How to Be Human: How Literature Helps–Recording

An offsite panel discussion at the 2020 AWP by Authors Large & Small, , this lively discussion on how to keep the good aspects of ‘great books’ while expanding the literary canon to reflect the insights of many more cultural groups. Speakers include Terry Tierney, a Victorian lit expert; St. Johns tutor Martha Franks, who taught Western classics in China while reading their classic works; Jessica Delgado, an educator on Chicano/Indigenous/queer lit; and Kelly Ann Kravez, an MFA student specializing poetry and trauma. Moderator Kristen Caven has written a philosophical graphic novel and a novel about seeking ancient female philosophers. Hosted by Cristina Deptula

Thanks to Kristen Caven for recording our offsite AWP session and Cristina Deptula for organizing the session. The discussion was fun, some disagreements of course, but quite cordial, and I found it enlightening. Each of the panelists had well expressed and interesting points of view.

One highpoint for me was mentioning Middlemarch as one of the books I love the most. Later in the day I attended a reading and interview with Louise Erdich, and she was asked what book she returns to, and she said Middlemarch. Confirmation that the spirit of George Eliot walks the halls of AWP.

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