Multimedia-related panels at AWP 2016

The annual AWP conference is the largest gathering of creative writers and writing teachers in North America, with more than 12,000 attendees and some 550 on-site panel discussions, readings and other events, to say nothing of the numerous off-site events. This year, it will be held in Los Angeles, so you’d think there might be at least one panel on poetry film, but I couldn’t find any in the online program. As with AWP 2015, however, there are a number of panels with at least some bearing on multimedia, cross-genre collaborations, and the like. Here are some I spotted (click through to read about the presenters):

R185. The Poetry of Comics
Room 411, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

The combination of text and image holds the power to create indivisible meaning on the page. Just as poets ground their work in the arrangement of words, ordered by such elements as sound or sense, most cartoonist-poets gravitate toward comics’ foundational device of juxtaposition. The tradition of comics has created generous, exciting spaces for the poetic, lyric, and hybrid. In this panel, artists showcase and read from works that live at the intersection of the visual and the poetic.

(The above is one of at least three poetry comics-related panels on the schedule.)

R227. Visual Arts in Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition Classrooms
Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Writers and teachers of poetry, fiction, plays, and screenplays discuss their use of visual arts in creative writing, literature, and composition classrooms. Moving beyond ekphrasis, these educators and writers describe assignments that promote parallel thinking, metacognition, and creative problem-solving via various mediums and games at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

R204. Poetry, Politics, and Place: A Reading and Conversation with Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Luis J. Rodriguez, Sponsored by Poets House
Petree Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One
Thursday, March 31, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

These leading poets read their poems and discuss their poetry-activism in New York, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and around the country. Each engages poetic practice and community building with projects that expand poetry’s place in our lives and culture: Griffiths through photography, Nye through writing for children, and Rodriguez through publishing projects and political organizing. The transformative power of poetry brings these three together to talk about how we can make a better world.

(Rachel Eliza Griffiths is an accomplished videopoet.)

F119. Necessary Hybridity: The Politics & Performance of Making Multigenre, Multimedia, Multiethnic Literature Visible
Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
9:00 am to 10:15 am

Hybridity in literature is often thought of as a kind of cross-pollination that leads to “vigor.” But what happens when hybridity is considered through the lens of political and aesthetic necessity? From queer politics to POC feminism to postcoloniality, hybrid forms have been a critical part of making visible otherwise illegible experiences. Join five writers as they explore the significance of hybridity to queerness, trans culture, black bodies, mixed-race narratives, and erased histories.

F249. Comics, Films, Songs, and More: Multimodality in Creative Writing and Composition Courses
Room 409 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Our students function as visually literate composers, engaging with writing and reading across multiple modes of communication. Hear from a panel of instructors that embrace their students’ comfort with multimodality by teaching in multimodal formats and assigning both composition and creative writing assignments that push students outside their comfort zones and into the types of writing they’re most likely to encounter on the job.

S125. Ekphrasis in the Digital Age: Beyond Mere Description
Room 505, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
9:00 am to 10:15 am

Contemporary ekphrasis has been described as a form of critical meditation that mixes commentary, homage, resistance, argument, and self-criticism, but what does it look like in practice, especially given digital tools? And how does one push beyond mere description or instrumentalization of the work of art? These panelists present examples from their own work and offer practical exercises, with an emphasis on digital technology, for community, undergraduate, and graduate classrooms.

S215. Why We Innovate: The Case for Hybrid Genres
Room 409 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Editors of and contributors to Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of Eight Hybrid Literary Genres discuss writing and teaching hybrid literature as innovative acts of artistic, social, and cultural criticism, and as radical self-creation. Panelists discuss why writers mix forms and provide ideas and examples for crafting and teaching hybrid genres, focusing on blendings of visual, performative, lyrical, and narrative techniques.

S253. From Page to Screen: Exploring Successful Adaptation with Industry Insiders
Room 501, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Authors have more opportunities than ever to bring their works to the screen, but the complexity of that process has increased exponentially. This panel, presented by the Authors Guild, explains film and television adaptation through the insights of those best equipped to reveal its secrets: authors whose works have been adapted; producers and agents who select, sell, and develop books for Hollywood; and industry executives (HBO, Lionsgate) who oversee that lucky, and laborious, journey.

Incidentally, the AWP website does have a videos section, with “Videos of select featured presentations from the more than 550 events offered at the AWP Conference & Bookfair.”

Dave Bonta

Dave is the founder of Moving Poems, and posts videos for his own poems (along with lots of other stuff) at Via Negativa. Here's a bio.

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