Posted by on 22 January 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Edited on Feb 4 and Feb 6 to add: In the wake of the US Government’s new travel bans (now currently on hold), I am angry and saddened about those who won’t be able to go to the 2017 AWP Conference and Bookfair in Washington, DC, as well as those attendees whose travel to the conference has been compromised. After giving some thought to a boycott, I will be attending the conference. For those who are going too, you may wish to attend a Candlelight Vigil for Freedom of Expression on Saturday 11 Feb that is being co-sponsored by a range of writing organisations. I also call on the AWP to take a more public and proactive stance in opposing these deplorable bans.

Next month, I’ll be heading to Washington DC for the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference. I’m appearing in a panel and also giving a reading (the perfect literary conference/festival workload for me) and I’m really looking forward to both.

First up, on Friday Feb 10 is a panel that I’ve organised. I’ve never organised an AWP panel before but I had a prospective panel topic that I really wanted to see discussed, so I decided to submit a proposal and was delighted to have it accepted. Thanks to Trish Salah for the initial inspiration for the topic, LGBTQ Caucus for their help (shoutout to Miguel M. Morales and Tiff Ferentini, in particular), and David Groff for the panel proposal edit!

Here are the details:

Bringing LGBTQ Folk Forms into Our Literature

Friday Feb 10, 12pm-1:15pm
Room 208AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

Zines, feminist spoken word, drag performance, public restroom stall writing and art, Polari, and even 1950s and 1960s men’s physique magazines are among the folk forms that infuse LGBTQ writing. How can we reappraise these less celebrated forms and draw on them to energize the words we write today? This panel’s writers—invigorated by engagements around race, immigration, DIY and queer punk ideologies, gender nonconformity, and other considerations—show how we can re-imagine and recast these vital forms in our own work.

Speakers: Adam Atkinson, Derrick Austin, Tom Cho, Sassafras LowreyMichelle Tea (see bios for all participants at the Facebook event)

Sounds great, right? I’ll be moderating and will give a presentation of my own. I’ll be discussing the art of Tom of Finland and its influence on my work. (Note: Juliana Delgado Lopera was originally slated to be on the panel but had to withdraw. Although Juliana is still listed in the conference program, the excellent Adam Atkinson has stepped in instead.)

The next day, I’ll be giving a reading. The reading is an off-site event that is free and open to the public, and it has been programmed by the amazing writer and curator Michelle Tea. Look at that line-up! I am honoured to be included. I will almost certainly be reading some work from my novel-in-progress.

Here are the details:

This is Queer: Lit Spectacular at AWP

Saturday Feb 11, 8pm-11pm
The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road NW, Washington, D.C.

FREE

An epic queer literary event.

Featuring:

Imogen Binnie – Nevada
Jericho Brown – The New Testament
Alexander Chee – The Queen of the Night
Tom Cho – Look Who’s Morphing
Lucy Corin – One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses
Melissa Febos – Abandon Me
Holly Hughes – Memories of the Revolution
Tennessee Jones – Deliver Me From Nowhere
Eileen Myles – Chelsea Girls
Morgan Parker – There are Things More Beautiful Than Beyonce
Hosted by Michelle Tea – Black Wave

Facebook event details here. This event is not affiliated with AWP.

That’s it for now, but here’s a heads-up: on March 10, I’ll be appearing in an online panel for the Lambda LitFest and Noted Writers Festival (this is a joint event). The panel will be on March 10, 6-7pm Pacific Time (which is 9-10pm Eastern Time, and March 11, 1-2pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time). I’ll post the details soon, once they’re available.

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