Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 10 - 13: Washington, D.C.

Panels, Discussions, Readings:

A sampler:

Thursday, 11:30 AM – 1:00PM
 Let Us Work Together: A Practical Guide & Discussion on Creating Community-Based Writing Projects 
(Adriana Sánchez Alexander and Xelena González)
Thurgood Marshall Center-2
In this interactive session, we will share our experience and give examples of how poets can engage in public practice, using their craft to create powerful, transformative art and explore what it means to create work in partnership with community members not typically seen as “literary.” Ultimately, participants will gain the tools to set up their own creative writing projects that will engage their communities and support their work as poets and activists.
Gay and Lesbian Poetry in the 40th Year Since Stonewall: History, Craft, Equality
(Francisco Aragón, Jericho Brown, Reginald Harris, Janet Aalfs, Joseph Ross, and Dan Vera)
True Reformer Building-1
Forty years after the Stonewall riots, the beginning of the modern GLBT Civil Rights Movement, we will discuss the roots, craft, and witness of Gay and Lesbian poets today. We will discuss the inspiration we receive from our Gay and Lesbian ancestors: how being gay and lesbian affects our writing, and the hope that our writing witnesses to the Gay and Lesbian civil rights movement today.
 Friday, 9:30 – 11 AM
Women & War/Women & Peace: International Voices
(Naomi Ayala, Elen Awalom, Kim Jensen, Lisa Suheir Majaj, and Pireeni Sundaralingam)
Thurgood Marshall Center-S
Even though women are rarely involved in launching wars—we bear the brunt of war’s nightmarish consequences; and then to further the assault—we are often silenced when we most need to speak. In this session we will expand our understanding of women’s solidarity—across national, ethnic, class boundaries. We hope to enlarge the context of our own creative work and engage in a dialogue about the role of women’s poetry in social movements. We will each share a few poems, and then engage in a moderated discussion with attendees and panelists.
 Saturday, 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Poesia Para la Gente: Writing to Save Lives
(Lorna Dee Cervantes)
Thurgood Marshall Center-2
We will write as much as we can using exercises. This workshop will cover the many ways poetry can fly off the page and infiltrate the hearts and minds of the people by remaining relevant. We will pay close attention to craft, voice, and ecopoetics so that getting poetry to fly off and on the page will happen seamlessly.
Fire and Ink: A Social Action Writing Anthology, and the Rewards of Teaching Activist Writing (Martín Espada, Alicia Ostriker, Patricia Smith, Diana Garcia, Melissa Tuckey, and Frances Payne Adler)
True Reformer Building-2
Martín Espada, Alicia Ostriker, Patricia Smith, Diana Garcia, Melissa Tuckey, and Frances Payne Adler, discuss Fire and Ink, a groundbreaking new anthology of 100 activist writers (University of Arizona Press) that marks the emergence of social action writing as a distinct field within creative writing and literature. Panel focuses on the rewards, rather than the trials and tribulations of teaching social action writing. Writers and teachers of political poetry are too often on the defensive.
 Saturday, 2 – 3:30 PM
AQUI ESTAMOS: A Sampling of Poetry From the Inaugural Acentos Poetry Festival
(Richard Villar, Martín Espada, and Marie-Elizabeth Mali)
True Reformer Building-1
This reading from the festival's inaugural lineup will be followed by an uncensored discussion involving the festival's organizers, keynote speaker, participants, and the audience. Among the range of topics for discussion: the continued necessity for a festival of this kind; the mission behind the festival's sponsor, The Acentos Foundation; the presence, or lack thereof, of Latinos and Latinas in U.S. letters; and matters of language, politics, and craft, as well as how/where/why these topics intersect. Cosponsored by Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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