Poetry Events: Accessible and Inclusive

Image: standing mic against bisexual (purple and pink and blue ombre) lighting

Hi, all. I’m creating this document in order to better serve the greater writing community.

I’m really grateful when folks invite me to read or be on a panel, but having to iterate these items again and again leads me to believe that we need to be more organized and transparent about both accessibility and inclusivity.

Here are what I consider the most important organizing basics that need to be met before I’ll say yes to future events:

Accessibility (Online Events):

  • Hand Outs (A simple Google doc with readers’ selections works!)
  • Visual aids (power point for speakers)
  • Introductions included in chat feature (Organizers: USE the CHAT! Drop books links and websites here as well)

Accessibility (In-Person Events)

  • Masks, and as much ventilation as possible
  • Building is ADA compliant.
  • Hand Outs and Visual Aids
  • Event is Live-Streamed

Readings and Panels: Against the Perceived White Majority

I will not be participating in majority-white readings or panels. They are simply not reflective of our great range of contemporary writers, both local and further afield. Please don’t tokenize BIPOC by having ONE on your majority white reading or panel. Don’t get me wrong, I love being invited! But please give me the opportunity to invite others if this is difficult for you. I am happy to suggest names and connect organizers.

Believe me when I say that your event will be BETTER by attending to this. There is nothing more boring than homogenous media. Your event will SHINE when you have an actual variety of voices and writers and experiences present.

Also as a way of modeling identity transparency: I am a white, queer and genderqueer Southern writer living with mental disabilities (PTSD, anxiety) and chronic pain.