Blog Archives

When registering for the conference, please state the workshop you will take. Space is limited. Register at this link.



Passionate Syntax with Vijay Seshadri

Instructor: Vijay Seshadri

Take a deep dive into the physical power of words. The phrase passionate syntax was used by William Butler Yeats to describe a central quality of poetry, one that includes all the elements that make up a poem’s physicality. We will look at the syntax of your poems, and the ways in which a poem’s passion is liberated by its movement in language. We will also explore how tensions and co-operations between the line and the sentence create fields of clarified human energy. Bring one poem of your own and all of your imaginative curiosity.

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954 and came to America at the age of five. Hispoetry collections include 3 Sections (Graywolf Press, 2013), winner of  the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; The Long Meadow (Graywolf Press, 2004), which won the James Laughlin Award; and Wild Kingdom (1996). His poems have appeared widely in such publications as AGNI, Bomb, The Nation, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. Seshadri has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2015, he received the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where he holds the Michele Tolela Myers Chair. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and son. Vijay Seshadri at poets-org.


Art Speaks to Life: Writing the 21st Century Narrative

Instructor: Debra Monroe

In this digitally-nonstop century, life is a mass of details and distractions. How can we become vivid witnesses to this onrush of information? Learn how an essay or story selects and arranges details to distill meaning. Writing means leaving out the irrelevant so the reader can focus on the essential. This class will describe what form is, and how to develop it by building blocks of carefully selected, resonant details. We’ll learn to write essays that speak to real tensions and dilemmas surrounding us, drawing the reader in.

Debra Monroe’s first book, The Source of Trouble (1995), won the Flannery O’Connor Award forFiction. Her memoir On the Outskirts of Normal (2015) was named one of the best books of 2010 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barnes & Noble and San Antonio Express-News, and her most recent memoir: My Unsentimental Education (2015) received a 4-star review from San Francisco Book Review. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the John Gardner Fellowship, the Quarterly West Novella Competition and The Violet Crown Award, and has been nominated for the National Book Award twice. The Chicago Tribune has describes Monroe’ prose as: “Keenly observed, funny-sad, un-self-conscious. . .  She currently teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University.

Poetry 1:45–5:15pm

Writing Poetry of Political Satire in the Age of Trump: Somoza Unveils Somoza's Statue of Somoza

Instructor: Martín Espada

In this generative workshop, we will write poems of political satire, smuggle subversive ideas in the gift-wrapped box of humor, channel anger into art, and invoke the power of words against the powerful in the tradition of Whitman: O Filthy Presidentiad! Together, we will discuss poems by Ernesto Cardenal, Jack Agüeros, Marge Piercy and others. Students will write on the spot, then share their work, reading aloud to the group (for thunderous applause only). Widen your poetic scope and come away with a whole new sense of what political satire can be.

​Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. Recently nam

ed the 2018 winner of thethe Ruth Lilly Prize in Poetry by the Poetry Foundation, the first Latino to receive this distinction, Espada has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Some of his many books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), and Imagine the Angels of Bread 

(1996). His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Martin Espada:


Non-Fiction 9am–12:30pm

The Writer as Witness and Healer: An Open Genre Workshop

Instructor: Norma Cantú

Join this workshop and explore the role of the writer in society in unexpected and challenging ways. We will focus primarily on the writer as witness and healer through at least three short generative exercises, which can function for almost any genre: testimonio, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. We will examine how the self, the community, and the state shape our reality and how as writers we respond and react to each. This intensive workshop will probe the question: What is the role and responsibility of the writer in the face of personal, political or social upheaval? The writing can be done in Spanish, English or Spanglish.

Norma Cantú is is currently the Murchison Professor in the Humanities at Trinity University in San Antonio. An award-winning Chicana writer and educator from Nuevo Laredo, her work has been published in numerous journals and through a number of university presses, such as her fictionalized memoir Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera (University of New Mexico Press 1997),  now being re-issued in an updated twentieth anniversary edition. A groundbreaking editor and writer, Cantú has edited anthologies, such as Ente Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art (2016) and collaborated with Marta Sanchez to create Transcendental Trainyards (Wings Press 2015), a collection of colored serigraphs and poems to evoke the role the railroad and carpas (itinerant vaudeville troupes) played in Mexican American culture. Cantú received the UTSA Globalization Award in April 2010 and was named Outstanding Latina of Kansas City by Dos Mundos Newspaper in 2011, among many other accolades..Norma Cantu—Trinity University

Fiction 9am-12:30pm

Distilling Big Ideas into Intimate Narratives

Instructor: Anel Flores

The act of telling a story that has not been widely shared is a political act. In this workshop, we will learn techniques to identify “fiction-worthy” moments based on a diverse range of lived experiences we have packed away. We will explore the way in which a writer attaches emotions, physicality and believability to their narrative, while examining ally authors. Learn how writing from the body, trusting the tactility of experience, and incorporating research into your writing process can allow you to create your most compelling stories. Each author will generate a bank of story starters to enhance a current project or jump-start a new one.

Students are asked to submit their favorite page of writing from one author they view as a literary mentor and to be ready to discuss how this sample connects to their writing.

Anel Flores is a community activist, writer, educator and artist. UTSA’s Women’s StudiesInstitute recently named her 2018 Women’s Advocate of the Year. She is a member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop and an alumni of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Leadership Institute. Her first book, a collection of interwoven vignettes, was entitled Empanada: A Lesbiana Story en Probaditas (Korima Press 2013),and her work has been published in many anthologies, such as Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art (2016). Her work has been published in national and local literary journals, including San Francisco: Korima Press and SALIR Magazine. Flores has received many awards for her work, including a NALAC Fund For The Arts Award, a Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant, and the 2017 Best of The Current San Antonio for Local Author.

Poetry 9am-12:30pm

Writing the Moment—How do We Do it?

Instructor: Veronica Golos

May you live in interesting times goes the ancient Chinese curse. Well here we are. How do poets answer this moment? We will look at the different ways Native American poets such as Layli Long Soldier, Sherwin Bitsui, and others have done it: the use of historical documents, deciphering language and alphabet, the powers of Surrealism and Persona. Through generative work and readings, we will reveal the how's and why's of socially connected poetry—and, in turn, reveal ourselves and discover newly-energized ways to respond to our present times.

Veronica Golos, a renowned poet and editor, is author of Rootwork (3 Taos Press 2015) andVocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award. She also is the author of A Bell Buried Deep (Story Line Press), co-winner in 2005 of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Golos has taught extensively for Poets House, Poets & Writers, and is part of the core faculty of The Tupelo Truchas Poetry Conference. Her work has been widely published and anthologized nationally and internationally. In addition to being co-editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Golos is Poetry Editor for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.

Conference to be held at the historic downtown El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel, 110 Lexington Ave, San Antonio, TX

The Book Fair takes place on Saturday, July 21, 10am-5pm

Book Exhibitor Package

Cost is $50 for a full table and includes:

  • 6 foot table with table cover
  • Two (2) Exhibitor badges
  • One (1) Listing in the conference schedule, if submitted by print deadline date.
  • One (1) Listing on the Gemini Ink website, with a link to your webpage.
  • Two (2) Author signings listed in the conference schedule, if submitted by print deadline date (see below).

Half table exhibit packages are available for $35—receive one (1) exhibitor badge.

Author Signings

If you are interested in scheduling author signings at your table on Saturday, July 21, please submit the following information before July 2, 2018:

  • Name of author
  • Time that the signing will take place

Important Print Deadline: Monday, July 2

  • Conference Schedule Listing
  • Author Signing Listing

Once purchased, please email the following to Anisa Onofre at

  • The name of your press
  • Press logo (jpg or png)
  • A brief description of your press
  • A link to your webpage
  • Author signings information, if applicable

Purchase Exhibitor Space

$50 for a whole table; $35 for half table

Table Sizes
Name of Press or Journal

July 20-22, 2018 | El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX

Your general registration fee includes a welcome reception, access to all panels, a networking lunch, a small press book fair, evening events, and a closing party. A workshop with one of the featured authors is an additional $50.
Early Bird Special
Workshop of choice
Student Rates


Poetry 9AM–12:30pm Passionate Syntax with Vijay Seshadri
Instructor: Vijay Seshadri

Non-Fiction 9AM–12:30pm Art Speaks to Life: Writing the 21st Century Narrative
Instructor: Debra Monroe

Poetry 1:45–5:15pm Somoza Unveils Somoza’s Statue of Somoza: Writing Poetry of Political Satire in the Age of Trump
Instructor: Martín Espada


Non-Fiction 9am–12:30pm The Writer as Witness and Healer: An Open Genre Workshop
Instructor: Norma Cantú

Fiction 9am-12pm Distilling Big Ideas into Intimate Narratives
Instructor: Anel Flores

Poetry 9am-12 Writing the Moment—How do We Do it?
Instructor: Veronica Golos

 san antonioBy becoming a conference sponsor, you will help create a significant literary event that supports established and emerging writers in this region. Our city is rapidly becoming a place where writers live, work and thrive. Support San Antonio’s emergence as a true center of the arts in Texas by helping us build the Gemini Ink Writers Conference.

Individual Sponsorship Levels

Founding Sponsor

  • Registration for 4 to conference
  • Recognition on conference webpage, welcome packet, and print materials.
  • VIP cocktail hour with authors

Premier Sponsor

  • Registration for 2 to conference
  • Recognition on conference webpage, welcome packet, and print materials.
  • VIP cocktail hour with authors

Sustaining Sponsor

  • Registration for 1 to conference
  • Recognition on conference webpage, and welcome packet.
  • VIP cocktail hour with authors


Individual Sponsorship Levels
Workshop you will attend

Corporate Sponsorship Levels

Founding Sponsor

  • Registration for 8 to conference
  • Recognition on conference webpage, welcome packet, and print materials.
  • VIP cocktail hour with authors

Premier Sponsor

  • Registration for 4 to conference
  • Recognition on conference webpage, welcome packet, and print materials.
  • VIP cocktail hour with authors

Major Sponsor

  • Registration for 2 to conference
  • Recognition on conference webpage and welcome packet.
  • VIP cocktail hour with authors


Corporate Sponsorship Levels
Workshop you will attend

Conference at the Current


Read Gemini Ink Writers Conference Champions Transformation at The Current.

Saturday Panels



Solita: Chicanas in Solo Performance
(Location: La Habana)

Solo performances by three dynamic playwrights explore identity, gender, religion, the Mexican Diaspora, and political and social change: Marisela Barrera’s Tejana Trilogy, Anna De Luna’s My Arab Fall and Alison Vasquez’s La Flora de La Canela. Followed by Q&A.
Marisela Barrera, Anna De Luna, Alison Vasquez

Hybrid Genre: Science Fiction Meets Health in Heaven and Earth
(Location: Bolivar B)

Medical and environmental engineering experts use Heaven and Earth, a thought-provoking science-fiction novel, to discuss cadmium poisoning, a widespread health issue that goes unnoticed by the medical community and possibly even protected by government agencies.
Speakers: Arturo Riojas PhD, Robert S. Reyna MD, Valerie Chavez MD


Life on the Hyphen: Writing about the Mexican-American Border Amid Revolution, Cartels, and the Wall
(Location: La Habana)

As border dwellers, writers Seltzer and Flores use memoir and satire to consider their Mexican-American heritage and the dramatic upheavals and complex implications of negotiating “life on the hyphen.” Discussion ranges from a conscientious objector finding refuge on the border to revolution in Central America to changes the authors have experienced as writers. 
Speakers: Carlos Nicolas Flores, Robert L Seltzer

Writing Modern Midrash: Changing the Way We Understand the Hebrew Bible through Stories and Poems
(Location: Bolivar B)

Midrash was used for centuries by rabbinic scholars to elaborate on biblical texts. Modern midrashim give voice to the women who were previously silent or nameless and offer opportunity for contemporary interpretation. This panel will combine poetic and narrative examples with hands-on discussion on how to write a modern midrash.
Speakers: Marcia Goren Weser, Michal Lemberger, Bonnie Lyons

Narratives of Change: From the Classroom to the Community
(Location: Bolivar C)

Lanier High School in San Antonio offers a creative writing program where students work with local writers and nonprofit organizations to create a writing community within the classroom. The program’s coordinator, a spoken word poet and a community organizer share techniques and insights on encouraging and engaging students to promote change through art.
Speakers: Raquel Torres, Tiffany Jenkins, Christopher “Rooster” MartÍnez


The Transformational Power of Poetry—Voces Cósmicas, a force for change in the Community
(Location: Bolivar B)

Voces Cósmicas is a grass-roots eclectic group of local poets/writers who have impacted San Antonio’s Westside and Southwest side by performing and reading poetry at local library branches. Panelists will discuss advancing personal change through writing, the educational dynamism of poetry, and benefits to communities of increased access to the arts.
Speakers: Fernando Esteban Flores , Tom Porter, Jacinto Jesús Cardona, Liz Vera, Carlos Loera

Measuring the Harlem Renaissance—A Q&A with Dr Michael Soto
(Location: Bolivar C)

Measuring the Harlem Renaissance retells the familiar story of the Harlem Renaissance through the shifting lens of US census history and the rise of social scientific inquiry, highlighting innovations that might be pursued by humanists going forward.
Speakers: Michael Soto, Jessica Neal


Public Panel: Writing as Witness: What Kinds of Writers Are We?
(Location: Trinidad)
It is not enough to look; one must look with eyes that want to see. –Galileo
Is writing a public act, a kind of truth telling? Can creative writing address the ethical and political, as well as the aesthetic?  What does it mean to rip off the blindfold and reveal the senselessness of cruelty, war and oppression? How do we give voice to the ways we and others live our lives? What kind of writer—and witness—are we?
Speakers: Sheila Black, Brian Turner, Patricia Spears Jones, Anthony “The Poet” Flores, Bárbara Renaud González

Writing for Transformative Change With Testimonio: Storytelling, Activism, and Healing
(Location: La Habana)

Testimonio is primarily oral and often translates to the written in diverse ways, ranging from freshman compositions to blogs and speeches. Panelists will use personal stories to highlight the genre of testimonio as a form of writing for empowerment and activism, as a way to teach in our classrooms, and as a tool to engage in communal healing practices.
Speakers: Annette Portillo, Victorria Simpson-Gervin, Rose Rodríguez-Rabin

Spoken Word: Say it Like It Is
(Location: Bolivar A)

A dynamic group of San Antonio Spoken Word artists wield the magic of words and discuss the many ways spoken word empowers communities and individuals and creates new spaces for inclusiveness, diversity and under-represented voices.
Speakers: Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, Christopher “Rooster” MartÍnez, Shaggy (Jason Gossard), Sarah Maddux

Location, Relocation, Dislocation: Readings & Discussion by Four Poets
(Location: Partagas)

Through discussion and readings of their poetry, award-winning poets explore the impact on their work of moving geographically, linguistically and culturally, and the dislocations they have experienced, and how they navigate their new sense of “home.”
Speakers: Wendy Barker, Sharon Olinka, Octavio Quintanilla, Edward Vidaurre


Politics with Your Fiction or Memoir, Anyone?
(Location: Trinidad)

How can we write about issues of a political nature within the parameters of fiction and memoir? How do we touch on, or incorporate, political themes without creating flat characters and/or text that sermonizes? Panelists will discuss works they admire that have tackled political themes through narrative, and how those works have inspired or wrought change.
Speakers: Ramona Reeves, Jason Craft, Ito Romo, Paige Schilt, ire’ne lara silva

Documentary Poetry
(Location: La Habana)

How do poets engage with the complex personal, political, ecological, and historical questions around power, exploitation, appropriation and erasure? How does documentary poetry re-fashion the archive, the current event? Five writers discuss their research-based documentary work in response to world in a state of physical, ecological, and spiritual violence.
Speakers: Joni Wallace,John Pluecker, Allison Cobb, Octavio Quintanilla, Susan Landers

“We the People”: Writing Inclusive Spaces in Challenging Times
(Location: Bolivar A)

Five San Antonio community writers and leaders discuss how America is facing new challenges due to the assumption that people of color, women and people who are different are not to be considered part of “WE THE PEOPLE.” How can writers of color write towards unity and a more inclusive sense of American citizenship in challenging times?
Speakers: Antoinette Franklin, DL grant, Jo Reyes-Boitel, Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, Viktoria Valenzuela

The Journal as Practice: Writing as the gateway to the creative process, and a source of recovery, wellness, and healing
(Location: Partagas)

Panelists will explore the practice of journal writing as a method of igniting the creative process for blocked artists, its influence on us as observers in the world, and its mental and physical health benefits. Panelists will explore journaling and expressive writing as agents of change and its effect on soldiers with PTSD, survivors of genocide in Rwanda, and university students in San Antonio.
Speakers: Laura Van Prooyen, Luke Stump, Jen Osborne, Josh Robbins


Writing Inside Vermont: Providing Supportive Space for Incarcerated Women to Write Toward Growth and Change
(Location: Trinidad)

Since 2010, writing inside VT has provided structured, supportive space for incarcerated women in northern Vermont to write toward growth and change. This panel will invite listeners to experience the power of writing for change inside prison via a ‘sample class,’ followed by sharing stories of how the program changed two women, with an opportunity for questions at the end.
Speakers: Sarah W. Bartlett, Meg Reynolds

Creative Activism at Work: 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Texas Edition
(Location: La Habana)
100 Thousand Poets for Change is a grass-roots organization that brings communities together to call for environmental, social and political change. Texas poets will discuss how they have used this global movement to enact local change, and explore social issues that poets can affect through interdisciplinary and poetic activism.
Speakers: Viktoria Valenzuela, Edward Vidaurre, Jenuine Poetess

Reading and Discussion on the new anthology, Imaniman: Poets Reflect on Transformative Borders Through AnzaldÚa’s Work
(Location: Bolivar A)

Imaniman is a Nahuatlized Spanish word for “their soul” and is the title of a new anthology of poetry and essays based on Gloria Anzaldúa’s work. Performances will be followed by a discussion of what it means to be border writers who carry multiple borders within them, and how their creative labors have opened up the space to imagine change — in the world within and the world without.
Speakers: ire’ne lara silva , John Fry, Rodney Gómez, Joe Jiménez, César L. de León

Crime Fiction Against the Regime
(Location: Partagas)

Change defines the entire narrative structure of literary crime fiction. Radical, violent, unyielding. It is useful to examine the underlying social codes and assumptions of the genre’s protagonists in coming to terms with an unjust, even criminal, society. Panelists will examine specific works and authors whose characters defend right against wrong, often at great cost.
Speakers: Rod Davis, Eusebio Diaz, William Glenn

Sunday Panels



Ecopoetics of Deceleration: Writing Toward Planetary Well-being
(Location: Trinidad)
Writing towards planetary well-being begins with deceleration, a re-imagining of the scale and temporality of resistance. Through her experience with the online journal Deceleration, Marisol Cortez reflects on what it means to shift from environmental crisis to environmental peacemaking. As examples of eco-justice poetics, Kamala Platt looks to the poetry of Emmy Pérez and Amalia Ortiz.
Speakers: Kamala Platt, Marisol Cortez

From Discord to Discourse: Creating Spaces for Understanding
(Location: Bolivar A)
In a time of political and social discord, how can we as writers create spaces where difficult and necessary conversations can occur? Through an examination of poets from underrepresented communities, this panel will explore how writers can navigate the tension between discord and discourse to craft a space of awareness and possibility through language.
Speakers: Eric James Cruz, Jo Reyes-Boitel, Daniel García Ordaz, Laura Healy


What Does It Mean to be An American?
(Location: Trinidad)

There are many definitions of what it means to be an American. Five panelists from different backgrounds and perspectives discuss what “being an American” means to them and how our perspectives on this subject influence our work as writers and our ability to engage others in a wider cultural discussion.
Speakers: Jasmina Wellinghoff, Sheila Black, James Adair, Juan Tejeda, Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Subversive Verse: Lyrical Provocateurs on Wielding Change Through Words
(Location: Bolivar A)
A panel of poets representing a wide range of aesthetic styles and backgrounds will address the ways poetry can turn reality on its head and challenge the too-easily-accepted. Through choices made in subject matter, point-of-view and style, these poets will discuss how they opened up new potential for innovation in their work.Speakers: Patricia Spears Jones, Pablo Miguel Martínez, Joe Jiménez, Alexandra van de Kamp


Transforming Communities through Creative Education
(Location: Trinidad)

Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities teachers discuss the joys and complications of teaching creative writing workshops in various community settings. We will speak to our personal teaching philosophies and how we have connected with students of various ages and backgrounds, many of whom have no previous exposure to creative writing techniques.
Speakers: Jim LaVilla-Havelin, Joy Jimenez, Kamala Platt

Mythos & Metamorphosis: Writing the Past to Form the Future
(Location: Bolivar A)

By reflecting on who we were—weaving our past into personal mythologies—we can envision who we could be. Join us for close readings and guided writing based on works by poets Patricia Spears Jones and Judy Jordan, whose work invites readers to embrace a metamorphosis only possible through reflection and self-exploration.
Speaker: Aaron Deutsch


Anatomy of a Novel: Contemporary Perspective
(Location: Trinidad)

This panel will briefly cover the historical trajectory of the novel, from the traditional structure of the novel established by 19th century writers to innovative contemporary approaches. Panelists will present unique examples of technique, such as plot, characters or quality of narrative, to highlight the dynamism of modern novel writing.
Speakers: Mo H Saidi, Nan Cuba, Cary Clack, Jimmy Adair, Harold Brannan

The Windward Review: Expressing an Evolving, Multidimensional Border Culture
(Location: La Habana)

Explore the process of transforming a local student journal, The Windward Review, into an international one that celebrates the multidimensional border culture in the South Texas Coastal Bend. How does creating a cultural and political space for diverse contributors and readers deepen commitment to editorial craft? How does an evolving journal contribute to an intersectional and fluid border region?
Speakers: Robin Carstensen, Juliana Aguilar, Joshua Espitia, Chuck Etheridge, Zoe Ramos, Kristen Ruggles

What Veterans Can Teach Us about Compassion
(Location: Bolivar A)

Authors writing through the lens of military service explore the role of compassion in writing, with particular attention given to how the unique military experience can become a spur for change. How can writing as witness be envisioned as not only politics, resistance and reportage but also as a tool towards a more expansive look at ourselves and our connection to those around us?
Speakers: Sarah Colby, Brian Turner, Brandon Lingle, Vincent Cooper

Navigating the Changing World of Publishing
(Location: Bolivar B)

Join a Literary Manager, a Director of a University Press, an independent publisher and an author as they present their diverse experiences and expertise on the quickly evolving and unpredictable world of contemporary publishing.
Speakers: Marilyn Atlas, Tom Payton, Juan Tejeda, Bárbara Renaud González


Writing on the Rio: An Exploration of San Antonio’s Evolving Literary Image
(Location: Trinidad)

Publisher and editor Bryce Milligan will lead a discussion of San Antonio’s multi-faceted literary heritage with noted Chicano Scholar Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and distinguished author Carmen Tafolla. The panel will examine the long history of writing in the River City, from the Spanish colonial period through the Chicano movimiento.
Speakers: Bryce Milligan, Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, Dr. Carmen Tafolla

Interviewing Female Elders: An Act of Storytelling and Subversion
(Location: La Habana)

This panel will explore how telling the stories of women over 80 is a subversive act in a culture that discounts women as they age. Panelists will explore challenging stereotypes through art, including the process of interviewing elders and getting a non-stereotypical book out into the world.
Speakers: Jen Hamilton Hernández, Deb Field, Linda Harris, Bonnie Lyons

Fact versus Fiction: Storytelling in the 21st Century
(Location: Bolivar A)

Award-winning fiction and nonfiction writers discuss how they handle, wield and even manipulate both fact and the imagination to weave compelling stories. How can lyricism merge with lived experience to create riveting stories supple enough to respond to our times?
Speakers: Helena María Viramontes, Jan Jarboe Russell, John Phillip Santos, Bernadette Smyth

Writing La Familia
(Location: Bolivar B)

The recent US election and the increasing wave of hate speech/sentiment throughout the country has necessitated an exploration of how we, as poets in the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, have turned to the idea of family/family history/family ties as a nourishing and motivating force that allows us to write for change.
Speakers: Nayelly Barrios, César L De León, Celina Gómez, Rodney Gómez, Lina Suarez, Edward Vidaurre


Writers Without Readers: How Can We Build a Better City for the Written Word?
(Location: La Habana)

San Antonio is a city that celebrates its rich cultural diversity, but despite being the 7th largest city in the US, it ranks 60th in reading literacy. This lively discussion will explore the intersections between literacy, cultural heritage and engagement with the written word to ask how we can develop San Antonio and cities nationwide into places in which the written word is celebrated by a diverse and engaged population.
Speakers: Tom Payton, Katy Flato, Elizabeth Fauerso, Deborah Valdez, Claudia Guerra