The Return of Franny Choi

May 24, 2019
After she won our Wild Women of Poetry Slam in 2014, we knew Franny Choi was destined for great things. Since then she has published two full-length collections, Soft Science (2019) and Floating, Brilliant, Gone (2014), as well as the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (2017). Like last year’s slam headliner, Safia Elhillo, Franny is demonstrating that success on the stage can translate brilliantly to the page. Here she is on NPR discussing her latest book and reading the poem “Turing Test,” inspired by Alan Turing’s measurement for how well a computer can imitate human speech, which Franny deploys as a metaphor for learning a native tongue. She also co-hosts the wildly entertaining podcast Vs. with Danez Smith, and—to bring things full circle—they interviewed Safia Elhillo on one fascinating episode entitled "Shame."
You’ll have to wait until September 21, 2019, to see Franny take the stage at our Wild Women of Poetry Slam, but if you’d like to familiarize yourself with her work sooner than that, please consider enrolling in our upcoming free workshop:
Pre-conference Poetry Workshop on Franny Choi, DaMaris Hill, and Dorianne Laux, led by Kimberly Miller.
Saturday, June 8, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Carnegie Center, lower level, Pam Sexton Room.
This workshop will introduce you to these remarkable poets and give writing prompts based on their work. Led by former KyWomenWriters board president Kimberly Miller, also of Poezia, the workshop is FREE and limited to 12 participants. To secure your spot, please email Kim at To enroll in a poetry or other workshop taking place during KyWomenWriters2019, please visit our workshops and registration pages.
Memorial Day weekend is always a great time to gather and send your entries to our Betty Gabehart Prizes in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, because they are due June 1. The Gabehart Prizes recognize and support writers who show potential for excellence in their literary endeavors. Winners receive:

  • a $300 honorarium, which may be used to defray travel & lodging expenses for . . .
  • the opportunity to appear on stage to give a reading during KWWC2019, Sept. 20-21 in Lexington
  • full tuition support to attend the conference and enroll in one small-group writing workshop

Here are submission guidelines, and you can submit online or by mail.
            June 1 is also the deadline for scholarship applications to attend the September conference, four that are age-specific and four that are unrestricted, as follows:
Tenacious Women Scholarships offer full tuition support for 4 women, ages 50+, to attend #KyWomenWriters in September. These scholarships are thanks to a donor who traveled halfway around the globe to attend her first KyWomenWriters in 2018 and wanted to extend the same opportunity to other older women.
Emerging Writer Scholarships offer full tuition support for 4 women of any age with financial need.
Please visit the scholarships section of our website for more information.