Saturday, April 11, 2015

AWP Picks for Saturday, April 11, 2015

Here are the events at the conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs that look interesting to me for Saturday, April 11, 2015:

9:00 am to 10:15 am

Room 200 D&E, Level 2
S113. Yes, Writing Is a Job: People Who Get Paid to Write. (Joy Lanzendorfer,  Marcia Simmons,  Nora Maynard,  Ken Weaver) Believe it or not, it’s possible to make a living writing. Four working writers from diverse backgrounds will talk about how they make ends meet through article writing, blogging, nonfiction books, and other projects. Panelists will discuss how we get work, the financial realities of the publishing world, and our struggle to balance writing for money with creative endeavors that are closer to our hearts (but harder on our pocketbooks). Another panel on the important topic of the practical side of making ends meet as a writer.

Room 211 A&B, Level 2
S120. Straight Talk: What the MFA Promises & What It Delivers. (Lee Martin, Sonja Livingston,  Carter Sickels,  Claire Vaye Watkins,  Karen Salyer McElmurray) A 2013 Poets & Writers index says that full-time teaching positions at the university level are available, on average, for well less than one percent of creative writing program graduates. This roundtable will discuss expectations and realities of why we enter creative programs in the first place and our futures afterwards. How can programs be more forthcoming about these realities and what actions can faculty take? What does risk really mean when you choose the path of the MFA? Good subject. I know a lot of MFA students and alums are concerned about whether that degree is a good investment of time and money.

Room M100 B&C, Mezzanine Level
S123. Latina/o Poets as Publishers: A CantoMundo Roundtable. (Deborah Paredez,  Carmen Gimenez Smith,  Juan Morales,  Rosebud Ben-Oni,  Casandra Lopez) How are Latina/o poets occupying and transforming the roles of publishers and editors today? This panel convenes CantoMundo founders and fellows to discuss their work as publishers of small presses, editors of literary magazines and blogs, and founders of new media platforms. Our roundtable conversation explores the particular challenges, visions, and contributions of Latina/o publishers and editors. Looks interesting.

10:30 am to 11:45 am

Room 211 A&B, Level 2
S151. Building Communities: How to Develop Partnerships and Collaborations. (Sarah Gambito, Francisco Aragón, Cornelius Eady,  Joan Kane,  Diem Jones) This panel gathers representatives of five organizations serving writers of color: Cave Canem, Institute of American Indian Arts, Kundiman, Letras Latinas, and Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation. We will discuss best practices and possibilities for collaboration—across organizations; with presses, residencies, and university affiliations; and beyond. Panelists will discuss how partnerships promote cross-cultural solidarity and foster organizational sustainability, growth, and inspiration. Excellent panel and worthwhile topic.

Room M100 J, Mezzanine Level
S158. Teaching Translated Texts in the Writing Program. (Nadia Kalman,  Geoffrey Brock,  Elizabeth Harris,  Douglas Unger,  Russell Valentino) Creative writing programs incorporate the reading and study of literature, but often focus on English-language writers. Four writing professors, all of whom translate, talk about teaching international literature in their programs. Panelists discuss the use of various works and writers and their respective literary traditions; consider pedagogical approaches to language, style, narrative conventions, and subjects; and reveal how their own work as writer/translators informs their teaching. Important subject for exposing students to more world literature.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 200 B&C, Level 2
S175. From the Thickets of Translation: How and Why We Should Teach Contemporary World Literature in the Creative Writing Classroom. (Jia Oak Baker,  Ravi Shankar,  Forrest Gander,  Wayne Miller,  Carolyne Wright) In the 21st century, any conversation about literature must expand beyond the Western tradition, reflecting the globalization intensifying around us. But the MFA classroom is often limited to the same few canonical examples of international writers. Join editors from highly acclaimed anthologies of contemporary world literature as they discuss pedagogical strategies and the necessity for enlarging the perspective used in classrooms today by infusing new voices into the conversation. Similar and important topic on world lit in the MFA.

Room L100 D&E, Lower Level
S193. Writing into the World: Memoir, History, and Private Life. (Honor Moore,  Carolyn Forche,  Catina Bacote,  Alysia Abbott,  Garth Greenwell) Memory drives memoir, but it can take writing to realize that while we thought we were just living, history was unfolding. Contemporary memoir has been ridiculed as MEmoir, but where would history be without the testimony of individuals, whose memories of “how it was” bring into focus, add nuance, even contradict received accounts? Even what seems private is subject to the dynamics of political, economic, and cultural change. How do we bring the larger world into our autobiographical writing while retaining the intimacy of the personal voice and affirming the uniqueness of each life? Strong panel in the memoir area.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Auditorium Room 1, Level 1
S197. Disappearance and Forgetting: Geeshie Wiley and Last Kind Words Blues, A Lecture by Greil Marcus, Sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. (Robert Polito, Greil Marcus) In 1930 a blues singer and guitarist named Geeshie Wiley recorded a song that opened up the deepest crevices of the American imagination. Then she fell off the map. While recent research has, for the first time, tracked the outlines of her life, she remains in the mist—and in this talk, the song writes the singer's adventures in the long years after she once spoke in public to describe life as she knew it. A conversation with Poetry Foundation president Robert Polito follows. Greil Marcus is a fascinating speaker and thinker.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Auditorium Room 1, Level 1
S229. Keeping Our Small Boat Afloat: A Tribute to Robert Bly, Sponsored by Blue Flower Arts . (Tom Verner,  Tony Hoagland,  Marie Howe,  Jill Bialosky) A tribute to honor and celebrate the life and literary work of groundbreaking poet, writer, translator, storyteller, and cultural critic Robert Bly. Bly has changed the American literary landscape with pioneering translations of Neruda, Transtromer, Machado, Hafez, and Rilke. His own poetry permeates the space between the conscious and unconscious, and finds rich meaning in mythology. An icon of American letters, Bly's many awards include the Frost Medal. He has lived in Minnesota for 80+ years. Great group of readers to honor a seminal poet/translator.

Room 101 F&G, Level 1
S235. Revisiting Highway 61. (Mark Conway, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Dessa, James Allen Hall ) Fifty-five years after Minnesota’s native son Bob Dylan came down from the Iron Range on Highway 61, four poets will respond to his pervasive influence. They will read their own work and explore how it reflects and deflects powerful elements in Dylan including Blake, the blues, the Bible and the North Country. How can you have AWP in Minnesota and not talk about the immortal Bob D.?

Room 205 A&B, Level 2
S242. Speculating Darkly: A Poetry Reading . (Bianca Spriggs,  Keith Wilson,  Kenyatta Rogers, Ladan Osman,  Airea Matthews) Taking its title and spirit from a series of essays written by poet Roger Reeves (published on the Poetry Foundation's "Harriet the Blog"), and subsequent reading series curated by poet and visual artist Krista Franklin, "Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future," is a poetry reading that features some of the Midwest's emerging African Diaspora writers who focus on the Black Fantastic, the Grotesque, the Afro-Surreal, the Gothic, the speculative, and science fiction. Looks like a strong reading. Make sure you hear Ladan Osman.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Room 211 A&B, Level 2
S277. Persimmon Tree Poets Read. (Wendy Barker, Chana Bloch, Tori Derricotte,  Sandra M. Gilbert, Fleda Brown) A reading by poets featured in past issues of Persimmon Tree: An Online Journal of the Arts for Women Over Sixty, a magazine that has showcased many of the most significant women poets of our era. The founding poetry editor and current poetry editor will also briefly review the history and direction of this highly successful journal that now reaches 12,000 unique readers each month from across the globe. Good group. I’ve heard Alicia Ostriker might read Chana Bloch’s poems, since Chana is recovering from an illness.

Room M100 H&I, Mezzanine Level

S283. Everything I Know about Poetry I Learned from Li Po and Tu Fu: The Influence of Classical Chinese Poetry . (John Bradley, Sam Hamill,  George Kalamaras,  Ken Letko) Once, Li Po was stepping over a puddle, and a wood splinter fell from his shoe sole into the water, making ripples that will be felt at this AWP Conference. These ripples, in fact, have formed Modernist poetry. Join the conversation so you can practice splitting firewood by moonlight. Good topic and panel.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

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