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Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture

Vijay Seshadri
That Was Now, This Is Then

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, and came to America as a small child. He is the author of four collections of poems: 3 Sections, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; The Long Meadow, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; Wild Kingdom and his newest collection, That Was Now, This Is Then.  He is currently the Myers Professor of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Saturday, Oct 16, 1:00-2:00 - Register for Telling Stories With Poetry

Sunday, Oct 17, 2:30-3:30- Panel- Register for Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture

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Shanta Lee Gander

Shanta Lee Gander is a multidisciplinary artist who was the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts. She was named as Diode Editions’ full-length book contest winner for her debut poetry compilation, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak in Woke Tongues and her second collection of poetry,  Black Metamorphosis, is forthcoming.  She holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College. For more on Shanta Lee’s photography and writing, visit

Friday, Oct 15, 7:00PM-8:15 & Sunday, 2:30-3:30-Panels- Register for A Creative Force &  Sunday, 2:30-3:30-Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture

Sunday, Oct 17, 11:30-12:30 -Register for  The First Time

Order Book : Diode Editions June 2021 

Diana Whitney
You Don’t Have to be Everything

Diana Whitney writes across genres with a focus on feminism, motherhood, and sexuality. Her first book, Wanting It, became an indie bestseller in poetry. Her new bestselling book is an inclusive poetry anthology for teen girls, You Don’t Have to Be Everything, which was published in the spring. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, the Washington Post, and many more. She was the longtime poetry critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. A feminist activist in her Vermont hometown and beyond, Diana works as an editor and a yoga teacher. Diana holds a B.A. from Dartmouth and a M.A. from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and she attended the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. 

Thursday, Oct 14, 5:00-6:00 & Sunday, Oct 17, 2:30-3:30 -- Panel-Register for Poetry, Identity & Coming of Age - Leslie Marie Aguilar, Joy Ladin, Lynn Melnick, Diana Whitney & Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture

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Jane Hirshfield is the author of nine books of poetry, including Ledger; The Beauty; Come, Thief; and Given Sugar, Given Salt. She is also the author of two now-classic collections of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, and has edited and co-translated four books presenting the work of world poets from the past. Her books have received the Poetry Center Book Award, the California Book Award, and the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry and have been finalists for The National Book Critics Circle Award and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize and long-listed for the National Book Award. Hirshfield has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets, and she presents her work at literary and interdisciplinary events worldwide. 

Her poems appear in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Poetry, and others, and have been selected for ten editions of The Best American Poetry. A resident of Northern California, she is a 2019 elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Saturday, Oct 16, 2:30-3:30, Register for The Poetry We Feel

Sunday, Oct 17, 2:30-3:30-Panel- Register for Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture


Chard deNiord
In My Unknowing

Chard deNiord is the author of seven poetry collections include In My Unknowing, Interstate, Speaking in Turn: a collaboration with Tony Sanders; The Double Truth, Night Mowing,  Sharp Golden Thorn, and Asleep in the Fire. DeNiord has also authored two books of  interviews with renowned American poets,  Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs: Reflections and Conversations with Twentieth Century American Poets and I Would Lie To You If I Could. DeNiord is the former Poet Laureate of Vermont. He lives in Westminster West, Vermont with his wife, Liz.


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Poetry has famously flourished in times of crisis—including pandemics past—thanks to poets and writers galvanized by suffering and confusion, from Boccacio’s Decameron in the 14th century to Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague in 1912 to Camus’ 1947 The Plague to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera in 1985. And certainly the electrifying effect of Amanda Gorman’s reading at the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20. Within hours of delivering her poem, the young poet went viral, and in a single day Gorman attracted more than two million Instagram followers. 

Poetry has enjoyed phenomenal success the last few years…from the rise of youth poets to online audiences. Poets Shanta Lee Gander, Jane Hirshfield, Vijay Seshadri, and Diana Whitney will discuss resurgence and how the pandemic has affected their writing. Moderated by Chard deNiord, this panel promises to be lively and illuminating.