Mini–Conference: Like Oak Trees—How Writing Transforms Community


Join us Fri, July 24, 6:30pmTacoland-Two-Tons-of-Steel-07.03.14-Small-2-300x200

Live! Spoken word performances by

Dan Vera, Jennifer Bartlett, and Natalia Treviño


103 W. Grayson St

followed by open-mic…try out the newly invented Gemini cocktail while you’re there!

How Writing Transforms Community

Dan Vera and Jennifer Bartlett, Keynote Speakers

Sat, July 25, 2015

Gain insights from keynote speakers Dan Vera and Jennifer Bartlett about how writing from the margins can transform community. How can marginalized voices and perspectives be brought to the center? In break-out sessions, discuss pedagogical strategies for teaching writing in communities that can be transformative.


vera-authorphotoDan Vera is a writer, editor, and literary historian living in Washington, DC. He’s the author of two poetry collections including Speaking Wiri Wiri, the inaugural winner of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in various journals, including Poet Lore, Notre Dame Review, Cutthroat, and Delaware Poetry Review, in addition to various anthologies, college and university curricula. He’s the poetry editor for Origins Journal, co-curates the literary history site DC Writers’ Homes, and chairs the board of Split This Rock Poetry. named him a 2014 Top Ten “New” Latino Author to Watch (and Read) calling him “a talented, sophisticated poet who is a master at playing with words.” For more visit



JenniferBartlettJennifer Bartlett’s  most recent book is Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography (theenk Books, 2014). Bartlett also co-edited, with Sheila Black and Michael Northen, Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Bartlett has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Fund for Poetry, and the Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is currently writing a biography of poet Larry Eigner.




Keynote Speakers: Dan Vera, author of Speaking Wiri Wiri, Recipient of the inaugural Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize and of the Board of Split this Rock and The Rainbow History Project, and Jennifer Bartlett, co-editor of Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability and author of Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography, open up the conference with a discussion of how writing from the margins can transform community.


Aaronetta Pierce: Perspectives on how writing transforms communities seen through the lens of Pierce’s decades-long friendship with Dr. Maya Angelou.


Author, publisher, and columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, Professor Fred Williams will discuss writing programs that build youth leadership by drawing on the rich cultural capital of African-American communities.


Writers in Communities: Jen Knox, Jim LaVilla-Havelin and Dexter Gilford speak about the transformational nature of teaching creative writing in diverse San Antonio communities.


Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Professor and Students discuss the MFA Program at OLLU and  its focus on social justice. Panel: Dr. Octavio Quintanilla, Dr. Leah Larson, Amber Gonzalez, Sonya Groves and Christopher Martinez.


Keynote speakers Dan Vera and Jennifer Bartlett.



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