Tongue at AWP 2013, Boston

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs is holding its annual conference in Boston on 6-9 March, 2013. Poets, translators, and artists who have been a integral part of Tongue’s first two issues will be reading, speaking, and performing across all four days at panels and performances both on-site and off-site. Here’s a schedule of where we’ll be (sometimes trying to be at two or three places at once).

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10:30am-11:45am: Breaking Silence: The Interior Life of the Poet. In Homage to Adrienne Rich. (Melissa Hammerle, Marie Howe, Kimiko Hahn, Kathleen Graber, Malena Mörling) The work of Adrienne Rich has reshaped the landscape of American poetry by engaging language as cultural, political, and gendered construct. Of silence and voice, she wrote, “Every real poem is the breaking of existing silence, and the first question we might ask any poem is, What kind of voice is breaking silence, and what kind of silence is being broken?” In honoring Rich’s legacy, we consider her reflections on silence as a call for authenticity in our work as poets – Room 207, Level 2

10:30am-11:45am: Copper Canyon Press in Translation. (Michael Wiegers, John Balaban, Tomás Q. Morín, Geoffrey Brock, Forrest Gander) During the past forty years, Copper Canyon Press has foregrounded the art of translation as intrinsic to the vitality of contemporary poetry. From Vietnamese to Spanish, Italian to Chinese, the Press consistently makes a place in readers’ lives for the shadow art of translation – Room 210, Level 2

12pm-1:15pm: Translation as the (Re)Creation of Voice and Self. (Melissa Hammerle, Malena Mörling, Wei Shao, Mark Schafer, Jill Schoolman) The art of translation implies a reinvention of text and voice in the context of a newly created linguistic landscape. This panel considers the challenges of literary translation from a range of perspectives, including the ways in which identity is reframed when translating a personal narrative and how questions of form and sensibility are reimagined in the translation of contemporary poetry and fiction. The challenges inherent in publishing world literature in English will also be explored – Room 309, Level 3

1:30pm-2:45pm: From the Hen House: A Red Hen Press Reading. (Peggy Shumaker, Eloise Klein Healy, Katharine Coles, John Barr, Andrew Lam, Brynn Saito) For nineteen years, Red Hen Press has been publishing exceptional poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. Red Hen authors read from their newest collections – Patricia Olson Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Hall A, Plaza Level

1:30pm-2:45pm: Copper Canyon Press: The Next 40 Years. (Matthew Zapruder, Brenda Shaughnessy, Valzhyna Mort, Lisa Olstein) During the past four decades, the world of publishing and the world of poetry have changed significantly. The future of one of America’s most distinguished publishers of poetry, Copper Canyon Press, looks bright, as is evidenced in this reading by some of the most exciting poets currently writing. Speaking from a variety of backgrounds and styles, these poets point to the eclecticism and vitality of Copper Canyon as it looks forward to the next forty years of publishing great poetry – Room 302/304, Level 3

4:30pm-5:45pm: Mantra: “When I am Sad, I Sing Remembering”: Ruth Stone (1915–2011). (Kandace Brill Lombart, Abigail Stone, Phoebe Stone, Bianca Stone) This session honors the artistic life of celebrated poet Ruth Stone, Pulitzer Prize nominee, with the participation of her daughters and granddaughter. Writers and artists Abigail and Phoebe present retrospectives of their unique mother/daughter artistic collaborations; poet-publisher Bianca exemplifies the third generation influence of her grandmother’s literary legacy. This event includes a brief overview presented by Stone’s bibliographer, Kandace Lombart, and a reading of Stone’s poems by her family – Room 202, Level 2

4:30pm-5:45pm: Poems Sprung from Granite. (Laurie Zimmerman, Ewa Chrusciel, Alice Fogel, Jeff Friedman) Donald Hall says he always writes about death, sex, and New Hampshire. New Hampshire, though small in the sense of being northern and rural, remains a poetry nerve center for New England. The panelists will read their poems and comment on regional inspiration in their work, which include major NH literary influences, such as, Frost, Hall, Kenyon, Kumin, and Simic – Room 105, Plaza Level

5:00pm: Diode & Blackbird Offsite Reading featuring Traci Brimhall, Andrea Cohen, Erica Dawson, Tarfia Faizullah, Bob Hicok, Jamaal May, Catherine Pierce, Liana Quill, Brynn Saito, David Wojahn, C. Dale Young – Sweetwater Tavern 3 Boylston Place, Boston

8:30pm-11:30 pm: Intersecting Lineages Off-site Reading: Poets of Color Cross-Community Collaboration Featuring Indigenous, African American, Arab American, Asian American and Latina/o poets engaging in creative exchange and solidarity across racial and ethnic communities. The purpose of this event is to showcase and strengthen ongoing work between these communities, including efforts by community organizations dedicated to nurturing emerging writers from these communities such as Cave Canem, Kundiman, Canto Mundo, and RAWI and Institute of American Indian Arts. Readers include Elmaz Abinader, Kazim Ali, Bryan Bearhart, Tamiko Beyer, R. Erica Doyle, Carolina Ebeid, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Tarfia Faizullah, Santee Frazier, Alison Adelle Hedge Coke, Joan Kane, Doug Kearney, Bojan Louis, Juan Luis Guzman, Farid Matuk, Philip Metres, Marilyn Nelson, Deborah Paredez, Soham Patel, Khadijah Queen, Luivette Resto, Afaa Michael Weaver, Andre Yang. MCs: Sherwin Bitsui, Celeste Guzman Mendoza, Hayan Charara, Ching-In Chen, and Kevin Simmonds – at make/shift, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA. More info at

9:00am-10:15am: Here Far Away: Translation and Distance. (Anna Deeny, Valerie Mejer, Raúl Zurita, Daniel Borzutzky) This panel joins Raúl Zurita, Valerie Mejer, Daniel Borzutzy and Anna Deeny, poets and translators from Chile, Mexico and the US. Through bilingual readings of poetry and short essays, we will explore translation as a practice that seeks to presence distance, maintaining it as an open and primal force, rather than engaging it as a circumstance to be lessened or overcome – Room 210, Level 2

10:30am – 11:45am: Intersecting Lineages: Poets of Color Cross-Community Collaboration (Ching-In Chen, Sherwin Bitsui, Celeste Guzman Mendoza, Hayan Charara, Kevin Simmonds) Inspired by collaboration between organizations mentoring poets of color (Cave Canem, Kundiman and Canto Mundo), poets from indigenous, African American, Arab American, Asian American and Latina communities will discuss creative exchange and solidarity amongst writers of color and their communities on this panel. Poets will read work by ancestor poets considered outside of their self-identified communities and talk about how their work benefits from this productive hybrid fertilization – Room 209, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

10:30am-11:45am: Role and Impact of International Anthologies. (Kaveh Bassiri, Kevin Prufer, Nathalie Handal, Geoffrey Brock, Pierre Joris) Anthology editors are confronted with common concerns, including chronological or thematic organization, the securing of copyrights, and the payment of royalties. For international anthologies, these issues are further complicated by such considerations as introducing a foreign culture and the role of translation. The editors on this panel will share their aesthetically diverse approaches and address a range of topics from legal matters to such cultural concerns as the role of canonization – Room 108, Plaza Level

10:30am-11:45am: Whose Literary Traditions? The Workshop and Ethnocentrism. (Kristiana Kahakauwila, Alex Espinoza, Nami Mun, Susan Shultz, R.A. Villanueva) Most university creative writing workshops presume that the western canon is the central source for exemplary literature. However, for a student whose work is not born from this tradition, the assumptions of realism and originality that pervade most workshops can be foreign to, or even at odds with, the student’s vision. In this session, panelists discuss curriculum that allows student work to be criticized and strengthened on its own terms, whether or not it’s part of a mainstream aesthetic – Room 204, Level 2

1:30pm-2:45pm: What Poets Learn When They Translate. (Zack Rogow, Idra Novey, Chana Bloch, Bill Zavatsky) Poets discuss what they learn from the writers they translate and from the process of translation. Chana Bloch’s translations include The Song of Songs and books by Yehuda Amichai and Dahlia Ravikovitch. 2011 National Poetry Series winner Idra Novey has translated Clarice Lispector and Paulo Henriques Britto. Zack Rogow’s translations include Breton, Colette, and George Sand; and collaborations from Urdu and Romanian. Bill Zavatsky has translated Breton, Desnos, Larbaud, and Gomez de la Serna – Room 204, Level 2

3:00pm-4:15pm: Translation as the Ultimate Act of Sympathy: International Perspectives on Creative Process. (Hélène Cardona, Nathalie Handal, Willis Barnstone, Martha Collins, James Ragan) How do you capture the essence and music of a poem in translation and remain faithful to the original? Working with Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese, this panel’s poets, translators, and scholars discuss their roles as technicians, interpreters, and alchemists working between languages to create inspired texts that reach across cultures, maps, and eras, and reflect the human psyche, giving both cultures the opportunity to see one another through a different lens – Room 209, Plaza Level

3:00pm-4:15pm: The Freedom to Write: Writers, Politics, and Propaganda. (Pireeni Sundaralingam, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman , Yibing Huang [Mai Mang], Idra Novey) As censorship and human rights violations escalate around the world, we bring together poets, novelists, essayists, and journalists to discuss how writers face harrowing obstacles to free expression, and how they continue to be instrumental to regime change around the world. Featured speakers will draw on their personal experience of writing in various places, including China, Sri Lanka, Chile, and the prison systems of the US, among others – Room 309, Level 3

4:30pm-5:45pm: The Divided Heart: Writing Far From Home. (Sandra Yee, Eduardo C. Corral, Ishion Hutchinson, Valzhyna Mort, Jane Wong) Emerging poets, as children of immigrants or as transnationals themselves, examine the personal and professional complexities of writing in a system that takes them further from their roots, even as they write of their roots. Sharing their works and experiences, these writers interrogate their own upward mobility and conflicts in writing about their cultures, including the politics of representation/translation, personal displacement, and inability to bring their work home – Room 101, Plaza Level

4:30pm-5:45pm: Russian, Jewish, Polish, and American Poets in Translation: Cultural Contexts. (Ewa Chrusciel, Fanny Howe, Tony Brinkley, Danuta Borchardt, Danuta Hinc) How do we carry the impulse of the original into an American idiom? How to translate the semblance of felt life? Fanny Howe presents her translation of Polish sisters Henia and Ilona Karmel who wrote in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Toney Brinkley addresses translation as dybbuk in the example of Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva. Three other presenters discuss Polish poets Norwid, Szymborska, and Milosz in translation into English, as well as American poets Hejinian and Graham in Polish – Room 303, Level 3

7:00pm: MONK BOOKS and WONDER present an AWP off-site reading at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston–a 15 minute walk from the convention center. Come in from the cold for some holy and unholy readings by Ana Božičević, Andrew Durbin, Ben Fama, Tom Healy, Lucy Ives, Dorothea Lasky, Bianca Stone, M.A. Vizsolyi, Rebecca Wolff. Hosted by Ben Pease. More info at

8:00pm-1:00am: No Thousands, Part 2: Join WAVE BOOKS, McSWEENEY’S, and BLACK OCEAN for a night of readings, music, cocktails, food, and dancing – readers Dan Chelotti, Rauan Klassnik, Dorothea Lasky, Rebecca Lindberg, Hoa Nguyen, Geoffrey Nutter, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson will be joined by the musical stylings of PINK THUNDER (Michael Zapruder). Dancing to follow. Food, full bar, and craft cocktails. Be there or be square – Church of Boston Restaurant & Lounge, 69 Kilmarnock Street. More info at

9:00am-10:15am: Arab American Writing in the 21st Century: A Reading and Discussion. (Randa Jarrar, Alicia Erian, Hayan Charara, Glenn Shaheen) Four award-winning Arab American writers will present rich, multilayered, and quintessentially American poems, essays, and fiction. Writers will discuss topics such as the burden of responsibility post-9/11 versus post-Arab Spring, whether Arab American literature is seen through an anthropological rather than a literary lens, and the dangers and rewards of writing about family – Room 207, Level 2

10:30am-11:45am: Poems from the Garnet State: A Celebration of Connecticut Poets. (Clare Rossini, Benjamin S. Grossberg, Ciaran Berry, Dennis Barone) On the occasion of the publication of Weslyan University’s Garnet Poems: An Anthology of Connecticut Poetry Since 1776, four Connecticut poets, including the anthology editor, will explore the role of place in the Connecticut literary tradition. How have Connecticut poets figured their state’s landscape and culture—and how has that landscape and culture shaped these poets? We will examine the work of historical and contemporary poets, including Gilman, Sigourney, Stevens, Twichell, and Deming – Room 104, Plaza Level

10:30am-11:45am: We Are Homer: A Reading of Collaborative Poetry and Prose. (Ryan Teitman, Traci Brimhall, Laura Eve Engel, Adam Peterson, Brynn Saito) In this reading of poetry and prose, two pairs of writers (Traci Brimhall & Brynn Saito and Laura Eve Engel & Adam Peterson) will read from their collaboratively written works. Ryan Teitman will also read from a set of poems cowritten with Marcus Wicker. After the reading, the writers will discuss their writing process, how they came together to write collaboratively, and the challenges and joys of writing with a partner – Room 303, Level 3

10:30am-11:45am: The Art and Craft of Short-Form Nonfiction. (Sarah Einstein, Joni Tevis, Brian Oliu, Chelsea Biondolillo) Can you write an essay in 140 characters? In 750 words or fewer? And can you get it published once you have? Join the managing editor of Brevity, two authors of short-form collections, and a graduate student working in this exciting new form as they share techniques and strategies for writing and marketing short-form nonfiction—from the lyric to the expository – Room 111, Plaza Level

1:30-2:45pm: Inside Asian American Editing: How Aesthetics and Advocacy Affect Five Editors’ Publishing Decisions. (Allen Gee, Phong Nguyen, Sunyoung Lee, Jennifer Derilo, Tarfia Faizullah) Five editors discuss the aesthetics behind the decisions they make about what books, stories, or essays to publish. Other aspects include: what role does advocacy play in our editing, and how does each editor envision their role in the greater nexus of publishing and racial/ethnic dynamics? The editors will also provide suggestions for correspondence with editors and give submission tips. Time will be allotted for meeting the editors – Room 305, Level 3

3:00pm-4:15pm: Kundiman: 10-Year Celebration of Lovesongs, Verses, and Books (Joseph O. Legaspi, Cathy Linh Che, Matthew Olzmann, Brynn Saito, and Sharon Suzuki-Martinez)
Since its inception nearly a decade ago, Kundiman continues to foster and champion emerging Asian American voices, resulting in multiple book, chapbook, print and online publications by Kundiman fellows. In partnership with Alice James Books, Kundiman also sponsors The Kundiman Poetry Prize, which guarantees annually a book publication by an Asian American poet. Through caring openness and poetic rigor, Kundiman has built a vital, dynamic community that is transforming the literary landscape – Alice Hoffman Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Hall D

4:30pm-5:45pm: CIIS & Mission at Tenth. (Carolyn Cooke, Edie Meiday, Margaret Rhee, Brynn Saito, Pireeni Sundaralingam) Mission at Tenth, the inter-arts magazine of the MFA programs at the California Institute of Integral Studies presents: San Francisco Bay Area writing and the Nexus of Innovation, Culture, and the Inter-Arts. Writers associated with the San Francisco Bay Area literary scene and the CIIS MFA programs in writing, consciousness, and creative inquiry read and discuss genre-defiant work and the zeitgeist, as we see it – Alice Hoffman Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Hall D, Level 2