Welcome to the first official day at the AWP conference.  We hope to see you this evening. Until then, here are today’s LGBTQ panels!

Thursday, February 9, 2017
9:00 am to 10:15 am
Liberty Salon I, J, & K, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four R116. Liberate Literature: Creating an Artistic Culture Outside of Academia. (Jennifer Fitzgerald, Rodrigo Toscano, Rosalyn Spencer, Ailish Hopper, Rosebud Ben-Oni) Academic affiliation is not an option for many people of color, economically poor, geographically isolated, or traditionally excluded groups. Panelists show how systems used for community organizing can be shifted to grassroots artistic organizing in the form of cultural centers, worker centers, readings, & workshops. Community building around art and literature creates a means of access for under-served communities. Attendees will leave with tangible solutions and plans for action.

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10:30 am to 11:45 am
Marquis Salon 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two R137. The Politics of Queering Characters. (Samantha Tetangco, Marisa P. Clark, Lisa D. Chavez, Lori Ostlund, Jervon Perkins) For queer writers, creating a queer character is a political act that involves conscious decisions and unexpected obstacles. How can we tell when our characters are too queer or not queer enough? What other complications may arise when we try to define our audience and their expectations? How do we choose to out ourselves and our characters in our work? This panel considers the politics of queering characters within fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

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Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One R152. On Caucuses: Caucus Leaders Unite. (Miguel M. Morales, Bojan Louis, Ruben Quesada, Alyss Dixson, Tiffany Ferentini) What do AWP caucuses do? Why are they important? Want to form a caucus or become more active? Come hear from minority caucus leaders—African Diaspora, Indigenous, Latino, LGBTQ—on the state of AWP’s caucus system. Learn about the information sharing and the work our united caucuses are doing. Join one of the special initiatives launched to improve the AWP annual conference for everyone. Presenters will also offer a comprehensive guide to caucus events and volunteer opportunities at #AWP17.

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12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two R173. Queer Journeys: A Celebration of the University of Wisconsin Press’s 80th Anniversary. (Raphael Kadushin, Alden Jones, Brian Bouldrey, Lucy Bledsoe, Guillermo Reyes) The University of Wisconsin Press has long been dedicated to publishing the strongest works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by and about LGBTQ writers. It has also shown an ongoing engagement with issues of travel. Join five UW Press authors as they read from their work in celebration of UW Press’s 80th anniversary, spotlighting its commitment to ethically engaged literature that explores how LGBTQ people move through our ever-changing world.

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Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One R187. Bite Hard: A Tribute to Justin Chin. (Jeffrey McDaniel, Timothy Liu, Beth Lisick, David Daniels, Adrienne Su) Five poets/teachers engage Chin’s work from a wide range of angles, including his association with performance art and slam poetry, his tangling with issues of Asian identity and sexuality through his poetry and hybrid prose, his tactical use of humor to disarm the reader as he explored illness and living with AIDS, his zeroing in on where the personal becomes political, and his Baudelaire-like blending of the elegant and profane.

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1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
Liberty Salon L, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four R211. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say: How to Write Stories People Don’t Want Told. (Garrard Conley, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Michael Twitty, Kristen Green) We all know not to talk politics, religion, or money at the dinner table, but should these subjects be off limits for storytelling? Some of the best writing comes from tackling topics people would rather not discuss. These journalists and memoirists have written about gay “conversion” therapy, segregation in school, shameful family secrets, and tracing slave lineage. The panelists will explain how to report stories when sources don’t want to talk, and will share the price they paid for doing so.

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Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One R216. The Elegy Endures: 30 Years of Community Witness to HIV/AIDS. (Terry Wolverton, David Groff, Irene Borger, Reginald Harris, Michael Broder) In the 30th anniversary year of the first public display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Washington, DC., LGBTQ writers who have continually addressed the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in their own work, on websites, in the editing of anthologies, and in conducting community workshops, reflect on the power and agency of the written word in confronting, interpreting, even transforming, the loss, the politics, and the legacy of this devastating plague that persists into our own time.

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Room 207A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two R229. Kaylie Jones Books: A Reading. (Kaylie Jones, Patricia Smith, J Patrick Redmond, Barb Taylor, Laurie Lowenstein) Kaylie Jones Books, an imprint of Akashic Books, was established in 2013 by writer Kaylie Jones, with the goal of publishing good books that take on subjects often overlooked by mainstream publishers. Since its inception, KJB has published nine books of fiction and nonfiction to critical acclaim, including Best Summer Read and an ALA award. Come hear four KJB authors read from recent work and talk with the publisher.
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Room 102A, Washington Convention Center, Level One R251. Ensuring/Enduring Presence: Transgender People of Color—Artists, Editors, and Publishers. (Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Ryka Aoki, Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, A.J. Alana Ka’imi Bryce, Max Wolf Valerio) Trans artists/editors/publishers of color shepherd daily into the world innovative work that is highly crafted. Immersed in our present material conditions, decolonially reimagining our pasts and futures, temporally/geographically refiguring the wheres and whens of our storied bodies, responding to calls issued by our communities as we issue our own, this panel posits the possibilities of our presence, our generative genealogies, and the care with which we consider our compositional/communal praxis.

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Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One R253. Publishing Diversely: Challenges and Successes, Sponsored by SPD. (Trisha Low, Piyal Bhattacharya, Charles Flowers, Zoe Tuck) A diverse panel of small press publishers, authors, and arts leaders share their approaches to addressing—and achieving—diversity and representation as independent literary publishing.

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Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two R257. In the Box/Out of the Box: Writing With/Against Your Gender/Race/Ethnicity/Etc.. (Bich Minh Nguyen Nguyen, Luis Alberto Urrea, Kelly Luce, Rob Spillman, Christian Kiefer) As fiction writers, we often feel pressure to write inside the confines our own experience, as defined by our ethnic identity, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, and so on. This panel explores the edges and interstices of that pressure. In what contexts is it acceptable to write outside such confines? In what contexts is it not? What does “diversity” mean when creating a fictional world? As writers, who has cultural permission to press past the confines of one’s own identity?

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4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Room 207A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two R294. Fractured Selves: Fabulism as a Platform for Minorities, Women, and the LGBT Community. (Sequoia Nagamatsu, Aubrey Hirsch , Brenda Peynado , Zach Doss, Ramona Ausubel ) Fabulist writers and editors define Fabulism (often used with other terms like magical realism and slipstream), illuminate individual approaches to the genre alongside brief readings, and discuss how fabulism can be a rich territory for expression, exploration, and power for minorities, women, and the LGBT community. What does it mean to write about the other from other worlds or hybrid spaces?

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6:00 pm to 7:15 pm
Room 102B, Washington Convention Center, Level One R300. LGBTQ Writers Caucus. (Tiffany Ferentini, Miguel M. Morales, Todd Summar, Samantha Tetangco, Sean Patrick Mulroy) The LGBTQ Caucus provides a space for writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer to network and discuss common issues and challenges, such as representation and visibility on and off the literary page; and incorporating one’s personal identity into their professional and academic lives. The Caucus also strives to discuss, develop, and increase queer representation for future AWP conferences, and to serve as a supportive community and resource for its members.

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Other Panels with LGBTQ Peoples (not LGBTQ-content specific)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two R226. The Imitation Game: Adapting Classic Narratives in Contemporary Literature. (Lorraine Lopez, Kathryn Locey, Lynn Pruett, Blas Falconer, Teresa Dovalpage) Isabel Allende claims that all stories have been told and that writers merely retell these, sometimes deliberately. For example, Jane Smiley drafted 1,000 Acres to rebut Shakespeare’s King Lear. Authors, writing in four genres—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama, speak to the conscious process of adapting classic literature, sharing ways to eke inspiration and avoid derivation in this practice that can provide new perspectives to highlight and enrich enduring narratives.

Off-Site Events:

Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Reunion & PartyThursday, February 9 at 6 PM – 8 PM @ Marvin (upstairs), 2007 14th Street NW, Washington DC:  Come celebrate 10 years of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices! Meet the Lambda Fellows. Catch up with classmates. We’ll also launch the latest edition of Emerge: A Lambda Literary Fellows Anthology featuring work from the 2016 Fellows. #LLFellows #LLF10th

Headmistress Press Presents: Tribute to Lesbian Poets, Thursday, February 9th, from 6 – 8PM @ Walls of Book, 3325 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC:  Headmistress Press is sponsoring an event, including food & drink, reading & schmoozing. Readings by Celeste Gainey, JP Howard, Ching-In Chen, Robin Becker, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs and more!

Unidos: A Reading for Pulse OrlandoThursday, February 9 at 8 PM – 10 PM @ The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 2000 14th St NW #105, Washington DC:  Join contributors of two forthcoming anthologies, The Brillantina Project and Pulse/Pulso, as we unite to honor the victims and survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. We will commemorate our beloved dead while comforting and celebrating our community. Reception begins at 8pm. Reading begins at 8:30pm.

 

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