POETRY FOR HOPE & RESILIENCE: CalPoets' 2021 Virtual Poetry Symposium

08/21/2021 - 9:00am to 9:00pm PDT



This is a free, two-day poetry conference held virtually as a Zoom Meeting.  Registration is required.  Donations are encouraged.  Click to register:  https://www.californiapoets.org/events/p...

This cutting-edge, weekend virtual Poetry Symposium is geared towards all people, teens on up, who have an interest in the literary arts – including poets, writers, teachers, students and more.  Offerings will include creative writing workshops, poetry readings, and presentations geared towards teaching poetry in community settings.  There will be a full menu of offerings Saturday – Sunday, August 21st – August 22nd, 2021.  Registration is required but registrants can pick and choose which workshops they participate in.  The conference will occur on ZOOM as a meeting format. The symposium is free.  Donations are encouraged in order to help us cover payments to presenters, and event production.  

Poetry is a transformative tool that can help both creators and readers find hope and resilience in difficult times.  For 57 years, California Poets in the Schools has brought the powerful magic of poetry creation and performance to over one million students.  Poetry instruction builds empathy and a sense of belonging in the classroom setting.  Poetry and the arts can be a powerful, healing tool for schools and communities that are dealing with traumas such as wildfire, pandemic isolation, racial injustice, climate change and more.  All communities. Everywhere.  This weekend conference is open to the public and geared towards literary teaching artists (for all audiences), classroom educators, poets, MFA candidates and more.  Content will be engaging for those brand new to teaching the literary arts and to the "old hats" among us.

The conference will be hosted as a Zoom Meeting.  Some of the workshops may have over a hundred attendees, while other workshops will likely be much more intimate.  We are excited to make the most of this versatile, virtual meeting space in order to strengthen our network and build community.

Only registered participants will receive the login information. You are welcome to attend the entire conference or pick and choose workshops that align with your interests.  There is no need to sign up for particular workshops in advance. Simply log off and on to workshops using the Zoom link that will be provided.  

While phoning in to the symposium will be possible, for the best conference experience, we recommend logging in on a computer with a good wifi connection.  The conference will be set up so that each person in attendance will be visible to the rest of the group, however you can turn your own camera off or on.  All participants will be muted, however there may be moments when one or more participants is unmuted to share with the group. 

Tongo Eisen Martin:  Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker, and educator. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series, and was shortlisted for the Griffins Poetry Prize and won a California Book Award and an American Book Award. His forthcoming book “Blood On The Fog” is being released this fall in the City Lights Pocket Poets series. He is San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. 

Shonda Buchanan: Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, author of Who’s Afraid of Black Indians? and the award-winning memoir, Black Indian, former Virginia Poet Laureate Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda says, “Shonda Buchanan’s powerful narrative passionately showcases her Black Indian heritage.” Daughter of Mixed bloods, Shonda Buchanan writes poetry to transform humanity, stemming from a childhood steeped in intergenerational trauma and the convergences of the heritage of African enslavement, Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears. Shonda has taught poetry workshops, given readings and lectures for middle schools and high schools as well as for prestigious colleges and universities such as Harvard University, University of Pittsburgh, Antioch University, and also for federal government entities such as the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Government Accountability Office. Vice President of Beyond Baroque’s Board of Trustees, a USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow and a Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles (COLA) Master Artist Fellow, Shonda is published in multiple anthologies, and has written for the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, the LA Times and Indian Country Today. Currently a Senior Lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, Shonda recently completed a collection of poetry about Nina Simone and is working on her second memoir and a novel.

Contact Information

Meg Hamill