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AWP: My Would-be Itinerary

By Javier Huerta

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 12
8:00a.m. R100. Conference Registration. Attendees who have registered in advance may pick up their registration materials at AWP’s pre-registration desk on the lower level of the Hilton Chicago. On-site registration badges are available for purchase at the 8th Street side of the lobby level.


9:00-10:15 R112. The Aphorism: Life Is Short, Art Is Really Short. (Patrick Madden, Mary Cappello, Sara Levine, James Richardson, Steven Stewart) Somewhere between poetry and essay, the aphorism is an ancient literary form that celebrates observation, speculation, subversion, and idiosyncrasy. Panelists discuss the vitality and versatility of this shortest of literary forms, offering theoretical frameworks, translations of contemporary work, reading suggestions from the Renaissance to the present, brief readings of their own “unconnected propositions,” and advice for teaching, writing, and publishing aphorisms today.
10:30-11:45 R135. Revising Modernisms: Innovative Latino Writing in the 21st Century. (J. Michael Martinez, Antonio Viego, John-Michael Rivera, Gabe Gomez, Jennifer Reimer) We will investigate what constitutes innovative U.S. Latino writing through an analysis of the cultural conditions that gave rise to the “innovative.” What role does the Latino play in the understanding of “innovative” writing? How is its aim changed by the U.S. Latinos participation in its aesthetic? We will explore these questions through Lacanian theory, an analysis of Modernism and its heirs (NY School, Langpo, etc.) that includes the U.S. Latino, and the methods employed by publishers of innovative U.S. Latino writing.
Noon-1:15 R139. Diverging Lines: Understanding the Evolution of Contemporary Latino Poetry. (Blas Falconer, Rosa Alcalá, Gina Franco, Peter Ramos, Rodrigo Toscano, Robert Tejada) Although Latino poetry has a strong foundation in American literature, emerging writers are complicating the aesthetics of the canon by drawing on movements (i.e., Language Poetry, New Formalism) and communities (i.e., Gay and Lesbian, African American) outside their own. The panelists will explore the intersection between aesthetics and ethnicity, helping to define the foundation and the evolution of Latino poetry.
1:30-2:45 pm R155. Multiformalism: Postmodern Poetics of Form. (Susan M. Schultz, Hank Lazer, K. Silem Mohammad, Annie Finch) Language poetry meets new formalism at last, and the poems fly! Editors and contributors to a daring new multicultural, multiaesthetic anthology talk about where poetry is headed now.
3:00-4:15 R184. Lyric Selves and Global Imperatives: Toward a Poetics and Ethics of Encounter. (Luisa Igloria, Marjorie Agosin, Christine Casson, Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, Andrew Kaufman, Vivian Teter) This panel will discuss the formal and ethical concerns poets must engage with when the individual lyric self confronts the urgency of a global world and its imperatives. How is a poetics of encounter to be practiced and defined as the self ventures from a personal and experiential mode of saying toward a more representative utterance that would seek to translate others’ voices or stories, re-vision historical accounts, or give voice to displaced, marginalized or vanishing peoples, forms, and landscapes?
4:30-5:45pm R195. Inclined to Speak: Arab American Poets Reading. (Philip Metres, Khaled Mattawa, Hayan Charara, Elmaz Abinader, Fady Joudah, Deema Shehabi) In celebration of the publication of Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry, six Arab American poets—Elmaz Abinader, Hayan Charara, Fady Joudah, Khaled Mattawa, Philip Metres, and Deema Shehabi—read from the anthology and their latest works, engaging in the questions of being Arab and American in a post 9/11 world.
6:30PM-8:30PM
Con Tinta Celebration

Location: COCO Restaurant, 2723 W. Division St, CHICAGO 60622
Cost: Free Buffet / Cash Bar
Website: http://www.cocochicago.com/
Fourth Annual Pachanga for the Chicano/Latino Literary community and its allies. Event will include special recognition of Patti Hartmann, presentation of Achievement Award to Carlos Cortez, and readings/tributes by Carlos Cumpian, Lisa Alvarado, and Ray Gonzalez. For more information, contact Richard Yañez (ryanez4@epcc.edu).
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13
9:00-10:15 F103. Book Contracts. (Anita Fore) Anita Fore, Director of Legal Services for the Authors Guild, will offer attendees her expert advice on reviewing a book contract and the key points for negotiating with publishers. She will review the important clauses routinely found in traditional as well as academic publishing agreements, such as copyright, royalties, and out of print provisions.
10:30-11:45 F127. Shameless Promotion: Get the Book to the Readers. (Marisha Chamberlain, Margaret Hasse, Todd Boss, Jon Spayde) Your book is out—now you’ve got to promote it. Yes, you. At many small presses, the publicity budget is minute. At big publishers too, authors must take an active role. Two poets, a novelist, and a nonfiction writer with books out in 2008 from Norton, Nodin, Soho, and Random House describe strategies they’ve used to garner readers: book tours, book clubs, personal publicists, and the Web—virtual tours, using a site to build buzz, getting a good Google position, networking with blogs, and more.
12:00-1:15 F149. Louder Than Words: Poetic Renunciation in the Lives & Work of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Arthur Rimbaud, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and George Oppen. (Christina Davis, Joy Katz, Donald Revell, Susan Wheeler, Spencer Reece) By reflecting upon four distinct acts of “elected silence” in literary history, this panel considers poetic renunciation as a philosophical, spiritual, and/or aesthetic choice and explores what these decisive silences suggest about the ideal relationship between language/writing and truth/conviction. What can we (in pursuit of poetry) learn from this equal and opposite action of abstaining from it?
1:30-2:45 F165. After Magical Realism: New Adventures in U. S. Latino Literature. (Elena Minor, Fred Arroyo, John-Michael Rivera, Gina Franco, Aaron Michael Morales, Paul Martinez Pompa) Magical realism opened a natural door to the rich, imaginistic narrative traditions of Latino cultures and offered Latino writers a license to fly with language in its infinite possibilities. This panel examines the legacy of magical realism through the prism of new and innovative Latino writing and how Latino writers are crossing and erasing literary borders to bend, stretch and reshape the forms, structures, content, and tenor of Latino literature to create meaning in fresh, singular ways.
3:00-4:15 F177. New Poetry from Chile, Cuba, and Mexico: A Reading. (Daniel Borzutzky, Roberto Tejada, Jen Hofer, Kristin Dykstra, Brian Whitener, Laura Solozano) This event brings together experienced translators of contemporary and innovative Spanish-language poetry from Latin American. Each participant will read work in translation; moreover, they will provide a social, political, and literary context for the original works, as well as the translations.
4:30-5:45 F199. The Country They Come From: Polish-American Writers Read about the Midwest and Poland. (John Guzlowski, Anthony Bukoski, Linda Foster, John Minczeski, Leslie Pietrzyk) Polish-American writers have been writing in and about the Midwest for a 150 years. They have written novels, travel narratives, poems, songs and memoirs that commemorate the Midwest while memorializing the country these writers or their ancestors came from. Five recent Polish-American writers will demonstrate that this tradition is very much alive and vital.
6:00PM-7:30PM PALABRA PURA: Special Edition
Location: JAZZ SHOWCASE, 47 W. Polk St., Chicago 60605
Cost: Free/Cash Bar
Websites: http://www.jazzshowcase.com, http://guildcomplex.org
Following up on the multi-voiced reading hosted by ACENTOS in NYC last year during AWP, the Guild Complex, Letras Latinas, and Poetry Magazine will be hosting a “One Poem Festival” featuring an ample roster of Latino and Latina poets from Chicago and out of town, including: Lisa Alvarado, Carlos Cumpian, Silvia Curbelo, Gina Franco, Gabe Gomez, Irasema Gonzalez, Maurice Kilwein Guevara, Gabriela Jauregui, Olivia Maciel, Carl Marcum, Valerie Martínez, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Achy Obejas, Daniel A. Olivas, Johanny Vasquez Paz, Paul Martinez Pompa, Linda Rodríguez, Jacob Saenz, Jorge Sánchez,Juan Manuel Sanchez Rich Villar. For more information, contact Ellen Wadey (ellenw@guildcomplex.org)
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 14
9:00-10:15 S109. Qualifying for University Employment in Creative Writing. (Paul Munden, Steve May, Patricia Ann McNair, Kathy Flann, Helena Blakemore) A panel of experienced program leaders and teachers of Creative Writing debate the ideological, ethical and pragmatic aspects of the questions: if you’re hiring, what do you ask for in university Creative Writing faculty; and if you’re applying for posts, what qualifications should you have, what should you know, and what should you be able to do?
10:30-11:45 S126. Speaking Of and To Others: Beyond the Western Apostrophe in Intertribal Poetry. (Molly McGlennen, Simon Ortiz, Kimberly Blaeser, Diane Glancy, Sherwin Bitsui) Do shared commitments of Native American writers to cultural, liguistic, political, and physical survival inform a unique creative process? This panel considers the possibility of an Indigenous Poetics and the embodied consequences of poetry in Native communities. Within what contextual “frame” do Native American poets craft, publish, or perform their work? Is an Indegenous Poetics, discrete from or parallel to the Western tradition, implied in the creative work itself? Panelists incorporate readings to showcase important creative/critical confluences.
12:00-1:15 S144. Bad Poems by Great Poets: Where They Went Awry, What We Can Learn. (Roy Jacobstein, Laura Kasischke, Margaret Rabb, Greg Rappleye, Robert Thomas) Whether our favorite poets are O’Hara or Dickinson, Stevens or Plath, Berryman, Ashbery or Wright, they wrote some poems that are almost parodies of their great poems. We inquire out of an interest in craft, not schadenfreude: how did they write poems so flat, sentimental, boring? Do the bad poems teach us how to read the good? Rather than comparing apples to oranges, we will use these poets as their own control, contrasting to see what makes one of a pair of poems, and only one of them, great.
1:30-2:45 S161. The Writer in the Community: Taking Creative Writing from the Campus to the People. (Taylor Fleming-Henning, Katie Stutzman, Sharlene Gliman, Jason Whitney, Stephanie Pyle, Ashley Kunsa) Social activist, humanitarian, public intellectual: this is the new role of the writer. MFA students in Julia Spicher Kasdorf’s class at Penn State lead creative writing groups for new English speakers, high-schoolers, teens at a shelter, and residents of a public nursing home. This panel discusses the challenges of teaching creative writing outside of academia, describes the logistics of setting up similar programs, and offers practical lesson plans for each population.
3:00-4:15 S175. Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature. (Daniel Olivas, Manuel Muñoz, Kathleen Alcalá, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Estella GonzÁlez) Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press, 2008) is a landmark anthology spanning sixty years of Los Angeles fiction that includes the work of thirty-four Latino writers. We’re introduced to a myriad of lives that defy stereotypes and shatter any preconceptions of what it means to be Latino in the City of Angels. These actors perform on a stage set with palm trees, freeways, mountains, and sand in communities from East L.A. to Malibu, Hollywood to the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach to El Sereno.
4:30-5:45 S202. Breach: Emerging U.S. Latino and Latina Poetry. (J. Michael Martinez, Gabe Gomez, Carmen Gimenez-Smith, Rosa Alcalá, Roberto Tejada) In an extension of AWP New York’s Avant Garde Latino/a Poetry Panel, this group of emerging poets is a sampling of some of the most ambitious and innovative Latino and Latina voices in the US. Rather than focus on the theories and varying aesthetic practices that directly affect Latino literature, these writers will present a new and progressive body of poetry that attempts to redefine contemporary Latino and Latina literary traditions.
6:30 “Love on the Line” Poems About Love
Location: Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor
Cost: Free admission
Website: http://poetrycenter.org
Poets Cynthia Atkins, Frank Bidart, Kurt Brown, A. Van Jordan, Paul Muldoon, Elise Paschen, and Robert Polito read selections from their work. Co-sponsored by The Poetry Center of Chicago, The Writing Program, and The Department of Exhibitions at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Comment (1)

  • On February 9, 2009 at 11:56 am john guzlowski wrote:

    Javier, I hope that you can come to our session on Friday (The Countries They Come From), but if not we are doing a related presentation at the Polism Museum of America on Milwaukee Ave at 6pm, Thursday, Feb 12.


Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, February 9th, 2009 by Javier Huerta.