Jamaica Baldwin's first book will be published by YesYes Books in Spring of 2023 along with co-winners, Jill Mceldowney and Natalie Wee. Congratulations to all the finalists!
“Bone Language Forthcoming from YesYes Books in April 2023 ”
Jamaica (she/her) hails from Santa Cruz, CA by way of Seattle. Her first book, Bone Language, will be published by YesYes Books in 2023. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, Prairie Schooner, World Literature Today, The Adroit Journal and The Missouri Review, among others. She is a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, winner of the 2021 RHINO Poetry editor's prize, and winner of the 2019 San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference Contest in Poetry. Her writing has been supported by Hedgebrook, Furious Flower, and the Jack Straw Writers program. Jamaica is currently pursuing her PhD in English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a focus on poetry and Women's and Gender Studies.
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National Book Award–honored authors Grace M. Cho (Tastes Like War, 2021 Nonfiction Finalist) and Erika L. Sánchez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, 2017 Young People’s Literature Finalist) consider immigrant families, and the intersections of class, food, and mental health across diasporas. Moderated by Jamaica Baldwin, author of Bone Language (forthcoming). Presented in partnership with Metropolitan Community College.
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The writer’s silence may be the writing workshop’s longest tradition. And yet, a chorus of recent scholarship problematizes this restriction, and teaches us the value of bringing the writer’s voice into the room. This discussion begins, then, not with the writer’s silence but with their speech. How will writers speak in our workshops? Participants will have opportunities to voice their ideas, ask questions, and respond to strategies suggested by the presenters.
The workshop’s “gag rule” (Kearns) has been widely critiqued, most predominantly by writers of color and others who are marginalized in our primarily white, male, cis, abled workshop environments. Thus, this discussion is urgent, anti-racist, decolonial work. Building on scholarship which has focused on the harm done by silencing the writer, with this event, we aim to move the conversation forward, and foster collaborative change in our workshop practices.
The moderator will begin by welcoming everyone to the discussion, and briefly framing the conversation with some recent scholarship on the topic. Presenters will each pose a question or strategy for discussion, and participants will have time to respond verbally and/or in writing. The moderator will take public notes throughout the event, so that participants leave with a collective list of ideas to draw on in their own teaching as they find ways for writers to speak in workshop.