The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


A Question of Dialect with Ryka Aoki

Date(s): Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 
Traditions, University Club (view map)
Type(s): 
Craft Talk, Presentation, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Mixed Genre
Tags: Dialect, Dialogue, Stereotypes

About the Session

Writing in dialect or vernacular can be tricky. At its best, is can give one's writing an organic sense of place and perspective. When mishandled, however, dialect can offend readers, seem reductive, and cover lazy storytelling. This workshop covers dialect—why and how one might choose to incorporate it, the choices one has to make when using it, and how to self-check against exploitation and stereotyping.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Ryka Aoki

Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Huffington Post, and was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and wellbeing of Transgender people.” She worked with the American Association of Hiroshima Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions were adopted as the organization’s official “songs of peace.” Aoki is also a former national judo champion and the founder of the International Transgender Martial Arts Alliance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is professor of English at Santa Monica College.