In and around 2016 AWP in Los Angeles!

AWP panel not to miss? Radical reading? Offsite panel too hot for AWP? Party to die for?

VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts is currently gathering a list of events happening during the AWP conference in LA from March 30-April 2, 2016, and we appreciate individuals like you sending us your feminist, womanist, radical, activist events — both on and offsite! While submission does not guarantee inclusion, we want to hear what you’re putting together or events you’re excited to attend. To keep the list manageable, we will not include book signings or book launches this time around. The AWP Events on our events calendar and in this list have all been forwarded to us. If you would like to be considered for inclusion on our events calendar and in this list, send an email our way!

To that end, please email details, including date, time, name/s, location, web links (when possible), cost (if any), etc., to Hannah Bonner at, and she will ensure your event gets added to VIDA’s events calendar and this list!

Thanks for supporting women in the arts!

Wednesday, March 30th

  • 11am-4pm

#LitInColor Write-a-Thon:  Decolonize Your Writing! Kaya Press and The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective invite you to drop in—or spend the whole day—with amazing Writers of Color leading generative mini-writing workshops. Envisioned by Minal Hajratwala as a creative respite for attendees of the AWP Conference, the #LitinColor Write-A-Thon aims to hold space for anyone interested in writing, creativity and community. Workshop leaders include: Samiya Bashir, Tananarive Due, Paul Hlava, Douglas Manuel, Erika Wurth, Ellen Kombiyil, Shikha Malaviya, and more. The workshops are FREE and open to all! Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. The #LitinColor Write-A-Thon will be held at the University of Southern California, just 2 miles from the AWP Conference, with easy access through public transit or taxi/Lyft/Uber. More information:


  • 6pm-11pm

Beyond Baroque Books and Tia Chucha Press present a publication reading for Coiled Serpent: Poets arising from the cultural quakes and shifts of Los Angeles edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas and Ruben J. Rodriguez. Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles 929 South Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90015. This anthology features 160 Los Angeles poets, including Laurel Ann Bogen, Wanda Coleman, Kamau Daaood, Dana Gioia, traci kato-kiriyama, Ruben Martinez, Bill Mohr, Holly Prado, and Amy Uyematsu.Hosted by Los Angeles Poet Laureate and Tia Chucha publisher Luis J. Rodriguez. Suggested donation $5-$10 No one turned away for lack of funds. All are welcome. If you cannot donate, please register using the “no donation” section so that your seats are spoken for! Registration required

  • 8pm

The AWP Women’s Caucus reading at MorYork Gallery, 4959 York Blvd, Los Angeles. Please plan to attend to hear Margaret Rozga, Natalie Diaz, Natashia Deón, and Dana Johnson read from their work and to network with other writers. Cab sharing will be organized at a later date.


Thursday, March 31st

  • 10:30am-11:45am

R138. Literary Orphans Presents: Burning Down the Walls: The Art and Importance of Writing Essays That Can Change the World. Scott James Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One. Essays concerned—directly or indirectly—with the social crises of our time are receiving unprecedented readership. In that context, this panel will discuss the role of the essayist as citizen, issues surrounding personal disclosures in the socially conscious essay, their own call to create change, as well as their own recent works confronting topics such as race, feminism, queer identity, and abortion. Handouts will include a reading list, suggested markets/editors and helpful craft suggestions.

  • 12pm-1:15pm

R178. We Are Your Saviors: Faculty of Color Respond to the MFA vs. POC Debate. Room 405, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Junot Díaz and David Mura critically interrogate the ways that privilege imbues interactions within predominantly white writing workshops. The panelists want to extend this conversation by considering the ways that faculty of color negotiate intersectional identities in these spaces. Their dual perspective as marginalized leaders has positioned them to save the writing workshop. From a position of both power and marginality, how do workshop leaders of color facilitate a fruitful and inclusive writing workshop?

R186. From the Inside: Writers of Color on Editing and Diversity Room 501, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. This panel, comprised of writers of color with editing experience, discusses topics related to editing with a focus on diversity. Discussion includes soliciting, competing for a limited number of diverse writers, having diverse work approved by colleagues, nurturing writers of color early in their careers, and promoting one’s journal as diversity grows. Panelists share their experiences as writers negotiating writing with editorial duties and comment on editing as a career option. Participants: J.L. Torres, Allen Gee, Duriel E. Harris, Christine Amezquita, and Ravi Shankar

R188. Out of the Cradle: Writing Our Children. Room 502 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. This panel explores questions writers ask themselves about what or how much we feel free to write about our children. Do we owe them the same or different privacies on the page and online from those we preserve for other family members? Does genre, our gender, or the gender of our children matter in these boundaries? To what extent do or should race and class affect these boundaries? Do we have literary heroes or heroines who have answered these questions with eloquence before us?

R180. Queertopia or Bust: Thoughts on Intersectional Queer Poetics . Featuring: Jason Schneiderman,  Rickey Laurentiis,  Julie Enszer,  Viet Le,  Trace Peterson. Room 407, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. “Queer” emerged in the 1990s as an activist formation that challenged liberal politics and became the preferred term in academia for everyone who was not straight or normatively gendered. The inclusivity of “queer” has been contested by those who felt instrumentalized or excluded by the term. Though it continues to be useful as a rubric (and easier to say than “LGBTQIA”), is queer really working, and for whom? Four poet-editors discuss their experience at the intersections of queer identity.

  • 1:30pm-2:45pm

R219. The Black Jazz Poetic in the 21st Century: Ancient to the Future? Participants: Tyehimba Jess, Duriel E. Harris, Geoffrey Jacques, Harmony Holiday, and A.H. Jerriod Avant. Room 411, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. As jazz approaches its centennial, a multigenerational panel of Black poets analyzes how its influence has shaped their understanding of craft and what that influence will look and sound like in the 21st century. In an age where jazz has been reported to be Americans’ least favorite music genre, how do younger Black poets access a jazz aesthetic to reclaim, reimagine, and regenerate it for themselves? How do mid-career poets relate and regenerate a jazz aesthetic in their practice and praxis?    

R232. Women Write Los Angeles. Room 515 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. The city of Los Angeles and the women who write about it are often subjected to stereotypical categorization. Being one of the most diverse artistic regions in the country, the city is home to female writers who come from different neighborhoods and backgrounds and offer unique perspectives on the city of angels. Panelists discuss the challenges and joys of writing about the city of Los Angeles in their fiction, as well as how their works have contributed to the landscape of literary Los Angeles.

  • 3pm-4pm

R242. Octavia Butler and Her Legacy. Participants: Katharine Beutner, Walidah Imarisha, adrienne maree brown, Ayana Jamieson, Monica Drake. Room 402 AB, L.A. Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Octavia Butler, a Pasadena native and MacArthur Fellow, is one of the best-known women writers of science fiction. By imagining worlds altered by alien encounters, vampirism, or ecological ruin, her writing addresses questions of race, gender, and class fundamental to our society. The editors of the new anthology, Octavia’s Brood, the head of the Octavia Butler Legacy Network, and two writers will discuss Butler’s engagement with Afrofuturism and how she inspires writers and artists today.

R249. Rhyme Gone Radical, or, Beyond the Hallmark Card. Participants: Mary Austin Speaker, Marilyn Nelson, David Daniel and Richie Hoffman. Room 408 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

  • 3pm-4:15pm

R267. Genre-Crossing and Poetic Truth: Lyric Nonfictions, Reported Poems. Moderated by Tess Taylor, featuring Camille Dungy, Robert Polito, Tom Sleigh, Brian Turner. Room 518 L.A. Convention Center, Meeting Room Level 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015. For more information, visit


  • 4pm-5pm

Les Femmes D’un Certain Age The Last Bookstore: 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 Cost: Free Event. Big attitudes and brief readings of poetry and prose in downtown Los Angeles by Alice Anderson, Sherrie Flick, Constance Ford, Sonya Huber, Stacey Parshall Jensen, Laura Orem, Sophfronia Scott, and Zoe Zolbrod. Wine and other delectables provided. URL:

  • 4:30pm-5:45pm

R285. Creative Writing and Resistance in the Classroom: Helping Students Write Social Justice. Participants: Nan Cuba, Ellen Meeropol, Hayan Charara, Achy Obejas, Fred Arroyo. Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Creative writing students compelled to write about social justice may be intimated by the challenges of shaping art, craft, and social forces in their writing. How do teachers encourage students to explore political inequality and injustice, while crafting narrative art? Panelists discuss specific pedagogical approaches and techniques that both respect students’ backgrounds and beliefs and encourage their exploration, examination, and literary engagement with our complex world.

R292. The Many Voices of Poetry; Moderated by Wendy Martin, featuring Don Share, Tess Taylor, Atsuro Riley, and Brandon Som.
Room 511 L.A. Convention Center, Meeting Room Level 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015. For more information, visit:

R297.  Women at Work: Labor and the Writing LifeParticipants include: Christine Byl,  Eva Saulitis,  Susanna Mishler,  Lu-Anne Haukaas,  Tele Aadsen. Room 518, LA Convention Center Meeting Room Level. Physical work is often held opposite the life of the mind, especially for women. Yet for some writers, manual jobs provide income; broaden thinking; and nurture creativity. Four women writing in all genres discuss how work-farming, trail construction, fishing, the trades-supports a writing life. Join a conversation about salmon and seeds, wires and trees, and consider how dirty hands can leave a lasting imprint on literary culture. Includes tribute to panelist Eva Saulitis, who died in January.


  • 6:00pm-7:15pm

R301. Asian American Caucus. Room 501, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. What literary resources are available for Asian American writers? What does it mean to be an Asian writer in the 21st century? This first Asian American caucus is not a panel or a reading, but an open town-hall-style hang out and community space. If you’re an Asian American writer, come meet other Asian American writers and discuss fellowships, publication opportunities, and resources available for Asian American writers. Organized by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kaya, and Kundiman.

R302. Latino Caucus. Room 503, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Latino writers are becoming increasingly visible. However, there is still work to be done to address inequalities in access and visibility within the literary community. The Latino Caucus creates a space to network with new, emerging, and established writers of varied Latino identities, discuss issues around the obstacles to publication (e.g., active oppression, stereotypes, and historical marginalization), and discuss panel and event planning to increase Latino participation at AWP.

R299. Two-Year College Caucus. Room 410, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Do you teach at a two-year college? Interested in job opportunities at two-year colleges? With almost half of all students beginning college careers at two-year colleges, and increasing numbers of MFAs landing two-year college teaching jobs, the future of creative writing courses and programs at our campuses looks bright. Join the caucus for their annual meeting, where you’ll meet other community college faculty and learn about pedagogy, programs, jobs, and resources.

R298. LGBTQ Caucus. Room 409 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. The LGBTQ Caucus provides a space for writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer to network and discuss common challenges/concerns. These issues relate to representation and visibility, and incorporating one’s personal identity into their professional lives as academics and writers. We discuss and develop queer representation for future AWP conferences, as well as share publications and projects with which we hope to root deep in our social and literary communities.

  • 6:00pm-8:00pm

Black Earth Institute Reading featuring: Patricia Spears Jones, Lauren Camp, Melissa Tuckey, Alison Hedge Coke, Marcella Durand, Ann Fisher-Wirth, and Taylor Brorby. Stories Books and Cafe. 1716 Sunset Blvd. The event is free. Authors will have books and broadsides for sale.


  • 7:00pm-10:00pm

Across, Beyond, Through: A Reading by TAYO Literary Magazine and The Feminist Press, featuring readings by Rajiv Mohabir, Kenji Liu, Angela Peñaredondo, and FP author Ana Castillo. Visual Communications, 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Best of the Net / Political Punch / Sundress / Agape Reading. The Lexington 129 E 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90013. Join Sundress Publications for a night of three celebratory readings! First help us launch our new poetry anthology, Political Punch, with readings by Timothy Liu, Cam Awkward-Rich, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Lee Ann Roripaugh, and Chen Chen! Following this, celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Best of the Net Anthology with readings by previous contributors and judges including Traci Brimhall, Matt Hart, Alix Olin, Nicole Walker, and Sarah Einstein! Finally, celebrate Sundress’s Sweet 16 with readings by our authors, including Fox Frazier-Foley, Amorak Huey, Letitia Trent, Jill Khoury, Saba Syed Razvi, Jessica Rae Bergamino, and M. Mack! This is the reading that you don’t want to miss! See you in LA!

  • 7:30pm

Poetry Reading: Tender Omnibus. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90036. Writers Harryette Mullen, Dodie Bellamy, Laynie Browne, India Radfar, Katy Bohinc, Julie Patton, Truck Darling, and editrix Lee Ann Brown will read their work in conjunction with the publication TENDER OMNIBUS, a volume of landmark texts chronicling the first 25 years of Tender Buttons Press. Tender Buttons Press has been a leader in experimental poetry since 1989.

  • 8:30pm-10:00pm

R313. #AWP16 Keynote Address by Claudia Rankine, Sponsored by USC Dornsife English & PhD in Creative Writing and Literature, and Graywolf Press. Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One. Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award in the poetry category for Citizen, the first book to ever be named a finalist in both the poetry and criticism categories. Citizen also was a finalist for the National Book Award, was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award, and is the only poetry collection named a New York Times best seller in the nonfiction category.

Friday, April 1st

  • 9:00 am to 10:15 am

VIDA-Sponsored Panel

F109. More Than Numbers: How Conscientious Poetry Editors See Beyond Quotas. (Amy King, Timothy Donnelly, Airea D. Matthews, Phillip B. Williams, Lynn Melnick) Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F109. This panel, featuring editors who have successfully published a diversity of poets in both magazines and anthologies, will explore ways that poetry editors can diversify their own publications. With an eye toward the VIDA Count, we discuss how poetry editors might become more aware of, and actively seek out, the plurality of voices in poetry and how the pages of journals and anthologies can only be enriched by seeking new voices. This is an official VIDA Panel.

F130. Saving or Sinking the World Through Translation: International Perspectives on Creative Process. Participants: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Hélène Cardona, Ani Gjika, Dennis Maloney, Willis Barnstone. Room 515 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Does translation infuse or confuse us? How do temporal, esthetic, religious, and political beliefs shape the literature, history, and fate of nations? Working with Albanian, Aramaic, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, Korean, Latin, French, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese, this panel’s poets, translators, and scholars discuss their roles as intermediaries, technicians, magicians, and alchemists working between languages to create inspired texts spanning cultural differences, geographic distances, and time.

  • 10:30am-11:45am

F134. Literary Foremothers and Filling the Gaps. Gold Salon 3, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor. This panel celebrates literary foremothers and addresses how they’ve been first acclaimed, and then lost and recovered. Each panelist presents on her foremother(s) and discusses how they influenced her writing. We share our relationships with these groundbreaking writers and reveal the pedagogical power of foremothers. Foremothers to be honored include Gwendolyn Brooks, June Jordan, Lorine Niedecker, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Plath, Muriel Rukeyser, and Sappho. Presenters are Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Leslie Samuels Entsminger, Renee Olander, Jan Freeman, and Cheryl Pallant.

F142. The Return of Aphrodite’s Daughter: Rhetoric in Contemporary. Participants: Sharon Dolin, Phillis Levin,  Rosanna Warren,  Christina Pugh,  Blas Falconer. Poetry Room 403 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F142. Persuasion is Aphrodite’s daughter: It is she who beguiles our mortal hearts. So wrote Sappho 2,600 years ago, and rhetorical figures persist as the structural foundation of many memorable lines of poetry—from Mark Doty to Terrance Hayes to Lyn Hejinian. After a successful panel in Seattle, five contemporary poets return to discuss five different rhetorical figures, such as apostrophe, litotes, negatio, and prosopopeia, as they exist in their own poems and in those of poets they admire.

F145. Guerrilla Girl Marketing featuring Katherine Towler,  Ann Wertz Garvin,  Brandi Granett,  Erin Celello,  and Diane Haeger. Room 406 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Connecting with readers is an increasing challenge in a crowded marketplace. The speakers on this panel established the Tall Poppies, a marketing collective for women writers, to pool resources and increase visibility. They believe that you don’t need to compete to get ahead and that when writers support each other, they all rise. In this presentation, the speakers share the specifics of creating a collective, establishing a branded social media presence, and expanding the reach of their writing.

  • 12pm-12:30pm

Sharon Dolin book signing for Manual for Living. University of Pittsburg Press Table (403, 405).

  • 12pm-1:00pm

Scarlet Tanager Books and Cervena Barva Press Offsite Reading at AWP. Readers: For STB: Judy Bebelaar, Carol Dorf, Tobey Kaplan, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Kim Shuck, and Andrena Zawinski. For CBP: Dennis Daly, Lucille Lang Day, T.M. De Vos, JP Reese, and Bill Yarrow. Location: Triple 8 China Bar & Grill, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite A-120, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Cost: FREE. Food and beverages available for purchase.

  • 12pm-1:15pm

Scarlet Tanager Books and Cervena Barva Press Offsite Reading at AWP. Readers: For STB: Judy Bebelaar, Carol Dorf, Tobey Kaplan, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Kim Shuck, and Andrena Zawinski. For CBP: Dennis Daly, Lucille Lang Day, T.M. De Vos, JP Reese, and Bill Yarrow. Location: Triple 8 China Bar & Grill, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite A-120, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Cost: FREE. Food and beverages available for purchase.

F176. A Finished Conversation?: Gendered Cultures of Creative Writing. Room 403 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Women writers from three generations explore whether gender continues to shape women’s experiences of creative writing today, from studying or teaching in a creative writing program to administering one to publishing work. In relation to race, class, and sexuality, how has the position of women writers changed over time, and where are we now with regard to our access to publishing and positions of power in our communities and academic institutions? What interventions might we make to gain ground?

F178. Process and the Midcareer. Memoir Room 405, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. When is it time to tell your story? How do you translate having a story to tell to the meaningful execution of a “real” book? Chef Rossi, a rollicking rock-and-roll caterer of queer weddings and feminist extravaganzas, publishes her memoir at age 51. in her fifties, Chicana feminist Ana Castillo (famed for her fiction, poetry, and essays) meditates on the experience of raising a brown son in America. Two wildly different voices answer questions about process and form.

F180.  Unsung Epics: Women Veterans’ Voices. Participants: Lauren Halloran, Victoria Hudson,  Mary Doyle,  Mariette Kalinowski, Jerri Bell. Location: Room 407, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level As novelist Cara Hoffman observed, female veterans’ stories have the power to enrich our understanding of war and of our culture, art, nation, and lives. Yet their stories are largely absent. Five female vet writers address this narrative gap: How do women veterans’ stories differ from those of men and civilian women writing on war? Can their work have the same commercial and critical success? Do audiences have different expectations? How can these stories help bridge the civilian-military divide? Panel is no additional cost to registered conference participants.

F192. Written by Our Selves: The Craft of Immobile Corporeality. Participants: Tiffany AustinDestiny Birdsong, darlene anita scottLarrysha Jones. Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. The practice of liming (doing nothing) in Trinidad, the custom of repainting effaced murals of slain gangsters in Jamaica, and recent American protestors’ protection of businesses and each other by standing between them and the police—these are all examples of black corporeal defiance by nonmovement. Panelists read and discuss how they write defiantly immobile black corporeality in their work, thus revising the dominant narrative of such bodies, which posits them as lazy, uncontrollable, and useless. (READING)

  • 1:00pm

AWP Book Reception with Jennifer Militello and Hadara Bar-Nadav. Tupelo Press Booth

  • 1:30pm-2:45pm

The New Nonfiction: Where Literary Writing Bumps into Journalism.
Panel: Martha Nichols, Yi Shun Lai, Valerie Boyd, Fred Setterberg, Autumn Stephens. Nichols will delve into first-person journalism and some of the topics noted in her piece for VIDA about the Rolling Stone mess with “A Rape on Campus.” Other panelists will cover narrative journalism, editing nonfiction, gender/racial discrimination, etc. Facebook event page:

Korean Feminist Poetics and Translation. Presenters: Eungsong Kim, Don Mee Choi, Jiyoon Lee (& Kim Yideum), Joyelle McSweeney, and Johannes Goransson. Gold Salon 3, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor. South Korea’s contemporary history has been deeply impacted by US imperial policies. Yet its history remains relatively unknown: its war, dictatorships, and 47 Free Trade Agreements. We poets and translators discuss feminist Korean poets and propose poetry-as-activism and translation-as-resistance to colonizing power.

F222. Women in Spec: Women Writers in Speculative Poetry and Fiction. Participants: Jeannine GaileyLesley Wheeler, Sally Kindred,  Nancy Hightower,  Margaret Rhee. Room 505 LA Convention Center Meeting Room Level. This cross-genre panel celebrates women’s lively contributions to the male-dominated fields of speculative fiction and poetry. These authors, editors, and critics discuss recent changes and controversies in fantasy and science fiction, addressing how women are represented in the literature; publishing opportunities and challenges; and what it will take to foster women’s voices and support their increasing success.

Women Publishing Women: The (under)representation of women in print and publishing. Room 511, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Abbey Gaterud (moderator, Portland State University), Michelle Wildgen (Tin House), Mary Breaden (PDXX Collective), Kait Heacock (The Feminist Press), Alicia Bublitz (CALYX Press). Join us for a candid discussion among women working in publishing about the current climate for and visibility of women writers in publishing house lists. Looking at the in-house representation of women on staff, women writers published by traditional houses, and where the challenges to women in publishing (and being published) still lie, panelists speak to current trends, awareness, and projects highlighting women, and offer strategies to others working for equal representation.

  • 3pm-4:15pm

F232.  A Rattle Reading: 21 Years of Poetry for the 21st Century.  Featuring: Timothy Green,  Troy Jollimore,  Joan Murray,  Chris Anderson,  Roberta Beary. Gold Salon 2, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor. For over two decades, Los Angeles has been home to Rattle magazine, one of the most vibrant and most read poetry magazines in the world. Four poets from recent issues read their work, demonstrating the eclectic spirit of the magazine, and spanning four of its tribute themes: Japanese Forms, Poets of Faith, New Yorkers, and Love Poems. Moderator and Rattle editor Timothy Green will introduce each poet and briefly discuss Rattle’s vision of poetry in the 21st century and beyond.

F238. Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City. Participants: Laurence GoldsteinHarryette Mullen, William Mohr,  Susan Suntree,  Garrett Hongo. AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One. How do poets conjure a complex city into imaginative forms? How do they articulate the city’s many layers and locations, evoking a visible, audible, and tangible city? How do they construct a vital spirit of place with intimacy and authenticity? Through readings and discussions based on Laurence Goldstein’s book Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City, panelists consider how poets arouse and sustain readers’ attention by diverse and artful approaches to urban life.


  • 4:30-5:45pm

F273. Visions of a Feminist Utopia: The Feminist Press and the Future.  Featuring: Jennifer Baumgardner,  Rachel Kauder Nalebuff,  Yumi Sakugawa. Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. What is this future we say we believe in? What does it look like and what are we like within it? Rachel Kauder Nalebuff and Alexandra Brodsky, editors of the groundbreaking Feminist Utopia Project, lead several of their contributors in a reading and discussion of what makes a better world and the role feminist theory and activism will have in that brave new reality. The editors are joined by Jennifer Baumgardner, director and publisher of the Feminist Press.

  • 6:00pm-8:00pm

Red Hen/The Los Angeles Review Reading. Poetry reading by Tess Taylor and other Red Hen authors, to be followed by reception. Velaslavasay Panorama 1122 West 24th Street Los Angeles, CA 90007. For more information, visit

  • 6:00pm-10:00pm

Public Pool launch party and reading! Featuring: Timothy Donnelly, Aleshea Harris, Emily Hunt, Jason Koo, Dorothea Lasky, Timothy Liu, Justin Marks, Sara Renee Marshall, Lynn Melnick, Camille Rankine, Mathias Svalina, and Monica Youn. Avenue 50 Studio 131 North Avenue 50 Highland Park, CA 90042. The cost is free and all are welcome! Beer and Wine Bar and Dope Beats.

  • 7pm

Chax Press and Ahsahta Press Offsite Reading at AWP. Readers: Susan Briante, Vincent Toro, Janet Holmes, Charles Alexander, Saba Razvi, Jessica Smith, Sarah Rosenthal, Tracie Morris. Location: Book Show LA, 5503 N. Figueroa Street, Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA 90042. Cost: FREE.

Saturday April 2nd

  • 9am-10:15am

S110. Exploring the Heart of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. Featuring: Matthew Silverman, Jacqueline Osherow, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Lori Desrosiers, Susan Rich. Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Both editors and three contributors to The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry reflect on how contemporary Jewish American poems celebrate Jewish traditions, honor the human spirit, and make a distinct contribution to religious and nonreligious subjects. The anthology differs from previous collections of Jewish literature by focusing on the poetry of writers born after 1945. The panelists discuss differences from that of past generations and read from the anthology.

  • 10:30AM-11:45AM

S139. Crossing the Liminal: A Reading of Art Poetry with World Literature Today Contributors. Robert Muroff Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

S160. Craft and _____ : Creating Interdisciplinary Possibilities in the MFA. Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. While graduate writing programs provide guidance and mentorship in writing poetry and prose, opportunities for outside study and participation in marginalized literature and communities are often hard to find. How do students find sustenance for their writing beyond craft? This panel addresses ways in which graduate creative writing programs and students can improve literary citizenship by discovering and building communities and networks beyond literary craft.

  • 12pm-1:15pm

S169. Write Like a Mother*: Parenting as a Second Act for Women Writers. Gold Salon 4, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor. The mother figure looms large in literature, but does becoming a mother have equal sway over the established writer’s work? These panelists discuss how becoming a mother after establishing their careers has affected their creative process, writing, teaching, and the reception of their work. Does motherhood make one’s writing more or less empathetic, creative, or critically viable? Texts about writing and motherhood that have inspired (or horrified) these writers are also discussed.

S171. In the Realms of the Real and the Unreal. Participants: Katharine Beutner, Sofia Samatar, Carmen Machado, Alice Sola Kim, Kelly Link. AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One.This panel explores genres of fiction that juxtapose the real and the unreal in experimental ways: historical fiction, literary fantasy/science fiction, weird fiction, and satire. Where do we draw the line between a secondary world and a distorted reflection of our own world’s beauty, violence, and diversity? Can we discern a poetics of the unreal in contemporary fiction? How have the continual debates over generic boundaries—and/or their irrelevance—affected the ways contemporary writers work?

S175. Mujeres at the Mic!: A Readin g by Nuyorican Women Writers Room 403 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

S195. Notes Toward a New Language: Eating Disorders. Panelists: Cynthia Cruz, Nina Puro, Michelle Chan Brown, Louise Mathias, Allison Benis White. Poetry Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. How does writing from the female body vis-à-vis an eating disorder inform one’s writing? In this hybrid panel discussion/poetry reading, participants discuss how an eating disorder is a means to refuse the world, to enact Otherness and hybridity (race, class, gender, trauma, etc.), to make a language of one’s body. Furthermore, we discuss how these iterations translate on the page as variations of silence: stutter, hesitation, holes or space, and repetition, as well as other enactments.

  • 1:30-2:45

S204. Les femmes d’un certain âge: Women Writers Breaking Boundaries Featuring: Alice Anderson, Allison Joseph, Constance Ford, Grace Cavalieri, and Laura Orem. Bookfair Stage. Five women writers, at different stages of their careers, will discuss writing at midlife and beyond. How do we continue to “make it new” after years of writing? How has subject matter and audience changed? What do we know now that we didn’t know in our 20s, and how does that influence our art? What are the challenges of being an emerging writer after 40, and how do we navigate a youth-focused literary world?

S208. Spinsters, Pretty Girls, and Bears, Oh My!: Four Decades of Lesbian Writing and Publishing. Featuring: Brandy T. Wilson, Katherine V. Forrest, KG MacGregor, Karin Kallmaker, Rita Mae Reese. Room 403 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Small lesbian presses were the wellspring of lesbian writing—romance, mystery, erotica, poetry, and literary fiction. How did these presses shape lesbian writers and readers? In the age of digital publishing that allows writers to bypass publishers for greater profits and autonomy, why choose to publish with a small press? How do small presses stay relevant? An editor with over 30 years of experience and a spectrum of writers, representing four presses, discuss the past and future of lesbian publishing.

S215. Why We Innovate: The Case for Hybrid Genres. Participants: Marcela Sulak, Jacqueline KolosovJenny Boully, Tung-Hui HuMary Szybist. Room 409 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Editors of and contributors to Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of Eight Hybrid Literary Genres discuss writing and teaching hybrid literature as innovative acts of artistic, social, and cultural criticism, and as radical self-creation. Panelists discuss why writers mix forms and provide ideas and examples for crafting and teaching hybrid genres, focusing on blendings of visual, performative, lyrical, and narrative techniques.

  • 2:30pm

Victoria Smith, a Filipino author of the Brain Mill Press title FAITH HEALER, is reading at this event, co-sponsored by a local Los Angeles Filipino group. Beverly Hills Public Library, in the South Room.This is an excellent event for those interested in regime exile in the contemporary Philippines, intersex and transgender stories, and magical realism. Victoria Smith is a dynamic person and important author to watch.

  • 3:00pm-4:15pm

Wild Equations: A Math Poetry Reading. Panel: Carol Dorf, Stephanie Strickland, Alice Major, Katie Manning, Amy Uyematsu. Five terrific women from around the North American continent take on an unusual poetry theme in the land of nerdy guys. Facebook event page:

S248. 40th Anniversary Celebration of Calyx and Sinister Wisdom. Featuring: Jenny Factor,  Jean Hegland,  Brenna Crotty,  Julie R. Enszer. Room 407, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Two venerable feminist publications celebrate their 40th anniversary of publishing in 2015. Calyx, a twice-yearly feminist journal that celebrates the excellence and diversity of women’s literature and art, and Sinister Wisdom, a quarterly multicultural lesbian literary and art journal, continue to publish vital new voices building on their long publishing history. Join the editors to celebrate both journals and the broad contributions of Calyx and Sinister Wisdom to feminist publishing.

S251. Out of LA: A Tribute to Jayne Cortez (1936-2012). Participants: Patricia Spears Jones, Laura Hinton, Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Kirsten Bartholomew Ortega, Jennifer Ryan-Bryant. Room 410, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Sonic/jazz poet Jayne Cortez is celebrated for having created a hybrid engagement with music, performance, and words associated with that capital of jazz, New York City. Yet Cortez grew up in LA, inspired by her artistic community in Watts. Five poets/critics discuss Cortez’s formative relationship to LA, including work with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, performances for the Watts Repertory Theater Company. and her urban poetics, as well as an ecopoetics that extends “out of LA” globally.

S263. Fracture: A Reading and Discussion by Contemporary Korean American Female Poets including Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello,  EJ Koh,  Franny Choi,  Hannah Sanghee Park,  Anna Maria Hong. Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Muriel Rukeyeser once said, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” Five award-winning authors discuss difficult truths about the complexities and responsibilities of identifying themselves as Korean American female poets, seeking to answer practical and political issues that arise from living as women on the hyphen between “Asian” and “American.” Presenters also examine how their work is situated in the fractured identities they claim.

S266. Queering History: Whose Story Is It, Anyway? Featuring: Carter Sickels, Brandy T. Wilson, Ellery Washington, Ellis Avery, Ames Hawkins. Room 518, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Queer histories are often erased or altered by dominant narratives. How do we claim, document, and imagine the stories of LGBTQ history in our art? Established and emerging panelists working in multiple genres discuss their projects, and the challenges and rewards of researching and writing queer histories of distant and recent pasts. We explore the tensions between social/political responsibility and storytelling, and discuss the concerns of representing past marginalized voices.

  • 4:00pm-5:30pm

The Account and Memorious at the Mandrake Bar in LA. Mandrake Bar, 2692 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. The Account and Memorious invite you to join them for a reading featuring Memorious contributors Derrick Austin, Hadara Bar-Nadav, and Jennifer Pashley, along with The Account contributors Stanley Plumly, David Baker, and Lee Ann Roripaugh. Cost: Free.

  • 4:30pm-5:45pm

S285. Can I Live? Writing Policed Black Women’s Bodies. Participants: Destiny Birdsong,  Nafissa Thompson-Spires,  Kateema Lee,  April Gibson,  Charly Evon Simpson. Room 504, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. Despite its prevalence, various forms of violence against black women remain largely ignored in national and literary conversations. In response, five multigenre writers discuss craft approaches to writing the policed black female body, particularly when it is complicated by identity constructs such as poverty, (mental) illness, (dis)ability, and addiction. They also read excerpts of their own work (including poetry, fiction, and drama) wherein they seek to rearticulate this body in empowering ways. (CRAFT TALK/READING)

S276. Poems for the Next Generation: Bringing Poetry to Teenagers and Young Adults. Participants: E Kristin Anderson, Sheila McMullin, Lynn Melnick, Camille Rankine, Kerri Webster,  . Room 405, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level. The poetry that young people learn in school is often outdated, poorly explained, and lacking diversity. This panel explores how contemporary poetry can reach young people in high schools and colleges through teaching, publications, and contests. Poetry is a vibrant, living art and deserves to be taught to young people in a way that speaks to them where they are, and through poets who are writing the 21st century as we live in it.

  • 7:30pm

The Female Gaze: Women Writers from a Women’s College. Literary Reading and Salon. Five mid-career women writers* from the Mills College MFA in Creative Writing will read from their recent work – poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction  – on race, adoption, sex, body image, beauty, motherhood, trauma and healing, aging, and more.  Wine and cheese reception to follow. Featuring Audrey Ferber, Leanna James Blackwell, Susan Ito, Annie Stenzel, and Wendy Patrice Williams.  Free and open to all. Kathryn Long, Los Angeles writer and theatre director, will host at a private Echo Park home. 2007 Cerro Gordo (8 minutes from AWP conference location by Uber or cab).

  • Midnight

Wave Books Reading: Don Mee Choi at Machine Project (basement mini opera stage), 1200 D. North Alvarado, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Don Mee will be read/perform her entire book, Hardly War.