Sunday, March 3, 2013

AWP Conference, Boston, Massachusetts

Before we resume our regular posting for the month of March, Letras Latinas would like to call your attention to a selection of AWP panels, readings, off-site events and one reception (the Con Tinta celebration honoring Tino Villanueva,  co-sponsored by Letras Latinas and others) that Letras Latinas has selected with the criteria that these events are particularly useful in “enhancing the visibility, appreciation, and study of Latino/a literature”—in short a selection of the AWP events that Letras Latinas Blog considers are in one way or another carrying out its mission.

Without further delay:



Location: The Democracy Center, Cambridge (OFFSITE)

Join us for a celebratory evening of poetry and prose at The Democracy Center in Cambridge (Harvard Square, 3 miles from Boston) as we celebrate book launches for new books by Lee Herrick, Tim Z. Hernandez, Daniel Chacón, and Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut, plus readings by Ilyse Kusnetz, Optimism One, Sasha Pimentel Chacón, Margaret Rhee, Leah Silvieus, Aimee Suzara, and Andre Yang. This reading is sponsored by Boston Korean Adoptees.

Location: Porter Square Books (OFFSITE)

Join Porter Square Books for a reading with contributors to The Plume Anthology of Poetry 2012. Almost seventy poets are represented in this inaugural volume representing a broad range of the best work by the best U.S. and international poets working today. The readers for this event will be Rafael Campo, Mark Irwin, Daniel Tobin, Martha Collins, Annie Finch, and David Rivard


9:00 AM

R116. Gladly Wolde He Learne and Gladly Teach: Creating Opportunities for Teen Writers. (Chantel Acevedo, Mary Donnarumma Sharnick, Tawnysha Greene, Michelle Hopf)

Room 204, Level 2

When did you know you were a writer? You’ve heard this question before, and your answer likely took you back to memories of childhood. The writers on this panel have not forgotten those initial influences on our literary lives, and so, have designed programs for teens that encourage their early identification as writers. Join us as we discuss our design and implementation of summer writing camps, writing retreats abroad, poetry slam contests, and more for the writing teens in your community.

R122. “The Poem of Creation is Uninterrupted”: Writers Respond to Walden and Walden Pond. (Lindsay Illich, Sandra Castillo, Scott Temple, Kristen Getchell)

Room 303, Level 3

Readers will present original works of poetry and prose responding to Thoreau’s Walden and to the geographical site of Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. From the perspective of ecopoetics, Walden serves as a centrifuge for nature writing, but the readers will also explore more subversive readings of the work and the geographical site through verse and prose.

R127. Disciplinarity and Lore: Modeling Compromise and Vital Pedagogies for 21st- Century Classrooms. (Kate Kostelnik, Claudia Barbosa Nogueira, Rachel Haley Himmelheber)

Room 313, Level 3

Because of the persisting workshop model and anti-academic lore, creative writing instructors are still characterized as anti- intellectual and unprofessional. In some ways, we are a discipline divided between those upholding New Critical emphasis on texts and those challenging the scope and goals of the creative writing classroom. Our panel will model compromise and pedagogy that keep creative writing relevant in the 21st century while replicating tested lore-based pedagogy.

10:30 AM

R131. Baring/Bearing Race in the Creative Writing Classroom. (Aimee Suzara, Kwame Dawes, Debra Busman, Diana Garcia, Lee Herrick)

Room 104, Plaza Level

Drawing on Toi Derricotte’s classic essay, “Baring/Bearing Anger: Race in the Creative Writing Classroom,” this panel explores the roles race and identity play in our work as educators. How do we inhabit our own positionalities as writers/professors (how we are seen or perceived and how we see ourselves) in the classroom? How do we encourage students to speak truth and get real in their work, and then negotiate the classroom confrontations that can happen when multiple “truths” collide?

R132. Stories from All Directions: New Native Fiction. (Toni Jensen, Eddie Chuculate, Natanya Pulley, Erika Wurth)

Room 105, Plaza Level

This reading showcases fiction from new, award-winning Native writers whose work is diverse in its tribal, geographic, and aesthetic makeup. From the experimental to the realist, from the reservation to the city center, these stories offer fresh perspectives on the lives of 21st-century Native peoples.

R146. The Reception of Postcolonial Poetry in America. (Raza Ali Hasan, Paul Breslin, Obi Nwakanma, Juan J. Morales)

Room 209, Level 2

Anglophone poets, hailing from Pakistan, Nigeria, and the US, will discuss the topic of postcolonial poetry and strategies for improving its reception in the US. Cave Canem and Kundiman have put Ethnic American poetry on the map, while postcolonial poetry still finds itself stuck in the wilderness. The intent of this panel is to bring into dialogue postcolonial poetry’s global impetus with the more inner-directed energies of Ethnic American and American poetry.

R147. Copper Canyon Press in Translation. (Michael Wiegers, John Balaban, Geoffrey Brock, Forrest Gander, Tomás Q. Morin)

Room 210, Level 2

During the past forty years, Copper Canyon Press has foregrounded the art of translation as intrinsic to the vitality of contemporary poetry. From Vietnamese to Spanish, Italian to Chinese, the Press consistently makes a place in readers’ lives for the shadow art of translation.

R149. Small Worlds—Flash, Sudden, and Other Very Short Fiction, Internationally and at Home. (Christopher Merrill, Susan Bernofsky, Robert Shapard, Edmundo Paz- Soldán, Alex Epstein)

Room 303, Level 3

Very short fiction is burgeoning in America. Is this happening internationally? Do micros, flashes, and suddens abroad differ from those in the US? How can they challenge us and energize our own writing and the classes we teach? Are they easily available in English? The panelists write, translate, edit, and teach flash and sudden fiction.

R156. Teaching Creative Writing to Teens Outside of the Classroom: What, How, and Why. (Jennifer De Leon, Katie Bayerl, Aaron Devine, Jessica Drench)

Room 313, Level 3

Join instructors in local creative writing organizations that serve youth, including Grub Street’s Young Adult Writing Program, Boston Children’s Hospital Writing Program, 826 Boston, and Teen Voices, as they discuss best practices for teaching young writers in nonacademic settings. What are the unique challenges and opportunities involved in teaching outside of school? What keeps students motivated? How can we work together to build the next generation’s literary community?

12:00 NOON

R183. Poetry for the People: A Reading and Discussion of Bringing Poetry into the Community by the Present and Past Poet Laureates of Northampton, Massachusetts. (Lesléa Newman, Janet Aalfs, Martín Espada, Rich Michelson, Lenelle Moïse)

Room 310, Level 3

The job of the poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts is to educate the public about the importance of poetry. The panelists will read from their work and discuss projects they initiated during their two-year terms, including holding readings at the local jail, editing a poetry newspaper column, writing poems to raise money for literacy, distributing books to city waiting rooms, conducting a poetry radio show, and curating exhibits of poetry and visual art.


R194. Breaking the Glass Ceiling. (Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Ken Chen, Francisco Aragón, Nicole Sealey, Camille Rankine)

Room 110, Plaza Level

Literary administrators of color are still a rarity. Representatives will discuss diversifying the field on a collegial and programmatic level, as well as the retention and recruitment of minority administrators within the literary nonprofit industry, the academy, and beyond. The discussion will be followed by a brief Q&A with the audience.

R195. From Exiled Memories to Cubop City Blues: A Tribute to Pablo Medina. (Fred Arroyo, Pablo Medina, Rigoberto González)

Room 111, Plaza Level

This panel pays tribute to the poet, translator, essayist, and novelist Pablo Medina. The author of nine books, and translator of two, most notably Lorca’s Poet in New York, Medina is a gifted teacher and mentor at Emerson College and a recent recipient of a Guggenheim. Medina will give a reading, followed by a conversation with Rigoberto González and Fred Arroyo exploring the writing life Medina has mastered, in particular his movement from a poetics of exile toward a poetics of place.

R201. Plagiarism in Creative Writing Classes. (Becky Hagenston, Lorraine López, Ira Sukrungruang, Nick White, Catherine Pierce)

Room 206, Level 2

Aren’t creative writing students interested in creating their own work, finding their own voice? Not necessarily. The panelists will offer insights into why creative writing students plagiarize and discuss how they handle plagiarism when it arises. They will address strategies for generating assignments that make plagiarism a less likely and less appealing option than creating original work.


R218. Does Place Still Matter? The Relevance of Regional Fiction in the 21st Century. (Brett Boham, Stewart O’Nan, Susan Straight, Alex Espinoza, Michael Jaime- Becerra)

Room 103, Plaza Level

Attempts to categorize American literature often begin and end with region. Southern fiction. New England poetry. Midwestern novel. But to what extent is regionalism a useful lens through which to understand contemporary American literature? How do so-called regional writers conceptualize place? And has the expansion of the American counterculture and social media forever changed the landscape of regional fiction? Panelists will discuss the advantages and limitations of thinking regionally.

R223. Breaking Piñatas: A Youth-Focused Community Performance and Mentoring Project. (Octavio (Chato) Villalobos, Jose Faus, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Gabriela N. Lemmons, Miguel M. Morales)

Room 109, Plaza Level

The Latino Writers Collective, which includes youth advocates, students, and law enforcement, leads a learning circle on its dynamic performance series, Breaking Piñatas, now in its fifth year. In the tradition of Mexican carpas, or tent performances, Latino youth performers and mentors explore, challenge, and embrace cultural concepts they encounter. Learn how mentors collaborate with local agencies and schools to support long-silenced voices of Latino youth. Recognize simple ways you can help.

R230. The Art of Healing: Writing Illness from Both Sides of the Curtain. (Ron Grant, Fenton Johnson, Danielle Ofri, Elisabeth Tova
Bailey, Jimmy Castellanos)

Room 204, Level 2

How may writing about illness help us develop a more humanistic approach to medicine? Patient and physician come together to read and discuss excerpts from their personal reflections on illness, health, and the practice of medicine. Panelists discuss the growing interest in literature and writing as a means of restoring the healings arts to the contemporary practice of medicine.

R233. Cross-Genre Crushes: Poets and Fiction Writers on Influence. (Nicky Beer, Brian Barker, Alan Heathcock, H.G. Carrillo, Carol Guess)

Room 208, Level 2

The short-story writer leering over a copy of Borges at The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. The sonneteer furtively pawing through the latest Philip Roth. The dystopian novelist haunting poetry slams with hat pulled low. A writer’s work may be identified as prose, poetry, etc., but what influences writers can defy the literary categories that seem to define them. Five authors will discuss works outside of their genres that have been of influence and celebrate how they’ve enriched their art.

R237. Collective Translation: From Many Mouths, One Voice. (Mariela Dreyfus, María José Zubieta, Nicholas Rattner, Marta del Pozo, Manuel Fihman)

Room 303, Level 3

The panel aims to discuss the advantages and challenges of translating poetry either as pair work or group work. The questions to be answered include: How to understand and interpret the author’s poetics in the source language as a group; how to decide collectively on what elements—semantics, syntax, rhythm, etc.—should be privileged when translating; and how to negotiate—and turn—the presence of each individual translator into one single collective voice.


R245. Mini-Craft Workshop: 5 Young Adult and Mid-Grade Writers Talk About Craft. (Michele Corriel, Janet Fox, Alexandra Diaz, Leah Cypess, Anna Staniszewski)

Room 101, Plaza Level

Five young adult and mid-grade writers who write in different sub-genres will talk about specific craft areas and how they have honed and applied them specifically for use in young adult and mid-grade literature. Craft elements to be discussed include voice, character, plot, and dialogue.

R247. NewBorder: Contemporary Voices from the U.S. Mexico Border. (Brandon Shuler, Dalel Serda, Sergio Troncoso, John O. Espinoza)

Room 103, Plaza Level

NewBorder: Contemporary Voices from the U.S./Mexico Border explores the issues affecting la Frontera residents on both sides of the fence. Through fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, NewBorder readers explore the area’s borders in a broadly defined sense of the term. Dalel Serda explores the exploitation of women through the lives of border prostitutes, Sergio Troncoso explores the loss of identity and childhood through Juarez’s drug wars, and John O. Espinoza’s poetry explores the liminal spaces of self.

R250. Sentenced to Death: Translating Resistance and Liberation. (Marcela Sulak, Evan Fallenberg, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Elizabeth Macklin, Cecilia Vicuña)

Room 107, Plaza Level

Writers of Irish, Czech, Modern Hebrew, Basque, and indigenous languages spoken in the Brazilian Pantanal have expanded or established literary canons only within the last 150 years. Translators discuss tensions in translating into the language of the conqueror, while viewing translation as a liberation that allows texts to become players in the international literary arena. The challenge is remaining true to the most important and politically/culturally relevant features of each text.

R254. Writing and Reconsidering Regional Fiction. (Susan Hubbard, Juan Martinez, Julie Iromuanya, Rita Ciresi)

Room 111, Plaza Level

As Eudora Welty noted, place is more than a source of inspiration—it’s a source of knowledge. Some writers feel that being born in a region is essential to evoking its essence in prose, while others maintain that distance offers a better perspective of place. Our panel participants, all award-winning fiction writers, explore these issues and discuss techniques they use to depict a region and make it matter in a story. Is it time to redefine, or abandon, the term Regional Fiction?

R272. The Decolonial Imagination: Chicana Historical Fiction. (Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Emma Perez, Graciela Limon, Alicia Gaspar de Alba)

Room 312, Level 2

Based on the concept of decolonizing the historical record, which traditionally features the stories of great men and great events, this panel presents readings from three recent Chicana historical novels: Emma Perez’s Chicana lesbian western, Forgetting the Alamo, or, Blood Memory, Graciela Limón’s intimate portrait of the ill-fated French empress of Mexico, The Madness of Mamá Carlota, and Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s tale of pirates, witches, and diaspora in Calligraphy of the Witch.


Co-Sponsored by Letras Latinas:

(OFFSITE): Zocalo Cocina. 35 Stanhope St, Boston, MA 02116. Phone: (617) 456-7849

Con Tinta Honoring Tino Villanueva: Cocktail & Cash Bar Celebration. Honoring Tino Villanueva in an hors d’oeuvres and book signing event at Zocalo Cocina Restaurant (15 min. walk from AWP).

Special mention and nod to Con Tinta's current Advisory Circle---as appreciation for organizing what has become a special annual tradition:

Advisory Circle of Con Tinta
A collective of Chican@/Latin@
Activist and Writers

Diana Pando
Eduardo C. Corral
Fred Arroyo
Irasema Gonzalez
Luivette Resto
Xánath Caraza 



F111. Poetry of Resistance: Poets Responding to Xenophobia and Injustice. (Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Carmen Calatayud, Elena Díaz Björkquist, Andrea Hernandez

Room 109, Plaza Level

In response to AZ SB 1070, in 2010 a Facebook page titled Poets Responding to SB 1070 was born. It has become a lively forum of poetics and politics involving a response of over two thousand poems. Panelists will discuss the success of the project, an upcoming anthology, and how social movements can incorporate poetry and writing into their organizing in order to bring about political awareness and empowerment. Presenters will read from poetry submissions and from their own work.

F116. In Sickness and In Health: Literature at the Intersection of Medicine, Science, and the Arts. (Danielle Ofri, Erika Goldman , Rafael Campo, Jonathan Moreno , Cortney Davis)

Room 203, Level 2

This panel will examine the varying definitions of “literature and medicine,” reasons for the surge of public interest, and practical issues of writing and publishing in this field. The speakers will explore how writing deepens our understanding of health, science, healing, and illness, and how art shapes our perceptions of life and mortality. This panel is relevant for the writer, editor, medical professional, patient, humanities student, and professor.

F122. Here Far Away: Translation and Distance. (Anna Deeny, Valerie Mejer, Raúl Zurita, Antonio Prete, Daniel Borzutzky)

Room 210, Level 2

This panel joins Raúl Zurita, Antonio Prete, Valerie Mejer, Daniel Borzutzy, and Anna Deeny, poets and translators from four countries and three distinct languages. Through bilingual readings of poetry and short essays, we will explore translation as a practice that seeks to presence distance, maintaining it as an open and primal force, rather than engaging it as a circumstance to be lessened or overcome.

F123. The Novel as Weapon: PEN Members on Book Banning and Censorship. (Larry Siems, Rob Spillman, Brigid Hughes, Alex Gilvarry, Luis Alberto Urrea)

Rooms 302/304, Level 3

Novels inspire us, but they can also provoke fear and hatred—even before being read. Words may be viewed as weapons; books can and do come under fire. This panel will deal with free expression as the core of any creative practice. Using several recent examples as a lens, panelists will examine the lived experience of banning and censorship, raising issues of authenticity and advocacy.


F146. Whose Literary Traditions? The Workshop and Ethnocentrism. (Kristiana Kahakauwila, Alex Espinoza, Nami Mun, Susan Shultz, R.A. Villanueva)

Room 204, Level 2

Most university creative writing workshops presume that the western canon is the central source for exemplary literature. However, for a student whose work is not born from this tradition, the assumptions of realism and originality that pervade most workshops can be foreign to, or even at odds with, the student’s vision. In this session, panelists discuss curriculum that allows student work to be criticized and strengthened on its own terms, whether or not it’s part of a mainstream aesthetic.

F150. Intersecting Lineages: Poets of Color on Cross-Community Collaboration. (Ching-In Chen, Sherwin Bitsui, Celeste Guzman Mendoza, Hayan Charara, Kevin Simmonds)

Room 209, Level 2

Inspired by collaboration between organizations mentoring poets of color (Cave Canem, Kundiman, and Canto Mundo), poets from indigenous, African American, Arab American, Asian American, and Latina/o communities will discuss creative exchange and solidarity amongst writers of color and their communities. They will read work by ancestor poets considered outside of their self-identified communities and talk about how their work benefits from this productive hybrid fertilization.

F151. Illness as Muse: Ten Years of the Bellevue Literary Review. (Rafael Campo, Hal Sirowitz, David Oshinsky, Jacob Freedman)

Room 210, Level 2

The Bellevue Literary Review is the first literary journal to be published from a medical center. Based in the oldest public hospital in the country, and perhaps the most legendary, the BLR has ushered in an entire field of literary medical writing. Now at the ten-year mark, the BLR illuminates the human condition through the prism of health and healing, illness and disease, and relationships to the body and mind. Come hear BLR writers explore these themes via fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.


178. A Congeries of Voices: Vernacular and Diction in Contemporary Poetry. (Carmen Gimenez Smith, Joanna Fuhrman, Samuel Amadon, Lara Glenum, Rodrigo

Room 208, Level 2

Many contemporary poets appropriate the lexicon and syntax of foreign or marginal languages, often adopting the slang of a particular historical moment. These linguistic choices may be charged with political or cultural resistance, or they may be purely aesthetic. This panel will discuss the various possibilities and implications of appropriating and subverting foreign or marginal dictions in poems and what these explorations mean to the future of poetry.

F183. High Treason: Translating Contemporary Cuban Poetry. (Katherine Hedeen, Kristin Dykstra, Víctor Rodríguez Núnez, Mark Weiss, Christopher Winks)

Room 305, Level 3

Translating contemporary Cuban poetry is a challenging yet rewarding task. Challenging because the longstanding political strife between Cuba and the US has polarized authors and critics, limited scholarly objectivity, reduced bibliographical sources, and restricted travel. Rewarding because it’s some of the best poetry in the Spanish language. In addition to discussing these topics, the panel includes a bilingual reading of representative poets from the island.

F187. Pitt Poetry Series Reading. (Ed Ochester, Richard Blanco, Martha Collins, Chard deNiord)

Room 310, Level 3

Four New England poets with recent books in the Pitt Poetry Series present readings of their work.

F209. The Weathergirl Reading. (Iris Gomez, Jenna Blum, Joy Castro)

Room 210, Level 2

How do the metaphors of natural catastrophe illuminate the dangers of loving someone with a mental illness—or of loving oneself in struggle with such illness? Novelists Iris Gomez, Jenna Blum, and Joy Castro take on the forces of nature in Try to Remember, where a Latina tries to save her schizophrenic father while navigating an unfamiliar culture, The Stormchasers, where a twin sister chases Midwestern tornadoes to save her bipolar brother from dangerous manic impulses, and in the post-Katrina thriller Hell or High Water, which explores the detritus of sexual assault through a victim’s PTSD.

F216. Reading the Radical: Spoken Word In & From Communities of Color. (Bao Phi, Giles Li, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Lorena Duarte, Tara Betts)

Room 310, Level 3

Combining a commitment to social justice with artistic excellence, The Loft’s innovative Equilibrium series has built and connected local and national communities of color through the art of spoken word. Over ten years, EQ has served thousands of artists and audience members, and was one of the few arts organizations to ever be awarded an MCN Anti-Racism Initiative Award. This performance will feature past poets who have featured at Equilibrium from all over the country.

F217. Not Just a Blog: How Publishers and Writers Can—and Should—Use Tumblr to Create and Promote. (Fernanda Diaz, Rachel Fershleiser, Max Fenton, Ryan Chapman, Miles Klee)

Room 312, Level 3

This panel aims to demystify Tumblr for the first-time user and outline good Tumblr practices for more seasoned members. Panelists will talk about the rewards—and the challenges—of running a successful Tumblr that helps publishers and writers promote their work, interact with readers, and contribute to the growing literary community on the site.


F229. First Person Plural Reading. (Amy Benson, Margo Jefferson, Justin Torres, Keya Mitra)

Room 110, Plaza Level

Amy Benson, Margo Jefferson, Justin Torres, and Keya Mitra read prose written in the First Person Plural point of view. Their fiction and essays explore the limits and rewards of this seldom used voice. Their work prompts questions about collective identity, shared experience, and zeitgeist—what can ‘we’ say best, when does ‘we’ turn into ‘I’ or ‘they’? Opportunities for questions and discussion follow readings by the panelists.

F241. From Poems Online to Poets in Person: a Reading By Four Cortland Review Poets. (Ginger Murchison, Stephen Dunn, Dorianne Laux, Aracelis Girmay, David Kirby)

Room 302/304, Level 3

Pursuing a wider community for poetry and to bring poets closer to their readers, the Cortland Review makes the work of established and new authors and poets available worldwide—free and without ever going out of print. Through its professional quality video series, streaming audio and, now, poets performing to original music, the Cortland Review has become one of the most important archives of recent poetry, fiction, and criticism. Editor Ginger Murchison presents four of TCR’s most dynamic voices.


F261. Against the Hawking of Books: Reflections on Lewis Hyde’s The Gift. (Amy Hassinger, Fred Arroyo, Gale Walden, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Michael Martone)

Room 200, Level 2

The message blares: promote yourself or perish. Develop a platform, master social media, blog, sell, sell, sell. Many of us would rather traipse through our neighborhoods in nothing but stilettos and a dangly purse. Lewis Hyde’s classic The Gift provides a refreshing counter-point; art, he argues, is not a commercial enterprise but a commerce of gifts. We will consider the question of how we engage in the business of the literary arts while simultaneously remaining true to its nature as gift.

F265. Naming Power and Crossing Borders: Translingual Writing. (Mary Kovaleski, Tamera Marko, Eric Sepenoski, Angelika Romero, TuBao Nguyen Phan)

Room 204, Level 2

We explore translingual, transgenre, transborder writing in four class projects at Emerson College in Boston: an immigration installation for young emerging artists to cross the U.S.—Colombian border; high school and international college students whose writing includes their home languages; and human rights articles by immigrants from Latin America who work as janitors at the College. This panel precedes an offsite translingual reading in Boston, headlined by Pablo Medina, author of eleven books.

F277. Island Hopping: A Multilingual Reading of Contemporary Caribbean Poetry. (Urayoán Noel, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Kristin Dykstra, Judith Kerman, Orlando Ricardo Menes)

Room 310, Level 3

The postcolonial poetry that has emerged from the constellation of islands and countries in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea is written in such disparate languages as English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and numerous creoles. Reading poems from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Martinique, and Puerto Rico, exploring such themes as racial identity, sexuality, and alienation, this panel of translators and poets from the Caribbean brings to life the richness and diversity of writing from this region.


(OFFSITE): Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, across from Copley Square park

Off-site AWP poetry reading by Hanging Loose authors Pablo Medina, Joanna Fuhrman, Gerald Fleming, Cathy Park Hong, David Kirby, Joel Lewis, Bill Zavatsky, Jen Benka, Mark Statman, and Keith Taylor, as well as HL editors Donna Brook, Robert Hershon, Dick Lourie, and Mark Pawlak. Friday evening March 9 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St., between Dartmouth and Clarendon Streets, 3 blocks from the AWP convention site.



S115. Teaching Mutt Lit: Genre-Benders, Hybrids, and Other Weirdness in the Creative Writing Classroom. (Ruth Ellen Kocher, Jeanine Deibel, blake nemec, Vanessa Villarreal, Kelsie Hahn)

Room 202, Level 2

This panel will explore nontraditional and hybrid literary forms as a means of developing craft, generating voice, and discovering a broader palette of reading and writing interests. Members will present approaches to teaching a variety of forms, including flash fiction, prose poetry, mixed- media, online and interactive text, and lyric essay, in addition to multi-genre work. We will also address resistance to unconventional structures and how to overcome these challenges in the classroom.
S124. Playwright as Actor / Actor as Playwright. (Kate Snodgrass, Melinda Lopez, Steven Barkhimer, John Kuntz, Lydia Diamond)

Room 305, Level 3

Do actors make the best playwrights? If the written character is meant to be a skeleton that actors translate into flesh, who better to create the character than the actors themselves? Boston Playwrights’ Theatre playwrights Steven Barkhimer, Lydia Diamond, John Kuntz, and Melinda Lopez investigate building characters from their perspectives as trained actors by each reading a short monologue from their own work and discussing the benefits and limitations of creating text from two perspectives.


S136. Women in Crime. (Toni Margarita Plummer, Sophie Littlefield, Linda Rodriguez, Nicole Peeler)

Room 110, Plaza Level

Boasting diverse voices and writing in settings varying from academic to rural to
paranormal, three women discuss their choice to build a crime series around a female protagonist. These authors discuss crime and life from the female perspective, focusing on issues such as domestic abuse, divorce, parenthood, gender roles, sex, and justice, as well as the female sleuths and authors who inspired them. Moderated by one of the top acquiring editors for crime fiction, a Q&A session will follow.

S143. Sons of Boston: Tino Villanueva and Don Share. (Francisco Aragón, Tino Villanueva, Don Share)

Room 206, Level 2

Tino Villanueva and Don Share read from their distinguished body of poetry and, afterwards, engage in a moderated conversation. This will touch upon their work as artists, how their work has (or hasn’t) been informed by their longtime residence in Boston, as well as their work as translators and editors. Poets Eduardo C. Corral and Luivette Resto will introduce Share and Villanueva, respectively.

S145. CultureStrike: A National Cultural Movement for Immigration. (Youmna Chlala, Rigoberto González, Mark Nowak, Favianna Rodriguez)

Room 208, Level 2

CultureStrike, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s national cultural movement around immigration, presents a reading featuring Guggenheim fellow Rigoberto González’s pro-migrant narratives, writer and artist Youmna Chlala’s work, and Guggenheim fellow Mark Nowak’s poems written with Domestic Workers United. Artist Favianna Rodriguez will show work from CultureStrike’s national street art campaign.

S146. Honors Creative Writing Students: Researching, Reading, and Writing the Thesis. (Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés, Rafael Lancelotta, Alise Vick, Detrachia Neely, Martha Marinara)

Room 209, Level 2

In this session, three creative writing undergraduates from diverse backgrounds and at different stages in their program, discuss the rewards, challenges, and reasons for choosing the thesis option. Together with faculty who’ve served as directors and readers, they’ll address the research required before writing, the dynamics of processing feedback from committee members within/outside of the major, as well as the promotion of the honors creative writing thesis at a showcase of undergraduate research.


S180. Reporting Creatively: The Dying Art of Literary Journalism. (Ruben Martinez, Austin Bunn, V.V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthan, Billy Baker, Oindrila Mukherjee)

Room 313, Level 3

Lately, the growth of new media with its focus on short and instant forms, and the memoir which prioritizes personal experience over facts, have become the dominant forms of nonfiction. They threaten to make literary long-form journalism, with its combination of deep reporting and aesthetic risk-taking, extinct. We discuss the challenges of teaching literary journalism and the process of writing for print and online magazines. Come hear us share our experiences from the field and the classroom.


S201. A Centennial Tribute to Robert Hayden, Sponsored by Poetry Society of America. (Alice Quinn, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Major Jackson, Sharan Strange, Eduardo C. Corral)

Room 302/304, Level 3

Introduced and moderated by Alice Quinn, the poets will explore the life and poetry of Robert Hayden. They will discuss his influence and read poems of their own in tribute to him.


S220. Multicultural Panel of Poet Activists. (Susan Deer Cloud, Sayra Pinto, Francisco X. Alarcon, E. Ethelbert Miller, Teresa Mei Chuc)

Room 201, Level 2

This Multicultural Panel of Poet Activists will read poems of bearing witness together with poems that transform loss and sorrow into joy. They will address how writing, getting published, giving readings, doing editing work, and weaving dream, vision, and humor into one’s creative work and poetry readings is a part of being activists responsible to the human community and all of life.

S227. Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. (Jennifer De Leon, Ruth Behar, Lorraine López, Erika Martínez, Celeste Guzman Mendoza)

Room 209, Level 2

Contributors to a groundbreaking creative nonfiction anthology will read from personal essays that explore the range of Latina experiences in college. Come listen to compelling narratives that provide crucial insight into this complex intersection of race, class, and educational issues, dispelling myths and showcasing the diversity of this community’s experiences in higher education.

233. PBQ at 40, An Anniversary Reading. (Jason Schneiderman, Gregory Pardlo, Jennifer L. Knox, Keetje Kuipers, Ada Limón)

Room 309, Level 3

Painted Bride Quarterly celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013. From its early print quarterly days to its current incarnation as a print/digital hybrid, PBQ has developed a brilliant reputation for publishing brash, compassionate, high-quality literary art. Come celebrate this milestone anniversary with poets and special guests.


S244. Levity and Gravity. (Hannah Fries, Afaa M. Weaver, Alberto Ríos, Katrina Vandenberg, Alison Hawthorne Deming)

Room 110, Plaza Level

In an essay on the literary quality of lightness, Italo Calvino writes of “the sudden agile leap of the poet-philosopher who raises himself above the weight of the world, showing that with all his gravity he has the secret of lightness.” What is that secret? To Calvino, it’s not about subject so much as style and prosody—a way to levitate or make carry-able (bearable) “heavy” material. This panel explores the elusive concept of lightness, how it’s achieved, and why it might be vital in our time.

S247. ¡Bi, Bi, Monolingualism! (Sasha Pimentel Chacón, Rosa Alcalá, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Sylvia Aguilar, Jonathan Nehls)

Room 201, Level 2

Professors and students from a bilingual MFA argue why monolingual programs will become passé when writers are coming more and more from non-English speaking traditions. We’ll discuss our international scope and how we recruit and fund students from all over the Americas for programs who want to go bilingual too. We’ll engage issues of bilingualism between English and Spanish that we’ve encountered in teaching and learning, and how working in multiple languages has affected our writing and our poetics.

S261. Addressing the Silence: Editing as a Political Act. (Kate Ver Ploeg, Suzanne Paola, Joy Castro, Sarah Fawn Montgomery, Nuria Sheehan)

Room 310, Level 3

In response to the 2010 VIDA Count, which revealed the dramatic absence of female authors in literary publications, Brevity created an all-women’s issue that asked women to push against the silences, gaps and biases the Count exposed. Editors for this special issue discuss their editing process here and at other journals, including Prairie Schooner, Bellingham Review, Water~Stone, and Drunken Boat: what surprises them, and how personal aesthetic interacts with political mission in publishing


(OFFSITE): Make Shift Boston 549 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA

To celebrate community and the forthcoming VONA anthology, readings from Cynthia Oka, Minal Hajratwala, Andrea Walls, Camille Acker, Torrie Valentine, Jenn De Leon, Ching-In Chen, Anna Alves, Vanessa Martir, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Seve Torres, Tanya Perez-Brennan, Gail Dottin, Dionne Irving Bremyer, Buki Papillon, Sunita Dhurandhar, Odilia Galvan Rodriquez, Melissa Rae Sipin-Gabon. Sponsored by Thread Makes Blanket and Dinah Press.

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