#AWP20 Featured Presenter Q&A with Elizabeth Acevedo
AWP | February 2020
Event Title: The Path to Rad Empowerment: YA Lit Today, Sponsored by Blue Flower Arts
Description: Literary revolutionaries Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne, Carrie Fountain, and Marilyn Nelson are breaking into the new ground of representation and empowerment in YA lit. Illuminating anew the coming-of-age experience, they bring to life real-world youth awakening to activism: from the streets of NYC to the Dominican Republic, from first loves to freedom fighting, they show young people of color for whom defiance holds the key to decoding the complexities of our present and shared histories.
Participants: Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne, Carrie Fountain, Marilyn Nelson
Location: Hemisfair Ballroom C3, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Date & Time: Thursday, March 5, 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Q: What do you remember most about your first AWP? What advice would you give to an AWP first-timer?
My first AWP was in 2014, in Seattle, Washington. The conference center felt massive, and I remember going from table-to-table and picking up information from different presses, reviews, and organizations I'd greatly admired. The most memorable event was an offsite reading held by the Dark Noise collective; so many amazing readings that night!
Q: What is your favorite AWP conference memory?
Listening to Patricia Smith read had a lasting impact; she is legendary and it felt clear in the way the entire room seemed to be on the edge of their seats, craning forward, that she was casting a spell on all of us.
Elizabeth Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion and the New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X and With the Fire on High. She received the 2018 National Book Award and is also the winner of the Boston Globe—Horn Book Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction and the author of the chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths. Acevedo holds a BA in performing arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland.