Saturday, February 22, 2014

Finding Feminist in Upcoming Split This Rock Poetry Festival

In the pre-frenzy of getting ready for the Associated Writing Program Convention and Book Fair that the Steiny Road Poet is attending within days of this post, she wants to alert those reading her Tender Buttons posts of an upcoming event next month.

March 27-30, 2014 in Washington DC

Here are some highlights that might appeal to experimental poetry enthusiasts who are also invested in feminist ideas:

Thursday March 27

11:30am – 1pm

Citizen Poet Queer: Building a Blueprint for LGBTQ Cultural Activism

Julie Enszer, David Groff, Charles Flowers, Donika Ross
Human Rights Campaign, Room 1

Storytelling and personal witness in poetry—as well as personal essays, op-eds, articles, blogs and advocacy journalism—are potent tools for cultural transformation. How can you find your voice and then raise it in the movement for social justice? This panel explores how the power of your poetry—and the informed passion of your prose—can challenge the norms of the LGBTQ community and the larger culture and help engender a more honest and authentic society. Offering specific strategies, guidelines, and venues for reaching readers both queer and straight, this panel will give poets the adaptable blueprint we need to engage in activist cultural citizenship through our poems—both performed and on the page—our poetry activism, and our literary, social, narrative, and political writing, as we seek to make art that opens hearts and changes lives.

4:00 – 5:30pm

Claiming History: Writing Cliophrastic Poems

Marilyn Nelson, Kim Roberts, Dan Vera
Human Rights Campaign, Room 3

Clio, the Muse of History, inspires us to revisit, reinterpret, and reclaim. This work is particularly important for people who have been historically oppressed or underrepresented in cultural narratives: women, GLBTQ people, people of color, and those who come from ethnic or religious minority groups. In this roundtable, three writers who have specialized in historical poems as a means to uncover and reclaim will read examples of their work, and discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of writing about American history. We will explore the sometimes conflicting needs of art and fact, and distribute a “recommended reading” list.

Friday, March 28

2 – 3:30pm

 Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence

Laura Madeline Wiseman, Khadijah Queen, Jennifer Perrine, Kimberly L. Becker, Sarah A. Chavez, María Luisa Arroyo, Ann Bracken, Elliott batTzedek, Carol Quinn, Tyler Mills, Angele Ellis, Rosemary Winslow, Margo Taft Stever, Jane Satterfield, Monica Wendel, Carly Sachs
Charles Sumner School, Room 102

Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013), edited by Laura Madeline Wiseman, views poetry as a transformative art. By deploying techniques to challenge narratives about violence against women and making alternatives to that violence visible, the over one hundred American poets in Women Write Resistance intervene in the ways gender violence is perceived in American culture. Poets of resistance claim the power to name and talk about gender violence in and on their own terms. Indeed, these poets resist for change by revising justice and framing poetry as action. This reading will include a brief introduction by the editor and feature poets reading their poems and others from Women Write Resistance.

Saturday March 29

11:30am – 1pm

From Transgressive to Divine Feminine: Female Poets as Rebels and Miscreants

Wendy Babiak, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Hila Ratzabi, Seema Reza, Metta Sáma, Arisa White
Human Rights Campaign, Room 1

Six female poets explore the interrelated problems faced by humankind: climate change, xenophobia, misogyny, and war. From Islamophobia to the trafficking of women in Mexican border towns, we explore what it means to write as women caught between a “divine feminine”—whether lyrical or sacred—and a harsh reality in which she is outsider, rebel, miscreant. A Q&A session will follow, engaging the audience with their own experiences and definitions of what it means to be a woman poet in the 21st century, and which issues they believe most critical in confronting their own work.

4:30 – 6:00pm

 FEATURED READING – National Geographic Auditorium

DC Youth Slam Team Member Lauren May
Claudia Rankine, Eduardo C. Corral, Myra Sklarew, Gayle Danley

The Steiny Road Poet will be blogging Split This Rock Poetry Festival so meet her there.

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