Ali Noorani talks Immigration and Changing Communities

Ali Noorani talks Immigration and Changing Communities

Immigration and Changing Communities

with Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

Monday, October 22 at 7pm Scuppernong Books

What really drives America’s ongoing immigration debate? To answer this question, Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, interviewed nearly sixty local and national leaders across the nation, finding voices in faith, law enforcement, and business communities to paint a nuanced picture of America that looks beyond the blaring headlines to understand how communities across the country are confronting immigration and the changing nature of the American identity. In There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration, Noorani reaches across the political spectrum to offer a new approach to politics, one that confronts problems and pushes all parties outside of their comfort zone, in order to reach solutions.

Whether describing a pastor speaking to the need to welcome the stranger, law enforcement advocating for Muslim refugees, or a farmer’s wind-whipped face moistened by tears as he tells the story of his farm workers being deported, Noorani helps readers that America’s immigration debate isn’t about policy; it is about the culture and values that make America what it is. Especially now, when we feel our identity, culture, and values changing shape, the collective message from all the diverse voices in this inspiring book is one of hope for the future.

“An essential book to understand the fear, challenges, and opportunities on both sides of the immigration debate. This book, in many ways, explains why Trump won the election and why an honest debate on immigration is urgent. Your neighborhood depends on it.

-Jorge Ramos, Senior News Anchor, Noticiero Univision and America with Jorge Ramos

As its mission, the National Immigration Forum brings together moderate and conservative faith, law enforcement and business leaders to weigh in with media and policy makers in support of practical and commonsense immigration, citizenship and integration policies.

Ali Noorani is a frequent commentator and has appeared on The Diane Rehm Show, MSNBC, On Point, and Marketplace. He is an op-ed contributor to CNN.com, FoxNewsLatino

In Noorani’s Only In America podcast, faith leaders, law enforcement officials, business owners and others speak openly about the way culture, identity, and values are shaping and defining our country, and they offer a constructive way forward in the immigration debate.

 

Immigration Stories, a joint project of Scuppernong Books and the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, will explore the immigration and refugee experience in America through the lens of writing: fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. We’ll highlight the stories of the immigrant and refugee population as well as the issues, especially as they impact and affect the local community. Immigration Stories responds directly to these issues by providing the community with the opportunity to interact and engage in a series of public readings, panel discussions, and conversations with writers, scholars, and their neighbors. For more information, call 336-763-1919.

This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Immigration and DACA on the Ground

Immigration and DACA on the Ground

Greensboro Central Library, Nussbaum Room

October 10 at 7pm

What is the process for applying for asylum or refugee status? What is the process for legal immigration? How long does it take? What does it cost? Which statuses allow a pathway to citizenship and which don’t?

DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been the subject of much controversy since it was instituted by Executive Order in 2012. This policy allows some individuals who were brought as children to the US and who do not have work authorization the ability to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to become eligible for a work permit. DACA does not provide a path to citizenship for recipients and people must meet certain criteria to qualify for renewal. What is DACA and how does it work? Why wouldn’t you apply for DACA?

What does the constantly shifting landscape of immigration policy and practice mean for those in the process?

For Immigration Stories, a joint project of Greensboro Bound Literary Festival and Scuppernong Books, we’ve gathered a panel who deal with these issues every day. Sharon Dunmore and Daniel Karlson are Immigration Attorneys, practicing in Greensboro. Moises Serrano and Maria Cortez-Perez are DACA recipients. For more information on our participants, click here. We’ll be addressing the realities of immigration policy and some of the myths and misinformation surrounding our national immigration conversation. Our panel leads us through the labyrinth.

Immigration Stories will explore the immigration and refugee experience in America through the lens of writing: fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. We’ll highlight the stories of the immigrant and refugee population as well as the issues, especially as they impact and affect the local community. Immigration Stories responds directly to these issues by providing the community with the opportunity to interact and engage in a series of public readings, panel discussions, and conversations with writers, scholars, and their neighbors. For more information, call 336-763-1919.

This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

First Draft on a First Friday

First Draft on a First Friday

 

First Draft is set for Friday, October 5th!  Greensboro Bound invites you to drop by Scuppernong Books at 7 pm for a curated and joyful open mic.
What is First Draft? 
First Draft is a Curated Open Mic. Selected readers, published and not-yet-published, have eight minutes to share works-in-progress.  Audience members can put their name in the First Draft Goblet for an opportunity for 5 minutes at the mic. All genres, all identities, all bodies are welcome. First Draft celebrates imperfect works-in-progress. First Draft celebrates literary community and aims to bring diverse writers together in the same room.  This space is a judgment free zone. 
 
What is a “Curated Open Mic”? 
Curated Open Mic means some readers are pre-selected to read — but there’s space for audience participation at the mic, as well. Greensboro Bound desires to honor writers at all stages of their careers. We hope to bring writers into the the same room who might not otherwise have a chance to connect, and this happens by curating writers from different backgrounds and publishing experience.For more information, email greensborobound@gmail.com. Like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. First Draft is moderated by award-winning spoken word poet, Ashley Lumpkin.

THE READERS

Jason Herndon is a writer of speculative fiction, usually fantasy. He has started a fantasy series, two novels, a novella, and seven short stories. He has finished none of them. A psychologist by day and Black Lightning by night, you can usually find him in Scuppernong Books on Saturday afternoons for Come Write In. Originally from Texas, he now resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife and dog. He is happy to nerd out with you about any number of topics.

 

Alice Lesperance is writer and editor covering pop culture, politics. You can read her writing in Scalawag Magazine, CharlotteMagazine, The Atlantic, and on Autostraddle, Electric Literature, Catapult and more internet places. She is the founder and editor of Shakespeare and Punk, where she’s always on the hunt for sharp cultural criticism with a personal essay slant. Learn more about her here.

Brian Lampkin is a co-owner of Scuppernong Books and part of the band, The Difficulties. He contributes a bookish column to O. Henry magazine. Brian’s book is forthcoming (Spring 2019) from Scuppernong Editions.  He enjoys llama sweaters and anarchist poetry. 

 

PRI Correspondent Patrick Winn is Greensboro Bound

PRI Correspondent Patrick Winn is Greensboro Bound

In Hello Shadowlands: Inside the Meth Fiefdoms, Rebel Hideouts and Bomb-Scarred Towns of Southeast Asia, Patrick Winn creates a portrait of Southeast Asia through the lens of organized crime — a world of narco-barons, vigilantes, motorbike bandits and others caught up in a mad scramble for cash. Organized crime is entering a golden age in Southeast Asia. Though steadily ignored by Western media — which prefers to fixate on Mexican cartels or Sicilian mafia — this sector is exploding. By 2025, the region’s black markets will generate $375 billion per year, more than many Asian nations’ legit economies. Winn will talk about his book and the international drug economy as part of Greensboro Bound’s This Is Your Country on Drugs series.

Patrick Winn is an award-winning investigative journalist who covers crime and black markets in Southeast Asia. He enters the worlds of guerrillas and vigilantes to mine stories that might otherwise go ignored. Winn has received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award (also known as the ‘poor man’s Pulitzer’) and a National Press Club award. He’s also a two-time winner of Amnesty International’s Human Rights Press Awards among other prizes. His writing and short documentaries have been featured on NBC News, the BBC, The Atlantic, NPR and many other outlets. He is a co-creator of the film Hope Frozen, which will screen at international documentary festivals in 2018. Winn has served as a consultant for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN.

The Bookseller says of Hello, Shadowlands: “Not inappropriately billed as Fear and Loathing meets McMafia, this is a compelling expose of Southeast Asia’s criminal underworld, and the dark underbelly of some popular holiday destinations by an award-winning US journalist resident in Thailand…the chapters on Myanmar [are] particularly illuminating.”

Patrick Winn’s appearance is co-sponsored with Scuppernong Books as part of the This Is Your Country on Drugs series, which began in August with Beth Macy’s (Dopesick) appearance and concludes in October with journalist Pam Kelley talking about her book, Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South.

This Is Your Country on Drugs

This Is Your Country on Drugs

A new series, This Is Your Country on Drugs, sponsored by Greensboro Bound, explores the intersection of medicine, business, law enforcement, and money in the American drug epidemic by bringing in the best non-fiction authors and experts.

The series begins on August 15 with author Beth Macy. Macy is the author of the national best sellers, Factory Man, and Truevine: Two Brothers, A Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South.

Macy’s new book, DOPESICK: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America plunges into the opioid crisis in Appalachia, from the early days of Purdue Pharma’s relentless marketing of its new drug OxyContin to an upper middle-class Roanoke suburb where white teenagers begin dying of opioid overdose.

From a single doctor in the poorest region of Appalachia to an ambitious District Attorney committed to holding Big Pharma accountable, from overworked law enforcement and judges attempting to contain the crisis to grieving mothers, splintered families, and strung out children, Macy tells these stories with a clear eye for detail and a searching humanity.

Beth Macy will speak at Scuppernong Books on Wednesday, August 15 at 7pm. Tickets are $30, which includes a hardcover copy of DOPESICK.

On Sunday, September 9 at 3pm, we’ll host Public Radio International Asia correspondent Patrick Winn, who will talk about his book SHADOWLANDS: Inside the Meth Fiefdoms, Rebel Hideouts and Bomb Scarred Party Towns of Southeast Asia.

Patrick will talk about his encounters with traffickers, vigilantes, motorbike bandits and others in Asia. He says, “It’s sort of a true crime book but I argue that the true crime genre too often fixates on deranged minds — whereas, in my experience, most criminals are rational actors in extreme circumstances.” In addition, he’ll discuss how their lives have been warped by geopolitical forces, including past U.S. foreign policy misdeeds.

On Wednesday, October 17 at 7pm, Pam Kelley will be at Scuppernong Books to discuss her book, MONEY ROCK: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South. Pam is a former reporter for the Charlotte Observer who has won honors from the National Press Club and the Society for Features Journalism.

MONEY ROCK is the story of Belton Lamont Platt, eventually known as Money Rock, a shoot-out, a botched FBI sting and Money Rock’s fate at the hands of a judge nicknamed ‘Maximum Bob.’ It’s a deeply American story that will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change—in our lives or as a society—until we reckon with the sins of our past.

Over the next weeks, we’ll be adding more events to the This Is Your Country on Drugs schedule.

Please join us for these fascinating, thought-provoking events. For more information, call 336-763-1919.

 

 

 

First Draft, Take Two

First Draft, Take Two

Greensboro Bound launched a curated Open Mic series, First Draft, in April. The concept behind First Draft is simple: invite a few writers from different stages of their literary careers to read works-in-progress, then open part of the program up to audience members who want to read their works-in-progress. First Draft seeks to build writing community across levels of experience and genres. All writers, all bodies, all folks, are welcome. Perfection is absolutely not required.

Our first evening involved a goblet from which names were drawn for open mic slots. An installation art piece by Michael Thomas hung from the ceiling.  Michael, who just graduated from A&T University, was a featured reader. Other curated readers that evening:  High Point University senior, Lauren Fitch; poet Kate Kehoe; writer Deonna Kelli Sayed; and spoken word poet, Ashley Lumpkin. 

The back of Scuppernong Books transformed into a bonafide literary salon. From the Goblet of Readers came high school students, bloggers, storytellers, poets, and so many more.

First Draft is happening again on Monday, July 9th, at 7 pm, Scuppernong Books. Curated readers for the second First Draft are:

Shannon Jones is a bookseller and mother of two who writes frantically in the spare minutes between parenting and working. Never having ascribed to the idea that art and science are alien worlds, she continued writing fiction while earning her BS in Biology from Appalachian State University. She can usually be found outdoors or behind the counter at Scuppernong Books, where she has been known to press piles of her staff picks upon unsuspecting customers.

 

Ray Whitaker has been writing both prose and poetry since he was seventeen. He has two books published, and two at publishers for consideration. Currently Ray is working on another book, his fifth.  He draws on many of his work experiences in healthcare for inspiration. Ray does readings around the state, and is a member or the North Carolina Poetry Society and The Winston-Salem Writer’s Group. He has thrice been a “Writer-in-Residence” at the Weymouth Center For The Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines, NC.  Learn more about Ray here.

A North Carolina native, Krystal A. Smith (i.e. K.A. Smith) is a Black lesbian writer of poetry and speculative fiction. Her poems have appeared in Tulips Touching (2011) and recent short stories have appeared in Ladylit Publishing’s Summer Love: Stories of Lesbian Holiday Romance (2015) and Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Fiction (2016)Krystal holds an M.A. in English from Western Carolina University, and a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University. She is the author of Two Moons: A Collection of Short Fiction (2018). Twitter: @authorkasmith

 

 

Open Mic slots are available and will be drawn from the Goblet. Open mic readers get 5 minutes. If your name doesn’t fall from the Goblet this time. Don’t worry. First Draft will be a quarterly program.

 

 

Finally Me! is Greensboro Bound

Finally Me! is Greensboro Bound

Near the end of school last year in Guilford County, fourth grader Lily Leach submitted her script to the popular ‘Write Your Own Opera’ contest. The winning entry would be cast, set to music, and performed. The contest, which also carries the name of Barbara Ann Peters, the former executive director of Greensboro Opera, is a collaboration among groups and local professionals who want young people to know that opera can be funny and interesting.

Lily’s story began on the first day of sixth grade for a character named Danyelle, who is sleeping. When her mother comes to wake her, her older sister, Ella, already is dressed and anxious to get to school. As the story unfolds, Danyelle feels the pressure to dance like her sister, who is as graceful as the ballerina they’ve seen in “Swan Lake.” When she dances in a performing arts class, the teacher tells her it doesn’t look as if she is having fun. ‘Finally Me!’ is the story of learning to be yourself in the face of the expectations of others.

David Holley, the director of opera at UNCG, was excited when he discovered Lily’s script among the submissions and immediately began visualizing a production.

He called on composer Mark Engebretson, whom he had previously worked with at Opera at the Carolina productions. UNCG students were cast as the characters Lily had written

For the opera’s big musical score, Engebretson tapped into the popular pop and rock music his own children were listening to — which often included a catchy and repeating hook. The 15 minute opera premiered in February and students were brought in from across the county to see the opera performed at the historic Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro.

Those attending Greensboro Bound will get a chance to see this unique opera on Saturday, May 19 at 1:00 pm in the Van Dyke Performance Space at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center. This performance is free and open to all.

 

 

David Holley, Lily Leach, Barbara Peters, Mark Engebretson

Regional Small Presses are Greensboro Bound

Regional Small Presses are Greensboro Bound

As part of our inaugural  festivities, Greensboro Bound will spotlight five vibrant regional small presses.

You’ll have a chance to meet both the publishers and authors contributing to

the energetic publishing environment of North and South Carolina.

Blair is a new, nonprofit press combining the lists of Carolina Wren Press and John F. Blair, Publisher. They strive to publish quality writing, focusing on authors and subjects historically neglected by mainstream publishers, including women, people of color, authors with disabilities, and LGBT authors. True to their roots in North Carolina, they look to the many voices of the South–and beyond–as sources of work and inspiration. Their most recent publication is the novel Beaut by Donald Morrill.

The Blair Publishing panel will take place on Saturday, May 19 at 4:30 pm in the Nussbaum Room of the Central Library. It will feature publisher Lynn York and authors Quinn Dalton, Jeremy B. Jones, Sara Ficke, Erick Myers, and John Francis Trump.

Bull City Press was born in 2006. They currently publish a small quarterly magazine, Inch, and poetry chapbooks through the Frost Place Chapbook Competition. In 2015, they launched a line of fiction and nonfiction chapbooks when we merged with Origami Zoo Press. One of their most recent titles is Michael Parker’s Everything, Then and Since.

The Bull City Press panel will take place on Saturday, May 19 at 11:15 am in the Nussbaum Room of the Central Library. It will feature Associate Editor Julia Ridley Smith and authors Ellen Bush, Michael McFee, and Emilia Philips.

 

Founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995, Hub City Press has emerged as the South’s premier independent literary press. Focused on finding and spotlighting new and extraordinary voices from the American South, the press has published over eighty high-caliber literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, memoir, and books emphasizing the region’s culture and history. One of their most recent books is Whiskey and Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith, who will be appearing at the festival.

The Hub City panel will take place on Saturday, May 19 at 2:00 pm in the Nussbaum Room of the Central Library. This panel will feature authors Leesa Cross-Smith, Scott Gould, and Thomas McConnell.

Press 53 is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and has been finding and sharing remarkable voices since October 2005. They have earned a reputation as a quality publishing house of short fiction and poetry collections. Press 53 celebrates its 200th title with the publication of NC Poet Laureate Shelby Dean Stephenson’s Our World.

The Press 53 panel will take place on Saturday, May 19 at 3:15 pm in the Nussbaum Room of the Central Library. It will feature publisher Kevin Watson and authors Maura Way, Ray Morrison, Gabrielle Brant Freeman, and Joe Mills.

Unicorn Press was founded in 1966 in Santa Barbara, CA, and in 1972 it moved to Greensboro, NC. By then, it was the sole responsibility of Al Brilliant, who had founded the press along with Jack Shoemaker. Believing that readers should spend at least as much time reading a poem as the poet did writing it, Unicorn has produced poetry in every form: post cards to books: poems as individuals. Today, the press focuses on handbound chapbooks and smaller cohesive sheaves of poetry. Their most recent publication is DAY KINK by Tristan Allen Jih & Adam Vines.

The Unicorn Press panel will take place on Saturday, May 19 at 10:00 am in the Nussbaum Room of the Central Library. It will feature publisher Andrew Saulters and poets Amy Wright, Mark Smith-Soto, and Charlotte Matthews.

 

Greensboro Bound After Hours

Greensboro Bound After Hours

Not only is Greensboro Bound bringing you over 50 programs and over 80 authors in three days, we’ve scheduled exciting and stimulating after hours events on both Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 8:30 pm. Here’s a taste of what you can find at downtown venues after the last speaker of the day. All events are free. Because that’s how we roll.

 

Friday Night, 8:30 pm 

Scuppernong Books

 

Lorena Guillen/Alejandro Rutty

Lorena and Alejandro will be playing City of Webs, music composed by Rutty in collaboration with Michael Basinski based on his poem of the same title.

The set will include pre-recorded sounds, keyboards and voice.

 

The Difficulties

The Difficulties are our hometown favorite ‘anti-meta, neo-beat, electronic garage gospel trio’ comprised of Mark Engebretson, Brian Lampkin and Rachel York.

 

Triad Upstage Cabaret

An Engaging Evening of Words with Josephus III

As a performance artist, Josephus displays his talents in a variety of venues including museums, galleries, universities, corporate settings and stage productions. He has performed for Oprah, opened for Kanye West and Floetry, shared stages with The Last Poets, traveled to Australia, London, Seoul, and South Africa as well as back and forth across the United States.

 

 

Saturday Night, 8:30 pm

Scuppernong Books

 

The Cloud Diary Music Project

Prior to publication of his novel, Cloud Diary, Steve Mitchell put out a call for musicians to respond to short scenes from the book. Nineteen musicians responded with twenty five original pieces of music. Laurent Estoppey and many others will be on hand to perform, with occasional short readings by Mitchell between songs.

 

Triad UpStage Cabaret

From Page to Stage, Ashley Lumpkin and Friends

Ashley Lumpkin is a Georgia-raised, Carolina-based writer, editor, actor, and educator. She is the author of three chapbooks, {}, At First Sight, Second Glance, and Terrorism and Other Topics for Tea, and one full-length collection,#AshleyLumpkin. She’ll be joined by Angelo ‘Eyeambic’ Geter, Monifa (SelahthePoet) Lemons, Morgan Renae Myers, and Jay Ward, to deliver some of the best performance poetry in the country.

 

Greensboro Project Space

 

Chris Stamey is a singer, songwriter, and record producer, as well as a founding member of the dB’s and the author of A Spy in the House of Loud.

He’ll have a conversation with music writer Eddie Huffman, followed by a short performance.

 

9:30 pm

The music of John Prine and Bars and Blues music played by a number of musicians, in conjunction with Eddie Huffman’s biography of John Prine, John Prine: In Spite of Himself, and Emily Edwards’ book Bars, Blues, and Booze: Stories from the Drink House.

Greensboro Bound Panels Focus on Diversity

Greensboro Bound Panels Focus on Diversity

When the Greensboro Bound Author Selection Committee began meeting in August 2017, we had the conscious purpose of creating a festival which included diverse voices across gender, race, sexual orientation, and economic category.

What does it mean to write, and to read, from within a marginalized community in today’s America? How can writers meet the challenges presented by the publishing industry and world around them? What does it mean to be an artist and a member of these communities?

This series of panels will explore these questions, and more, from a variety of perspectives.

Undocupoets Panel

Saturday, 11:15 am Hyers Theater, Cultural Arts Center

“Early in 2015, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Javier Zamora, and I founded the Undocupoets Campaign. We noticed that many first book prizes in the United States required their applicants to be U.S. citizens. We started a petition, signed by various people in the literary community, asking that undocumented poets be allowed to apply for these contests. The Undocupoets Campaign did lead to more open submission policies, but it did not put an end to discrimination against undocumented poets in many capacities. There is still work to do.

In the summer of 2015, Southern Humanities Review asked Marcelo, Javier, and me to curate works by undocumented writers for an online feature. This feature celebrates the lives and the resistance of nine undocumented writers from an array of experiences and writing styles. Throughout this feature, there is a grappling with nationhood, assimilation, separation from home and family, love and tenderness and war, resistance and survival.

I have learned so much from the undocumented communities that surround me.”

-from Introduction by Christopher Soto, Southern Humanities Review

This panel includes Marcelo Hernandez Castillo and Janine Joseph.

Transgender/Gender Fluid Writers Panel

Sunday, 1:00 pm, UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage

“As a trans writer, I discovered after the publication of my debut novel that I got two general kinds of reader response. The first (and preferred kind) went: Thank you so much for your beautiful book. When I read in the author notes that you are transgender, it put the story into a whole new light. My ______ (a term for friend or relative) recently came out to me as ______ (a label somewhere on the LGBT spectrum), and seeing that you are trans helped me understand my ______ a little bit more.

The second kind of response went: I read your book and enjoyed it, but I wish you hadn’t shared the fact that you are trans. That’s the sort of thing that you should keep to yourself. I bet more people would read your book if they didn’t know you were trans.

These letters seem to me to sum up an impossible dichotomy that the reading public, and the public in general, asks of transgender people: to be hyper-visible and invisible all at once.”

-Transgender writer Alex Myers, Writing While Trans, Huffington Post

This panel includes Cameron Awkward-Rich, Coen Cauthen, and Jordan Rice.

Contemporary Muslim Writing Beyond Politics

Saturday, 3:15 pm, Hyers Theater, Cultural Arts Center

“That, however, is not the reason why it is dangerous to begin with the subjective; that danger is seeded in the fact that in writing while Muslim, my commitment to the secular and the rational is already considered suspect. To open with the story of experiencing that “othering” gaze in a Paris Metro years ago can reinforce the idea that Muslims globally are an irrational group, people in need of modernization and secularization, that they cannot make arguments based on reason, and cannot consequently recognize the necessity of the absolute freedom of speech.”

-Rafia Zakaria, Writing While Muslim: The Freedom to Be Offended, Los Angeles Review of Books

This panel includes Omar Ali, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, and Deonna Kelli Sayed.

Latinx/Misrecognition Panel

Sunday, 3:30 pm, Nussbaum Room, Guilford Central Library

“At first, I wrote to make sense of experiences, like why my father prayed to a candy dish and why I stole money as a teenager and why the brutal death of the transgender teen Gwen Araujo haunted me. Writing provided me with a starting point for unraveling feelings and facts and perceptions and cultural commentaries. And then, while writing, I realized I was also reaching for love y cariño, for a way to love the broken places of my life and my community’s. And by the time I finished the book, I knew I’d done it for my younger self, that 16-year-old girl in New Jersey who didn’t have a book like this.”

– Daisy Hernandez, Interview, The Rumpus

This panel includes Daisy Hernandez, Naima Coster, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.

LGBTQ Panel

Saturday, 4:30 pm, Hyers Theater, Cultural Arts Center

“…In Whatever Light Left to Us is a collection of poems about the two poets’ [Jacobs’ and Brown’s] marriage. To write that, Jacobs said, she had to understand how she came to be her adult self. So she excavated her adolescence.

There was another motivation, too: Jacobs came to terms with her sexuality early on, she says, but she still recalls the loneliness of growing up gay in conservative central Florida. Even today, she knows young people can have the same isolating experience. She’d like them to have the reading material she didn’t, and to know that everything is going to turn out OK. Beyond that, she knows elements of her adolescent experiences were universal.”
– Jessica Jacobs, Interviewed in Creative Loafing.

This panel includes Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, and Daisy Hernandez.

View the full program here.