Virtual AWP Event Beyond Sunrise, There Is a Song We Follow: A Conversation with Joy Harjo and Rob Casper


Videos of our virtual events as well as select featured presentations from the events offered each year at the AWP Conference & Bookfair. Some recordings from 2013-2015 were produced by Some interviews from 2016–2019 were produced by PBS's Book View Now.

Video List:

  • Virtual | October 28, 2020

    VBC featuring Horsepower by Joy Priest

    AWP Virtual Book Club welcomes a discussion on the newly-released Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020) by Joy Priest, winner of the 2019 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. Priest and Chelsea McLin, Registration and Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator for AWP, discuss Horsepower, Louisville, and Breonna Taylor. Also included is the poem “Nightstick."

  • Virtual | September 24, 2020

    VBC featuring Felon by Reginald Dwayne Betts

    Virtual Book Club returns this September, featuring Reginald Dwayne Betts and his poetry collection Felon, winner of a 2020 NAACP Image Award. Interview by Sheila Black, AWP Director of Development, the two will discuss Felon and The Million Book Project, Betts’ ongoing initiative to distribute Freedom Libraries, a curated 500-book collection, to 1,000 prisons in the United States and Puerto Rico.

  • Virtual | September 17, 2020

    Virtual AWP: The Evolution of a Writer: Before, During, and Hopefully After the Pandemic

    Virtual AWP: Conversations with Writers presents The Evolution of a Writer: Before, During, and Hopefully After the Pandemic. Courtney Maum (Before and After the Book Deal), Parneshia Jones (Vessel), and Paulette Perhach (Welcome to the Writer’s Life) discuss branding, finances, and author availability before diving into deeper concerns including preserving your unique voice, making yourself a priority when choosing a publisher, and supporting women in publishing before, during, and hopefully after the pandemic. Books from this event can be purchased on the AWP & Bookshop affiliate website.

  • Virtual | August 27, 2020

    Virtual AWP: Conversations with Writers featuring Maurice Carlos Ruffin & Regina Brooks

    We are thrilled to share this Virtual AWP event featuring author of We Cast a Shadow, Maurice Carlos Ruffin interviewed by Regina Brooks, AWP Board Member and CEO of Serendipity Literary Agency. We Cast a Shadow, published by One World Random House, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, has been described as “an incisive and necessary debut…a chilling, unforgettable cautionary tale and one we should all read and heed,” by Roxane Gay. The interview delves into themes of race, white supremacy, and social injustice as Maurice shares the influences behind his writing.

  • Virtual | August 18, 2020

    Virtual AWP: Conversations with Writers featuring Alexandra van de Kamp and Sheila Black

    We welcome to our virtual programming A Conversation with Alexandra van de Kamp and Sheila Black. Watch as they take time to discuss moving forward with a formal and intentional presence, developing strategies for building community in the virtual classroom, and addressing boundaries to prevent burnout.

  • Virtual | June 26, 2020

    June 2020 Virtual Book Club with Aimee Liu

    Bestselling author Aimee Liu discusses the craft of writing and her latest book, Glorious Boy, published by Red Hen Press.

    More Information:
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    Origins Essay on LitHub:

  • Virtual | June 12, 2020

    Virtual AWP: Frontextos (border/texts)—Process, Image, Text, & Resistance

    Poets Octavio Quintanilla and Connie Voisine discuss their latest projects with an eye toward looking at individual process and how the poet adapts their process to tackle issues of social and historical urgency—from border and sectarian conflict to defining what art means to us in these pandemic times.

  • Virtual | May 21, 2020

    May 2020 Virtual Book Club with Sue William Silverman

    Who wants to live forever? Sue William Silverman discusses her book, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences, a collection of essays tackling the knotty question of how we should best live in the ever-present shadow of death. Join along as Sue William Silverman answers questions about her attempt to confront her fears of death, as well as her desire to survive it.

  • Virtual | May 11, 2020

    Virtual AWP: "Some Days" Community Poem Project Conversation

    Presented in honor of National Nurses Week 2020. David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, is joined by Katie Daley, a teaching artist for the Wick Poetry Center, Dr. Mary K. Anthony, professor and associate dean for research at Kent State University College of Nursing, and Taryn Burhanna, RN. In this conversation they share their work on the “Some Days” Community Poem Project, a prompt scripted from the Wick Poetry Center in partnership with Kent State University. The focus of the “Some Days” community poem project was to work with health care providers in Northeast Ohio to create a “community poem” that reflected on their experiences as health care providers. In these pandemic times of COVID-19, “Some Days” shows us the resilience, stresses, and guiding values of health care providers as they use the lens of poetry to capture and reflect on their many experiences of caregiving. Listen in to the discoveries made through this communal creative process.

  • Virtual | May 8, 2020

    Virtual AWP Event Beyond Sunrise, There Is a Song We Follow: A Conversation with Joy Harjo and Rob Casper

    What can poetry bring us in this time of crisis? What might poets laureate do in such a moment? Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, talks about her work in the position as well as the role poets and poetry can play right now.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 7, 2020

    My Heart Is Not Blind: On Blindness and Perception, Sponsored by Trinity University

    Trinity University presents My Heart Is Not Blind: On Blindness and Perception. Vision loss and the broader idea of perception is something we struggle to understand. Its causes range from genetic predispositions to disease and external circumstances such as accidents or violence. Michael Nye has photographed visually impaired people who differ not only in their particular conditions and losses but also in their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds—also affording them the opportunity to tell their deeply moving and enlightening personal stories. Taken as a whole, their accounts are bound by a common theme of resilience and empowerment. Moderated by Michael Nye with a panel discussion including participants from the book.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 6, 2020

    National Book Critics Circle Presents: Louise Erdrich

    NBCC Presents: Louise Erdrich. (Louise Erdrich, Marion Winik) National Book Critics Circle honored novelist Louise Erdrick will read from her work and talk with NBCC Treasurer Marion Winik about inspiration, research, awards (Erdrich has also won a National Book Award), evolving forms, the unique challenges of writing in these times, the imaginative process that shapes their work. A double master class in the art of fiction.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 6, 2020

    A Reading & Conversation with Ambassador Rick Barton, Alex Dehgan, Lee Gutkind, & Lola Shoneyin

    This event will feature a moderated discussion with authors of recent books related to international development. Many in the international development world have lived and traveled extensively, engaged with people from all parts of the world and in a broad range of situations, have encountered countless challenges, witnessed success and failure, and learned from it all. And some have been able to corral their experiences, insights, and ideas into books. Our panel of authors will look at their varied experiences and stories. Lee Gutkind, the “godfather behind creative nonfiction,” will moderate the discussion with Amb. Rick Barton, author of Peace Works: America's Unifying Role in a Turbulent World, Alex Dehgan, author of The Snow Leopard Project and other Adventures in Warzone Conservation, and Lola Shoneyin, author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 6, 2020

    Ada Calhoun in Conversation with Kristen Young

    Ada Calhoun will read from her forthcoming novel and will be interviewed by Kristen Millares Young. Ada Calhoun is the author of the memoir Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give, named an Amazon Book of the Month and one of the top ten memoirs of 2017 by W magazine; and the history St. Marks Is Dead, one of the best books of 2015, according to Kirkus and the Boston Globe. She has collaborated on several New York Times bestsellers and freelanced for the New York Times, New York, and The New Republic.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 5, 2020

    #AWP20 Keynote Address by Helena María Viramontes, Sponsored by Texas State University

    Helena María Viramontes is the author of The Moths and Other Stories (1985) and Under the Feet of Jesus (1995), a novel. Her second novel, Their Dogs Came with Them (2007), published in paperback by Washington Square Press, focuses on the dispossessed, the working poor, the homeless, and the undocumented of East Los Angeles, where Viramontes was born and raised. Her work strives to re-create the visceral sense of a world virtually unknown to mainstream letters and to transform readers through relentlessly compassionate storytelling. In the 1980s, Viramontes became co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association and literary editor of XhistmeArte Magazine. Later in the decade, Viramontes helped found Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers. In collaboration with feminist scholar Maria Herrera Sobek, Viramontes organized three major conferences at UC-Irvine, resulting in two anthologies: Chicana Creativity and Criticism: Charting New Frontiers in American Literature (1988) and Chicana Writes: On Word and Film (1993). Named a USA Ford Fellow in Literature for 2007 by United States Artists, she has also received the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and a 2017 Bellagio Center Residency from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2015, California State University at Long Beach inaugurated the Helena María Viramontes Lecture. Viramontes is Goldwin Smith Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she is at work on a new novel.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 5, 2020

    Aimee Liu and Ellen Meeropol in Conversation with Kristen Young, Sponsored by Red Hen Press

    Powerful female authors read their work and discuss their shared themes of families torn apart by history and war. Each work quests to find lost siblings and daughters and sons, each story a heartwrenching tale of the strength of family against life's cruel obstacles. These four women discuss the importance and necessity of telling these stories, and the impact these stories have on our lives right now, in the real world.

  • San Antonio, Texas | March 5, 2020

    10 Years of CantoMundo: Founders, Faculty, and Fellows

    Join CantoMundo for a discussion on contemporary Latinx letters, the history of CantoMundo, and what’s ahead for us. Each poet will also do a short reading.