Alas!  We are at the end of the conference already!  Friday had a light schedule.  Saturday definitely makes up for it!  Whatever happens, save room at the end of the day for us!  We hope you’ll toast another successful conference at the Social Justice Mixer

Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am
Marquis Salon 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two S137. Does Gender Matter? Wrestling with Identity and Form in the Golden Age of Women’s Essays. (Jocelyn Bartkevicius, Marcia Aldrich, Barrie Jean Borich, Kyoko Mori, Jericho Parms) In 2014, The New York Times asked if it’s a golden age for women essayists. Cheryl Strayed gave a qualified yes. But while a wave of women’s essays is shaping the literary scene, women are underrepresented in journals and the standard-bearer, Best American Essays. Our panel explores the literary fallout from this paradox, the shape-shifting nature of essays, why it’s tricky to identify as a woman writer, the effects on our work when asked to write as women, and the complications of invisibility.

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Supreme Court, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four S144. Directions in Trans Publishing. (Kay Gabriel, Colette Arrand, SA Smythe, Cat Fitzpatrick, Stephen Ira) Transgender literature has become increasingly prominent in recent years. This panel addresses the publishing side of this cultural moment, which taken the form of both new trans literary publications and a growing visibility of trans literature in cis-centric journals and presses. Five trans editors and publishers discuss their experiences in curating trans literature and the challenges of making spaces for it where few had existed before.

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Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four S148. When Safe Spaces Aren’t: (Re)Imagining for a Multicultural Creative Space. (Alyss Dixson, Jennifer Baker, Amy Lam, Metta Sama) The term safe space has become the new buzzword for nurturing or supporting. This panel will describe how structural bias and inequity can mask the architecture of Whiteness by unpacking the term and decoding the cultural ideologies underpinning these spaces. It will seek to help writers of color and allies (re-)imagine multicultural creative spaces. Ample time given for discussion with audience and panelists on how to develop guidelines and best practices.

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Room 102A, Washington Convention Center, Level One S153. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love in My Tummy: Food, Poetry, and Activism. (Millicent Borges Accardi, Amy Sayre-Baptista, PaulA Neves, Rachel M Simon, Khyran Boyd) A chef and four writers discuss food-integrated readings and writing workshops, the successful pairing of recipes and writing techniques, and the necessary how-to to integrate food and recipes in your own writing and student work. Handouts provided for how to put together a successful community reading/workshop series as well as interactive prompts and yummy ideas. Come hungry, leave satisfied.

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Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two S162. I Was Dreaming When I Wrote This: Prince as Influence and Icon. (Jess Row, Stephen Burt, Kaitlin Greenidge, Tisa Bryant, Martha Southgate) After his death in April 2016, Prince was celebrated not only as a musician but as a cultural icon—an artist who refused to limit or categorize his gender, his religion, or the politics of his imagination. This panel considers Prince’s enormous influence on contemporary American writing, from experimental poetry and writing in performance to autobiographical fiction and memoir.

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Room 207A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two S165. Being the Change You Want to See: The New Literary Leadership. (Lisa Lucas, Ken Chen, Jen Benka, Britt Udesen, Andrew Proctor) What will a new generation of literary leadership look like? While many literary institutions have a reputation for being stodgy or slow-moving with regards to change, here are five directors who bring unique experience and fresh perspective to literary nonprofits, national and local. They will discuss how youth, technology, and diversity can bring traditional literary institutions into the modern landscape and create a bold, more inclusive future for readers.

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12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
Marquis Salon 9 & 10, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two S174. Gender and Genre: How Do Our Prejudices Affect Our Preferences?. (Jill McCabe Johnson, Kevin Clark, SJ Sindu, Viannah Duncan, Martha Amore) Do gender stereotypes influence literary tastes? Does a love poem from a male-identified poet seem more tender because it defies common gender assumptions? Does a critique from a female-identified writer feel more barbed for the same reason? What about writers whose identities or work blur society’s imposed gender distinctions? Join this panel as we explore whether we value writing more or less because of the perceived gender of the author, including how that may affect publishing decisions.

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Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two S194. A Tribute to Edmund White. (Tom Cardamone, Alden Jones, Alexander Chee, Alysia Abbott, Patrick Ryan) This panel celebrates the enduring and groundbreaking career of Edmund White, one of the most influential living gay writers. His provocative works of fiction, biography, memoir, and criticism have sparked dialogues on the nature of the self in society for decades. Five writers—peers, colleagues, and those he has mentored—come together to discuss his work, life, and his influence on American letters. Edmund White speaks following the tribute.

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1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
Monument, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four S209. Trans & Gender Nonconforming Author Reading. (Everett Maroon, Imogen Binnie, Trace Peterson, Kelli Dunham, Carter Sickels) Award-winning transgender and gender nonconforming writers and poets bring you their newest and best work in this reading that jettisons tropes around queer and trans people to reveal an exciting and nuanced nascent trans literature. Pushing against convention, form, and your MFA workshop leader’s advice, these authors represent some of the best work across the country in a variety of genres including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. A salon of transgender, transgenre work!

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Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One S218. Celebrating Langston: Langston Hughes and Contemporary Writers. (Erika Wurth, Timothy Leyerson, Allison Joseph, Abdul Ali) This cross-genre reading will celebrate the legacy of American poet, playwright, essayist, activist, and translator Langston Hughes. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of Langston Hughes, and this panel of diverse writers aims to honor his legacy in Washington, DC, a city which in which Hughes lived and a place which shaped his vision of the United States.

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Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One S221. Recovering Out of Print Queer Literature. (Philip Clark, Lisa C. Moore, Julie R. Enszer, Jan Freeman, Stephen Motika) The publications of many important LGBTQ writers have fallen out of print and become inaccessible to readers today. This situation poses special challenges for LGBTQ authors published by small independent presses. As readers, editors, and publishers, how can we uncover and restore LGBTQ writing in danger of being lost? How can this work be brought to new readers’ attention? With our AWP audience, we will reflect on the recovery of this marginalized literary history, culture, and community.

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Room 207A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two S230. I Sing the Body Queer and Crip. (Kathi Wolfe, Meg Day, Lydia X. Z. Brown, Raymond Luczak, Donna Minkowitz) Due to ableism, homophobia, and transphobia, the voices of LGBTQIA and disabled poets have rarely been heard. The panel I Sing the Body Queer and Crip will focus on the intersectionality of disability and queer poetics. Each panelist will read their poetry for five to seven minutes; then talk from five to seven minutes about their work. The remainder of the panel will be Q&A with the audience.

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3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Liberty Salon I, J, & K, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four S242. Queering Masculinities. (Charlie Bondhus, Michael V. Smith, Jarrett Neal, CJ Southworth, Joy Ladin) This cross-genre panel—comprised of writers who identify, previously identified, or live(d) as male—considers how we, as trans folk, gender nonconforming individuals, and/or cis men have experienced and challenged our relationships to masculinity. To explore how these experiences (re)shape and complicate our writing both in terms of form and subject, each panelist reads some pertinent work and comments on the roles their (dis)affiliations with masculinity played in shaping it.

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Room 207B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two S265. Literary Hybrids: Transgressing the Traditional. (Nickole Brown, Casandra Lopez, Ching-In Chen, Julie Marie Wade, Lee Ann Roripaugh) What is it about hybrid writing that lends itself to diversity, that makes way for the work of queer writers and those marked by multiplicity—of mixed culture, race, and class? Through readings and discussion, this panel of four authors will investigate how (and why) the in-between, liminal space offered by cross-genre writing provides various communities the freedom to more adequately express themselves, transgressing the traditional boundaries of discourse and genre.

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4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Room 203AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two S286. Poets Mothering Otherwise: Race, Disability, Queerness. (Joelle Biele, Amanda Johnston, Hoa Nguyen, Deborah Paredez, Lisa L Moore) What are the ethics and politics of writing about our children when our families are politically vulnerable? Questions of censorship, privacy, and children’s rights resonate differently in poetry of witness or advocacy than in memoir or confessional work. As queer mothers, mothers of color, and mothers of children with disabilities, what do we refuse to write about our families? What may we, must we, share as poets of witness? And how do we tell the difference?

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6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Scarlet Oak Room, Marriott Marquis, Mezzanine Level S298. Social Justice Mixer. Toast another successful AWP with the return of the Social Justice Mixer! Connect with other writers focused on social justice and inclusion. Relax and learn about our organizations: Lambda Literary Foundation, LGBTQ Writers Caucus, CantoMundo

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two S170. Bringing Up Baby: How Community-Based Writing Programs Survive Their First Year. (Mallory Hellman, Maya Nussbaum, Dora Malech, Jonathan Tucker, James Kass) The inaugural year of a nonprofit’s life is vital to its future development, but shepherding an organization through its infant stage comes with substantial challenges. How do community-based writing programs transform their seminal vision into a sustainable reality? Join panelists from diverse literary outreach organizations—both new and established—as they share successes, discuss pitfalls, and offer best practices for surviving the first year of existence, from securing funding to staying sane.

 

Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four S180. The Path to Publishing a First Story Collection. (Erin Stalcup, Robin Black, Lori Ostlund, Melissa Yancy) Four authors discuss their different paths to publishing their first books. One of the panelists got an agented two-book deal with a big New York house, one got an unagented contract with a small university press, and two won contests: the Drue Heinz Prize and the Flannery O’Connor Award. They’ll share their stories, and provide resources and handouts to help audience members understand ideal and realistic possibilities, and navigate their own journeys to publication.

 

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two S234. Mother Lode, Mother Load: Writing Difficult Mothers and Others. (Janice Gary, Lisa Chavez, Luisa Igloria, Karen McElmurray, Sue William Silverman) “Restless mother/from your breasts I sucked/ electrified milk/harsh lessons,” Neruda writes in “Ode to Restlessness.” This panel of five women writers—memoirists, poets, novelists, all from diverse backgrounds—explores how growing up with a mother or other adult who wielded wounding power over their lives has influenced their work. How does this mother lode work both as a vein of abundant resource and as inscrutable burden? What happens to writing after the spell of childhood is broken?

Offsite Events:

This is Queer: Lit SpectacularSaturday, February 11 at 8 PM – 11 PM @ The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road NW, Washington, D.C.:  An epic queer literary event featuring: Imogen Binnie, Jericho Brown, Alexander Chee, Tom Cho, Lucy Corin, Melissa Febos, Holly Hughes, Tennessee Jones, Eileen Myles, Morgan Parker, Michelle Tea.

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