September 15-16, 2017
Lexington, Kentucky

Free Events

UPCOMING in 2017: 

Please join us for 2 free events upcoming in the Sonia Sanchez Series:

  • Sunday, August. 27, 1 p.m. at Lexington Public Library--Central Branch, 140 East Main Street, Lexington, Room A (lower level). Join us for a free screening of "The 13th," a documentary film on race and mass incarceration that traces the liberation of slaves by the 13th Amendment signed on January 31, 1865, to the convict leasing that followed, to the Jim Crow system of apartheid, to the FBI’s war against Black activism, to today’s rampant incarceration of largely poor Black men. Directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), this film opened the 2016 New York Film Festival. Free admission, discussion to follow with Sonia Series Chair Patrice Muhammad and committee members Asha French and Shawntaye Hopkins. Film running time is 1 hour, 40 minutes, and you may view the trailer here.
  • Thursday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., Sonia Sanchez Series lecture by UK law professor Melynda J. Price on race and the politics of the death penalty. At the Carnegie Center, opening event of KWWC2017. The Sonia Sanchez Series honors the indelible spirit of the poet and her many visits to the neighborhoods of Lexington by bringing a major thinker whose writing impacts Black culture and social justice issues. She participates in the Kentucky Woman Writers Conference and gives a keynote address, free and open to the community. The series is chaired by Patrice K. Muhammad, who is founder and editor of the Key Newsjournal, serving Central Kentucky’s Black community since 2004, and host of the syndicated talk radio program Key Conversations. Patrice began her career in journalism as a reporter for her middle school newspaper in Detroit. She is also a wife, mother, and blogger.

Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., keynote with poet Camille Dungy, Singletary Center, 405 Rose St., University of Kentucky

Saturday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., Wild Women of Poetry Slam featuring Olivia Gatwood and 6 spoken word poets competing for the $500 Faith A. Smith Poetry Prize. Emcee: TSmilez. Downtown Arts Center, 141 E. Main Street. Open mic begins at 7 p.m., by advance sign-up only, contact sara.c.volpi@gmail.com

Sunday, Sept. 17, 10:00–11:30 a.m., Stars of the Commonwealth: Readings by Kristi Maxwell, Carrie Mullins, and Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, followed by Q & A with Julie Wrinn and a booksigning.  Carnegie Center, final event of KWWC2017.

Past Events in 2017

Reading and discussion by poet Kristi Maxwell, Saturday, March 18, 11 a.m., at the Carnegie Center, part of LexArts's Arts Showcase Weekend.

Preview Party at Wild Fig Books & Coffee: view event flyer. 726 N. Limestone, Saturday, May 13, 2017, 4:00–5:30 p.m. Meet our Board and enjoy a reading by Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of the new novel The Animators. She & other authors teaching at KWWC2017 will have books available for browsing and purchase. Drawing for 1 free admission to KWWC2017 (Sept. 15–16, 2107). Complimentary appetizers plus wine.

Delving into Dungy: Pre-Conference Poetry Workshop, with Lynnell Edwards and Sylvia Ahrens. Saturday, June 17, 2017, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, 2nd floor, Allen Room, 251 West Second Street, Lexington, KY 40507. At this link are poems that you may read in advance. These are by Camille Dungy, our KWWC2017 keynote speaker, from her newest book, Trophic Cascade (2017). This collection suggests both a subject and a method for thinking about how we read and write poetry.  In our workshop, we’ll offer a sequence of exercises to get participants engaged in this web-like sense of deep ecology that Dungy is excavating in her poems. The “trophic level” of an organism is the position it occupies in the food chain, and a “trophic cascade” is an ecological concept having to do with predators and prey, a way of understanding the effects of lessening top predators from food webs, e.g. through hunting, fishing, and climate change.

Animal Collages: Pre-Conference Creative Nonfiction Workshop, with Neleigh Olson and Julie Wrinn. Saturday, July 15, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, 2nd floor, Allen Room, 251 West Second Street, Lexington, KY 40507. Each of the 16 essays in Animals Strike Curious Poses by Elena Passarello investigates a different animal immortalized by humans, through a collage approach. We'll read "Lancelot" [pdf here] and excerpts from some others, looking to generate our own writing about animals we've witnessed, what they reveal about themselves and us, and how to deploy the disparate elements of the essay form.

 

Past Events in 2016

Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m., Sonia Sanchez Series reading and performance by tba, Carnegie Center, opening event of KWWC2016

Friday, Sept. 16, 7:00 p.m., keynote with Mary Karr, with Q & A by Dana Spiotta, Singletary Center, 405 Rose St., University of Kentucky

Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., Wild Women of Poetry Slam featuring Melissa Lozada-Oliva, with emcee Sara Volpi, Carrick Theatre, Mitchell Fine Arts Center, Transylvania University, 300 N. Broadway. Open mic begins at 7 p.m., by advance sign-up only, contact sara.c.volpi@gmail.com

Sunday, Sept. 18, 10:00–11:30 a.m., Stars of the Commonwealth: Readings by Sarah Gorham, Julie Hensley, and Bobbie Ann Mason, Carnegie Center, final event of KWWC2016.

Preview Party at Ashland: the Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Road, Saturday, May 14, 4:00–5:30 p.m. Meet our Board and enjoy readings by poet Bianca Lynne Spriggs and novelist Crystal Wilkinson. They & other authors teaching at KWWC2016 will have books available for browsing and purchase. Drawing for 1 free admission to KWWC2016 (Sept. 16–17, 2106). Complimentary appetizers by Athenian Grill plus wine. Option to join a tour led by Ashland director Jim Clark of a contemporary art exhibit of works by Camilla Huey, “The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry & Binding.” Full-length tour at 3 p.m. (lasts approx. 45’, RSVP kheil@henryclay.org) or abbreviated tour at 5 p.m. (lasts approx. 15’).

Poetry workshop on works by KWWC2016 poets Natalie Diaz, Lisa Russ Spaar, and Bianca Spriggs, led by KWWC Board members Kimberly Miller and Katie Riley, Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. - 12 noon at the Carnegie Center

Memoir workshop using KWWC2016 keynote speaker Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir, led by Catherine Brereton and Julie Wrinn, Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m. - 12 noon at the Carnegie Center

Past Events in 2015

Saturday, Aug. 29, 10 a.m., Lexington Public Library Tates Creek Branch. Join us for a discussion of poems in Shake Loose My Skin, by Sonia Sanchez, led by Shawntaye Hopkins, a member of our Sonia Series Committee. Free copies of the book will be available to the first 12 participants, courtesy of KWWC, and coffee and bagels will be served. No advance preparation is required--we'll read poems aloud and discuss.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 6 p.m., screening of the film BadddDDD Sonia Sanchez, followed by a conversation with Sonia Sanchez and Patrice Muhammad, Lyric Theatre, 300 E 3rd St, Lexington, KY 40508, (859) 280-2201. Free admission. Honoring the indelible spirit of the poet and her many visits to the neighborhoods of Lexington, the Sonia Sanchez Series brings a major thinker whose writing impacts Black culture and social justice issues. She participates in the Kentucky Woman Writers Conference and gives a keynote address, free and open to the community. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this series and the launch of a film about her life and work, we are thrilled to bring back Sister Sonia herself. The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, which is co-sponsoring this event, was a thriving mid-century entertainment destination for Lexington’s African American families. Restored to a new glory by the Lexington government and supporters in the community, the Lyric is now a leading downtown arts venue, with special emphasis on African American cultural heritage.

Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m., keynote address by Ann Beattie, with Q & A by Hannah Pittard, Singletary Center, 405 Rose St., University of Kentucky campus.

Saturday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., Wild Women of Poetry Slam. The top vote recipients from the online video performances will compete; they are Christina Boyd, Lisa Marie, and Jordon Roberts, vying for the $500 Faith A. Smith Poetry Prize. With feature poet Jessica Helen Lopez, emcee Bianca Spriggs, and an opening vocal & guitar performance by Amythyst Kiah. Downtown Arts Center, 141 E. Main Street. Contest details. 

Sunday, Sept. 13, 10:00 a.m., Stars with Accents: readings by Bianca Bargo, Martha Billips, and Alison Joseph, with Q & A moderated by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Carnegie Center.

 

 

 

Pease join our Board of Advisors on Sat., May 9, 4 p.m., at the Morris Book Shop, for a Preview Party for the 2015 Women Writers Conference, with Hannah Pittard reading from her novel Reunion. Books by other conference authors will be available, plus Oasis appetizers, wine, and drawing for 1 free admission (a $125 value) to the Sept. 11-12 conference, where Hannah will teach a fiction workshop.

March 7, 10–11 a.m., “The Yellow Wallpaper Project,” an interactive installation at ArtsPlace, 161 N. Mill Street, as part of Arts Showcase Weekend. In the subversive spirit of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, help us “repaper” the walls celebrating women who write. Add the names of your favorite writers to a wall commemorating literary women past and present; participate in a literal tearing down of pejorative words (e.g., “sentimental,” “shrill,” “frivolous,” “unlikeable”) that have been used to discredit women’s writing; and share your reflections on the future of women in letters. The installation will exist only during the hour in which we create it together, so we invite you share the experience on social media using the hashtag #wallpaperprojectKWWC. Spearheading this project is board member Iris Law, a poet and editor at the University Press of Kentucky, who says she hopes the installation evokes “the sense of many stories being told simultaneously—since no one woman’s life or work consists of a single strand of narrative, and the writing process itself is generally not linear.” Books by presenters appearing at the Sept. 2015 conference will be on display, and Great Bagels and coffee will be served. Don’t miss this unique gathering of women writers and readers!

Past Events in 2014

Sat., May 10, 4 p.m., Morris Book Shop. Preview Party for the 2014 Women Writers Conference and Book Launch of featured presenter Sarah Combs's young adult novel Breakfast Served Anywhere (Candlewick Press, 2014). Books by conference authors available, plus appetizers, wine, and drawing for 1 free admission to Sept. conference.

Sat., June 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Carnegie Center. Brunch on Mars: Kentucky Women Writers Celebrate Lexington Poetry Month. Join Tasha Cotter and Iris Law, poets and board members of KWWC, for a discussion of poetry by keynote speaker Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner for Life on Mars. Photocopies of poems will be available, along with complimentary bagels, cream cheese, and coffee. See details of Smith's public reading on Sept. 12, below.

Sun., Aug. 3, 2 p.m., Morris Book Shop. The Honey Badgers [Don't Give a] Book Tour: readings by 3 award-winning Asian American poets, sponsored by Kundiman. Cathy Linh Che, author of Split; Michelle Chan Brown, author of Double Agent; and Sally Wen Mao, author of Mad Honey Symposium.

Sat., Aug. 16, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon, Lexington Public Library Northside Branch. Join Patrice Muhammad and Shawntaye Hopkins for a discussion of The Prisoners Wife by Asha Bandele. See details of Bandele's public talk on Sept. 11, below.

Thurs., Sept. 11, 7 p.m., the Lyric Theatre. Sonia Series community lecture featuring Asha Bandele. Honoring the indelible spirit of the poet and her many visits to the neighborhoods of Lexington, the Sonia Sanchez Series brings a major thinker whose writing impacts Black culture and social justice issues. She participates in the Kentucky Woman Writers Conference and gives a keynote address, free and open to the community. Chaired by Patrice Muhammad.

Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Hall, University of Kentucky. Keynote by Tracy K. Smith and Tina Chang.

Sat., Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m., Carrick Theatre, Transylvania University. Wild Women of Poetry Slam, Ellen Hagan as headliner and celebrity judge, with emcee Bianca Spriggs.

Sun., Sept. 14, 7 p.m., Carnegie Center. Stars with Accents: readings by Leatha Kendrick, Paulette Livers, and Lisa Williams, hosted by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer of Accents: A radio show for literature, art, and culture.