Seattle U Faculty Featured in Annual AWP Conference and Bookfair

Collage of photos of Seattle U faculty
Written by Karen L. Bystrom
February 13, 2023

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference (AWP) & Bookfair is an annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers of contemporary creative writing. It includes thousands of attendees, hundreds of events and book fair exhibitors, and four days of essential literary conversation and celebration. This year, the conference is in Seattle, from March 8 to 11, at the Seattle Convention Center.

Seattle University is well represented throughout the event by our faculty, Claudia Castro-Luna, MFA, MA, Adjunct Professor, Matteo Ricci Institute; Serena Chopra, PhD, Assistant Professor, English/Creative Writing; Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD, Professor, Modern Languages and Women Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Sonora Jha, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Community and Professor, Department of Communication and Media; Susan Meyers, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of English and Director, Creative Writing Program; and Juan Carlos Reyes, MFA, Assistant Professor, English.

“My scholarship and writing are interdisciplinary, at the intersection of journalism and creative writing,” says Dr. Jha. “Presenting at such conferences and attending other people's presentations provide a storm of ideas from writers across the nation to then bring back to our students so they may engage in the big ideas of our shared humanity.”

Learn more and register for all or part of the conference here.

Seattle University at the conference:

March 7

  • 6 p.m., Campion Ballroom, Seattle University, "The Laughter" by Sonora Jha and Nalini Iyer. Author Sonora Jha and her colleague, Nalini Iyer, discuss her new work of literary fiction, which has been described as tense, explosive, and illuminating. It perfectly captures the privilege, radicalization, race, and class tensions that simmer in the world of modern academia and in present-day America. Booklist calls it "a complete triumph." Free, registration requested here.

March 9

  • 12:10 p.m., Claudio Castro Luna, Partnering for Progress: Building Language Equity at Artist Residencies
  • 3:20 p.m., Serena Chopra, Panel Discussion: The Word, The Body, The Page

March 10

  • 10:35 a.m., Sonora Jha, Writing Motherhood in Post-Roe America
  • 12:10 p.m., Susan Meyers, Hacking the Job Market: Getting (and Surviving) an Academic Job
  • 12:10 p.m., Juan Carlos Reyes, Crafting Nuestra América: the Literary Work of Diaspora
  • 1:45 p.m., Serena Chopra, Extended Mournings: Encountering Violence, Memory, and Grief in the Asian Diaspora
  • 3:30 p.m., Sonora Jha, Motherlode: The Trip Wire of Writing Real Family

March 11

  • 10:35 a.m., Susan Meyers and Juan Carlos Reyes , Sustaining Seattle: Literary Leaders in a Time of Reckoning
  • 12:10 p.m., Sonora Jha, Wanting: Writing About Desire

Offsite events with Seattle University faculty

  • March 8
  • 7 p.m., Capitol Cider, Sly, Witchy, Twisted: Writing Women Beyond the Literary Gaze. A reading featuring Sonora Jha, Alexandra Teague, Kristen Millares Young, Sayantani Dasgupta, Laura Read, and Maya Jewell Zeller. Free
  • 7 p.m., Elliott Bay Book Company, Denise Levertov Celebration. Join poets and writers Claudia Castro Luna, Jan Wallace, and Paul Constant for a reading in celebration of Denise Levertov's work and life. Denise Levertov spent the last years of her life living in Seattle where her remains lie. She was one of the founding board members of the venerable Copper Canyon Press, alongside Rick Simonson of Elliott Bay Books who will join us for part of the evening. Bring your favorite Levertov poem or anecdote to share. This is a communal event to commemorate the iconic and beloved poet and writer that was Denise Levertov. Free, learn more.

March 9

  • 5:00-6:30 p.m., Casey Commons, A Celebration of Seattle University's Creative Writing Program. Come join us for an interactive evening with readings from students and faculty from the SU Creative Writing Program. Light refreshments will be served. Free. Questions? Please contact program director Dr. Susan Meyers.
  • 6:30 p.m., Casa Latina, Voices of Central America / Huizache Magazine: A Poetry Reading, with Claudio Castro Luna.

March 10

  • 3:30 p.m., Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University, Chicanx Poetry in the Northwest & More. Hosted by Dr. Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs. Twenty-two Chicanx/Latinx poets are featured, each reading for five to six minutes. Co-sponsored by Seattle Escribe and La Sala. Free.
  • 7 p.m., Gallery 110, Poetry Reading, including Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs. Free. Learn more.
  • 7 p.m., John and Susan Eshelman Stage, Lee Center for the Arts, Seattle University, Good Actors, a one-woman play written and performed by Sommer Browning. Hosted by Serena Chopra. Based on the poetry collection, Good Actors, by Sommer Browning, and directed by Aaron Angello, the play is an irreverent, moving, funny, genre-bending one-woman show about the beauty and impossibility of being human. Join the playwright and director after the event for a book signing and beverages. Free.
  • 7 p.m., Frederick Holmes Gallery, My Beats Are Icky: A Poetry Reading, with Claudia Castro Luna.

March 11

  • 4 p.m. Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, SEISMIC: Seattle City of Literature Happy Hour. Short readings by editor Kristen Millares Young and three former Seattle Civic Poets, including Anastacia Reneé, Claudia Castro Luna, and Jourdan Imani Keith. The program starts at 4 p.m., followed by a happy hour to honor all of the amazing literary organizations, libraries, bookstores, writers, publishers, and readers that make our City of Literature amazing. Free. RSVP here.
  • 7 p.m., Underbelly Seattle, A Reading of South Asian Writers. Hosted by Margin Shift, featuring Prageeta Sharma, Serena Chopra, Nanya Jhingran, Malvika Jolly, Jasmine Khaliq, and Sarah Ghazal Ali.
  • 7 p.m., Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, Ways with Words: Honoring the Paths of Women Immigrants and Refugees. Poet and storyteller Merna Hecht and Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum invite to explore the divergent paths of women immigrants  and refugees from around the world. Journey with us through poetry readings from Washington's State Poet Laureate and civic Poet Caludia Castro Luna, Lake County's Poet Laureate and Academy of American Poets fellow Georgina Marie Guardado, retired Asistant Teaching Professor of Persian Language and Literature at the University of Washington Shahrzad Shams, co-founder of ACHD and Somali-language poet Hamdi Abdulle and more. RSVP here.