campus location: Knight Library, Browsing Rm
community location: downtown Eugene Public Library
5th annual CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium
“Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition,” May 6 – 8, 2016
The fifth annual CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, through Sunday, May 8, 2016. American Book Award winner Reyna Grande is the keynote author. She will be joined by the inimitable Ariel Gore, founding editor/publisher of Hip Mama; Dominican-American poet and novelist Ana-Maurine Lara; novelist Miriam Gershow; novelist Chris Scofield; travel and food magazine writer Jennifer Burns Bright; documentary filmmaker and anthropology professor Lynn Stephen; Zapotec hip-hop artist Mare Advertencia Lirika; and others to be named later. The symposium includes panel discussions, writing workshops, a keynote talk, author conversations & readings, book signings, and discussion. Our theme is “Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition.” How have our migrations and moves contributed to or instigated our writings? What do we move away from, and what do we go toward? What are the historical, political, and personal currents that influence our transitions—from one country to another, from one state to another, from city to country, from mountains to sea, from one marriage or partnership to another, from one career to another, from one self-view to another? “Crossing Borders” is a multi-layered theme that will open the door to fruitful discussions of craft, creativity, challenges of survival, making room for others, and community. This theme promises to open conversations about border politics; poverty; racism and xenophobia; climate change; ongoing effects of colonialism and genocide; family dynamics; agricultural patterns and enslavement; overpopulation; human migratory patterns; fleeing war and abuse; moving on; and traveling for discovery, growth, and as part of our archetypal human journey.
Starting in March at downtown Eugene Public Library, watch for Reader’s Group book kits for The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande, and The End of Eve, by Ariel Gore.
Hosted by the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon in cooperation with Eugene Pubic Library, this symposium is generously cosponsored by Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; UO Libraries; Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; Department of English; School of Journalism and Communication; School of Music and Dance; and the University Health Center.
Documentary Film Premiere: 12-1 p.m. May 6
“Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Transborder Journey,” followed by Q&A with the director. Browsing Room, Knight Library.
Directed by Lynn Stephen, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon and co-director of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS). Produced by Sonia De La Cruz and Lynn Stephen.
Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Transborder Journey explores the differential rights that U.S. citizen children and their undocumented parents have through the story of one extended Zapotec family. Shot in Oregon and Oaxaca, Mexico, and narrated by 11-year old Cinthya, the film follows Cinthya’s trip to her parent’s home community of Teotitlán del Valle with her godmother, anthropologist Lynn Stephen. There she meets her extended family and discovers her indigenous Zapotec and Mexican roots. While in Oaxaca, she participates in her community’s annual celebration of their patron saint, learns how to make chocolate and spin wool, explores a Zapotec archaeological site, and shares in a family party where she dances with her great-grandmother. Her absent parents are omnipresent on the trip as Cinthya’s cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents all talk to her about them and how they wish for their return. Cinthya’s happiness is modified by the sadness of her parents being unable to accompany her. At a larger level, Cinthya’s story illuminates the desires and struggles of the millions of families divided between the U.S. and other countries where children are mobile citizens and parents cannot leave. In English, Spanish, and Zapotec with English subtitles. TRT: 39 minutes. The development of this documentary was supported in part by a Faculty Research Grant from the UO Center for the Study of Women in Society.
Friday Panel, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
“Crossing Borders: What It Means in the Life of a Child,” with keynote author Reyna Grande, Browsing Room, Knight Library.
Reyna Grande’s novels, Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies, were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in schools across the country. In her memoir The Distance Between Us (Atria Books, 2012), Grande writes about her life before and after her undocumented border crossing as a young child from Mexico to the United States. A National Book Circle Critics Award finalist, this book was hailed by Los Angeles Times reviewer Hector Tobar as “the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.”
- Reyna Grande: featured presenter
- Moderator: Lynn Stephen, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon and co-director of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS).
- Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent, Eugene School District 4J
- Lidiana Soto, UO graduate and recent Migrant Education Program worker
- Carmen X Urbina, Program Development and Outreach Coordinator, Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership Program, UO College of Education; Administrator on Special Assignment, Eugene School District 4J
- Kristin Yarris, a migration scholar and Assistant Professor in the UO Department of International Studies
Reception, May 6, 2:30 – 3:30 Browsing Room, Knight Library
Conversation, May 6 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
“Fearless Journeys on the Edge: A Literary Conversation with Ariel Gore & Chris Scofield,” moderated by Valerie Brooks. Browsing Room, Knight Library
Ariel Gore is the editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of eight books. Her most recent book, The End of Eve, chronicles her years spent caring for her dying mother and has been described as “Terms of Endearment meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” This memoir was awarded both the Rainbow Award 2014 for Best Lesbian Book and the 2014 New Mexico Arizona Book Award in the Gay/Lesbian (GLBT) category. Her lyrical memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, a recounting of her travels as a teenager, was a 2004 finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She won the LAMBDA Literary Award in 2010 for her anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City. A graduate of Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, she has taught at The Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Currently she teaches online at Ariel Gore’s School for Wayward Writers.
Chris Scofield is a Eugene author who published her first novel, The Shark Curtain (Black Sheep, an imprint of Akashic Books, April 2015), to great reviews. Here’s a review on KLCC radio by Connie Bennett, the director of the Eugene Public Library: http://klcc.org/post/book-review-shark-curtain.
Valerie Brooks is a writer, editor, and literary activist. Among many other venues, her work appears in the Seal Press anthology France, A Love Story: Women Write about the French Experience.
“From Iguala to El Otro Lado: A young girl’s journey to the American Dream”
Keynote Reading & Talk with Reyna Grande.
May 6, 6 p.m. followed by Q & A and book signing. Downtown Eugene Public Library at 10th and Olive (100 W. 10th St., Eugene, OR 97401).
Takes place during First Friday Art Walk.
“Reyna Grande is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards. Her works have been published internationally in countries such as Norway and South Korea.
“Her novels, Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies, were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in schools across the country. Her latest book, The Distance Between Us, was published in August 2012, by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In this memoir, Reyna writes about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. A National Book Circle Critics Award finalist, The Distance Between Us is an inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life. The Los Angeles Times hailed it as ‘the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.’
“Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was going on ten, she entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant. She later went on to become the first person in her family to graduate. After attending Pasadena City College for two years, Reyna obtained a B.A. in creative writing and film & video from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She later received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University … she is … an active promoter of Latino literature and is a sought-after speaker at high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.”
Saturday May 7 Events
Saturday Events include a morning panel and four afternoon workshops followed by a reading/talk from author Ariel Gore. Location: Downtown Eugene Public Library at 10th and Olive (100 W. 10th St., Eugene, OR 97401).
Saturday Writers Panel: 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. followed by book signing
On Saturday, the symposium will convene at the Downtown Eugene Public Library in the Bascom / Tykeson rooms with a panel of our featured writers on the theme “Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition.” Each author will read selections from her work and answer questions about her writing life.
- Reyna Grande, author of the memoir The Distance Between Us and the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies.
- Ariel Gore, the editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of eight books, including the memoirs The End of Eve and Atlas of the Human Heart.
- Ana-Maurine Lara, is a national award-winning fiction author and poet. She was awarded the Oregon Arts Commission’s 2015 honorary Joan Shipley Award, and is also a recipient of PEN/Northwest, the Barbara Deming Award, and the National Latino/Chicano Literary Contest Third Prize. Her novel Erzulie’s Skirt (RedBone Press 2006) was a Lambda Literary Finalist. She draws from her experiences as a Dominican-American writer of Native, African, and Jewish ancestry to produce literary works and performances that blur the boundaries of artistic genres and cultural traditions.
- Gabriela Martínez, Associate Professor, UO School of Journalism and Communication, is an international award-winning documentary filmmaker who has produced, directed or edited more than twelve ethnographic and social documentaries, including Media, Women, and Rebellion in Oaxaca and Keep Your Eyes On Guatemala.
- Moderator: Barbara Corrado Pope, novelist (Cézanne’s Quarry; The Missing Italian Girl; The Blood of Lorraine) is also professor emerita of UO Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.
Saturday Afternoon Workshops: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday afternoon workshops will be limited to 20 participants each. Although all events are FREE & open to the public, starting April 11, you will be able to preregister for limited spaces in Saturday afternoon workshops by calling Eugene Library at 541-682-5450 (Press 2). Please do not call before this date.
- Traveling through the Landscape of Our Lives: Going Beyond Gendered Traditions, a memoir workshop led by Ariel Gore. Workshop Description: Migration jolts us out of our routines, dazzles us with sensory details, stresses our ordinary coping mechanisms, and allows us an intimate experience of self beyond the ordinary trappings of geography and circumstance. No wonder so many memoir stories are set on the road. Traditionally, male writers have told tales of outward exploration while women have relayed “journeys of self-discovery.” In this workshop, we’ll explore a balance of internal and external storytelling—going beyond these gendered traditions to tell our unique tales as travelers through the landscapes of our lives.Ariel Gore is the editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of eight books. Her most recent book, The End of Eve, chronicles her years spent caring for her dying mother and was awarded both the Rainbow Award 2014 for Best Lesbian Book and the 2014 New Mexico Arizona Book Award in the Gay/Lesbian (GLBT) category. Her lyrical memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, a recounting of her travels as a teenager, was a 2004 finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
Setting: More Than Just a Backdrop, a fiction workshop led by Miriam Gershow. In this workshop, we will investigate how to use the place of your story to bring a scene to life. A vivid and specific setting can convey mood, develop character and highlight the themes of your story. Join us for an afternoon of writing exercises that play with place in order to build convincing, evocative scenes. This workshop experience can be applied to all genres.
Miriam Gershow is a writer and teacher living in Eugene, Oregon. Her debut novel, The Local News, was called “deftly heartbreaking” by the New York Times. Her short stories appear in The Georgia Review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, Nimrod International Journal, The Journal, and Gulf Coast, among others. She is the recipient of a Fiction Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, as well as an Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts. She has taught fiction writing to everyone from first graders to adults.
- Penelope’s Loom: A Poetry Workshop, led by Ana-Maurine Lara and open to writers of all levels. Workshop Description: This poetry workshop will draw on the metaphor of Penelope’s loom (from Homer’s Odyssey) as a framework for considering our individual and collective migrant weavings and unweavings of memory, story and place. We will also draw from global current events to think about our own and migrant women’s strengths, circumstances and resilience.Ana-Maurine Lara is a national award-winning fiction author and poet. She draws from her experiences as a Dominican-American writer of Native, African, and Jewish ancestry to produce literary works and performances that blur the boundaries of artistic genres and cultural traditions. Her multigenre piece Cantos was released in September 2015 at Cave Canem’s headquarters in New York City. Winner of the 2015 Oregon Arts Commission Joan Shipley Award, which supported the development of her performance poetry project “Landlines,” Ana-Maurine Lara presented this piece in August 2015 as a public event exploring the ideas home and homeland in Eugene. The Sephardic Jewish notion of kasa inspired two public processions that reflected on what home means for the multiple communities—Black, Native, Asian American, Jewish, Latino—that constitute Eugene.
Spicing Up Travel and Migration Narratives with Food, led by Prof. Jennifer Burns Bright. Workshop Description: Some of the best stories of visiting foreign lands or starting a new life as an immigrant include vivid descriptions of encountering different food cultures. In this workshop, we will analyze and mimic the techniques of several masters of traveling food writing who illustrate landscape and life transitions with delectable dishes. Bring recipes and your own drafts, if you have them, for class exercises.
Jennifer Burns Bright is a food and travel writer based on the Southern Oregon coast who also teaches humanities and food studies courses at the University of Oregon. Her stories and interviews have appeared in various print and recorded media and in her award-winning food blog, Culinaria Eugenius. She has been a columnist at Eugene Magazine and a contributor to AAA’s Via magazine, NPR, and other publications and radio programs. She has traveled everywhere—from Amsterdam to write about Dutch pickles, to a Hamtramck bakery to write about her own family’s migration to Detroit.
Saturday, May 7 at 4 p.m. Reading by Ariel Gore at Eugene Downtown Public Library.
- Ariel Gore is the editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of eight books. Her most recent book, The End of Eve, chronicles her years spent caring for her dying mother and has been described as “Terms of Endearment meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This memoir was awarded both the Rainbow Award 2014 for Best Lesbian Book and the 2014 New Mexico Arizona Book Award in the Gay/Lesbian (GLBT) category. Her lyrical memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, a recounting of her travels as a teenager, was a 2004 finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She won the LAMBDA Literary Award in 2010 for her anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City. A graduate of Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, she has taught at The Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Currently she teaches online at Ariel Gore’s School for Wayward Writers.
Saturday, May 7 at 5 p.m. NEW ADDITION: Reading by Debra Gwartney at Eugene Downtown Public Library (An SOJC PageTurner event).
Debra Gwartney will read from her book Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir. Gwartney is a member of the nonfiction faculty for Pacific University’s MFA in Writing program. Her memoir, published in 2009, was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award, PNBA Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award. Debra is also co-editor, along with her husband Barry Lopez, of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, published by Trinity University Press in 2006. She has published essays in many magazines, newspapers, and literary journals, including American Scholar, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Salon, Tampa Review, Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, The New York Times (“Modern Love” column), and others.
Sunday, May 8, 7:30 p.m. Musical performance by Mare Advertencia Lirika. Beall Concert Hall, 961 E. 18th Ave.
Mare, a Zapotec hip-hop artist from Oaxaca, Mexico, and founder of Advertencia Lirika, will appear on tour for her new CD, SiempreViva. Mare uses her rap as a tool to develop consciousness and to build networks within social movements in Oaxaca and elsewhere. Always looking to expose the gender inequality that exists in society, she has worked with a wide range of groups and organizations within Mexico and throughout the world.
In June 2012, NRP Music selected Mare’s work as the “Best Alternative Music of the Year” after she toured in 25 U.S. cities in six states. In March 2013, Mare received the Maria Sabina Prize in recognition of her work in promoting women’s rights through music.
She narrates her personal history in the documentary film “When A Woman Steps Forward” (2012), directed by Simón Sedillo and produced by Manovuelta. The film can be accessed on YouTube.