The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.


The Political Landscape of Creative Writing with Sherwin Bitsui, Solmaz Sharif, tanner menard

Date(s): Saturday, February 22, 2020, 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Location: 
Carson Ballroom, Old Main (view map)
Type(s): 
Panel
Genre and Form(s): Mixed Genre
Tags: Politics, Land, Culture, The Body, Society

About the Session

What does it mean to write about the body, land, culture, or socioeconomic infrastructure in today’s social and political landscapes? When does writing become politicized? Is there ever a time when writing about our bodies or land can be separated from the political? This panel focuses on questions around writing as a political act and expression.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Sherwin Bitsui

Sherwin Bitsui is the author of three collections of poetry, Dissolve, Flood Song, and Shapeshift. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award, an American Book Award, and the PEN Book Award. His poems have appeared in Narrative, Black Renaissance Noir, American Poet, The Iowa Review, LIT, and elsewhere. He is Diné of the Todí­ch’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizí­laaní­ (Many Goats Clan), and has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the Native Arts & Culture Foundation.

Photograph of Solmaz Sharif

Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Granta, and others. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and an NEA fellowship. She was most recently selected to receive a 2016 Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. A former Stegner Fellow, she is currently a lecturer at Stanford University. Her first poetry collection, LOOK, published by Graywolf Press in 2016, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Photograph of tanner menard

tanner menard is a Q2S, non-binary poet & composer whose work embodies their Creole/Acadian/NDN lineage. Poems are their method of survival, a linguistic medicine of ambiguity which is certain that love prevails. As a composer of experimental music, menard has been published & anthologized internationally on labels such as Full Spectrum Records, Rural Colours, Tokyo Droning, Install, Slow Flow Rec, H.L.M., Archaic Horizon, Kafua Records & Milieu Music. Their recent album/chapbook collaboration with Andrew Weathers was published on Full Spectrum Records. menard’s poetry & essays have been published in The Squawkback, Rabbit & Rose, Cloudthroat, The University of Arizona Poetry Center Blog, Red Ink Magazine, The Mockingheart Review, American Indian Culture and Research Journal at UCLA & The Wire Magazine. Forthcoming poems will appear in Hunger Mountain, Beestung, Wend Poetry & Hayden’s Ferry Review. Their poems ‘see eye my memory my’ & ‘Excerpts from Preludes & Flux’ were nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Cloudthroat & Hayden’s Ferry Review. menard is a member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Southwest Louisiana & Southeast Texas & resides in Tempe, AZ. They work as a community organizer for Equality Arizona.