Sam Houston State University MFA reading + Conversant

November 11, 2015

Happy to be reading Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in Sam Houston State University’s Peabody Memorial Library (adjacent to Austin Hall) as part of the MFA program’s on-going reading series.


Also, if you haven’t checked out the recent issue of The Conversant, November’s issue features Brian Teare with Christy Davids; Rosebud Ben-Oni with Matthew Salesses on his new book, The Hundred-Year Flood; Stacy Szymaszek with Matt Longabucco; Lynarra Featherly with Stacey Tran and Travis Meyer of Poor Claudia; Jane Joritz-Nakagawa with Bill Berkson; my interview with Maria Miranda Maloney of Mouthfeel Press; Mathew Timmons & Ben White’s The People: Episode 32 with Kristin Cammermeyer & Claire Rifelj; Andy Fitch’s interview with Nightboat author Andrew Durbin. Check it out at

28 Days Later and Other Nightmares on What Terrifies Us

October 31, 2015

In the spirit of Halloween, Rosebud Ben-Oni​ wrote about badass Naomie Harris in the film 28 DAYS LATER for The Kenyon Review & asked me, Brian Kornell​, Malcolm Friend, Darrel Alejandro Holnes​, Raina Leon, Robin Ford, Jameson Fitzpatrick & Chen Chen​ to share what terrifies us. Happy Halloween!  Check it out here:

cream city review panel & Milwaukee’s Best reading at Steel Pen Writers’ Conference

October 10, 2015

In Indiana at Steel Pen Writers’ Conference with Ryder Collins, Ann Stewart McBee, Dawn Tefft, all former editors of cream city review, to chat about tips for submitting to literary journals, 10:20-11:30am (Beethoven Room, Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza). Catch us reading Milwaukee-themed work tonight, 8:30-10pm (Grand Metropolitan East 4)! Full schedule & info below,

Getting over the Transom: Tips for litmag acceptances from former editors of cream city review: Ching-In Chen, Ryder Collins, Ann Stewart McBee, and Dawn Tefft

In this panel, past editors of cream city review will discuss the do’s and don’ts of literary magazine submission generally as well as through the lens of their own publication’s aesthetic. The Milwaukee-based biannual, non-profit journal is devoted to publishing work that pushes the borders of literature. cream city review features fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, visual art, author interviews, and reviews of contemporary literature.

Milwaukee’s Best: A Reading
Ching-In Chen, Ryder Collins, Ann Stewart McBee, and Dawn Tefft

A pack of writers with ties to Milwaukee – all have lived in the city on the lake and all have served in an editorial role at cream city review –will bring their Miltown flavor to you. What makes Milwaukee great? It’s a place on the lake; it’s a place in our hearts. Come hear us share some Milwaukee love and words with you.

Open Mic, Armstrong – Writers of all genres invited!

Failure to Identify Poetry Patio Party with María Miranda Maloney & new issues of The Conversant

September 5, 2015

Dear friendlies,

I finished my PhD! And moved to Houston, Texas to teach poetry and literature at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.  Lovelies and local artists/writers John Pluecker & Jorge Galván Flores are hosting a poetry patio party for myself and another writer newly moved to the area.  Info below.

And The Conversant is fully up and running after a summer hiatus.

Check out our most recent issues at

September’s issue of The Conversant is live! This month’s conversations include Freesia McKee with Anja Notanja Sieger & La Prosette on typewriting performance; Open House presents: Housten Donham with Fred Moten; Rosebud Ben-Oni with CantoMundo poets Diego Báez, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, J. Michael Martinez, Juan Morales and Octavio Quintanilla on {Power} Ballads; Andy Fitch with John Sakkis as part of an oral history of Nightboat Books; Mathew Timmons and Ben White’s The People with Troll Thread; Randall James Tyrone with Dan Beachy-Quick on his Essay Press book, A Quiet Book; That’s My Tattoo: a poetics conversation with Elisa Gabbert and Chris Tonelli, and Vernacular Visions: Brandon Freels with Justin Clifford Rhody.

August’s issue features conversations & interviews with Grace Shuyi Liew with Ginger Ko on feminist poetics, the poetry community’s sexism & Coconut Book’s recent hiatus; Laynie Browne & Julie Carr on their Essay Press chapbooks; The People’s Mathew Timmons & Ben White with Tom Comitta & Suzanne Stein; Rosebud Ben-Oni with JP Howard as part of Intersecting Lineages; Open House presents Madison Davis with Brittany Bill-Meyer Finn; Brandon Som with KAYA Press author Nicholas Wong; Jim Goar with Andre Baggoo; Andy Fitch with Nightboat author Daniel Borzutzky; Philip Metres with Stepan Brand; & Maria Anderson with Jennifer Kwon Dobbs on her Essay Press book.


Failure to Identify Poetry Patio Party: María Miranda Maloney & Ching-In Chen

Saturday September 5, 2015
Back Patio of Jorge and JP’s House, Houston TX (since this is a private residence, I’m not going to publicly post their home address — but send an e-mail to chinginchen [at], if you’re interested in coming and don’t know the address)

María Miranda Maloney & Ching-In Chen have just moved to our beloved alligator-infested, petrochemical-infused, swampy Texas Gulf Coast bayoulands. The days are a little shorter, but the summer sun is still burning the banana leaves. Come out and meet María and Ching-In, welcome them to the area and hear their amazing poetry.

We’ll be with the philodendrons, the castor bean tree, and the aloe veras on the back patio of our home for this event. It’s BYOB. Feel free to bring a drink or a snack or an extra chair. Feel free to bring friends and invite other people, but it’s our house so make sure they’re sweet.

And we’d love if you’d stick around and chat and hang out afterward. Let’s have some fun together. Not another Houston art-and-run event. Pull up a chair and stick around a while.

More info on the poets:

Maria Miranda Maloney is the founder of Mouthfeel Press and author of The Lost Letters of Mileva. She is the educational outreach organizer for the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum. She is the current poetry editor for BorderSenses. Maloney has an MFA in Bilingual Creative Writing from UT El Paso.

Ching-In Chen ( is author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and have been a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. They are senior editor of The Conversant and have served on the Woodland Pattern board, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and as editor-in-chief of cream city review.

More info on the Failure to Identify Series (from JP):

This is the ninth event of an Occasional, Itinerant, Sporadic, Vagabond, Versatile, Irregular, Incidental, Intermittent, Roundabout, Accidental, Stray, Raro, Combustible series of arts & writing events. For the moment, the series is called Failure to Identify.

Since May 2012, I’ve been experimenting with creating spaces for innovative, interdisciplinary & risk-taking writers & artists to perform for Houston publics. Usually these events feature writers from out-of-town, though sometimes with local folks too. Sometimes the work pushes at the boundaries of the “reading” format. Since there is no institutional or academic funding (and I have no desire to institutionalize or non-profitize anything), the series has no fixed schedule and is super-occasional and super-dependent on happy coincidences and friendly, willing participants. Events have been held on the back patio of Kaboom Books or at other times in conjunction with local organizations like Art League, Project Row Houses, Fotofest and more. This will be the first time we have the party at home. Previous events have included:

May 2012: Let the Ponies Have Plenty of Room
June 2012: Jen Hofer & Javier Huerta
August 2012: Janice Lee & Anna Joy Springer
September 2012: TC Tolbert & Boston Davis Bostian
November 2012: Douglas Kearney
January 2013: Marco Antonio Huerta, Minerva Reynosa, Sara Uribe, and Lupe Méndez
March 2013: Rosebud Ben-Oni and Stalina Villarreal
March 2014: The Gender Book, Madsen Minax & CA Conrad

(Note to the note: As mentioned above, this series is now called Failure to Identify. It’s a crime in the U.S. to not identify yourself and it seems like somehow the work featured in this series has navigated the treacherous waters of (dis)identification, refusal and failure. The series was unnamed for a long time, but now I am liking this name more and more. It seems big and spacious and un-identifiable. In the past, I have given priority to just organizing the events, rather than naming what these events are. However, I have contemplated numerous names: Unzoned, Unnamed, As-Yet-Unnamed-But-Really-Quite-Lovely, before tentatively settling on this one: Failure to Identify.)

Windy Hill Release Party @ University of Wisconsin-Waukesha Library!

May 4, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015: Reading at the Windy Hill Release Party, noon at UW-Waukesha Library! Also, excited to share/chat about some of the work forthcoming in Cream City Review‘s genrequeer folio with an Intro to LGBTQA Studies class I’m visiting.


The 37th annual Windy Hill Review is going to the printers! The official release party will be noon on May 4th in the UW-Waukesha library!

The event will be co-sponsored by the Pride Alliance, and there will be a reading by the fantastic poet Ching-In Chen, some light refreshments, and copies of the magazine will be available. Students and community members are welcome!

~ * ~ About the Speaker ~ * ~

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009) and a genderqueer and multi-genre writer. Born of Chinese immigrants, they are a Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow and a member of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundations writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston, as well as helped organize the third national Asian Pacific American Spoken Word and Poetry Summit in Boston. Chen is also the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009).

Chen’s poetry has been featured at poetry readings across the country, including Poets Against Rape, Word from the Streets, and APAture Arts Festival: A Window on the Art of Young Asian Pacific Americans. Their work has been published in anthologies and journals including Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, A Face to Meet the Faces: an Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, Quarterly West, Court Green, Indiana Review, Diagram, Iron Horse Literary Review, and BorderSenses. They have won an Oscar Wilde honorable mention for “Two River Girls,” a poem from The Heart’s Traffic.

Their poem-play “The Geisha Author Interviews,” also from The Heart’s Traffic was nominated for a John Cauble Short Play Award. Chen has also been awarded residencies and fellowships from Soul Mountain Retreat, Vermont Studio Center, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Paden Institute, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Norman Mailer Center, Ragdale Foundation and Can Serrat.

A graduate of Tufts University, Chen earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside and is currently completing a PhD program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

MA Poetry Festival, Can Serrat, Image Text Ithaca, Woodland Pattern blog, Poets & Shoes, Essay Daily, Queer Mentors, Original Plumbing, Conversant

May 2, 2015

Lots of news to catch up on!

The biggest for me is that I’m finishing up my PhD program at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this May and saying goodbye to my Milwaukee community shortly and my time as editor of cream city review. A big thank you is in order for my committee members, my wonderful chair, Brenda Cárdenas and the rest of my committee members, Dr. Sukanya Banerjee, Dr. Cary Costello , Dr. Mauricio Kilwein Guevara, and Dr. Kumkum Sangari.

Where you can find me:

1) The Poetics of Construction at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival

Saturday, May 2nd, 12:15pm – 1:15pm

Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts 01970

As contemporary life fragments around us, poetry becomes radical site of construction. Word by word, poets construct new realities from the material of language and thought. For poets of color, queer poets, working class poets, this work is not only radical, it is lifesaving.

We present Asian American poets engaging a range of poetics an evoking a wide scope of concerns. Taking as a starting point the Peabody Essex Museum’s collections, we will delve into what we construct and how—from the history of New England’s involvement with the Asia trade and the construction of the idea of “Asia,” to an ecopoetics that questions the construction of the “natural” in relationship to race and technology, to meditations on the construction of interpersonal relationships and the body. We ask what it means to perform the act of construction today and how we deconstruct toward creating new, more useful constructions.

Featured panelists include Cathy Linh Che, Chen Chen, Ching-In Chen, Sally Wen Mao, Annie Won, and Tamiko Beyer. Sponsored by Kundiman. 

2) Can Serrat in June 2015:  I’ve been awarded a full stipend residency at Can Serrat in El Bruc, 40 minutes outside of Barcelona and excited to be there in June!

3) Image Text Ithaca Workshop and Symposium at Ithaca College, July 5-10, 2015

The Symposium is open to the public: We are excited to announce the final roster for our July 9-10, 2015 Image Text Ithaca Symposium at Ithaca College. We’re looking forward to an energetic, intimate and unorthodox symposium – two days of serious fun – and we hope you will be able to join us! There are opportunities to attend this year’s Symposium, register for the undergraduate Practicum, or take a 1-credit Internship with us this summer. 

The ITI Symposium will explore creative, publishing and curatorial work by an international roster of artists.  Organized around a series of presentation, readings, and conversations, the Symposium features established and emerging practitioners working at the intersection of writing and photography, both individually and through collaborative practice. Presentations will be made by this year’s senior and junior fellows: Lucas Blalock, Bruno Ceschel, Charlotte Cotton, Christine Hume, John Keene, Claudia Rankine, Ben Alper, Daniel Augschoell & Anya Yasbar, Andre Bradley, Ching-In Chen, Tonya Foster, Jen Hyde, Suzanna Zak; and by special seminar presenters, including: Maria Damon, Jason Fulford, Tamara Shopsin, Matvei Yankelevich, Federica Chiocchetti.

Opening event: Thursday, July 9, 4:30p

Symposium Presentations: Friday, July 10, 9a-5p

Closing event: Friday, July 10, 7pm


Where you can find my work recently:

4) Thanks to Ngoho Reavey and Michael Wendt for featuring some of my poems (and Wisconsin poets) on the Woodland Pattern blog.

5) Thanks Aimee Nezhukumatathil for curating this fun Poets & Shoes Tumblr for poetry month! You can check out what poets like Lee Ann Roripaugh, Jenny Johnson, Dilruba Ahmed, January Gill O’Neil, Ifrancine Ij Iharris, Rigoberto González, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Ross Gay & R.A. Villaneuva are reading & wearing. Here’s mine.

6) Thank you to T Clutch Fleischmann for interviewing me about queer essay lineages & the zuihitsu as part of a Queer interview series on Essay Daily.

7) Letters to Our Mamis y Papis: Love for Queer Mentors: Thank you Loma for making space to celebrate each other & queer mentors! Beautiful to see Eduardo C. Corral, Griselda Suarez, William Johnson, Ocean Vuong, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Norma Elia Cantu, Phillip B Williams, Kazim Ali, L. Lamar WIlson, Fatimah Asghar, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Danez Smith, Arisa White, CA Conrad & more invoking & invoked on The Best American Poetry blog!  & thank you to Madeleine Lim & Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project for the brilliant community work you do!

8) Thank you to Amoc Mac for including me in The Lit Issue of Original Plumbing, alongside Kit Yan, Cooper Lee B, TC Tolbert, Eli Clare, Samuel Ace, Emerson Whitney & many more!


9) If you haven’t checked out our recent issues of The Conversant, here is our most recent content. We’ll be going on summer hiatus and will be back up in August with new content!

April’s issue of The Conversant features: Woodland Pattern: Freesia McKee with Danez Smith; Caleb Beckwith with Christopher Vandegrift; Megan Milks with Gina Abelkop; Krystal Languell with Rachel Levitsky; Sharmila Lisa Cohen with Joshua Daniel Edwin; Ivy Johnson with Emji Saint Spero & Joel Gregory of Timeless, Infinite Light; ManifeStation Goes to Iceland: Anaïs Duplan; Mathew Timmons & Ben White’s The People: Episodes 20, 21, 23 (with Ariel Evans, Carol Cheh, Nicolas Shake, Sarah Williams, Stacey Allen & Tommy Dodge); Jane Satterfield with Adrianne Kalfopoulou!

May’s issue of The Conversant is live, featuring Virginia Grise with Sharon Bridgforth on River See & Theatrical Jazz; “How the Whole World Crashes Into Silence”: Open House’s Cosmo Spinosa Housten Donham Interviews Joseph Massey; Black Rhythm & Chhoti Maa on Hip Hop from Puerto Rico to Califaztlan; Mathew Timmons Ben White‘s The People: Episode 24 with John Zane Zappas & Lindsay Preston Zappas; Mg Roberts Timothy Yu on Nests and Strangers & the Asian American Avant-Garde; Andrea Rexilius & Anne Waldman with Margaret Randall (a tease for a new Essay Press chapbook). We’ll be going on a summer hiatus & be back in August with fresh content!

AWP: where you’ll find Ching-In (LitinColor, cream city review, VONA)

April 8, 2015

Dear friendlies attending AWP &/or in Minneapolis,Where I’ll be for the next few days:

Thursday, April 9:

11:15-11:30a Reading for #LitinColor brought to you by Tia Chucha Press, Writ Large Press and KAYA Press — and all about celebrating Writers of Color at Booth 1711 in the Bookfair, alongside many fabulous authors & editors!  Check out for the full schedule & more info: send a #LitinColor postcard to anyone you want with the name of your favorite Writer of Color, postage on us!

4:15-5p At the cream city review table at the Bookfair (126)!  Come get special subscription & issue deals & other fun goodies!

Friday, April 10:

9-10:15 At the cream city review table (126)!  Come get special subscription & issue deals & other fun goodies!

12-1:15 p cream city review Celebrates Returning the Gift Native American Writers.
Room M100 H&I, Mezzanine Level. (Kimberly Blaeser, Janet McAdams, Margaret Noodin, Laura Tohe, b: william bearhart)

In 1992, 500 years after Columbus, more than 300 Native American writers gathered at the first Returning the Gift Festival, bringing together more Native writers than at any other point in history. cream city review celebrated the legacy of this now annual gathering with a special issue entitled “Returning the Gift: Indigenous Futures.” Please join us for our Gathering of Words with a poetry and fiction reading from emerging and established Native American writers published in this issue.  We’ll have Returning the Gift issues at the panel & at the cream city review table (126)

7-9pm cream city review, with Devil’s Lake and Linebreak Off-site reading

612Brew – 945 Broadway St, NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Kimberly Blaeser, Lo Kwa Mei-En, Rickey Laurentis, Solmaz Sharif, Corey Van Landingham, Ocean Vuong

Saturday, April 11:

9-10:15am  At the cream city review table (126)!  Come get special subscription & issue deals & other fun goodies!

12-2pm At the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation Table #1107.  Come visit us to learn about this multi-genre writing workshop for writers of color!

2:45-4:15pm  At the cream city review table (126)!  Come get special subscription & issue deals & other fun goodies!

8pm Reading as part of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation/Generation One reading Saturday night, April 11 at The Loft (1011 Washington Ave, Minneapolis), 8pm with Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adele, Jennifer Derilo, Jeffrey Renard Allen, Grace Lee, M. Evelina Galang, Melissa Sipin, Minal Hajratwala, Tanuja Jagernauth, David Mura, Vanessa Martir, Achy Obejas & Charles Rice Gonzalez.

& Those Who Don’t Survive? at &NOW 2015 Blast Radius conference Fri, March 27!

March 26, 2015

Join Soham PatelCarina Gia & me for a collaborative, improvised performance focused around this question: “can we migrate from our fates?” This takes place during &NOW 2015 Blast Radius conference @ CalArts (F200), this Friday, March 27, 2:30-3:45pm!

& Those Who Don’t Survive?

The waste of ourselves: so much meat thrown at the feet of madness or fate or the state.” – Gloria Anzaldua

Can we migrate from our fates? As descendants of liminal communities, we practice diasporic poetics. Can such improvised, junked and scrapped histories be archived? Using these questions as prism and seed, our collaboration will be informed by our creative and scholarly pursuits. It will traverse multiple threads, such as transgenerational trauma, fragmented historical narratives as well as notions of exile, ghosts and monstrosity. We plan to amass, dismantle and disperse scraps of our (un)recorded histories in the cities (neighborhoods, seas, streets) we inhabit, and in the various cities and non-cities invoked as memories, monsters or ghosts. Additionally, we will consider relevant historical texts as well as other re-presentations of historical events, including absent, unwritten, overheard narratives and (ir)retrievable re-collections. Our project will be comprised of a multi-media installation and culminate in a collaborative performance. As a part of the &Now conference, we will choreograph part choral intervention, part carefully calibrated improvisation with a focus on collecting histories with whoever is in the room, (however temporarily) in exile from their lives. It is our intention to engage the audience in a structured improvisational score in order to create a communal text, illuminating refractions and investigating mutuality within the collaborative process.


Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and was a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Soul Mountain Retreat, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review’s editor-in-chief, senior editor of The Conversant, and serve on the board of Woodland Pattern.

Soham Patel is a Kundiman fellow. Two of her chapbooks, and nevermind the storm (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs), and Riva: A Chapter (kitchen-shy press) came out in 2013. Her work has been featured at Fact-Simile Editions, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly and various other places. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Carina Gia Farrero, writer and interdisciplinary performer, is a PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a co-founding member of the dance/theater company The Turnbuckles and the poetry-collective Poetry for the People, and a member of the performance-collective, Sister Spit. One of her plays was produced as part of Performing Arts Chicago, and her work has appeared in Verse Daily, Windy City Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast, Arsenic Lobster, The Encyclopedia Project and elsewhere. In 2008, two of her poems were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. When she’s not writing, she’s collecting strays from the side of the road.

This takes place during &NOW 2015 Blast Radius conference @ CalArts. More info about the conference here:

Voices of the Middle West 2015 Bookfair: A Celebration of Writers & Independent Presses!

March 21, 2015

Cream City Review‘s all set up at Voices of the Middle West 2015 Bookfair: A Celebration of Writers & Independent Presses! We will be here until 5pm on the East Quad at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor! Stop by our table for special book fair discounts on issues featuring Midwest writers & more!

Thinking Its Presence: The Racial Imaginary: Race & Creative Writing — Baraka poems//Poetics of Anguish, Gender & Variant Constructions//Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation Dismantle reading

March 13, 2015


Now in its second year, Thinking Its Presence: Race, Literary Study, and Creative Writing examines innovative creative writing and scholarship that re-thinks the complex and inseparable links between literary forms and the racialized thinking, processes, and histories that have shaped this country since its founding. The conference brings together the discipline and teaching of creative writing with perspectives from critical race theory, poetics, performance studies, literary theory, literary history, ethnic literatures, and Native American and Indigenous studies. We intend to foster a dynamic exchange among creative writers and scholars. To that end, the conference will include readings, panels devoted to scholarship, and panels devoted to critical discussion of pedagogies and institutional practices.

The title of this conference comes from scholar Dorothy Wang’s book Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry (Stanford University Press, 2013). Wang’s book makes the larger case “that aesthetic forms are inseparable from social, political, and historical contexts when it comes to the writing and reception of poetry.”

I’ll be participating in three events at the conference:

1) Amiri Baraka: Responding to an SOS: A Conversation with Paul Vangelisti (Friday, March 13, 3:45pm – 5:00pm, UC 333)

I’ll be reading some Baraka poems with Ed Pavlic & Metta Sama during a conversation with Randall Horton & Paul Vangelisti

2) On the Poetics of Anguish, Gender, and Variant Constructions (Saturday, March 14, 11-12:50pm, UC Theatre)

Soham Patel, Ching-In Chen, Bhanu Jacasta Kapil & MG Roberts

Can violence, the bifurcation/trifurcation of gender, and the line speak to impossibilities of saying and arrival? Is monstrosity’s fluidity and multiplicity contained in a poetry’s body? Do the pathways of grammar, our variant/queer/violent/diasporic sentences/lines/sounds–reflect the risks and failures of our experiments? In this conversation, Ching-In Chen, Bhanu Kapil, Soham Patel and Mg Roberts investigate gender and its constant relation to a non-resolution and to anguish by exploring the self’s push against structures of possibility, grammar, and the body itself.

3) Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation Reading (Saturday, March 14, 3:45-5pm, UC Theatre)

Rae Paris, Ching-In Chen, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela & Kenji Liu

The VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, founded by Elmaz Abinader, Junot Díaz, Victor Díaz, and Diem Jones in 1999, is the only workshop in the U.S. dedicated to the aesthetics of writers of color. In 2014, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela of Thread Makes Blanket Press published Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop. Dismantle brings together voices of writers of color from VONA
workshops across the years, alumni and faculty. Join us as we read writing from the anthology, and as we talk about the important role of Thread Makes Blanket Press in publishing.

The first ever VONA/Voices anthology, Dismantle, includes creative work from established and new authors who have either taught at VONA, or are alumni of the program. In spring 2014 the New York Times re-published a version of Junot Díaz’s introduction in Dismantle in which he discusses his experience in his predominantly White MFA program. While many of us have been having conversations about the overwhelming Whiteness of MFA programs (faculty, students, curriculum), Díaz’s essay encouraged a larger conversation about the overall lack of racial and ethnic diversity in
these programs. Dismantle’s importance in bringing together the voices of writers of color, and in highlighting the work of VONA/Voices of Our Nation and Thread Makes Blanket Press cannot be underestimated.