Photograph of our booth at AWP 2024 in Kansas City. Books in the photo include mahogany by erica lewis, A Library of Light by Danielle Vogel, Room Swept Home by Remica Bingham-Risher, Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton, Sukun by Kazim Ali, The Ruins of Nostalgia by Donna Stonecipher, Septet for the Luminous Ones by fahima ife, and Fierce Elegy by Peter Gizzi.

AWP 2024

We had an excellent time at AWP in Kansas City! Bliss Books & Wine was a perfect spot for an offsite event. We can’t recommend this establishment enough. Bliss Books & Wine is a community-centered bookstore and event venue owned by book (and wine) loving sisters.

Below: Remica Bingham-Risher, Kazim Ali, Suzanna Tamminen, and Evie Shockley at the Bliss Books and Wine.

Below: Evie Shockley and other attendees, Kazim Ali and A.H. Jerriod Avant.

We has the chance to host author signings with a number of our authors, such as Dianna Bilyak, author of Nothing Special: The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny Tales of Two Sisters.

Dianne Bilyak at a table for author signings from Wesleyan University Press during AWP 2024

Official conference events included:

The Many Roles of the Black Writer: An Appreciation of Calvin C. Hernton
with Lauri Scheyer, Donna Harper, Tyrone Williams, David Grundy, and Kathy Schultz.

Calvin C. Hernton (1932–2001) is renowned as an anti-racist sociologist, literary critic, champion of Black women, and a founder of Umbra, which was a model for the 1960s Black Arts Movement. He is less well-known as a poet but recent attention has generated much acclaim. Based on new appraisals of his stature as a major poet, this panel will reveal him as an overlooked but very important figure who insisted on combining the roles of critic, teacher, poet, race theorist, and social commentator.
Watch our video of the event. (Apologies for my poor videography work.)

“The Many Roles of the Black Writer: An Appreciation of Calvin C. Hernton” (AWP 2024, Kansas City)

Black Women As (Keepers of) the Archive: Photographs, Hybrid and Historical Text, Sponsored by Cave Canem
with Remica Bingham-Risher, Courtney Faye Taylor, Bettina Judd, Robin Coste Lewis, and Patricia Smith.

These five Black women writers have crafted works that center those most often removed from history or those that are splayed across it as specimen, silent and reluctant. Hybrid texts help illuminate the forgotten and missing or can create a collage of the living, serving as rescue and reclamation. The poets featured here have embodied, reckoned with, and reinvented the archive: sometimes they raise the dead, sometimes they build a spectacular future, but they always refuse to look away.
A video of this event is available to AWP 2024 attendees.

We thank everyone who visited us at AWP 2024 and we look forward to seeing you all next year in Los Angeles.

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