we believe

we believe in the power of words and will work to provide a platform for voices to be heard beyond social, cultural, political, and economic barriers. 

 

we believe in the power of gathering ourselves together to support the growth and development of healthy careers and writing communities that welcome and embrace voices from all races, colors, genders, sexual orientations, lifestyles, classes, national origins, religions, ethnicities, ages, and abilities.

the conference

[margins.] is a collaborative effort between literary arts organizations based in Denver that will feature authors, educators, agents, publishers, and publishing industry experts.

 

[margins.] will offer panels, workshops, and readings promoting voices from underrepresented communities and diverse backgrounds.

organizers

Suzi Q. Smith

Suzi Q. Smith is an award-winning artist, activist, and educator who lives in Denver, Colorado. Performing across the U.S. for over a decade, she has shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, the late Gil Scott Heron, and many more. Her poems have appeared in Union Station Magazine, Suspect Press, La Palabra, Muzzle Magazine, Malpais Review, The Pedestal, The Los Angeles Journal, Denver Syntax, Word is Bond, The Peralta Press, Yellow Chair Review, and in the anthologies The Mutiny Info Reader, Diverse-City, His Rib: Anthology of Women, and In Our Own Words, and her chapbook collection of poems, Thirteen Descansos, was published by Penmanship Books. She co-wrote the dramatic productions How I Got Over: Journeys in Verse and Where We Are From: Freedom is a Constant Struggle

 

As a community organizer, Suzi was the first Slammaster of Denver’s Slam Nuba, and she spent 12 years in the poetry slam arena as a coach, organizer, and performer, earning her way to dozens of local, regional, national, and international finals and championships. In addition, she has worked extensively with youth, serving as a Teaching Artist with Youth On Record, and as a coach of Denver Minor Disturbance Youth Poetry Slam, resulting in two international championships. Currently, Suzi Q. is at work on her next collection while she continues to teach Creative Writing, and she serves as the co-Chair of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs.

Viniyanka Prasad

Viniyanka Prasad is the Executive Director and Founder of The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary—a nonprofit promoting diversity in literature. The organization works to remove blockages along the publishing pipeline with programs that focus on: opening new entry doors into the publishing industry, joining writers from marginalized backgrounds with needed resources and community, and connecting readers with titles from a variety of perspectives. 

In addition to her work with The Word, Viniyanka is currently a criminal defense attorney representing clients appointed by the Colorado Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel. She formerly served as a litigation attorney and the Chief Appellate Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana Federal Community Defenders, and also litigated with a civil rights firm in Denver focusing on police misconduct claims. Her legal commentaries have been included in the Chicago Journal of International Law as well as presented to committees of the United Nations. 

 

Viniyanka recently presented the keynote address, The Power to Hear Another’s Truth, at the 2019 Red Pencil Conference in Seattle. She currently serves as a Commissioner with the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. She has previously served on the 100th Anniversary Committee for Children's Book Week, the advisory committee for the Colorado Teen Lit Conference, and the Advisory Board for the Colorado Big Summer Read.

planning committee

  • Bobby LeFebre (he/him), Colorado Poet Laureate, Cultural Worker

  • Chris Aguilar-Garcia (they/them), Writer & Editor

  • Dedrick Howard, Writer

  • Katerina Jeng (she/her), Creative entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Slant'd 

  • Kerrie Joy (she/her), Artist , Activist, Educator

  • Manuel Aragon (he/him), Community Engagement Manager, Lighthouse Writers Workshop 

  • pavlos stavropoulos (they/them), Writer, Activist, Educator, Translator

  • Stephen Brackett (he/him), Artist, Activist, Educator, Flobots band

sponsors

Thank you to our major sponsors:

Lighthouse Writers Logo
Chinook Fund Logo

Thank you to our contributing sponsor:

Thank you for additional generous support:

We thank Denver Arts and Venues for the generous donation of a hosting space. Although live programming is not feasible during the 2020 [margins.] conference, we look forward to future events at the historic McNichols Civic Center in downtown Denver. 

backers

Kickstarter.png

We cannot build this space without community support. Over 100 backers helped make [margins.] a reality:

Sam Oh, Guest 2040937256, Whitney Cobb, Ja Racharaks, Rachel Adducci, Courtney Morgan, Stephanie Gaddy, Hillary Leftwich, kit, Alix Roberts, Onyx, Kate Schultz, Mikayla, Holly Walrath, Manuel Aragon, Jeremy Medina, Bree Davies, Torie Jochims, Paul Sztajer, Sophie V., Brooke Dilling, Matt Pioch, Ryan Smolko, DJ, Dustyn Deerman, Mozza, Emily Han-Young Hurd, Brenda Hardwick, William Raillon, April Mehring, Tameca L Coleman, Janice Resendez, Sydney Fowler, Sarah Slater, Patricia McCrystal, Hannah Sage Campbell, Jamie Witham, Alisa, Victoria W, ZBrook, Dagmar, Maria Ramos-Chertok, Victoria, Flor Salcedo, Sarah McKenzie, Kate Nicholson, LisaNadine Ramos, Natalie J. Damschroder, Brendan Schlagel, The High Frontier, Brandon Crews, Olivia Hammerman, Cameron Owen, Guest 698689162, Kira/Ki Marie, D.L. Cordero, Liza Bevams, Kate Harvie, Guest 1458634534, Gilbert Zenner, Peggy Lore, Karen Neville, Fernando Gomez, Deborah Jang, Gilbert Zenner, Katy Massingill Manck, Jacqui Bryant, Natalie Grand, Jim McElroy, gabriel vogt, Naomi Hazlett, Kimberly Bea, Guest 677252884, Dorine Aileen de Haan, Peter Jansen, Kristen Carter, Michael, Margot Atwell, dtroth54, Lydia, Suzi Q. Smith, Jess Whetsel, Kim, pavlos stavropoulos

We thank you deeply for your support!

With your help, and with a generous donation match, we received

144% of our Kickstarter funding goal!