Conference: RAWI Literary Conference

Fri, June 3, 2005 12:00 pm at Hunter College

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Radius of Arab American Writers, The National Writers Union, & Alwan for the Arts Present:

RAWI Literary Conference, June 3-5, 2005 is really on!

“Kalimuna: Speak to Us” Literary Conference in New York, June 3-5, 2005, Hunter College.

Program begins at noon, Friday, June 3, 2005 Register at room 217, Hunter West. Registration information: contact Maysoun Freij Registration fee for the entire weekend: $75 for non-members. Gala banquet Saturday night: New York City: $50.

To reserve, contact Maysoun Freij Book and information tables : $100 for non-profit vendors and $150 for commercial. Contact Maysoun Freij

Gala banquet keynote speaker is veteran journalist and White House Press Corps member, Helen Thomas. Poet and Def Poetry co-author writer Suheir Hammad will MC the event. Literary awards will also be presented to our outstanding Arab American writers. Panels and Workshops by leading writers will take place Friday through Sunday morning in Hunter West. Entrance: SW corner of Hunter College, 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, NY. Friday night: Open mike and presentations by leading bards. Hunter College. Watch for further details.


Writing for Children by Naomi Shihab Nye “Open to anyone interested in writing poems or prose for young readers —children or teens. If participants wish to bring brief samples of their own work to READ FROM and discuss in session, this is also possible, but not required. I will not be giving any individual critiques of manuscripts as this is not my forte, but will be happy to share suggestions and experiences relating to the wonderful world of writing for children.” Naomi Shihab Nye

Drama Workshop Performance: "Persimmons" An informal solo presentation of a short prose piece by Amani Elkassabani, followed by conversation about written and oral story telling, then an open discussion with workshop participants. Amani Elkassabani (author and teacher, Rockville, Md.), Michelle Murad (actress, student/U. Maryland), John Fiscella (community artist, teacher, U. Maryland).

Poetry Workshop: Writing the Unspeakable with Hayan Charara This workshop will focus on the most meaningful and difficult subjects, the sort that we may write about but would never show a single human being. There will be readings and writing exercises to develop techniques—when to employ truth over fact, when to be subtle, when to take the subject head on—and to free ourselves from self-imposed censorship. No one will be required to share his or her work. Limited to 15. Charara is the author of “The Alchemist’s Diary” (Hanging Loose, 2001) and “The Sadness of Others” (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). He lives in Austin, Texas.

Memoir with Elmaz Abinader “We will generate writing rather than workshop previous stuff. And the only requirement is the writer bring two photos from two periods in their family’s history—they can be posed or candid, but should not be strict portraits.” Abinader is author of “In The Country of My Dreams,” “Children of the Roojme,” and a number of plays. Limited to 12.

Creative Non-fiction with Greory Orfalea “I will discuss the use of ethnic roots in memoir writing, creative nonfiction as an act of discovery of self and community, and cf as historical inquiry.” Orfalea has published six books, three of creative nonfiction and three of poetry. His latest book, edited with Barbara Rosewicz, is “Up All Night: Practical Wisdom from Mothers and Fathers.” He is assistant professor of creative writing at Pitzer College in Claremont, California and director of Pitzer’s Center for Writing. Workshop unlimited.

Starting Your Novel with Kathryn Abdul Baki, McLean VA Abdul Baki is author of the novel "Ghost Songs: A Palestinian Love Story" and two collections of short stories.

Short Story Workshop by Evelyn Shakir Explores issues having to do with writing short fiction in general and Arab American fiction in particular. Shakir has published many short stories and personal essays and she is author of “Bint Arab:Arab” and “Arab American Women in the United States.” Limited to 15.

All You Need to Know About Literary Agents by Charlotte Dennett Finding the right agent is key to developing your career as an author. This workshop shows you how to find an agent by genre. What questions to ask, and how to negotiate a good agent-author contract. With advanced reparation, you are better equipped to establish one of the most important relationships in your professional life. Dennett is author and lawyer has for many years served as the national agent advisor for NWU.

Writers’ Rights by Gerard Colby This workshop will cover both political and legal aspects of writers rights in an age of media conglomeration and threats to free speech. Colby is co-author of “Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Explore the Myth of a Free Press.” Winner, National Press Club Award on Media Criticism.

PANELS A. Images of the Word and the World of Images Artists working in different mediums discuss their experiences at the intersection of word and image. Mohammad O. Khalil shares his visual interpretations of Adonis’ poetry; Ayreen Anastas re-situates language within a conceptual visual work. Youmna Chlala speaks as artist, editor of an art journal, and creative writer. Organizer: Salwa Mikdadi, Independent Curator, Berkeley, CA Mohammad O. Khalil, NYU and Parsons School, NY Ayreen Anastas, Pratt Institute, NY Youmna Chlala, California College for the Arts, SF—moderator

B. From Script to Screen A panel of screenwriters of Arab descent who also direct and/or produce their own films discuss the process of bringing their stories to the screen. Moderator: Leila Buck, New York Panelists: Cherien Dabis, LA & NY Sara Rashad, LA Nasri Zacharia, NY Annemarie Jacir, NY & Palestine Rana Kazkaz (Panel Organizer), NY & Chicago.

C. Who's in the Classroom?: Teaching Arab American Literature. This round table will explore the various perspectives of and ways in which American academia can effectively engage Arab American literature. Participants will address a series of questions that examine the relationships between teachers, publishers, students, and writers of Arab American literature. Organizer and Moderator: Heather Hoyt, Arizona State University Steven Salaita, U. Wisconsin at Whitewater Nathalie Handal, Columbia U. NY David Williams, Worcester, MA.

D. Literary Blogs: Can We Afford to Ignore Them? What exactly are lit blogs? Why are they so popular? How are they useful to Arab American writers? What do they mean for Arab and Arab American fiction? Book bloggers from around the country debate these and other questions. Organizer and Moderator: Laila Lalami, Portland, OR, Short Story Writer and Proprietor of the Blog, Panelists: Randa Jarrar, Author and Fellow Blogger, Austin, TX Leila Abu-Saba, Fiction Writer, SF, CA.

E. Sexuality in Our Literature: Gay, Straight or Not at All? Andrea Assaf, Artistic Director, Dept. Theater, U. Mass. Mohja Kahf, U. Arkansas, Poet/Dept English Author/Poet Micaela Raen Poet Ahimsa Bodran, NY.

F. Critiquing Our Own Community. How? Where? Why? A discussion of the pros and cons of writing for Muslim, ethnic, and mainstream presses, asking hard questions about which is the best place to discuss problematical issues within our Muslim or Arab communities. Organizer and Moderator: Pamela Taylor, Radio Journalist, Publications Officer, IWA , Indianapolis, IN. Panelists: Leila Montour, Muslim Blogger, Islamic Writers Alliance Member, Poet Renee Warner, Editor, Azizah Magazine, IWA Member; Atlanta, GA Asra Nomani, Author, Journalist, Morgantown, WV

G. Hybridity in Arab-American Literature Since the early 20th century, Arab-American writers have had to contend with their ethnic background in various ways: from attempts to melt in the pot of mainstream (white) America to assertions of hyphenated identity; from implicit to explicit treatment of racism and Islamophobia; from emphasis on regionalism to constructions of pan-Arab identity; from humor to protest; and from critical assessment to celebration of Arab heritage; and from self-Orientalizing to challenging Orientalism. Organizer: Wael S. Hassan, U. Illinois, Urbana. Panelists: Layla Al-Melah, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC Usama Kahf, M.A. UC, Long Beach, CA

H. Divide, Gap, or Bridge? A round table led by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Amman, Jordan and Cambridge, MA, talk about Arabic literature and its relation to our literary work in the United States. Authors and translators discuss their relation to the two literary communities. Panelists: Lamea Abbas Amara (Santa Barbara, CA) Rachida Mohammedi (Algiers, Algeria) Mansour Ajami (Princeton, NJ)

I. Everything is Political! Is it possible for our art to be neutral; and is it necessary? Writers, attorneys, activists, dramatists weigh in. Panelists discuss their art and activism philosophies. Laila Shereen, Multimedia and Publications Editor, CCAS, Georgetown University NY Poet Louis Rivera, others TBA.

J. The Global Hood: With writers from Asian, Italian and African American neighborhoods. Led by Fawzia Afzal Khan, Montclair University, NJ; Editor of "Shattering Stereotypes".

To join RAWI E-mail RAWI PO Box 220, Prince/Greene St Sation, New York, NY, 10012 Courtesy of Shams Magazine

Last updated: 2007-09-26 11:57:26

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