Meet Your Literary Community

A mini-festival at the farmer's market

Publishers, podcasters, zinesters, and more

There's more growing in the Valley than fruits and vegetables. Founded in partnership with the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, Meet Your Literary Community was a pop-up literary festival for writers, readers, family and friends, showcasing over 50 local authors, publishers, and community organizations from all across the Valley in 2018 and 2019. 

In addition to learning more about all of the literary arts and culture taking place across the Phoenix Metro, community members participated in writing groups, book exchanges, and other literary activities. 

To learn more about Meet Your Literary Community, keep reading. You can also view our calendar to find upcoming events.

Learn more about Meet Your Community


Over 50 local authors and literary organizations

Looking for your literary community? In 2018 and 2019, Meet Your Literary Community featured over 100 local authors and literary organizations across a variety of genres and forms, including poets, novelists, literary journals, public libraries, publishers, non-profits, poetry orchestras, improv, typewriter collectors, theatre troupes, book artists, mysteries, romance, music, art, bookstores, spoken word, Spanish-language literature, podcasters, children's books, zinesters, comic strips, and more.

To meet past exhibitors, keep reading

Meet exhibitors


Mini talks, flash readings, pop-up workshops and more

Rise and shine. Meet Your Literary Community featured writing groups, book exchanges, and other literary activities for community members to enjoy.  

Book Exchange: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m

Leave a book; take a book. Replenish your bookshelves with a community book exchange.

Writing Groups: 9:00 to 9:40 a.m. with The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing

Writing groups are places where writers come together to exchange compassionate, constructive, and thoughtful feedback on each other's work. After a short presentation on what writing groups are, where to find them, and how they work, we'll break out into workshop. If you're interested in receiving feedback, please bring four hard copies of one poem or short piece / excerpt of prose (1500 words or less). Please note: given limited time, bringing work does not guarantee feedback. Individuals who do not receive feedback will be directed towards community resources. 

Poetry Workshop: 9:45 to 9:55 a.m. with Phoenix College Rising

In ten minutes in ten lines with a selected ten words, this speed-shop aims to offer participants a workable poem

Bilingual Spaces: 10:00 to 10:25 a.m. with The Cartonera Collective

What do bilingual creative writing spaces look like? How can we use translation, literature, and bookmaking to build stronger communities? Join the Cartonera Collective for an informal discussion and Q&A on creating bilingual (literary) spaces in Phoenix, AZ with readings from Koan Underwater by Juan José Rodinás (Ecuador) translated by ASU Professor Ilana Luna

Editing Panel and Q&A: 10:30 to 10:55 a.m. with Hayden's Ferry Review and Superstition Review

Where can you find literary journals? How do you submit? What are editors looking for? What do they do? Join the editors of Hayden's Ferry Review and Superstition Review for a informal panel and Q&A on the in's-and-out's of the submissions and editorial process. 

Local Author Reading: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Featuring flash readings in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and more from 20 local authors

Author Programs and Activities

There were also numerous activities from authors, including:

  • Where is the Midwest with Mark Athitakis: Is Chicago in the Midwest? Sure. How about Pittsburgh? Or Kansas City? Everybody has a different idea of the Midwest's borders, and those ideas have changed over time. Take a look at the map and mark off where you think the region's borders really are. There are no wrong answers---unless you suggest Phoenix (maybe)
  • Live Comics with Tommy Cannon: Tommy Cannon, comic book creator and comedian, will workshop with live drawing and improv comedy techniques the skills he employs to build an original story. This is a highly interactive workshop, and the hope is that everyone walks out with a fresh story idea that they are excited to tell and explore
  • Individual Poetry Workshop with Luanne Castle: For the activity, I will provide a written poetry prompt for each young person. The prompt will have my email address on it, with an invitation to send the finished poem to me. I will respond with feedback by email to each poet. 
  • Commissioned Poems, Exquisite Corpse and more with Piper J. Daniels: Meet award-winning author Piper J. Daniels and get a signed copy of her debut book, Ladies Lazarus. Schedule a manuscript consultation or ask for a writing exercise that will cure you of writer’s block. Commission a poem on any topic of your choosing which will be delivered to you on the spot. While you’re waiting for your poem, participate in the writing of an Exquisite Corpse Poem, in which every person anonymously contributes one line. The final product will be published on social media and on 
  • Print Your Own Bookmark with Rebecca Fish Ewan: Print a Bookmark on a 100-year-old Press: My Multigraph, a hand-cranked rotary press, will be with me, so people can make their own bookmark. I’ll also have my new book, By the Forces of Gravity (Books by Hippocampus, 2018), and my zines, Tiny Joys and Wordlings, (published through Plankton Press) available for purchase. 
  • Finding Your Voice with Valerie Foster: Writing my two memoirs taught me how to find the courage to speak one's truth in life, and how essential this is for mental and emotional health, particularly for young ages who can be most fragile. Let’s have a discussion!
  • Ask the Editor with Karen Grove
  • Poetry on Demand with Ashley Naftule
  • What's Your Story? with the Narrative Nest: Any writer who wants to share a story concept with us will receive a simple action plan for their individual writing process outlined on a giant Post-it sheet as a takeaway; How to Get Your Kids Involved In Writing: These two hands-on activities will teach children to use their 5 senses and to identify the 5 Ws of a basic story. The youngest can participate by using pictures and colors. Older kids can use short phrases or longer descriptions.; Handouts: We’ll provide free worksheets/handouts from our workshops: “Mother Yourself: How to Write Your Birth Story‚” and “How to Start a Writing Habit While Mothering.”
  • Uplift Compass with Laurie Perez: Take a word that represents an emotional state and we'll chart a new trajectory leading to uplift. Feeling stuck?  We'll chart a path to brilliantly untethered. Feeling small? Aim your compass toward grand or cosmic or colossal!  Expect laughs, inspiration and sometimes that rare gem: full-blown creative epiphany.
  • Writing Games with Kimberly Williams: Kimberly's table will offer a writing game for writing starting and flash-writing first drafts of poems. Use fate, destiny, Lady Luck, or what-you-will in the process of making poems. Appropriate for all ages.
  • Record a Poetry Spot with YabYum Music + Arts

About the Festival

The Phoenix metropolitan area contains over 4.5 million residents over 14,000 square miles. How do people meet each other in this kind of place? Who might be included (or excluded) when we talk about community? What does the word ‘literary’ even mean? These questions can’t be answered be here. Rather, they’re part of a larger conversation about what participating in the civic, social, and cultural life of Phoenix means. 

For this event, we’ve tried to understand literature in all its facets and forms, to take the concept broadly construed: to present not only local authors and publishers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, but also comic strip makers, book artists, theatre companies, podcasters, coffee shops, poetry orchestras; the works. After all: people are multi-talented; they contain multitudes. And to think of everything we couldn’t fit in. There’s still so much more! 

At the end of the day, our hope is that a single morning can be the start of something larger. That these fleeting moments of introductions and small talk may lead to new or deepened connections. That we can capture the magic when people meet. That somehow, this event—this community—can make your life in this city a little bit more meaningful. And that simply by virtue of your being here today, you’re a member of this community too. 

We’d like to thank Sara Matlin and our partners at the Phoenix Public Market for their vision and generosity in creating this event and opening this space; all of our authors and organizations for their public engagement, enthusiasm, and support; and you. Thank you for being here today. We hope to see you around again soon. 

—The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing