Spotlight: In These Times: Writing. Terror. Possibility. A Conversation

Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019 continues its tradition of creating dialogue on topics of concern to our community of writers, as well as, Festival participants and the larger local community.

Alexis DeVeaux
Kathy Engel
Kathy Engel
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Cynthia Dewi Oka











In These Times: Writing. Terror. Possibility, A Conversation, is a public conversation sponsored by the Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019.  Moderated and facilitated by founding participating writer, Alexis DeVeaux with poet-activists, Kathy Engel, and Cynthia Dewi Oka. This conversation invites Festival participants and the broader community to think together about a series of questions, specifically-what it means to be a writer in these times? What are “these times” for us as writers, readers and community members? Are they different given our particular identifications/localities/literary genres? What is “the news”/what are the issues occupying our writings today? How are we expressing a practice of language in our writing? Are we drawing on the language practices of writers who’ve come before us/who are contemporaries? How is the idea of “possibility” evidenced in our work?

This vital discussion is moderated by ALEXIS DE VEAUX, PhD., a founding Participating Writer at Hobart Festival of WomenWriters and one of the stellar list of American writers highlighted by, LITCITY a public art initiative of banners bearing their names and images in downtown Buffalo, New York, in recognition of the city’s renowned literary legacy. Co-Founder of The Center for Poetic Healing, a project of Lyrical Democracies, and of the Flamboyant Ladies Theatre Company, ALEXIS DE VEAUX is an activist and writer whose work in multiple genres is published in five languages-English, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Serbo-Croatian. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, and she is the author of Spirits In The Street; an award-winning children’s book, Na-ni; Don’t Explain, A Song of Billie Holiday; Blue Heat: A Portfolio of Poems andDrawings; Spirit Talk; An Enchanted Hair Tale (1987), a recipient of the 1988 Coretta Scott King Award presented by the American Library Association and the 1991 Lorraine Hansberry Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature. Ms. De Veaux’s plays include Circles; The Tapestry; A Season to Unravel; NO; and Elbow Rooms.She also authored Warrior Poet, A Biography of Audre Lorde. The first biography of the pioneering lesbian poet, Warrior Poet has won several prestigious awards including the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award, Nonfiction (2005), the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Outstanding Book Award (2004), and the Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Biography (2004).

more Alexis



Kathy Engel is a poet who has worked for nearly forty years at the nexus between social justice movements and art/imagination. Her books include Ruth’s Skirts, poems and prose, IKON, 2007, We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon, co- edited with Kamal Boullata, 2007, The Kitchen with art by German Perez, 2002, and the chapbook, “Banish The Tentative”, 1989. Her book of poems, The Lost Brother Alphabet,is forthcoming from Get Fresh Booksin 2020. Associate Arts Professor and Chair of the Department of Art & Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, Engel co-founded, led and consulted with numerous organizations and campaigns. She founded the international women’s human rights group, MADRE, in 1983 and led it for five years.








Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Salvage: Poems and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. She has contributed to a diverse selection of anthologies, including Who Will Speak for AmericaWomen of Resistance: Poems for a New FeminismBest of Kweli: An Aster(ix) Anthology, Read Women, Dismantle, and Revolutionary Mother: Love on the Frontlines. Cynthia has performed her poetry at venues throughout the country. Oka is a three-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize and is the recipient of the Fifth Wednesday Journal Editor’s Prize in Poetry. She has also received scholarships from Vermont Studio Center and Voices of Our Nations (VONA). Born in Bali and currently based in the greater Philadelphia area, she is a 2016 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grantee for which she partnered with Asian Arts Initiative to create Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop. Additionally, Cynthia Dewi Oka has served as a poet mentor for The Blueshift Journal’s Speakeasy Project. more Cynthia Dewi OKA

Cynthia Dewi Oka reading salvage 51zvIu95LWL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_

Don’t miss this important conversation which continues Hobart Festival of Women Writers’ tradition of engaging our communities, upstate, downstate, and nationwide. All readers, writers, and lovers of language are invited to attend.

Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019 is September 6, 7 & 8th

This event is free and open to the public. REGISTRATION for The Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019 opens May 15th.

information at

for Spotlights of all of our Participating Writers, go to 



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