2024 AWP Conference Schedule

 

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Saturday, February 10, 2024

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

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S100.

Sober AWP

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

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8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Room 2214, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S101.

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

S102.

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

S103.

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

S104.

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

S105.

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

S106.

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

S107.

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

S108.

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

S109.

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

S110.

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

S111.

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

S112.

Vision & Re-Vision: Teaching Revision in University & Community Workshops

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The revision process can feel mysterious, even terrifying, to new writers. Panelists who write in multiple genres and employ a variety of teaching strategies will ask questions of each other and the audience, as they work toward new teaching models. How can we encourage students to identify their work’s aesthetic and rhetorical purpose and revise toward it? How do we encourage play—the practice of invention and reinvention—as a route to discovery, given the workshop’s time constraints?

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Sarah Browning teaches workshops with Writers in Progress. She is cofounder and for ten years was executive director of Split This Rock. Author of Killing Summer and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, she received an MFA in poetry and creative nonfiction from Rutgers University Camden.

Maya Marshall is the author of the poetry collection All the Blood Involved in Love. She cofounded underbelly, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Marshall is an assistant professor at Adelphi University and is an editor for Haymarket Books.

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

Allison Joseph is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is the author of several books and chapbooks of poems, is the director of the SIUC MFA Program, and serves as editor and poetry editor for Crab Orchard Review.


Twitter Username: allisonjoseph

Sara Henning is the author of View from True North (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018) and Terra Incognita (Ohio University Press, 2022). Her forthcoming collection of poems, Burn, is a Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Editor’s Selection. She is an assistant professor at Marshall University.


Twitter Username: SaraDHenning

Website: https://www.sarahenningpoet.com/

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S113.

Evolving Literary Landscape: Creating Innovative Programming at Literary Centers

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Literary programming means more than offering a workshop or hosting a reading. In this interactive panel, directors from established and emerging urban and rural literary centers will explore innovative programming that illustrate the power of the literary arts in the larger world, including creating writers groups, networking events, themed readings, celebrations, and targeted outreach to underserved and at-risk populations, among others.

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Michael Khandelwal writes and publishes fiction and poetry and teaches workshops for The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia, for which he is the executive director (and cofounder). He is a columnist for Coastal Virginia Magazine and a former webmaster for The American Council on Education.

Arleta Little is a writer and culture worker. Her recent literary work has appeared in multiple journals and publications including We Are Meant to Rise; Calyx; Blues Vision; and Water-Stone Review. She currently serves as the executive & artistic director for the Loft Literary Center.


Twitter Username: littlearleta

Andrea Dupree is program director for Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a nonprofit literary center she cofounded in 1997. A recipient of two MacDowell fellowships, her fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, VQR, Colorado Review, and the Normal School; she recommended a notable in BASS 2015.

Peter E. Murphy is the founder of Murphy Writing of Stockton University, which has been sponsoring the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway and other conferences, workshops, and courses in the United States and Europe since 1994. www.murphywriting.com


Twitter Username: murphywriting

Maggie Marshall is a fiction writer and award-winning screenwriter, and is the cofounder of the Flatiron Writers Room in Asheville, North Carolina. She has written for numerous one-hour TV dramas, is currently at work on a novel, and has had fiction and nonfiction pieces published in The Great Smokies Review.


Twitter Username: FWRAsheville

Website: www.flatironwritersroom.com

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S114.

Writing Freely in Florida: Thirty years of the MFA at the University of Miami

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For the last thirty years, the creative writing faculty at the University of Miami has remained steadfast in our mission to celebrate diversity and promote freedom of expression. Join a panel of faculty and recent alumni as we discuss how the MFA program at UM fosters an environment that encourages multilingual writing, explores the immigrant experience, and engages with histories rooted in race, gender, and sexuality, proposing how other programs might achieve similar goals.

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Jaswinder Bolina is author of the poetry collections The 44th of July, Phantom Camera, Carrier Wave, and the digital chapbook The Tallest Building in America. He teaches on the faculty of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Miami.

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 YorkerAtlanticNew York Times, and other outlets. He is an alumni of the University of Miami MFA program.


Twitter Username: borywrites

Chantel Acevedo's novels include The Distant Marvels, a Booklist Editors Choice pick, A Falling Star, and Love and Ghost Letters. Her most recent novel is The Living Infinite. She is an associate professor and teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Miami.


Twitter Username: chantelacevedo

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S115.

Writing for the Ear: How To Create, Launch, and Grow a Podcast

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When it comes to podcasting, writers have a distinct advantage: they already understand the power of voice. But how do you move from writing on the page to writing for the ear? Four podcast producers—a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Forbes writer, Stanford podcasting lecturer, and humor author—share the secrets that made their shows successful. From crafting story arcs to growing an audience and winning awards, these four women writers pull back the curtain on creating top-ranked shows.

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Annmarie Kelly is the author of Here Be Dragons, a memoir about the sweet misery of raising children with someone you love. She also hosts Wild Precious Life, a literary podcast about making the most of the time we have. Annmarie is currently querying a YA novel about the truth in the lies we tell.


Twitter Username: annmariek_h

Website: annmariekellyharbaugh.com

Laura Joyce Davis is an award-winning writer and podcast producer who teaches at Stanford University and produces the top 1% shows State of the Human and Shelter in Place. She is a Podcast Magazine Top Influencer in Podcasting, and founded Narrative Podcasts, online training for audio storytellers.


Twitter Username: laurajoycedavis

Website: http://www.laurajoycedavis.com/

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S116.

Grief: What is it Good For?

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Absolutely everything. While many view grief only as tragedy, these four writers dive in to find connection, community, love, and joy. An exploration of their writing shows the value of investigating grief and specific ways of doing so on the page. In this moderated Q&A, panelists showcase how they approach grief, the importance of doing so, the ethics of including those gone, and the various craft techniques used to find value in mourning.

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Maddie Norris is the author of The Wet Wound: An Elegy in Essays. She earned her MFA at the University of Arizona and before that was the Thomas Wolfe scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her work can be found in Guernica, Fourth Genre, and Territory, among others.


Twitter Username: madnor94

Ross Gay is the author of the poetry collections Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude; and the essay collection The Book of Delights. He teaches at Indiana University.

Kathryn Savage's debut essay Groundglass was published last year by Coffee House Press. Other writing has recently appeared in BOMB, Ecotone, Guernica, and VQR. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of the novel The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, A Haven (Noemi Press, 2018), which won an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and Names for Light: A Family History (Graywolf Press, 2021), which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.


Twitter Username: thiriimkm

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S117.

Writers Who Drag

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This queer, multigenre panel focuses on the art of drag and the ways in which concepts of hyperbole, metaphor, lyricism, and musicality can be directly applied to literary work. Panelists will discuss their work as drag artists and the way it informs their writing practice, or the ways in which they participate in linguistic drag to render categories of gender and genre malleable. Focuses will include what drag can teach writers about persona, considering an audience, and "erotic havoc."

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Wo Chan is a poet and drag performer. They are a winner of the 2020 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the author of Togetherness (2022). Wo has received fellowships from MacDowell, New York Foundation of the Arts, Kundiman, the Asian American Writers Workshop, and elsewhere. Find them @theillustriouspearl


Twitter Username: theillustriouspear

Addie Tsai (any/all) has an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in dance from Texas Woman's University. Addie teaches creative writing at William & Mary. They are the author of Dear Twin and Unwieldy Creatures.


Twitter Username: addiebrook

Elizabeth Hoover is the author of the archive is all in present tense, winner of the 2021 Barrow Street Book Prize. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in the North American Review, Kenyon Review, and StoryQuarterly. She teaches in the English department at Webster University in St. Louis.

Gabe Montesanti is the author of the roller derby memoir, Brace For Impact (2022). Her work has been published in HuffPost, Lit Hub, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Electric Literature, and Brevity. Gabe is currently at work on an illustrated memoir about performing drag.


Twitter Username: gabemontesanti

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S118.

Writing Poetry in English as a Second, Third, Etc. Language

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What poetry can emerge from writers working in languages that are not their mother tongues? How is language and meaning metamorphosed through translingual verses, creative translation, disruption, resistance, distances, experimentation, and/or play? The poets in this panel will discuss their experiences cohabiting with the languages in their lives, their relationships with English, and how these have informed their approach to craft throughout their careers.

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Born in South Korea and raised in Peru, Ae Hee Lee’s debut poetry collection, Asterism, was selected for the 2022 Dorset Prize. She's author of poetry chapbooks Bedtime || Riverbed, Dear bear, and Connotary (Frost Place Chapbook Competition Winner).


Twitter Username: aeheelee

Andrea Jurjević is the author of two poetry collections and a chapbook, most recently, In Another Country (Saturnalia Press, 2024). Her book-length translations from Croatian include Mamasafari (Diálogos Press, 2018) by Olja Savičević and Dead Letter Office (The Word Works, 2020) by Marko Pogačar. She is a native of Croatia.


Twitter Username: @andrea_jurjevic

Website: https://andreajurjevic.com/

Alonso Llerena is a Peruvian writer, visual artist, translator, and educator. He has earned an MFA from Bard: Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Offing, FENCE, Cream City Review, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: allerena

Siwar Masannat is a Jordanian writer and the author of cue: poems (Georgia Review Books/University of Georgia Press, 2024) and 50 Water Dreams (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2015). Masannat is the managing editor of the African Poetry Book Fund and Prairie Schooner in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Twitter Username: SiwarMas

Lena Zycinsky is a poet, artist born in Belarus. Author of numerous books and shows. Work appeared in New York Times, Poetry Archive, Consequence, Flare, among other places. Current postgraduate student at NYU writers seminars in Paris.

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S119.

Una Mujer Peligrosa: Celebrating the Queer Work and Life of tatiana de la tierra

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tatiana de la tierra (1961–2012) was a Latina lesbian writer and trailblazer. In the nineties, she cofounded Esto No Tiene Nombre and Conomoción magazines featuring Latina lesbians in the United States and abroad. She later authored her iconic For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology. In 2022, Redonda y radical: antología poética de tatiana de la tierra was published in Colombia (Sincronía Press). This panel features some of tatiana’s literary coconspirators to discuss her dangerously delicious life and works.

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Olga García Echeverría (she/her/ella) is coliterary executor for tatiana de la tierra. Her poetry and creative nonfiction appear in The Sun magazine, Latino Book Review, Imaniman: Poets Writing on the Anzalduan Borderlands, among others. She teaches Chicanx/Latinx lit at Cal State University Los Angeles.


Twitter Username: OlgaMariposa

Carribean Fragoza is a fiction and nonfiction writer from South El Monte, Califronia. Her collection of stories Eat the Mouth That Feeds You was published in 2021 by City Lights and was a finalist for a 2022 PEN Award. She is the prose editor at Huizache magazine and a 2023 Whiting Award recipient.


Twitter Username: CarriFragoza

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez is a Chicana writer and professor who now makes her home in Toronto. Her two books, How to Get a Girl Pregnant and Are You a Boy or a Girl, were both finalists for the Lambda Literary Award, and she is the screenwriter for the award-winning animated cartoon Tomboy.

Amelia María de la Luz Montes (she, her, ella) is a Fulbright Scholar, professor, and chair of the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her memoir on her Fulbright year in X-Yugoslavia will be published fall 2024 (The Ohio State University Press).

Myriam Gurba Serrano is a writer. Her book Creep, an essay collection, was published by Avid Reader Press in September 2023. Mean, her memoir, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and a finalist for the Judy Grahn Award. She has written for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.


Twitter Username: lesbrains

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S120.

A Cat's Belly: Structuring Your Debut Collection through Place and Movement

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In Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems (Giragosian and Konchan, eds.), Diane Seuss asks: “Might your book's arrangement, taken far enough, be you?” This craft talk will look at various ways poets have engaged in the amorphous process of arranging, scrubbing, and sewing together poems. The panelists will examine how poems can cohere and create necessary movement and coda throughout a collection, and how the sounds, cadences, and colors of a place can ground a written work.

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India Lena González is a poet, editor, and multidisciplinary artist. She received her BA from Columbia University, where she graduated with honors, and her MFA from NYU’s creative writing program. fox woman get out! is her debut poetry collection.

Meghan Maguire Dahn is the author of Domain (2022) and the chapbook Lucid Animal (2021). A winner of the Discovery/92Y Prize, her work has appeared in a wide range of publications including the Best New American Poets (2017). She teaches at Fordham University and lives with her family in New York.


Twitter Username: megmagdah

Ryan Cook is a Brooklyn-based poet, performer, bookseller, and publicist. They are an MFA candidate in poetry at Columbia, where they served as a teaching fellow. Their work has been published/ is forthcoming in Thimble Lit Mag, the Nightboat Blog, No, Dear magazine, Hot Pink, Poetry Project, and others.

Tiffany Troy is the author of Dominus (BlazeVox [books]) and the chapbook When Ilium Burns (Bottlecap Press), as well as cotranslator of Santiago Acosta’s The Coming Desert /El próximo desierto (forthcoming, Alliteration Publishing House). She is the managing editor of Tupelo Quarterly.

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S121.

The Criticism of Translated Books: A Words Without Borders Conversation

(, , , Michele Filgate)

Three leading critics and translators—Sarah Chihaya (book critic and author The Ferrante Letters), Laura Marris (translator of The Plague), and Justin Rosier (chair, National Book Critics Circle Criticism Committee)—will discuss the challenges and benefits of reviewing translated literature with Words Without Borders Books Editor Adam Dalva. The conversation will focus on both the ethics of reviewing books in translation and practical tips on how to best write compelling contemporary criticism.

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Adam Dalva’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Paris Review, and New York Review of Books. He is the senior fiction editor of Guernica magazine, serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle, and is the books editor of Words Without Borders.


Twitter Username: adalva

Laura Marris’s criticism appears in the New York Times, the TLS, and The Point. Her translations include Camus’s The Plague and To Live is to Resist, a biography of Gramsci. She has received support from MacDowell and the Silvers Foundation. Her first solo-authored book is forthcoming from Graywolf.


Twitter Username: lauramarris

J. Howard Rosier's writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Poetry, the Nation, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. He is is a board member of the National Book Critics Circle and a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Twitter Username: justlikebeirut

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S122.

Rebel Voices Only

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Hear from writers who pen “the voice of resistance.” Poet Alice Notley has famously said, “It’s necessary to maintain a state of disobedience against ... everything.” Essayist Phillip Lopate has identified “the curmudgeon.” There are many reasons to be disobedient in memoir, essays, reportage, and criticism—to raise awareness, to shine light on buried histories, to give voice to impassioned appeals. But if the objective is to connect, how do we make our defiance work for a broader audience?

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Deborah Taffa is the director of the MFA CW at IAIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Winner of the PEN Jean Stein Grant, her memoir Whiskey Tender is forthcoming from HarperCollins, February 20, 2024. A Public Space, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, and Kranzberg fellow, she's from the Quechan Nation and Laguna Pueblo.


Twitter Username: deborahtaffa

Website: www.deborahtaffa.com

G’Ra Asim, a writer and musician, is an assistant professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis. Asim is the author of Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother, which was named one of Kirkus’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2021.

Inara Verzemnieks is the author the critically-acclaimed memoir Among the Living and the Dead. A member of the faculty of the University of Iowa's nonfiction writing program, she has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award.


Twitter Username: inaraverz

Website: inaraverzemnieks.com

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S123.

Opening the Book on Publishing Pedagogy

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Studies in publishing appeal to student writers eager to share their own work or who want a writing-adjacent career, but few resources exist to prepare educators to teach in this dynamic field. Instructors with a range of experiences will offer advice to build publishing into writing courses, propose new courses and programs, and oversee student publications. Topics include strategies for mentoring, teachable moments, and addressing less obvious aspects like circulation and community engagement.

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Sakinah Hofler is a fiction writer, poet, and playwright. She has won the Manchester Fiction Prize, the Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers, and the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. She's a lecturer in Princeton's writing program.


Twitter Username: blackquisition

Website: https://www.sakinahhofler.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

Megan J. Arlett is an assistant professor at Eastern New Mexico University. The recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes, her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2019, Best New British and Irish Poets, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, and Third Coast.


Twitter Username: mjarlett

Lisa Bickmore is the author of three books of poems: Haste, flicker, and Ephemerist. She taught writing and publication studies at Salt Lake Community College, where she founded its Publication Center/micropress. She is the founder and editor in chief of the new nonprofit Lightscatter Press.


Twitter Username: megastore

Website: lisabickmore.com

9:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S124.

LitNet Meeting

LitNet is a coalition of literary organizations from across the United States that works to promote the importance of the literary arts in American culture, build the capacity of the literary field, and broaden funding for the literary arts. Join us for a meeting from 9:00–10:15 a.m. to learn more about what we do, followed by a breakfast mingle with literary leaders and other advocates from the field.

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

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S125.

Mango Is Not My Only Metaphor: South Asian Writers on Fiction in the 2020s

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Despite the innovative art South Asian writers are creating, the United States writing world often expects our work to fit into the same single-story immigrant narrative that has been in vogue for decades. Join five South Asian writers of various intersectional identities as we discuss what South Asian fiction looks like in the 2020s, how we respond to and/or critique our lineages, how we navigate the Western publishing industry, and what we envision for an inclusive South Asian writing community.

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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

Mimi Mondal is a writer and editor originally from Kolkata, India. Her Nebula Award-nominated novelette His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light and other short stories are available online. She has also written Bengal- and South Asia-inspired worlds for Dungeons & Dragons and other TTRPGs.


Twitter Username: miminality

Swati Sudarsan is the 2023 recipient of the Bread Loaf Conference Katharine Bakeless Nason Award in Fiction, and she has received support from Tin House, Kenyon Review, and more. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's, Catapult, Denver Quarterly, among others.


Twitter Username: lusternotpolish

Sarah Thankam Mathews is the author of All This Could Be Different, which was shortlisted for the 2022 National Book Award in Fiction. Mathews's debut novel was also a New York Times Editor's Choice and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Vogue, Vulture, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and others.


Twitter Username: smathewss

Sophia Babai is an Indian, Iranian, and Tanzanian writer and climate activist. Their work has been featured in several publications including Autostraddle, Fast Company, and the award-winning anthology Body Talk.


Twitter Username: swingingstorm

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S126.

Readings From Wheatley at 250: Black Women Poets Reimagine the Verse of Phillis Wheatley Peters

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Wheatley at 250: Black Women Poets Reimagine the Verse of Phillis Wheatley Peters (fall 2023) edited by Danielle Legros Georges and Artress Bethany White represents a celebration and reconsideration of Wheatley’s eighteenth-century poems by twenty award-winning Black contemporary poets. This anthology, meant to enhance the poet’s legacy for today’s readers, contains a selection of Wheatley Peters’s original poems, translations/re-inscriptions of those poems, and a short reflective essay by each poet.

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Artress Bethany White is associate professor of English at East Stroudsburg University. She is the author of the Trio award-winning poetry collection My Afmerica: Poems. Her book Survivor's Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity received a 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award.


Twitter Username: Artresswhite

Website: artressbethanywhite.com

Danielle Legros Georges is a poet, essayist, translator, and professor emeritus at Lesley University. She was appointed the second poet laureate of the city of Boston, serving in the role from 2015 to 2019. Her most recent work is a book of translations, Island Heart: The Poems of Ida Faubert.

Tara Betts is the author of Refuse to Disappear, Break the Habit, and Arc & Hue. Tara currently teaches at DePaul University and is the poetry editor at the Langston Hughes Review.


Twitter Username: tarabetts

Kiki Petrosino is professor of poetry at the University of Virginia. She is the author of four books of poetry, including White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia and Witch Wife. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Literature.

Evie Shockley’s poetry books include semiautomatic (Pulitzer Prize finalist), the new black (Hurston/Wright Legacy Award winner) and, most recently, suddenly we. Her book of criticism is Renegade Poetics. She is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.


Twitter Username: seminewblack

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S127.

To Doctorate or Not? Creative Writers on Earning a PhD

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Doctoral programs that incorporate creative writing elements to their program (such as PhDs in creative writing or PhDs in literature with a creative writing dissertation) have become increasingly popular. Yet, as ever, the merits and challenges of earning a doctoral degree are fiercely debated. Is it worth the time and investment? Does the academic environment support creative writers? Panelists will share their experiences earning a PhD and discuss the pros and cons of completing a doctorate.

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Courtney Kersten is the author of Daughter in Retrograde (University of Wisconsin Press 2018). She is an assistant professor of creative writing and English at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

Nicholas Goodly is the author of the poetry collection Black Swim (Copper Canyon, 2022). They are a Cave Canem Fellow and team member of the performing arts platform Fly on a Wall. Nicholas is a finalist for the 2020 Jake Adam York Prize and runner-up for the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

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

Erika Luckert is a poet and educator. She holds an MFA from Columbia, and won the 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. Erika taught writing at public schools and colleges in NYC, and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where her research focuses on workshops and writing pedagogy.


Twitter Username: erikaluckert

Adriana Socoski is a poet, teacher, and musician. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Denver and teaches writing at Penn State University.

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S128.

We Belong: People of Color Accessing, Critiquing & Reshaping Artist Residencies

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Indigenous, womanist, and queer/trans people of color share strategic insights into applying to, critically re-envisioning, and transforming artist residencies within and beyond the United States. How can residencies positively impact our intersectional projects and creative careers? What program/site variables must we consider to ensure best fit? What crafted components render applicants competitive? How can residencies be Indigenized, decolonized, queered, engendered, made more accessible, transformed?

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Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán is the author of Archipiélagos, Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking (forthcoming), and South Bronx Breathing Lessons (forthcoming). A CantoMundo, Macondo, RAWI, and Lambda Fellow, he is editor of Yellow Medicine Review's global queer Indigenous and Movement Research Performance Journal's Native issues.

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

Elmaz Abinader is the author of two books of poetry, This House My Bones and In the Country of My Dreams; the memoir Children of the Roojme; and several one-woman shows including Country of Origin. She was a cofounder of VONA and teaches at Mills College at Northeastern. www.elmazabinader.com.


Twitter Username: morethanelmaz

Website: www.elmazabinader.com

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

Leia Penina Wilson is a queer Samoan poet, weaver, and educator. She is the author of This Red Metropolis, What Remains, Splinters are Children of Wood, and i built a boat with all the towels in your closet (and will let you drown), and the chapbook call the necromancer from Carrion Bloom Books.

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S129.

The Mean Season: Intolerance and Threats in the Classroom

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Faculty, particularly women and marginalized groups, are facing escalating misogyny, racism, intolerance, and outright threats in creative writing classrooms. In courses designed for self-expression, the current cultural climate is bringing out the worst in some students, causing a contentious and fearful behavior. Often institutions offer no support as first amendment rights come into play. This panel is a grassroots effort to spotlight this growing issue and offer possible ways forward.

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Luanne Smith is a retired creative writing and film professor from West Chester University near Philadelphia. She has published short fiction in several literary journals and is currently at work on a novel. She also coedited three anthologies from Madville Publishing. Muddy Backroads is out now.


Twitter Username: luannesmith56

Cherise A. Pollard, PhD, is director of the Poetry Center and professor at West Chester University. A Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow, Pollard was awarded a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. In 2015, her chapbook Outsiders won The MWC's Mississippi Valley/Susan K. Collins Chapbook Prize.


Twitter Username: cheriapollard

Dawn Reno Langley is a TedX speaker, Fulbright Fellow, former dean, and author of over thirty books (children’s, novels, and nonfiction); dozens of award-winning short stories, essays, and poems; and hundreds of articles, theater reviews, and blogs. Her novel, Analyzing the Prescotts, launches in January 2024.


Twitter Username: proflangley

Emily Chiles’s fiction has appeared in Blackbird, Copper Nickel, the Master’s Review, and elsewhere. She is a recent Sewanee Writers Conference Scholar and a recipient of the Sonora Review Short Short Fiction Prize. She teaches writing at Northern Virginia Community College.

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, IN.
Twitter Username: adjackson68

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S130.

Going Small—Writers (and a Publisher) Dish on the Small Press Experience

(, , , , Ellie Atkinson)

Big isn't always better, or even available. Writer panelists will share how they found their small presses, what fit and what didn’t about the experience, how engaged they were in marketing, the role (or lack thereof) of agents and publicists, etc. Cornerstone Press editor will address the publisher’s side of the experience, detailing how their press selects manuscripts, what makes a successful writer/publisher partnership, etc. All panelists will talk logistics, from query to final product.

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Viet Dinh teaches at the University of Delaware. He has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as two O. Henry Prizes and the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction. His debut novel After Disasters, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize, was released in 2016.


Twitter Username: vietpdinh

Jody Hobbs Hesler’s debut story collection What Makes You Think You're Supposed to Feel Better is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press, October 2023. A novel is forthcoming from Flexible Press November 2024. Her work also appears in Arts & Letters, CRAFT, Atticus Review, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: jhhesler

Eric Sasson is the author of the story collection Margins of Tolerance and the novel Admissions. For three years, he wrote "CTRL-ALT," a column on LGBT culture for the Wall Street Journal. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New Republic, VICE, them., and GOOD magazine.


Twitter Username: idazlei

Website: www.ericsassonnow.com

Renee Simms is a Bread Loaf and NEA fellow who teaches at University of Puget Sound and the Rainier Writing Workshop. Her debut story collection, Meet Behind Mars, was a Foreword Indies Finalist for Short Stories and listed by The Root as one of twenty-eight brilliant books by black authors.


Twitter Username: renee_e_simms

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S131.

The Fine Art of Craft Talking

(, , , , Wendy Call)

At some point in our careers, we might be called upon to give a craft talk. The prospect of such a task can inspire both excitement and trepidation. In this lively discussion, panelists will speak to their experiences devising craft talks, and we'll explore nuances of this genre, addressing questions such as: What is a craft talk? How do you write one? Are there certain conventions? Do you subvert those conventions? We'll also discuss how to repurpose a craft talk for publication.

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Barrie Jean Borich is the author of the lyric memoir Apocalypse, Darling. Her hybrid essay Body Geographic won a Lambda Literary Award, and her memoir My Lesbian Husband won a Stonewall Book Award. A professor at DePaul in Chicago, Borich edits Slag Glass City, a journal of the urban essay arts.


Twitter Username: BOOKofBJB

Website: barriejeanborich.com

Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet. She received a 2016–17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University and a 2015 Whiting Writer's Award in Poetry. She teaches at West Virginia University and in the Rainier Writing Workshop's MFA program.

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

Brenda Miller is the author of six essay collections, including A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form, and coauthor of Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction. Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes. She teaches English at Western Washington University.

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S132.

Writing the Literary Sex Scene: Dethroning the Male Gaze

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Sex in writing has often been seen as taboo. On the occasions sex appears in literary works, it is often written through a white/straight/cis-male lens. This narrow gaze has dictated what types of sex scenes are “acceptable” in literature, and how intimacy can be described in a “literary” way. This panel aims to subvert the notion that sex is smut, and answer, through craft, the question: What might the description of beautiful bodies and radical acts of love look like when we change the gaze?

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Quinn Rennerfeldt Fairchild is a queer poet, parent, and partner earning her MFA at SFSU. Their work can be found in Cleaver, SAND, elsewhere, and is forthcoming in A Velvet Giant and Salamander. Her chapbook Sea Glass Catastrophe was released in 2020. They are the editor-in-chief of Fourteen Hills.


Twitter Username: quinnfairchild

Rita Mookerjee is an assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at Worcester State University. She is the author of False Offering and an editor at Honey Literary, Split Lip Magazine, and Sundress Publications. Find her in Copper Nickel, CALYX, Figure 1, and Underblong.


Twitter Username: RitaMookerjee

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.

Jasmine Mosher is a writer, movement practitioner, and interdisciplinary artist. She is currently working on her MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University and received her BFA in dance from California State University, Long Beach.

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S133.

Down to the Wire: The Nuts and Bolts of Editing a Manuscript to Publication

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Two pairs of published writers and their editors will discuss the experience of editing manuscripts to publication, from developmental to sentence-level edits and fact checking all the way to galleys and jacket copy. Coming from various cultural and professional backgrounds, panelists will shed light on both practical and emotional aspects of the process, sharing approaches, mistakes, obstacles, and the satisfaction of carrying a book across the finish line.

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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.

Gemini Wahhaj is the author of the novel The Children of This Madness (7.13 Books, fall 2023) and the short story collection Katy Family (Jackleg Press, spring 2025). Her fiction is in or forthcoming in Granta, Third Coast, Chicago Quarterly Review, and other magazines. PhD, fiction, U Houston.


Twitter Username: wahhajgemini

Dalia Azim's writing has appeared in the Washington Post, American Short Fiction, Aperture, Columbia: A Journal, Glimmer Train (she received their Short Story Award for New Writers), and Other Voices, among other places. She is the manager of executive initiatives at the Blanton Museum of Art.


Twitter Username: DaliaAzim

Jill Meyers is the editorial director of A Strange Object, the Austin-based imprint of independent publisher Deep Vellum. Titles she has edited have appeared on NPR’s Best Books of the Year list, and won numerous industry awards, including The Believer Book Award and the Whiting Award.

Kurt Baumeister’s writing has appeared in Salon, Guernica, Rain Taxi, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Rumpus. His debut novel Pax Americana was published by Stalking Horse Press. Baumeister is an editor with 7.13 Books and holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College.


Twitter Username: kurtbaumeister

Website: kurtbaumeister.com

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S134.

(Trans)cend: Trans Poetics in the Age of Anti-transness

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The world doesn’t know what to do with us. Publishers, politicians, etc.—everyone is wondering what transness is, why it exists, and projecting fears onto trans people in the process. So, what is the role of a trans writer, and how can we be free today? On this panel, trans writers discuss gender/genre, theme, tokenization, and how audiences do/don’t engage with trans writing. Through performance and conversation, this panel explores the state of trans lit to get to a future where trans people live.

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KB Brookins is a Black queer and trans poet, essayist, and cultural worker. They are the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022) and Freedom House (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2023). Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok at @earthtokb.


Twitter Username: earthtokb

K. Iver is a nonbinary trans poet born in Mississippi. Their book Short Film Starring My Beloved's Red Bronco won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize from Milkweed Editions. Their work is in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere.They have a PhD in poetry from Florida State University.


Twitter Username: k_ivertown

Kay E. Bancroft (they/them) is a queer nonbinary writer, poet, educator, and artist based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They hold an MFA in poetry from Randolph College, and a BA from the University of Cincinnati. You can find their writing in Hooligan Magazine, Longleaf Review, The Rumpus, and more.


Twitter Username: KEBPoet

SG Huerta is a queer, trans, Xicanx writer from Dallas. They are the poetry editor of Abode Press and author of the chapbooks The Things We Bring with Us (Headmistress Press 2021) and Last Stop (Defunkt Magazine 2023). Their work has appeared in The Offing, Split Lip Magazine, and more.

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

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S135.

Dispatches from PhD Land: Perspectives from Inside the Creative Writing Degree

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Considering a PhD in creative writing? Students, graduates, and professors dig into the details: applications, funding, teaching loads, prelim exams, finances, and balancing self-care with expectations to produce creative and critical work. We demystify how a PhD differs from an MFA, the variations in doctoral degrees, and common secondary concentrations like comp/rhet, critical theory, and ethnic studies. We clarify what a PhD in creative writing means, both within and beyond academia.

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Danielle Harms is a dissertation fellow at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is Cream City Review's nonfiction editor and Furrow's faculty advisor. Her work is published in Conjunctions, Fourth Genre, New Letters, and The Offing. She was a staff scholar at the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference.


Twitter Username: danielleharms

Website: danielle.harmsboone.org

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

Jill Talbot is the author of The Last Year: Essays, The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir, and the forthcoming craft book,The Essay Form(s). She is associate professor of creative writing and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of North Texas.

Pritha Bhattacharyya is a Bengali American writer. She is a fiction PhD candidate and an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She received her MFA from Boston University. Her work appears in the Southern Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: prithabread

Katerina Ivanov Prado’s multigenre writing has been published in Narrative, Brevity, Catapult, The Rumpus, Joyland, and others. She was awarded a LitUp Fellowship and a Rona-Jaffe Scholar’s Award. She obtained her MFA at University of Arizona and is a PhD student at University of Houston.


Twitter Username: kativanovwrites

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S136.

Collaborating in Korean: The Value of Co-Translating

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The particularities of the Korean language—from the disparities between spoken, written, and poetic Korean to the vast changes the lexicon has undergone within the past few generations—can make translating partnerships invaluable when working from Korean to English. Four cotranslators of poetry discuss their process and how having a partner of differing background, age, and familiarity with various versions of the language may lead to more accurate, creative, and engaging translations.

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Jack Jung studied at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. He is a cotranslator of Yi Sang: Selected Works (Wave Books 2020), the winner of 2021 MLA Prize for a Translation of Literary Work. He is an assistant professor of English at Davidson College.


Twitter Username: daybreakjung

Jeanine Walker is the author of the poetry collection The Two of Them Might Outlast Me; her poems have appeared in Bennington Review, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, and Prairie Schooner, among others. She translates poems in Chuncheon, Korea, where she teaches English at Kangwon National University.


Twitter Username: jeaninemwalker

Sanskrit scholar Shim Jaekwan is the author of seven books on Buddhism, Indian language and script, and manuscriptology, as well as the translator into Korean of the English textbook, The Hindu Temple. He currently teaches world cultures and Indian studies at Sangji University, Korea.

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, winner of the 2015 Donald Hall Poetry Prize, and cotranslator of Yi Won's The World's Lightest Motorcycle. She has received fellowships from the NEA, Kundiman, and ALTA and is a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair.


Twitter Username: marcicalabretta

Website: www.marcicalabretta.com

Michael Joseph Walsh is the author of Innocence (CSU Poetry Center) and coeditor of APARTMENT Poetry. His poems, reviews, and translations from the Korean have appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Guernica, Fence, jubilat, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: mk_wlsh

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S137.

Why Take/Teach Kid Lit? Craft Arguments for Writers & Programs

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Courses in writing for children and YA are expanding across the country. Why? They teach writers valuable skills! Panelists will discuss the craft benefits of this coursework and the program benefits of offering them. Attendees will develop a new appreciation for YA-MG education in creative writing as author-teachers discuss voice, audience, writing for a contemporary, changing market, and witnessing their students’ growth.

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Shana Youngdahl teaches in the mostly asynchronous MFA program at Lindenwood University. She is the author of the novels As Many Nows As I Can Get and A CATALOG OF BURNT OBJECTS (forthcoming) as well as two poetry collections, most recently A Cage To Welcome.


Twitter Username: shanayoungdahl

Website: www.shanayoungdahl.com

Alexandra Villasante's debut, The Grief Keeper, was an Indies Next, Indies Introduce, Junior Library Guild Selection, and winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award. Her short stories appear in YA anthologies Our Shadows Have Claws, All Signs Point to Yes, Everything Under the Moon, and Relit.


Twitter Username: magpiewrites

Julie Schumacher is the author of Dear Committee Members, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and nine other books—most recently, The English Experience. She is a Regents professor of English and creative writing at the University of Minnesota.

Laurel Snyder is the author of many books for young readers, including Orphan Island, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, and Charlie and Mouse, which won the Theodore Seuss Geisel Medal. She teaches in the MFAC program at Hamline University.


Twitter Username: laurelsnyder

Website: http://laurelsnyder.com

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S138.

Be Gay, Do Crime: Teaching Queer and Trans Poetics in Dangerous Times

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Given our nation’s latest investment in suppressing both bodies and books, what is at stake—newly, historically—in the teaching of queer and trans poetics? Five seasoned poet-educators, working inside the classroom, libraries, and community centers, gather to discuss navigating threats on the poems they teach, the poems they make, and the bodies they occupy as they do both. Panelists will offer experiential commentary and strategies for protecting, generating, and sustaining queer and trans people and poems.

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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

Oliver Baez Bendorf's third book of poems Consider the Rooster is forthcoming from Nightboat Books (September 2024). A 2021 NEA fellowship recipient and CantoMundo and Lambda fellow, he has taught poetry widely in classroom and community settings and is the teen librarian at Boulder Public Library.


Twitter Username: queerpoetics

Website: oliverbaezbendorf.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

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Trafficrecombinant, to make black paper sing, and Kundiman for Kin. A Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, they teach at the University of Washington Bothell and are coeditor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities.


Twitter Username: chinginchen

Website: www.chinginchen.com

Melissa Crowe is the author of the poetry collections Dear Terror, Dear Splendor, and Lo. She is coordinator of the MFA program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she teaches poetry and publishing.


Twitter Username: melissamcrowe

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S139.

Agented and On Submission: A Special Kind of Torture (Part II)

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You've got an agent, you're on submission: now what? Panelists will address both excitement and angst while answering vital questions. What are the best ways to handle the uncertainty of publishing? What are best practices to combat imposter syndrome before, during, and after submission? How to begin new projects when you're not sure the one on submission will sell? Panelists will discuss many parts of the process, including what it means to "die on submission" and how to recover.

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Shinelle L. Espaillat is a 2022 Kimbilio Fellow whose work has appeared in Torch Literary Arts, Tahoma Literary Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Minerva Rising, Ghost Parachute, and Midway Journal, among others. She is represented by Annie Bomke of Annie Bomke Literary Agency.


Twitter Username: shinelle20

Website: www.shinelleespaillat.com

Gail writes young adult/adult fiction and holds a PhD in creative writing from Binghamton University. A 2021 Tin House YA Scholar, Gail is an English professor at PG Community College. She is also represented by Lucy Irvine of Peters Fraser and Dunlop Literary Agency and currently on submission.


Twitter Username: upchurch_gail

Eva Freeman writes literary fiction. Her first novel is currently out on submission and she is working on her second. She has received support from the de Groot Foundation, Hedgebrook, and the Kimbilio Center for Black Fiction. She is represented by Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich and Bourret.

Mohamed (Moe) Shalabi is a Palestinian-American author, educator, neuroscientist, and former junior literary agent. He writes literary fiction with elements of magical realism and speculative and science fiction. He is represented by Kat Kerr of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.


Twitter Username: Agent_Moe

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S140.

Start Here (Or There): Teaching First Drafts in the Creative Writing Workshop

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This panel will focus on teaching drafting in the creative writing workshop as an exploratory process. Panelists will provide techniques to uncouple generation from notions of linear progress that limit inquiry-driven creation and creative life. Instructors from small liberal arts colleges to HBCUs to large state universities will discuss different modes and levels of workshops, from graduate to introductory. We will draw upon a range of pedagogical approaches, from traditional to innovative.

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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.

Barney T. Haney teaches English at the University of Indianapolis where he is chair of the Kellogg Writers Series. Winner of the Chris O'Malley Fiction Prize, his work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Mid-American Review, Marathon Literary Review, and Barely South Review, among others.

Alexandra Kleeman is the author of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, Intimations, and the novel Something New Under the Sun, and is an assistant professor at the New School. Her work has been published in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, n+1, Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, and Conjunctions.


Twitter Username: alexkleeman

Website: http://www.alexandrakleeman.com

Shonda Buchana, an author of Black Indian descent, is faculty in Alma College's MFA program in creative writing, teaches at Loyola Marymount University, and serves as board president for Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Buchanan's second memoir and third book of poetry are currently in progress. https://www.amazon.com/Black-Indian-Made-Michigan-Writers/dp/0814345808.


Twitter Username: shondabuchanan

Website: shondabuchanan.com

Christopher Coake is the author of the novel You Came Back and the story collection We're in Trouble, for which he won the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship. In 2006 he was named a Best Young American Novelist by Granta. He teaches and directs the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S141.

Holding Space: Creating a Safe & Supportive Virtual Writing Group

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Many writers struggle to find community, which can mean the difference between staying motivated through long projects or throwing in the laptop. In 2020, a group of writers who met at a residency for women of color came together virtually from around the world for accountability and encouragement. They've seen each other through publications, residencies, rejections, moves, even motherhood. Come find out how workshopping, sharing and support became a lasting sisterhood you might create, too.

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Chekwube Danladi is the author of Semiotics (Georgia, 2020), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is the 2022–25 Writer-in-Residence at Occidental College and lives in Los Angeles.

Adriana Rambay Fernández is a writer, poet, and artist currently living in England. She is a Jack Jones Literary Arts Fellow and a recipient of the Bennington MFA Fiction Prize. Born in New Jersey to Dominican immigrants, her writing explores the nature of absence, loss, and intergenerational wounds.


Twitter Username: adrianarambay

Constance Collier-Mercado is an experimental writer/artist whose work explores dialectical, multilingual, and equivocal spaces. A MacDowell, Hambidge Center, and Jack Jones Fellow based in Atlanta, she is influenced by the Black Arts Movement, cycles of repetition and revision, and the Afrosurreal.


Twitter Username: WriterChicLady

Website: www.ConstanceSherese.com

Shilpi Suneja was born in India. She is the author of the novel House of Caravans. Her writing has been supported by a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship, a Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship, and a Grub Street Novel Incubator scholarship.


Twitter Username: shilpits

Rowena Alegría is Chief Storyteller for the City of Denver, founder of a citywide storytelling/cultural preservation project. She earned an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, belongs to Macondo Writers Workshop, has received several fellowships and residencies, and is writing a novel.


Twitter Username: RowenaAlegria

Website: RowenaAlegria.com

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S142.

Heretic: Confronting Religious Trauma Amid Growing Extremism

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Writing through and about religious trauma can incite powerful emotions, such as anger, grief, and resentment. Writers trying to convey their experiences may feel threatened at the prospect of confronting powerful institutions. The writers in this cross-genre panel discuss their varying perspectives from both inside and outside religious institutions, and how they’ve generated work that challenges dogma, redefines spirituality, and asks critical questions amid growing American extremism.

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Erin L. McCoy holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. Her work has appeared in the Best New Poets anthology twice, and her poetry and fiction have appeared in such publications as the American Poetry Review, Narrative, and Conjunctions. Her website is erinlmccoy.com.


Twitter Username: erinlmccoy

Website: https://erinlmccoy.com

Kwame Opoku-Duku's poetry is featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Yale Review, and other publications. His debut chapbook, The Unbnd Verses—which explores themes of identity, spirituality, and grief—was published as a part of the Glass Chapbook Series.


Twitter Username: kwamethethird

Patrycja Humienik, queer daughter of Polish immigrants, is a writer and editor. She serves as an editor and facilitator with The Seventh Wave, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her first book, Anchor Baby, is forthcoming with Tin House in 2025.


Twitter Username: jej_sen

Joshua Burton is a poet and educator from Houston, Texas and received his MFA in poetry at Syracuse University. His chapbook Fracture Anthology is currently out with Ethel, and his debut poetry collection Grace Engine is out with the University of Wisconsin Press.


Twitter Username: joshuaburton23

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S143.

Getting the Word Out: Poets on Publicizing their Debut Collections

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Poets & Writers presents a conversation with the authors selected for the inaugural poetry cohort of Get the Word Out, a publicity incubator for debut authors. They will be joined by the publicist who led the cohort and will discuss the strategies they learned and used to maximize the exposure of their first collections, from reaching readers to generating media buzz, and planning memorable events. Join us to learn about this exciting new program and pick up top tips on publicity for poets.

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Thierry Kehou is the director of programs and partnerships at Poets & Writers where he manages Get the Word Out, a publicity incubator for debut authors. A cofounder of the Lampblack Literary Foundation, he curates the Lampblack Reading Series at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts.

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.

Born in South Korea and raised in Peru, Ae Hee Lee’s debut poetry collection, Asterism, was selected for the 2022 Dorset Prize. She's author of poetry chapbooks Bedtime || Riverbed, Dear bear, and Connotary (Frost Place Chapbook Competition Winner).


Twitter Username: aeheelee

Caitlin Cowan is the author of Happy Everything (forthcoming 2024, Cornerstone Press). She serves as the chair of creative writing at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan and as a poetry editor for Pleiades. She writes PopPoetry, a weekly poetry and pop culture newsletter.


Twitter Username: caitlin__cowan

Website: http://www.caitlincowan.com

Sebastian Merrill is the author of GHOST :: SEEDS, the winner of the 2022 Levis Prize for Poetry from Friends of Writers, a member of the inaugural Get the Word Out poetry cohort from Poets & Writers, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Staff Scholar, and a Warren Wilson MFA Alumni Residency Fellow.

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S144.

Family Secrets: Balancing Love, Culture, and the Stories We Can’t Ignore

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Writing about family requires balancing loving portrayals with exposure of more difficult truths. How do nonfiction writers balance an ethics of care and a freedom to tell their truths when the story involves family? How can we manage disclosures and input or lack thereof before and after publication? What unique pressures do writers from immigrant, LGTBQIA, and families of color face? This interactive discussion features a diverse panel of writers who have grappled with writing family secrets.

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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

Roberto Lovato is the author of Unforgetting (Harper Collins), a “groundbreaking” memoir the New York Times picked as an Editor’s Choice. Lovato is also a journalist and assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Twitter Username: robvato

Leslie Absher's debut memoir Spy Daughter, Queer Girl (Latah Books) was a finalist for the 2023 Judy Grahn Lesbian Nonfiction Publishing Triangle Award. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Ms. magazine, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: LeslieAbsher

Mas Masumoto is an organic peach, nectarine, apricot, and grape farmer near Fresno, California. He has written thirteen books including award-winning Epitaph for a Peach and Wisdom of the Last Farmer. His newest book, Secret Harvests, is about a family history of struggles, disabilities and secrets.

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 NonfictionLitro, the Asian American Literary ReviewVela, and others.


Twitter Username: angiechuang

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S145.

Collaboration in the Creative Writing Classroom

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Writing is often considered a solitary—even lonely—act. Years of Covid lockdown and Zoom classrooms exacerbated this sense of isolation for many students. This panel will demonstrate how multi-genre, collaborative writing exercises can build community and unlock new creative possibilities through shared process, dialogic risk taking, and experimentation. Panelists will share their favorite collaborative exercises and discuss how their own work has been shaped by artistic partnerships.

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Joanna Luloff is the author of the short story collection The Beach at Galle Road and the novel Remind Me Again What Happened. She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver where she edits fiction and nonfiction for the journal Copper Nickel.


Twitter Username: joluloff

Website: www.joannaluloff.com

Kate McIntyre is the author of the story collection Mad Prairie, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award. Two stories from the collection received Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize. She is an assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she edits the journal hex literary.


Twitter Username: _katemcintyre

Katy Didden is the author of two poetry collections, Ore Choir: The Lava on Iceland and The Glacier's Wake. She holds a PhD from the University of Missouri and an MFA from the University of Maryland. She is an associate professor at Ball State University.


Twitter Username: kedidden

Website: www.katydidden.com

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 Story, Boulevard, Lit Hub, Missouri Review, and New Delta Review. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Notre Dame.


Twitter Username: LadyDionne79

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S146.

Poetry on the Plains: Laureateship in the Midwest

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Midwestern states cover large geographic areas, and people who serve as state poet laureates must find a way to serve as arts ambassadors across these large and diverse states. How can state laureates—and state arts organizations—reach both the urban and rural populations of their states? How can they offer the arts to historically underserved communities? And how are these roles being shaped by the state arts organizations that create them?

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Traci Brimhall is the author of five collections of poetry: Love Prodigal (forthcoming), Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod, Saudade, Our Lady of the Ruins, and Rookery. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and National Parks Service, she is a professor at Kansas State University.


Twitter Username: OurLadyOfNod

Matt Mason has run poetry workshops for the U.S. State Department and his poetry has appeared in the New York Times. He is the Nebraska State Poet and has received a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. His fifth book, Rock Stars, is out fall 2023 from Button Poetry.

Christine Stewart-Nuñez is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Poet & The Architect, as well as Chrysopoeia: Essays of Language, Love, and Place. She served as South Dakota’s poet laureate from 2019–21, and currently teaches for the University of Manitoba.

Maryfrances Wagner’s newest books include Red Silk (Thorpe Menn Book Award), Immigrants New Camera, and Solving for X. Published widely in journals, she is Writers Place president, coeditor of I-70 Review, and has served as Missouri Individual Artist of 2020 and Missouri Poet Laureate 2021–23.

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S147.

BkMk Press Fifty-Plus Anniversary Reading

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BkMk Press, Kansas City's oldest literary press, began in a public library print shop. It later operated under university sponsorship for almost forty years. When COVID budget cuts ended this support, it became a free-standing nonprofit once again. This reading features BkMk authors from Kansas City and beyond who published a book during the pandemic era and celebrates the resilience of all who published during this time.

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Patricia Cleary Miller taught writing and literature at Rockhurst University for thirty-two years. Poems published in many journals, including New Letters, I-70 Review, Cottonwood, Connecticut Review. Books: Starting a Swan Dive; Can You Smell the Rain? (BkMk Press); Dresden (Helicon Nine); Westport (Lowell).

Amin Ahmad was raised in India and educated at Vassar College and MIT. He was an architect before turning to writing. Writing as A.X. Ahmad, he is the author of two crime fiction novels published by Minotaur Press and won the 2020 Chandra Fiction Prize. He teaches creative writing at Duke University.

Patricia Lawson retired from teaching English at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Her story collection, Odd Ducks, won the Byron Caldwell Smith Award for a Kansas writer. She was an associate editor for the Same and now copyedits I-70 Review. She also coordinates an urban community garden.

Dara Yen Elerath’s debut collection Dark Braid won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. Her work can be found in venues such as Poets.org, Poetry, the American Poetry Review, and Agni. She received her MFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in New Mexico.


Twitter Username: daraelerath

Laura Minor won the 2020 John Ciardi Poetry Prize. Her critically acclaimed debut book of poems, Flowers as Mind Control, is on BkMk Press/University of Arkansas Press, 2021. She was also a finalist for the 2019 National Poetry Series and the winner of the 2019 ILA's Rita Dove Poetry Award.

Room 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S148.

Keeping It Lit: Nurturing a Literary Journal Program at Two-Year Colleges

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This panel explores ways to shepherd a community college literary magazine with diverse, high-risk, low-income students. Topics of discussion include: staff recruitment, pedagogy, editing, layout, budget, advertising, submissions, course credit, and technological tools. The panelists reflect on obstacles—some common, some unique—and equity-minded solutions. Faculty advisors share experiences producing print and online student journals and fostering a vibrant literary community.

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James Ducat is a poet and associate professor of English at Riverside City College, where he is editorial advisor to the literary magazine MUSE and teaches creative writing and composition. He holds an MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles, as well as an MA in composition/rhetoric.


Twitter Username: jamesducat

Melissa Ford Lucken is a professor of creative writing and composition at Lansing Community College, where she serves as the fiction and creative nonfiction editor of the Washington Square Review. She holds an MA in education and an MFA in creative writing. She publishes fiction as Isabelle Drake.


Twitter Username: melissalucken

Website: www.mfaland.blogspot.com

Mary Lannon's unpublished novel was a finalist for the 2023 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. A professor at Nassau Community College in Long Island, New York, she advises the creative writing club. Her work appears at Story, New World Writing, and Woven Tale Press. More at MaryLannon.com.


Twitter Username: LannonMf

Website: www.mirandajmcleod.com

Phoebe Reeves is professor of English at the University of Cincinnati's Clermont College. She has three chapbooks of poetry, most recently The Flame of Her Will (Milk & Cake Press). Her first full length collection, Helen of Bikini was published in March 2023 by Lily Poetry Review Press.


Twitter Username: ProfessorPhoebe

Website: www.phoebereeves.com

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S149.

Cave Canem and The Importance of Black Literary Archive

(Dante Micheaux, Tyehimba Jess, Nancy Kuhl, Angela D. Stewart)

The archives of Black literary organizations are wellsprings of inspiration for aspiring writers, scholars, and activists. The works and archival collections of luminaries like Cornelius Eady, Toi Derricotte, Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, Yusef Komunyakaa, and more serve as guiding stars, illuminating paths of creativity and activism. Their archival collections document style, method, as well as their creative processes, and the historical context in which they lived. With The Cave Canem Foundation Records held at the Beinecke Library and a current oral history project underway, this panel will explore the multifaceted importance of Black literary archival collections, emphasizing their role in preserving organizational history, cultural heritage, promoting diversity and inclusivity, and empowering communities through literary works.

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Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S150.

Writing Trauma: Nonlinear Challenges of Survival. A Perspective of Women Writers

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As survivors of traumatic events, writers often engage with the art of writing as a form of therapy. What is the relation between testimonial writing, the craft of producing a text that connects with readers, and the praxis of healing? To explore this question, a panel of women writers will discuss memory and healing. Through their stories, they will challenge biased assumptions about the seemingly harmonious relationship between writing and healing.

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Claudia Morales (1988) is an author and scholar from Chiapas, Mexico. Assistant professor of creative writing at Dominican University of California. Her debut novel, No Habrá Retorno (2015) won the National Rosario Castellanos Prize for Novels. Her work has been supported by the Fulbright Program.


Twitter Username: claujmor

Britta Stromeyer Esmail, author of award-winning children’s book Raina’s (UN) Happy Birthday. Her book Look at Me. Who Do You See? (2024) was endorsed by Maia Kobabe and author and TLC star Jazz Jennings. Kirkus Reviews praised it as “A playful allegory of self-expression and acceptance.” Member RAINN Speakers Bureau.

Jo Blair Cipriano is a winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize and has received support from Tin House, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and Brooklyn Poets. Jo is an MFA candidate at the University of Arizona, where they are a Southwest Field Studies in Writing Fellow.


Twitter Username: joblaircipriano

Devi S. Laskar has worked as a newspaper reporter covering crime and politics in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and Hawaii. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and an MA in South Asian studies from UIUC, is a published poet, and her debut novel was published in 2019.


Twitter Username: devislaskar

Website: devislaskar.com

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S151.

Unlearning What You Learned Just Now: Writing Strategies After Your First Book

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We want to believe that writing is cumulative—that we benefit from habit and repetition—and it’s true, the more we write, the more we know about writing. But what works on one project might not translate to the next. Much of the work we need to do is unlearning, a willingness to go back to not knowing, so we can explore the possibilities of not being fully sure of ourselves. In this panel, four novelists discuss their unlearning and what they left behind as they embarked on new projects.

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Juan Martinez is an associate professor at Northwestern University. Best Worst American, his story collection, was released in 2017. His novel Extended Stay was published in 2023. His work has appeared in Huizache, Glimmer Train, McSweeney's, Ecotone, Selected Shorts, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: fulmerford

Website: http://www.fulmerford.com

Julie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction. She teaches at the University of Chicago.


Twitter Username: Julie_Iro

Website: http://julieiromuanya.com

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.

Theodore Wheeler is the author of four books, most recently The War Begins in Paris (Little, Brown & Co., 2023). He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Nebraska Arts Council, and Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany, and teaches creative writing at Creighton University.


Twitter Username: theodorewheeler

Website: theodore-wheeler.com

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S152.

Body Terrorism: Poems of Resistance, Defiance, and Survival

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In the United States today many of us are under constant attack by both the state and individuals. Anti-Black, -Indigenous, -woman, -trans, and -Queer violence; bans on gender-affirming care for adults and youth, bans on abortion; systemic racism, sexism, and fear-based decision-making at all levels of our communities cause degrees of harm physically and psychically. This group of poets will read and speak to these and other forms of body terrorism. We use poetry to speak out, speak up, and speak truth.

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Jennifer Martelli is the author of The Queen of Queens and My Tarantella, both selected as Must Reads by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Her work has appeared in Poetry and the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day. Martelli has twice received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Twitter Username: Martelli89

Website: www.jennifermartelli.com

Chavonn Williams Shen was a 2022 McKnight Writing fellow and a first runner-up for the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction Contest. She was also a winner of the Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series and a fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature.


Twitter Username: chavonnwshen

Subhaga Crystal Bacon is a Queer poet living in rural north central Washington on unceded Methow land. She is the author of four collections of poetry, Transitory from BOA Editions, 2023; Surrender of Water in Hidden Places, 2022; Blue Hunger, 2020; Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey, BOA Editions, 2004.

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S153.

Routine Means Keep Doing It: Giving Your Writing Practice Structure & Support

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Most writers want to be writing more than they are, but life (jobs, kids, exercise, staring into the abyss) gets in the way. How do you create a writing practice that fits your life? How do you adapt when that plan inevitably goes awry? How do you find community and support? Five busy, productive writers share approaches to creative accountability, including: writing partners, work contracts, fake deadlines, sticker charts, designated writing space, an ongoing accountability cohort, and more.

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Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, a New York Times Editors' Choice and Best Book of 2018 from the New York Post, Amazon Editors, and Southern Living. Her debut novel, The Red Grove, is forthcoming from FSG in May 2024.


Twitter Username: mouthfulloffire

Website: www.TessaFontaine.com

Annie Hartnett is the author of novels Rabbit Cake (Tin House Books, 2017) and Unlikely Animals (Ballantine/Random House, 2022). She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library.


Twitter Username: annie_hartnett

Krys Malcolm Belc is the author of the memoir The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood (Counterpoint) and the flash nonfiction chapbook In Transit (The Cupboard Pamphlet). He is the Edelstein-Keller Writer in Residence Fellow at the University of Minnesota.


Twitter Username: krysmalcolmbelc

Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (Simon & Schuster, 2020) and White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing (UMass Press, 2021). She is a creative writing and Latinx literature professor, editor, speaker, and consultant.


Twitter Username: jdeleonwriter

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S154.

Writing Trans Sex

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It is dangerous to be trans in the United States—in our present political climate, what does it mean to portray the trans body ecstatic with pleasure? What does it mean to both cis and trans readers? How do authors balance the pressure to perform both their own marginalization and their own joy? Join trans authors across genre as we discuss what good sex writing is, what sex writing is good for. and the craft (and importance!) of writing trans sex. Buckle up: we’re reading the steamy scenes!

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A.E. Osworth is a transgender novelist. Their first book, We Are Watching Eliza Bright was published by Grand Central Publishing in 2021 and their second, Awakened, is forthcoming from Grand Central in March 2025. They’re a lecturer in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.


Twitter Username: AEOsworth

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body, which received a Lambda Award and was translated into eleven languages, and the forthcoming Both and Neither. A 2023 United States Artists fellow, they live in Vancouver, Canada, where they are the Rogers Chair in creative nonfiction at UBC.


Twitter Username: alexmlwrites

Website: http://www.alexandria-marzano-lesnevich.com/

aureleo sans is a Colombian-American, queer writer who lives in San Antonio. In 2022, she was a Sewanee Writers Conference Scholar, a Lambda Literary fellow, a Tin House Scholar, and a Periplus fellow. Her work has appeared in Shenandoah, Salamander, Electric Literature, Fractured Lit, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: aureleos

Meredith Talusan (she/they) received a Creative Capital Award and MacDowell fellowship for fiction in 2023; her stories and essays have appeared in The AtlanticNew York Times, Guernica, Kenyon Review, and many other outlets. Her debut memoir, Fairest, was a 2020 Lambda Literary Award finalist.


Twitter Username: 1demerith

Isle McElroy is a nonbinary writer based in Brooklyn. Their debut novel, The Atmospherians, was named a New York Times Editors' Choice. Their second novel, People Collide, was released in 2023. Other writing appears in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, and the Cut.


Twitter Username: isle_mcelroy

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S155.

What Exactly Do You Do?: Jobs as Guides into Our Characters' Worlds

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In Other People's Trades, Primo Levi describes his "vagabond and dilettantish curiosity" about jobs other than his own. This panel features writers who have thought deeply about what their characters do for work—at times fulfilling, at times dangerous, occasionally invented, and usually calling for arcane knowledge, skills, and habits of mind. From sponge diver to film professor, physicist to umbrologist, our characters' professions afford us uncanny access into their inner and outer worlds.

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Tim Horvath is the author of Understories, which won the New Hampshire Literary Award, and Circulation. His stories appear in ConjunctionsAGNIHayden's Ferry Review, and elsewhere. He is a visiting assistant professor in the Stony Brook MFA in writing and literature and an editor at Conjunctions.


Twitter Username: tim_horvath

Website: www.timhorvath.com

Rebecca Makkai's fifth book, I 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

Sequoia Nagamatsu is the author of the national bestselling novel, How High We go in the Dark, and the story collection, Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone. He teaches creative writing at St. Olaf College and in the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program.


Twitter Username: sequoian

Website: http://sequoianagamatsu.com

Joy Baglio's fiction appears in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Bread Loaf, The Elizabeth George Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center and is the founder of Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop.


Twitter Username: JoyBaglio

Website: www.joybaglio.com

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S156.

Acts of Love: Brian Turner, Katie Farris & Major Jackson Read & Converse, Sponsored by Alice James Books

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Alice James Books presents three celebrated, accomplished writers to share their most recent work and engage in conversation together. Brian Turner will read from his new trilogy of poetry books and Katie Farris from her acclaimed 2023 debut and memoir-in-poems. The reading and conversation will be led by Major Jackson, who will contribute poems in communion with their work and guide a conversation between the group about grief, illness, loss, and love as the ultimate act of resistance.


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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Carey Salerno is the executive editor and director of Alice James Books. She is the author of Tributary (Persea Books, 2021), Shelter (2009), and an editor of the anthology Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books. Her poems, essays, and articles are in print and online.

Brian Turner is the author of five books of poetry. His memoir My Life as a Foreign Country was published in 2014. He’s the editor of The Kiss, and co-edited The Strangest of Theatres. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, National Geographic, Harper’s, among others. Turner was featured in the documentary film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, nominated for an Academy Award. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, and he’s received numerous other fellowships such as an NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry and a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.


Twitter Username: turners_lens

Katie Farris’s work has been commissioned by MoMA and appears in American Poetry Review, Granta, McSweeneys, The Nation, and Poetry. She is the author of the chapbook A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, which won the 2020 Chad Walsh Poetry Award from Beloit Poetry Journal, and boysgirls, a hybrid-form book, as well as co-translator of many books of poetry. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Brown University. She is currently an associate professor in creative writing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive is her first book of poems.


Twitter Username: katiefar

Website: http://katiefarris.net

Major Jackson is the author of six poetry books, including Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems (2023). He’s edited several volumes including: Best American Poetry 2019, and Renga for Obama. A recipient of fellowships from Guggenheim, NEA, and others, Jackson received a Whiting Writers’ Award and was honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, and others. Jackson is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He serves as the host of The Slowdown and the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.


Twitter Username: Poet_Major

Website: majorjackson.com

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S157.

CANCELED: Honoring Our Grandmothers—Indigenous Writers Reclaim History

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

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Debra Magpie Earling is the author of Perma Red and The Lost Journals of Sacajewea. After twenty-nine years, she retired from the University of Montana in 2021. She taught creative writing and Native American studies and was the first Native American director of the creative writing program.

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/

Mona Susan Power is the author of four books: The Grass Dancer (winner of a PEN/Hemingway Award), Roofwalker, Sacred Wilderness, and new novel, A Council of Dolls. She's the recipient of a Radcliffe Bunting Institute Fellowship, Princeton Hodder Fellowship, and United States Artists Fellowship.

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S158.

Perspectives on the Caregiving Memoir

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The plethora of memoirs by authors tasked with caregiving aging parents with dementia illnesses mirrors a growing genre and increased publishing interest in this topic. Authors from varying practices whose books explore this life-changing experience will discuss the emotional and technical hurdles faced in the writing of personal and family caregiving stories and provide candid advice and practical techniques for those using them as educational materials as well as those at work on memoirs.

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Elizabeth Cohen is associate professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh and the coeditor with Kate Moses of Saranac Review. The author of five books of poetry, a memoir, and a book of short stories, Cohen teaches poetry and autobiographical writing. She holds an MFA from Columbia University.


Twitter Username: hypotheticalmoi

Website: www.thehypotheticalgirl.com

Tanya Ward Goodman is the author of the award-winning memoir Leaving Tinkertown. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Coast magazine, Luxe, Fourth River, and Variable West. She is working on a second memoir.


Twitter Username: campfiresally

Carmen Rita Wong is the author of Why Didn’t You Tell Me?: A Memoir. She is a former TV host, advice columnist, and professor. Carmen was vice chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and board director at The Moth. She also hosts a podcast, is a novelist, and is working on book six.


Twitter Username: carmensense

Dr. Cheryl Jordan is the founder of U.magine Performance Consulting, a leadership development organization, and author of the international bestseller Hang On Tight. Pray.: A Journey from Perfection to Peace. Her memoir was featured in Ebony magazine in March 2023. She currently resides in Atlanta.

Lori Arviso Alvord, MD, is a surgeon and the author of The Scalpel and the Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing (Random House,1999), which won the Will Solimene Award for Excellence from the American Medical Writers Association in 1999 and is still in print.


Twitter Username: lori_alvord

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S159.

How Not to Lose Heart: Sustaining Mental Health in the Writing Life

(, , , , Yael Goldstein-Love)

Three psychotherapists and two creative consultants, all poets or fiction writers, discuss struggles common to the writing life. From the isolated desk to the pressured book tour, panelists draw upon their own experiences plus their work with clients to provide tips for preserving mental health and wellbeing. Topics will include envy and comparison, imposter syndrome, addiction, work/life balance, developing social support systems, and challenges specific to marginalized communities.

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Britt Tisdale is a licensed psychotherapist with an MFA in fiction from Seattle Pacific University. A fellow of Hambidge Center, NorCal Writers' Retreat, and Buinho Creative Hub, she has taught for Rollins College. Her work has appeared in Pleiades, Sonora Review, and storySouth, among others.


Twitter Username: brittalive

Chloe Benjamin is the author of the novels The Immortalists, a New York Times Best Seller, and The Anatomy of Dreams, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award. A graduate of the MFA in fiction at UW-Madison, she lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


Twitter Username: chloekbenjamin

Website: www.chloekrugbenjamin.com

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg is an author and psychotherapist specializing in trauma and racial identity, with short fiction in Literary Mama and the Piltdown Review, essays in Longreads, Narrative.ly, and The Common. Her debut novel, Embers on the Wind, was released August 1, 2022 by Little A Books.


Twitter Username: https://twitter.com/LisaW

Website: https://lisawrosenberg.com/

Ebony Stewart is an award-winning writer, playwright, and spoken-word artist from Houston, Texas. She is the author of Love Letters to the Balled Fists, Home.Girl.Hood., and BloodFresh. Ebony is also a Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion and mental health specialist.

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S160.

Singing Our Joy: A Reading by Neurodivergent Poets

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Neurodivergent poets face many challenges and still we hold joy. Our different rhythms are too often viewed as wrong, bad, inappropriate, uncaring, lazy, childish, pointless, and more. With our whole selves we disagree, and with our poems we resist and dismantle such negative framing. We sing our joy. This event features five neurodivergent poets who will be reading toward the depths of neurodivergent joy.

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Nathan Spoon is an autistic poet whose poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry, Poetry Daily, swamp pink, and The American Sonnet: An Anthology of Poems and Essays. He is author of The Importance of Being Feeble-Minded (forthcoming in the Propel Disability Poetry Series).


Twitter Username: npspoon

Addie Tsai (any/all) has an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in dance from Texas Woman's University. Addie teaches creative writing at William & Mary. They are the author of Dear Twin and Unwieldy Creatures.


Twitter Username: addiebrook

Leslie McIntosh (all pronouns respectfully used) is Black, male presenting, male attracted, autistic, an older millennial, a poet, and a fictionist. Leslie's work has appeared in numerous publications such as Beloit Poetry Journal, Foglifter, Obsidian, Split This Rock, Witness, and elsewhere.

Angela Peñaredondo is the author of nature felt but never apprehended (Noemi Press), All Things Lose Thousands of Times, winner of Inlandia Institute’s Hillary Gravendyk Book Prize, and the chapbook Maroon (Jamii Publishing). Their works can be found on Pleiades, Michigan Quarterly Review, and others.

Ina Cariño holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University. Their poetry appears in Apogee, Wildness, Waxwing, New England Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. They are the winner of the 2021 Alice James Award for their manuscript Feast, forthcoming from Alice James Books.


Twitter Username: ina_carino

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

S161.

Passion to Page to Publishing

(Dominique Swanquist, Patricia Fors, Audrey Fierberg)

A panel of authors and editors talking with a moderator about writing your passion and working with an editor to create a published piece of work that will appeal to the masses. thereby helping the author monetize their mission.

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

Room 2101, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S162.

Writers Making Comics and Collage: How Changing Mediums Changed Our Writing

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Our panelists are writers who started making comics and collage to explore new ways of seeing the world—and our work. Our poems have exploded into collages; our characters speak in balloons; our metaphors are multi-sensory. Learn how graphic literature has energized our creative practices and clarified our voices and style. We’ll share our processes, materials, techniques, and drawing tips! Attendees will come away with strategies for transforming their own writing through comics and collage.

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Kelcey Ervick is the author of the graphic memoir The Keeper, along with three previous books of fiction and nonfiction. She is coeditor of the Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature and a professor of English at Indiana University South Bend.


Twitter Username: KelceyErvick

Website: http://kelceyervick.com

Naoko Fujimoto is a poet and her collections are We Face The Tremendous Meat On The Teppan (C&R Press 2022); Where I Was Born, winner of the Editor's Choice (Willow Books 2019); and Glyph:Graphic Poetry=Trans. Sensory (Tupelo Press 2021). She is a RHINO and Tupelo Quarterly translation editor.

Nick Francis Potter is a writer, cartoonist, and educator. He is the author of two books, Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine and New Animals. He serves as the director of undergraduate studies for the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri, where he teaches a range of hybrid writing courses.

Lauren Haldeman is the author of the poetry collections Instead of Dying, Calenday, and the chapbook The Eccentricity of Zero. A comic book artist and poet, she's been a recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, and fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


Twitter Username: laurenhaldeman

David Dodd Lee is the author of ten books of poetry, including two books of Ashbery erasure poems. He is editor of The Glacier, EIC of 42 Miles Press, and associate professor of English at Indiana University South Bend. His book of collages and erasures, Unlucky Animals, is forthcoming in 2023.


Twitter Username: davdlee1

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S163.

Ten Years of APBF: African Women Poets in the US and Their Publication Journeys

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This year, the African Poetry Book Fund celebrates ten years of promoting and advancing the development and publication of the poetic arts of Africa. Women poets from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda will discuss their individual paths to publication and the unique challenges, lessons, and best practices they encountered. They will also discuss the influence of the African Poetry Book Fund on their careers and the promotion African poetry throughout the world.

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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

Yalie Saweda Kamara, PhD, is a Sierra Leonean-American writer from Oakland, California. She is the 2022–23 Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate (two-year term). She is the author of Besaydoo (Milkweed Editions, 2024). She is an assistant professor of English at Xavier University.


Twitter Username: Yaliesaweda

Hope Wabuke is the author of The Body Family as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Twitter Username: HopeWabuke

Website: www.hopewabuke.com

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S164.

Beyond Belief: Queer Religious (and Post-Religious) Poetry

(, , , , Mischa Kuczynski)

Too often, conversations around queer people and religion is limited to trauma or blind fervor. This panel features a spectrum of queer and religious experience that moves beyond such binaries to consider the complexities of identity in particular and surprising ways. Panelists will speak on how their queer religious histories influence and show up in their own poetry and who and what they turn to for example and inspiration when creating new work.

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Amanda Hawkins’s (they/them) first book of poetry When I Say the Bones I M is forthcoming in 2025. They are a Tin House and Bread Loaf scholar and have published in Orion, Boston Review, the Cincinnati Review, The Journal, Honey Literary, and The Cortland Review, among others.

Steve Bellin-Oka's first book of poems Instructions for Seeing a Ghost won the Vassar Miller Prize. He is also the author of four chapbooks, including Tell Me Exactly What You Saw and What You Think It Means, which won the Blue Mountain Review LGBQT+ Chapbook Prize. He is a Tulsa Artists Fellow.


Twitter Username: SteveBellinOka

Omotara James is the author of the forthcoming debut collection of poems Song of My Softening. She has published a chapbook, Daughter Tongue. She's received a 92NY Discovery Poetry Award, an NYFA award, as well as fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Lambda Literary, and publishes widely.


Twitter Username: omotarajames

Daniel Shank Cruz (they/multitudes) is a queer disabled boricua who grew up in New York City and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They have an MFA from Hunter College and are the author of Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community.


Twitter Username: shankcruz

Website: https://danielshankcruz.com/

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S165.

Workshop Feedback: An Unmanageable Labor of Love?

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Crafting useful feedback for student writing in workshops is one of our most important duties. However, poring over student drafts can be arduous and time consuming. How much should we comment at the macro and line level? How to inspire and encourage writers while also challenging them to revise? Five teachers across multiple genres will discuss sustainable best practices for providing feedback and why workshop comments are so unique in academia and worth the momentous efforts.

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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

Anne Valente is the author of two novels, The Desert Sky Before Us and Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, as well as the short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names. She teaches creative writing and literature at Hamilton College.


Twitter Username: aevalente

Website: www.annevalente.com

Brad Aaron Modlin is an associate professor/the Reynolds Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at University of Nebraska, Kearney, where he teaches (under)grads. He wrote Everyone at This Party Has Two Names (The Cowles Poetry Prize), Surviving in Drought (stories), and the poem "What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade." Hopeful, queer, and talkative.


Twitter Username: BradAaronModlin

Website: www.BradAaronModlin.com

Traci Brimhall is the author of five collections of poetry: Love Prodigal (forthcoming), Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod, Saudade, Our Lady of the Ruins, and Rookery. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and National Parks Service, she is a professor at Kansas State University.


Twitter Username: OurLadyOfNod

Misha Rai's work has received support from the Kenyon Review fellowships, Bread Loaf, the Whiting Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, McDowell, Virginia Colony for the Creative Arts, and the Dana Award in the Novel Category. She teaches creative writing at Sewanee: The University of the South.

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S166.

Graywolf, Haymarket, Kaya, and Noemi Editors on Small Press Revision Practices

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While there are numerous panels on writing a book or getting a manuscript picked up, what about what happens after? Some presses revise manuscripts—vital work that involves hours and hours of revisions, meetings, and mediation. Editors from Graywolf, Haymarket, Kaya, and Noemi Presses talk about how they roll up their sleeves and work on manuscripts—even prize winners—with their authors to bring them into the world. Each will discuss titles that changed how they edit and their overall goals.

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Suzi F. Garcia is the author of the chapbook A Home Grown Fairytale (Bone Bouquet, 2020). She is the copublisher at Noemi Press, coeditor of Haymarket Books, and review manager for the Lambda Literary Review. Her work is forthcoming or published in Split This Rock, Poetry, and more.


Twitter Username: SuziG

Website: http://suzifgarcia.com

Sarah Gzemski is the executive director of Noemi Press, and the business coordinator at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her poetry can be found in Poetry and Bone Bouquet, among others.


Twitter Username: sargzem

Chantz Erolin is an editor at Graywolf Press, where he acquires and edits works of poetry and nonfiction.


Twitter Username: chantzerolin

Diana Arterian is the author of Playing Monster :: Seiche, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. A finalist for National Poetry Series twice, Arterian is a poetry editor at Noemi Press, holds a PhD in literature and creative writing from USC, and teaches at Merrimack College.


Twitter Username: dianaarterian

Website: http://dianaarterian.com

Neelanjana Banerjee is the managing editor of Kaya Press. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in Prairie Schooner, Chicago Quarterly Review, PANK magazine, The Rumpus, and several anthologies. She teaches writing and Asian American Literature at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University.


Twitter Username: neelanjanab

Website: www.neelanjanabanerjee.com

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S167.

From the First Idea to “It’s Finally Here!”: The Life Cycle of Publishing a Book

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Writing a long-form literary work can be a solitary and uncertain endeavor, but in the initial stages of creation, writers control their pace and drafts. Once a manuscript is ready for submission, though, connecting with a readership can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming as others become involved in the publishing process. This panel will feature an author, literary agent, editor, and publicist, each of whom will detail their role in making a book and offer advice to prospective authors.

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Katie Cortese is the author of Girl Power and Other Short-Short Stories and Make Way for Her and Other Stories. Her work has recently appeared in Redivider, Gargoyle, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at Texas Tech University and is the faculty director of Texas Tech University Press.


Twitter Username: KatieCortese

Website: www.katiecortese.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

Yuka Igarashi is an executive editor at Graywolf Press. Before joining Graywolf in 2021, she was editor-in-chief of Soft Skull Press, founder and editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine, founding editor of the Best Debut Short Stories anthology series, and the managing editor of Granta magazine.

Joanna Englert is the senior marketing and publicity director at Sarabande Books, where she has represented more than fifty writers and secured coverage in outlets like the New York Times, NPR, and the Washington Post. Her poetry can be found in The Pinch, Miracle Monocle, Neon Door, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: joannaenglert

Stephanie Hansen represents authors with their debut novels and New York Times bestsellers and has brokered deals with small presses, mid-size publishers, major publishing houses, foreign publishers, audio producers, gaming app companies, reading app companies, and film producers.


Twitter Username: MetamorphLitAg

Website: https://www.metamorphosisliteraryagency.com/

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S168.

On the Frontlines/School Matters: K–12 Teachers Writing the Classroom

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At a time when public educators are increasingly under political pressure, panelists will explore what it means to portray complex truths, dispel myths, and talk honestly about how to stay creative within top-down school systems as they find form and language for their experience with youth in the classroom. This multiracial and geographically diverse panel centers writers, editors, and activists who put their K–12 classroom experience in conversation with their writing across multiple genres.

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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

Maggie Sheffer is a former K–12 educator with work in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Dread Machine, Cast of Wonders, the Pinch, and Adroit Journal, where she is a 2023 Veasna So Scholar. Maggie cofounded Third Lantern Lit, a New Orleans writing collective.


Twitter Username: mlensheffer

Brittany Rogers is a poet, writer, high school teacher, and lifelong Detroiter. She is editor-in-chief of Muzzle Magazine and cohost of VS Podcast. She has work published in Four Way Review, Underbelly, Mississippi Review, the Metro Times, Oprah Daily, and Lambda Literary.


Twitter Username: brittanyroger_

Matthew E. Henry (MEH) is a veteran high school English teacher and the author of two full-length collections of poetry and three chapbooks, including the Colored page and Teaching While Black. He is editor-in-chief of The Weight Journal and an associate poetry editor at Pidgeonholes.


Twitter Username: MEHPoeting

Website: www.MEHPoeting.com

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 Magazine, Joyland, Catapult, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: LoebDavon

Website: davonloeb.com

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S169.

Beyond Zoom: Building Vibrant Literary Communities in a New Hybrid Era

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Community is essential to a writer’s growth, but what do you do when spaces are inhospitable to your community? Build your own! These innovative authors share how they’ve built thriving programs for diverse NYC fiction writers, global Muslim writers, women/nonbinary writers, domestic workers, and BIPOC+ authors. We share strategies and tools to empower anyone eager to create a nurturing space that centers writers of color, language justice, disability justice, and voices at the intersections.

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Karina Muñiz-Pagán is a queer Xicana memoir and fiction writer. She cofounded the writers' collective, Las Malcriadas, to center Latina immigrant storytelling. She is a community-based creative writing coach and teacher, and the strategic partnerships director for the Unicorn Authors Club.


Twitter Username: KarinaM_P

Website: https://karinamp.contently.com/

Minal Hajratwala founded the Unicorn Authors Club to coach BIPOC and ally writers to finish books. She authored Leaving India (winner of four nonfiction awards), Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment (poetry), Moon Fiji (travel), and edited Out! Stories from the New Queer India (anthology).


Twitter Username: minalh

Website: www.minalhajratwala.com

Randy Winston is the director of writing programs at The Center for Fiction and the former fiction editor at Slice Literary Mag. He sits on the board for WriteOn NYC and Orion Magazine. He holds a Bachelors from Kennesaw State where he was the first student to ever deliver a commencement address.


Twitter Username: _rwinstonsworld

M. Nafisah Cabrera Estévez, is a cofounder of the Muslim Writers' Salon, a global membership community. She currently lives in Central Portugal and is a Muslim Cuban American writer, entrepreneur, and writing coach.

Juanita E. Mantz (JEM) is a writer & lawyer with two books, Portrait of a Deputy Public Defender: or, how I became a punk rock lawyer (Bamboo Dart Press, 2021) andTales of an Inland Empire Girl (Los Nietos Press, 2022). She produces the Life of JEM podcast where she interviews writers on writing.


Twitter Username: lifeofjem

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S170.

The Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative

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The staff at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, a literacy nonprofit located in Lexington, Kentucky, realized supporting the Black community meant more than putting a BLM sign in the window. The staff and board begin to query their policies and practices, centering the question: are we doing enough for the Black community? The answer was an honest "no," and in the fall of that year, out of the ashes of the uprising, the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative was born.

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JC McPherson is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and works at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning. He teaches classes that involve poetry and hosts a monthly open mic at the Carnegie Center. He is a native of Kentucky.

Lucy Jayes is an essayist and poet residing in the horse capital of the world. She received her MFA from the University of Kentucky where she was awarded the Betsy Owen Combs Recruitment scholarship and the MFA Award in creative nonfiction.


Twitter Username: LucyAJayes

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S171.

Poetry to Empower Beyond Academia : The Oklahoma Example

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How have poets in Oklahoma, a bastion of conservative politics and low socio-economic indicators, been using poetry to serve diverse, marginalized communities outside of usual academic channels to effect positive social changes? And how can these strategies be employed elsewhere as well as improved in Oklahoma? This discussion room will be led by poets working with, in, and/or through literary nonprofit organizations, artist collectives, radio shows and other media, and prisons.

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Grant Matthew Jenkins teaches contemporary literature and creative writing at the University of Tulsa. He has published three books of poetry, the latest from BlazeVox, Contingencies of the Bourgeoisie, and a novel, Ivory Tower. He has recently completed his second novel.


Twitter Username: grantmjenkins

Website: https://www.facebook.com/grant.m.jenkins

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.

Dr. Lindsey Claire Smith leads the center for poets and writers at OSU-Tulsa and is professor of English and American Indian Studies at OSU. She has authored three books on Indigenous writers and filmmakers and serves as editor of American Indian Quarterly journal.


Twitter Username: cpwosutulsa

Timothy Bradford is the author of the poetry collection Nomads with Samsonite. He is a lecturer in the expository writing program at the University of Oklahoma, where he also volunteers with the Writers Guild and a group of incarcerated writers; he also codirects the Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series.


Twitter Username: tgbradford1

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S172.

A Tribute to Gerald Locklin

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Gerald Locklin was a defining voice on the American poetry scene with over 3,000 published poems. Along with Edward Field, Locklin helped cultivate a style of poetry that was accessible, witty, humorous, and unpretentious, known as "Stand-Up Poetry." Sadly, in 2021, Locklin, like so many, lost his life to the Covid virus. This panel of five people, including writers, former students, and publishers, will pay tribute to his extraordinary life, writing, influence, and support of other artists.

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Clint Margrave is the author of several books of fiction and poetry, most recently, Visitor. He is also editor of the forthcoming collection, Requiem for the Toad: Selected Poems of Gerald Locklin, due out in late 2023 from NYQ Books. He teaches at California State University, Long Beach.

Donna Hilbert’s latest books are Threnody (Moon Tide Press, 2022) and Gravity: New & Selected Poems (Tebot Bach, 2018). Poems have appeared in Cultural Daily, Gyroscope, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rattle, Zocalo Public Square, ONE ART, numerous anthologies, and features including the Writer’s Almanac.

Raymond P. Hammond is the editor-in-chief of both the New York Quarterly and NYQ Books. He holds an MA in independent study: American poetry from NYU’s Gallatin School and is the author of Poetic Amusement. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dave Newman is the author of seven books, including four novels, two poetry collections, and The Same Dead Songs: A Memoir of Working-Class Addictions. He lives in Trafford, Pennsylvania, the last town in the Electric Valley, and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg.

Lori Jakiela is the author of seven books, including the memoir Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth Maybe, which received the William Saroyan Prize in International Literature from Stanford University. She is professor of English and director of the undergraduate writing program at Pitt-Greensburg.


Twitter Username: lori jakiela

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S173.

Teaching Literary Editing and Publishing in a Creative Writing Curriculum

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How can coursework in literary editing and publishing, combined with hands-on experience working on a national publication, best support an undergrad or graduate creative writing curriculum? Five editors of literary journals who teach editing share strategies to engage students in questions of collaborative literary assessment, aesthetic judgment, representation and equity, and distinctive curation as they become stronger readers and writers through the discussion of manuscript submissions.

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Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collections Creature (Four Way Books, 2023) and My Soviet Union, winner of the Juniper Prize. He coedited Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande). He is a professor at Bennington College and the editor of Bennington Review.


Twitter Username: MichaelDumanis

Sally Keith's fifth collection of poetry, Two of Everything, is forthcoming (Milkweed) in 2024. She is a faculty member of the MFA program at George Mason University and co-editorial director of Poetry Daily.

Srikanth Reddy's most recent book of poetry is Underworld Lit. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA, Creative Capital, and the Guggenheim Foundation, he is currently a professor of English at the University of Chicago.

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/

James Allen Hall is the author of two books of poems, Romantic Comedy (Four Way Books, 2023) and Now You’re the Enemy (2008). They also authored a book of lyric essays, I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well. They teach at Washington College and direct the Rose O'Neill Literary House.


Twitter Username: jamesallenhall

Website: notbeauty.blogspot.com

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S174.

Revising Revealed: The Art of Revising Poetry

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Two coeditors and three poets from The Art of Revising Poetry (Bloomsbury, 2023) share and discuss revision techniques. From false starts to how they tinker, cut, rearrange, and shape a poem, panelists detail what they changed and why, as they strove to wake their poems to full resonance. Providing a behind-the-scenes look into the creative minds of working poets, panelists reveal personal revision tricks, idiosyncrasies, and lessons learned through long practice.

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Kim Stafford is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared; The Muses Among Us; Having Everything Right; and Singer Come From Afar. He is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College.

Charles Finn is the former editor of High Desert Journal and author of Wild Delicate Seconds and On a Benediction of Wind, winner of the 2022 Montana Book Award. He is coeditor of the poetry textbook The Art of Revising Poetry and cohost of the literary podcast Breakfast in Montana.


Twitter Username: charlesfinn

Abayomi Animashaun is the author of three poetry collections and editor of three anthologies. He is a recipient of the Hudson Prize and a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

Tami Haaland is the author of three books of poetry, What Does Not Return, When We Wake in the Night, and Breath in Every Room, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Prize. She teaches at Montana State University Billings and has served as poet laureate of Montana.


Twitter Username: TamiHaaland

Beth Piatote is a scholar and creative writer. Her books include Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale 2013); The Beadworkers: Stories (Counterpoint 2019) and a forthcoming poetry collection. She is an associate professor of English at UC Berkeley.

Room 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S175.

There’s No Normal in Publishing: Stories from 2023 Young Adult Debuts

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From Twitter discourse to private group chats to varying successes, Young Adult publishing can feel like the Wild West. We oftentimes hear “there’s no normal in publishing,” but what does that mean? Is the journey from idea to publication really that different between houses? Five Young Adult authors from a range of background, genres, and publishers discuss their experiences as 2023 debuts. We’ll tackle the myths and shine a light on what happens behind the scenes from a writer’s perspective.

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Jenna Miller (she/her) writes young adult contemporary romance books about fat, queer, nerdy girls who deserve to be seen and have their voices heard. Her first novel, Out of Character, released February 2023 from Quill Tree Books (HarperCollins), and her second YA novel will release February 2024.


Twitter Username: jmillwrites

Edward Underhill (he/him) is the author of Always the Almost and This Day Changes Everything, both from Wednesday Books. A queer trans man, he grew up in the suburbs of Wisconsin, where he could not walk to anything, so he had to make up his own adventures. He now lives in California.

Ellen O’Clover writes stories about finding your people, falling in love, and figuring it all out (or trying to, anyway). She grew up in Ohio and studied creative writing at the Johns Hopkins University before moving west to Colorado. Seven Percent of Ro Deverux is her debut novel.


Twitter Username: ellenoclover

Trang Thanh Tran is the author of the New York Times and national indie bestselling novel, She Is a Haunting.


Twitter Username: nvtran

Krystal Marquis happily spends most of her time in libraries and bookstores. A lifelong reader, Krystal began researching and writing on a dare to complete the NaNoWrimo challenge, resulting in the first partial draft of The Davenports.


Twitter Username: KrystalMarquis

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S176.

Yes We Exist, America: Queer South Asian Stories & Why They Matter

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The panel brings together queer writers of diverse South Asian origins: Pakistani-American, Omani-Indian, Assamese, diasporic, and southern Indian. We read from their fiction, share the unique challenges we faced between writing our books and publishing them, and talk about how queer South Asian fiction is in dialogue with queer writing being read in the United States, even as they tell unique stories rooted in the specificity of historical, cultural, and postcolonial legacies.

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Shastri Akella's debut novel is The Sea Elephants (Flatiron (US-Canada), Penguin (India)). His writing has appeared in GuernicaFairy Tale ReviewMasters ReviewThe RumpusWorld Literature TodayCRAFT, etc. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Michigan State University.

Rehman’s dark comedy, Corona, is one of the New York Public Library’s favorite books about NYC. She’s coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and author of Marianna’s Beauty Salon and Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion, a modern classic about what it means to be Muslim and queer.


Twitter Username: writerbushra

Website: www.bushrarehman.com

Sarah Thankam Mathews is the author of All This Could Be Different, which was shortlisted for the 2022 National Book Award in Fiction. Mathews' debut novel was also a New York Times Editor's Choice and named a Best Book of the Year by NPRVogueVultureLos Angeles Times, Slate, and others.


Twitter Username: smathewss

Aruni Kashyap writes in Assamese and English. He is the author of two books of fiction, including His Father’s Disease (Gaudy Boy Books NY), and a poetry collection. Winner of fellowships from NEA and the Charles Wallace Trust, he is the director of the CWP at the University of Georgia, Athens.


Twitter Username: arunikashyap

Website: http://www.arunikashyap.com/

Neel N. Patel lives in Los Angeles, where he is completing a collection of short stories called If You See Me, Don't Say Hi. His work aims to examine the experience of first-generation South Asians living in America.


Twitter Username: hewritez

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S177.

The Art of Building and Sustaining Writing Communities

(, , , Joanne Gabbin)

Writers' conferences are collaborative efforts with the shared mission of fostering writing communities. Conference and festival directors and staff will share their challenges and successes when creating, sustaining, and growing writers' conferences. This panel will candidly address establishing partnerships, seeking institutional support, cultivating inclusivity and equity, and selecting and managing speakers, faculty, and participants.

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Alyse Bensel is the author of Rare Wondrous Things: A Poetic Biography of Maria Sibylla Merian and three poetry chapbooks. She is an assistant professor of English at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.

Jeremy Jones is the author of the memoir Bearwallow. His essays appear in Oxford American, Garden & Gun, and The Bitter Southerner, among others. He serves as an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, where he also directs the annual Spring Literary Festival.


Twitter Username: thejeremybjones

Website: thejeremybjones.com

Amber Taliancich's essays and stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Creative Nonfiction, Ninth Letter, and the Pinch. She teaches creative writing at Washington College, is the managing editor of Cherry Tree, and the assistant director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House.


Twitter Username: ambtali

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S178.

Transgender Nonfiction: Memoir and Essays Beyond the Transition Narrative

(, , , M. K. Thekkumkattil)

For decades, the transition memoir was the only readily available transgender nonfiction. The mainstream publishing world has been slow to catch up, but contemporary trans and nonbinary writers are breathing new life into nonfiction. These writers are telling their nuanced true stories beyond a linear transition narrative. This panel will bring together five transgender and nonbinary memoirists and essayists for an engaging discussion about trans stories and the future of trans nonfiction.

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Mel King is a trans and queer writer. His work has appeared in Catapult, Cortland Review, and North American Review, among others. He received his MFA in fiction from Rutgers-Newark and has been awarded fellowships from the Truman Capote Foundation, Lambda Literary, and the Yiddish Book Center.


Twitter Username: melkingwrites

T.L. Pavlich is a writer, theatre artist, and storyteller whose writing has appeared in Foglifter Journal, HAD, The Offing, and others. They received the 2018 SMC Lambda Literary Fellowship and a residency at Banff Center of Arts and Creativity. T.L. is currently a features editor at The Rumpus.


Twitter Username: tlpavlich

Meredith Talusan (she/they) received a Creative Capital Award and MacDowell fellowship for fiction in 2023; her stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times, Guernica, Kenyon Review, and many other outlets. Her debut memoir, Fairest, was a 2020 Lambda Literary Award finalist.


Twitter Username: 1demerith

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S179.

The Writer-Mom: How Motherhood Changes and Influences Writing Habits and Subject

(, , , Shannon Gibney)

Four writer-mothers, working in different genres and mothering circumstances, describe how motherhood influences their writing practices and subjects. From returning to the page after becoming a mother to parenthood’s place on the page to how their children’s life stages affect their writing, these four writer-mothers explore how their writing continues to evolve as their roles as mothers evolve and how they manage—or don’t—to make the two work in tandem.

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Laura Leigh Morris is the author of The Stone Catchers (UP Kentucky, forthcoming) and Jaws of Life (West Virginia UP, 2018). She is working on a collection of stories she thinks of as "uncanny domestics." She teaches creative writing at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.


Twitter Username: lauraleighwrite

Christine Stewart-Nuñez is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Poet & The Architect, as well as Chrysopoeia: Essays of Language, Love, and Place. She served as South Dakota’s poet laureate from 2019–21, and currently teaches for the University of Manitoba.

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

S180.

When the Old Names Fail Us

(, , , , Maya Williams)

Language evolves. Words both gain and lose power with social movements, cultural expectations, and personal transformation. Sometimes vocabulary evades inspiring a search for a new expression to hold all our meanings. In this panel, five poets will consider the role of poetry in the process of naming and renaming as personal, social, and cultural evolution demands shifts in how we speak about ourselves and contemporary themes.

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Kimberly Ann Priest is an assistant professor at Michigan State University, poetry editor for West Trade Review, and the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress), as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She writes gender violence, narrative identity, embodiment, trauma, motherhood, and environment.


Twitter Username: kimberlyannpoet

Octavio Quintanilla is the founder of the literary festival VersoFrontera & publisher of Alabrava Press. His poetry collection, The Book of Wounded Sparrows, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press. He teaches literature and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University. IG: @writeroctavioquintanilla


Twitter Username: OctQuintanilla

Lynn Melnick is the author of the memoir, I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton (2022), as well as three poetry collections, Refusenik (2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012).


Twitter Username: LynnMelnick

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

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S181.

Breaking Silence: The Ethics of Writing Inherited Trauma Across Genres

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Investigating inherited and historical trauma can provide abundant material, but mining the past requires ethical acuity. How might we research and write responsibly when the record is fragmented or erased? How do we care for our loved ones and ourselves while writing through our truths? How might we mitigate historical harm? How might we avoid causing further harm through appropriation? Multigenre writers discuss the ethics of breaking silence across creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

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Sarah Beth Childers is the author of Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family and Prodigals: A Sister's Memoir of Appalachia and Loss. She teaches creative nonfiction at Oklahoma State University and serves as the nonfiction editor of the Cimarron Review.


Twitter Username: SarahBChilders

Chet’la Sebree is the author of Field Study and Mistress. For her work, she has received fellowships and awards from the Academy of American Poets, Hedgebrook, MacDowell, and Yaddo. She is an assistant professor at George Washington University.


Twitter Username: Nahtil

Website: http://www.chetlasebree.com

Tyler Mills is the author of a memoir, The Bomb Cloud, the poetry books Hawk Parable and Tongue Lyre, the chapbook City Scattered, and a collaborative chapbook, Low Budget Movie. She teaches for Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute, is a founding editor of The Account, and lives in Brooklyn.


Twitter Username: TylerMPoetry

Website: http://tylermills.com/

Ivelisse Rodriguez’s debut short story collection, Love War Stories, was a 2019 PEN/Faulkner finalist and a 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIES finalist. She is a 2022 Letras Boricuas fellow and a distinguished university professor of creative writing at DePauw University.


Twitter Username: IvelisseWrites

Clemonce Heard's poetry collection Tragic City explores his relationship to Oklahoma and the Tulsa Race Massacre. Heard has been awarded time and space from the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Sala Diaz, MacDowell, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation.

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S182.

Writing About Addiction: Privacy, Anonymity, Ethics & Truth Telling

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Addiction is a reality for many writers and the loved ones they write about. For memoirists who want to tell their stories, how they handle writing about their own and other people's addictions can be a tricky ethical minefield. Some writers must navigate issues of anonymity, a cornerstone of twelve-step recovery programs. Others must consider how their stories may raise issues of legal liability. How can we share these stories ethically? How can we balance truth telling and privacy?

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Christie Tate is the author of two memoirs: Group— How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life, a New York Times Bestseller and Reese's Book Club Pick; and B.F.F.— A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found. Her essays appear in the New York Times, McSweeney's, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: christieotate

Laura McKowen is the bestselling author of We Are the Luckiest and Push Off From Here. She is the founder of The Luckiest Club, an international sobriety support community.

Laura Cathcart Robbins is the host of the popular podcast The Only One in the Room, and author of the Atria/Simon & Schuster memoir Stash. Her recent articles in Huffpost and The Temper on the subjects of race, recovery, and divorce have garnered her worldwide acclaim.


Twitter Username: LauraCRobbins

Eilene Zimmerman has been a journalist for thirty years, and a columnist and regular contributor to the New York Times for twenty years. She is the author of the 2020 memoir Smacked: A Story of White Collar Ambition, Addiction and Tragedy. She is also a clinical social worker in a hospital emergency department.

Jonathan Winston Jones is a queer social scientist and writer with recent work in The Sun. Jones's memoir on addiction earned the distinguished thesis award from Northwestern University's MFA program. Jones was a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom with degrees in human rights and public policy.


Twitter Username: JWinstonJones

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S183.

Writing is Not Therapy: Using Craft to Contain the Uncontainable

(, , , , Marcelo Hernandez Castillo)

Though writing about trauma can be therapeutic, it is not therapy. Too much discussion of writing about trauma focuses on the traumatic events themselves rather than the craft, form, and structure of the writing. Panelists will discuss techniques to help contain the unruly nature of traumatic experiences and consider how writers can stay grounded when confronting some of their most difficult experiences.

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Megan E. O'Laughlin is an essayist, psychotherapist, and the managing editor of the Black Fork Review. Her essays have appeared in Watershed Review, Cleaver Magazine, Defunkt Magazine, and others. She is currently working on a book about therapist burnout. She lives by the sea in Washington state.


Twitter Username: meganeolaughlin

Kelly Sundberg's memoir Goodbye, Sweet Girl was released by HarperCollins in 2018. Her essays have appeared in Best American Essays 2015 and many literary magazines. She has a PhD in creative nonfiction from Ohio University and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Ashland University.


Twitter Username: K_O_Sundberg

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

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

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S184.

A Reading by Suji Kwock Kim, Sara Daniele Rivera, & Nicole Sealey, Presented by the Academy of American Poets

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Award-winning poets Suji Kwock Kim, author of Notes from the North (Smith/Doorstop, U.K., 2021) and Notes from the Divided Country (Louisiana State University Press, 2003); Sara Daniele Rivera, author of The Blue Mimes (Graywolf Press, forthcoming 2024); and Nicole Sealey, author of The Ferguson Report: An Erasure (Penguin, 2023) and Ordinary Beast (Ecco Press, 2017), read from their work. Ricardo Maldonado, Executive Director and President of the Academy of American Poets, will introduce the event.


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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Sara Daniele Rivera is a Cuban and Peruvian American artist, writer, translator, and educator from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her MFA in creative writing from Boston University. She is the author of the forthcoming collection The Blue Mimes from Graywolf Press, which was selected by Eduardo C. Corral to receive the 2023 Academy of American Poets First Book Award. She is also the recipient of the 2018 Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry from Solstice Literary Magazine and the 2017 St. Botolph Club Emerging Artist Award. She is the co-translator of The Blinding Star: Selected Poems of Blanca Varela (Tolsun Books, 2021). Rivera lives in Albuquerque.


Twitter Username: sdr_arts

Nicole Sealey was born in St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands. and raised in Apopka, Florida. She is the author of The Ferguson Report: An Erasure, an excerpt from which was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, Ordinary Beast, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her honors include a 2023-2024 Cullman Center Fellowship from the New York Public Library, a Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy in Rome, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, and fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a visiting professor at Boston University and teaches in the MFA Writers Workshop in Paris program at New York University.


Twitter Username: Nic_Sealey

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ricardo Alberto Maldonado is the President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets. He is the author of The Life Assignment (Four Way Books, 2020), a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. He is currently part of El proyecto de la literatura puertorriqueña / The Puerto Rican Literature Project, a forthcoming online database collecting the creative output of Puerto Rican poets in the diaspora and archipelago, developed in partnership with the University of Houston’s Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Program and the Mellon Foundation.


Twitter Username: bookswimming

Grand Ballroom B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S185.

Futures for SWANA Poetry: Mizna Hosts Iman Mersal & Noor Naga in Conversation

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Mizna hosts two critically acclaimed Egyptian writers, poet Iman Mersal and poet-novelist Noor Naga, in a reading and conversation with Mizna’s executive editor, George Abraham. The dialogue will explore the ways inherent transnational and multilingual trajectories of the poets’ lived experiences affect their writing. What roles can Arabophone literature play in shaping the future trajectory of poetry in and beyond English?


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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Noor Naga is an Alexandrian writer who was born in Philadelphia, raised in Dubai, studied in Toronto, and now lives in Cairo. Her verse novel Washes, Prays (2020) won the Arab American Book Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her debut novel If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English won the Graywolf Press Africa Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award Finalist among other honors. Her work has been published in Granta, LitHub, Poetry, BOMB, the Walrus, the Common, the Offing, and more.

George Abraham (they/هو) is a Palestinian American poet. Their debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020) won the Arab American Book Award and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. They are currently executive editor for Mizna, and are a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, The Arab American National Museum, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, National Performance Network, and more. They are currently co-editing a Palestinian global anglophone poetry anthology with Noor Hindi (Haymarket Books, 2024) and are a Litowitz MFA+MA candidate at Northwestern University.


Twitter Username: IntifadaBatata

Iman Mersal is an Egyptian Canadian writer. Her nonfiction book Traces of Enayat received the 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award in Literature. Her poetry collection The Threshold, translated by Robin Creswell, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the 2023 National Translation Award.

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S186.

Mecachihuanimeh, Weavers of the Cord: Crafting a Future to Honor Ancestral Pasts

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Professors, writers, and activists David Bowles, Rudy Ruiz, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, and Tracey Flores gather to discuss the concept of mecachihualiztli, what the Nahua called, “cord-weaving,” as it pertains to crafting works that will effect change in the world. The panelists will discuss futurism and challenge attendees to question how by recalling, retaining, and repurposing the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors, weaving them into our work, we might create a stronger, healthier future.

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Dr. Tracey T. Flores is an assistant professor of language and literacy at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the founder of Somos Escritoras, a creative space for Latina girls (grades 6–8) that invites them to use art, writing, and storytelling to share their stories and amplify their voices.


Twitter Username: traceyhabla

David Bowles is a Mexican-American author, translator, and university professor from the Río Grande Valley of South Texas. Among his many award-winning books are They Call Me Güero, The Smoking Mirror, Rise of the Halfling King, and the 13th Street series.


Twitter Username: DavidOBowles

Rudy Ruiz is an author of literary fiction, including magical realism. His novels, The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez and Valley of Shadows, respectively won two International Latino Book Awards and the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction.


Twitter Username: Rudy_Ruiz_7

Guadalupe García McCall is the author of four award-winning YA novels. She is the recipient of the prestigious Pura Belpré Author Award, a Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award, the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award. She is a full time writer and lives in South Texas.


Twitter Username: ggmccall

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S187.

Show (Me), Don’t Tell: Missouri Writers Grappling with the State of Their State

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Missouri has recently made a dramatic turn toward repressive social policy, raising difficult questions for the state’s writers: how do I love a place that doesn’t love me back? How can I acknowledge Missouri’s rich literary history and use writing to address the current crisis? How can writing become part of the solution to the state’s problems? In this panel, five Missouri writers discuss their struggles to love and critique their home as they hope for its future renewal.

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Caleb Tankersley is the author of Sin Eaters—winner of the Permafrost Book Prize—and the chapbook Jesus Works the Night Shift. A 2023 Fiction Fellow at Bread Loaf, Caleb is the managing director for Split/Lip Press and is currently working on his first novel.


Twitter Username: Caleb_of_1988

Website: calebtankersley.wordpress.com

Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and 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

Samantha Edmonds is the author of the chapbooks Pretty to Think So (Selcouth Station Press, 2019) and The Space Poet (Split/Lip Press, 2020). Her work appears in the New York Times, Gay Magazine, Ninth Letter, and The Rumpus, among others. She lives in Columbia, Missouri, where she's a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri.


Twitter Username: sam_edmonds122

Ron A. Austin's first collection of linked stories, Avery Colt Is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar has received several honors including: The 2017 Nilsen Prize, a 2019 Foreward INDIES Gold Award, a 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize nomination, and a 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nomination.


Twitter Username: RonAAustin4

Phong Nguyen is the author of Bronze Drum, Roundabout, The Adventures of Joe Harper, Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History, and Memory Sickness. He edited two books: one on author Nancy Hale and the Best Peace Fiction anthology. He teaches creative writing at the University of Missouri.


Twitter Username: AlternaHistory

Website: http://www.phongvnguyen.com

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S188.

Submission Models: Best Practices for Literary Magazines, Sponsored by CLMP

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How a literary magazine invites writers to submit their work for consideration is not only a logistical question, but also a question of how to communicate with writers about a publication’s character and style. In this panel discussion, three literary magazines editors lead a conversation on different submission models, covering questions about reading fees, submissions caps and reading periods, agented, solicited, and unsolicited submissions, and more.

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

Oscar Villalon is the editor of ZYZZYVA. He is a former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as a past board member of the National Book Critics Circle. He is also a contributing editor to Literary Hub.


Twitter Username: ovillalon

Liz Harms is a poet and intersectional feminist from Arkansas and serves as the editor of Ninth Letter. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming from Prairie Schooner, The Journal, Arkansas International, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. Find her at lizharms.com.


Twitter Username: lizharms

Angela Flores is a trans writer, a Tin House scholar, and the assistant editor at Poetry magazine. She lives in Chicago.


Twitter Username: angelafloresfs

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S189.

The Facts Behind Memoir: How Research Expands the Vision and Market for Stories

(, , , , Nancy Reddy)

Non-celebrity writers are often told their memoirs are not marketable, but our panelists have found that research-driven memoirs occupy their own niche with crossover genre appeal. We will explore the ways research can break memoir open, offering readers a deeper, fact-driven understanding of both the author and themselves. Panelists will share ideas for using archival research, interviews, immersion journalism, and more to illuminate the wider realities that drive our experiences.

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Jody Keisner is the author of Under My Bed and Other Essays. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Assay, Threepenny Review, The Normal School, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor of English and the editor of The Linden Review.


Twitter Username: jodykeisner

Sofia Ali-Khan, JD, is the author of A Good Country: My Life in Twelve Towns and the Devastating Battle for a White America (Random House, 2022). Her work at the intersection of politics, race, history, and Muslim America has appeared in the LA Times, TIME magazine, on The Moth's Mainstage, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: Sofia_alikhan

Website: sofiaalikhan.com

Minna Dubin (she/her) is the author of Mom Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood (Seal Press, 2023). She is the recipient of an artist enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, two kids, and no pets because enough is enough.


Twitter Username: minnadubin

Website: www.minnadubin.com

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.

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

S190A.

Set and Setting: Changing Your Location to Spark Your Mindset

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Many writers dream about the perfect writing spot, a location that will inspire ideas and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with words flowing. Carving out the time and managing real-life responsibilities can be overwhelming, let alone finding this mythical and affordable place to focus on writing. Join our panel of writers at different career stages and the founder of SabbaticalHomes.com to see how they experience a creative refresh by staying in new surroundings all over the world.

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Becky is the marketing director at SabbaticalHomes.com. She is an avid reader and writer with a passion for the creative process. She enjoys interviewing and profiling members as well as managing university relations, marketing, design, copywriting, and website improvements.

Nadege is a French transplant who landed in California after earning an MBA at McGill University and working in France, Canada, and the United States. She founded SabbaticalHomes.com in 2000 as a resource for writers and scholars to find and offer homes all over the world.


Twitter Username: sabbaticalhomes

Elyse Hauser is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. She received a 2023 MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of New Orleans. As an emerging environmental journalist and essayist, she focuses on aquatic ecosystems, especially the deep sea and protecting the unknown.

Ben Ristow is a writer and associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is the author of Craft Consciousness and Artistic Practice in Creative Writing (Bloomsbury, 2022) and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, Indiana Review, Southwest Review, Ambit, and Terrain.org.

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

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S192.

Writing the Multilingual Poem: Code-Switching Across Cultures

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Poets who engage in more than one language consider why and when they switch into non-English languages. Equally important is how the poet negotiates between their languages while keeping in mind possible readers, and how the multilingual poem can deconstruct a monolingual American culture. Poets and translators who work in Chinese, French, German, Spanish, and Tagalog discuss their code-switching process and future in navigating the ethical burdens of serving as a medium between cultures.

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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

Gabriel Dozal is from El Paso, Texas. His work appears in Poetry magazine, Iowa Review, Guernica, Pleiades, and elsewhere. His first collection of poems The Border Simulador/El Simulador De Fronteras is available from One Word/Random House August 2023.


Twitter Username: gabbydozal

Geramee Hensley is poetry editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal and social media manager for Kenyon Review. Their work has appeared in Button Poetry, Poets.org, The Journal, and elsewhere. They've received several awards including Booth Journal's Beyond the Margins Prize.


Twitter Username: geramee_

José Olivarez is from Calumet City, Illinois. He has published two books of poems: Promises of Gold and Citizen Illegal.

Jake Syersak is the author of the poetry collections Mantic Compost and Yield Architecture. He has translated four full-length books by francophone Moroccan author Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine. His translations have received a PEN/Heim Grant and have been longlisted for the National Translation Award.


Twitter Username: JSyersak

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S193.

Liminal Silences: (Un)Writing The First Poetry Collection

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Silence, long a sign of complicity and conformity, is being reclaimed by a new generation of poets as a revolutionary and innovative force. For these poets, silence adds an ineffable dimension to their subject matter, gestures toward the limits of the English language, and honors the unsayable by tracing its outline. This multicultural panel of poets will discuss the role that silence plays in each of their first books in an attempt to find shared and distinct understandings of its poetic use.

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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

Xiao Yue Shan is a poet. then telling be the antidote won the Berkshire Prize and is forthcoming in 2023. How Often I Have Chosen Love was published in 2019.


Twitter Username: shellyxshan

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.

Alisha Dietzman is the author of Sweet Movie, selected for the 2022 National Poetry Series by Victoria Chang, and Slow Motion Something For No Reason, the editors’ choice selection for the Tomaž Šalamun Prize.


Twitter Username: agdietzman

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S194.

Sight Singing: Poetry and the Visual

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This panel explores the intersections between language and visual art through the lens of visual poetry. Our panelists will engage with questions about the role of design, typography, poetic images, so-called white- or negative space, and how visual elements can expand our understanding of poetic meaning. We will examine a range of visual poetry forms, including concrete poetry, collages, and multimedia works, to showcase the playfully diverse ways poets blend text and image to create meaning.

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Chris Santiago is a poet and fiction writer and the author of Tula, winner of the Lindquist & Vennum Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. A Kundiman, Mellon/ACLS, and McKnight Writing Fellow, he is associate professor of English at the University of St. Thomas.

Douglas Kearney has published eight books of poetry, essays, and libretti. He teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His honors include a Griffin Poetry Prize, a Campbell Opera Librettist prize, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award.

Mag Gabbert is the author of Sex Depression Animals, which won the 2021 Charles B. Wheeler Prize in Poetry. Additional awards include a 92Y Discovery Prize and fellowships from The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and Idyllwild Arts. Dr. Gabbert teaches at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.


Twitter Username: mag_gabbert

Monica Ong is the author of Silent Anatomies (Kore Press, 2015). A Kundiman poetry fellow, her visual poetry series, Planetaria, has been exhibited at the POETRY Foundation and the Hunterdon Art Museum. In 2021, Ong founded Proxima Vera, a micropress specializing in literary art & objects.

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian poet, Cave Canem fellow, graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and recipient of three Bread Loaf scholarships. He holds an MFA in poetry from Chicago State University. Keith works as a writer and game designer in Chicago.


Twitter Username: robottomulatto

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S195.

Ableism, On and Off the Page: Literature and Invisible Disability

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These writers have mental and physical disabilities that are not obvious at first glance. They will discuss new literary framings of disability in terms of social marginalization, "othering," and denial of agency rather than simply personal struggles to overcome. Do writers with unseen disabilities have an obligation to speak about their conditions? Is it enough to "raise awareness" about one's condition? How can writers also undermine ableist perspectives through their work?

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Brad Buchanan is a retired professor and author of eight books, most recently Living with Graft Versus Hot Disease and Chimera. Diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, he had a stem cell transplant that made him a genetic chimera, and left him blind for eighteen months, disabled, and chronically ill.


Twitter Username: bradthechimera

Dianne Bilyak is the author of Nothing Special: The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny Tales of Two Sisters (Wesleyan University Press, 2021). She's a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, graduate of the Institute of Sacred Music and Art, and a disability rights advocate.


Twitter Username: nothingspecialbook

Leticia Escalera has worked with the Center for Independent Living and served two board terms on a California disability advocacy organization and the Oakland Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities. She’s written a memoir about life with cognitive/neurological disabilities.

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

William Hartwick is a retired first grade teacher and elementary school principal (Del Norte County, California school district) who now works as a motivational speaker and author. His latest work, The Invisible Backpack, addresses his bipolar disorder and Tourette's syndrome through verse.

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S196.

Beyond Gay and Bi: Creating Diversity in Queer Characters

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While most fictional depictions of queerness focus on orientation and heterosexual models of behavior, the reality of the LGBTQIA+ community is more varied and includes identities of gender, attraction, and relationships. This discussion of queerness, both fictional and real, will explore orientations such as asexual, omni, and pan; trans, fluid, agender, and nonbinary genders; aromantic, platonic, and other attraction styles; as well as open, poly, and consensually non-monogamous relationships.

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Tonya Todd is an author/actress, invested in fair representation in the literary and cinematic worlds she inhabits. She has served as a black and queer sensitivity reader, DEI instructor, submissions reader for BMI’s Witness Magazine, education chair, and staffer for Las Vegas Writers Conference.


Twitter Username: mstonyatodd

Diane Glazman (she/they) is a queer, agender author from San Francisco. Writing as Marie Sinclair, she is the author of eight books that explore queer identities and relationships, and seek to envision a more just and equitable future. She is a finalist for a 2023 Lambda Literary Award.

Syr Beker (they/them) is a hybrid writer and immersive experience creator. They are the cofounder of Queer Cat Productions Theater Co and The Escapery Collective. Their stories live in Michigan Quarterly, Joyland, Fairy Tale Review, Spunk, and Foglifter, as well as on stages, in cemeteries, and on ships.


Twitter Username: DeadCatInk

Gregory A. Kompes (MFA, MSEd) is the author of the Broadway series and the Queer Planet series. He is the founder of The Writer Workshop. Gregory was a subject matter expert for the development of the fully online MFA at Southern New Hampshire University, where he teaches as an adjunct professor.

Brandon Mead is a bathtub writer and the founder of Queer Bewks, an organization dedicated to spotlighting and promoting LGBTQIA+ authors and publishers. As a former Orlando resident, his published work explores the impact of the Pulse tragedy and growing up as a queer person in a red state.


Twitter Username: fiercestories

Website: www.fiercestorytelling.com

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S197.

Anti-Racist Pedagogy: Creative Writing Workshops at Community Colleges

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How do panelists center voices of students from underrepresented groups, and teach published work from underrepresented groups? Panelists will share best practices and discuss the mechanics of leading anti-racist discussions within the academy. Discuss the tensions between art for art’s sake and art that’s socially conscious. What are the challenges? What are the rewards? What do panelists consider when creating the course?

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Shinelle L. Espaillat is a 2022 Kimbilio Fellow whose work has appeared in Torch Literary ArtsTahoma Literary ReviewTwo Hawks QuarterlyMinerva RisingGhost Parachute, and Midway Journal, among others. She is represented by Annie Bomke of Annie Bomke Literary Agency.


Twitter Username: shinelle20

Website: www.shinelleespaillat.com

Gail writes young adult/adult fiction and holds a PhD in creative writing from Binghamton University. A 2021 Tin House YA Scholar, Gail is an English professor at PG Community College. She is also represented by Lucy Irvine of Peters Fraser and Dunlop Literary Agency and currently on submission.


Twitter Username: upchurch_gail

Rashaun J. Allen is a tenure-track professor at Westchester Community College and the first Fulbright scholar in SUNY Stony Brook’s MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program history. A Vermont Studio Center residency recipient whose three poetry collections became Amazon Kindle Best Sellers.


Twitter Username: rashaunjallen

Website: www.rashaunjallen.com

Brenda DeMartini-Squires, professor of English at Dutchess Community College, has published work in The Sun, Confrontations, Paterson Literary Review, Minnesota Review, Kansas Quarterly, and Southern Indiana Review. She holds an MFA from The Iowa Writers' Workshop and a PhD from the University of Missouri.


Twitter Username: none

Keith O’Neill is professor of English at SUNY-Dutchess, where he teaches creative writing and composition. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, Bewildering Tales, and Tales to Terrify.


Twitter Username: keithmoneill

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S198.

The Power of Collective Impact in Elevating Black Women's Voices

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During this panel discussion, contributing authors from the Scenes From a Single Mom book project will share best practices, lessons learned, and their journeys to becoming authors and entrepreneurs through a cohort-style, collective model. Each author is a contributing author in one of the six memoir-style anthologies about single motherhood, who were able to cross the finish line because of the power of support of the hosting organization, sisterhood, and collaboration with two local universities.

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Tiffany Huff-Strothers is an award winning author, life and storytelling coach, and founder/CEO of When She Thrives, an organization dedicated to empowering single mothers to move their families from poverty to prosperity through education, advocacy, personal and professional development.


Twitter Username: thetiffanyhuff

Nakeena Hayden is a program manager of Scenes From a Single Mom book project, and was an alumnae to this program through When She Thrives. She is a mother of three and writing has always been embedded in her; Hayden wants to become more intentional with her work because it is healing and helpful.

Shauntaya Hester is a mother, entrepreneur, natural-born leader, and an advocate for women and children. She obtained her Master's degree in leadership and is currently serving as a youth program director and consultant. She is one of the published authors in Scenes of a Single Mom, Volume Six.

Kaya Raines is a dedicated housing advocate with over twenty years of experience in the social services and mental health field pursuing her MSW. Kaya is a published author of volumes three and four of Scenes of a Single Mom, a collection that sheds light on the experiences and struggles of single mothers.

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S199.

Giving Place a Voice: Persona as a Tool for Redefining a City

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Place based writing has a long tradition in poetry; it also has considerable ethical concerns. What does it mean to claim a city as your own? When we write about location, what narratives are we creating or reinforcing? This discussion explores the archival nature of place-based writing while examining the impact of personifying place. What possibilities emerge when place becomes person? When land is given autonomy, what do we learn about it's values, culture, and residents?

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Brittany Rogers is a poet, writer, high school teacher, and lifelong Detroiter. She is editor-in-chief of Muzzle Magazine and cohost of VS Podcast. She has work published in Four Way ReviewUnderbellyMississippi Review, the Metro TimesOprah Daily, and Lambda Literary.


Twitter Username: brittanyroger_

Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower, winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and editor of Once a City Said: A Louisville Poets Anthology (Spring 2023). She is a 2021 NEA fellow and an assistant professor of African American/African Diaspora poetry at the University of Pittsburgh.


Twitter Username: Dalai_Mama_

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


Twitter Username: JakeSkeets

Website: jakeskeets.com

Jacqui Germain is a journalist and poet from St. Louis, Missouri. Winner of the 2021 CAAPP Book Prize, her debut poetry collection, Bittering the Wound, chronicles the 2014 Ferguson uprising. She has received journalism and poetry fellowships from Teen Vogue, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, and more.


Twitter Username: jaykayg

Karisma Price is the author of the poetry collection I'm Always so Serious (Sarabande Books, 2023). She hails from New Orleans, Louisiana and holds an MFA in poetry from NYU. She's received fellowships from Cave Canem and NYU and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at Tulane University.


Twitter Username: itsKayPrice

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S200.

Mental Health for the Black Academic

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African American professor-writers can experience microaggressions and even racism at their colleges and universities while they pursue tenure and promotion along with being present and available for their students. This panel will discuss the mental health challenges of black academic writers from collaboration with colleagues to exchanges with administration and how this affects their writing craft. Panelists will discuss how they cope with these issues while delivering excellence.

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Len Lawson is the author of Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019) and the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017). He is also editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017) and The Future of Black: Afrofuturism and Black Comics Poetry (Blair Press, 2021).


Twitter Username: Lenvillelaws

Dr. LeConté Dill is a writer, scholar, and educator. She has participated in VONA, Cave Canem, and Hurston/Wright writing workshops and was a 2016 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop Fellow. Dr. Dill is an associate professor of African American and African studies at Michigan State University.


Twitter Username: DocDill

Website: http://lecontedill.com

Tyree Daye was raised in Youngsville, North Carolina. He is the author of the poetry collections a little bump in the earth, Cardinal, and River Hymns.

Natalie Graham, full professor of African American studies at California State University, Fullerton, earned her MFA in creative writing and PhD in American studies. She is author of Begin with a Failed Body, winner of the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S201.

Uniquely Portable Magic: Empowering Students to Read as Writers

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Marveling at the magic of words once spurred readers to write. Yet in our utility-obsessed, AI-influenced culture, today’s students can find reading passive, unproductive, even indulgent. This panel will re-establish the importance of time “spent” reading as an integral part of a writer’s education. Addressing the BA, MA, and MFA levels, five diverse faculty will reflect on challenges to student reading and reinvigorate colleagues with approaches that help students love reading as writers.

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Joanna Eleftheriou is the author of the essay collection This Way Back. She teaches at Christopher Newport and the Writing Workshops in Greece. Her poems, essays, and stories appear in journals such as Arts & Letters, The Common, and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. www.joannaeleftheriou.com


Twitter Username: JOANNAessayist

Website: https://www.joannaeleftheriou.com/

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

Silas Hansen teaches creative writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and is the nonfiction editor for Waxwing. His essays have appeared in SlateColorado ReviewThe Normal SchoolHayden's Ferry ReviewRedividerPuerto del Sol, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: silas_hansen

Website: www.silashansen.net

Cherita Harrell is an educator and writer. Her work and research focuses on critical and racial literacy and Black feminism, and it specifically explores students’ lived experiences through forms of expression such as oral stories, narratives, visual media, and other literary contributions.

Marco Wilkinson is an assistant professor of literary arts and cultural studies in the literature department at UC San Diego. His focus is on creative nonfiction and eco-writing. He is the author of Madder: A Memoir in Weeds and his work has appeared in Ecotone, Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere.

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S202.

Scriptural Entanglements: Poets Writing Into, Through, and Against Sacred Texts

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Religious scripture is among the oldest and widest-read written material; as such, it carries immense potential for poetic re-imagining. In their scriptural entanglements, these five poets explore and explode notions of gender and property, faith and belonging, violence and care. The literary canon is largely white and Christian, and this panel, led by poets across spiritual and religious backgrounds, pushes for a more expansive and inclusive practice of devotional engagement on the page.

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Rachel Edelman is a Jewish poet raised in Memphis, Tennessee and the author of the debut collection Dear Memphis (River River Books, 2024). She teaches high school language arts in the Seattle Public Schools, where embodiment and care root their personal, poetic, and pedagogical practice.


Twitter Username: rachelsedelman

Website: www.rachelsedelman.com

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

Rachel Mennies is the author of The Naomi Letters and The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry and finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. She works as an adjunct professor and freelance writer, and serves as a member of AGNI's editorial staff.


Twitter Username: rmennies

Website: http://www.rachelmennies.com

Sarah Ghazal Ali is a Pakistani poet and editor. A Stadler Fellow and winner of the Sewanee Review Poetry Prize, her forthcoming debut collection Theophanies was the Editors' Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award. She is the poetry editor for West Branch and lives in the Bay Area, California.


Twitter Username: caesarah_

Patrycja Humienik, queer daughter of Polish immigrants, is a writer and editor. She serves as an editor and facilitator with The Seventh Wave, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her first book, Anchor Baby, is forthcoming with Tin House in 2025.


Twitter Username: jej_sen

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S203.

Writing and Translating “The Other”: New Fiction from Frayed Edge Press

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Reading, particularly in translation, allows us insight into others' lives, cultures, and experiences. This event presents three books with cross-cultural themes, each set on a different continent. Originally published in Yiddish, Armenian, and French, all are newly available in English in their entirety for the first time. These works illustrate their authors' and translators' efforts to respectfully portray the "other"—those of a race, gender, culture, and/or time period other than their own.

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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 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S204.

Gathering the Loose Petals: A Celebration of the Work of Afaa Michael Weaver

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This gathering of writers and scholars seeks to celebrate and honor the work of Afaa Michael Weaver and his storied career as a poet, essayist, playwright, mentor and much more. A number of presenters, including Dr. Tara Betts, Danielle Legros Georges, and Enzo Silon Surin will discuss poems by Weaver that have inspired them and facilitate a timely discussion about the impact that a writer can have off the page. Weaver will then close with brief remarks and a few new poems from his recent work.

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Tara Betts is the author of Refuse to DisappearBreak the Habit, and Arc & Hue. Tara currently teaches at DePaul University and is the poetry editor at the Langston Hughes Review.


Twitter Username: tarabetts

Enzo Silon Surin is a Haitian-born, award-winning poet, educator, publisher, librettist, and social advocate. He is the author of four collections of poetry, including his most recent book, American Scapegoat, and the twenty-first annual Massachusetts Book Award winner, When My Body Was A Clinched Fist.


Twitter Username: enzothepoet

Website: www.enzosurinink.org

Danielle Legros Georges is a poet, essayist, translator, and professor emeritus at Lesley University. She was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the city of Boston, serving in the role from 2015 to 2019. Her most recent work is a book of translations, Island Heart: The Poems of Ida Faubert.

Bro. Yao (Hoke S. Glover III) received his MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland in 1997, where he studied with Stanley Plumly. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in various journals and anthologies.

Afaa M. Weaver is a poet, playwright, editor, and translator. Spirit Boxing is his fifteenth poetry collection. His awards include four Pushcarts, an NEA, a Fulbright, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award, a Guggenheim, and the Botolph Club Foundation Distinguished Artist Award.


Twitter Username: Afaa_Weaver

Website: afaaweaver.net

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S205.

Representations of Arab American Communities in Poetry & Prose

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This panel aims to provide intimate glimpses into the Arab American communities in the Detroit metropolitan region, which is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the country. Through works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, the panelists will discuss the creative process of dramatizing a diverse range of Arab ethnicities and voices, as well as capturing the complexities of community life.

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Ghassan Zeineddine is the author of the story collection Dearborn (Tin House, 2023) and coeditor of Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging (Wayne State University Press, 2022). He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College.


Twitter Username: guszeineddine

Sally Howell is professor of history and Arab American studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her books include Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past (2014), and Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging (2022).

Alise Alousi is the author of the poetry collection What to Count. She is a 2019 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and has received awards and fellowships from the Knight Foundation, Mesa Refuge, and others. She is director of partnerships at InsideOut Literary Arts in Detroit.

Kamelya Omayma Youssef is a writer, editor, organizer, and educator. She is the author of A book with a hole in it (Wendy's Subway, 2022). Her poems published or forthcoming are with 1080 Press, Poet Lore, Poem-a-Day, Poetry Foundation, Mizna, and on the theater stage.

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S206.

Scarlet Tanager Books: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Poetry Reading

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Scarlet Tanager Books, founded in 1999, publishes work by West Coast authors. The press has a special interest in environmental writing and Native American literature. The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Poetry Reading will feature poets who celebrate the beauty and warn of the fragility of landscapes from Southern California to Alaska, and will include editors of Scarlet Tanager’s groundbreaking anthologies Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California and Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.

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Lucille Lang Day is the award-winning author of eleven poetry collections, including Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place, two children’s books, and a memoir. Coeditor of the anthologies Red Indian Road West and Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, she is the publisher of Scarlet Tanager Books.


Twitter Username: LucilleLDay

Website: https://lucillelangday.com

Anne Coray is the author of the novel Lost Mountain, three full-length poetry collections, and a recent chapbook, Late Fall Bucolics. Her first book of poetry Bone Strings was published with Scarlet Tanager Books. She also coedited the anthology Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment.

Ruth Nolan, MFA, MA, is the author of Ruby Mountain (poems), editor of No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of California's Deserts, and coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. She is professor of English, creative writing, and Native American literature at College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California, 


Twitter Username: ruthnolan

Poet Kurt Schweigman is Oglala/Sicangu Lakota. He is coeditor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California (Scarlet Tanager, 2016). The recently published Confluences of Solitude (Mitote Press, 2023) is his first poetry book in nearly a decade. Kurt resides in Sonoma County, California.

Georgiana Valoyce-Sanchez is Islander and Coastal Chumash from her father's lineage and Tohono and Akimal O'odham from her mother's lineage. She is a nationally and internationally published writer. She taught for the American Indian Studies Program at CSULB for twenty-seven years, and a recognized Elder.

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S207.

Together, Along the Divide: Writing the New Borderlands

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The United States/Mexico border has long been a rich source of literature as well as a place of cultural convergence; it can also be a place of friction, division, and disagreement about who belongs where. Five writer-insiders from both sides of the border will share their work, discussing their inspiration and what they view as the most important new issues, themes, perspectives, and metaphorical possibilities for contemporary literature set at the border—and where this literature might go next.

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Alma García is the author of All That Rises (University of Arizona Press, 2023). Her short fiction has appeared in Narrative magazine, phoebe, Kweli Journal, Boulevard, and elsewhere. She grew up in the borderlands of Texas and New Mexico and is a writing teacher/editor at Hugo House in Seattle.


Twitter Username: Writer_Alma

Daniel Aleman is the award-winning author of Indivisible and Brighter than the Sun. He was born and raised in Mexico City. A graduate of McGill University, he is passionate about books, coffee, and Mexican food. After spending time in Montreal and the New York City area, he now lives in Toronto.


Twitter Username: dan_aleman

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

Alejandra Oliva is an essayist, embroiderer, and immigration advocate based in Chicago. Her writing has been included in Best American Travel Writing 2020, and honored with an Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her first book is Rivermouth: A Chronicle of Language, Faith and Migration.


Twitter Username: olivalejandra_

Yasmin Ramirez, author of ¡Ándale, Prieta! A Love Letter to My Family by Lee & Low Books, is a Martha's Institute of Creative Writing Author Fellow as well as a Woody and Gayle Hunt-Aspen Institute Fellow. She is an associate professor at El Paso Community College. For more, visit yasminramirez.com.


Twitter Username: YasminRamWrites

Website: yasminramirez.com

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S208.

Transcending Trauma: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Sentimentality and Reductivism

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Childhood trauma is powerfully determinative over the course of a life. How do we use psychological damage as a narrative engine, while avoiding the pitfalls of sentimentality and reductivism: characters as symptom sets, cardboard cutout villains, or would-be saviors? Through a queer lens, four authors share their experiences in humanizing the embodied memory of violence, homophobia, familial disruption, and ethnic and political dislocation to create fiction that is brutally honest, yet hopeful.

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Lucian Childs is a contributing editor of Lambda Literary finalist, Building Fires in the Snow. His stories and reviews have appeared in the literary journals Grain, The Puritan, Plenitude, and Prairie Fire, among others. His debut novel Dreaming Home was published June 2023 by Biblioasis.


Twitter Username: lucianchilds

Website: www.lucianchilds.com

Richard Mirabella is a writer and civil servant living in Upstate New York. His work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Story Magazine, and elsewhere. He is the author of the novel Brother & Sister Enter the Forest, a New York Times Editor's Choice and a Harper's Bazaar Best New Book of 2023.


Twitter Username: rpmirabella

Danny Ramadan is a Lambda award-winning Syrian-Canadian author. His novels, The Clothesline Swing and The Foghorn Echoes, continue to receive accolades. His award-winning children’s series The Salma Books continues to grow. Ramadan has raised over $300,000 for LGBTQ+ refugees.


Twitter Username: dannyseesit

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

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S209.

Bedfellows: Sex and Shame

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Join us in a nuanced and intimate conversation about the intersection of sex and shame. What does it take for us to write unabashedly about sex? How do we trace the roots of our shame? In this panel, five writers will talk about how they come to the page to address personal and collective stigmas surrounding sexuality. What do we gain from writing about sex? In what ways can we release trauma and unlearn that which we’ve been taught is deviant? How can writing free us?

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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 Brevity, The Rumpus, and HAD, among others.


Twitter Username: tylerawhichard

K. Iver is a nonbinary trans poet born in Mississippi. Their book Short Film Starring My Beloved's Red Bronco won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize from Milkweed Editions. Their work is in Boston ReviewKenyon ReviewTriQuarterly, and elsewhere.They have a PhD in poetry from Florida State University.


Twitter Username: k_ivertown

Dr. Taylor Byas is an assistant features editor for The Rumpus and poetry acquisitions editor for Variant Literature. She is the author of two chapbooks, and the forthcoming full-length I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times. She is represented by the Deborah Harris Agency.


Twitter Username: TaylorByas3

Sam Herschel Wein has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee and was the recipient of a 2022 Pushcart Prize. Their third chapbook, Butt Stuff Flower Bush, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press.


Twitter Username: samforbreakfast

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S210.

Poets Learn to Pitch (& other practical tips for writing and publishing prose)

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So many poets have turned to writing prose—but the leap across genres can be intimidating. What does it mean to write “on spec”? What’s a fair fee for an essay, and how do you negotiate without annoying an editor? Panelists will address both practical concerns—when does it make sense to start querying agents? what’s included in a book proposal?—and issues related to craft, like adapting your process as you move across genres, or how the skills you’ve refined in poetry can translate to prose.

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Nancy Reddy is the author of the poetry collections Double Jinx, a winner of the National Poetry Series, and Pocket Universe, and coeditor of The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. Her debut nonfiction book, The Good Mother Myth, will be published in 2025.


Twitter Username: nancy_reddy

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal is the author of the poetry collection Beast Meridian, and a recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award. She is a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and lives with her son in Los Angeles, where she is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California.


Twitter Username: Vanessid

Tiana Clark is the author of two collections: I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood and Equilibrium. She is the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. Her next two books Proof, a poetry collection, and Begging to be Saved, a memoir, are forthcoming with Atria.


Twitter Username: TianaClarkPoet

Hope Wabuke is the author of The Body Family as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Twitter Username: HopeWabuke

Website: www.hopewabuke.com

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

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S211.

The Trans Fantastic: Craft, Themes, Reception

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Literary realism has treated trans stories with skepticism, flattening trans lives to fit hostile narratives or excluding them completely. Trans writers have responded by embracing the fantastic. Join a panel of trans fantasists to discuss the uniquely transformative nature of our craft, themes, and readership in a time of artistic flowering and mounting danger.

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Maya Deane is the author of the critically acclaimed trans historical fantasy Wrath Goddess Sing (Morrow, 2022), currently a finalist for the 2023 Lambda Award in transgender fiction. She also teaches writing and memes at New Jersey Institute of Technology.


Twitter Username: mayadeanewriter

Izzy Wasserstein is the author of two poetry collections, a short story collection, and the forthcoming novella These Fragile Graces (Tachyon, 2024). She is an assistant professor of English at CSU San Bernardino, and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist.


Twitter Username: izzyxen

Website: www.izzywasserstein.com

Megan Milks is the author of Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body and Slug and Other Stories (both Feminist Press, 2021), as well as Tori Amos Bootleg Webring (Instar, 2021). They coedited the anthology We Are the Baby-Sitters Club and teach writing and gender studies at The New School.


Twitter Username: sklimnagem

Website: http://www.meganmilks.com

Nino Cipri is a queer and trans/nonbinary writer and educator. Their work has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy, Lambda, Nebula, and Hugo Awards, among others. Nino's YA horror debut Dead Girls Don’t Dream will be published by Holt Young Readers in 2024.


Twitter Username: ninocipri

Website: ninocipri.com

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S212.

It's Me. Hi. I'm the Problem, It's Me: Wrestling with Your Former Self in Memoir

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Public discussions of memoir generally center on the difficulties—and ethics—of turning loved ones into characters. But the most challenging aspect of chronicling our lives tends to involve looking inward, rather than outward; facing our former selves with honesty and transparency, but without judgement or embarrassment. This brutal task is, ultimately, the backbone of all great memoir. In this panel, we give you the tools to confront and construct your most important “character”: yourself. 

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Joanna Rakoff is the author of the bestsellers, My Salinger Year—recently adapted into a feature film starring Sigourney Weaver—and A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction. Her family memoir, The Fifth Passenger, was published in 2022. She writes for the New York Times and Vogue.


Twitter Username: joannarakoff

Website: http://joannarakoff.com

Michele Filgate is the editor of What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About. Her writing has appeared in Longreads, Gulf Coast, the Paris Review Daily, and other publications. She’s a contributing editor at Literary Hub and teaches creative nonfiction at The New School and the Shipman Agency.


Twitter Username: readandbreathe

Website: www.michelefilgate.com

Beth Nguyen is the author of the memoirs Owners of a Lonely Heart and Stealing Buddha's Dinner, and two novels. She is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Twitter Username: bethminhnguyen

Website: www.bethminhnguyen.com

Emily Farris has written personal essays for the Cut, Bon Appetit, Lifehacker, Food52, and What's Up Moms, among other publications. Currently a senior staff writer at Epicurious, she recently completed her first memoir-in-essays I'll Just Be Five More Minutes: And Other Tales From My ADHD Brain.


Twitter Username: thatemilyfarris

Website: https://thatemilyfarris.com

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

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S213.

Literary Citizenship: Rigoberto González & Carmen Giménez In Conversation, Sponsored by Letras Latinas

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What does it mean to be a literary citizen? How can you get started as a critic, editor, publisher or arts administrator, while maintaining your artistic practice? Two accomplished writers with twenty plus years of experience share their stories as literary citizens. Opening with a reading of their work, the writers will then participate in a moderated conversation about their various roles championing literature, challenges they may have faced, and ways you can get involved in the literary community.


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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Laura Villareal is the author of Girl’s Guide to Leaving, which was awarded Texas Institute of Letter's John A. Robert Johnson Award for a First Book of Poetry. She has received fellowships from the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts, National Book Critics Circle, and the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program at University of Texas-Austin. Currently, she’s an associate with Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, where she co-edits and writes for Letras Latinas Blog 2, in addition to working on other related projects.


Twitter Username: earthandstars

Rigoberto González lives in Newark, NJ and is the author of eighteen books of poetry and prose. His awards include Lannan, Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA, and USA Rolón fellowships, the PEN/ Voelcker Award, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Contributing editor for Poets & Writers, he is the series editor for the Camino del Sol Latinx Literary Series at the University of Arizona Press. Currently, he’s Distinguished Professor of English and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.

Carmen Giménez is publisher and director of Graywolf Press and the author of several books including Be Recorder, a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award.

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

Grand Ballroom B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S214.

Kundiman 20th Anniversary Reading and Conversation

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Join Kundiman as we celebrate our twentieth anniversary year with a special cross-genre reading and conversation featuring Kundiman writers Franny Choi, Megha Majumdar, and Srikanth Reddy, moderated by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello. This panel will discuss the history of Kundiman’s legacy, from its inaugural workshop retreat for poets at the University of Virginia in 2004, to its role today as a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of Asian American readers and writers. This intergenerational panel will discuss Kundiman’s role in shaping the landscape of Asian American literature, as well as how the literary arts can be used to explore and address the unique challenges that face the new and ever-changing diaspora.


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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Franny Choi is the author of three poetry collections: The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On (Ecco, 2022), Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019) and Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Lily/Rosenberg Fellowship, Princeton’s Holmes National Poetry Prize, and the Elgin Award, Franny is Faculty in Literature at Bennington College and the founder of Brew & Forge.


Twitter Username: fannychoir

Website: www.frannychoi.com

Megha Majumdar is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel A Burning, which was nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize, and the American Library Association's Andrew Carnegie Medal. It was named one of the best books of the year by media including The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, The Atlantic, Vogue, and TIME Magazine. A 2022 Whiting Award winner, she currently teaches at Princeton University.

Srikanth Reddy’s latest book of poetry, Underworld Lit, was a finalist for the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Four Quartets Prize, and a Times Literary Supplement “Book of the Year” for 2020. His writing has appeared in Harper’s, The Guardian (UK), The New York Times, and Poetry; and he is currently the poetry editor of The Paris Review. The recipient of fellowships from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Reddy is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago, where he edits the Phoenix Poets book series at the University of Chicago Press.

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, winner of the 2015 Donald Hall Poetry Prize, and cotranslator of Yi Won's The World's Lightest Motorcycle. She has received fellowships from the NEA, Kundiman, and ALTA and is a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair.


Twitter Username: marcicalabretta

Website: www.marcicalabretta.com

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S216.

A Gift, a Cage, or … Something Else? Writing about the Body across Genres

(, , Victoria Bruick, KRISTINE ESSER SLENTZ)

Our bodies, whether we feel empowered or trapped by them, rule over us. Our sex. Our skin color. Our weight. Our height. Our ableness. Our health. They can create a pigeonhole that determines how we interact with the world, and how the world interacts with us—but writing about the body gives us the chance to reframe this interaction as we write on our own terms. Three authors read and discuss their body-themed nonfiction and fiction work with F(r)iction's editor-in-chief.

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Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a writer, budding beekeeper, and a rising seamstress currently residing in the enchanting pine tree forest of Blackhawk, Mississippi. You can find her, and more of her work, at exodusoktaviabrownlow.com.


Twitter Username: CoCo4AfroPuffs

Robert James Russell is the author of the forthcoming graphic memoir Hard Body: A Personal History of My Form on Display (Simon & Schuster, 2025). He is the founding editor of the literary journal Cheap Pop. Robert currently lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Twitter Username: robhollywood

Website: www.robertjamesrussell.com

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S217.

How Do You Eat? Writers Talk Plainly About How They Funded Their Writing Lives.

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Let's face it—at some point in our writing lives, we're going to need to find a job that pays bills and buys groceries. When the adjuncting no longer cuts it, when the fellowships dry up, when the book doesn't sell as well as you hoped, we will still need to eat. Join four writers from wildly different backgrounds for a transparent discussion on the most taboo subject of all: money. How do you get it when you're a writer? How do you balance the reality of living with your artistic aspirations?

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Marc Fitten is an author and editor. He has written two novels, Valeria's Last Stand and Elza's Kitchen, and has completed a third, AMERICAN ENTROPY. He also contributes essays to various anthologies and periodicals.


Twitter Username: marcfitten

Laurel Snyder is the author of many books for young readers, including Orphan Island, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, and Charlie and Mouse, which won the Theodore Seuss Geisel Medal. She teaches in the MFAC program at Hamline University.


Twitter Username: laurelsnyder

Website: http://laurelsnyder.com

Rachel Zucker is the author of ten books, including SoundMachine, MOTHERs, and Museum of Accidents, which was a finalist for the NBCC Award. Zucker is an adjunct at NYU and is the host of the podcast Commonplace.


Twitter Username: rachzuck

Website: www.rachelzucker.net

Jeff Sharlet is the NYT bestselling author of The Undertow, The Family, This Brilliant Darkness, Sweet Heaven When I Die, and C Street; a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, and editor at large for VQR; and the Frederick Sessions Beebe '35 professor in the art of writing at Dartmouth College.


Twitter Username: jeffsharlet

Website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~english/faculty/sharlet.html

Lisa Page is coeditor of We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America. She is assistant professor of English and director of creative writing at George Washington University. She was interim director of Africana Studies and former president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S218.

Queer Parenthood and Family-Making: A Reading

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What forms do poets summon to wrestle with and queer kinship? In this reading, five queer poets of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and poetics will share recent work on their experiences of parenthood and family-making: reckoning with questions of adoption, genetics, belonging, community, and fertility technologies. World-building beyond discrimination and across differences of class, race, and orientation, these poems offer alternate dreams of futurity.

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Nomi Stone is a poet and anthropologist, and author of Kill Class (Tupelo, 2019) and Pinelandia (UC Press 2022). Winner of a Pushcart Prize, poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor in poetry at UT Dallas.


Twitter Username: Nomistonestone

Website: www.nomistone.net

JP Howard's debut collection Say/Mirror was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. JP’s poetry is widely anthologized. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Lambda Literary, and VONA/Voices. JP curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon.


Twitter Username: JPHoward_poet

Website: http://www.jp-howard.com

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

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.

Blas Falconer is the author of four poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books 2018) and Rara Avis (forthcoming Four Way Books 2024). Winner of an NEA fellowship and the Maureen Eden Writers Exchange, he teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University.


Twitter Username: blas_falconer

Website: blasfalconer.com

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

S219.

Lightning Readings by Writer to Writer Alumni

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Celebrating its fourth year at AWP, the event focuses on quick reads performed by published writers from the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program. We invite you to enjoy a mix of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from these talented writers. Organized and emceed by alum P.D. Keenen.

Participant bios can be found at the following link in January 2024: https://pdkeenen.com/2023/05/30/awp24-lightning-readings-by-writer-to-writer-alumni/

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P.D. Keenen is a writer, empathy activist, and Washington-based constellation facilitator. They write memoir and poetry. Their work focuses on our shared humanity, points of cognitive dissonance, and advocating for the less visible.

Born in the Republic of Panama, Karen Rigby is the author of the poetry collections Chinoiserie (Ahsahta Press, 2012) and Fabulosa (JackLeg Press, forthcoming 2024). A National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow, she lives in Arizona. https://www.karenrigby.com/.

Claire Wahmanholm is the author of Meltwater, Redmouth, and Wilder. A 2020–21 McKnight Fellow, her work has recently appeared in TriQuarterly, Cream City Review, Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, and Washington Square Review. She lives in the Twin Cities. Find her at https://clairewahmanholm.com/.


Twitter Username: Cwahmanholm

Website: clairewahmanholm.com

Janée J. Baugher is the author of the craft book, The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction, as well as two poetry collections. She’s an assistant editor at Boulevard magazine and the recipient of a 2024 CityArtist award from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

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

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S221.

Crafting Counternarratives in the Age of Anti-AAPI Hate

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In an era of escalating violence against AAPIs, in the aftermath of imperialist wars and the Atlanta spa shootings, AAPI writers are crafting counternarratives. We’ll strike back against model minority and victim stereotypes with more complex stories: from Vietnamese refugee resettlement to South Asian feminist biography; from activism against transphobic and homophobic legislation to Chinese intergenerational resilience. We’ll also create a shared resource through the conversation and reading.

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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

Chino Lee Chung is a trans Chinese/Mexican creative non/fiction writer. Founder and fiction editor of the Asian and Pacific Islander Transmasculine Anthology, he is part of the Latinx Writers Caucus leadership team. His work appears in GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary.

Kavita Das is is the author of Craft and Conscience: How to Write About Social Issues, based on her popular Writing with Conscience courses, and Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar. Kavita writes about race, culture, gender, and their intersections and has been published widely.


Twitter Username: kavitamix

Annie is an educator, storyteller, activist, and writer working on a memoir about heritage, language, loss, and the legacy of her cousin, Vincent Chin. Annie is a program manager for a virtual Asian American youth mentorship program, and was a special education teacher for over a decade.


Twitter Username: annietangent

Room 2102B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S222.

Indigenous Stories & Literary Stewardship: Evolving & Protecting Our Narratives

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How can Indigenous writers resist the “western gaze” and honor the multiplicity of their identities while respecting their communities and cultures? In this panel, published poets and fiction writers discuss craft choices, ethical questions, and publishing and editing concerns that affect the Indigenous writer and their work. The panelists will explore the Indigenous literary canon, focusing on Western literary exploitation and objectification of Indigenous storytelling, and discuss its future.

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Marisa Tirado is the author of Selena Didn't Notice Spanish Either from Texas Review Press (2022). Her work can be found in Virginia Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches writing at UC-Boulder.

Stacie Denetsosie is a Diné (Navajo Nation) fiction writer; she is Bitterwater clan and is born for the Mexican clan. She is from Kayenta, Arizona. Stacie recently graduated with her MFA in fiction from IAIA in May 2021. Her work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review and elsewhere.

Kateri Menominee is Anishinaabe from the Bay Mills Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She is a poet and graduate from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She received the Truman Capote Scholarship in 2012 and was one of the first recipients of the N. Scott Momaday Award in 2012.

Erin Marie Lynch is the author of Removal Acts, published from Graywolf Press in 2023. Her writing appears in New England Review, Gulf Coast, DIAGRAM, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of support from the NEA, MacDowell, and Hugo House.

m.s. RedCherries is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. A 2023 Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po) Fellow, her debut collection is forthcoming from Penguin Books in 2024.


Twitter Username: msredcherries

Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S223.

The Fate of the Long Short Story

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The short fiction landscape is crackling with change. Excitement for flash and micro-fiction is as strong as ever but as many print magazines shutter, there seems to be an ever-tightening belt about the word counts of longer short stories. Panelists will discuss the challenges of writing and publishing longer short stories in today’s literary marketplace and how magazines’ shifting word count requirements are impacting the stories they tell and read.

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Maegan Poland is an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her short story collection What Makes You Think You’re Awake? won the Bakwin Award and was published in 2021 by Blair Press. Her fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, Pleiades, Juked, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: Maegan_Poland

K.C. Mead-Brewer's weird, dark fiction often explores issues related to domestic violence and sexual identity. Her stories appear in Electric Literature, Strange Horizons, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She attended Tin House's 2018 Winter Workshop and the 2018 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop.


Twitter Username: meadwriter

Website: www.kcmeadbrewer.com

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

Tanya Shirazi Galvez is from Lynwood, California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a PhD fiction fellow at Black Mountain Institute. She is senior editor for Aster(ix) Journal and fiction coeditor for Witness magazine.

Michael Nye is the author of three books of fiction, most recently the story collection Until We Have Faces. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Kenyon Review, Epoch, Northwest Review, Pleiades, North American Review, and elsewhere. He is the editor of Story.


Twitter Username: mpnye

Website: mpnye.com

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S224.

Not Just Surviving: Queer Poets Thriving in the Red

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When discussing what queer folks under attack in "red" states should do, one thing is always suggested: leave. While it may be ideal for some, for many, leaving means abandoning not only loved ones, but also their homes. Queer folks have always loved, lived, and created in hostile places, and fleeing is not something everyone can or even wants to do. In this panel, queer poets in or from deep red states talk and write through complex loves of home and the joys that can still be cultivated there.

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C.T. Salazar is a poet and librarian from Mississippi. He's the author of Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking (Acre Books 2022) and three previous chapbooks, most recently American Cavewall Sonnets (Bull City Press 2021).


Twitter Username: CTsalazar_

Brody Parrish Craig (they/them) is the author of Boyish and editor of Twang, a regional anthology of TGNC creators of the South/Midwest US. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, Mississippi Review, Muzzle Magazine, and beestung, amongst others. They live in Arkansas.


Twitter Username: Brody_Parrish_

Steve Bellin-Oka's first book of poems Instructions for Seeing a Ghost won the Vassar Miller Prize. He is also the author of four chapbooks, including Tell Me Exactly What You Saw and What You Think It Means, which won the Blue Mountain Review LGBQT+ Chapbook Prize. He is a Tulsa Artists Fellow.


Twitter Username: SteveBellinOka

Bleah Patterson (she/her) is a queer poet and writer, born and raised in Texas. She is a current MFA candidate at Sam Houston State University where she works as a publishing fellow for the Texas Review Press.


Twitter Username: littlemissbleah

Raye Hendrix is the author of Fire Sermons (Ghost City Press) and the winner of the Keene Prize for Literature and the Patricia Aakhus Award. She is the poetry editor of Press Pause Press and a PhD student at the University of Oregon, studying the intersections of poetry, disability, and deafness.


Twitter Username: _rayehendrix

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S225.

Queer Stories: Writing Our Way into Belonging

(, , )

The queer community has gained a measure of acceptance over time and also been dealt crushing blows in today’s sharply divided world. Queer literature allows us to tell our truths, our stories that show who we were, are, and hope to become. Four authentic and uneasily honest queer voices show our power is more in how we receive ourselves than in how the world receives us. Join us to explore stories of lives lived as our authentic selves in a world that does not fully embrace or understand us.

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Jeffrey Dale Lofton is the author of Red Clay Suzie, awarded the Seven Hills Literary Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize. He is a senior advisor at the Library of Congress and cohosts a podcast, Inside Voices, that showcases all things literary.


Twitter Username: JeffreyDLofton

Website: JeffreyDLofton.com

Rehman’s dark comedy, Corona, is one of the New York Public Library’s favorite books about NYC. She’s coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and author of Marianna’s Beauty Salon and Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion, a modern classic about what it means to be Muslim and queer.


Twitter Username: writerbushra

Website: www.bushrarehman.com

Rasheed Newson is an author, a television drama writer, an executive producer, and a showrunner. My Government Means to Kill Me is his debut novel. The novel was a 2023 Lambda Literary finalist for Gay Fiction and was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2022 by the New York Times.


Twitter Username: RasheedNewson

Website: https://www.rasheednewson.com/

Room 2104A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S226.

Writing and Translating the War in Ukraine

(, , , , Oksana Lutsyshyna)

Five Eastern European Poets discuss how the war in Ukraine has transformed purpose in our work. Each participant will read one to three poems and then offer a brief discussion about poetry and/or translation of poetry as it pertains to the war in Ukraine. Panelists offer perspectives from each of their unique home countries/cultures with Croatia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian Federation represented, respectively.

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Peter Buzyński holds a PhD in creative writing at the UW-Milwaukee, a BA (UW-Madison), an MFA (The New School), and an MA (Columbia University). Burzyński is the author of the chapbook A Year Alone inside of Woodland Pattern (2022). He is the son of immigrants who call him on the phone every day.

Ana Božičević is a poet, translator, teacher, and occasional singer. She is the author of New Life, Povratak lišća / Return of the Leaves, Selected Poems in Croatian, Joy of Missing Out, the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall, and Stars of the Night Commute.


Twitter Username: poemostar

Valzhyna Mort is the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body. A recipient of several American and European awards and fellowships, including the Lannan Literary Fellowhsip, she teaches at Cornell University and writes in English and Belarusian. Her new book is forthcoming.

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.

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S227.

Black History in Poetry and the Visual Archive

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How do we think of ourselves in history, and when we do, what do we see? Three innovative poets consider how personal and public histories—Black histories in particular—are intertwined and how the combination of poetry and images can invigorate our exploration of their complexities. Examining the use of both archival materials and personal photographs alongside numerous poetic forms, this reading and conversation will encourage brave new ways of grappling with who we are and how we got here.

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Tyree Daye was raised in Youngsville, North Carolina. He is the author of the poetry collections a little bump in the earth, Cardinal, and River Hymns.

Niki Herd is the author of the chapbook don't you weep, and two poetry collections: The Language of Shedding Skin and The Stuff of Hollywood, which is forthcoming. Herd coedited Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master. She lives in St. Louis and teaches at Washington University.

Alison C. Rollins is a National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem, and Callaloo Fellow as well as a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes (2019), is with Copper Canyon Press.


Twitter Username: AlisonCRollins

Ashley E. Wynter lives in Minneapolis where she participated in a regional Cave Canem workshop. She won first place in the fifty-third New Millennium Award for Poetry and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in West Trade Review and Water~Stone Review. Wynter is editor at Copper Canyon Press.


Twitter Username: ashwritesprose

Room 2105, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S228.

Shape and Symbol: The Visual Poem

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The “visual” poem untethers language from the traditional line, the left margin, linearity, the page, and sometimes even from the word itself. What happens when the poem becomes shape or object, beyond stanzaic structure? What power does the physical image lend to a poem’s argument, or the histories that it describes? Panelists will examine the formal tools that make the visual possible in a poem, as well as what might be freed—poetically, linguistically, and politically—in this process.

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Emily Lee Luan is the author of 回 / Return, a winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize, and the PSA chapbook I Watch the Boughs. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2021, American Poetry Review, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Rutgers–Newark. 

Paul Hlava Ceballos is the author of banana [ ], a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the 2021 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. His collaborative chaplet banana/we pilot the blood is with Quenton Baker and Christina Sharpe. He lives in Seattle and practices echocardiography.


Twitter Username: paulhlava

Website: www.paulhlava.com

Anthony Cody is the author of Borderland Apocrypha (Omnidawn, 2020) and The Rendering (Omnidawn, 2023). He has won a Whiting Award and American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is copublisher of Noemi Press and teaches at Randolph College's Low Residency MFA.


Twitter Username: anthony_cody

Website: www.anthonycody.com

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian poet, Cave Canem fellow, graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and recipient of three Bread Loaf scholarships. He holds an MFA in poetry from Chicago State University. Keith works as a writer and game designer in Chicago.


Twitter Username: robottomulatto

Room 2207, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S229.

Protect Your Soul and Sanity: Self Care Practices While Writing From The Margins

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“Being healed is about feeling the appropriate emotions at the appropriate times and still being able to come back to yourself.” ―Stephanie Foo. How do we create art that is both necessary and cathartic without sacrificing the artist? What can we do as writers to stay grounded when writing heavy subject matter? Writers share how they protect their mental wellbeing, calm their nervous system, and feel safe in their bodies to write through grief and wounds to create art.

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Diana Diaz is a published author and educator of creative nonfiction and memoir. She is also an advance certified yoga teacher, RYT 500. A native Nuyorican, she facilitates yoga and writing workshops and retreats, using stress management techniques for writers in vulnerable communities.


Twitter Username: ddwordsmith

Connie Pertuz Meza, a Colombian American published in The Rumpus, Kweli Literary Journal, and elsewhere. She is a three-time VONA alum and board member, two time Tin House participant, 2021 Aspen Words Ricardo Salinas Latinx recipient, and a 2022 Pen America Emerging Fellow.


Twitter Username: MezaConnie

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

Edward Gunawan is the author of two chapbooks, The Way Back (winner of Start a Riot! Prize, Foglifter Press) and Press Play (Sweet Lit). Other publications include TriQuarterly, Aquifer, and Intimate Strangers. A queer Indonesian-born Chinese immigrant, he now resides on Ohlone land in Oakland, California. addword.com.


Twitter Username: edward_gunawan

Website: www.addword.com

Devatman Daniel Marcellus Givens is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the holistic intersection of identity, spirituality, transformation, and self-discovery Through the lens of urbanism and afro-futurism, he creates healing environments and imagery for underserved communities.

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S230.

So You Want to Publish a Translation. A How-To Panel for Literary Magazines, Sponsored by ALTA

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As translated literature commands greater interest in the United States, more literary magazines are looking to publish it. Words Without Borders Editorial Director Susan Harris will moderate a discussion on how to approach publishing and promoting literary translations in print and online magazines. The panel of editors and publishers from The Margins, Latin American Literature Today, and The Georgia Review will address editorial considerations, contracts, payments, and promotion and event opportunities.

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Susan Harris is the editorial director of Words Without Borders and the coeditor, with Ilya Kaminsky, of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.


Twitter Username: SusanHarrisWWB

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.


Twitter Username: jafreenmu

Arthur Malcolm Dixon is cofounder, lead translator, and managing editor of Latin American Literature Today. His work has appeared in Asymptote, International Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Words Without Borders, and World Literature Today. He works as an interpreter in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Twitter Username: ArthurDixon

Gerald Maa is a writer, translator, and editor. In 2010, he cofounded the Asian American Literary Review. Currently, he is editor and director of The Georgia Review.

Jim Hicks is executive editor of the Massachusetts Review. He teaches comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His translations include short pieces by Italo Calvino, Ananda Devi, Semezdin Mehmedinović, Juan José Saer, Izet Sarajlić, Gianmaria Testa, and several longer works by Erri De Luca.


Twitter Username: dzemhiks

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S231.

A Good Book Is Never Late

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The pressure on writers to be "productive" can feel relentless, both from within and without. This panel is the antidote: a love song to the long game from five fiction and nonfiction writers whose books took years to finish. We'll talk candidly about how time transforms structure, voice, and research; how to sustain the slow burn; how not-writing can be essential to writing; managing anxiety, ageism, and self-doubt; and learning to love the duration for the sake of the art.

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Chelsey Johnson is the author of the novel Stray City. Her writing has appeared in One Story, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, NPR's Selected Shorts, and elsewhere. She received an MFA from Iowa and a Stegner Fellowship and directs the Northern Arizona University MFA.


Twitter Username: chelseyhotel

Vu Tran is the author of the novel, Dragonfish. He has received a Whiting Award and an NEA Fellowship, and his work has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Mysteries, and Ploughshares. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago.


Twitter Username: roomwithavu

Website: vutranwriter.com

Ricardo Nuila is a practicing doctor, teacher, and writer. His nonfiction has appeared in the New Yorker and VQR, and his fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories. A former Yaddo, MacDowell, and Dobie Ranch fellow, his first book on safety net hospitals will be published by Scribner.


Twitter Username: riconuila

Website: ricardonuila.com

Nami Mun’s Miles from Nowhere, a national bestseller, has won the Whiting Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, a Pushcart Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. She teaches at Loyola University Chicago.

Peyton Marshall graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her first novel, Goodhouse, came out from FSG in 2014 and was a finalist for the Dashiell Hammett Prize. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, and A Public Space. She was awarded an NEA Prose Writing Fellowship for 2022–23.

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S232.

The Art of The Believer Interview: Twenty Years of Artists In Conversation

(, , , , Anelise Chen)

For over twenty years The Believer has interviewed the artists and writers that define our culture. The magazine’s tone of candor and camaraderie fosters an environment where the reader often feels as though they are witnessing a rare and intimate conversation between friends. This panel will feature four acclaimed writers who have published interviews in The Believer, and will touch on how they approached the interview process and what makes a literary interview sparkle.

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Rita Bullwinkel is the author of Headshot and Belly Up, which garnered both a Whiting Award and The Believer Book Award. She is a contributing editor of NOON, an editor at large for McSweeney's, and the deputy editor of The Believer. She teaches at University of San Francisco and CCA.


Twitter Username: RitaBullwinkel

James Yeh is a writer, editor, and journalist. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, The Believer, Drift, McSweeney’s Quarterly, NOON, and elsewhere. He works as the deputy editor of McSweeney’s Quarterly and teaches writing at Columbia University.


Twitter Username: Jamesyeh

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of six books, most recently the novel Barn 8. A Guggenheim fellow and finalist for the National Book Critics Award, she has published in the Paris Review, Granta, Harper's, and elsewhere. A professor at UT Austin, she also directs a prison creative writing program.

Courtney Zoffness is the author of Split Milk (McSweeney's 2021). She won the Sunday Times Short Story Award as well as fellowships from the Center for Fiction and MacDowell. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, the New York Times, and elsewhere. She teaches at Drew University.


Twitter Username: czoffrun

Website: courtneyzoffness.com

Room 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S233.

Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, Celebrating its Tenth Anniversary

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Contributors to the International Latino Book award-winning creative nonfiction anthology will read from personal essays that explore the range of Latina experiences in college and share their reflections since the groundbreaking collection was published a decade ago. These compelling narratives provide crucial insight into the complex intersection of race, class, and educational issues, dispelling myths, and showcasing the diversity of this community’s experiences in higher education.

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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

Yalitza Ferreras is the 2022–23 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship at SJSU. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.


Twitter Username: yalitzawrites

Celeste Guzman Mendoza's poetry and essays have been published in various anthologies and journals. She is a Hedgebrook fellow, Macondista, and CantoMundista. She also cofounded CantoMundo and codirected it for ten years.

Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (Simon & Schuster, 2020) and White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing (UMass Press, 2021). She is a creative writing and Latinx literature professor, editor, speaker, and consultant.


Twitter Username: jdeleonwriter

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S234.

Nonbinary and Genderqueer Writers Discuss Working in a Time of Transphobic Crisis

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Trans writers, editors, and performers have always had to navigate risk in this country, but the last few years have felt particularly perilous, both in the United States and globally. These nonbinary and genderqueer writers will discuss what it means to for us to exist as members of a literary community in the 2020s and what the transphobic policies being enacted (and the cultures in which they are being produced) mean to our pedagogies, our careers, and our lives.

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A.E. Osworth is a transgender novelist. Their first book, We Are Watching Eliza Bright was published by Grand Central Publishing in 2021 and their second, Awakened, is forthcoming from Grand Central in March 2025. They’re a lecturer in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.


Twitter Username: AEOsworth

Emily Holland (they/she) is a genderqueer lesbian writer. Their poems appear or are forthcoming in publications including HAD, Shenandoah, and Black Warrior Review. They are the recipient of multiple fellowships from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She is the editor of Poet Lore and was the 2023 OutWrite chair.


Twitter Username: eaholla

jason b. crawford (They/Them) was born in Washington DC and raised in Lansing, Michigan. Their full-length debut Year of the Unicorn Kidz is out from Sundress Publications. They are currently an MFA Candidate at New School in Poetry.


Twitter Username: jasonbcrawford

Nina Budabin McQuown is a poet, essayist, and puppeteer. They live in Washington, DC, where they make puppet shows with Wit’s End Puppets and edit for The Word Works poetry press. You can find their poems and reviews in journals like Hotel Amerika and KR Online, and all the rest at yeswehaveno.com.


Twitter Username: allsoils

Tonee Moll is the author of Out of Step: A Memoir, (winner of a Lambda Literary Award and the Non/Fiction Collection Prize) and You Cannot Save Here (Winner of the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize). They hold an MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts and a PhD in English (with an emphasis on poetry).


Twitter Username: toneemoll

Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S235.

Ages on the Issues: An Intergenerational Poetry Reading

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Poets ranging in age from thirty-six to seventy-nine will read poems that address environmental issues and social justice. In addition to being multigenerational—Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and Millennials—the poets reading are multicultural, bringing Latin American, Middle Eastern, European American, and Native American perspectives to some of the most important issues challenging humanity today. This diverse group of poets will create a conversation to inform, inspire, and provide insight for all of us.

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Lucille Lang Day is the award-winning author of eleven poetry collections, including Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place, two children’s books, and a memoir. Coeditor of the anthologies Red Indian Road West and Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, she is the publisher of Scarlet Tanager Books.


Twitter Username: LucilleLDay

Website: https://lucillelangday.com

Noelia Cerna is a Costa Rican poet based in Springdale, Arizona. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Westminster College in Missouri. Her full-length debut collection is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.

Joan Gelfand is author of three collections of poetry, an award-winning chapbook of short fiction, and a novel. Past president of the Women’s National Book Association, Joan belongs to the National Book Critics Circle, Bay Area Travel Writers, and PEN. Joan coaches writers and speaks nationwide.


Twitter Username: joangelfand

Website: http://joangelfand.com

Mary Mackey, PhD, Professor Emerita of English CSUS, New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels and eight poetry collections including The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, winner of Eric Hoffer Award for Best Book Published by a Small Press. Her new book Creativity looks at the origins of inspiration.


Twitter Username: MMackeyAuthor

Website: http://marymackey.com/

Jaylan Salah Salman is an Egyptian writer, translator, published author, feminist, and poet, who won literary awards for her novels and poetry in both English and Arabic.


Twitter Username: JaylanSalman

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S236.

From A to Zines: Bringing Agency and Activism to Classrooms and Communities

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Zines flourish at the intersection of self-expression and grassroots activism. Zine making welcomes writers and creatives of all levels to extend their authentic voices beyond the established publishing industry. Join our panel of zinesters, writing instructors, distro owners, community organizers, and small press editors as we discuss, show, and tell the empowering roles that zines play in our local writing communities.

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Ryan Oliver Drendel teaches at Northern Arizona University, where he earned his MFA, edited Thin Air Magazine, and cofounded the Cinder Skies Reading Series. He now serves as community partner liaison for the Northern Arizona Book Festival, and he is the creator and curator of Flagstaff Cycle-Zine.


Twitter Username: RyanDrendel

Margarita Cruz is a Macondista and president of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. She curates writing workshops and book-art programs at a bookstore in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her works have been featured in Rattle, DIAGRAM, Poem-a-Day and others.


Twitter Username: Blue_Margaritas

Amber McCrary is Diné poet, zinester, and artist. She is also the creator of DANG! (Daydreaming, Awkward, Native, Girl) zine, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2Angsty Asdzáá: Tales of an angry Indigenous woman zine, and the Asdzáá Beat. You can find her work at Yellow Medicine Review, Poetry magazine, and Room magazine.

Amanda Meeks is a librarian, interdisciplinary book artist, & the human powering the Outspokin' and Bookish zine bike in Tucson, Arizona. Their pop-up, feminist zine collection is meant to inspire others to share their stories, ideas, and artwork in print. Amanda also hosts zine workshops and creates zines.

Charissa Lucille is the founder of Wasted Ink (est. 2015) and Paper Jam + Print, a zine hub offering printing, distribution, workshops, events, and a zine library in Phoenix, Arizona. They are an organizer for the PHX Zine Fest and have self published zines titled Fem Static, Femme Fotale, and Blunt Talk.


Twitter Username: wastedinkdistro

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S237.

Resurrection Not Erasure: When Poets Talk Back to History

(, , , Vandana Khanna, Paisley Rekdal)

Poets whose work complicates or writes against dominant narratives will discuss how the persona poem challenges historical erasure and revises both the past and present. Panelists will discuss the ethical implications of the personal poem, their decisions to use persona in their work, and their underlying methodologies and research in voicing the past.

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Alyse Bensel is the author of Rare Wondrous Things: A Poetic Biography of Maria Sibylla Merian and three poetry chapbooks. She is an assistant professor of English at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.

Nicole Cooley is the author of seven books of poems, including the forthcoming Mother Water Ash (Louisiana State University Press, 2024), a novel, and two chapbooks. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-City University of New York.

Blas Falconer is the author of four poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books 2018) and Rara Avis (forthcoming Four Way Books 2024). Winner of an NEA fellowship and the Maureen Eden Writers Exchange, he teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University.


Twitter Username: blas_falconer

Website: blasfalconer.com

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S238.

Writing Your Way Through a Major World Event

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How does a writer walk the tightrope between story and history when tackling a major world event, historical or contemporary? How do they make it their own? Four novelists and a poet discuss their unique approaches to describing Hawaii's colonization, the Russian Revolution, World War II, the 2016 election, and the current war in Ukraine. From balancing fact and fiction to creating a narrative that feels fresh, we will share our experiences whipping reality into a literary shape.

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Sasha Vasilyuk is a journalist and author of the debut novel Your Presence is Mandatory, which will be out in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Finland, and Brazil in April 2024. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, TIME, Harper's Bazaar, Los Angeles Times, Narrative, and USA Today.


Twitter Username: SashaVasilyuk

Website: www.sashavasilyuk.com

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

Jasmin Iolani Hakes is from Hilo Hawaii, a place that heavily influences her writing. Her work has appeared in The Sacramento Bee and the LA Times. She is a 2018 Hedgebrook fellow. Hula, her debut novel, is out now with HarperVia.


Twitter Username: iolanidancing

Cecilia Rabess is a writer and data scientist in San Francisco. She is the author of the novel Everything's Fine. Her nonfiction writing has been featured in McSweeneys, FiveThirtyEight, Fast Company, and FlowingData, among other places.

Lena Zycinsky is a poet, artist born in Belarus. Author of numerous books and shows. Work appeared in New York Times, Poetry Archive, Consequence, Flare, among other places. Current postgraduate student at NYU writers seminars in Paris.

Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S239.

How We Stay Whole: Celebrating Complex Identities in Our Writing

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The literary world often reduces writers to oversimplified, manageable identities. Workshops, publishing, and marketing tend to place us into boxes that tokenize and dehumanize, silencing our intersectional selves. In this multigenre panel, BIPOC women writers will share how they resist such limitations and honor their complex identities in their creative work and the publishing process. They will explore how celebrating all that we are as writers can nourish us and open us, and readers, to joy.

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Nari Kirk is a Korean American adoptee who holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of New Mexico and has published work in the Laurel Review, Hobart, the anthology All the Women in My Family Sing, and elsewhere. She works in public libraries in Washington State.

Amy M. Alvarez is the author of Makeshift Altar and coeditor of Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology. A neurodivergent Jamaican and Puerto Rican Affrilachian poet, she has published in PloughsharesThe Acentos Review, and Obsidian. Alvarez currently teaches at West Virginia University.


Twitter Username: Amy__Writes

Website: https://amymalvarez.com

Samantha Tetangco is a queer, Filipina, multigenre writer and author of the poetry collection HOPE YOU BLEND IN: STUDIES IN COLOR & LIGHT (forthcoming). She is a teaching professor at the University of California Merced and cohost and coproducer of Plume: A Writer's Podcast.

Lyzette Wanzer's work appears in over thirty publications, reflecting peri-racial, social, and economic African-American experiences. Her book, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth (Chicago Review Press) is a Top 10 Library Journal 2022 Book and a Black Women's Studies Association 2023 Black History Month selection.


Twitter Username: TraumaTresses

Website: http://www.lyzettewanzermfa.com

Tria Wen is a 2.5-generation Chinese American writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Rumpus, and Narratively, among other places. She has spoken at SXSW, on NPR, BBC, and other outlets about building understanding across differences and amplifying marginalized writers.

Room 2504AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S240.

Under Control: Writing Motherhood in Dark Times

(, , , Ruth Whippman)

Modern motherhood is a daily exercise in relinquishing control. But how do we mother when the supports that keep us and our families safe and cared for become increasingly elusive? And how do we write about motherhood in an era of fear and state control? These writers will read from their latest works that examine the body, pregnancy and postpartum, maternal anger and anxiety, and mothers searching for truth and solid ground when they don’t know who or what they can trust. Q&A to follow.

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Hannah Michell is the author of two novels, Defections and Excavations. She teaches in the Asian American and Asian diaspora studies program at the University of California, Berkeley.


Twitter Username: hannahmichell

Minna Dubin (she/her) is the author of Mom Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood (Seal Press, 2023). She is the recipient of an artist enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, two kids, and no pets because enough is enough.


Twitter Username: minnadubin

Website: www.minnadubin.com

Amanda Montei is the author of Touched Out: Motherhood, Misogyny, Consent, and Control, the memoir Two Memoirs, and a collection of prose, The Failure Age, as well as coauthor of Dinner Poems.


Twitter Username: AmandaMontei

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

S241.

Building Bridges: Literature and Climate Justice

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Literature itself can be a form of activism, but what is the relationship between literature and nonliterary activism? How is literature distinct? As the environmental and climate crisis threatens life as we know it, five writers explore the relationship between writing (sometimes across genres) and environmental justice. They’ll discuss ways writers can both celebrate their unique contributions and build bridges with other fields to form greater connection, community, engagement, and action.

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Nadia Colburn is an independent scholar with the Ronin Institute and has published in the New Yorker, APR, Slate, Literary Imagination, and Los Angeles Review of Books. She leads creative writing workshops and is a founding editor at Anchor Magazine: where spirituality and social justice meet.


Twitter Username: NadiaColburn

Website: www.nadiacolburn.com

Sarah Rose Nordgren is an American writer, teacher, and activist. She is author of two poetry collections, a hybrid-genre chapbook, and the nonfiction book, The Bird Hat Wearer’s Journal. She holds a PhD in poetry from University of Cincinnati and serves as director of the School for Living Futures.

Jason Myers is executive director of EcoTheo Collective, a nonprofit that publishes EcoTheo Review and hosts an annual literary festival called Wonder. He is the author of Maker of Heaven & and the forthcoming A Place for the Genuine: Reflections on Nature, Poetry, and Vocation.


Twitter Username: jasonpmyers

Roger Reeves’s first book of poems is King Me, from Copper Canyon Press. He has been awarded a 2015 Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and a 2013 NEA Fellowship. His next book of poems, Best Barbarian, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton.

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


Twitter Username: JakeSkeets

Website: jakeskeets.com

Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S242.

Memoir as Detective Novel: Writing the Investigative Memoir

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In this session, five memoirists who built their stories around questions, writing into mysteries in their own lives or their families', will discuss the particular craft challenges that come up when writing a memoir that reads like a detective novel—with readers following along on a search for truth, clarity, or closure: from finding clues and remaining open to surprise, to the practical concerns of research, to how to write into questions with no definitive answers.

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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

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

Jeannie Vanasco is the author of Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl (Tin House, 2019) and The Glass Eye (Tin House, 2017). Her essays have appeared in The Believer, New York Times, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor of English at Towson University.

Carmen Rita Wong is the author of Why Didn’t You Tell Me?: A Memoir. She is a former TV host, advice columnist, and professor. Carmen was vice chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and board director at The Moth. She also hosts a podcast, is a novelist, and is working on book six.


Twitter Username: carmensense

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow whose work has been featured in The Atlantic; Washington Post; New York Times; O, the Oprah Magazine; and elsewhere. A former litigator, she is the author of the memoir The Kneeling Man.


Twitter Username: LaSeletzky

Room 3501CD, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S243.

CANCELED: How to Make Your Story Into a Movie: DIY Edition

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

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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

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

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.

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.

Room 3501 GH, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S244.

Onward!: Agents and Editors on Rejection and What Comes Next

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Whether we like it or not, the road to publication is paved with rejections—and in this panel, five publishing professionals will address the specter of “no,” offering insight and encouragement applicable to writers at all stages of the publishing process. We’ll consider how to mine rejections for useful feedback, when we might step away from a project, and instances where we should push through or push back in service of the work and its essential integrity.

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Maggie Cooper is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management, representing fiction and select nonfiction with an emphasis on queer stories and books that spark imagination and joy. A graduate of Yale University, UNC Greensboro, and the Clarion Writers Workshop, she is now based in Boston.


Twitter Username: frecklywench

Kate Arden McMullen is the managing editor of Hub City Press, a nonprofit independent publisher of extraordinary writers from the American South. She is on the lookout for voice-driven literary works from the margins of Southern experience. Kate received her MFA in fiction from UNC-Wilmington.


Twitter Username: KateAMcMullen

Misha Rai's work has received support from the Kenyon Review fellowships, Bread Loaf, the Whiting Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, McDowell, Virginia Colony for the Creative Arts, and the Dana Award in the Novel Category. She teaches creative writing at Sewanee: The University of the South.

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

Callie Garnett is editorial director at Bloomsbury USA. She edited Pulitzer Prize winner Chasing Me to My Grave by Winfred Rembert as told to Erin I. Kelly, Rachel Louise Snyder’s No Visible Bruises, and Anna North's Outlawed. The Song Cave published her debut poetry collection Wings in Time (2021).

Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

S245.

Nonfiction for Women of Color: Liberating and Celebrating Our Narratives

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“won't you celebrate with me/what i have shaped into/a kind of life? i had no model/born in babylon/both nonwhite and woman/ what did i see to be except myself?” —Lucille Clifton. The rise of memoirs by women of color is changing the landscape of publishing. How do we keep forward momentum in finding the beauty of our complex stories without being performative for the industry? Join a diverse panel of women of color memoirists for a reading and discussion on the exciting future of nonfiction.

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Grisel Y. Acosta is a queer full professor at CUNY-BCC and creative writing editor at Chicana/Latina Studies. Books include Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere (Get Fresh Books; Andrés Montoya Finalist) & Latina Outsiders (Routledge). Dr. Acosta is a Dodge Poet, Macondo Fellow, and VONA Alum.


Twitter Username: GriselYAcosta1

Website: http://www.grito.org/dr.-grisel-y.-acosta.html

Elizabeth Owuor is an author who interrogates the archives of Black music history, blending deeply researched untold stories with personal narrative. Her debut book, A Brawling Woman in a Wide House, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury US and Canongate UK in 2025.

Natalie Lima is a Cuban-Puerto Rican writer with work published in Longreads, Guernica, Brevity, The Offing, Catapult, Sex & the Single Woman (Harper Perennial, 2022), Body Language (Catapult, 2022), and elsewhere. She recently joined the faculty at Butler MFA as assistant professor of English.


Twitter Username: natalielima09

Danielle Amir Jackson is a Memphis-born writer and the editor-in-chief of Oxford American magazine. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Criterion Collection, Bookforum, and more. Her first book is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.


Twitter Username: danielleamir

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

S246.

Tupelo Press: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Reading, Transcendence and Diversity

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Recognizing Tupelo's twenty-five-year commitment to diversity, we are proud to offer a reading by four exemplary poets, each offering poems from their recent Tupelo Press books: J. Mae Barizo, reading from Tender Machines, Iliana Rocha, reading from The Many Deaths of Inocencio Rodriguez, Rohan Chhetri, reading from lost hurt or in transit beautiful, and Kelly Weber, reading from We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place. Followed by Q&A, moderated by Jeffrey Levine, Artistic Director of Tupelo.

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Jeffrey Levine is the artistic director and publisher of Tupelo Press, an independent literary press founded in 1999 and located in North Adams, Massachusetts. His most recent book is At the Kinnegad Home for the Bewildered. Additionally, he is translator of Pablo Neruda's masterpiece, Canto General.

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.

Iliana Rocha is the 2019 winner of the Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry for her newest collection, The Many Deaths of Inocencio Rodriguez, available from Tupelo Press. Karankawa, her debut, won the 2014 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015).


Twitter Username: la_ilianarocha

Rohan Chhetri is the author of Lost, Hurt, or in Transit Beautiful (Tupelo Press/HarperCollins). A recipient of a 2021 PEN/Heim Grant for translation, his poems have appeared in the Paris ReviewAGNI, Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, and Revue Europe, among others.


Twitter Username: rohancht

Kelly Weber is the author of We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press, 2022) and You Bury the Birds in My Pelvis (Omnidawn, 2023). Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, Pleiades, Southeast Review, and elsewhere. They hold an MFA from Colorado State University.


Twitter Username: KellyWeberPoet

5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Room 2208, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S247.

Sober AWP

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

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Room 2215B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S248.

K-12 Teachers Caucus

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The caucus creates a space where teachers in K-12 schools, as well as those who work part time with young writers, can share their classroom experiences with the hope of helping one another understand the complex and diverse needs of young writers in the twenty-first century. The meeting will feature presentations by caucus members to help generate discussion around issues of pedagogy and how to build a creative writing curriculum that is accessible to students no matter their identity or background.

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Molly Sutton Kiefer is the author of the lyric essay Nestuary, as well as three poetry chapbooks. She is founding editor of Tinderbox Poetry Journal and runs Tinderbox Editions, a nonprofit press. Molly lives and teaches in Minnesota.

Jeremy T. Wilson is the author of the short story collection Adult Teeth. He is a former winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. He teaches creative writing at the Chicago High School for the Arts.


Twitter Username: shiremy

Allison Campbell chairs the Certificate of Artistry in Creative Writing program at The Willow School in New Orleans. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers, Allison's first book Encyclopédie of the Common and Encompassing, was published by Kore Press in 2016.


Twitter Username: AC_Campbell

Website: allison-campbell.org

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S249.

Asian American Caucus

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What does it mean to steward Asian American and Pacific Islander literature, organizationally, collectively, and individually? The annual Asian American Caucus is a town hall-style hangout and community space. Come meet other Asian American writers and discuss opportunities and resources available to support you. Organized by Kundiman, the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Kaya Press, and Kearny Street Workshop.

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Neelanjana Banerjee is the managing editor of Kaya Press. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in Prairie Schooner, Chicago Quarterly Review, PANK magazine, The Rumpus, and several anthologies. She teaches writing and Asian American Literature at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University.


Twitter Username: neelanjanab

Website: www.neelanjanabanerjee.com

Jason Bayani is the author of Amulet from Write Bloody Press. An MFA grad from Saint Mary's College and a Kundiman fellow, he is currently the program manager for Kearny Street Workshop, the longest running multidisciplinary Asian Pacific American arts organization in the country.


Twitter Username: jasonbayani

Website: www.jasonbayani.com

Gina Chung is a Korean American writer and the programs manager at Kundiman. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize and a 2021–2022 Center for Fiction/Susan Kamil Emerging Writer, she is the author of the novel Sea Change (Vintage, March 2023), and the short story collection Green Frog (Vintage, 2024).


Twitter Username: ginathechung

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Bennie Moten AB, Marriott Kansas City Downtown, Third Level

S249A.

BkMk Press Reception

This is an open reception for friends and constituents of BkMk Press, including authors, past interns and volunteers, and supporters.

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Julia Lee A, Marriott Kansas City Downtown, Third Level

S250.

Lords of Misrule: Saturnalia Anthology Reception

Celebrate twenty-plus years of Saturnalia Books with a reception honoring our beloved authors who appear in the Lords of Misrule anthology, as well as those who just joined our Saturnalia community.

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6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

S251.

Women's Caucus

The Women's Caucus offers a space to network, plan events, and discuss issues concerning women writers (e.g., ways to support each other, lack of access to literary power structures, conference childcare, obstacles to publication, keeping literary events safe, etc.). The Women's Caucus is an inclusive space and welcomes the diverse perspectives of women writers.

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#AWP24
2024_KANSASCITY Annual Conference & Bookfair

February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Convention Center


#AWP24 Virtual Events Guide
#AWP24 Kansas City Program
#AWP24 Print-at-Home Program