#AWP19 Featured Presenter Q&A with Dawn Lundy Martin

AWP | March 2019

Event Title: A Reading & Conversation with Dawn Lundy Martin, Morgan Parker, and Evie Shockley, Sponsored by Cave Canem
Description: Three award-winning poets give brief readings, followed by a moderated conversation about poetry as a space for complex negotiations and radical re-imaginings. While the meaning of diversity is being debated, these poets' unique voices and varied strategies expand the discourse beyond considerations of race and ethnicity. Their views of the poet as artist and social being disrupt familiar tropes assigned to “the writer of color.”
Participants: Dawn Lundy Martin, Morgan Parker, Evie Shockley
Location: Portland Ballroom 253-254, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Date & Time: Thursday, March 28, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

What are some of the conference events or Bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing at AWP? 
I love the small press area at the Bookfair—what was once called Table X—where I have always found the most surprising collections of poems and other books, and writers I had not been privy to before. 

If you’ve been to an AWP before, what is your favorite conference memory?
Every moment I’ve ever had with Claudia Rankine or witnessing Claudia Rankine at AWP has been invigorating. You never know what’s going to happen. I love the rigorous unpredictability of her creative/critical mind. 

What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
Feeling Upon Arrival by Saretta Morgan (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Has public funding for the arts made a difference in your life and career as a writer?
Last year, I won the NEA and it gave me the shot of adrenaline I needed to delve more deeply into a hybrid memoir I’m writing.

If you could run into any author, contemporary or historical, at #AWP19, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d love to run into Audre Lorde and talk about vulnerability—not that I would because, if I were cast back in time or if she emerged ghostlike in future time, my mouth undoubtedly would be agape.

If you’ve been to Portland before, what places do you recommend that our attendees should visit?
Portland has some excellent cuisine. The last time I visited, I was very taken by a little ramen shop in a reclaimed warehouse space called Afuri.


Dawn Lundy MartinDawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual-video artist. She is the author of four books of poems including Good Stock Strange BloodLife in a Box is a Pretty Life, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry, DisciplineA Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering, which won the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and three limited edition chapbooks. Her nonfiction can be found in the New YorkerHarper’s, and elsewhere. Martin is Professor of English in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh and codirector of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.

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