Thirteenth National Black Writers Conference
Writing Race, Embracing Difference
Thursday, March 31, 2016 – Sunday, April 3, 2016
In her classic essay Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, Toni Morrison writes that although the habit of ignoring race may be desirable and generous, “A criticism that needs to insist that literature is not only ‘universal’ but also ‘race-free’ risks lobotomizing that literature and diminishes both the art and the artist.” This desire to ignore race is turned upside down in the critique of Rita Dove’s editing of The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry. Helen Vendler, a Harvard professor and literary critic, lambasted former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove for her inclusion of “some 175” poets and for her choice of poems: “mostly short” and “of rather restricted vocabulary” in the anthology and states that “Multicultural inclusiveness prevails….”
The 13th National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) “Writing Race, Embracing Difference” places the issues of race and difference at the forefront of the literature produced by Black writers and provides for writers, scholars, literary agents, editors, publishers, students, academics, and the general public to examine these themes through panel discussions and roundtables.
DAY 1 – Thursday, March 31 –Community Day-This day is FREE and open to the public. Call for Papers Presentations, Elders Writing Program, Poetry Café (This event is off-site.) RSVP for selected events.
DAY 2 – Friday, April 1 – NBWC Film Series and Official Conference Opening:
Opening Night: poets reflect on the state of poetry with
Elizabeth Alexander, Rita Dove, and Yusef Komunyakaa.
DAY 3 – Saturday, April 2 – NBWC Reading Series, Panel Discussions, Tribute & Awards, and Banquet
2016 NBWC Honorees:
Edwidge Danticat, Woodie King Jr.,
Michael Eric Dyson & Charles Johnson
National Black Writers Conference
Banquet & Fundraiser
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Skylight Cafeteria, Second floor
Medgar Evers College Campus
DAY 4 – Sunday, April 3– Talkshops and Panel Discussions