The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Photograph of Westward Ho and Phoenix Public Market Vendors

Original photograph by the Phoenix Public Market

Meet Your Community Activities

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

Rise and shine. Meet Your Literary Community features a morning full of miniature talks, flash readings, pop-up workshops, and other performances from over 50 local authors, publishers, and other organizations from all across the Valley. 

  • Book Exchange with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Drop-In Writing Groups with the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop and the Play Writes at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Poetry on Demand from giddyface, Kelly Nelson, and Ashley Naftule from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Poisoned Pen presents Tom Van Dyke and Betty Webb reading from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • National Black Poetry Day presents local poets reading legendary black poets from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Michael Buckius and Jamie Bonnell read poetry from 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m
  • Erin Kong reads from her poetry collection, Korean Mourning Rituals, from 10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Phx Poetry Orchestra improvises an orchestral performance and poetry reading from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Cardboard House Press presents a bilingual reading of Maricela Guerrero's Kilimanjaro from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Beyond featured performances, there will also be raffles, scavenger hunts, and tableside activities.

To learn more about featured performances and tableside activities, keep reading.

Book Exchange: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Bring a book; take a book. (Maybe we'll even give you one for free.) Bid farewell to your old favorites and find your next best read at the community book exchange with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.

Drop-In Writing Groups: 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

In coffee shops and bars around the Phoenix metropolitan area, multiple days a week, local writers are getting together to share compassionate, thoughtful, and constructive feedback on each other's work. Now you can too! Join moderators from the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop and the Play Writes for drop-in writing groups at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.! With moderators Paul Mosier, Roy Juarez, Megan Taliaferro, Kelsey Pinckney, and Ilana Lydia. 

To participate in groups, just check-in at the Piper Center's table. If you'd like to receive feedback on your work, please bring four hard copies of one poem or short piece / excerpt of prose (1500 words or less). You do not have to bring work to participate in a group. Please note: given limited time, bringing work does not gaurantee feedback. Individuals who do not receive feedback will be directed towards community resources. 

Poetry on Demand: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Some poems take years to compose; some don't. Answer a few questions and our talented local poets will create a special poem just for you--on the spot--in less than 15 minutes! Featuring giddyface, Ashley Naftule, and Kelly Nelson.

Poisoned Pen presents Tom Van Dyke and Betty Webb: 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

National Black Poetry Day presents EchoVerses: 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Michael Buckius and Jamie Bonnell: 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m

Erin Kong presents Korean Mourning Rituals10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

How does one mourn a memory unforgotten? Korean Mourning Rituals dissects the psyche and mythology of the Korean American act of sorrowing, and pageants the lived experience of an Asian American womxn as unwilling subject to ornamentalism and the ongoing colonization of the body. Kong's poems lament the emotional and psychological aftermath of war as it carries through the bloodline and beyond borders. For more information, visit Erin's websiteread a poem from AZCentral, or watch the book trailer

Phx Poetry Orchestra presents Poetry + Music Improv:  11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Come and read your original poetry and have a group of classically trained musicians score your work on the spot! Please note: time is limited; improvisations are first-come, first-served. For more information, visit Oh My Ears' website at http://ohmyears.com

Cardboard House Press presents Maricela Guerrero's Kilimanjaro11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

"Maricela Guerrero’s Kilimanjaro obliges its reader to embark on a fraught locomotion, one that is less a journey from point A to point B than a jolting awareness of each of the infinite dots that combine to form any line or trajectory. In a subtle way, Kilimanjaro investigates what it means to be a migrant, a bereaved parent, a lover, or any other person or being yoked to a capitalist machine. Maricela Guerrero is an unflinching, incisive writer, and Stalina Villarreal’s translation rightfully emphasizes the toughness of her vision." —Wendy Burk

Cardboard House Press presents a bilingual English-Spanish reading of Kilimanjaro written by experimental Mexican poet Maricela Guerrero Reyes and translated by Stalina Emmanuelle Villarreal at Meet Your Literary Community from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Kiliminjaro is handmade in a limited-edition, accordion-style book with salvaged cardboard binding and stenciled cover. For more information, visit Cardboard House Press's website at https://cardboardhousepress.org/kilimanjaro-by-maricela-guerrero.

Other Activities

  • What's a Book that Changed Your Life? Micro-Interviews with the Heart-Shaped Books Podcast: Share the fiction book that changed your life in a micro-interview with the Heart-Shaped Books Podcast. You could be featured on the Meet Your Literary Community episode of the podcast!
  • Write Like a Surrealist with Lorin Drexler: Journey through the world of your subconscious with a three-minute modernist writing prompt
  • Exquisite Corpse with the Story Laboratory: Contribute one line to a larger story and be entered into a raffle to win free or discounted editorial services. The completed story will be shared on social media and newsletters after the event!
  • Art and Poetry with Iron City: Create a short poem or drawing of your vision of the inside of a prison. Basic art and writing supplies will be provided. 
  • Make Your Own Cards with Books of Kell's Press
  • Storytelling Cubes and Prompts with Sandra Marinella: Use storytelling cubes and prompts to get inspired, share your story, and find meaningful connections with members of the community!
  • Community Poem with Bonny Books
  • Interactive Poetry and Music with the Phoenix Poetry Orchestra
  • Get to Know National Black Poetry Day: Participate in trivia to learn interesting facts about Black poets and writers past and present. Take home giveaways and have an opportunity to win tickets to upcoming poetic events. Meet and greet some of the Valley's Black poets and learn how to get involved with the commemorative day.
  • Caricatures with Gary Bowers: Get your caricature drawn by local artist and poet Gary Bowers!
  • Dragon House Presents . . . An Interactive Adventure with Eugene Ward: Enter the dark fantasy world of K.A.C., Nora and the Eternal Waterwhell, and Tribus Dulce with this unique, interactive role-playing experience!
  • Fact Checking with A. J. Flick: Learn from an experienced journalist, editor and true-crime author what to look for to check your facts, especially for non-fiction works, but also relevant for fiction. Bring a sample of your work and she'll show you what to check
  • Media Kits with PJ Hultstrand: PJ Hultstrand literally wrote the book on media kits. Swing by to learn about how to put together a media kit and why they're so important to an author's success!
  • Story Time with Barbara Renner:  Barbara will be offering story time for children ages 3-8 where she will read her books about Quincy the Quail. Children will be able to hear quail calls and owl hoots during the readings. The children will also color special coloring pages patterned after the illustrations in her books.
  • Free Five Minute Consultations with Patricia Brooks: Book production; layout; cover design; anything related to independent publishing! 
  • Ask Me Anything with Jeremiah Blue: How do you become an author? What's it like to get an MFA in creative writing? Where can you perform slam poetry? Join Jeremiah Blue for an open dialogue on topics related to creative writing, including publishing, social media, narrative nonfiction and memoir, creative content writing, and more!
  • What Do You Know about Eating Disorders? with Valerie Foster: Take a short quiz based on Valerie Foster's award-winning memoir about her family's experience with anorexia to dispel common misunderstandings about eating disorders.
  • Water, Word, and Witness with Joy is Free: Write your witness; take a selfie!