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A Celebration of Bill Konigsberg with Bill Konigsberg

Date(s): 2019-01-23 02:00:00 to 2019-01-23 04:00:00
Location: 
Carson Ballroom, Old Main, 400 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type(s): 
Ceremony, Reception, Social, Talk
Genre and Form(s): Human Rights, LGBTQIA Studies, Middle Grade, Social Justice, Young Adult Literature
Cost: Free

About this Event

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of English at Arizona State University as we celebrate the establishment of the Bill Konigsberg Award, Tuesday, January 22, 2019 in the Carson Ballroom at Old Main (400 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281) at 7:00 p.m.

In addition to a short address from Bill Konigsberg, the evening will feature comments from:

  • Alberto Ríos, Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Arizona Inaugural Poet Laureate
  • Lizette Serrano, Executive Director of Educational Marketing and Event Strategy for Scholastic
  • Steve Bickmore, current President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English
  • Mark Letcher, former President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English
  • Sybil Durand, board member of the Assembly on Literature for Adolsecents of the National Council of Teachers of English
  • James Blasingame, Executive Director of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English

Hors d’ oeuvres and a cash bar will be available as well. While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. 

To donate to the Bill Konigsberg award, visit http://www.alan-ya.org/alan-grant-donations/

About the Award

Presented by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English (ALAN/NCTE), The Konigsberg Award celebrates an individual who “has acted in selfless advocacy for marginalized youth through the creation, teaching, funding or other form of promotion of young adult literature” (ALAN Board of Directors, November 30, 2018).

The award was inspired by events at the 2018 NCTE Convention when a session was disrupted by a panel speaker’s diatribe against teen books written in advocacy for LGBTQ kids or in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The audience was inspired as a visibly angry Konigsberg confronted his fellow panelist, articulately dismantling her talking points one by one, and expressing his outrage at someone who would contribute to the misery and oppression these kids have suffered. Konigsberg delivered a keynote address two days later in which he called youth advocates to action against such acts of hatred toward marginalized youth. In response, NCTE officially condemned the panelist’s “abhorrent, bigoted views” (NCTE, November 26) and ALAN established the Konigsberg Award. An anonymous donor offered to fund the monetary part of the award in perpetuity, and donations to the award fund poured in. Scholastic Corporation stepped up to provide funds for the award and books for under-resourced libraries. The inaugural award will go to Konigsberg, himself, with future winners chosen by the Konigsberg Award Selection Committee in years to come.

About the Speakers

Steve Bickmore is the Director of the Gayle A. Zeiter Literacy Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning, and President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English.

James Blasingame is Professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU. He is the Executive Director of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English

E. Sybil Durand is Assistant Professor of English at ASU and an elected member of the ALAN Board of Directors. She specializes in postcolonial readings of Young Adult Literature and the impact of diverse authors and books on adolescent readers, especially members of marginalized groups.

Mark Letcher is Assistant Professor of English Studies at Lewis University. He is past chair of the Amelia Walden Award Committee and past President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Alberto Rios is the State of Arizona Poet Laureate and an ASU Regents Professor. Professor Rios is the Director of the Virginia Piper Center Creative Writing Center.

Lizette Serrano is the Executive Director of Educational Marketing and Event Strategy for Scholastic Corporation. She is a native New Yorker (Bronx and Brooklyn) and a lifelong advocate for youth literacy and diverse books.

About ALAN

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) promotes communication and cooperation among all individuals who have a special interest in adolescent literature, presents programs and conferences on this subject, promotes and increases the number of articles and publications devoted to it and integrates the efforts of all those with an interest in this literature. For more information, visit ALAN's website at http://www.alan-ya.org/

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About the Author

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019 Bill Konigsberg

Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning author of four young adult novels. The Porcupine of Truth won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Stonewall Book Award in 2016. Openly Straight won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and was a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award and Lambda Literary Award in 2014. His debut novel, Out of the Pocket won the Lambda Literary Award in 2009. His most recent novel, Honestly Ben, received three starred reviews, from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal. He lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck, and their Australian Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford.

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