Virtual AWP Pedagogy: Diversity & Inclusion in the Creative Writing Classroom

December 22, 2020

Headshots of Felicia Rose Chavez, Caleb Lee González, Matthew Salesses, and Stephanie Vanderslice

Virtual AWP Pedagogy and the Creative Writing Studies Organization welcome Felicia Rose Chavez, Caleb Lee González, and Matthew Salesses for a discussion on Diversity & Inclusion in the Creative Writing Classroom. AWP Board Member Stephanie Vanderslice moderates as they exchange wisdom on culturally-sustaining teaching practices that value all voices and experiences. Felicia, Caleb, and Matthew explain the importance of radically shifting the paradigm in workshops to decenter authority and embrace a “pedagogy of deep listening.” Their conversation premieres on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET on the AWP YouTube channel. Books from this event can be purchased on the AWP Bookshop affiliate page.

The premiere of this virtual AWP event will also include a live Q&A on YouTube. To receive a reminder and a direct link to this free event, as well as updates on future events, register online. *Registration is free, and you do not have to be a member of AWP to do so. However, to participate in the live Q&A, you must be signed into YouTube.

Felicia Rose ChavezMFA, is an award-winning educator with an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Iowa. She is the author of The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom and coeditor of The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext. Felicia’s teaching career began in Chicago, where she served as program director to Young Chicago Authors. She went on to teach writing at the University of New Mexico, where she was distinguished as the Most Innovative Instructor of the Year; the University of Iowa, where she was distinguished as the Outstanding Instructor of the Year; and Colorado College, where she received the Theodore Roosevelt Collins Outstanding Faculty Award. Her creative scholarship earned her a Ronald E. McNair Fellowship, a University of Iowa Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, a Riley Scholar Fellowship, and a Hadley Creatives Fellowship. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she currently serves as the Creativity & Innovation Scholar-in-Residence at Colorado College. Find her “21st Century Reference Guide to Contemporary Writers of Color,” among other resources, at

Caleb Lee González, MFA, is a doctoral student at the Ohio State University. Before moving to Ohio, Caleb completed his MFA in creative nonfiction at Colorado State University. During his program, he completed a collection of essays entitled Departures, Arrivals, and Places In-Between: A Collection of Essays on Locality and Places of Transit. He is currently an associate director for the 2021 International Writing Across the Curriculum (IWAC) Conference. He serves as graduate teaching associate in the Department of English, Writing Center consultant in The Center for the Study and the Teaching of Writing, and LASER hub coordinator in the Latinx Space for Enrichment and Research at OSU. He serves on the board of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Clearinghouse and the Creative Writing Studies Organization, and is cochair of the CWSO research subcommittee. 

Matthew Salesses, PhD, is the author of three novels, most recently Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, and the craft book Craft in the Real World. His essays have been published in Best American Essays 2020, NPR’s Code Switch, the New York Times’ Motherlode, VICE, GAY the Magazine, and many other venues. His short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Guernica/PEN, and Witness, among others. He has received awards and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review, [PANK], HTMLGIANT, IMPAC, Inprint, and elsewhere. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Coe College, where he teaches fiction writing and Asian American literature. He was adopted from Korea.

Stephanie Vanderslice, PhD, is the author of several books, most recently The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life: An Instructional Memoir for the Rest of Us. She is professor and director of the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop at the University of Central Arkansas.

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