ADFEMPO: Advancing Feminist Poetics & Activism
Am just back from the first day of the Belladonna ADFEMPO conference at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The opening plenary got off to a late but energizing start. (It didn’t start so late that I should have arrived home at 2 AM this morning in the back of a police car. But here I am. Not in the police car anymore but at home, in the after burn of that experience. I’d never ridden in a police car before tonight. Can't say that it's something I ever imagined doing. Those back seats are surprisingly stiff, collapsible I’m guessing. The officers were kind, gentle even, and took care to get me home after a bullying cab driver met the stubbornness my family often asks me to keep in check. But I work for a living too…)
ADVANCING FEMINIST POETICS & ACTIVISM
So, the conference—ADFEMPO has drawn together a remarkable and wildly ranging crew of writers and thinkers. The conference takes place over two days at CUNY GC, Thursday, September 24th, and Friday, September 25th. Thursday's opening plenary started a bit late as we sorted through the tech difficulties, consolidating the audio/visual components of the opening plenary onto one windows-running Macbook. As the chair of the opening panel, which featured Meta DuEwa Jones, John Keene, Julie Patton, and Evie Shockley, I was excited about the opportunity to pick up threads of various conversations that I’ve had one-on-one with each of these writers. The chance for us to puzzle through a few things in a group conversation. (Next time I’ll make sure to emphasize the import of open and opening conversations between and among the panel and the audience, between the us that is made. We had an hour to cover years worth of territory, so were a bit rushed. The second panel of the afternoon was chaired by Laura Elrick and poets Ammiel Alcalay, Cathy Park Hong, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zolf. The final plenary consisted of readings and performances by Kathleen Fraser, Erica Hunt, and Eileen Myles. They were a wonderful and nourishing mix of voices that brought questions of belonging, family (made and chosen), bodies (sex and sexed), waste and the wasted, and what words do. This weekend, I’ll post more detailed comments, some of the conference remarks, as well as audio and video clips.
Day two begins later this morning at 10 AM. Here’s a link to the impossible and terrific conference schedule: http://belladonnaseries.org/adfemposchedule.html
Participants spotted on the Program and in Thursday’s audiences. Emily Abendroth, Ammiel Alcalay, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Emily Beall, Dodie Bellamy, Caroline Bergvall, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Tamiko Beyer, Cecilia Biagini, Julia Bloch, Pamela S. Booker, Susan Briante, Lee Ann Brown, Laynie Browne, Louis Bury, David Buuck, Angela Carr, Margaret Carson, CAConrad, Ching-In Chen, Mónica de la Torre, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Sarah Dowling, Rachel Blau DuPlessis,Marcella Durand, Kate Eichhorn, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Laura Elrick, Zhang Er, Marilou Esguerra, Jennifer Firestone, Dahlia Fischbein, Kass Fleisher, Kathleen Fraser, Corey Frost, Sarah Gambito, Rosario Garcia-Montero, Nada Gordon, Dana Greene, Monica Hand, Duriel Harris, Carla Harryman, Jeanne Heuving, Kythe Heller, David Henderson, Laura Hinton, Jen Hofer, Cathy Park Hong, Christine Hume, Erica Hunt, Brenda Iijima, The Institute for Domestic Research (IDR: Jacqueline Leggat, Catriona Strang and Christine Stewart), Laura Jaramillo, Meta DuEwa Jones, Angela Joosse, Bhanu Kapil, erica kaufman, John Keene, Dulcinea Lara, Ann Lauterbach, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Rachel Levitsky, Majena Mafe, Jill Magi, Anna Moschovakis, Laura Mullen, Eileen Myles, Bob Perelman, Michelle Naka Pierce, Janet Neigh, Hoa Nguyen, Mendi Lewis Obadike, Akilah Oliver, Tom Orange, Justin Parks, Soham Patel, Julie Patton, Sandra Payne, Tim Peterson, Vanessa Place, Kristin Prevallet, Sina Queyras, Joan Retallack, Evelyn Reilly, Margaret Rhee, Kim Rosenfield, Jennifer Russo, Trish Salah, Metta Sama, Kaia Sand, Jennifer Scappettone, Tyler T. Schmidt, Gail Scott, Francie Shaw, James Sherry, Evie Shockley, Sally Silvers, Laura Smith, Linda Sormin, Leah Souffrant, Jane Sprague, Patricia Spears Jones, Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël), Christine Anne Stewart, Stephanie Strickland, Michelle Taransky, Torino: Cecilia Biagini, Dahlia Fischbein, Rosario García-Montero, Rodrigo Toscano, Jacqueline Turner, Chris Tysh, Divya Victor, danielle vogel, Anne Waldman, Christine Wertheim, Kathy Westwater, Simone White, Ronaldo V. Wilson, Rita Wong, Lila Zemborain, Rachel Zolf, Steven Zultanski
Tonya M. Foster was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and raised in New Orleans. She earned a BA from Newcomb College, Tulane University, and an MFA from the University of Houston. Foster is the author of the poetry collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court (Belladonna*, 2015) and coedited the book Third Mind:...