AWP19ThumbnailWITS Alliance @ #AWP19  | Booth #3039

Portland, OR |March 27–30, 2019

WITS Alliance | AWP 2019 Panels + Meetings


Thursday March 28, 2019

Literary Changemakers: Representation & Visibility in the Writing World 
12:00pm – 1:15pm
Portland Ballroom 251, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
How can writers craft a world in which diverse voices are heard, especially in institutions without diverse leadership? This panel will bring together writers and editors who will discuss the ways in which they have advocated for a range of voices in the arenas of publishing, prizes, and the university, and the successes and challenges they’ve experienced along the way.
Panelists: Tina Cane, Christopher Soto, Suzi Garcia, Farid Matuk, Eloisa Amezcua

Friday March 29, 2019

WITS Alliance Meeting
9:00am – 10:15am
D139-140, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Writers in the Schools (WITS) Alliance invites current and prospective members to attend a general meeting led by Robin Reagler, Executive Director of WITS Houston. We will discuss how to start and/or expand a WITS program in your community, exploring fundraising, strategies for growth, summer camps, and more.
Poets Vs. Poets: Dismantling the Bias Against Performance Poetry 
10:30am – 11:45am
E147-148, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Performance poetry has become a vital space for underrepresented groups to be heard in the literary community. This panel will feature esteemed poets from the performance poetry community and offer a discussion of the false binary of page versus stage writing while highlighting the amazing work that performance spaces can create for classrooms and communities.
Panelists: Jasminne Mendez, Paul Tran, Safia Elhillo, Denice Frohman, Bill Moran
Revolutionary Voices: Harnessing the Power of Language
4:30pm – 5:45pm
Portland Ballroom 251, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Writing can be a powerful tool for creating spaces where underrepresented voices are heard. Experienced organizers and writers will discuss how they work to create inclusive, responsive spaces that respect the needs of the diverse communities they serve. Whether you are hoping to start your own initiative or would like to be a part of an organization that does this kind of work, listen in as panelists offer tips and tools for revitalizing our communities through poetry and storytelling.
Panelists: Desireé Dallagiacomo, Ellen Hagan, Merna Hecht, Terisa Siagatonu,
Lori Pourier

Saturday March 30, 2019

Challenging Tokenization: Writers of Colors Respond
9:00am – 10:15am
F151, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Writers from underrepresented communities often face societal pressure to share stories centered around cultural identity and immigration. These panelists will trouble the institutional expectations of narratives written by people of color and share their experiences challenging tokenization while sustaining a healthy writing life.
Panelists: Analicia Sotelo, Chris Santiago, Janine Joseph, Tiphanie Yanique, Leslie Sainz
A Job of One’s Own: How to Create a Professional Life That Works for You 
9:00am – 10:15am
Portland Ballroom 251, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
While many writers are trained for a tenure-track university position, the academic market has become extremely competitive, requiring more than an M.F.A. or a Ph.D. Here are some incredible careers you can create for your future, where your expertise with creative and critical thinking will make an impact. Panelists will discuss how they arrived in their industries and how you can adapt your creative skills to craft a meaningful professional career and sustained writing life.
Panelists: Meggie Monahan, Natalia Sylvester, Ramiza Koya, Nancy Reddy,
Becca Wadlinger
Safe Writing Spaces: Building Community Through Literary Advocacy
3:00pm – 4:15pm
Portland Ballroom 252, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
How we can build writing spaces outside of academia that respond to the needs of writers of color? Leaders from Kundiman, Cave Canem, CantoMundo, and I, Too, Arts Collective discuss what these spaces can look like, the resources we can provide to writers of color, and how to build community inside and outside of traditional institutions.
Panelists: Angela So, Cathy Linh Che, Elizabeth Bryant, Renee Watson,
J. Michael Martinez
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