#AWP19 Featured Presenter Q&A with Jennifer Foerster

AWP | March 2019

Event Title: When Writing Becomes a Movement: Indigenous Women Storytelling Meets Social Justice, Sponsored by AWP
Description: Debra Magpie Earling, Jennifer Foerster, and Eden Robinson each read from their own work, followed by a discussion on how storytelling reflects and can sometimes drive action in Native communities by becoming a means of expressing and unearthing histories and traumas buried, erased, or simply not listened to.
Participants: Debra Magpie Earling, Jennifer Foerster, Eden Robinson
Location: Oregon Ballroom 201-202, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Date & Time: Saturday, March 30, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


What are some of the conference events or Bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing at AWP?
I’m excited for the number of panels and readings featuring writers from the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program, as well as members of the Indigenous-Aboriginal AWP Writers Caucus. I’m particularly looking forward to the reading by the IAIA MFA program’s recent alumni: Indigenous Poetics: A Reading by Emerging Poets from the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA Program – Jake Skeets, Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp, Joaquin Zihuatenjo, Arianne True, and Angela C. Trudell Vasquez (Sat. March 30, 10:30 am, B114, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1). Many of our program’s mentors are also presenting, including Sherwin Bitsui, Derek Palacio, Pam Houston, and Toni Jensen. Tommy Orange and an IAIA alum, Crisosto Apache, are reading with Native American Voices: A Reading from Recent Works in Native Letters (Sat. March 30, 9:00 am, B116 Oregon Convention Center, Level 1). IAIA is proud to be a sponsor of AWP this year in Portland, and I’m grateful for the incredible Native voices that will be presenting at the conference.


Jennifer Elise FoersterJennifer Elise Foerster serves as Interim Director of the Institute of American Indian Arts’ MFA Low-Residency Program, where she also teaches, and codirects an arts mentorship program for Mvskoke youth in Oklahoma. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, she is the author of Leaving Tulsa and Bright Raft in the Afterweather, both published by the University of Arizona Press. Jennifer earned her MFA from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts and her PhD in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver.


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