9:00 AM – 9:20 AM
- Introduction to the conference
- Overview of the schedule
- Welcome from keynote speaker, Ravynn K. Stringfield, author, columnist, and scholar.
Session 1 | 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Hidden Languages: Discovering the Multilingual Poem
Hosted by Mia Leonin
In this workshop, participants will read and write multilingual poems. The premise is that we each possess multiple lexicons based on culture, identity, birthplace, work experience, and interests and that harnessing these can lead to more authentic and dynamic poetry.
Curse Words, Dirty Talk, and “Bad” Grammar: How Policing of Language Shapes Our Identities as Writers
Hosted by Naylet Leon
What is bad language? Who determines it? How does it shape us as writers? These aren’t easy questions but ones that should be discussed because our identities as writers are shaped by what we have been taught about language—that there is a good and a bad side to it. This craft talk seeks to unpack these questions so that we may further explore how “good” and “bad” words have impacted our identities as writers.
Session 2 | 11:00 AM – 12:15 AM
Break on Through to the Other Side: Unpacking the Myth of Writer’s Block
Hosted by Vicky Santiesteban
We will explore the myth of writer’s block and engage in writing activities that help us “break on through to the other side.”
OwnVoices Brainstorming: Mining Our Lives and Experiences to Create Stories and Poems
Hosted by Alexandra Alessandri
In this interactive session, children’s author and poet Alexandra Alessandri will lead attendees through brainstorming exercises that focus on using our cultural backgrounds and lived experiences as a well of material for stories and poems. Attendees will engage in a series of exercises that will result in viable ideas for future projects.
Session 3 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
The Storytelling Laboratory: Building Digital Spaces for Writing Experiments
With Ravynn K. Stringfield
Not knowing what to expect out of a graduate school experience allowed Ravynn K. Stringfield to build it as her personal storytelling laboratory. From her time blogging about the realities of her Ph.D. program on Black Girl Does Grad School and tweeting her way into affirming Black woman academic circles, to pursuing publication in independent magazines and acquiring representation for her fiction, experimentation enabled Ravynn to write herself into academia—and in many spaces beyond.
Our keynote speaker will lead participants in a one hour craft talk and reading followed by a Q&A session.
Session 4 | 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM
Happy Hour & Reading
In celebration of a day well spent, bring your favorite dessert, and join everyone for a reading. Attendees and facilitators can share their work either previously written or inspired by today’s events.