Virtual AWP Pedagogy: Supporting LGBTQ Students in the Creative Writing Classroom

June 25, 2021

Anel I. Flores, Alexa Garvoille & Ruben Quesada; Moderated by Stephanie Vanderslice

At the close of this Pride Month, please join us for a Virtual AWP Pedagogy session on supporting LGBTQ students in the creative writing classroom. AWP and the Creative Writing Studies Organization welcome Anel I. Flores, Alexa Garvoille, and Ruben Quesada as they discuss solutions to structural problems in creative writing workshops and programs that marginalize LGBTQ and BIPOC writers. AWP Board Member Stephanie Vanderslice moderates as they cover the importance of being visible as queer educators, contextualizing queer writers of the past, and collaborating with other teachers and students to ensure the inclusion of all voices. This conversation premieres on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. ET on the AWP YouTube channel. Books from the panelists can be purchased on our AWP Bookshop 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 and updates on future events, register online. Registration is free, and you do not have to be member of AWP to do so. However, to participate in the live Q&A, you must be signed into YouTube.

                 Join us Tuesday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m. ET for this free event!   

Anel I. Flores, MFA, is an artivist whose craft manifests as graphic storytelling, poetry, prose, sterling silver sculpture, oil paintings, and action. Her teaching career includes eleven years in public high school, college, and university, along with four years in arts administration and community literary workshops. Flores’s areas of study and production of literary fiction and visual art center around Chicana/Latina literature, lesbianidad, sexuality, gender, race/border/diaspora, spirituality, body, blood memory, and their connection to identity. 

Flores was awarded Catalyst for Change Award from Nalac and the Surdna Foundation; Best Local Poet; Women’s Advocate of the Year from University of Texas San Antonio; the Nebrija Creadores Award from the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, Spain; Best of San Antonio Local Author 2017; the Chingona in Literature Award 2016; the Ancinas Award at Squaw Valley; the NALAC Fund for the Arts Award; the Acción Women Inspiring Women Award, the Yellow Rose of Texas Educator Award; and the Mentorship Leadership Award from the National Performance Network.

She is coeditor of the forthcoming Jota Anthology with Korima Press and author of the Lambda literary award-nominated book Empanada: A Lesbiana Story en Probaditas. She is currently in the process of completing her forthcoming book, Cortinas de Lluvia, a series of children’s books, and a graphic memoir titled Pintada de Rojo.

Alexa Garvoille, MFA, is a queer educator and creative writing studies scholar. After ten years teaching high school English and creative writing, she earned her MFA from Virginia Tech. She edits poetry for NCTE's English Journal and serves on the board of the Creative Writing Studies Organization. Her poems have appeared in Tinderbox Poetry JournalLavender ReviewMount Islandhomology lit, and elsewhere.

She has published on creative writing pedagogy in NCTE’s English Journal and Bloomsbury’s Imaginative Teaching through Creative Writing: A Guide for Secondary Classrooms. Her research interests include secondary ELA creative writing pedagogies, antiracist education, and inclusive workshop practices.

Ruben Quesada, PhD, is a poet, critic, translator, editor, and community organizer. He is the author of the poetry books Revelations and Next Extinct Mammal and translator of Exiled from the Throne of Night: Selected Translations of Luis Cernuda. The recipient of a 2021 Individual Artist grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, he is at work on a video anthology of contemporary Latinx poetry.

He is the founder of the Latinx Writers Caucus, an organization concerned with the education, equity, and inclusion of Latinx writers. He served as a member for the PEN America Literary Awards Committee, a judge for the Publishing Triangle awards, and a vice-chair of the 2020 State of Illinois Poet Laureate Search Committee. He has taught poetry, literary translation, and Latinx literature around the country at University of California, Northwestern University, Vermont College of Fine Arts, the School of the Art Institute, and UCLA Writers Program.

Currently, Ruben is a blogger of contemporary poetry and poetics for the Kenyon Review and serves on the board and as VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of the National Book Critics Circle. He lives in Chicago, where he works as a site coordinator and translator for the Illinois Humanities Council. In his spare time, he is the program director for the Mercy Street Readings, a monthly sixty-minute literary broadcast.

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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