The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Media (Mis)representation with Sean Avery

Date(s): Friday, February 21, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thoren, University Club (view map)
Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Poetry
Tags: Media, Representation, Narrative, Metaphor, Imagery, Performance

About the Session

This session investigates or states the effects of having one's social identity (mis)represented by a popular media franchise. Poets like Morgan Parker are in conversation with media franchises, expressing how these popular icons influence one's social identity. Her collection, There Are Things More Beautiful Than Beyoncé, explores her complicated feelings towards Beyoncé as a symbol of Black women's strength and objectification. Using narrative, metaphor, imagery and performance, writers will explore a specific detail of a media franchise important to their childhood and either celebrate or critique an icon essential to their upbringing. 

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Sean Avery

Sean Avery (he/they) is a rapper, poet, and teaching artist from Avondale, Arizona. Their work integrates Hip-Hop music, poetry, and theater to explore how Black masculinity is projected onto their body. They strive for an authentic performance of self, in hopes that they will inspire others to examine their own identities.

Avery is an alum of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in English Creative Writing, where they received the nation's only full-tuition Hip-Hop & Spoken Word scholarship, First Wave. They’ve been on stage with performers such as Saul Williams, Lemon Anderson, and J. Ivy. Avery’s work has been featured in Afropunk, Blavity, the Wisconsin Film Festival and the Chicago Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Their songs & poems can also be found on their website, Currently, Avery teaches rap, poetry, and theater throughout the Valley while performing their Hip-Hop album and play titled skinnyblk.

A Statement from the Piper Center about COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the spread of germs, this event will be ‘touch free,’ meaning that all authors, faculty, students, and other participants should avoid shaking hands, hugging, taking selfies, or otherwise engaging in physical contact. Additionally, we are encouraging all community members to wash their hands, avoid touch their face, use hand sanitizer, and otherwise follow the official guidelines from the Center for Disease Control. If you are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of a virus, please stay home and seek medical treatment as necessary. Any individuals who are unable to attend due to illness will have refunds issued in full. While we are unable to provide livestreaming or other forms of remote access for this event, we are actively working to ensure this in the future. If you have any questions, please contact the Piper Center accordingly. To learn more, read our full statement on COVID-19 at