Thursday, November 8 – 3:00-4:30
Location: Arntzen 100
“We hold so many worlds inside of us. So many futures…it is our right and responsibility to write ourselves into the future.”Walidah Imarisha
Join Afro & Latina futurist authors of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements and Lunar Braceros to explore the power of visionary fiction in helping us imagine & create the future we want to see. Octavia’s Brood authors Walidah Imarisha, Gabriel Teodros, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Lunar Braceros authors Beatrice Pita and Rosaura Sanchez will join the panel remotely via Zoom. Together, we’ll explore the power of visionary fiction at this moment our history, the work of these authors to imagine & create future worlds, and the relevance of all of world building to the first year experience at WWU. The last 30 minutes of the panel will be dedicated to Q&A from students.
This event is sponsored by Western Reads and the WWU English Department.
Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator and performance poet. She is one half of the poetic duo Good Sista/Bad Sista. She has shared the stage with Angela Davis, Cornel West, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Kenny Muhammad of the Roots, Chuck D, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Umar bin Hassan from The Last Poets, Boots Riley, Saul Williams, Ani DiFranco, John Irving, dead prez and Kochiyama.
Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including the hip hop anthology Total Chaos. Walidah has facilitated poetry and journalism workshops third grade to twelfth, in schools, community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons.
She directed and co-produced the Katrina documentary Finding Common Ground in New Orleans. She has taught in the Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s Women’s Studies Department and Southern New Hampshire University’s English Department.
Gabriel Teodros is a musician and writer who first made a mark with the group Abyssinian Creole, and reached an international audience with his critically-acclaimed solo debut Lovework.
He has since set stages on fire all across the US, Canada, Mexico and Ethiopia; often in combination with workshops on storytelling, music and media literacy. 2012 saw the release of 2 more critically-acclaimed albums, Teodros’ solo Colored People’s Time Machine, as well as CopperWire’s Earthbound; a space opera of a hip hop ride (set in the year 2089) that Teodros recorded with fellow Ethiopian-American artists Meklit Hadero and Burntface.
In 2014 Teodros released Children Of The Dragon – another journey through time, Hip Hop, Ethiopian musical traditions and shifting homelands with Washington, DC-based producer AirMe, followed by Evidence Of Things Not Seen – a James Baldwin-inspired portrait of right now with Aotearoa-based producer SoulChef. For more information check www.gabrielteodros.com
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer, organizer, performance artist and educator of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. They are the author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (short-listed for the Lambda and Publishing Triangle Awards, ALA Above the Rainbow List), Bodymap (short listed for the Publishing Triangle Award) Love Cake (Lambda Literary Award winner), and Consensual Genocide, and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. A lead artist with Sins Invalid, her writing has been widely published, with recent work in PBS Newshour, Poets.org’s Poetry and the Body folio, The Deaf Poets Society, Bitch, Self, TruthOut and The Body is Not an Apology. She is a VONA Fellow and holds an MFA from Mills College; she is also a rust belt poet, a Sri Lankan with a white mom, a femme over 40, a grassroots intellectual, a survivor who is hard to kill.
Rosaura Sánchez is a Professor in the Department of Literature at the University of California San Diego. As a member of the Spanish, Cultural Studies and English sections of the department she teaches courses in Chicano/a literature, Latin American Literature and Critical Theory. Her work in critical theory, literary analysis and sociolinguistics has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her fiction has also been published in a variety of journals. Lunar Braceros 2125-2148, a sci-fi novel written with Beatrice Pita appeared in 2009. She is the author of Chicano Discourse, Telling Identities: The Californio Testimonios and co-edited the re-publication of the novels by Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don, and Who Would have Thought it?
Beatrice Pita teaches in the Spanish Section of the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. With Rosaura Sánchez, she has co-edited and wrote the Introduction to The Squatter and the Donand Who Would Have Thought it? both 19th century novels written by María Amparo Ruiz de Burton. Conflicts of Interest: The Letters of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, written in collaboration with Rosaura Sánchez, appeared in 2001. Lunar Braceros 2125-2148, a sci-fi novel co-written with Sánchez was published in 2009.