AWP 2022: Black Lawrence Press Author Panels & Events


9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. 109AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

When Women Break Bad: Writing Unladylike Rage

(Leigh Camacho Rourks, Rebecca Hazelwood, Sharon Harrigan, Nikki Dolson, Alison Pelegrin)

There is such a profound cultural discomfort around women’s anger, especially women’s rage, that when it is depicted, it is generally either sublimated or fetishized. Those who aren’t are often coded as masculine, mentally ill, or victimized (or all three). While many male protagonists are more antihero than hero, “bad” women risk the deadly label of “unlikable.” Five exceptional authors representing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry discuss the pitfalls and joys of being unladylike on the page.

6 PM  Broadsided Press & Fine Arts Work Center Virtual Reading 

Broadsided Anthology Poets Michelle Moncayo, W. Todd Kaneko, Traci Brimhall, Philip Metres, Christina Olson, and Gibson Fay-LeBlanc with Fine Arts Work Center Poets Rebecca Gayle Howell, Joanne Dugan, Kirun Kapur, Joshua Rivkin, Patricia Spears Jones, and Jennifer Jean

We are going really and truly hybrid with this one: Readers who are at AWP will gather in rooms and read to each other/you… readers who are sitting out this year’s AWP will Zoom in. We’re glad to offer an AWP event that’s inclusive of all the community — and we’re so glad to partner with FAWC, a place that has fostered conversations and inspiration across artistic disciplines since the 1970s. Follow this link to register.


10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. 111AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

The Future of Black: The Advent of 21st-Century Second-Wave Afrofuturism Poetry

(Len Lawson, Cynthia Manick, Tim Seibles, Teri Cross Davis, Steven Leyva)

Afrofuturism has experienced a second wave in the 21st-century mainstream propelled by the success of the 2018 blockbuster film Black Panther. This panel explores the impact of this second wave on Afrofuturism poetry. Panelists featured in a new poetry anthology on Afrofuturism, black comics, and superhero culture discuss how their poetry contributes to second-wave Afrofuturism, along with insights to Afrofuturism poetry as a sustainable genre and defining it for future generations.

12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. Virtual

F186. Research & Reckoning: How Nonfiction Research Allows Us to Reckon with the Past

(Nikki Lyssy, Julia Koets, Natalie Lima, Minda Honey, LaTanya McQueen)

In an interview, Melissa Febos writes, “The page has always been a place of reckoning for me.” In this panel, five writers—all from different backgrounds—will discuss how research in nonfiction has allowed them to reckon with the past. We will explore how different forms of research—from interviews to old letters to library archives to photographs to literary theory—led us to the centers of our own stories and took us deeper into larger conversations about race, disability, and sexuality.

12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. Virtual

Desi Mythpunk: Indian Mythologies in Futurist Writing by South Asian Authors

(Vidhu Aggarwal, Bishakh Som, Rajiv Mohabir, Hari Alluri, SJ Sindu)

Myths are often viewed as stories from “the past.” But a number of recent works shows that they can be used to engage with contemporary sociopolitical questions and imagine futuristic modes of being. This panel explores how and why South Asian authors employ myths in their poetry, graphic novels, and more. Authors discuss the refashioning of myths as a world-making force that may cultivate a sense of cultural heritage, subvert orientalist stereotypes, and bring alternative futures into being.

1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 119AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

Empowering New Writers: Strategies for Teaching the Hesitant Poetry Student

(Jenny Irish, Isaac Pickell, Amorak Huey, Mag Gabbert)

Poetry can be intimidating for readers and writers who are unfamiliar with the genre and enter the classroom with assumptions about what they’ll encounter. Discomfort can prevent exploration and learning, holding students in a space where they are self-effacing or resistant. This panel gathers teachers with academic and community experience to discuss strategies and successes in introducing poetry to new readers and writers, with a focus on engaging and empowering students in their learning.

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m.111AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

Multimodal Identities: How Podcasting Can Unbind Creative Voices

(Saul Lemerond, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Billie Tadros, Kase Johnstun, Rebecca Hazelwood)

Considering how much the multimodal pedagogical framework lives within the realm of multicultural literacies, there is a strong case to be made that the inclusion of podcasts into the creative writing classroom could prove invaluable, especially given that many workshops fail to serve a significant portion of students who either don’t feel welcome or don’t feel capable. This panel will discuss how podcasts exist within an a priori cultural space, almost as if tailor-made to address these issues.


10:35 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. Virtual

Writing the Disturbed Essay: Memory & Identity in Creative Nonfiction

(Katie Jean Shinkle, SJ Sindu, Monica Prince, Danielle Pafunda, Lily Hoang)

While personal essay often serves as vessel for the exploration of memory and the construction of identity, the disturbed essay stirs up the sediment, allows for memory’s paradoxes, and helps us reevaluate what we reach towards when we write. It allows us to refute dominant narratives about LGBTQIA+, PoC, and disabled lives. Those elements of the past that wake us, interfere with the coherent story of a self, and invade our privacy become the radical heart of a truer story.

10:35 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. Virtual

Fire & Water: Pushing against Climate Fiction

Mary Fifield and Kristin Thiel (coeditors; will be live in the chat) as well as contributing authors Jennifer Morales and Carlos Labbé

Is climate fiction a misnomer? The climate crisis teaches us that human experiences (and those of other species) are myriad, multifaceted, and irreducible to a narrowly prescribed set of expectations that genres often impose. There can be no one Thing with a capital T that constitutes fiction about climate change, as this anthology’s seventeen stories illustrate. Showing itself in different and often inequitable ways around the world, the climate crisis and the stories about it are diverse.

12:10 pm to 1:25 pm 118BC, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

S164. New Directions in the American Sonnet

(Ted Mathys, Kazim Ali, Dora Malech, John Murillo, Simone Muench)

The American sonnet is having a moment. This panel features scholars and poets discussing the contemporary sonnet and the ways in which today’s writers subvert, revise, and creatively destroy the sonnet as an inherited form. How, the panel asks, do poets reimagine this prescribed form to engage questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and power in America? How do today’s sonnets negotiate constraint and agency, tradition and innovation?

12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. 111AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

S158. The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood

(Nancy Reddy, Emily Pérez, Erika Meitner, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Faylita Hicks)

Is parenting all-consuming—or is it a complex and nuanced insight into life that adds depth and meaning to our creative practices? Contributors to the new anthology The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood share original writing in a conversation that navigates a range of transformative experiences including living with children both young and grown, being a single parent, experiencing infertility, having a transracial adoption, and being the birth parent in an open adoption.

12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. 120AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

So You’re Going to Be a Visiting Writer: How to Make the Kids Shine

(Joelle Biele, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Charlotte Pence)

Working with young people on their developing writing is both exciting and powerful. This panel, made up of teachers, visiting writers, and community organizers, all of diverse backgrounds, share their insights on how to have maximum impact when visiting a K–12 classroom or community center. This panel will discuss all facets of a classroom visit, and how to best set students up for success, igniting a passion for language’s potential.

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. 121BC, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level

Winners on Winning: Advice & Insight on Literary Contests

(Emma Komlos-Hrobsky, Suphil Lee Park, Ananda Lima, Joy Priest, Devon Walker-Figueroa)

Literary contests can be a great way to connect with editors, build an audience, and find a good home in the world for your work. Submitting to contests is also an art in itself, one that requires savvy, strategy, and perseverance. In this panel, four writers who have found success in literary contests offer advice on choosing opportunities to pursue, selecting what to submit, and weathering the ups and downs of contest news—all while staying grounded in what matters most: the writing itself.