and writer. She writes nonfiction picture book biographies of Filipino Americans who have made significant contributions to society and believes that all children deserve to see themselves and their diverse stories represented on the pages of books.


Twitter Username: Lillie_Pardo

Angie Chatman is a Chicago native and a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer and storyteller. Her work has appeared in Pangyrus, The Rumpus, Hippocampus Magazine, Blood Orange Review, and elsewhere. She has told stories on The Moth Radio Hour. Angie holds an MFA from Queens University and lives in Boston.


Twitter Username: angiecwriter

Website: www.angiecwriter.com

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F128.

Writing to Change the World Through Live Storytelling: Craft Meets Catharsis

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Live storytelling professionals, teachers, and Moth champs discuss the craft and catharsis of writing for live audiences. We’ll explore live storytelling’s unique ability to break down barriers, connect, and heal. By sharing examples of how we select, compose, and perform pieces that open eyes and change perspectives, you’ll discover methods to clarify and amplify your own messages. C’mon! Take your writing off the page, and leave a lasting impact on the world—one live performance at a time.

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Christine Wolf is a former freelance columnist for the Chicago Tribune, a Moth StorySLAM champ, and founder of Writers' Haven LLC. She coaches memoirists and offers developmental editing, sensitivity reading, and structural guidance to writers of all levels of experience. www.christinewolf.com


Twitter Username: tinywolf1

Website: www.christinewolf.com

Nestor Gomez was born in Guatemala and traveled to Chicago undocumented in the mid-eighties. He told his first story at a Moth StorySLAM to get over his stuttering, and since then he has won more than seventy Moth SLAMs. Gomez created 80 Minutes Around the World, a storytelling show about immigration stories.


Twitter Username: soloyochapin

Kevin Cordi was raised on stories and knows that stories are at the heart of meaning making. He has told stories in over forty-four states: England, Japan, Qatar, Singapore, Scotland, and Canada. He holds a doctorate in storytelling and education from the Ohio State University. www.kevincordi.com


Twitter Username: KevinCordi

Paulette Perhach is an award-winning freelance writer, speaker, and the author of Welcome to the Writer's Life, one of Poets & Writers'  Best Books for Writers. She’s written two million-reader viral essays. She teaches, coaches, and leads meditation and writing sessions at A Very Important Meeting.


Twitter Username: pauletteperhach

Susan Rohde works in higher education and has enjoyed success on the Moth stage with three wins to her credit. Between work, storytelling, and a very full house, there is just enough time to enjoy her beautiful family and new puppy.

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F129.

Our Souths: Curating Spaces Against BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ Erasure

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As various states continue to pass restrictive and bigoted laws, the South is an increasingly hostile landscape for writers, particularly for queer and BIPOC writers. Writer-run reading series can help sustain these communities, serving as hubs for fellowship, creativity, and connection. Reading series organizers from across the American South will discuss the challenges and rewards of hosting live reading events and offer practical advice for those seeking to grow and develop a series.

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Dorsey Craft's debut collection Plunder (Bauhan 2020), won the 2019 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She is assistant poetry editor for Agni and co-organizer of Dreamboat Reading Series.


Twitter Username: dorseycraft

Kai Coggin (she/her) is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Hot Springs, Arizona, a master naturalist and K–12 teaching artist, and the author of four collections. A queer woman of color, she was awarded the 2021 Governor’s Arts Award and voted “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times. Coggin hosts Wednesday Night Poetry.


Twitter Username: skailight

Jessica Q. Stark is the author of Buffalo Girl (BOA Editions, 2023), Savage Pageant (Birds, LLC, 2020) and four poetry chapbooks, including Innanet (The Offending Adam, 2021). She is a poetry editor at AGNI and is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of North Florida.


Twitter Username: jezzbah

Website: https://jessicaqstark.com/

Erin Hoover is the author of two poetry collections, Barnburner (Elixir, 2018) and No Spare People (Black Lawrence, 2023). She teaches creative writing and courses in editing and publishing at Tennessee Tech University and hosts Sawmill Poetry, an in-person monthly reading series.


Twitter Username: erinhoover

Website: erinhooverpoet.com

Sebastián H. Páramo's debut collection, Portrait of Us Burning, is forthcoming from Northwestern University's Curbstone imprint. He is the founding editor of The Boiler and poetry editor for Deep Vellum. He is a visiting assistant professor of English at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.


Twitter Username: sebastianparamo

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F130.

Latina/o/x Narratives: Including Diverse Experiences from Our Community

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Many Latinx stories that garner mainstream attention focus on the immigrant experience. While these perspectives are vital, other narratives including stories from Afro-Latinos, children and grandchildren of immigrants, and indigenous people must be shared to accurately reflect the Latinx population. Join these panelists as they discuss how their work expands upon the canon and the importance of diverse Latino/a/x literature.

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Nathan Xavier Osorio is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s 2021 Chapbook Fellowship for his collection, The Last Town Before the Mojave. He is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative/critical writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Twitter Username: nathanxosorio

Alexandra Lusk Silvas is an MFA student at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her fiction circles the complexity of interpersonal relationships and reflects upon her upbringing in southern California. She is a recipient of the Reyna Grande Scholarship award and the Cowell Press Prize for book arts.


Twitter Username: alliesilvas

Brenda Peynado, author of The Rock Eaters, her debut collection, has received an O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Grant, and a Nelson Algren Award, and appears in Tor.com, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, and The Sun. She is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida.


Twitter Username: BrendaPeynado

Andrew Boryga is a writer who was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. His debut novel Victim will publish in March 2024 from Doubleday. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic, New York Times, and other outlets. He is an alumni of the University of Miami MFA program.


Twitter Username: borywrites

Cynthia Guardado /Gwarr-Dah-Doe/ (she/her/hers) is a Salvadoran-American poet and tenured professor of English at Fullerton College. She is the editor-in-chief of LiveWire, an online magazine. She has two poetry collections, Endeavor (World Stage Press 2017) and Cenizas (University of Arizona Press).


Twitter Username: theguardedpoet

Website: https://cynthiaguardado.wordpress.com

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F131.

Transfigured Flesh: Shapeshifting, Embodiment and the Nonhuman in Trans Narratives

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Trans writers have long been aware of the power of the animal, the nonhuman and the monstrous—whether jinn or mycelium—not only as metaphors but as kin. This panel brings together four trans authors whose genre-bending work interrogates the boundaries between human and nonhuman to resist the narratives that would erase those who live in their margins. We will discuss the craft of writing about embodiment and what can only be revealed by dissolving the boundary with the more-than-human world.

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Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of The Map of Salt and Stars and Stonewall and Lambda Literary award-winning The Thirty Names of Night. His work appears in Salon, the Paris ReviewKinkThis Arab Is Queer, and elsewhere. He is a Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) board member and Periplus mentor.


Twitter Username: ZeynJoukhadar

Website: ZeynJoukhadar.com

Rivers Solomon writes about life in the margins, where they are much at home. In addition to appearing on the Stonewall Honor List, their debut novel An Unkindness of Ghosts was shortlisted for a Lambda, a Hurston/Wright, and Tiptree Award. The Deep, their second book, was published in 2019. 


Twitter Username: cyborgyndroid

Bishakh Som is an Indian-American trans femme visual artist. Her graphic novel Apsara Engine (The Feminist Press) was the winner of a 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ Comic. Her graphic memoir Spellbound (Street Noise Books) is also a Lambda finalist.

Andrea Lawlor teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College, is the recipient of a Whiting Award for Fiction, and has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers, and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl.

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F132.

Missouri Literary Magazines: Show Me Show Me Show Me How You Do That Lit

(, , Dusty Freund, , Kylan Rice)

The editors of five Missouri literary journals—Boulevard, Laurel Review, The Missouri Review, Moon City Review, and New Letters—discuss how the Show-Me State has established a long-standing and eclectic history, from Mark Twain to Maya Angelou, as well as how they're tackling the challenges of the present and future. Literature is alive in Missouri, and these five editors will break down its proud tradition, as well as how they're helping to keep Missouri at the forefront of American letters.

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MIchael Czyzniejewski is the author of four collections of short stories, including The Amnesiac in the Maze, forthcoming from Braddock Avenue Books. He is a professor of English at Missouri State University, where he is editor in chief of Moon City Press and Moon City Review.


Twitter Username: MCzyzniejewski

John Gallaher is the author of two chapbooks and five books of poetry, most recently In a Landscape (2014), as well as coeditor of the Akron Series in Poetics, the Laurel Review, and Time Is A Toy: The Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt.

Christie Hodgen is the author of three books of fiction: Elegies for the Brokenhearted, Hello, I Must Be Going, and A Jeweler's Eye for Flaw. Her awards include the AWP Award for Short Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F133.

Please Don’t Tag Me in a Negative Book Review on Social Media

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Bookstagram, #BookTwitter, #BookTok, #Booktube, and book-related Substacks are the fastest-growing venues for contemporary readerly conversation. These communities don’t only spark sales, they expand the field of literary criticism to include diverse voices. In this panel, literary influencers and authors will discuss how this dynamic landscape is reshaping and sustaining the culture of literacy outside of traditional media and the most effective way for authors to engage with these communities.

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Lupita Aquino—better known as Lupita Reads—is a passionate literary enthusiast amplifying and highlighting books through Instagram and TikTok. When she’s not reading, you can catch her occasionally writing about books for Today.com, She Reads.com, and for her Substack.


Twitter Username: Lupita_Reads

Yohanca Delgado is a 2021–2023 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and 2022 NEA fellow. Her writing appears in the 2022 editions of Best American Short Stories and the O'Henry Prize Winning Stories and in the 2021 Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy.


Twitter Username: yodelnyc

Website: yohanca.com

Marines Alvarez is a book reviewer, freelance editor, and event organizer who, like her favorite protagonist of all time, dearly loves to laugh. On her BookTube and BookTok channels, she reads across genres, loves tackling community discourse, and talks a lot about the importance of representation.


Twitter Username: mynameismarines

Traci Thomas is the creator and host of The Stacks, a weekly podcast about books and the ways they shape our cultural understandings. Traci writes a monthly bookish advice column on shereads.com and hosts a live literary show with LAist called One for the Books.


Twitter Username: bitracial

Arianna Rebolini is a writer, editor, and National Book Critics Circle member from New York. Formerly the BuzzFeed Books editor, she recommends books in her newsletter, Reading Habits, and as a regular guest on NPR. She is coauthor of the novel Public Relations. Her memoir, Better, is forthcoming.


Twitter Username: AriannaRebolini

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F134.

Build Your Sharp & Unforgettable Bouquet: On the Making of Anthologies

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Why and how do we make anthologies? What do anthologies allow us to share and see that single-authored volumes do not? How can building an anthology be an act of community building or resistance? And, importantly, what is the path to building an anthology in real life? Remembering that the word anthology means at its root "bouquet of flowers,” we will talk about the work of curating sharp and meaningful gatherings. We will also give practical suggestions for doing this work in future projects.

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Tess Taylor is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Misremembered World, The Forage House, and Work & Days. In spring 2020 she published two books of poems: Last West, part of "Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures" at the Museum of Modern Art, and Rift Zone from Red Hen Press.


Twitter Username: tessathon

Website: www.tess-taylor.com

Jennifer Barber's poetry books are The Sliding Boat Our Bodies Made, Works on Paper, Given Away, and Rigging the Wind. She is a coeditor, with Fred Marchant and Jessica Greenbaum, of the anthology Tree Lines: 21st Century American Poems. She was the founding editor of the journal Salamander.

Elise Paschen (Osage) is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, The Nightlife. Her poems have appeared in A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry and Poetry, among others. She is the editor or coeditor of numerous anthologies, including Poetry Speaks and The Eloquent Poem.


Twitter Username: ElisePaschen

Brynn Saito is the author of three books of poetry and is coediting an anthology of poems by descendants of the Japanese American / Nikkei incarceration. She teaches in the MFA program at California State University, Fresno.


Twitter Username: brynnsaito

Website: http://brynnsaito.com

LeAnne Howe (Choctaw) is a novelist, poet, and playwright at the University of Georgia. Her new play The Keening, coauthored with Colm Summers, was workshopped at Berkeley Rep in 2023. Her 2019 novel Savage Conversations was adapted for the stage by Starz Theater, Tampa. She's working on the poetry collection 1918.


Twitter Username: LeAnneHowe

Website: http://mikokings.wordpress.com/

10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F135.

Breaking the Rules on Chapbooks: New Approaches to an Old Form

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A chapbook is often a prelude to a first book—or so the conventional wisdom goes. But what if a chapbook comes along later in an established career? Or if it marks a turning point from scholarship to original poetry or from prose to poetry? Or if it is a way of introducing a writer in translation to English-language audiences? Four writers and publishers will discuss breaking the rules on chapbooks, what the future holds for this format, and how a well-timed chapbook can reshape a career.

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Aviya Kushner is the author of Wolf Lamb Bomb, a New York Times New & Noteworthy selection and winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry; The Grammar of God, a National Jewish Book Award and Sami Rohr Prize finalist, and the poetry chapbook, Eve and All the Wrong Men.


Twitter Username: AviyaKushner

Website: www.aviyakushner@gmail.com

Adriana X. Jacobs is an associate professor of modern Hebrew literature at the University of Oxford. She translates contemporary Hebrew poetry into English and is the author of the poetry collections Afterlife is Sweet (rinky dink press) and The Turning (Dancing Girl Press).


Twitter Username: ladymacabea

Ruben Quesada is editor of Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry, author of Revelations and Next Extinct Mammal. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Antioch University. His writing appears in the New York Times Magazine, Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: rubenquesada

Website: www.rubenquesada.com

Michelle Gil-Montero is an Argentine-American poet-translator. She has translated several books by contemporary Latin American writers, including Maria Negroni and Valerie Mejer Caso. Her work has appeared widely and been supported by the NEA, Howard Foundation, and Fulbright.


Twitter Username: MichelleGilMon1

Jace Brittain is the author of the novel Sorcererer (Schism Neuronics, 2022), a founding editor of Carrion Bloom Books, and a PhD candidate at the University of Utah. Their writing, poetry, and translations have been featured in Annulet, ANMLY, Dream Pop, Propagule, Snail Trail, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: jacebrit

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F136.

Archives into Art: Jewish Writers Explode the Document

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What is this urge that drives us toward oral history, archives, and documents—to turn them into something else we’ve shaped and spun? What are our ethics and motivations? We will read and discuss our documentary poems, plays, librettos, and essays. As descendants of people who fled persecution, we take particular interest in historical record; as a people others attempt(ed) to erase, we explore the impetus to document and save. But, to quote a venerable rabbi: "If I am only for myself, who am I?"

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Joshua Gottlieb-Miller has been a MacDowell fellow, a Tent Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center, and a Yetzirah scholar. His poetry collection, The Art of Bagging, won Conduit’s Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize. His second book, Dybbuk Americana, is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press.


Twitter Username: JoshuaG_M

S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg is the author of The Wandering Womb, winner of the 2022 Juniper Prize in nonfiction. Her other books are Holocaust Girls, The Adventures of Cancer Bitch, and The Sweetheart Is In. She is the editor of Another Chicago Magazine and is a writing coach.


Twitter Username: SLWisenberg

Website: http://SLwisenberg.com

Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and the author of several poetry collections, most recently The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin, and Fountain and Furnace. She is also coauthor of Writing Poems. Bar-Nadav is a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Twitter Username: Hadarabar

Website: www.Hadarabar.com

Leah Lax is an author and librettist. Her latest book, Not From Here: Song of America (Pegasus/international), charts how she found her way back into American society by listening to immigrants and refugees tell her their journeys—a book about making art and (re)discovering the world.


Twitter Username: leahlax

Website: www.leahlaxauthor.com

Tom Haviv is a Brooklyn-based, Israeli-born writer, multimedia artist, and organizer. His debut book of poetry A Flag of No Nation was by Jewish Currents Press in 2019. He is the founder of the Hamsa Flag Project, which intends to stimulate conversation about the future of Israel/Palestine.


Twitter Username: tmhaviv

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F137.

The Impact of Denying DEI

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This panel explores the impacts of legislative restrictions on academic freedom by sharing productive classroom assignments that encourage critical/creative thinking and writing in various genres amidst a hostile environment. One panelist recounts the impact of incorporating anti-DEI legislation into the classroom. Another's intro students selected a controversial work to study/discuss, regardless of perceived threats. The third panelist considers the dangers of policing creative expressions.

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Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés is the author of two short story collections—Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You and Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles, as well as Everyday Chica, the 2010 Longleaf Press Poetry Prize. She teaches literature and writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.


Twitter Username: CeciliaMilanes

Website: www.oyechica.net

Fayeza Hasanat is an author, translator, and an educator. Her academic books and translation works are published internationally. The Bird Catcher and Other Stories, her debut short story collection, came out in 2018 from the Jaded Ibis Press.


Twitter Username: fayeza_hasanat

Dr. Kevin Meehan is professor of English at the University of Central Florida, teaching Caribbean and multi-ethnic U.S. lit, literary translation, and environmental literature. His translations have appeared in _Callaloo_, and he releases original music-text work through the Sugar City Music label.


Twitter Username: kvmeehan

Website: www.sugarcitymusic.com

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F138.

How to Be Your Own Agent

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How can you place your manuscript with a good publisher if you don’t have a literary agent? A group of writers from diverse backgrounds will explain their process. This discussion will identify presses that consider unsolicited manuscripts and will explain how to find reading periods and contests. The focus will be on narrowing targets and submitting at low cost. Panelists are prose writers or poets who have successfully placed one or more books with a reputable independent publisher.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center. In addition to the in-person event at the conference, a prerecorded version of this event will be available to view on-demand.

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Pedro Ponce is the author of The Devil and the Dairy Princess: Stories, winner of the Don Belton Fiction Prize and a finalist for the Big Other Book Award for Fiction. He teaches writing and literary theory at St. Lawrence University.


Twitter Username: PedroEPonce

Website: blogs.stlawu.edu/pponce

Anne Elliott is the author of The Artstars: Stories. Her short fiction can be found in A Public Space, STORY, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, Hobart, and other journals. Honors include the Blue Light Books Prize, the Story Foundation Prize, and a grant from the Elizabeth George foundation.


Twitter Username: bigfatpress

Website: http://www.anneelliottstories.com

Joanna Sit was born in China and grew up in New York City. She is the author of My Last Century (2012), In Thailand with the Apostles (2014), and most recently, Track Works. She teaches creative writing at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York.

Ariel Gore is a Lambda Award-winning author and editor whose most recent book, The Wayward Writer, champions creative liberation and demystifies publishing. Other titles include F*ck Happiness, The End of Eve, and We Were Witches. She teaches writing at LiteraryKitchen.net and is her own agent.


Twitter Username: ariel_gore

Website: http://arielgore.com

Thaddeus Rutkowski is author of seven books, most recently Tricks of Light, a poetry collection. His novel Haywire won an Asian American Writers Workshop award. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and Columbia University and received a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.


Twitter Username: thadrutkowski

Website: www.thaddeusrutkowski.com

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F139.

When Every Word Is A Spoon: Disabled Writers on the Accommodations We Need

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Disabled and chronically ill writers are writing vital work, especially in lieu of the COVID-19 crisis. But the writing world, through its in-person events, MFA programs, and tireless publishing expectations, often does not accommodate our needs—meaning that our voices are all too easily lost. Join us as we discuss how disabled writers can protect themselves from the industry’s ableism, as well as how the larger writing community can better support and uplift disabled writers.

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Jaclyn Rachel received her MFA in poetry from UC Riverside. She has taught creative writing in various outreach programs, participated in community readings in Los Angeles, and has organized readings as a part of the Writers Resist movement in solidarity with PEN America's inaugural event.


Twitter Username: jackieisapoet

Eshani Surya is a writer living in Philadelphia interested in what a body encapsulates and how it can be defined. Her novel, Ravishing, will be published by Roxane Gay Books/Grove Atlantic in 2024. Her short stories and essays can be found in The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, Catapult, and Joyland.


Twitter Username: __eshani

Jess Silfa is an Afro-Latinx, disabled, and queer writer and poet. They earned a BA from Columbia University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt, and are a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati. They are currently working on a novel and a poetry chapbook.


Twitter Username: jesilfa

Sylvia Chan is a disabled writer, educator, and activist. She is the author of the poetry collection We Remain Traditional, a National Poetry Series finalist, and a Zoeglossia fellow. She works with crossover and foster youth and leads writing workshops for foster group homes in Arizona.


Twitter Username: sylinchan

Cat Ingrid Leeches is a writer, editor, and adjunct. Their chapbook, The Connoisseur, was published by Garden-Door Press. Their work has also appeared in Always Crashing, Denver Quarterly, Passages North, and Mid-American Review. They received their MFA from the University of Alabama.


Twitter Username: Lizard_Eyes

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F140.

Ethical Representation: A Literary-Agent Panel Sponsored by the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA)

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This panel will focus on the publishing industry from the perspectives of two current AALA board members. They will walk attendees through the process of securing representation and publishing a book—from first draft up to publication. The presentation will have a special focus on ethical representation as laid out by the AALA's "Canon of Ethics" and the organization's DEI initiatives and anti-racism work.

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Kent D. Wolf is a founding partner at Neon Literary. His clients include Carmen Maria Machado, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Torrey Peters, Sarah Rose Etter, Samantha Irby, Zain Khalid, and Amber Sparks. A proud "queerdo," he lives in Manhattan with his husband.


Twitter Username: kentdwolf

Monika Woods is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, a writer whose work has been published by Joyland, Catapult, Tyrant, Brooklyn Magazine, and Lit Hub, and an editor at the Triangle House Review. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and can be found @booksijustread.


Twitter Username: booksijustread

Website: www.booksijustread.com

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F141.

Translation as Poetics, Sponsored by ALTA

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This panel focuses on the generative links between translation and the writing process—two joint crafts that each inform the other. We are particularly interested in considering how the act of translation is in and of itself an act of creative writing, and how our work as poets, playwrights and interdisciplinary artists is expanded and enhanced by our practices in translation.

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Soleil David is a poet and translator. An alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, Community of Writers, and VONA and the recipient of a PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship, she has received awards from the Barbara Deming Fund, Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards.


Twitter Username: SoleilLoquy

janan alexandra is an Arab American writer who was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. She received her MFA in poetry from Indiana University and has spent the last decade working as a literary activist and educator. You can find her work in Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Mizna, and elsewhere.

S. J. Ghaus is a Pakistani American writer and artist. Their work is published or forthcoming on poets.org, Poetry Daily, Hayden's Ferry Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere. A Tin House resident and VONA alum, they hold an MFA from Indiana University where they were poetry editor of the Indiana Review.

Amanda L. Andrei is a playwright, literary translator, and theater critic residing in Los Angeles by way of Virginia/DC. She writes epic, irreverent plays that center concealed, wounded places of history from the perspectives of diasporic Filipina women, and she cotranslates from Romanian to English.


Twitter Username: amandalandrei

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F142.

Pollen, Rust, Lakes, & Plains: Writing Poems in the Midwest

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How can poetry account for the material conditions of the environment, tethering regional circumstances to questions of conservation, extinction, or the nonhuman? This panel of Midwest poets will consider what forms—ode, mess, palimpsest, somatic, plein air—might best connect a region’s particulars to global transformation. Poets will share experiences of writing their region and useful place-based prompts, texts, or fieldwork for landscapes that combine the urban, industrial, and agricultural.

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Caryl Pagel is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Free Clean Fill Dirt, and the essay collection Out of Nowhere Into Nothing. She is an editor at Rescue Press and the director of the CSU Poetry Center. She teaches at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program.

Zach Savich is the author of seven books of poetry, including Momently, and two books of creative nonfiction, including the memoir Diving Makes the Water Deep. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Robin Beth Schaer is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo, MacDowell, and others. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bomb, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in Ohio.


Twitter Username: robinschaer

Website: http://www.robinbethschaer.com

Jason Harris is a Black American writer. He currently serves as an editor for Gordon Square Review. He has received fellowships from The Watering Hole and Twelve Literary Arts. To read more of his work, you may visit his website: https://jasonharriswriter.com/.

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F143.

Draft, Draft, Goose: The Thinking Behind Revising

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In this panel, five distinguished writers will each share a draft of a published piece along with its final version, and discuss the decisions made to get there. We’ll consider the cascading effects of the smallest changes, and how to maintain the equilibrium and disequilibrium one seeks in a finished piece—as well as how to remain committed to surprise, endeavoring not to polish a piece of writing into mediocrity. Our goal will be practical: to show the thinking behind revising.

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Jon Pineda is the author of the novels Let's No One Get Hurt and Apology. His recent poetry collection, Little Anodynes, received the 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Award, and his memoir Sleep in Me was a 2010 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. He teaches at William & Mary.

Kevin Prufer's ninth book of poetry is The Fears (Copper Canyon, 2023). His first novel, Sleepaway, will be published by Acre Books in 2024. He is professor of English in the creative writing program at the University of Houston and also teaches in the Lesley University low-residency MFA program.


Twitter Username: Prufer_Kevin

Website: www.kevinprufer.com

Alan Michael Parker is the author of four novels and eight books of poetry, and a weekly cartoonist for the online journal Identity Theory. His next book will be a collection of Bingo cards and flash, Bingo Bango Boingo (Dzanc, 2024). He holds the Houchens Chair in English at Davidson College.


Twitter Username: AMPoProse

Website: www.alanmichaelparker.com

Sarah Perry is the author of Sweet Nothings, an essay collection about the pleasures of candy (Mariner 2024), and the true crime memoir After the Eclipse (HMH 2017), a Poets & Writers Notable Nonfiction Debut. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas.


Twitter Username: TrickyLaRouge

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F144.

Supporting Small-Press Authors

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It can be challenging for small-press books to find their way to readers. Four small-press authors will share why supporting other small-press authors is important to them and how they do it, but the bulk of the event will provide participants with a chance to connect and to brainstorm generous, creative ways to support small-press authors. For the purposes of this event, we’re defining “small press” as anything other than Big Five or self-publishing.

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Chrissy Kolaya is a fiction writer and poet, author of Charmed Particles: a novel and two books of poems: Other Possible Lives and Any Anxious Body. She was the 2020 Fiction Meets Science fellow and writer-in-residence. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida.


Twitter Username: ChrissyKolaya

Website: www.chrissykolaya.com

Seth Brady Tucker is the award-winning author the of the books, Mormon Boy (Elixir) and We Deserve the Gods We Ask For (Gival). He executive directs the Longleaf Writers Conference and he teaches creative writing and literature at the Colorado School of Mines and the Lighthouse in Denver.


Twitter Username: AirbornePoet

Website: https://www.sethbradytucker.ink

Jessica Alexander coauthored the novella None of This Is an Invitation with Katie Jean Shinkle (Astrophil Press, 2023) and coauthored That Woman Could Be You with Vi Khi Nao (BlazeVox, 2022). Her story collection Dear Enemy was the winning manuscript in the 2016 Subito Prose Contest.


Twitter Username: iateaghost

Jason Koo is a Korean American poet and the author most recently of More Than Mere Light and coeditor of the Brooklyn Poets Anthology. He is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets and an associate teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University.

 


Twitter Username: jasonykoo

Website: http://jasonykoo.com

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F145.

Heroic Crowns: On the Values of Difficulty and Dazzle

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Notoriously hard to write, the heroic crown is a tightly linked sequence of fifteen sonnets that offers poets a chance to prove their virtuosity on the page. In this panel, five sonneteers who have enlarged the tradition of the heroic crown will discuss a range of strategies for approaching the form. Through an examination of techniques such as extended metaphor, lyric fragmentation, and formal flexibility, they will provide tools that other poets can employ when attempting their own heroic crowns.

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Laurie Ann Guerrero is the author of A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying, A Crown for Gumecindo, and I Have Eaten the Rattlesnake. San Antonio Poet Laureate (2014) and Texas Poet Laureate (2016), she is an associate professor of poetry and gender studies at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.


Twitter Username: LaurAnnGuerrero

Website: www.LaurieAnnGuerrero.com

Matt W. Miller is the author of Tender the River, The Wounded for the Water, Club Icarus, and Cameo Diner. A winner of the Pablo Neruda Prize, The Trifecta Poetry Prize, and fellowships from Stanford University and the Sewanee Writers Conference, he teaches and lives in coastal New Hampshire.


Twitter Username: mattwmiller89

Website: mattwmiller.com

Alexis Sears is the author of Out of Order, winner of the 2021 Donald Justice Poetry Prize and the Poetry By the Sea Book Award: Best Book of 2022. She earned her BA at Johns Hopkins University and her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been widely published in literary journals.


Twitter Username: alexissearspoet

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F146.

"Yes, And": A Bisexual Exploration of Genre

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The publishing world uses genre to classify creative output. As useful as these classifications can be, they also create silos within the literary world, systems that rely on exclusionary criteria. Bisexual writers—whose sexuality is shaped by a rejection of exclusionary rhetoric—may feel hemmed in by traditional genres and driven to experiment across genre boundaries by hybridizing aesthetics and subverting convention. This panel will explore the approaches bisexual writers bring to genre.

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Katie Schmid is a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in poetry. Her debut book, Nowhere, was published by University of New Mexico Press. She is an assistant professor of English at Ursinus College.


Twitter Username: kt_schmid

Zaina Arafat is a queer Palestinian writer and the author of You Exist Too Much, which won a 2021 Lambda Literary Award and was named Roxane Gay's favorite book of 2020. She was also named a Champion of Pride by The Advocate. She teaches at Barnard College and is working on her second book.


Twitter Username: ZainaArafat

SJ Sindu is the award-winning author of the novels Blue-Skinned Gods and Marriage of a Thousand Lies, along with The Goth House Experiment (forthcoming short story collection) and the graphic novels Shakti and Talk Water (forthcoming). Sindu is an assistant professor of creative writing at VCU.


Twitter Username: sjsindu

Website: http://sjsindu.com

Rachel Cochran is the author of the novel The Gulf (HarperCollins, 2023) and associate editor of Machete, a literary creative nonfiction series at the Ohio State University Press. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Marian University.


Twitter Username: _RachelCochran

Website: www.rachelcochran.net

Katharine Coldiron is the author of Ceremonials and Junk Film. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Ms., Conjunctions, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and elsewhere. She earned a BA in film studies and philosophy from Mount Holyoke and an MA in English from California State University Northridge.


Twitter Username: ferrifrigida

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F147.

Nobody’s Mother: Writing Through the Decision to Parent

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This reading will focus on ways of writing about (non)motherhood. The participants will share work (including nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) that thinks through the various and difficult questions, concerns, griefs, and hopes of choosing—or not having the freedom to choose—whether or not to become a mother. Through sharing their writing, these authors will present possibilities for considering (non)motherhood in diverse genres and forms.

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Casey Bell is the author of the slipstream short story collection Little Fury, out now with Metatron Press. She is a graduate of the MFA program at University of Nevada, Reno, where she currently teaches English. Her work most recently appeared in Sequestrum, Cream City Review, and Reed Magazine.

Stacy Gnall is the author of the poetry collections Dogged and Heart First into the Forest. A finalist for the Georgia Prize, she holds a PhD from the University of Southern California and is the founder of the youth writing program Wordstruck. She is poet-in-residence at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Keturah Kendrick is the author of the award-winning No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone; she writes personal narrative and memoir that explores the interior lives of Black women. She has written for NBC News, Newsweek, EdPost, Insider, USA Today, HuffPost and numerous publications.


Twitter Username: happysinglegal

Erin Swan is the author of Walk the Vanished Earth, a work of speculative fiction focusing on intergenerational trauma and environmental upheaval. A graduate of Teachers College at Columbia University and the MFA program at the New School, she teaches English at a public high school in Manhattan.


Twitter Username: erintheswan

Katya Apekina is the author of The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish (2018) and Mother Doll (2024). She translated poetry and prose from Russian for Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (2008), short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. Born in Moscow, she lives in Los Angeles.


Twitter Username: katyaapekina

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F148.

Margins and Memory: The Craft of Trauma and Truth(s)

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This panel will explore the frictional spaces between craft, memory, and trauma. Poets and prose writers will discuss writing about personal and cultural trauma, and how that writing can center people and experiences often marginalized. How do limits of memory, including institutional memory, necessitate alternative approaches to hegemonic literary craft? This panel approaches craft in opposition to silence embedded within such constructs as linearity, truth, and singularity of voice and vision.

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Jameelah Lang is an assistant professor at Rockhurst University. Her work appears in the Kenyon Review, Cincinnati Review, Pleiades, and more. She has received awards from Bread Loaf, Sewanee Writers Conference, VCCA, & HUB-BUB. She's a board member for Radius of Arab American Writers.

Caridad Moro-Gronlier is the author of Tortillera (Texas Review Press 2021). She is a contributing editor of Grabbed: Writers Respond to Sexual Assault (Beacon Press 2020) and associate editor for SWWIM Every Day. A career educator, she is an English professor in Miami, Florida, where she resides.


Twitter Username: CaridadMoro1

George Abraham is a Palestinian American poet. His debut Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020) won the Arab American Book Award and was a Lambda Literary Award nominee. He is a Kundiman fellow, a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers, and a Litowitz MFA and MA candidate at Northwestern.


Twitter Username: IntifadaBatata

Jenny Molberg is the author of the poetry collections Marvels of the Invisible, Refusal, and The Court of No Record. An NEA fellow, she is associate professor at the University of Central Missouri, where she edits Pleiades: Literature in Context and directs Pleiades Press.


Twitter Username: jennymolberg

David Stuart MacLean is a PEN America award-winning essayist. He is the author of the memoir, The Answer to the Riddle is Me, and the novel, How I Learned to Hate in Ohio. The New York Times called David an "exceedingly entertaining psychotic." He lives and teaches in Chicago.


Twitter Username: davidsmaclean

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F149.

Unraveling the Prophetic: Gerald Stern’s Oeuvre Revisited

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In October 2022, the National Book Award–winning Jewish poet Gerald Stern passed away at the age of ninety-seven. This panel of Stern’s friends and students will reflect on the impact of his work—from his breakout book Lucky Life to his last book I., a mischievous refraction of the biblical book and figure of Isaiah. The conversation will celebrate his life, delve into the Jewish valences of his work, and explore what his troubling of the prophetic mode reveals about his intertwined politics and poetics.

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Mihaela Moscaliuc is the author of Cemetery Ink, Immigrant Model, and Father Dirt, translator of Liliana Ursu's Clay and Star and Carmelia Leonte’s The Hiss of the Viper, and coeditor of Border Lines: Poems of Migration. She is associate professor of English at Monmouth University (NJ).

Chase Berggrun is a trans woman poet and the author of R E D (Birds, LLC, 2018). Her work has appeared in Poetry, APR, Jubilat, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from New York University.


Twitter Username: patriphobe

Kimiko Hahn finds material from disparate sources: identity, current events/history, nature, science, the Japanese zuihitsu. In her tenth book she explores iterations of foreign bodies. Awards include a Guggenheim. She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing and translation at Queens College-CUNY.

Matthew Rohrer is the author of ten books of poetry, including A Hummock In The Malookas (National Poetry Series), Destroyer and Preserver, A Green Light (shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin International Poetry Prize) and The Others (Believer Book Award Winner). He teaches at NYU.

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F150.

Life as Laboratory: Using Creative Play As Activism

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In the age of increasing hate attacks, systemic oppression, pandemic isolation, and AI, how can writer-teachers strike back with creative interventions? From scavenger hunts to social media to comics, we’ll dive into divergent resources to creatively resist and harness the power of play as both teachers and writers. In this generative session, we’ll invite the audience to collaborate and create a map of creative teaching resources.

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Celeste Chan (MA, MSW) facilitated LGBTQ history workshops for youth and cared for a ninety-five-year-old lesbian rights activist. She codirected Queer Rebels and toured the West Coast, Austin, and Brooklyn with queer/trans artists of color. A Hedgebrook and VONA fellow, she's now writing her family memoir.


Twitter Username: celestechan2020

Website: www.celestechan.com

Gretchen Cion is a multigenre writer, filmmaker and educator who has taught in various environments, currently teaching girls and gender expansive youth through the Intuitive Writing Project and composition at San Francisco State. She holds an MA in English from SFSU and a MEd from Hunter College.

Hasti Jafari is an Iranian playwright and cartoonist. They got their Bachelor’s from the University of Tehran and are currently working towards their MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State. They are a recipient of the Marcus Recruitment Award and were the playwright-in-residence at Ruth Asawa School of Arts.

May-lee Chai (翟梅莉) is an educator, community activist, translator, and author of eleven books, including the short story collections Tomorrow in Shanghai, a New York Times Editors' Choice, and Useful Phrases for Immigrants, winner of an American Book Award. She is a board member of the NBCC.


Twitter Username: mayleechai

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F151.

The Craft of Writing Intersectional Identities in Young Adult Literature

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KidLit has embraced expanding representation so that characters in stories now better reflect the demographics of our cities and schools. But how do you successfully craft characters whose identities are intersectional and oftentimes multiply while still telling a story with a great plot and excellent pacing? This panel will consider the craft of writing characters in YA, in both short stories and novels, whose identities are shaped by more than one marginalization.

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Jen Ferguson (she/her) is Métis and white, an activist, a feminist, an auntie, and an accomplice with a PhD. She believes writing, teaching, and beading are political acts. Her debut YA novel The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is out now. She is an assistant professor in English at Coe College.


Twitter Username: jennyleesd

Website: www.jennyferguson.ca

Adib Khorram is the award-winning author of books for readers of all ages, including Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Darius the Great Deserves Better, Kiss & Tell, The Breakup Lists, Seven Special Somethings: A Nowruz Story, and Bijan Always Wins.


Twitter Username: adibkhorram

Adrianne White is an interdisciplinary writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, Fusion, PBS Parent, Temporary Art Review, and the young adult anthologies All Signs Point to Yes and The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce.


Twitter Username: writersrepublic

Anna Meriano is the author of the Love Sugar Magic series, This Is How We Fly, and It Sounds Like This. She works as a writing teacher in Houston, Texas.


Twitter Username: annamisboring

Hayley Dennings is a queer, Black woman from the Bay Area and a French and English graduate from Loyola Marymount University. Her debut novel Bittersweet Poison, a sapphic historical fantasy set during the Harlem Renaissance, releases from Sourcebooks Fire in the fall of 2024.


Twitter Username: pagesofhayley

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F152.

Wings of a Bird in Flight: Poets of the Cuban and Puerto Rican Diasporas

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In 1893, when Lola Rodríguez de Tió wrote “Cuba y Puerto Rico son / de un pájaro las dos alas, / reciben flores o balas / en el mismo corazón,” she acknowledged the two island territories’ shared fates—from Spain’s final Caribbean colonies to early testing grounds for the United States’ evolving empire. This event brings together poets from Cuba and Puerto Rico’s collective diasporas to read from their work and discuss how diaspora and the politics behind it inform their poetics.

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Malcolm Friend is a poet and author of the collection Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He has received fellowships from organizations including CantoMundo and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.


Twitter Username: friendlypoet

Jennifer Maritza McCauley is the author of Scar On/Scar Off and When Trying to Return Home. She received fellowships from the NEA, CantoMundo, and Kimbilio. Scar On/Scar Off received an IPPY award and When Trying to Return Home was a New York Times Editors' Choice. She teaches at UH-Clear Lake in Houston.

Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. Her first collection, The Pink Box, was longlisted for a PEN award. Her second collection, Muse Found in a Colonized Body, published by Four Way Books, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2023. She spends her time in Harlem, New York.


Twitter Username: yeseniamontilla

Sara Daniele Rivera is a Cuban/Peruvian artist, writer, translator, and educator. Her poetry and speculative fiction have been published in journals and anthologies. Her community-based interdisciplinary arts practice often engages collaborative writing, public poetry, and text in space.


Twitter Username: sdr_arts

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F153.

Many Moseses, Many Promised Lands Unseen: A Lecture by Rion Amilcar Scott

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Join Rion Amilcar Scott, a fiction writer and the creative advisor to AWP's HBCU Fellowship Program, currently in its second year. HBCUs have left an indelible mark upon the face of literature. This lecture discusses what it truly means to be a part of that legacy. This lecture will be followed by a book signing.

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Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collections The World Doesn't Require You and Insurrections, which won the 2017 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. He earned an MFA from George Mason University and teaches English at the University of Maryland.


Twitter Username: reeamilcarscott

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F154.

The Against Tradition Tradition: Contradiction & the Prose Poem

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Originating in nineteenth-century France as a subversive form “supple . . . and rugged enough to adapt . . . to the lyrical impulses of the soul,” prose poems are now taught in writing classrooms across the globe. Has their popularity changed their capacity for surprise, radicalism, and (non)sense? How are contemporary poets troubling the contradictions inherent in the form’s name? This diverse panel of poets will consider these questions and trace their relationships to the indefinable prose poem.

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Leslie Sainz is the author of Have You Been Long Enough at Table (Tin House, 2023). The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, and The Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts at Bucknell University, she is the managing editor of the New England Review.


Twitter Username: lesannsai

Dana Levin's fifth book is Now Do You Know Where You Are, a 2022 NYT Notable Book. She is coeditor of a book on poet Bert Meyers for the Unsung Masters Series (Pleiades 2023). A Whiting and Guggenheim Fellow, Levin serves as Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Maryville University in Saint Louis.

Sophie Klahr is the author of Two Open Doors In a Field (Backwaters Press, 2023) and Meet Me Here At Dawn (YesYes Books), and coauthor of There is Only One Ghost in the World (Fiction Collective 2, 2023) with Corey Zeller. She lives in Los Angeles.


Twitter Username: sophieklahr

Website: sophieklahr.com

Jose Hernandez Diaz is an NEA fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (TRP, 2020). His work appears in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, Yale Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He has facilitated workshops for The Writer's Center, Beyond Baroque, Litro magazine, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: JoseHernandezDz

Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet, essayist, and software developer originally from the West Side of Chicago. He is the author of Tender Headed (Akashic Books, 2023), winner of the National Poetry Series. His work has received support from Hurston/Wright Foundation and Poets & Writers.


Twitter Username: tundelasoul

Website: www.olatundeosinaike.com

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F155.

f/Lawless: Writing Queer Sex

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Writing queer sex has always been an act of power. In a new era of anti-trans and homophobic legislation, queer sex is resistance, subversion, imagination, celebration, style. bell hooks reminds us that “the queer self is at odds with everything around it” and must “invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.” In this panel, five writers read from their work and discuss specific ideological and craft choices that inform how they write queer intimacy.

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Asali Solomon is the author of two novels: The Days of Afrekete and Disgruntled, as well as the short story collection, Get Down. She teaches fiction writing and the literature of the African diaspora at Haverford College.

Melissa Febos is the bestselling author of four books, including Girlhood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative. An NEA and Guggenheim fellow, she is a professor at the University of Iowa.


Twitter Username: melissafebos

Website: melissafebos.com

Jeanne Thornton is the author of Summer Fun, The Dream of Doctor Bantam, and The Black Emerald, as well as the coeditor, with Tara Madison Avery, of We're Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology, and the copublisher of Instar Books (www.instarbooks.com). She lives in Brooklyn. jeannethornton.com


Twitter Username: TruckLesbian

Website: http://fictioncircus.com/Jeanne

Annie Liontas's novel, Let Me Explain You, was featured in the New York Times Book Review as Editor's Choice. Her nonfiction was chosen by Roxane Gay as Best of 2019. Sex with a Brain Injury, her memoir, is due out in 2024. She is a member of The Claw, a salon for women and genderqueer writers.


Twitter Username: aliontas

Website: www.annieliontas.com

Lydia Conklin has received a Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes, and a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland. They are an assistant professor of fiction at Vanderbilt. Their book Rainbow Rainbow was published by Catapult in May 2022.


Twitter Username: Lydiaconklin

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F156.

Language Back: A Reading & Conversation with Indigenous Poets, Sponsored by Indigenous Nations Poets

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Simultaneous with the contemporary Land Back movement of Tribal Nations is an equally urgent call for Indigenous literary sovereignty. This focus on writing Indigenous includes a strong push for creators to employ tribal languages and their inherent structures—for Language Back. Poet contributors to The Diné Reader, Jake Skeets, Luci Tapahonso, and Esther Belin, will read recent work and discuss how their creative work maps itself at the intersections of tribal language, poetic form, and place.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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Jake Skeets is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, winner of the National Poetry Series, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, American Book Award, and Whiting Award. He is from the Navajo Nation and teaches at the University of Oklahoma.


Twitter Username: JakeSkeets

Website: jakeskeets.com

Esther Belin (Diné) is the author of two poetry books and coeditor of The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature. Belin’s visual art combines a variety of disciplines and works to reframe the mythical primitivism often associated with Indigenous cultures. She is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and lives on the Colorado side of the four corners. Belin is a member of Saad Bee Hózhǫ́: Diné Writers’ Collective, and teaches in the Native American and Indigenous studies department at Fort Lewis College and in the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.


Twitter Username: arroyoarte

Luci Tapahonso is Professor Emerita of English Literature (University of New Mexico 2016) and served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation. She is a recipient of a 2018 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Artist Fellowship. She is the author of three children’s books and six books of poetry including A Radiant Curve. She has delivered keynote addresses at several conferences and institutions including Harvard University, Gallup Central High School, Kenyon College, Institute of American Indian Arts, the Tbisili International Literature Festival in the Republic of Georgia.

Kimberly Blaeser, past Wisconsin Poet Laureate and Founding Director of Indigenous Nation Poets, holds the Mackey Chair in Creative Writing at Beloit College. Anishinaabe from White Earth Nation and Professor Emerita at UW—Milwaukee, she also teaches at IAIA. Her most recent book is “Ancient Light.”


Twitter Username: kmblaeser

Grand Ballroom B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F156A.

PEN Presents: Free the Books

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In facing rising threats to the freedoms to read and imagine, PEN America convenes a dialogue with beloved writers on the recent and dramatic rise in the efforts to censor and silence Black and LGBTQIA+ perspectives.


Bestselling authors of young adult fiction and fantasy will be in conversation with Kasey Meehan, director of PEN America’s Freedom to Read program. Together, they will assess the impact of book banning and censorship on society and especially upon traditionally marginalized communities, as well as provide insight into how one can combat book banning at a local level.


The panel conversation will be followed by an afternoon workshop led by Kasey Meehan. Additional panelists to be announced.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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Ryan La Sala is the bestselling author of books about surreal things happening to queer people, known for his genre defying and defining YA horrors Beholder and The Honeys, which is in development to become a major motion picture with Anonymous Content. His work has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in a small NYC apartment with his cat, Haunted Little Girl.

Kasey Meehan is the Freedom to Read program director at PEN America, leading their initiatives to protect students’ right to freely access literature in schools. Previously, Meehan served as the associate director of postsecondary policy at Research for Action, a mission-driven education research organization in Philadelphia. Meehan’s research centers students’, educators’, and school leaders’ experiences in identifying strategies for reform and capturing emerging best practices, and strives to connect research to policy and program change. Meehan holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, along with a certificate in politics.

Padma Venkatraman is the author of Born Behind Bars, The Bridge Home, A Time To Dance, Island’s End and Climbing the Stairs. Her work has won a Walter Dean Myers Award, Golden Kite Award, Crystal Kite Award, two Paterson Prizes, two Julia Ward Howe awards, two Nerdies, three South Asia Book Awards, ALA Notable, NYPL Best Book, and many other awards and honors. Her poetry has been published in Poetry magazine. Before becoming an American author, Dr. Venkatraman was an oceanographer and diversity director. Visit her at https://padmavenkatraman.com/ to explore resources and sign up for her newsletter.


Twitter Username: padmatv

Website: www.padmasbooks.com

Named one of The Root’s 100 most influential African Americans and BET’s 100 entertainers and innovators of the year, Leatrice “Elle” McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtags #PublishingPaidMe and #WhatWoCWritersHear. A lover of comics, anime, video games, sci-fi, and fantasy, she strives to push these mediums toward representation that better reflects the diverse world we live in. Elle lives in Kansas City, spending her free time plagued by her two cats: Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, esquire, Baron o'Butterscotch and Lord Humphrey Blepernicus Zoomerson Wailingshire Toebeanstein Chirpingston IV, Breaker of Things I Love. Or Chester and Humphrey for short. Her works include the Nightmare-Verse books, Nubia: Real One through DC, Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood, Power Rangers: Heir to Darkness, and more.


Twitter Username: ElleOnWords

Laurel Snyder is the author of eight novels for children: Orphan Island, My Jasper June, The Witch of Woodland, Bigger than a Bread Box, Penny Dreadful, Any Which Wall, Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess, and Seven Stories Up. She has also written many picture books, including Charlie and Mouse (with Emilly Hughes), Endlessly Every After (with Dan Santat), The Forever Garden (with Samantha Cotterill), Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova (with Julie Morstad), Inside the Slidy Diner (with Jaime Zollars), and Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher (with David Goldin).

In addition to her books for children, Laurel has written two books of poems, Daphne & Jim: a choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse (Burnside Review Press, 2005) and The Myth of the Simple Machines (No Tell Books, 2007). She also edited an anthology of nonfiction, Half/Life: Jew-ish tales from Interfaith Homes (Soft Skull Press, 2006). A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Michener-Engle Fellow, Laurel has published work in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Utne Reader, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Revealer, Salon, The Iowa Review, American Letters and Commentary, and elsewhere. She was an occasional commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, and she currently teaches in the MFAC program at Hamline University, and also in the creative writing department at Emory University.

A Baltimore native, Laurel lives in Atlanta (in beautiful Ormewood Park), with her family. Which is really the best part.


Twitter Username: laurelsnyder

Website: http://laurelsnyder.com

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F157.

Women of New Fabulism and Speculative Literature: A Reading

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Fabulism and speculative literature have long employed the bizarre, unexpected, and impossible to better reflect human experience. Recent political and societal changes, such as anti-trans laws, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the attack on no-fault divorce make the seemingly impossible much more expected, and these genres feel increasingly relevant and prescient. Join us for a reading by writers who use the weird to reflect on what it means to be female in an increasingly fraught world.

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Sarah Kain Gutowski is the author of two books, The Familiar, a fabulist narrative-in-poems about female midlife, and Fabulous Beast: Poems, winner of the 14th annual National Indies Excellence Award for Poetry. With artist Meredith Starr, she is cocreator of Every Second Feels Like Theft.


Twitter Username: skgutowski

Website: www.sarahkaingutowski.com

Carolyn Oliver is the author of The Alcestis Machine (Acre Books, forthcoming 2024), Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble (University of Utah Press, 2022; Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry), and three chapbooks. She lives in Massachusetts.


Twitter Username: CarolynROliver

Nic Anstett, a trans speculative writer from Baltimore, Maryland, is a graduate from the University of Oregon’s MFA program and has attended workshops through Tin House, Lambda Literary, and the Clarion Foundation. Her work appears in One Story, Witness magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: NicAnstett

Website: nicanstett.com

Aimee Parkison is the author of Suburban Death Project and Refrigerated Music for a Gleaming Woman, which won the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize. Parkison teaches in the creative writing program at Oklahoma State University and has published eight books of fiction.


Twitter Username: AimeeParkison

Website: www.aimeeparkison.com

Chloe Chun Seim's work has appeared in LitMag, Split Lip Magazine, Free State Review, and others. She earned her MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her novel, Churn, won the George Garrett Fiction Prize and is due out from Texas Review Press in November 2023. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.


Twitter Username: chloe_chun

Website: chloechunseim.com

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F158.

'Til Death (or Edits) Do Us Part: The Significant Other in Creative Nonfiction

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Recreating our lives in creative nonfiction includes depicting our romantic partners. How do approaches vary in choosing what to include or omit? What are the ethics of documenting conversations, including arguments, and asking permission? What happens if a lover becomes an ex—sometimes midway through the publication process? Five authors of memoir and personal essays discuss the challenges of sharing intimate relationships on the page, and give the audience takeaway tips for their own projects.

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Sandra Beasley is author of four poetry collections, most recently Made to Explode, as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir. She lives in Washington, DC, and teaches with the University of Nebraska Omaha low-residency MFA in creative writing.


Twitter Username: SandraBeasley

Website: http://www.SandraBeasley.com

Angie Chuang is a nonfiction writer and an associate professor of journalism at University of Colorado Boulder. Her first book, The Four Words for Home, won an Independent Publishers Award. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Litro, the Asian American Literary Review, Vela, and others.


Twitter Username: angiechuang

Davon Loeb is the author of the memoir The In-Betweens. He earned an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers University-Camden. Davon is an assistant features editor at The Rumpus. His work is featured at The Sun, Joyland, Catapult, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: LoebDavon

Website: davonloeb.com

Sarah Viren is the author of Mine, winner of the River Teeth Book Prize and GLCA New Writers Award, and To Name the Bigger Lie, which was published by Scribner in 2023. She's a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and teaches in the creative writing program at ASU.


Twitter Username: sarahviren

John Cotter is the author of the memoir Losing Music and the novel Under the Small Lights. His essays and short fiction have recently appeared, or soon will, in New York Times Magazine, Epoch, Guernica, Prairie Schooner, and New England Review. He lives in Providence.

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F159.

The Happy Family: The Craft of Domestic Horror

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Ghosts. Sacrifices. Monsters. Mothers. What do we hide inside our houses, and what do our houses hide from us? How do we tell the same family stories in new ways? In this panel, five writers of literary horror discuss the domestic as a place of invention, myth-making, and witnessing. Drawing upon examples from their own novels and short stories, the panelists share strategies and tools from graphic novels, manga, films, and other mediums that have helped them bring their hauntings to life.

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Elinam Agbo is a writer, editor, and teacher of creative writing. A graduate of the Clarion Workshop, she has received fellowships from the Kenyon Review, Aspen Words, and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Apogee, Nimrod, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: evagbo

Pemi Aguda is from Lagos, Nigeria. W.W. Norton will publish her debut short story collection, Ghostroots, in 2024. She was a MacDowell and Miami Book Fair fellow and is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers' Program. Her work has appeared in Zoetrope, Granta, ZYZZYVA, and One Story, among others.


Twitter Username: PemiAguda

Gerardo Sámano Córdova is a writer and artist from Mexico City. He's the author of Monstrilio, a novel. His work has appeared in Catapult, The Common, Passages North, Chicago Quarterly Review, and others. He’s also been known to draw little creatures.


Twitter Username: samanito

Akil Kumarasamy is the author of the novel, Meet Us by the Roaring Sea (FSG, 2022) and the linked story collection, Half Gods (FSG, 2018), which was awarded the Bard Fiction Prize and the Story Prize Spotlight Award. She is an assistant professor in the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program.


Twitter Username: chillakiles

Annesha Mitha is a writer based in Chicago, Illinois. She holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan. Her work has been published in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, American Short Fiction, Catapult, and more.


Twitter Username: anneshamitha

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F160.

What Bookshelf Do I Belong On?: The Challenges of Literary Categorization

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For a book to make it to market, it must be assigned to a recognizable genre or category. Writers of unconventional stories that blur genres/integrate disparate subject matter face an uphill battle within the mainstream literary ecosystem (agents and publishers) that tends to reject projects that defy labels as they’re considered unmarketable. If you’ve ever found your book shelved in the wrong section; had trouble finding comps; or been advised to rewrite in another genre—this panel is for you.

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Grace Loh Prasad writes about belonging and diaspora. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Longreads, Catapult, KHÔRA, and elsewhere. Her memoir The Translator’s Daughter will be published in 2024 by Machete, an imprint of Mad Creek Books/The Ohio State University Press.


Twitter Username: GraceLP

Joy Castro is the author of four novels, a short fiction collection, an essay collection, and a memoir. She edited the craft anthology Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family and serves as the founding editor of Machete, a series in innovative literary nonfiction.


Twitter Username: _JoyCastro

Website: www.joycastro.com

Simon Han is the author of the novel Nights When Nothing Happened (Riverhead, 2020). His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Aperture, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Texas Observer, and elsewhere. He lives in the Greater Boston area and teaches creative writing at Tufts University.


Twitter Username: simonxinhan

Website: simonhan.com

Jan Stinchcomb is the author of the novel Verushka, as well as two novellas and a chapbook published by independent presses. Her work, intended for an adult audience, sits at the intersection of literary, fairy tale, and horror.


Twitter Username: janstinchcomb

Website: janstinchcomb.com

Bookfair Stage, AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F161.

"The Lost Coin" and Other Stories About the Fate of Children Adopted at Birth

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Stephen Rowley will read from The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny and discuss his lifelong search for identity. KelLee Parr will read from Mansion on a Hill: The Story of the Willows Maternity Sanitarium and the Adoption Hub of America—founded in Kansas City in 1905. The authors will discuss the differences between the diverse destinies of adoptees and the common, primal wound that adoptees carry invisibly within. We hope to uncover new stories of adoption from the audience.

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Stephen Rowley is a psychotherapist practicing on Bainbridge Island, Washington. He has been a teacher, administrator, and college professor. He holds a PhD from Stanford University and an MA in counseling from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Born at the Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City in 1949.


Twitter Username: srowley108

Website: https://stephenrowley108.com/

KelLee Parr is vice president of a publishing company and writes science curricula for elementary schools. He has been an AG missionary, teacher, and adjunct professor. He has an MS in education from Kansas State University. He has written four books. His mother was born at the Willows in Kansas City in 1925.


Twitter Username: mlv1956

12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F162.

Screenwriting with the Hero's Journey and Beyond

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In Story (1997), Robert McKee proposed the Hero's Journey serves as a universal outline for many stories and encouraged its use for screenplays. In this panel, we will explore if this is still true. What are the steps in the HJ? How have screenwriters borrowed from its structure? What films deviate from the HJ norm and how? What other "journeys" can screenwriters use when crafting their stories? The panelists will include films which focus on diverse represenation to discuss these questions.

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Dennis Etzel, Jr. (he/they) is a neuroqueer writer who lives in Topeka, Kansas and teaches at Washburn University. His poetry books include The Sum of Two MothersMy Secret Wars of 1984, and This Removed Utopia. They have won awards for diversity and inclusion, and lead Kansas writing workshops.


Twitter Username: poemslyrical

Kevin Rabas leads the poetry and scriptwriting tracks at Emporia State. His short films have shown across Kansas, Missouri, and beyond, including Strawberry Hill Fight Club, a selection for the IFC KC film festival, KIFF, and No Coast Film Festival. Rabas served as Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017–19.


Twitter Username: KevinRabas

Website: kevinjamesrabas.com

Matthew Nyquist is an associate professor in film and video in Washburn University's Mass Media Department. Nyquist earned an MFA in film and TV Production from USC's SCA. Nyquist worked for Academy Award Winner Fred Roos in the story department, reading and selecting scripts for production.


Twitter Username: breakmanx


Twitter Username: ingular

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F163.

Ekphrasis & Indigenous Poetics: Writing the Space the Spaces In-Between

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Ekphrastic poetry places text in conversation with image and sound. In the practice, a dialogue emerges between the two and creates a third space, one that questions how embodied experience is intimately connected to witness and gaze. In this panel, five Indigenous poets will discuss how they employ that third space in their own poetics, complicating the underlying power dynamics between gaze and object, by sharing examples of their own work and engaging with the audience.

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Halee Kirkwood is a poet and descendant of the Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. They are a 2023–25 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, an inaugural In-Na-Po fellow, and were a 2019–20 Loft Mentor Series Fellow. Their work has been published in Poetry MagazineEcotonePoem-A-Day, and others.

Annie Wenstrup received her MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast (Summer 2022). She's a Smithsonian Arctic Studies Fellow and an Indigenous Nations Poetry Fellow. She serves on the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference Advisory Committee.


Twitter Username: akwenstrup

Melanie Merle is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and the winner of the James Welch Prize for Poetry (Poetry Northwest). She is an associate editor for the literary and art journal, Inverted Syntax, and a teacher for Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado.


Twitter Username: blu.blak.ink

Elise Paschen (Osage) is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, The Nightlife. Her poems have appeared in A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry and Poetry, among others. She is the editor or coeditor of numerous anthologies, including Poetry Speaks and The Eloquent Poem.


Twitter Username: ElisePaschen

Tacey M. Atsitty, Diné, won the Wisconsin Brittingham Prize in Poetry and is publishing her second book, (At) Wrist (2023). Her work has appeared in EPOCH, Poetry Northwest, Poem-A-Day, Sonnets from the American, etc. She is an inaugural In-Na-Po fellow and a PhD candidate at Florida State University.

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F164.

More Than Our Tongues: Women of Color Writing with Arabic, Chinese, and Korean

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How do we decide when to fold in the language we grew up with in our poetry? What effects do the use of our “other” languages have, and what does it make possible? This often becomes a question of negotiation and balance. We’ll shift that paradigm into one that puts not the audience, but the poet first. We’ll discuss the joys and unanswered questions we have about this process, how we’ve learned and changed our view on this, and, of course, the delightful surprises that come along the way.

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Su Cho (PhD/MFA/BA) is the author of The Symmetry of Fish (Penguin, 2022), which won the National Poetry Series. Cho is an assistant professor at Clemson University.


Twitter Username: su__cho

Anni Liu is the author of Border Vista (Persea Books), which was a New York Times Best Poetry Book of 2022. Born in the year of the goat and raised in libraries, she now edits prose at Graywolf Press.


Twitter Username: IamAnniLiu

Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet based in Scotland and the author of Another Way to Split Water (YesYes Books). She received an MFA from the University of Oregon, a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, and she currently teaches creative writing at the University of Cambridge.


Twitter Username: a_pirmohamed

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her books include O, Louder than Hearts, and To Live in Autumn. Her poems have appeared in the New York Times, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Nation, among others. She's the cohost of Maqsouda, a podcast in Arabic about Arabic poetry.


Twitter Username: zeinabeck

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F165.

Be Shameless: Everything You Need to Know to Nail Promotion

(, , , , Maurice Carlos Ruffin)

The most cringeworthy aspect of transitioning from writer to published author is mastering the art of self-promotion. The market appears to demand shamelessness and narcissism as a way forward. But there are alternatives that can center sharing your work without losing your soul. Join us to learn the best strategies to reach readers. We’ll cover social media, trade and online marketing essentials, how to leverage your network, all while staying focused on your work.

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Cleyvis Natera is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Neruda on the Park. She holds an MFA in Fiction from New York University.


Twitter Username: cleyvisnatera

Mitchell S. Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing. He is the author of the novel The Residue Years and the memoir Survival Math. He teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.


Twitter Username: mitchsjackson

Website: www.mitchellsjackson.com

Angie Cruz is the author of the novels Dominicana and How Not To Drown In A Glass of Water. She teaches at University of Pittsburgh and is the editor of asterixjournal.com. For more info: angiecruz.com


Twitter Username: acruzwriter

Lisa Lucas is the senior vice president and publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House. Previously, Lucas was the executive director of the National Book Foundation. She also served as the publisher of Guernica and director of education at the Tribeca Film Institute.


Twitter Username: likaluca

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F166.

The Stages of Writing & Publishing Memoir

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There is no correct or unique way to write or publish memoirs as fragments of our lives. The memoirists in this panel will discuss their diverse processes in the publishing industry. From cooking-themed to realistic-paintings and borderlands memoirs—this group of writers brings a collage of stages of writing by discussing how one can start crafting a memoir or a nonfiction piece. How to know when it should be fiction or CNF? Why are our stories relevant? And how can they be published?

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Ofelia Montelongo is a bilingual writer from Mexico. Her work has been published in several literary magazines. She teaches at the University of Maryland. In 2021, she was named one of the PEN America Emerging Voices Fellows. ofeliamontelongo.com


Twitter Username: ofeliamv23

Annabelle Tometich spent eighteen years as a journalist, food writer, and restaurant critic in south Florida. Her debut memoir, The Mango Tree, is forthcoming from Little, Brown. She wrote restaurant reviews under a Frenchman’s pen name for fifteen years before revealing herself as a Filipina woman in 2021.


Twitter Username: ATometich

Hyeseung Song is the author of the forthcoming memoir Docile, from Simon & Schuster. She is a first-generation Korean-American writer and painter based in New York City.


Twitter Username: hyeseungs

Margaret Juhae Lee is an Oakland-based writer and a former editor at The Nation magazine. Her book, Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History (Melville House), chronicles her search for information about her grandfather who was a  student revolutionary in colonial Korea and will be published in March 2024.


Twitter Username: margaretjuhae

Sarah Chaves is a Portuguese American writer, editor, and educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. She has received fellowships from PEN America, Bread Loaf, Fulbright, Disquiet, and more. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Teen Vogue, among others.


Twitter Username: sarita__chaves

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F167.

Say Gay Today: Writing in the Backward Climate of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

(, , , , Dustin Brookshire)

Join queer poets Chen Chen, Nicole Tallman, Dior J. Stephens, Caridad Moro-Gronlier, and Dustin Brookshire for a discussion and reading focusing on the importance of voicing our existence in the face of recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the nation (and the world). Come add your voice to the discussion and to the chorus of queer voices who refuse to go quietly into another age of erasure.

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Nicole Tallman is an LGBTQ poet and the author of Something Kindred (SCE Press, 2022), Poems for the People (SCE Press, 2023), and Fersace (ELJ Editions, 2023). She serves as poetry ambassador and legislative director for Miami-Dade County, Florida, and poetry editor for Blue Mountain Review.


Twitter Username: natallman

Chen Chen is the author of Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency and When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and United States Artists, he teaches for the low-residency MFA programs at Stonecoast and New England College.


Twitter Username: chenchenwrites

Website: chenchenwrites.com

Caridad Moro-Gronlier is the author of Tortillera (Texas Review Press 2021). She is a contributing editor of Grabbed: Writers Respond to Sexual Assault (Beacon Press 2020) and associate editor for SWWIM Every Day. A career educator, she is an English professor in Miami, Florida, where she resides.


Twitter Username: CaridadMoro1

Dior J. Stephens is a proud, Midwestern Pisces. He is the author of three chapbooks, and their debut full-length collection, Cruel/Cruel, is out now with Nightboat Books. Dior is pursuing a doctorate degree in philosophy at UCincinnati and serves as managing poetry editor for Foglifter Press.


Twitter Username: dolphinneptune

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F168.

Mek We Talk: Language and Identity in Caribbean Writing and Beyond

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Like many marginalized authors, Caribbean writers are challenging colonial storytelling patterns. One challenge we face in incorporating local languages into our work is that, while our lived vernacular adds authenticity to our literature, some say it hinders comprehension. In this panel, five Caribbean authors and editors discuss dialect's role in establishing setting, character, and plot; how they respond to demands for “standardized” language; and how they find balance in their own work.

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Carol Mitchell is an author, editor, and educator from the Caribbean. She has written eighteen books for children and is the author of the novel What Start Bad a Mornin' (2023). Her short stories have appeared in some Caribbean journals. She holds an MFA and teaches writing in Virginia.


Twitter Username: writewithcarol

Donna Hemans is the author of River Woman, Tea by the Sea, and The House of Plain Truth. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Slice, Crab Orchard Review, Ploughshares, Ms. magazine, and Electric Lit, among others. She is the owner of DC Writers Room, a coworking studio for writers.


Twitter Username: donna_hemans

Kevin Jared Hosein is a novelist and short story writer from Trinidad and Tobago. He has numerous accolades including the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and two of his novels were longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. His latest novel is Hungry Ghosts.


Twitter Username: kevinjhosein

Tanya Batson-Savage is publisher at the award-winning indie press Blue Banyan Books and its imprint Blouse & Skirt Books. She edited the Caribbean online magazine Susumba's Book Bag. She has represented Caribbean writing on panels at The Miami Book Fair, Festival of Authors, and Brooklyn Book Festival.


Twitter Username: savageinsight

Katia D. Ulysse is a fiction writer. Her works include a novel, a short story collection; poetry and essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. She holds a Master's degree in education from Notre Dame of Maryland University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F169.

Inside Out, Outside In: How Teaching in Prison Affects Creative Pedagogy

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Prison writing programs often focus on the knowledge and expertise instructors bring to those who are incarcerated. In this panel, we consider the other pole: what insights and practices do teachers and practitioners gain, and how can working inside be a fertile creative, scholarly, and restorative practice for all involved? Panelists have taught classes in such facilities as Rikers Island, MCI-Concord, and Texas State prisons, and will discuss their experiences and share their work in response.

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Dr. Ravi Shankar, Pushcart-prize winning author of Correctional and professor at Tufts University, has written fifteen books. Chairman of APWT & founder of Drunken Boat, he has won fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and PEN, appeared on the BBC, PBS, and NPR, and in the New York Times, Paris Review, and more.


Twitter Username: empurpler

Website: http://www.poetravishankar.com

Jen Fitzgerald is a poet, essayist, and photographer. She is the founder of Arthur Kill Books. Her first full-length collection, The Art of Work, was published by Noemi Press in 2016. Her work has appeared in such venues as PBS Newshour, Tin House, Boston Review, and The Nation. JenFitzgerald.com


Twitter Username: bestfitzgerald

Website: www.jenfitzgerald.com

Anna V. Q. Ross’s latest book, Flutter, Kick, won the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press and the Julia Ward Howe Award. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Mass Cultural Council fellow, and poetry editor for Salamander. She teaches at Tufts University and through the Emerson Prison Initiative.


Twitter Username: annavqross

Website: annavqross.com

Shreerekha Subramanian is associate dean and professor of humanities at University of Houston-Clear Lake in the College of Human Sciences and Humanities. She is the editor of the volume Carceral Liberalism: Feminist Voices Against State Violence (University of Illinois Press, August 2023).

Brandon Dean Lamson is the author of Caged: A Teacher’s Journey Through Rikers, Or How I Beheaded The Minotaur (Fordham University Press, 2023), Starship Tahiti (UMass Press, 2013), and Houston Gothic (LaMunde Press, 2008). He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin.

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F170.

Applying for an Individual NEA Poetry Fellowship

(Katy Day, Jessica Flynn, )

The deadline for published poets to apply to the National Endowment for the Arts for a creative writing fellowship is March 13, 2025. Would you like to know more about this opportunity? Staff members from the NEA’s Literary Arts Division discuss and advise on all aspects of the program, including how to submit an application, how winning poets are selected, and the ways in which the NEA supports poets through other initiatives and grantmaking. Plenty of time will be allotted for questions.

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Amy Stolls is the Director of Literary Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts.


Twitter Username: amystolls

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F171.

The Long and Winding Road: How to Persevere When Your Book Takes Forever

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How does a writer maintain hope, energy, and belief when their book takes longer than they ever expected to complete and publish? This panel of “long-haul” fiction and nonfiction writers will discuss how they persevered in the face of industry obstacles and everyday life, and share how and why they didn’t give up and ultimately succeeded. Audience members are encouraged to share their own challenges and solutions in a moderated conversation with panelists who kept going until publication.

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Susan Ito is the author of the memoir I Would Meet You Anywhere. She coedited the anthology A Ghost At Heart's Edge: Stories and Poems of Adoption. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, and on faculty at Mills College at Northeastern University.


Twitter Username: thesusanito

Website: http://www.susanito.com

Terry Tierney is the author of the irreverent Vietnam-era road novel, Lucky Ride, a poetry collection, The Poet’s Garage, and the upcoming rust belt romance, The Bridge on Beer River. He earned his BA and MA at SUNY Binghamton and a PhD at Emory before surviving several Silicon Valley startups.


Twitter Username: TerryTierney14

Website: http://terrytierney.com

Susanne Pari's second novel, In the Time of Our History, is the story of a multi-generational Iranian-American family. She was a 2023 IndieNext pick,Target Book Club pick, and a Hoopla Spotlight Selection. The gap between publication of her first and second novels is twenty-five years.


Twitter Username: susannepari

Sejal Shah is the author of the debut story collection, How to Make Your Mother Cry; Fictions, forthcoming from West Virginia University Press in May 2024. Her debut essay collection, This Is One Way to Dance, was an NPR Best Book of 2020. She is at work on a book about mental health and academia.


Twitter Username: SejalShahWrites

Website: www.sejal-shah.com

Sari Botton is writer and editor. She is a contributing editor at Catapult, and the former essays editor for Longreads. She edited the anthologies Goodbye to All That and Never Can Say Goodbye. She teaches in the MFA programs at Wilkes University and Bay Path University, along with Catapult.


Twitter Username: saribotton

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F172.

Working-class Jews: A Poetics of American Assimilation

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For decades, the struggle of American identity has played out in the literature of Jewish immigration. Collisions of class and culture, personal and economic sacrifices made for survival. What does it mean to forge this identity on the page? How do we continue telling these familiar yet necessary stories? Do we resist or embrace pressures to assimilate? In this conversation, panelists of varying genres, and varying generations from the Old Country, discuss writing the Jewish experience.

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Jeffrey Wolf is a fiction writer from Chicago. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Tupelo Quarterly, Bat City Review, JewishFiction.net, and elsewhere. He teaches at Columbia College Chicago and is currently working on his debut manuscript.

Kim Brooks, a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, is the author of Small Animals (Flatiron Books), an NPR Best Book of the Year, described by the National Book Review as “an impassioned, smart work of social criticism, as well as a novel The Houseguest (Counterpoint Press).


Twitter Username: KA_Brooks

Website: www.kabrooks.com

Yelena Akhtiorskaya is the author of Panic in a Suitcase, selected as a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree and named a Notable Book of 2014 by the New York Times. Her short fiction has appeared in N+1, The American Reader, Triple Canopy, and elsewhere.

Dan Alter’s poems and reviews have been published in journals including Field, Fourteen Hills, Pank, and Zyzzyva. His first collection My Little Book of Exiles won the 2022 Cowan Writer’s Awards Poetry Prize. He lives in Berkeley and makes his living as an IBEW electrician.


Twitter Username: arlozorof

Website: https://danalter.net

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F174.

Beyond the Limits of Loss: Translation as Generative Practice, Sponsored by ALTA

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The craft of translation is more than a merely faithful replication—it has potential as an originary form. We ask how translation can spark the writing process, prompt revision of the source, and trouble the concept of authorial genius, while also bearing in mind the practical and ethical pitfalls that a disruption of originality can bring. Current practitioners of "generative translation" share how their work seeks to transcend the limitations of loss by focusing on what can be gained.

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Derick Mattern studies comparative literature on the PhD track for international writers at Washington University in St Louis. He has MFAs from UW-Madison and the Iowa Translation Workshop. His translations of contemporary Turkish poety have received support from the NEA, BILTC, and BCLT.

Rebecca Hanssens-Reed is a translator and writer from Philadelphia. Her translations have been selected for the O. Henry Prize and the Best of the Net anthology, and appeared widely in journals. She has an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa.

Becka Mara McKay is a poet and translator. She directs the creative writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University, where she serves as faculty advisor to Swamp Ape Review. Her newest book of poems is The Little Book of No Consolation.

Kelsi Vanada holds MFAs in poetry and literary translation from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the University of Iowa. She has published four full-length translations from Spanish and Swedish, as well as a chapbook of original poems, Rare Earth. She is the program manager of ALTA in Tucson, Arizona.


Twitter Username: KelsiVanada

Farid Matuk is the author of This Isa Nice Neighborhood and The Real Horse. He teaches in the MFA at UArizona. Matuk’s work has been supported by the Headlands Center for the Arts and UC Berkeley's Holloway Visiting Professorship. His book arts project, "Redolent," won the 2022 Ann Rabinowitz Award.


Twitter Username: matuk_farid

Website: https://english.arizona.edu/person/farid-matuk

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F176.

Should I Just Give Up?

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These Chicana/x feminist poets, memoirists, artists, administrators, and professors have invested a collective ninety years on projects that lingered long past their anticipated finish dates. Because we represent communities whose stories might not otherwise be heard, the writing process can be especially daunting. We’ll talk about how we got it done, the communities that supported us, how we handled rejection, how we navigated this long relationship, or how we finally let go and moved on.

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Michelle Otero is the author of Vessels: A Memoir of Borders, Bosque: Poems, and Malinche's Daughter. Her work has appeared in The Best of Brevity anthology, NPR's Code Switch, and New Mexico Magazine. She is the former Poet Laureate of Albuquerque and a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.


Twitter Username: oterotweets

Website: michelle-otero.com

Anel I. Flores, lesbiana, chicana, artist, is the author of Empanada, a Lesbiana Story en Probaditas. She is a member of Macondo Writer’s Workshop and NALAC. Currently she is completing her forthcoming manuscripts CORTINAS DE LLUVIA and her graphic memoir PINDADA DE ROJO.


Twitter Username: aneliflores

Website: www.anelflores.com

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications) and is a former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner. She is the creator of the quarterly reading series Hitched and a cofounder of Women Who Submit.


Twitter Username: xochitljulisa

T. Jackie Cuevas cofounded Evelyn Street Press, belongs to the Macondo Writers Workshop, and teaches at the University of Texas. Cuevas’s writing has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Label Me Latina/o, Affirming Flame, and Ixua Review.

Chicana feminist and former Rodeo Queen, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera is a playwright, fiction writer, and the author of Breaking Pattern (Inlandia Books 2023). She has an MFA from Antioch and a PhD from USC. She is a Macondista and works for literary equity through Women Who Submit.


Twitter Username: msreichle

Website: www.tishareichle.com

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F177.

2024 Writers’ Conferences & Centers (WC&C) Meeting

This meeting is an opportunity for members of Writers’ Conferences & Centers to discuss potential changes to AWP's service to WC&Cs. AWP’s WC&C Chair, Mimi Herman, will conduct this meeting.

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Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F178.

Summons and Return: How We Write Globally of Our Homes and Other Destinations

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How do we as prose writers navigate our current fragile and complex world? What stories do we want to tell with prevalent issues like global migration, climate change, class biases, limited gender roles, restrictive borders, hunger, poverty, language loss, vanishing histories, and the persistent question of American involvement to consider, and how do we best tell and nurture those stories? Five engaging writers offer advice for those who want to travel and expand their writing perspectives.

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Allen Gee is the DL Jordan Endowed Professor of Creative Writing and editor of CSU Press at Columbus State University. He is author of My Chinese-America (essays) and At Little Monticello (a forthcoming biography of James Alan McPherson).


Twitter Username: allenrgee

Website: www.allengee.com

Oindrila Mukherjee is the author of the novel The Dream Builders. She is an associate professor of writing at Grand Valley State University. The recipient of fellowships from Emory University and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, she is a contributing editor for the literary magazine Aster(Ix).


Twitter Username: oinkness

Samuel Kọ́láwọlé is an assistant professor of English and African studies at Pennsylvania State University, where he teaches fiction. He is also a member of the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Art's low-residency MFA in writing. His fiction has appeared in several publications. HarperCollins will publish his novel.


Twitter Username: SamuelKerubu

Kerry Neville is an essayist and the author of the short story collections Necessary Lies and Remember to Forget Me. She is the coordinator of the creative writing program at Georgia College where she is also an associate professor. In 2018, she was a Fulbright Fellow in Ireland.


Twitter Username: Mommamaybemad1

Faith Adiele is author of the memoir Meeting Faith, which won a PEN Award, and three hybrid chapbooks about being Nigerian/Nordic/American. Her media credits include "Sleep Stories" for the Calm App, HBO-Max’s A World of Calm and PBS documentary My Journey Home. She teaches travel writing around the world.


Twitter Username: meetingfaith

Website: adiele.com

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F179.

Creating Community Residencies to Celebrate Queer Writers

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The inaugural group of five LGBTQ poets-in-residence at the Arts Club of Washington discuss how to partner with organizations to create community residencies. Historically, LGBTQ writers have formed nurturing communities, such as Natalie Clifford Barney in Paris, the Bloomsbury Group in London, and Mabel Dodge Luhan in Taos. The need for this type of joyful, visible representation becomes more essential with the sharp rise of anti-LGBTQ legislation nationwide.

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Kim Roberts is the editor of the anthology By Broad Potomac's Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation's Capital, and author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC and six books of poems, most recently Corona/Crown, a cross-disciplinary collaboration with photographer Robert Revere.


Twitter Username: fan_belt

Website: www.kimroberts.org

Sunu P. Chandy is a poet and civil rights attorney. Her work can be found in her award-winning book of poems My Dear Comrades, and in anthologies such as The Penguin Book of Indian Poets, The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood, and This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation.


Twitter Username: SunuChandy

Website: https://www.sunuchandy.net/poetry-plus

Tanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a senior Lecturer in English at UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County). She is the author of Boyishly and Stay, and the recipient of an American Book Award and a 92nd St Y Discovery Prize.


Twitter Username: tanyaolsonpoet

Malik Thompson is a Black queer man from Washington, DC. His work is featured, or forthcoming, in MQR Mixtape, Voicemail Poems, Poet Lore, and other places. He has received support from Lambda Literary, Obsidian Foundation, Brooklyn Poets, Cave Canem, and other organizations. 

Dan Vera's publications include two books of poetry, a poetry anthology, and work featured in various publications, high school textbooks, and university curricula. Recipient of the Oscar Wilde Award, Letras Latinas/Red Hen Prize, and a CantoMundo fellow, he's served on the AWP and Split This Rock boards.


Twitter Username: danvera

Website: http://www.danvera.com

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F180.

Writing Life Post-MFA: Unearthing the Realities

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Is life after your MFA not what you thought it would be? Do you have nausea, heartburn, and indigestion about your future post-degree? We’re told to aim for traditional expectations. When this doesn’t happen it is easy to despair. But the truth of what success can look like after receiving your degree varies from person to person. This candid panel covers a range of perspectives on what life can offer in the next chapter. What opens up when you change your preconceptions of what’s possible?

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Jessica Nirvana Ram is an Indo-Guyanese poet and essayist. She earned her MFA at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and received her BA from Susquehanna University. Jessica's full-length collection Earthly Gods will be published with Variant Lit in 2024.


Twitter Username: jessnirvanapoet

Tyler Anne Whichard is a queer Southern writer from North Carolina. She received her MFA from UNC-Wilmington where she interned for Ecotone as a fiction reader and worked on Lookout Books' 2019 release, This Is My Body. Her writing appears in BrevityThe Rumpus, and HAD, among others.


Twitter Username: tylerawhichard

Nishat Ahmed is a Bengali American poet living in Chicago. He received his MFA from Old Dominion University. His chapbooks, Field Guide for Ends Days and Brown Boy (Finishing Line Press and Porkbelly Press) blend spoken word elements with musical punk confessionalism

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Twitter Username: thenishfish

Susan Nguyen is the author of the poetry collection Dear Diaspora (University of Nebraska Press), which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and an AAAS Outstanding Achievement Award. She is currently the senior editor of Hayden's Ferry Review.

Aurielle Marie is a Black and queer poet and essayist. Winner of the 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Award, Aurielle's debut, Gumbo Ya Ya, was selected as the 2022 Lambda Literary Award winner in Bisexual Poetry. She is the 2022 Georgia Author of the Year in poetry and writes from her hometown of Atlanta.


Twitter Username: YesAurielle

Website: auriellemarie.com

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F181.

My Feet, Whose Shoes? Writing and Translating “The Other”

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Writers and translators of fiction often put themselves in the shoes of some "other"—someone of a different culture, gender, time period. How do we understand this "other" and represent them with sincerity and respect, balancing artistic expression against a risk of cultural appropriation? The Armenian author and translators from French and Yiddish of three books with cross-cultural themes, all newly released in English, explore the line between "writing what you know" and depicting "the other."

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Alison M. Lewis has been a publishing professional for more than a dozen years. She is currently the publisher and editor-in-chief at Frayed Edge Press, a small independent press located in Philadelphia.

Areg Azatyan is an Armenian writer of six fiction books. His books have been published by leading publishing houses in Armenia. He received a President’s Prize for the Best Writer of the Year (2004) as well as several international and national awards. As a filmmaker, he participated in the Berlinale, Toronto, and Cannes film festivals.

Laura Nagle is a freelance writer and translator based in Indiana. She is a 2020 ALTA Travel Fellow and the translator of Prosper Mérimée’s notorious 1827 hoax, Songs for the Gusle. Her translations of short prose and poetry from French, Spanish, and Irish have appeared in numerous journals.


Twitter Username: LauraLNagle

Website: https://lnlanguage.com

Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is a poet, writer, and Yiddish literary translator. His most recent translations from the Yiddish are Dineh: an Autobiographical Novel by Ida Maze and Blessed Hands: Stories by Frume Halpern. Taub lives in Washington, DC. His website: https://yataubdotnet.wordpress.com.

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F182.

Exhausted & Overwhelmed: Attempting Queer Joy in 2024

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It is so much more than recommending queer texts to inspire students; as queer educators we’re called on to do much more than our colleagues. As a population that isn’t raised by our own (we mostly have straight cisgender parents) we’ve had to create our own narratives, and are called on by our students to help them invent theirs. This is made more difficult by attempts to limit bodily autonomy and ban our stories. This panel is for folks seeking to thrive and find queer joy.

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Rachel M. Simon is the author of the poetry collections Theory of Orange and Marginal Road. She works in diversity, equity, and inclusion at Pace University. She has taught at Bedford Hills Women's Prison, as the director of the Social Justice Collective at Sarah Lawrence College, and many others.

Noah Arhm Choi is the author of Cut to Bloom, the winner of the 2019 Write Bloody Prize. A Lambda Literary Writer in Schools, their work appears in The Rumpus, Split this Rock, and elsewhere. A Kundiman fellow, they received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and the Ellen Conroy Kennedy Poetry Prize in 2021.

Melissa Faliveno is the author of the essay collection Tomboyland, named a best book of 2020 by NPR, New York Public Library, and O, The Oprah Magazine. The former senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, she is an assistant professor of creative writing at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and on the MFA faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Twitter Username: melissafaliveno

Colin Hosten's work has appeared in The Essay Review, Essay Daily, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Spry Literary, OUT Magazine, and the Brevity blog. A former children's book editor, he currently teaches at Fairfield University and is a founding editor of Woodhall Press.


Twitter Username: colinhosten

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F183.

East Coast, West Coast, Best Coast: Writing the Midwest

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“If you opened me up, you’d find Ohio,” writes Maggie Smith. Writers from all coasts wrestle with the question of how to write place, but it’s especially charged in the Midwest, where our forests and lakes, our asphalt and industry are so often called fly-over country. How can stories dig deeper into the truth of this place and its people? Whether we’ve been here our whole lives, left and returned, or never want to go back, the Midwest lives in the body, not in our heads but our bones.

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Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections. Her work appears in The Best American Essays, New York Times, The Believer, Longreads, Tin House, and on NPR. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University and is an editor at large with Northwestern University Press.


Twitter Username: meganstielstra

Website: www.meganstielstra.com

Maggie Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful and six other books of poetry and prose, including Goldenrod, Keep Moving, and Good Bones. Her poems and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, The Nation, and The Best American Poetry.


Twitter Username: maggiesmithpoet

Website: www.maggiesmithpoet.com

Rebecca Makkai's fifth book, Have Some Questions for You, was published in 2023. Her novel The Great Believers was a finalist for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award; it won the LA Times Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal, and the Stonewall Award. She is artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago.


Twitter Username: rebeccamakkai

Website: www.rebeccamakkai.com

Denne Michele Norris is the editor-in-chief of Electric Literature, winner of the 2022 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. A 2021 Out100 Honoree, her writing has been supported by MacDowell and Tin House, and widely published. Her debut novel, When The Harvest Comes, is forthcoming from Random House.


Twitter Username: thedennemichele

Ashley C. Ford is an essayist and the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Somebody’s Daughter, published by Flatiron Books. Ford is the former cohost of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio, and the current host of Ben & Jerry’s Into The Mix.


Twitter Username: iSmashFizzle

Website: AshleyCFord.Net

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F184.

Black Women As (Keepers of) the Archive: Photographs, Hybrid and Historical Text, Sponsored by Cave Canem

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These five Black women writers have crafted works that center those most often removed from history or those that are splayed across it as specimen, silent and reluctant. Hybrid texts help illuminate the forgotten and missing or can create a collage of the living, serving as rescue and reclamation. The poets featured here have embodied, reckoned with, and reinvented the archive: sometimes they raise the dead, sometimes they build a spectacular future, but they always refuse to look away.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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A Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian Poet, Remica Bingham-Risher's most recent books are Room Swept Home (Wesleyan, 2024) and Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books and Questions that Grew Me Up (Beacon, 2022). She is the director of Quality Enhancement Plan Initiatives at Old Dominion University.


Twitter Username: remicawriter

Website: www.remicabinghamrisher.com

Courtney Faye Taylor is the author of Concentrate (Graywolf Press, 2022), which won the Cave Canem Prize and the Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the T. S. Eliot Foundation. It was a finalist for the NAACP Image and Lambda Literary awards.


Twitter Username: thecourtcase

Website: courtneyfayetaylor.com

Bettina Judd's research focus is on Black women's creative production and feminist thought. Her most recent book is Feelin: Creative Practice, Pleasure, and Black Thought. Her collection of poems PATIENT, won the 2013 Black Lawrence Press Hudson Book Prize. She is currently assistant professor of gender, women, and sexuality studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.


Twitter Username: bettinajudd

Robin Coste Lewis is the author of To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness and Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2022 and 2015). She is a Ford Foundation Scholar-in-Residence at the Museum of Modern Art.


Twitter Username: thesablevenus

Patricia Smith's most recent books are: Unshuttered, Incendiary Art (Kingsley Tufts, Pulitzer finalist, LA Times Book Prize), Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Lenore Marshall), and Blood Dazzler (National Book Award finalist). She is an academy chancellor, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner, Guggenheim fellow, and Princeton professor.


Twitter Username: pswordwoman

Website: www.wordwoman.ws

Grand Ballroom B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F184A.

Meredith Talusan & Kai Cheng Thom in Conversation with Maya Shanbhag Lang, Sponsored by the Authors Guild

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Meredith Talusan is an award-winning journalist and author whose widely praised memoir Fairest was excerpted in the New York Times and selected as a most anticipated book of 2020 by O: The Oprah Magazine. She is founding executive editor of them., Condé Nast’s first-ever platform devoted to the queer community. Kai Cheng Thom is the author of Falling Back in Love with Being Human, the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, poetry collection a place called No Homeland, and the essay collection I Hope We Choose Love. Talusan and Thom will read from their work, followed by conversation with novelist, essayist, and memoirist Maya Shanbhag Lang.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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Meredith Talusan is the author of Fairest, a widely praised memoir which Kirkus Reviews called, “captivatingly eloquent.” It was excerpted in the New York Times and selected as a most anticipated book of 2020 by O: The Oprah Magazine. She is founding executive editor of them., Condé Nast’s first-ever platform devoted to the queer community. She has written features, essays, and opinion pieces for many publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Atlantic, and her fiction is published or forthcoming in Guernica, Boston Review, Epoch, The Rumpus, Grand, Catapult, and BLR.


Twitter Username: 1demerith

Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performance artist, and community healer. She is the author of Falling Back in Love with Being Human, a national bestseller in Canada, and the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, which was chosen by Emma Watson for her online feminist book club and shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award. Her poetry collection a place called No Homeland was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book, and her essay collection, I Hope We Choose Love, received a Publishing Triangle Award. She writes the advice column “Ask Kai: Advice for the Apocalypse” for Xtra.


Twitter Username: razorfemme

Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry, named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a “Best Of 2020” by Amazon. She is also the author of The Sixteenth of June, a modern reinterpretation of Ulysses that was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Lang’s essays have been widely published and anthologized. The American Civil Rights Museum named her a “Woman You Should Know.” Winner of the Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction, she serves as President of the Authors Guild.


Twitter Username: mayaslang

Website: www.mayalang.com

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F185.

Brick and Mortar: Partnering with Indie Bookstores, Sponsored by CLMP

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Three indie booksellers give a behind-the-scenes look at how they learn about independently published books and literary magazines, how they decide which titles to carry, and their special promotional efforts—from handselling to author events. Learn how to connect with bookstores as an author or publisher to create lasting relationships and get books in readers’ hands.

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Chelsea Oei Kern is the director of programs at the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP).

Cori Smith, the visionary force behind BLK+BRWN, embarked on a transformative journey from avid West Wyandotte Library visitor to distinguished owner. Graduating from Clark Atlanta, she transitioned from nonprofit to creating an inclusive safe haven fueled by a devotion to center Black stories.

Jenny Gropp is the coexecutive director of Woodland Pattern Book Center, along with her partner, Laura Solomon. Gropp has also served as managing editor of The Georgia Review and editor of Black Warrior Review.


Twitter Username: jgroppppp

Riley Rennhack is a book worker and advocate for the literary arts from the DFW Metroplex. She has worked in a variety of bookstores including the Center for Fiction & 192 Books in NYC. She currently manages the storefront and bookstore for Deep Vellum, a nonprofit publishing house in Dallas, Texas.


Twitter Username: bookclubisdead

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F186.

Crafting Unforgettable Characters—a Writer’s Guide to Storytelling

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Great characters remain essential to any work of fiction. They are a combination of a writer's knowledge, skill, and imagination. Five diverse award-winning authors of realistic and speculative fiction will examine the process of creating strong, multi-dimensional characters, as well as the principles and techniques that can effectively improve and/or define characters, avoiding cultural clichés and hackneyed stereotypes.

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K. Gorcheva-Newberry won a Prairie Schooner Prize for her first story collection, What Isn't Remembered, long-listed for the PEN/Bingham Prize and short-listed for the Saroyan International Prize. Her debut novel, The Orchard, was picked by New York Post among the best books of 2022, a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize.


Twitter Username: kgnewberry

Jen Fawkes is the author of Mannequin and Wife, a 2020 Shirley Jackson Award Nominee, and Tales the Devil Told Me, finalist for the 2022 World Fantasy Award for Single-Author Story Collection. Her debut novel Daughters of Chaos is forthcoming in 2024 from Abrams Books.


Twitter Username: fawkesontherun

Website: jenfawkes.com

Raul Palma is the author of A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens (Dutton) and In This World of Ultraviolet Light, stories (IUPRESS). Palma is the associate dean of faculty and new initiatives at Ithaca College's School of Humanities and Sciences. He earned his PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Twitter Username: RaulPalmaPhD

Website: RaulPalmaWriter.com

Matthew Salesses is an assistant professor of writing at Columbia University. He is the author of bestsellers The Hundred-Year Flood and Craft in the Real World; the PEN/Faulkner finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear; and, most recently, The Sense of Wonder. He was adopted from Korea.


Twitter Username: salesses

Website: http://matthewsalesses.com

Caroline Kim is the author of a collection of short stories, The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, which won the 2020 Drue Heinz Prize in Literature. Her work can be found in New England Review, StoryTriQuarterlyBest of KoreaLit Hub, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: carolinewriting

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F187.

We Can’t All Marry Rich: Teaching Creative Writing Students Professional Skills

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Most students don’t become professors, yet the only professional skill most creative writing programs prepare students for is teaching. In this panel, we will share methods for teaching the skills and knowledge—like publishing, freelancing, marketing, etc.—that students need to persevere as working writers outside the ivory tower. Panelists will share practical strategies and assignments for instructors so that when your students graduate they can answer the toughest question of all: “Now what?"

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Rajpreet Heir is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at Ithaca College. She has published nonfiction in both commercial and literary venues including The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New York TimesTeen VogueBrevity, and others. She writes about being Indian in Indiana.


Twitter Username: rajtweet_edu

Samuel Ashworth's forthcoming novel is The Autopsy of August Sweeney. He has ghostwritten multiple bestselling books, and his essays and journalism have appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, Eater, Gawker, Barrelhouse, and many more. He teaches creative writing at George Washington University.


Twitter Username: samuelashworth

Robbie Maakestad is a senior editor for The Rumpus and an associate professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.


Twitter Username: RobbieMaakestad

Daniel A. Hoyt's novel This Book Is Not For You won the inaugural Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction. His first story collection, Then We Saw the Flames, won the Juniper Prize for Fiction. Dan teaches at Kansas State University, where he is the founding editor of American Buffalo Books.


Twitter Username: dan_hoyt

Monica Prince is an assistant professor of activist and performance writing at Susquehanna University and the author of four poetry collections. Her creative focus is choreopoems, performance poetry, and social justice.


Twitter Username: poetic_moni

Website: www.monicaprince.com

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F188.

Riven Past, Wounded Present: Writers from Kansas City and Tulsa

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Writers from Kansas City and Tulsa whose work cuts to the heart of two Midwestern cities with parallel wounded histories. From the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre to Kansas City's storied history of racism and segregation to the 2023 Kansas City shooting of a Black teenager who rang the wrong doorbell, the work of these award-winning poets and fiction writers scours politics, contradictions, injustices, and inequalities in their cities' similarly riven pasts and wounded present.

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Rilla Askew is the author of five novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction. She's the recipient of the American Book Award, Western Heritage Award, and the Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

Whitney Terrell cohosts the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast at Literary Hub. He is the author of The Good LieutenantThe King of Kings County, and The Huntsman. His nonfiction appears in the New York TimesHarper's, and The New Republic. He teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Twitter Username: wsterrell

Website: www.whitneyterrell.com

Desi is currently editing her sequel to her debut novel, Bindle Punk Bruja, which explores the topics of identity and the Latinx experience in the Kansas City Mexican boxcar community during the 1920s. This novel tackles many issues we see repeated today, including classism, sexism, and racism.


Twitter Username: desideriamesa

Glenn North is a community-based poet. He is the director of inclusive learning and creative impact at the Kansas City Museum. He is a Cave Canem fellow, a Callaloo creative writing fellow, and an adjunct professor at Rockhurst University.


Twitter Username: glennnorthjr

Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of fourteen books in poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature, and is editor of nine literary anthologies. An Emmy and duPont-Columbia Award winning journalist, Lansana is executive Producer of KOSU/NPR’s "Focus: Black Oklahoma," a monthly radio program.


Twitter Username: tricitycollectiveok

Bookfair Stage, AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F189.

(More than) Crisis and Loss: Writing Female Midlife

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Illness, grief, divorce, burnout: the years between forty and fifty (and beyond) can be particularly fraught for women—but female midlife and its attendant crises and discoveries are rarely depicted honestly or directly in popular culture. Join us for a reading by poets whose work addresses the realities of these years, which may include epiphanies and crises of love and faith, but also feature a second coming-of-age and a more confident and assured sense of self.

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Sarah Kain Gutowski is the author of two books, The Familiar, a fabulist narrative-in-poems about female midlife, and Fabulous Beast: Poems, winner of the 14th annual National Indies Excellence Award for Poetry. With artist Meredith Starr, she is cocreator of Every Second Feels Like Theft.


Twitter Username: skgutowski

Website: www.sarahkaingutowski.com

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is author of four poetry collections: Exploding Head, Call Me When You Want to Talk About the Tombstones, Paper Doll Fetus, and Sightseer. Hoffman is a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the WI Institute for Creative Writing. Her poems appear in The Believer, the Los Angeles Review, and Blackbird.


Twitter Username: CynthiaMHoffman

Website: www.cynthiamariehoffman.com

Michelle Whittaker is a Caribbean-American poet and author of Surge, awarded a Next Generation Indie Book Award for Poetry. She received a Pushcart Special Mention and NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. She has also served as poetry editor for the Southampton Review and teaches at Stony Brook University.

Julie Brooks Barbour’s most recent collection is Haunted City. She is coediting a volume of essays, A Mollusk Without a Shell: Essays on Self-Care for Writers.

Mary Biddinger is poetry and poetics editor at the University of Akron Press. She also chairs the departments of English and modern languages and serves on the faculty of the NEOMFA program. Her latest books are Partial Genius: Prose Poems and Department of Elegy, both with Black Lawrence Press.


Twitter Username: marybid

Website: marybiddinger.com

1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F190.

(F)unemployment: Rethinking Graduate Education in the Age of Gen Z and ChatGPT

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If grad school is supposed to prepare students for professional life or train future academics, what happens when that work and that academy cease to exist? And what about new students with altogether different expectations? As managers replace writers with LLMs and universities slash humanities budgets and teaching jobs, our panelists consider the promises and pitfalls of graduate education and explore how we must evolve to meet the needs of today’s diverse students in and outside the classroom.

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Kurt Milberger is an assistant professor of English at Kennesaw State University. He teaches courses on publishing, professional writing, literature, and book history.


Twitter Username: kurtmilb

Jennifer S. Davis is the author of three story collections: Her Kind of Want, winner of the Iowa Award for Short Fiction; Our Former Lives in Art, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection; and We Were Angry. She teaches in the MFA program at LSU.

Michael Horner is the author of the novel Damage Control: Public Relations for the Perfectly Fine Family. He directs the MFA program in creative writing at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

A professionally produced playwright and YA novelist, Aaron Levy is an associate professor of creative writing and English education and currently serves as interim director of the MA in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University.


Twitter Username: AaronHLevy

Abhijit Sarmah is a poet and a researcher of Indigenous literatures with particular focus on Native American women writers and writings from the Northeast of India. Currently, he is a PhD student and an Arts Lab Graduate Fellow at the University of Georgia. He is from the state of Assam in India.


Twitter Username: abhijitsarmah_

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F191.

Young Adult Literature: The Essentials

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"What's YA Literature—and What's Not?" discusses genre traits of YA literature by sharing innovative texts that have stretched the boundaries of the field. "Writing the YA Novel" explores the differences between middle grade and YA novels, how to craft an authentic voice, and writing exercises and assignments. "YA Graphic Novels" discusses essentials of writing graphic novels, their potential as champions of diverse voices, and how to engage student writers in a comic-based curriculum.

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Chris Crowe is the author of twelve books, including fiction and nonfiction for young adults. Two of his best-known books are Mississippi Trial, 1955 and Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. He has taught university courses in YA literature and creative writing since 1989.


Twitter Username: crowechris

Ann Dee Ellis has been teaching college creative writing courses since 2004. She has published several middle grade and young adult novels, including her newest The War with Grandma. Her upcoming MG novel will be published in 2025.


Twitter Username: anndeeellis

Sharlene Swan is a student at Brigham Young University, pursuing a BFA in illustration and a minor in creative writing. Her studies explore how art, writing, and music can combine to create more engaging stories. Her comic, American Cryptid Road Trip, will be available to read online in late 2024.

Spencer Hyde is the author of the novel Waiting for Fitz; his short fiction has recently appeared in Glimmer Train, Image, and Meridian. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Brigham Young University.


Twitter Username: Spencer_Hyde

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F192.

Celebrating Thirty Years: Furious Flower Poetry Center Reading

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Join Furious Flower Poetry Center, the nation’s first academic center dedicated to educating, celebrating, and preserving Black poetry, for a thirtieth anniversary poetry reading and conversation! Camille T. Dungy, Joel Dias-Porter, and Nate Marshall, who participated in Furious Flower's conference held in 1994, 2004, and 2014, will share their work and experiences. Executive Director Lauren K. Alleyne will forecast the 2024 conference in September and moderate.

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Camille T. Dungy's books include Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden, four books of poetry, most recently, Trophic Cascade, and the essays Guidebook to Relative Strangers. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and coedited two other anthologies.

Joel Dias-Porter was the 1998–99 Heads Up Haiku Slam Champ; he has been published in Time magazine, POETRY, Mead, The Offending Adam, Best American Poets 2014, Callalloo, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, and Red Brick Review. His first book is Ideas of Improvisation. He lives in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


Twitter Username: Diasporter

Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of Difficult Fruit (2014) and Honeyfish (2019) and coeditor of Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (2020). She is executive director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and professor of English at James Madison University.


Twitter Username: poetLKA

Nate Marshall is the author of Finna and Wild Hundreds. He is an editor of BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Marshall is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Twitter Username: illuminatemics

Website: http://nate-marshall.com

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F193.

Reimagining the Writers Workshop

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Audre Lorde wrote, “We cannot fight old power in old power terms only.” How can we attempt a different, better model of the writing workshop that honors participants unique storytelling traditions? A reimagined workshop imparts a pedagogy of deep listening while honoring sidelined narratives of people of color, differently abled, and LGBTQ writers. These authors and educators discuss how to foster a community of kinship that empowers writers while honoring their diverse influences.

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Laura Cronk chairs undergraduate writing at the New School, including the Writing & Democracy Honors Program. She teaches multigenre writing and pedagogy courses. Her poems have been included in the Best American Poetry series, and she is the author most recently of Ghost Hour from Persea Books.


Twitter Username: LauraRCronk

J. Mae Barizo, born in Toronto to Filipino immigrants, is a poet, essayist, and multidisciplinary artist. She is the author of two books of poetry, Tender Machines (2023) and The Cumulus Effect. She is on the MFA faculty of the New School and lives in New York City.

Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically-acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick and shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award.


Twitter Username: mirajacob

Website: mirajacob.com

Brando Skyhorse is the author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award; Take This Man: A Memoir; coeditor of the anthology We Wear The Mask, and the novel My Name Is Iris, which was published August 2023. Skyhorse is an associate professor at Indiana University.


Twitter Username: brandoskyhorse

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F194.

How the Sausage Gets Made: Debut Poets on Making a First Book

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We all dream of holding our first published book, bound and beautiful, in our hands. But how does that stack of printed-out pages on your desk turn into a finished book? Four debut poets from a range of backgrounds will offer detailed, transparent recounting of their journeys to a debut collection, addressing questions of manuscript preparation, publishing process, complications encountered, and post-publication advice. Audience Q&A will follow the presentations.

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Sara R. Burnett is the author of Seed Celestial, winner of the 2021 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. She holds a MFA from the University of Maryland and an MA in English literature from the University of Vermont. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two young children.


Twitter Username: sararburnett

Mary-Alice Daniel was born in northern Nigeria and raised in England and Tennessee. A cross-genre writer, she won the 2022 Yale Younger Poets Prize and authored the tricontinental memoir, A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing. She holds the 2024 Mary Routt Endowed Chair of Writing at Scripps College.


Twitter Username: MaryAlicePoetry

Website: www.maryalicedaniel.com

Eileen G’Sell's criticism and poetry can be found in The Baffler, Fence, DIAGRAM, The Hopkins Review, and Reverse Shot. Her first book Life After Rugby was published in 2018; in 2023 she was nominated for the Rabkin Prize in arts journalism. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.


Twitter Username: Reckless_Edit

Anne Myles is author of the forthcoming collection Late Epistle, winner of the 2022 Sappho’s Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook What Woman That Was: Poems for Mary Dyer. Following retirement from an academic position in literature, she received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Twitter Username: NastyMaryDyer

Website: https://www.annemyles.com/

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F195.

Independence with Independents: Making the Most of Publishing with a Small Press

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While independent presses may not offer the big money of the Big Five publishers, publishing with IPs can offer significant benefits, including freedom with content, form, style, and objectives, as well as (some) control during production and marketing. Working with IPs also require more effort and responsibility from writers. Having published with ten IPs, with diverse missions, from social justice to experimental form, we discuss the strategies, challenges, and delights of working with IPs.

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Karen Lee Boren has written the books Secret Waltz, Mother Tongue, and Girls in Peril, a Barnes and Noble Discover selection. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is the winner of the 2018 Wundor Editions Fiction Prize. She has an MFA from Wichita State University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

Dionne Irving is originally from Toronto, Ontario. She is the author of Quint (7.13 Books) and The Islands (Catapult). Her work has appeared in StoryBoulevardLit HubMissouri Review, and New Delta Review. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Notre Dame.


Twitter Username: LadyDionne79

Matthew Roberson has authored three novels, 1998.6, Impotent, and List (FC2) and is editor of a critical book, Musing the Mosaic (SUNY). His short fiction has appeared in journals such as Fourteen Hills, Fiction International, and Western Humanities Review. He teaches at Central Michigan University.

Hasanthika Sirisena’s work has recently appeared in Electric Literature, Lit Hub, Georgia Review, and has been named notable by Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. Their essay collection Dark Tourist (Mad Creek Books, 2022) was a finalist for a 2022 Lambda Literary Award.


Twitter Username: thinkhasie

Website: http://hasanthikasirisena.com/

Hugh Sheehy is the author of two short story collections, Design Flaw (Acre Books) and The Invisibles (2012 Flannery O'Connor Award, University of Georgia). He teaches at Ramapo College.


Twitter Username: yourfriendhugh

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F196.

When the Land Speaks: How We Strive to Listen for Language While Out in Nature

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What do we as poets and essayists listen to and experience while out in nature to create the metaphors and language for our writing? What do our known landscapes bring out in our work that nowhere else does? How do we best learn about new wilderness areas? Our panel will share different ways to nurture inspiration through how we speak on the page against the issues of our times, such as climate crisis, preservation, endangered species, historical and racial controversies, and overpopulation.

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Allen Gee is the DL Jordan Endowed Professor of Creative Writing and editor of CSU Press at Columbus State University. He is author of My Chinese-America (essays) and At Little Monticello (a forthcoming biography of James Alan McPherson).


Twitter Username: allenrgee

Website: www.allengee.com

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and professor at the University of Michigan and on the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College. Her third poetry collection is Gut Botany (2020), and her forthcoming collection is Diver Beneath the Street (2024).


Twitter Username: OlimpiasDance

Website: www.olimpias.org

CMarie Fuhrman is the author of Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate 2020) and coeditor of Native Voices (Tupelo 2019). CMarie is director of Elk River Writers Workshop and faculty in the graduate program in creative writing at Western Colorado University.

Renata Golden's essay collection Mountain Time: A Field Guild to Astonishment will be published by Columbus State University Press in spring 2024. Her essays and poetry have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston and lives in New Mexico.

Sean Hill, author of two books of poems, Dangerous Goods and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, directs the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. His honors and awards include a fellowship from the NEA. His poems have appeared in journals and in anthologies including Black Nature and Villanelles.


Twitter Username: adamalzeal

Website: http://www.seanhillpoetry.com

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F197.

Poet to Playwright: On the Dramatic Joy of Changing Hats

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Poetry and playwriting are linked crafts—and not only in the hands of the famed Bard of Avon. What happens when poets set out to write plays? How does the craft of poetry translate to the stage, and what can the idea of the stage teach us about the poem? In this panel, four poets with playwriting projects discuss the joyful learning curve of entering theatrical spaces, reflecting on how this crossover affects everything from craft to collaboration.

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Jason Bayani is the author of Locus (Omnidawn Publishing 2019) and Amulet (Write Bloody 2013). He's an MFA graduate of Saint Mary's, a Kundiman fellow, and the codirector of Kearny Street Workshop. In 2016, he premiered his solo theater show Locus of Control, and tours it across the country.


Twitter Username: jasonbayani

Arisa White is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and author of Who's Your Daddy and Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart. She collaborates with other artists to expand readership for poetry and to center the narratives of queer BIPOC. White is an associate professor of creative rriting at Colby College.

Tess Taylor is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Misremembered World, The Forage House, and Work & Days. In spring 2020 she published two books of poems: Last West, part of "Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures" at the Museum of Modern Art, and Rift Zone from Red Hen Press.


Twitter Username: tessathon

Website: www.tess-taylor.com

Patricia Smith's books: Unshuttered, Incendiary Art (Kingsley Tufts, Pulitzer finalist, LA Times Book Prize), Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Lenore Marshall), and Blood Dazzler (National Book Award finalist). Academy chancellor, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Guggenheim fellow, Princeton professor.


Twitter Username: pswordwoman

Website: www.wordwoman.ws

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F198.

Beating the Numbers Game: Submissions Strategies

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In this panel, we discuss what it’s like as a literary magazine editor moving through the slush pile: sins we’re willing to forgive, and those we’re not. We’ll also look at tools to finding literary magazines that are a best fit for your work, how to rate them, and when to submit to what. We’ll also look at strategies for submitting to contests. If submitting is a numbers game, then we’ll help you figure out your best odds.

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Amber Wheeler Bacon’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Ecotone, Post Road, Prairie Schooner, and online at Ploughshares and CRAFT. She received the 2018 Breakout Writers Prize from the Author's Guild, a 2021 Bread Loaf scholarship, and the 2022 Lit/South Award for flash fiction.

Keith Pilapil Lesmeister is the author of Mississippi River Museum and We Could've Been Happy Here. He is a founding editor of Cutleaf and EastOver Press. He currently teaches at Northeast Iowa Community College.

Jonathan Bohr Heinen is the managing editor for Crazyhorse. His writing has appeared in Cimarron Review, Arroyo, Tusculum Review and has received special mention in the Pushcart anthology. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is on the staff of the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F200.

KC in Black and White: Contrasting Fictions by Vincent Carter and Evan Connell

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2024 brings the centennial of two very different writers born in Kansas City. Evan S. Connell emerged from a prosperous white family. Vincent O. Carter grew up on the Black side of town, far removed from Connell’s world. Their respective fictional portrayals of Kansas City—Connell’s two novels of the Bridge family; Carter’s posthumous novel Such Sweet Thunder—serve in yin-yang fashion to illuminate how economic and racial differences operate in works of the imagination.

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Steve Paul's biography of Evan S. Connell, Literary Alchemist, won the 2022 best biography award from the Society of Midland Authors. A career journalist now writing biography and poetry, he is president of the Biographers International Org. A New England native, he has long lived in Kansas City.


Twitter Username: sbpaul

Jesse McCarthy is assistant professor in the departments of English and of African and African American studies at Harvard University. He is the author of the essay collection, Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul?, winner of the 2022 Whiting Award for Nonfiction, and a novel, The Fugitivities.

Gemma Sieff is a writer and editor. She interviewed Evan S. Connell for the Paris Review in 2014, and published an essay about Connell's life and work in Harper's Magazine in 2022. She lives in New York City.


Twitter Username: misssieff

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F201.

Writing Fictional Children

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Children have so much narrative potential. They see the world with fresh eyes, use language in fascinating ways, and often feel more deeply than adults who have been desensitized to the injustice and heart-break of our world. At the same time, children are easy characters to flatten and idealize, and they change on a different time scale than adults do. How do we write dynamic, authentic, fully-fleshed-out children? This panel will discuss strategies for writing strong fictional children.

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Marisa Crane is a multigenre writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lit Hub, Joyland, Passages North, the Adroit Journal, The Sun, The Offing, and elsewhere. They are the author of the novel I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself, which was a January Indie Next Pick and NYT Editors’ Choice.


Twitter Username: Mcrane_12

Kai Harris is a writer and educator from Detroit whose critically acclaimed debut novel What the Fireflies Knew was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and nominated for an NAACP Image Award, amongst other honors. Kai is a creative writing professor at Santa Clara University.


Twitter Username: authorkaiharris

Rachel Yoder is the author of Nightbitch, which was selected as an Indie Next Pick, best book of the year by Esquire and Vulture, and finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. With cofounder Mark Polanzak, she edits draft: the journal of process.


Twitter Username: RachelYoder

Website: www.racheljyoder.com

Jacinda Townsend is the author of the novels Mother Country (Graywolf, 2022), winner of the Ernest Gaines Award, and Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), winner of both the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. She teaches at Brown University.


Twitter Username: JacindaAuMaroc

Website: jacindatownsend.com

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F202.

You Say 'Narrative' Like it's a Bad Thing

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The term "narrative" has sometimes been used pejoratively to describe poetry that is lacking in innovation, just as "feminine" has been used to describe language that is indirect or internal. This panel challenges these notions, exploring narrative as a radical poetic technique that gives voice to complexity and the lived experience of women. Panelists will discuss how they use storytelling in their poetry, suggest approaches to narrative poetics, and read from their work.

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Sonia Greenfield is the author of five books of poetry: All Possible Histories (RIYT 2022), Helen of Troy is High AF (Harbor Editions 2022), Letdown (White Pine), American Parable (Autumn House), and Boy with a Halo at the Farmer's Market (Codhill). She teaches at Normandale College in Minneapolis.


Twitter Username: SoniaGreenfield

Website: soniagreenfield.com

Chloe Martinez is a poet and a scholar of South Asian religions. The author of the collection Ten Thousand Selves and the chapbook Corner Shrine, she is associate director of programming for the Center for Writing & Public Discourse at Claremont McKenna College.


Twitter Username: chloepoet

Abby E. Murray (MFA & PhD) is the editor of Collateral, a literary journal concerned with the impact of violent conflict and military service beyond the combat zone. Her first book of poetry, Hail and Farewell, examines the conflict between civilian and military life from a feminist perspective.

Felicia Zamora is the author of six poetry collections including I Always Carry My Bones (Iowa Poetry Prize). Her poems appear in Boston Review, Guernica, Orion, The Nation, and others. She is an associate professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and associate poetry editor for Colorado Review.

Amanda Moore’s debut collection of poetry, Requeening, was published as part of the National Poetry Series and was finalist for the Northern California Book Award. Her poems, translations, and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies including Best New Poets, Catapult, Lit Hub, and ZZYZYVA.


Twitter Username: amandapmoore

Room 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F203.

The Craft and Currency of the Literary Book Review

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Thousands of books are published each year. We're often led to them by intelligent, engaging, well-made book reviews, which not only investigate and articulate the mysteries and pleasures a literary text offers, but also please the reader with their style. Five widely published writers/critics/editors will discuss the review as a genre in its own right, a unique artistic form that contributes to a book's reception, raises the level of public discourse, and establishes critical reputation.

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Joseph Salvatore is books editor at the Brooklyn Rail, a frequent reviewer at NY Times Book Review, and associate professor of writing at The New School. He is the author of the story collection To Assume a Pleasing Shape (BOA Editions) and coauthor of Understanding English Grammar (10/e, Pearson).


Twitter Username: jasalvatore

Website: www.josephsalvatore.com

Cassie Packard is a Brooklyn-based cultural critic with bylines at publications including Artforum, Bookforum, Brooklyn Rail, frieze, Los Angeles Review of Books, and New Inquiry, among others. She has contributed to books and catalogues and is the recipient of several fellowships.

Julia Brown is an editor-at-large at AGNI and a former fiction editor at Gulf Coast. She is a writer, teacher, and doctoral student in the creative writing program at the University of Houston.


Twitter Username: juliabrown

Chris Campanioni's research connecting media studies with studies of migration has been awarded a Mellon Foundation fellowship and the Calder Prize; his writing has received the International Latino Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, and an Academy of American Poets College Prize.


Twitter Username: chriscampanioni

Website: www.chriscampanioni.com

John Domini has eleven books in print, including novels, short stories, a 2021 memoir, and an earlier selection of criticism. He's written extensively on contemporary fiction for Lit Hub, Los Angeles Review of Books, Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. Awards include an NEA; he has taught at Harvard and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: DavveroDomini

Website: http://www.johndomini.com

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F204.

Beyond Composition: Creative Action in First-Year Writing Courses

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While writers may consider teaching FYW courses tangential to their creative pursuits, working with these students can benefit instructors by providing them with insights into their own artistic visions and processes. Creative writing experiences can also promote meaningful change for students by helping them identify and mitigate unconscious bias. Panelists will share practical advice on using creative writing techniques in FYW classes and discuss the benefits for both them and their students.

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Jayson Iwen is the author of six books of poetry and prose, his most recent being You Contain Multitudes: Healing Society from Within, a guide for using creative arts techniques to mitigate unconscious bias. He teaches in the writing and public leadership programs at University of Wisconsin-Superior.


Twitter Username: jayson_iwen

Website: www.jaysoniwen.com

Ewa Chrusciel has four books in English: Yours, Purple Gallinule; Of Annunciations; Contraband of Hoopoe; Strata; and three in Polish: Furkot, Sopiłki, Tobołek. She translated Jorie Graham, Joseph Conrad, I.B. Singer, and Jack London, and more. Her book Contraband of Hoopoe came out in Italy in 2019.


Twitter Username: ewachrusciel

Website: www.echrusciel.net

Darci Schummer is author of the story collection Six Months in the Midwest and the novel The Ballad of Two Sisters. She is a member of the English faculty at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College where she also edits The Thunderbird Review.


Twitter Username: darcischummer

Steven T. Nelson is the author of Teaching the Way: Using the Principles of 'The Art of War' to Teach Composition. He earned his PhD in creative writing from UW-Milwaukee, has published a number of stories and essays, and is currently professor of English at Concordia University-Wisconsin.


Twitter Username: TheWayTeacher

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F205.

Ten Years of a Literary Series: Stories from the UPK New Poetry & Prose Series

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In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the University Press of Kentucky (UPK) New Poetry & Prose Series, which features award-winning books by unique voices, four authors will read from their short story collections in the series. Set in diverse locales from Africa to Middle East and North America, and ranging from realist to surrealist, their lyrical stories about ethnicity, gender, immigration, race, and sexuality highlight some of the stunning writing this acclaimed series has published.

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Lisa Briana Williams is the author of three books of poems and a recipient of a Barnard Women Poets Prize. She teaches and directs creative writing at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Since 2014 she has served as series editor for the University Press of Kentucky New Poetry and Prose Series.

Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of story collections, The World Doesn't Require You and Insurrections, which won the 2017 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. He earned an MFA from George Mason University and teaches English at the University of Maryland.


Twitter Username: reeamilcarscott

Dr. Manini Nayar Samarth teaches literature and writing at Penn State, University Park. Her award-winning stories are published in periodicals in the US, Canada, India, and England, and broadcasted on the BBC. Her collection Being Here was recently published by the University Press of Kentucky

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is the author of Drinking from Graveyard Wells (University Press of Kentucky, Spring 2023). She earned her BA at Cornell University. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Tin House Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers' Workshop, and George R. R. Martin.


Twitter Username: lisateabag

Serkan Görkemli’s fiction has recently appeared in Ploughshares and the Iowa Review. He’s the author of Sweet Tooth and Other Stories (forthcoming) and Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey. Originally from Turkey, he’s an associate professor of English at UConn.

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F206.

A Turn of the Page: From Journalism to Creative Writing

(, , , , Mugabi Byenkya)

This panel brings together a diverse group of authors who have also worked in some form of journalism: as reporters, producers, writers, reviewers, and columnists. They will discuss how they made their career transitions or developed side gigs as fiction or creative nonfiction writers, and how the practices of journalism and creative writing can inform and enhance each other.

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Kahlil Crawford is a poet and prose artist. He has served as coeditor for Synchronized Chaos, music journalist for Unrated Magazine, and tech writer for Hacker Noon. Kahlil is the (co-)author/curator of ØRGΛN C1TY, a metarhythmic treatise on urban futurism and universal subculture.

Nika C. Beamon attended Boston College and is a TV writer/producer in New York City. She is the author of the nonfiction book I Didn't Work This Hard Just To Get Married (Chicago Review Press, 2009) and the critically acclaimed memoir Misdiagnosed: The Search For Dr. House.


Twitter Username: Nikabeamon

Brenda has been a television news anchor and investigative reporter for two decades for the NBC affiliate KPVI in Idaho.She is the author of six mystery/thriller novels. She has been recognized by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards, and won first prize at the CIBA mystery awards.


Twitter Username: myauthorlife

John Byrne Barry is a writer, designer, actor, director, and crossing guard. He is author of three plays and three novels, including When I Killed My Father: An Assisted-Suicide Family Thriller. For more than ten years, he was director of editorial and design for the Sierra Club.


Twitter Username: johnbyrnebarry

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F207.

First Generation Creative Writers on Voice, Place, and Belonging

(, , , Tessa Fontaine)

Four writers and poets read their original works and discuss the challenges of being first generation college students, all of whom went on to earn advanced degrees and become published authors and professors. Specifically, the panel will present work relating to feelings or notions of being behind and struggling with a sense of belonging, while also finding joy in cultivating their own writerly voices despite these challenges.

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Rachel M. Hanson is the author of The End of Tennessee (University of South Carolina Press, 2024). A former O'Connor Fellow in Nonfiction, she now teaches literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina Asheville, and is the executive director of the literary nonprofit Punch Bucket Lit.

Diamond Forde is a Tin House and Callaloo fellow whose work has appeared in Ninth Letter, Tupelo Quarterly, The Offing, and more. She is a recipient of the Margaret Walker prize, a finalist for the Georgia Poetry Prize, and her debut book Mother Body was published with Saturnalia Books in Spring 2021.


Twitter Username: PoemsandCake

Danielle Cadena Deulen teaches for the graduate program at Georgia State University and hosts the podcast Lit from the Basement. She has published a memoir and three poetry collections, most recently Desire Museum. She has won a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize.


Twitter Username: DanielleDeulen

Website: danielledeulen.net

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F208.

The Life-Changing Power of Memoir: Welcoming Learner's Voices

(, , , , Steven Leyva)

Guiding others on their memoir journey is an act of profound importance for social change and inclusion, with the potential to end silences and heal individuals and communities. In sharing the art of creative nonfiction with students of all ages and identities around the world, the writer/educators on this panel have transformed their personal creative processes into conceptual frameworks and powerful prompts that illuminate the path for others. Attendees receive a packet of exercises discussed.

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Marion Winik is the author of The Big Book of the Dead, First Comes Love, and other books. A professor at the University of Baltimore, she reviews for the Washington Post, People, Kirkus, and Oprah. She hosts the NPR podcast The Weekly Reader and writes personal essays for the Baltimore Fishbowl.


Twitter Username: marionwinik

Website: marionwinik.com

Tyrese Coleman is an essayist and fiction writer. She is the author of How To Sit, a 2019 PEN Open Book Award Finalist published in 2018 with Mason Jar Press, and the forthcoming, Spectacle with One World.


Twitter Username: tylachelleco

Wayétu Moore is the author of the novel She Would Be King, and the memoir The Dragons, The Giant, The Woman. She is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University, and the University of Southern California.

Jamie Brickhouse is the author of Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother, has published personal essays in the New York Times, Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, Publishers Weekly, is a storyteller, and taught memoir at Creative Nonfxn, HippoCamp, San Miguel and Cape Cod writers conferences.


Twitter Username: jamiebrickhouse

Website: https://www.jamiebrickhouse.com/

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F209.

Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry

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This reading features four poets from Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry (Green Linden Press, February 2024), which includes one hundred poets who illustrate the brilliant range of poetry being written today: Frank Bidart, Jericho Brown, Franny Choi, CAConrad, Natalie Diaz, Mark Doty, Nikki Giovanni, Ocean Vuong, and many others. The Essential Voices series aims to make less insular the various poetries of the world and to correct mis- or underrepresentation in the broader culture.

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Christopher Nelson is the founder and editor of Green Linden Press. His most recent book is Blood Aria.


Twitter Username: GreenLinden1

Website: www.greenlindenpress.com

Lisa Dordal teaches at Vanderbilt University and is the author of Mosaic of the Dark, which was a finalist for the 2019 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry; Water Lessons, which was listed by Lambda Literary as one of their most anticipated books for 2022; and Next Time You Come Home (2023).


Twitter Username: lisadordal

Website: http://lisadordal.com/

Donika Kelly is the author of the full-length collections The Renunciations and Bestiary. She is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa.


Twitter Username: officialdonika

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of Children of the Land: a Memoir (Harper Collins), Cenzontle (BOA editions), and Dulce (Northwestern University Press). He is a founding member of the Undocupoets. He teaches at the St. Mary’s College MFA program Ashland University.


Twitter Username: marcelo_H_

Paul Tran is the author of the debut poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, from Penguin in the US and the UK. They are an assistant professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Twitter Username: speakdeadly

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F210.

Everything is Awful: Sustaining Through Shitstorms and Systemic Obstacles

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How do you teach in the days after incidents of racial trauma, another mass shooting, deportation threats for your students, legislation targeting the rights of trans youth, limited abortion access, white supremacy, and so much more? This panel will offer practical strategies for sustaining yourself as a writer, a person, and a professional to avoid burnout and set clear boundaries so we can support our students, selves, and our community.

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Rachel M. Simon is the author of the poetry collections Theory of Orange and Marginal Road. She works in diversity, equity, and inclusion at Pace University. She has taught at Bedford Hills Women's Prison, as the director of the Social Justice Collective at Sarah Lawrence College, and many others.

Seth Michelson teaches at Washington and Lee University. He has published twenty books of poetry and poetry in translation. He also has edited the anthologies Dreaming America: Voices of Undocumented Youth in Maximum-Security Detention and Boquete, featuring poetry by incarcerated men in Uruguay.

Juan J. Morales is the author of three poetry collections and a forthcoming book with UNM Press. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, the editor of Pilgrimage Magazine, an associate dean in the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, and a professor of English at Colorado State University Pueblo.


Twitter Username: moralesjuanj

Dr. Tara J. Plachowski has spent the last twenty years as a writer and educator across the PK–20 spectrum. Currently, she lives near St. Louis, Missouri and serves as an affiliate scholar in the UNLV Center for Multicultural Education and a research consultant for Embracing Equity.

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F211.

Greater Than the Sum of its Parts: Writing and Structuring Essay Collections

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Putting together an essay collection is like arranging an album—each piece should be its own work of art, with its own unique effect; but the pieces should also build on each other so that the collection as a whole has a sense of flow, momentum, and resonance. How do you do both? In this session, five authors of essay collections will discuss considerations like thematic vs. chronological structure, repetition vs. redundancy, and balancing variety with cohesiveness.

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Melissa Febos is the bestselling author of four books, including Girlhood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative. An NEA and Guggenheim fellow, she is a professor at The University of Iowa.


Twitter Username: melissafebos

Website: melissafebos.com

Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night and How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, a collection of essays. He is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and an NEA in Fiction and is an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College.


Twitter Username: alexanderchee

Website: http://alexanderchee.net

CJ Hauser is a multigenre, nonbinary, queer amphibian of a person. Their memoir The Crane Wife is published by Doubleday and the paperback is coming in hot this July. They are also the author of two novels, Family of Origin and The From-Aways. They teach creative writing at Colgate University.

Aisha Sabatini Sloan is the author of the essay collections The Fluency of Light, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, the book-length essay Borealis, and a collaboration with her father called Captioning the Archives. She is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of Michigan.

Lilly Dancyger is the author of First Love, a collection of personal and critical essays on female friendship, and Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir about art, addiction, and inheritance. Dancyger is the editor of Burn It Down, a critically-acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger.


Twitter Username: lillydancyger

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F212.

Generations: A Reading & Conversation Sponsored by Blue Flower Arts & The Asian American Writers' Workshop

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Blue Flower Arts is proud to present GENERATIONS: a reading and conversation with four essential Asian American poets spanning several generations, featuring Tina Chang, Chen Chen, Marilyn Chin, and Kimiko Hahn. In partnership with the Asian American Writers Workshop, and with a conversation moderated by AAWW Executive Director Jafreen Uddin, these four BFA poets showcase the breadth and impact of Asian American writing, exploring urgent themes such as tradition, culture, belonging, politics, race, and queer identity. This reading pays homage to the urgent concerns of each generation as they radically imagine, resist, and transcend through creative expression and future-facing experimentation.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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Jafreen Uddin is the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers' Workshop. She is the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1991. With over a decade of experience working in the public sector, she specializes in communications, education, and fundraising. She most recently served as Deputy Director of Development for Special Events with PEN America, managing a high-level portfolio of events and cultivation activities. Prior to joining PEN America, she helped oversee Executive Education as an Assistant Director with NYU’s Stern School of Business, developing and coordinating both degree and non-degree programming for cohorts of senior-level executives. She began her career with a nearly-eight-year stint at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she helped create the infrastructure for the public programming calendar of events, and spent nearly three years managing an online Book Salon for Aslan Media, spotlighting writers and artists from the greater Middle East/South Asia region. She regularly volunteers her time with a number of literary and social change organizations. She previously served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for Laal NYC, an organization supporting Bangladeshi women in the Bronx, and currently serves as Chair of the Adult Internship Committee for We Need Diverse Books and as a Literary Council Member for the Brooklyn Book Festival. She received her B.A. in political economics from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her M.A. in global history from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.


Twitter Username: jafreenmu

Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, is the author of Half-Lit Houses (2004), Of Gods & Strangers (2011), and most recently Hybrida (2019) which was named A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by NPR, Lit Hub, The Millions, Oprah magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and was named a New York Times Book Review New & Noteworthy collection. She is also the co-editor of the W.W. Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). Chang is the director of Creative Writing at Binghamton University.

Chen Chen is the author of two books of poetry, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency (BOA Editions, 2022) and When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry and three editions of The Best American Poetry. He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He was the 2018-2022 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University and currently teaches for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast. He lives with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug, Mr. Rupert Giles.


Twitter Username: chenchenwrites

Website: chenchenwrites.com

Kimiko Hahn, author of ten books of poetry, casts a wide net for subject matter. Her last collection, Foreign Bodies, revisits the personal as political, the immigrant body, the endangered animal's body, objects removed from children's bodies, and hoarded things. Previous books Toxic Flora and Brain Fever were prompted by fields of science; The Narrow Road to the Interior takes title and forms from Basho's famous journals. Hahn is Distinguished Professor at CUNY Queens College and her honors include the 2023 Ruth Lilly Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, and NEA Fellowships.

Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of six poetry collections and a novel. She is the winner of the 2020 Ruth Lily Prize in Poetry, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and a Radcliffe Institute fellowship, among other honors. Presently, she serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lives in San Diego.


Twitter Username: poetmarilynchin

Website: marilynchin.org

Grand Ballroom B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F213.

Lead with Love: Queer Voices in Literature with Red Hen Press

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This panel of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ writers honors intersectional and intergenerational communities, the safe spaces we hold for each other, the creation, expression, and celebration of their stories. We move together from darkness to light, from banning to expression—by opening doors and inviting diverse communities to the page and to the microphone to lead, speak, read, share, and celebrate with love.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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Francisco Aragón is the son of Nicaraguan immigrants. He is the author of Puerta del Sol, Glow of Our Sweat, and After Rubén, as well as editor of The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry. His poems have appeared in twenty anthologies. In 2017, he was a finalist for Split This Rock’s Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism. A native of San Francisco, California, he directs Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. Aragón divides his time between Mililani, HI and South Bend, IN.


Twitter Username: fjaragon1965

Website: http://franciscoaragon.net

H Warren (they/them) is a poet and musician from Fairbanks, Alaska. They received their MFA in creative writing poetry from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and are currently a MSW candidate with the University of New England online. H is a 2019 Rasmuson Individual Artist Award recipient.

Andrew Lam is the author of the essay collections Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, winner of the 2006 PEN Open Book Award, and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres. Birds of Paradise Lost is his first story collection. He lives in San Francisco.


Twitter Username: AndrewL83176356

Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057971892278

Elizabeth Bradfield is a writer and naturalist/guide who lives on Cape Cod, works on ships around the globe, and teaches creative writing at Brandeis University. Toward Antarctica is her fourth collection.

Jenny Factor’s first book, Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Jenny serves as lecturer in poetry at Caltech. She loves dogs.


Twitter Username: factorjenny

Grand Ballroom C, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F213A.

How to Fight Book Bans: A Workshop with PEN America

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As book bans continue to mount, coordinated counterefforts to oppose book bans are essential. Writers, authors, teachers, students, publishers, editors, and institutions all have a role to play in standing up for the right to read.


This workshop with PEN America and Authors Against Book Bans will provide an overview of the book ban crisis and offer tools and talking points for engaging with your state and local elected officials and taking action to stop future censorship. You will learn how to effectively communicate in defense of the freedom to read, as well as how to identify and create strategic alliances. The workshop will be led by PEN America’s Freedom to Read program director, Kasey Meehan. Participating authors to be announced.

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Kasey Meehan is the Freedom to Read Program Director at PEN America, leading our initiatives to protect the right of students to freely access literature in schools. Previously, Kasey served as the Associate Director of Postsecondary Policy at a mission-driven education research organization in Philadelphia, Research for Action. Kasey’s research centers students, educators, and school leaders’ experiences in identifying strategies for reform and capturing emerging best practices and strives to connect research to policy and program change. Kasey holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MPA from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, along with a Certificate in Politics.

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F214.

Of a Certain Age: Women Writers Near Sixty and Beyond

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Four diverse women writers near sixty will discuss the complications and pleasures of aging and creativity, asking, in essence, what conditions allow the inner life to flourish? How does past creative work empower or inhibit them in a publishing market that privileges youth and middle age? How do they contend with setbacks of the creative will including illness and caretaking? How do they build a multi-ethnic, nonbinary platform of writers whose support will add to the tropes of literature?

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Jay Lamar is coeditor of Old Enough: Southern Women Artists and Writers on Creativity and Aging, forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press. Founding director of the Alabama Center for the Book, she directed the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and now works for the Alabama Writers' Forum.


Twitter Username: lamarjay_11

Patricia Foster is a professor emerita in the MFA program in nonfiction at the University of Iowa. She is the award-winning author of All the Lost Girls, Just beneath My Skin, Girl from Soldier Creek, Written in the Sky: Lessons of a Southern Daughter, and the editor of four anthologies.

Angela Jackson-Brown is an award-winning writer, poet and playwright. She is the author of four novels and one book of poetry. She is an associate professor in the creative writing program at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.


Twitter Username: adjackson68

Emmy-winning producer/director Wendy Reed began to combine her passion for writing and story with her interests in science and medicine by launching science writing seminars. During the pandemic she worked for the Census, and at a Mass Vaccine Site. Now she works as a director in the Alabama BRAIN Lab


Twitter Username: WendyReedtweets

Website: wendyreed.org

Jacqueline Allen Trimble is author of American Happiness, winner of the Balcones Poetry Prize, and How to Survive the Apocalypse. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow (poetry) and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is professor of English/chair at Alabama State University.

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F215.

‘Life of Labor’ in Letters: Working-Class Storytelling

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Midwest author Sarah Smarsh said, "You can pay an entire life in labor, it turns out, and have nothing to show for it. Less than nothing, even: debt, injury, abject need.” Five writers, all with Midwestern and working-class ties, share their approach to showcasing this "life in labor" through storytelling. The panelists will discuss why they write these stories and how, and what precious language and poetry can be mined from what has been called gritty, dirty realism.

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Dustin M. Hoffman is the author of the story collections One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and No Good for Digging. He spent ten years painting houses in Michigan and now teaches creative writing at Winthrop University.


Twitter Username: dustinmhoffman

RS Deeren is the author of Enough to Lose: Stories and an assistant professor of creative writing at Austin Peay State University. His fiction focuses on rural working-class people and the jobs he used to work to help pay the bills.


Twitter Username: RSDeeren

Website: rsdeeren.com

Curtis Chin, a cofounder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, has written poetry, screenplays, essays, and creative non-fiction. He has won awards from NYFA, the C.Y. Lee Foundation, and more. He is currently polishing his memoir Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant.


Twitter Username: curtischin

Joe Milan Jr. is a Korean American author of the novel The All-American (W.W. Norton, 2023), and was selected for the 2019 David T.K. Wong Fellowship at UEA, UK. He holds a PhD in English from UNLV and an MFA in fiction from VCFA and is currently teaching at Waldorf University in Iowa. joemilanjr.com

Toni Jensen is the author of the memoir Carry, a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist, and the story collection From the Hilltop. An NEA fellowship recipient in nonfiction, she teaches at the University of Arkansas and in the low-residency MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Métis.


Twitter Username: ToniJens

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F216.

The Author/Agent Relationship: Navigating the Rapidly Evolving Industry Together

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Literary agents from three different agencies speak about their experience in crafting their MSWLs, client strategy, and the querying process. Additionally, in light of the recent discourse (as of May 2023), we provide an inside view of the agents' submission process to editors, as well as the working agent/author relationship in general. How do you know your agent is the right fit for you? What does a successful agent/author relationship look like? And what do you do if issues arise?

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Amanda Orozco is a literary agent based out of LA at Transatlantic Agency. She has worked in academic publishing, publicity, and subsidiary rights in New York, and currently serves as assistant editor for Dryland, where she aims to amplify marginalized voices from the literary underground.


Twitter Username: oczoroadnama

Roma Panganiban began her publishing career at the Gernert Company before joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2019, where she has worked with critically acclaimed, award-winning writers of fiction and nonfiction across both adult and children's markets, with a focus on uplifting underrepresented voices.


Twitter Username: romapancake

Kayla Lightner is a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary, where she represents a range of adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and graphic novels for all ages. Prior to agenting full time, Kayla worked as APL's subrights director, as well as an assistant at Liza Dawson Associates.


Twitter Username: LightnerKayla

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F217.

How Book Reviewing is Changing and Why it Matters

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Like everything in publishing, book reviews are in flux, with mainstream venues reducing reviews in exchange for fawning interviews and book roundups that feel like marketing fluff pieces. This panel of book critics will discuss why they write book reviews, the state of book reviewing today, the need for diversity in book reviewers and in books reviewed, and how criticism can help reshape an often myopic and inequitable industry.

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Martha Anne Toll's debut novel, Three Muses, won the Petrichor Prize and was shortlisted for the Gotham Book Prize. Her second novel, Duet For One is due out spring 2025. She is a frequent book reviewer for NPR Books, the Washington Post, and others. She is on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.


Twitter Username: marthaannetoll

Website: www.marthaannetoll.com

Ericka Taylor lives in Washington, DC, where she writes fiction, book reviews, and opinion pieces. She is a regular contributor to NPR Books, and her writing has appeared in YES! Media, Willow Springs Magazine, Bloom, and The Millions. She serves on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.


Twitter Username: erickadtaylor

Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington, DC. He serves as the Lannan visiting lecturer in creative writing at Georgetown University and has garnered many awards for his writing, including the Caine Prize for African Writing, and the Whiting Award for Fiction.


Twitter Username: topefolarin

Alice Stephens is the author of the novel Famous Adopted People; a book reviewer, essayist, and short story writer; cofounder of the Adoptee Literary Festival; facilitator at the Adoptee Voices Writing Group; an editor at Bloom; and a member of the Starlings Collective.


Twitter Username: AliceKSStephens

Bookfair Stage, AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F218.

Here There Be Dragons: Risking the Uncharted Territory of an Untried MFA Program

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Entrusting your education with an untested MFA program is a bit like sailing your ship off the map—there are dragons, but you may also discover new lands. Meet some of the risk-takers who braved the new Alma program and the director who started it all.

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Sophfronia Scott is founding director of Alma College's MFA in Creative Writing, a low-residency program based in Michigan. She is the author of novels and nonfiction works including Wild, Beautiful, and Free and The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton.


Twitter Username: Sophfronia

Website: http://www.Sophfronia.com

Mary C. Bishop is an MFA student at Alma College studying both fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Geez magazine and Convivium Journal, among other places. She resides in Annapolis, Maryland with her family.

Joey Meyer holds a BA in creative writing from Susquehanna University and an MA in creative writing from Alma College's low-res MFA program. He's a regular contributor to Fear the Wall, one of the largest English-language blogs for German football club, Borussia Dortmund. He's an aspiring novelist.


Twitter Username: j_lamson_meyer

Kelsey Weiss holds a BA in English from Alma College. They are a member of the first graduating class of Alma College's low-residency MFA program in creative writing. They are a trauma and social justice poet who resides in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan.

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m.

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F219.

Transforming the Imagination: Asian American Poets Redefine Hybrid Poetry

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Hybrid poetry embraces cross disciplinary work, combining poetry, prose, plays, visual art, collage, documents, to address and challenge dominant narratives. This panel focuses on the ways in which Asian American poets have invigorated hybrid forms to respond to uneven distributions of power, relay experiences of marginalization, oppression, and injustice as well as uphold joy, kinship, and devotion through the examination of cross-genre and interdisciplinary work as a practice of survival.

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Tina Chang is the author of Hybrida (W.W. Norton), Of Gods & Strangers (Four Way Books), and Half-Lit Houses (FWB), as well as coeditor of Language for a New Century (W.W.Norton). She is a professor and the director of creative writing at Binghamton University.

Victoria Chang's latest poetry books are The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon, 2022) and OBIT (Copper Canyon, 2020). Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief was published by Milkweed in 2001. She is the Bourne Chair in poetry at Georgia Tech.


Twitter Username: VChangPoet

Website: www.victoriachangpoet.com

Mai Der Vang is the author of Yellow Rain, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, and Afterland, winner of the First Book Award of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches in the MFA Program in creative writing at Fresno State


Twitter Username: maider_vang

Website: www.maidervang.com

Cynthia Dewi Oka is a poet and author of A Tinderbox in Three Acts, Fire Is Not a Country, Salvage, and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. Her writing appears in the Atlantic, Oprah Daily, POETRY, Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, The Rumpus, Hyperallergic, Guernica, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: freedewi

Sahar Muradi is the author of Octobers (Pitt Poetry Series, 2023), selected by Naomi Shihab Nye for the 2022 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and finalist for the National Poetry Series, as well as of the chapbook [ G A T E S ], the hybrid memoir Ask Hafiz, and the chaplet A Garden Beyond My Hand.

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F220.

Widening the Circle: Queer/Trans SWANA Writers on Navigating Space and Self

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Featuring Queer/Trans SWANA (Southwest Asian North African) writers, this multiple genre panel centers a discussion of how we build bridges, defying orientalist narratives by writing into the complexities of our hybrid identities. At a time when our communities continue to be marginalized in the United States, we will focus on the tension between homeland and diaspora, the power and violence of myths, and our need to queer form to represent ourselves, breaking convention and narrative in the process.

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Mahru Elahi is a VONA alum, a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, and a finalist for the Allegra Johnson Prize. Mahru writes as a K–12 educator, foster mom, and queer daughter of an Iranian immigrant and a California girl. An MFA student at Antioch University, Mahru lives in Oakland, California with her son.


Twitter Username: mahru_elahi

Nancy Agabian is the author of three books, including the novel The Fear of Large and Small Nations, a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. In 2021, she received Lambda Literary’s Jeanne Cordova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. Nancy teaches creative writing at NYU.


Twitter Username: nancyagabian

Tracy Fuad is a 2022 NEA fellow and the author of Portal, which won the 2023 Phoenix Emerging Poets' Prize and will be published by the University of Chicago in February, 2024. Her first book about:blank won the 2020 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. She teaches at the Berlin Writers' Workshop.


Twitter Username: tracyfuad

Bobuq Sayed is a queer Afghan writer, editor, and performance artist. They have received support from Kundiman, Tin House, the Lambda Writers Retreat, and San José State University’s Steinbeck fellowship. Their writing is published in Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and The Drift.


Twitter Username: bobuqsayed

Pınar Banu Yaşar is a Kurdish poet whose work can be found in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, HVTN, Odes to Our Undoing: Writers Reflecting on Crisis. They are a Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize finalist, a Poetry Online Launch Prize finalist, and in 2022 they founded the Kurdish Poets Collective.


Twitter Username: pinaryasar_

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F221.

Rewriting Motherhood, Reimagining Essential Labor

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While care work sustains human life on our planet, it took COVID-19 and a global lockdown to acknowledge, if only briefly, the essential labor of mothers and caregivers at large. This panel will focus on stories of motherhood within contemporary American and global literature to reimagine essential labor, social justice. and literary forms—especially when parenting isn’t restricted to a biological phenomenon and mediated by factors of race, class, sexual orientation, place and/or migration.

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Namrata Poddar is the author of the award-winning debut novel Border Less, an essayist, interviews editor for Kweli, and faculty of writing & literature at UCLA. Her work has appeared in LongreadsLiterary Hub, Kenyon Review, Poets & Writers, L.A. Times, The Best Asian Short Stories, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: poddar_namrata

Website: www.namratapoddar.com

Pragya Agarwal is a professor of social inequities, visiting scholar at Oxford University, Fulbright Scholar, and author of four nonfiction books including (M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman. Her writing has appeared in Literary Hub, The Guardian, Scientific American, and Wired, among others.


Twitter Username: DrPragyaAgarwal

Amaris Castillo is a journalist, mother-writer, and the creator of Bodega Stories. Her writing has appeared in La Galería Magazine, Aster(ix) Journal, and several anthologies. Her short story, "El Don," was a prize finalist for the 2022 Elizabeth Nunez Caribbean-American Writers' Prize.


Twitter Username: AmarisCastillo

Cassandra Lane is author of We Are Bridges: A Memoir (Feminist Press) and winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. She received her MFA from Antioch University. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times, L.A. Times, and elsewhere. She is editor in chief of L.A. Parent magazine.


Twitter Username: casslanewrites

Website: cassandralane.net

Vanessa Martir is the founder of the Writing Our Lives Workshop and the Writing the Mother Wound Movement. A 2021 Letras Boricuas fellow, her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Washington Post, The Rumpus, Longreads, and the anthologies Not That Bad and So We Can Know among others.


Twitter Username: Vanessa_LaLoba

Website: vanessamartir.wordpress.com

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F222.

When We River: IN-NA-PO Poets & Hydro-Poetics

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Native relationships with water involve complex cultural beliefs. Likewise, Indigenous Hydropoetics has many tributaries. This panel will begin with a collaborative video poem and then consider how cultural traditions and place-based experience influence poetic form and content. We will discuss our efforts to write with rather than about water—to enter into dialogue on the ways reciprocity informs our writing, living on and off the page, including as eco-activism and multi-media expressions.

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Annie Wenstrup received her MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast (Summer 2022). She's a Smithsonian Arctic Studies Fellow and an Indigenous Nations Poetry Fellow. She serves on the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference Advisory Committee.


Twitter Username: akwenstrup

Kimberly Blaeser, past Wisconsin poet laureate and founding director of Indigenous Nation Poets, holds the Mackey Chair in Creative Writing at Beloit College. Anishinaabe from White Earth Nation and emerita professor at UW-Milwaukee, she also teaches at IAIA. Her most recent book is Ancient Light.


Twitter Username: kmblaeser

Kalehua Kim is a Native Hawaiian poet living in the Seattle area. Currently pursuing an MFA through the Rainier Writing Workshop, she is a 2023 winner of the James Welch Prize for Indigenous Poets. Her poems have appeared in Poetry NorthwestDenver Quarterly, and Ōiwi, A Native Hawaiian Journal.

Aimee Inglis is a citizen of the Osage Nation born and raised in Anaheim, California, near the Santa Ana (Wanaawna) River. She is an MFA student at IAIA and a 2023 fellow with In-Na-Po. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Under a Warm Green Linden, Anaheim Poetry Review, and Poetry Northwest.

Casandra Lopez, a Chicana/Cahuilla/Tongva/Luiseño writer, is the author of the poetry collection Brother Bullet. A CantoMundo fellow and Headlands and Hedgebrook resident, she teaches at UC San Diego.


Twitter Username: casandramlopez

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F223.

Play Nice: How to Get Along in the Publishing World

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Publishing is about relationships. Writers who approach editors and agents with good will, courtesy, and a readiness to jump with both feet into the publishing and marketing processes are more likely to form long-term professional relationships—and sell books. The panelists, hailing from both sides of the writer-publisher dynamic, will talk about what can sour a relationship and what can help it thrive.

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David Ebenbach is the author of eight books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including the novel How to Mars. He teaches creative writing and literature at Georgetown University, and is a project manager at Georgetown’s teaching center, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship.


Twitter Username: debenbach

Website: www.davidebenbach.com

Margaret Luongo teaches creative writing and contemporary literature at Miami University, where she also serves as assistant director for the Literary London study abroad program. She is the author of two story collections, If the Heart is Lean and History of Art.

Jaymee Goh writes, reviews, and edits speculative fiction. Her work has been published in Science Fiction Studies, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. She is a graduate from the Clarion Workshop and works for Tachyon Publications.


Twitter Username: jhameia

Amy Toland is a poet, editor, and English department administrator. For the past decade she’s served as managing editor at Miami University Press, a small publisher of poetry, poetry-in-translation, and novellas based in Oxford, Ohio.

Delaney Heisterkamp (she/her) is a marketer at HarperCollins Children's Books, where she works with middle grade and teen fiction as well as EpicReads, the internet's largest book community. Her work has been published by the Academy of American Poets, F(r)iction, and Indiana Review.

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F224.

Latin@ Literatures: Publishing and Editing Latinx Literature Today

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In this panel, writers and editors will share their experiences publishing and editing Latinx literature online today. This discussion will include the editors of Latin@ Literatures and a panel of writers. The diverse group of writers will also have an opportunity to discuss genres, themes, language in Latinx literature, and the ways in which Latinx literary journals can provide a sense of “literary community.”

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Liz Márquez is an Ecuadorian American bilingual educator and writer based in Houston, Texas. Her writings have appeared in Latin@ Literatures, Mixed Mag, and more. She was a recipient of the 2021 La Raíz Poetry Prize and a participant in VONA's 2023 Summer Program.


Twitter Username: lizmarquezpoet

Florentino Solano nació en 1982 en Metlatónoc, México. Su lengua materna es el Tu’un Sávi (Mixteco). Estudió licenciatura en educación y es escritor, traductor, promotor de lectura, músico tradicional y jornalero agrícola. Ha ganado varios premios nacionales e internacionales por su trabajo literario.


Twitter Username: florentinosol

Dr. Thania Muñoz D. is an associate professor of Spanish, Latin American, and Latinx literature and culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She is also the managing editor-in-chief and founder of Latino Literatures – A Cultural and Literary Journal.


Twitter Username: MunozDaz1

Fabio Chee Madrigal is a published poet and an independent academic with a PhD in Spanish. His academic interests include Chicanx and Latinx literature and culture, border studies, and science fiction. He is design editor and founder of Latin@ Literatures.


Twitter Username: LatinoLits

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F225.

Transformation: Creating Change Through Collaboration

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Inspired by Helena Maria Viramontes’s AWP 2020 keynote address, Women Who Submit’s third anthology, TRANSFORMATION, centers work that speaks to the ways writers and other artists can promote change in the world. By focusing on generosity and collaboration, shared leadership and mentorship, and inclusive partnerships, panelists discuss how Women Who Submit makes this change a reality not just in the writing they publish but in the ways they edit, publish, and promote their writers.

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Noriko Nakada is the author of the Through Eyes Like Mine memoir series. Excerpts, essays, and poetry have been published in Hippocampus, Catapult, Linden Ave, and elsewhere. She serves on the leadership team and as blog manager for Women Who Submit.


Twitter Username: writersgrind

Chicana feminist and former Rodeo Queen, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera is a playwright, fiction writer, and the author of Breaking Pattern (Inlandia Books 2023). She has an MFA from Antioch and a PhD from USC. She is a Macondista and works for literary equity through Women Who Submit.


Twitter Username: msreichle

Website: www.tishareichle.com

Nikia Chaney is a multigenre author of nonfiction, science fiction, and poetry. Her memoir Ladybug is available from Inlandia Institute (2022). Her forthcoming poetry book To Stir & is forthcoming from Word Works press.


Twitter Username: nikiachaney

Sarah Rafael García is an award-winning author, multimedia artist, and founder of the LibroMobile Arts Cooperative (LMAC). She's the author of SanTana's Fairy Tales, recently an ethnic studies text requirement, and coeditor of speculative fiction for Dreamers, among other publications.


Twitter Username: SarahRafaGarcia

Website: www.sarahrafaelgarcia.com

Ryane Nicole Granados is a writer, professor, and former AWP Writer to Writer mentee. Recently named the Individual Arts Fellow by the California Arts Council, her work has been published in various outlets, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and showcased in KPCC’s live series Unheard LA.


Twitter Username: awriterslyfe

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F226.

Beyond Borderlands: Celebrating Essential Latinx Poetry from Texas Presses

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FlowerSong Press and Mouthfeel Press are just a small representation of the Latinx-owned independent presses creating vibrant work in the Borderlands. Both founded in Texas, these presses publish new, emerging, and established writers who’ve historically gone underrepresented, but whose words hold the power of resilience and transformation. This poetry reading celebrates contemporary Latinx poets and their books of struggle, truth, and hope as a call to elevate diverse voices and spread cultura.

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Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications) and is a former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner. She is the creator of the quarterly reading series Hitched and a cofounder of Women Who Submit.


Twitter Username: xochitljulisa

Luivette Resto is an award-winning poet and mother. She was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, but proudly raised in the Bronx. She is a CantoMundo and Macondo Fellow and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has three books of poetry with Tia Chucha and FlowerSong Press. She lives in the Los Angeles area.


Twitter Username: LuivetteResto

Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is an Los Angeles poet and author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press; Between the Spine from Picture Show Press; La Belle Ajar and We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books; Speaking con su Sombra from Alegría Publishing; and La Lengua Inside Me from FlowerSong Press.


Twitter Username: @PoetNotRockStar

Vincent Cooper is the author of Infidelis, Zarzamora, and Where the Reckless Ones Come to Die. His poetry can be found in Huizache, Riversedge, Somos En Escrito, and Issued. He is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.


Twitter Username: Orantes2020

Edward Vidaurre is an award-winning poet and author of nine collections of poetry. He is the 2018–19 City of McAllen, Texas Poet Laureate, a 2022 inductee to the Texas Institute of Letters, and publisher of FlowerSong Press.

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F227.

The Sound and the Future: Teaching Podcasting to MFA Students

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Podcasting classes are an exciting addition to the MFA curriculum but teaching them can be a pedagogical challenge. How do you explain sound editing to poets? What are the best narrative podcasts for essayists? Our panelists include the authors of Podcasting in the Creative Writing Classroom and cohosts of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast. They’ll outline how they created first-of-their-kind podcasting courses and how these classes can open up new vistas for MFA students and enrich their work.

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Whitney Terrell cohosts the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast at Literary Hub. He is the author of The Good Lieutenant, The King of Kings County, and The Huntsman. His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, Harper's, and The New Republic. He teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Twitter Username: wsterrell

Website: www.whitneyterrell.com

V. V. Ganeshananthan (she/her) is the author of the novels Brotherless Night (a New York Times Editors’ Choice) and Love Marriage, which was longlisted for the Women's Prize and named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post. She cohosts Literary Hub's Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast.


Twitter Username: V_V_G

Website: www.vasugi.com

Saul Lemerond is an assistant professor of English at Hanover College. He received his PhD in English with an emphasis in creative writing—fiction. He is dyslexic. He has a book, Digital Voices: Podcasting in the Creative Writing Classroom. Also, his short stories have appeared in JMWW and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: SaulLemerond

Leigh Camacho Rourks is the author of the St. Lawrence Book Award winner, Moon Trees and Other Orphans. She is also the recipient of the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award and the Robert Watson Literary Review Prize. She is an assistant professor of English and humanities at Beacon College.


Twitter Username: DrScaredWriter

Website: lcrourks.com

Jared McCormack is a writer, teacher, and podcaster originally from rural Missouri. He is the host and coproducer of the MFA Writers podcast. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pleiades, New Letters, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. Find him at JaredMcCormack.com.


Twitter Username: jaredemack

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F228.

Where is the Door? What Can We Carry Inside?

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To continue the work we began at #AWP23, expanding access to AWP for aspiring writers associated with HBCUs, this event focuses on aspiring creatives from marginalized writing communities. Students burning with words to write are outside the constellation of channels like AWP. The discussion will cover the continuum of issues facing writers of color and student writers of color—from "genius moments" as creatives to "unaware and invisible" looking for opportunities. Open discussion is the goal.

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Charlotte Teague is an associate professor and chairperson of English & foreign languages at Alabama A&M University (an HBCU), where she specializes and teaches courses in professional writing (creative & technical). She also oversees the university's writing center and promotes creative writing in all aspects.

Hannah V. Sawyerr was recognized as the Youth Poet Laureate of Baltimore in 2016. She holds a BA in English from Morgan State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Sawyerr is a visiting professor at Loyola Marymount University. All the Fighting Parts is her debut novel.


Twitter Username: hannsawyerr

Tommy Mouton is a southern writer and an award-winning educator. He has received support from the Writers’ League of Texas, the Tasajillo Residency, the Steinbeck Fellows Program, and Callaloo. An inaugural #AWP23 HBCU Fellow, he teaches in the English major at Huston-Tillotson University.


Twitter Username: moutonwrites

Dominique Holder is an aspiring creative writer and editor hailing from Maryland. An HBCU graduate, she won the Adele V. Holden prize for her short story "Dogs Hate Honey." She was Prince George's County’s first youth poet laureate. Currently, she is exploring fiction MFA programs.

Mohamed Tall is Baltimore City's 2017 Youth Poet Laureate and the 2016 Grand Slam champion. He is a former Baltimore City Poet Ambassador, as well as the two-time Muslim Interscholastic Tournament spoken word champion. Mohamed is the author of the poetry collection Too Broke To Die.


Twitter Username: Freshcutmo

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F229.

What Did I Know? The Poetry of Black Fatherhood in Theory and Practice

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Black poets who are fathers are currently asserting their voices against historical silences. Examining poetic theory and practice through the lens of Black fatherhood, this panel examines the effect of a poet's race, gender, and parental status on poetic form, content, and process. How do Black father-poets reflect on and speak back to generations of denigrating rhetoric surrounding Black masculinity and fatherhood to carve out healthier, more joyful spaces for their families and themselves?

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Iain Haley Pollock is the author of the poetry collections Ghost, Like a Place and Spit Back a Boy. His work has received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and an NAACP Image Award nomination. Pollock directs the MFA Program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.

Nathan McClain is the author of Previously Owned (2022) and Scale (2017), both from Four Way Books. He is a graduate from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson and a Cave Canem fellow. He currently teaches at Hampshire College and serves as poetry editor for the Massachusetts Review.


Twitter Username: nathanhmcclain

Quintin Collins is a writer, Solstice MFA Program assistant director, and a poetry editor for Salamander Magazine. He is the author of The Dandelion Speaks of Survival and Claim Tickets for Stolen People, and his poems appear in various online and print publications.

Geffrey Davis is the author of three collections: One Wild Word Away, Night Angler, and Revising the Storm. A recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf, Cave Canem, and the NEA, Davis serves as poetry editor for Iron Horse and teaches at the University of Arkansas and with the Rainier Writing Workshop.


Twitter Username: GeffreyDavis

Website: www.geffreydavis.com

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F230.

Melodrama and the Market: A Match Made in the Bedroom

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Women, nonbinary, and BIPOC writers exploring deep emotions are haunted by the label of "melodrama," that is, an excess—of sensation, sentiment, immersion—which supposedly exposes their lack of discipline in craft. This panel discusses how fear of straying into melodrama impacts the handling of intimacy and sex in fiction. How does the "specter" of melodrama determine artistic respectability and marketability of BIPOC women and nonbinary writers? How can we reclaim our right to render joy?

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Torsa Ghosal is the author of an experimental novella, Open Couplets, and a book of literary criticism, Out of Mind. Her work has appeared in Berkeley Fiction Review, Catapult, Lit Hub, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is a professor of English at California State University and is at work on a novel.


Twitter Username: TorsaG

Autumn Fourkiller is a writer and mystic from the so-called Early Death Capital of the World. They are currently at work on a novel about Indigenous identity, the Olympics, and climate change. Their work can be found in Atlas Obscura, Longreads, Electric Lit, and elsewhere.

Colleen Morrissey is an O. Henry Prize-winning author and scholar of humanities with work most recently appearing in The Rumpus and The Southern Review. She is the fiction editor for Cottonwood and currently teaches English at the University of Kansas. She is at work on her debut novel.


Twitter Username: colleenmoz

Silvia Park is a Korean/American writer and assistant professor of English at the University of Kansas. Their work has been published in Black Warrior Review, Tor.com, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, among others. Their debut novel, Luminous, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in 2025.


Twitter Username: silviajpark

Preeti Vangani is the author of Mother Tongue Apologize, winner of the RL Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Threepenny Review and Gulf Coast among others. She is the winner of the 2022 Pen/Dau Emerging Writers Prize and has been a resident at UCross & Djerassi. She holds an MFA from USF.


Twitter Username: Pscripturient

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F231.

Writing Within the Diaspora: On Persian and Armenian Displacement and Literature

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The Armenian and Persian diasporas of the eighties had an indelible effect on the populations that were displaced. Much like any people that have lost, or were removed from their homelands, a generation of children have grown and matured seeking the words to describe what they experienced, and continue to experience. This panel explains how artists have used their experiences, not as trauma fodder, but instead to examine the core of existence and reclaim their own agency.

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Arthur Kayzakian is the winner of the 2021 Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series for his collection The Book of Redacted Paintings. He was also selected as a finalist for the 2021 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. He also won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition for My Burning City.


Twitter Username: Arthurdocaka

Armen Davoudian is the author of The Palace of Forty Pillars, forthcoming from Tin House Books in March 2024. His poems and translations from Persian appear in Poetry magazine, the Hopkins Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. Armen grew up in Isfahan, Iran and lives in California.


Twitter Username: armendavoudian

Maryam Shadmehr is an Iranian-American writer whose work hovers in the cross section of natural elements, mental health, and her faith. She is currently editing her debut novel and working as senior fiction editor for jmww literary journal. Maryam also maintains a literature blog and writes poems.


Twitter Username: maryamshadmehr

Room 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F232.

Emerson MFA at Forty: Celebrating Four Decades of Writing and Publishing

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The Emerson MFA program, located in the heart of the Boston Literary District, celebrates its fortieth anniversary with readings from five alumni writers from Texas, DC, Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City. The panelists discuss how their work in publishing—founding journals; founding transnational literature series; and advocating for inclusive children’s lit—informs their writing. Readings showcase work they have published across genres: poems, essays, stories, novels, YA, and translation.

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Rebecca Morgan Frank's fourth collection of poems is Oh You Robot Saints!, and her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, APR, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA program at Northwestern University, edits Memorious, and serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle.


Twitter Username: poetmorgan

Website: www.rebeccamorganfrank.com

Ciera Burch has an MFA from Emerson College and her fiction has appeared in American Literary Magazine, Underground, the art and literary journal of Georgia State University, Stork, and Blackbird. Her first novels, Finch House and Something Kindred are out in September 2023 and April 2024.

Shuchi Saraswat's prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, AGNI, Ecotone, Tin House, and elsewhere. She founded and directed the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith until 2021. She's now senior editor at AGNI.

Kenan Orhan's fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, Massachusetts Review, and been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories. His debut collection, I Am My Country and Other Stories is out from Random House. He lives in Kansas City.


Twitter Username: KenanOrhan93

Madeline Kay Sneed is a Texas novelist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Baylor University and her Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction from Emerson College. She is the author of The Golden Season and Today Tonight Forever.


Twitter Username: MadelineSneed

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F233.

The Hybrid Memoir: Weaving Personal Narrative with Research

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Nonfiction books that combine memoir with research are populating the lists of prize winners and readers. Research methods such as fieldwork, interviews, and historical deep dives can do more than enhance a personal story; they can capture complexities, advocate for social justice, and inspire necessary cultural change. Five diverse nonfiction writers will discuss their reasons for, challenges with, and approaches to weaving extensive research into their personal narratives.

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Sonya Huber is the author of eight books of nonfiction, including Love and Industry: A Midwestern Workbook, Voice First, Supremely Tiny Acts, Opa Nobody, Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir, and Pain Woman Takes Your Keys. She teaches at Fairfield University. More at www.sonyahuber.com.


Twitter Username: sonyahuber

Website: http://www.sonyahuber.com

Daisy Hernández is the author of The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation's Neglect of a Deadly Disease, and the memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed. She coedited the feminist anthology Colonize This! and is an associate professor at Northwestern University.


Twitter Username: daisyhernandez

Website: daisyhernandez.com

Catina Bacote is a Jerome Hill Artist and American Association of University Women Fellow. Her essays have appeared in This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home, Ploughshares, Tin House, Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, and others. She is from New Haven, Connecticut, and teaches at Trinity College.

Heather Lanier is the author of the poetry collection, Psalms of Unknowing, and the memoir, Raising a Rare Girl, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. She teaches graduate and undergraduate creative writing at Rowan University, and her TED talk has been viewed three million times.


Twitter Username: heatherklanier

Jennifer Lunden (she/her) is the author of American Breakdown: Our Ailing Nation, My Body’s Revolt, and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Who Brought Me Back to Life, which was praised by the Los Angeles Review of Books and Washington Post, and called a “genre-bending masterpiece” by Hippocampus.

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F234.

Editing Behind Bars: Mainstream Books Built by Incarcerated Artists

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The literary world has grown more conscientious about including incarcerated writers in occasional projects, but their work is still siloed at best. What perspectives can literature gain when mainstream books are built by incarcerated writers? What can we learn when disappeared citizens take control of the narrative? Learn about the book American Precariat (Coffee House Press), and the team behind the first-ever anthology compiled and edited by incarcerated writers, for readers in the free world.

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Jennifer Bowen Hicks is artistic director of the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Her work has received the Arts & Letter Prize, the Tim McGinnis Award, BAE Notable, and Pushcart Special Mention. Her essays and stories appear in Orion, The Iowa Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

Michael Torres was born and bought up in Pomona, California where he spent his adolescence as a graffiti artist. His debut collection, An Incomplete List of Names, was a National Poetry Series selection. Currently, he teaches creative writing in Minnesota.

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

F235.

Disabled & D/deaf Writers Caucus

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The Disabled & D/deaf Writers Caucus allows for those who are disabled or living with chronic illness, and their allies, to network and discuss common challenges related to identity, writing, and teaching while professionally leading a literary life. By meeting annually at the AWP conference, we aim to archive our interests, challenges, and concerns in order to increase our visibility and emphasize our importance both to this organization and to the communities where we live, teach, and work.

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Cade Leebron writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, American Literary Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: CadeyLadey

Website: www.mslifeisbestlife.com

Emily Rose Cole is the author of the full-length poetry collection Thunderhead and the chapbook Love & a Loaded Gun, a collection of persona poems in women's voices. She holds an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati.


Twitter Username: EmilyColeWrites

Website: www.emilyrosecolepoetry.com

Jess Silfa is an Afro-Latinx, disabled, and queer writer and poet. They earned a BA from Columbia University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt, and are a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati. They are currently working on a novel and a poetry chapbook.


Twitter Username: jesilfa

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F236.

The Braided Essay as Change Agent

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How is the braided essay form innately subversive, in realms of interiority, the classroom, society? It can be a "social justice action" for marginalized/minoritized writers; an assertion of queer lives’ complexities; a feminist refusal of linear hero’s journeys; and a way for students to weave empowering threads (i.e., memoir, research, cultural critique) together in one piece. Three innovative essayists who also teach will showcase braided essays' dynamic, hegemony-undermining possibilities.

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Candace Walsh coedits Quarter After Eight and holds a fiction MFA from Warren Wilson. She's a fiction PhD candidate at Ohio U. Words at HAD, Passengers, Greensboro Review, Craft, Fiction Writers Review, Leon Literary. She coedited two Lambda Literary finalist anthologies. candacewalsh.contently.com.


Twitter Username: candacewalsh

Nicole Walker is the author of Processed Meats: Essays on Food, Flesh and Navigating Disaster, Sustainability: A Love Story, Egg, Microcosm, Quench Your Thirst with Salt, and This Noisy Egg. She edited, with Margot Singer, Bending Genre. She teaches at Northern Arizona University.


Twitter Username: nikwalkottter

Website: http://nikwalk.com

Anna Chotlos’s essays and poems have recently appeared in Split Lip, Hotel Amerika, Sweet Lit, and River Teeth’s Beautiful Things. She holds an MA from Ohio University and now teaches and writes in Denton, Texas, where she is a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of North Texas.

Sarah Minor is the author of Slim Confessions: The Universe as a Spider or Spit (Noemi 2021), Bright Archive (Rescue 2020), and The Persistence of the Bonyleg: Annotated, a digital chapbook from Essay Press. She teaches in the University of Iowa's nonfiction writing program.


Twitter Username: sarahceniaminor

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F237.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? The Ecstasy & Agony of Collaborative Books

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Collaboration is a deeply enriching, inspiring, and challenging experience for writers seeking creative connection and growth. The exchange of ideas and trust within a collaborative book project is intimidating, but it can have transformative effects on writers' voices and visions. In this panel, five authors of collaborative books across a range of genres will shed light on the process of writing, editing, and publishing collaboratively.

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Rochelle Hurt is the author of three books of poetry: The J Girls: A Reality Show; In Which I Play the Runaway; and The Rusted City: A Novel in Poems. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida.


Twitter Username: rochellehurt

Cynthia Arrieu-King is a professor of creative writing at Stockton University and a former Kundiman fellow. Her books include the poetry volumes People are Tiny in Paintings of China, and Futureless Languages; her experimental memoir is called The Betweens. cynthiaarrieuking.blogspot.com


Twitter Username: arrieuking

W. Todd Kaneko is the author of This is How the Bone Sings and The Dead Wrestler Elegies, and coauthor of Poetry: A Writer's Guide and Anthology and the chapbook Slash/Slash. He is a Kundiman fellow, former coeditor of Waxwing magazine, and an associate professor at Grand Valley State University.


Twitter Username: toddkaneko

Website: http://www.toddkaneko.com

Sophie Klahr is the author of Two Open Doors In a Field (Backwaters Press, 2023) and Meet Me Here At Dawn (YesYes Books), and coauthor of There is Only One Ghost in the World (Fiction Collective 2, 2023) with Corey Zeller. She lives in Los Angeles.


Twitter Username: sophieklahr

Website: sophieklahr.com

Vi Khi Nao is the author of Swimming With Dead Stars, A Bell Curve Is A Pregnant Straight Line, and the play Waiting for God. She was the winner of the 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest for A Brief Alphabet of Torture, a collection of short stories.


Twitter Username: vikhinao

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F238.

Becoming a Debut Novelist: The Journey From Book Submission to Book Launch

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The path from selling a book to launching a debut novel into the world is thrilling and exciting, but it is also long and full of twists and turns. This panel of debut novelists—with publication dates from late 2023 through early 2025—will discuss all aspects of this journey, including selling the book, working with an editor, and navigating marketing and publicity. The aim of the panel is to be transparent and to provide helpful advice for all debut novelists to come.

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Marcela Fuentes is a Pushcart Prize-winning fiction writer and essayist. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is a former fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is an assistant professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Her debut novel Malas is forthcoming from Viking Books.


Twitter Username: marcelisima1

Temim Fruchter is a queer, nonbinary Jewish writer living in Brooklyn. She is the recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and the DC Arts Commission, as well as a 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award. Her debut novel, City of Laughter (Grove Atlantic), is out January 2024.


Twitter Username: temim

Jon Hickey (Anishinaabe) is the author of Big Chief, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster. His stories have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, and The Massachusetts Review. He earned an MFA from Cornell University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.


Twitter Username: jonvhickey

Chin-Sun Lee is the author of the debut novel, Upcountry (Unnamed Press, 2023). Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Joyland, and the Believer Logger, among other publications. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School, and lives in New Orleans.


Twitter Username: leechinsun

Denne Michele Norris is the editor-in-chief of Electric Literature, winner of the 2022 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. A 2021 Out100 Honoree, her writing has been supported by MacDowell and Tin House, and widely published. Her debut novel, When The Harvest Comes, is forthcoming from Random House.


Twitter Username: thedennemichele

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F239.

Chosen Family: Making Kinship Among Queer Poets

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In the queer community where chosen family can be a vital lifeline, mentorship and influence go beyond craft and career to show us not only how to write but also how to live and love more fully. In this way, queer poethood can resemble a kind of parenthood where artistic lineage becomes a true kinship. This panel will dig into our own queer family trees and the ways that mapping those creative and cultural lineages has helped us to inhabit our bodies and poems freely and with a shared joy.

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Keetje Kuipers’s third collection of poems, All Its Charms, includes work honored by publication in both the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry. A judge of the 2022 National Book Award in poetry, she is currently editor of Poetry Northwest and a board member at the National Book Critics Circle.

Meg Day is the 2015–2016 recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level. Day is an assistant professor of English and creative writing in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University.


Twitter Username: themegdaystory

Website: www.megday.com

Jan-Henry Gray (he/him) is the author of Documents, chosen by D.A. Powell as the winner of BOA Editions' Poulin Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Selected Emails from speCt! Books. An Undocupoets and Kundiman fellow, he is an assistant professor at Adelphi University in New York.

Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing, which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Thom Gunn Awards for Gay Poetry. He has received the Cave Canem, Fulbright/IIE, NEA, and Stegner fellowships, among others. He teaches poetry at Northwestern University.

Shelley Wong is the author of As She Appears (YesYes Books), winner of the 2023 Lambda Literary Award for lesbian poetry and longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award. She lives in San Francisco.


Twitter Username: shhelleywong

Website: shelley-wong.com

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F240.

Writing with Fire: Poetry and Mental Illness

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This panel will explore representations of mental illness in poetry and the complex relationship between mental illness and the artistic temperament. While the “mad poet” archetype is flawed, a poet’s mental state and the poetry they produce are inextricably linked. After reading a sampling of their own work, panelists will share their experiences with writing about mental illness, including a discussion of craft, therapeutic benefits, destigmatizing mental illness, and intersectionality.

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Stevie Edwards is a lecturer at Clemson University and poetry editor of the South Carolina Review. She is the author of Quiet Armor, Sadness Workshop, Humanly, and Good Grief. Her poems appear in Poetry magazine and American Poetry Review. She has an MFA from Cornell and PhD from University of North Texas.


Twitter Username: DrStevie_Poetry

Marlin M. Jenkins studied poetry in University of Michigan's MFA program and is the author of the poetry chapbook Capable Monsters. They currently live and teach in Minnesota.


Twitter Username: MMicahJenkins

Eugenia Leigh is a Korean American author of two books of poetry. Poems from her new collection, Bianca, were awarded Poetry's Bess Hokin Prize and have appeared in The Atlantic, The NationPloughshares, and elsewhere. A Kundiman fellow, Eugenia serves as a poetry editor at Adroit Journal.


Twitter Username: EugeniaLeigh

Website: http://www.eugenialeigh.com

Danez Smith is the author of three collections, most recently Homie and Don't Call Us Dead, a finalist for the National Book Award. They are the cohost of the podcast VS with poet Franny Choi.


Twitter Username: danez_smif

Leila Chatti is the author of Deluge (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) and multiple chapbooks. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University and is a provost fellow at the University of Cincinnati.


Twitter Username: laypay

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F241.

Personal Best: A New Kind of Canon, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press

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Who chooses what poems will ultimately be remembered—editors, prize committees, the collective force of social media? This unique reading puts the decision with the artists themselves. Four award-winning poets consider their body of work and bring forward the poems they think matter most. Offering an intimate window onto intrinsic measures of success and failure, this reading—and the anthology that inspires it—upends notions of canon and curation by putting the poet front and center.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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Adrian Matejka is the author of seven books, most recently a mixed media collection inspired by Funkadelic, Standing on the Verge & Maggot Brain (Third Man Books, 2021) and a collection of poems, Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin, 2021), which was a finalist for the 2022 UNT Rilke Prize and the 2022 Indiana Authors’ Award. His first graphic novel, Last On His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century, was published by Liveright in 2023. He lives in Chicago and is Editor of Poetry magazine.

Jennifer Elise Foerster is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, The Maybe-Bir (The Song Cave), and served as the Associate Editor of When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. Jennifer teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop and the Institute of American Indian Arts. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, she lives in San Francisco.


Twitter Username: JenniferEliseF

Website: www.jenniferfoerster.com

Erin Belieu is the author of numerous books, most recently Come-Hither Honeycomb, and her poems have appeared in places such as The Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. She currently teaches in the University of Houston’s MFA/PhD creative writing program, as well as for the Lesley University low-residency MFA in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Twitter Username: erinbelieu

Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. He’s the author of Guillotine, published by Graywolf Press, and Slow Lightning, which won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He's the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.


Twitter Username: EduardoCCorral

Dana Levin is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Now Do You Know Where You Are (2022), a New York Times Notable Book. Her first book, In the Surgical Theatre, was chosen by Louise Glück for the 1999 APR/Honickman First Book Prize and went on to receive numerous honors, including the 2003 PEN/Osterweil Award. Copper Canyon Press brought out her second book, Wedding Day, in 2005, and in 2011 Sky Burial, which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” Banana Palace, published in 2016, was a finalist for the Rilke Prize. Levin’s poetry and essays have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, The American Poetry Review, The Nation, and Poetry. Her fellowships and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, as well as the Lannan, Rona Jaffe, Whiting, and Guggenheim Foundations. Levin currently serves as Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis, where she lives.

Grand Ballroom B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

F242.

Where Is Literary Criticism Headed?, Sponsored by the National Book Critics Circle

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In its fiftieth anniversary year, the National Book Critics Circle gathers literary critics who have been defining the future of contemporary cultural criticism. Two NBCC criticism award chairs, who have had their fingers on the pulse of critical engagement for the past decade, are joined by three NBCC-honored critics in a reading and wide-ranging conversation about the future of the form.


This event will take place in person in the Kansas City Convention Center and will be livestreamed for virtual audiences. All livestreamed events include open captions and ASL interpretation.

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J. Howard Rosier is the National Book Critics Circle’s criticism chair. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Atlantic, The Nation, Bookforum, Poetry, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. He teaches writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Twitter Username: justlikebeirut

Walton Muyumba has published literary essays and reviews in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Oxford American, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other outlets. He co-edited and wrote the introduction to John Edgar Wideman’s collection, You Made Me Love You: Selected Stories, 1981–2018 (Scribner, 2021). Muyumba is at work on various creative and critical book projects. He is Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor in the Department of English at Indiana University.


Twitter Username: wmuyumba

Website: waltonmuyumba.com

Camille T. Dungy is the author of Soil, four collections of poetry, including Trophic Cascade and the essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers, a finalist for the NBCC Criticism award. A University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, Dungy’s honors include the 2021 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, and fellowships from the NEA in prose and poetry.

The winner of a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Margo Jefferson previously served as book and arts critic for Newsweek and the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in, among other publications, Vogue, New York Magazine, The Nation, and Guernica. Her memoir, Negroland, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. She is also the author of On Michael Jackson and is a professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts.


Twitter Username: jeffersonmargo

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F243.

Debuting with the Short Story Collection

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Many industry professionals counsel against debuting with a short story collection, and urge fiction writers to "wait until they have a novel." The writers on this panel all had successful debuts with story collections. On this panel we will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of debuting with a collection, how to successfully market your first book, and what craft benefits came with debuting with a story collection.

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Gothataone Moeng is the author of the story collection Call and Response (Viking, 2023). She is a 2023–24 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a 2022/2023 fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a 2018–20 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Molly Gott is a writer living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program.

Lydia Conklin has received a Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes, and a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland. They are an assistant professor of fiction at Vanderbilt. Their book Rainbow Rainbow was published by Catapult in May 2022.


Twitter Username: Lydiaconklin

Dantiel W. Moniz is the recipient of a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award and a Pushcart Prize. Her debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, is a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and she teaches fiction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Twitter Username: dantielwmoniz

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F244.

Fragments, Figments, and Flash: Unconventional Memoir and the Myth of Memory

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Memory is fragile cargo, easily fragmented by time and distance. Traditional memoirs can appear to avoid this reality by presenting a flawless reconstruction of lived experience. But writers have many tools that embrace and emphasize memory’s flaws and limitations. Panelists will discuss their unique approaches to the questions of memory and the memoir impulse, revealing the challenges of writing, revising, and publishing.

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Charles Jensen is the author of a memoir Splice of Life, three poetry collections, and seven chapbooks. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, New England Review, Passages North, and Prairie Schooner. He directs the writers' program at UCLA Extension.


Twitter Username: charles_jensen

Website: www.charles-jensen.com

Joseph Lezza is a writer in New York, New York with an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. His debut memoir in essays, I'm Never Fine: Scenes and Spasms on Loss (Vine Leaves Press), was a finalist for the 2021 Prize Americana in Prose. Find him on the socials @lezzdoothis.


Twitter Username: lezzdoothis

Manuel Betancourt is an LA-based writer and film critic. His work has been featured in the New York Times, BuzzFeed Reader, Los Angeles Times, and Catapult, among others. He's the author of The Male Gazed: What Hunks, Heartthrobs and Pop Culture Taught Me About (Desiring) Men.


Twitter Username: bmanuel

Ander Monson is the author of nine books, including Predator: a Memoir (Graywolf, 2022). He teaches at the University of Arizona and edits the magazine DIAGRAM, the website Essay Daily, March Xness, the Assessment Matters Institute, the Memory Vending Machine, and the New Michigan Press.


Twitter Username: angermonsoon

Website: http://otherelectricities.com

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F245.

Getting the Word Out: A Guide to Book Marketing & Publicity for Indie Presses and Authors, Sponsored by CLMP

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How do presses and authors successfully partner to market and publicize books? What should authors and publishers expect from one another before and after publication? And when should authors engage outside publicity for their books? On this panel, marketing and publicity directors from indie presses share how they promote new titles, best practices for presses and authors looking to improve their publicity strategies, and more.

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Emma Hine is the communications director of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). Her debut poetry collection, Stay Safe, received the 2019 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and was published by Sarabande Books in January 2021.


Twitter Username: emkhine

Ryo Yamaguchi is the publicist at Copper Canyon Press. He is the author of The Refusal of Suitors (Noemi Press), and has been a book critic for Harriet Books at the Poetry Foundation and Michigan Quarterly Review, among others. His poems have appeared widely, including The Best American Poetry 2020.


Twitter Username: ryo964

Patrick Davis writes poetry, essays, literary criticism, and reviews. He is the publisher and editor in chief of Unbound Edition Press and a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle. His work has appeared in Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Salamander, and Great River Review, among others.


Twitter Username: PressUnbound

Morgan LaRocca is the publicist at Milkweed Editions. Prior to joining Milkweed in 2022, they worked as a freelance publicist, publicity associate at Graywolf Press, and served as marketing and publicity intern at Tin House Books. They are a graduate of Towson University and a proud Baltimorean.

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F246.

Too Small For the Patriarchy: Getting Girlhood Stories Past the Gatekeepers

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Who has the right to grow up in American literature? On this panel, authors discuss the joys, challenges, and importance of writing and publishing diverse narratives about American girlhoods. Getting these stories past the gatekeepers, who often misunderstand and reject them for being “too quiet” or “too small,” requires courage and persistence. When our own inner critics tell us such stories don’t truly matter, how do we push beyond our doubt and continue writing on a path to publication?

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Chaitali Sen is the author of a novel The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions) and the story collection A New Race of Men from Heaven (Sarabande Books), winner of the 2021 Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction.

Natalia Sylvester is the Pura Belpré- and Schneider Family-honor winning author of the young adult novel Breathe and Count Back from Ten, and the award-winning author of the young adult novel Running and the adult novels Everyone Knows You Go Home and Chasing the Sun. Twitter/IG: @NataliaSylv.


Twitter Username: NataliaSylv

Rose Smith’s writing can be found in the Missouri Review, Five Points, and Narrative Magazine. She was the winner of the Missouri Review's Editors’ Prize and a finalist for Narrative's 2018 Story Contest. Her films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, and MoMA. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson.

Magdalena Bartkowska is a freelance editor and writer whose work has appeared in Barnstorm Journal, Apple Valley Review, and The Sun. Her essay titled "What They Don't Tell You at Your Baby Shower" shortlisted in the 2022 Sonora Review Rage Essay Contest.


Twitter Username: MagdaBart8

Toni Ann Johnson won the 2021 Flannery O'Connor Award for her linked story collection Light Skin Gone to Waste. She is a 2015 NAACP Image Award nominee for her debut novel Remedy For a Broken Angel and a two-time winner of the Humanitas Prize for her screenplays Ruby Bridges and Crown Heights.


Twitter Username: toniannjohnson

Bookfair Stage, AWP Bookfair, Exhibit Halls D & E, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

F246A.

Book Launch Reading for Habitats by Katharine Whitcomb—with Special Guests!

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Join us for a celebration of Habitats by Katharine Whitcomb, just published in January 2024 by Poetry Northwest Editions and chosen as the third volume in the innovative Possession Sound series! This event will feature Katharine reading from her new book and readings by Possession Sound press-mate and acclaimed poet, essayist, and editor Elizabeth Bradfield, as well as Poetry Northwest senior editor and award-winning poet Xavier Cavazos, author of The Devil's Workshop, and other special guest readers.

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Katharine Whitcomb is director of the online Professional and Creative Writing MA program, and co-founded/directed the nationally ranked online Professional and Creative Writing BA at Central Washington University. She's the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Habitats.


Twitter Username: k_whitcomb

Website: www.katharinewhitcomb.com

Elizabeth Bradfield is a writer and naturalist/guide who lives on Cape Cod, works on ships around the globe, and teaches creative writing at Brandeis University. Toward Antarctica is her fourth collection.

Xavier Cavazos is the author of Barbarian at the Gate, selected as part of the PSA's New American Poets Chapbook Series. A senior poetry editor for Poetry Northwest and author of The Devil's Workshop, Editor's Choice Award from Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2023. He hopes to conjure.

4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Grand Ballroom D, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2