The AWP Conference & Bookfair features around 550 events and more than 2,000 presenters. Events are selected by the city-specific conference subcommittee below. Visit the How Events Are Selected page for more information about how the subcommittee evaluates the conference proposals.
AWP is grateful to the subcommittee members for their time and effort in providing an inclusive schedule to our numerous and varied constituencies. Please see the Conference Schedule page for a list of accepted events.
San Antonio 2020 Subcommittee
Rigoberto González, San Antonio Conference Chair
Board of Directors, Rutgers University
Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and ten books of prose, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA, and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, he is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine and a professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the LA Times.
Ryan Stone, Kansas City Conference Chair
Board of Directors Vice Chair, Southwest Council Chair
Paradise Valley Community College
Ryan Stone is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. His short story collection, Best Road Yet, was published by Press 53 (2010). His stories have appeared widely in journals including the South Carolina Review, Wisconsin Review, Karamu, RE:AL, and others. The Director for Young Authors of Arizona, the statewide affiliate for the Scholastic Writing Awards, he is a former vice president and president of the Two-Year College Creative Writing Caucus.
University of Texas, San Antonio
Wendy Barker's seventh full-length collection of poems, Gloss, is forthcoming in 2020 from St. Julian Press. Her sixth collection, One Blackbird at a Time (BkMk Press, 2015), received the John Ciardi Prize. Her fifth chapbook is Shimmer (Glass Lyre Press, 2019). Other books include Far Out: Poems of the ’60s, (co-edited with Dave Parsons, Wings Press, 2016), Poems’ Progress (Absey & Co., 2002), and a selection of co-translations, Rabindranath Tagore: Final Poems (Braziller, 2001). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2013. A recipient of NEA and Rockefeller fellowships, she teaches at UT San Antonio.
National Book Critics Circle Board Member
Gregg Barrios is an award-winning playwright, poet, and journalist. He is a 2013 USC Annenberg Getty Fellow, and he serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. He was inducted in 2015 into the Texas Institute of Letters. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, Andy Warhol’s Interview, and elsewhere. He has received a CTG-Mark Taper Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Grant, and an Artist Foundation Grant for his theater work. His play A Ship of Fools, about Texas writer Katherine Anne Porter, premieres this year. He is a 2018 Yale Fellow and a 2019 National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow.
Institute of American Indian Arts
Sherwin Bitsui (Diné) is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tłʼízíłání (Many Goats Clan). He is the author of Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003), Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and Dissolve (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). His honors include a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of a 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. In addition to teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he joins the faculty at Northern Arizona University in the fall of 2019.
Texas State University
Cyrus Cassells's sixth book, The Gospel According to Wild Indigo, was a finalist for the Balcones Prize, the NAACP Image Award, and the Texas Institute of Letters Helen C. Smith Award. Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas,translated from the Catalan, was published in March. A 2019 Guggenheim fellow, he has also won the National Poetry Series, a Lambda Literary Award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and two NEA grants. His seventh book, Is There Room For Another Horse on Your Horse Ranch? is forthcoming.
University of Texas, El Paso
Daniel Chacón is author of six books of fiction, including Hotel Juárez, Stories, Rooms and Loops and the novel and the shadows took him. His newest collection, Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall® is coming in 2020 from University of Arizona Press. He has won the Southwest Book Award, the American Book Award, the PEN-Oakland Prize for Fiction, and the Hudson Prize. He is cohost of Words on a Wire, a radio show about books and ideas. https://soychacon.wordpress.com
University of Texas, Brownsville
Rodney Gomez is the author of two poetry collections, Citizens of the Mausoleum and Ceremony of Sand. He is the recipient of the Drinking Gourd Prize, the Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and the Rane Arroyo Prize. His work appears in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, the Gettysburg Review, Blackbird, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and the Chocholichex writing collective. A graduate of Yale, he earned an MFA from the University of Texas—Pan American. He serves as editor at Latino Book Review and works at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In 2020 he will serve as the Poet Laureate of the city of McAllen, Texas.
San Antonio Book Festival
Lilly Gonzalez is the executive director of the San Antonio Book Festival. Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, in the underdeveloped colonias of Pharr, Texas, Lilly is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her first love was books, and she has been reading ever since. Prior to moving to San Antonio, she spent 14 years living in Chicago, where she worked in public affairs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She earned both her MFA in creative writing and BS in journalism from Northwestern University. Her favorite book is Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros.
Pablo Miguel Martínez’s collection, Brazos, Carry Me (Kórima Press), received the 2013 PEN Southwest Book Award for Poetry. His chapbook, Cuent@, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Martínez’s work has appeared in numerous publications. A recipient of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize, his literary work has received support from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. Martínez is a cofounder of CantoMundo, a national retreat/workshop for Latinx poets.
Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, Late Empire (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). Pain Studies, a book-length lyric essay, is forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press in 2020. The recipient of a Hayden Carruth Award, Pushcart Prize, and Lannan Writing Residency, among other honors, she is a member of the poetry faculty at the University of Texas at Austin.
San Antonio College
Patricia Portales is currently Professor of English at San Antonio College and a member of the Macondo Writer's Workshop. She earned a Master of Arts in English from St. Mary's University and a Ph.D. in U.S. Latina/o Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research interests include contemporary American literature with a concentration in ethnic and minority literature, oral history, and semiotics. Her chapter “Tejanas on the Home Front: Women, Bombs, and the (Re)Gendering of War in Mexican American World War II Literature” appeared in Latina/os and World War II: Mobility, Agency, and Ideology, published by the University of Texas Press.
Our Lady of the Lake University
Octavio Quintanilla is the author of If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Texas. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared in journals such as Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. Reviews of his work can be found at CutBank Literary Journal, Concho River Review, San Antonio Express-News, American Microreviews & Interviews, Southwestern American Literature, Pleiades, and others. You can check out his Frontextos (visual poems) in Gold Wake Live, Newfound, Chachalaca Review, Chair Poetry Evenings, Red Wedge, The Museum of Americana, About Place Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, and more.
Barbara Ras won the Walt Whitman and Kate Tufts awards for Bite Every Sorrow, followed by One Hidden Stuff and The Last Skin, both from Penguin. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and has traveled with the International Writing Program. She edited a collection of short fiction in translation, Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. She has taught workshops here and abroad and was on the faculty of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Ras is founding director emerita of Trinity University Press and lives in San Antonio.
Roger Reeves received an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in English from UT Austin. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Best American Poetry, the Indiana Review, and elsewhere, and he was included in Best New Poets 2009. Reeves was awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2008; he is also the recipient of two Bread Loaf scholarships and a Cave Canem Fellowship. In 2012, Reeves received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize for his poem “The Field Museum.” He is an Associate Professor of Poetry at UT Austin and a 2014–2015 Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University. King Me is Reeves’s first book.
University of Texas, Austin
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho’s debut collection Barefoot Dogs (Scribner) won the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction and was a Kirkus Reviews and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Texas Monthly, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Toluca, Mexico, he moved to the US at the age of 31 and began to write in English at 35. He earned his MFA from UT Austin’s New Writers Project and was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
John Phillip Santos
University of Texas, San Antonio
John Phillip Santos is a Rhodes Scholar, writer, journalist, and documentarian. In addition to television documentaries, myriad magazine articles and newspaper work, he has authored two memoirs, Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation (1999 National Book Award finalist) and The Farthest Home is in An Empire of Fire (2010), and a book of poems, Songs Older Than Any Known Singer (2007). He teaches writing and Mestizo cultural studies in the Honors College at UT San Antonio. Now working on the last installment in his trilogy of memoirs, he is also collaborating with Chicano rocker Alejandro Escovedo on a “mythic” memoir of the musician’s storied life in punk rock and beyond.
San Antonio Book Festival
Clay Smith is the editor-in-chief of Kirkus Reviews. The former literary director of the Texas Book Festival, he is also the current literary director of the San Antonio Book Festival. He was elected to the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle in 2015 and has written for the New York Times Review of Books, among other publications. He is a graduate of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at NYU and began his journalism career at the Austin Chronicle.
Lone Star College
Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her writings have appeared in periodicals such as the Guardian, the New York Times, Psychology Today, Poetry, and Poets & Writers. She teaches for the Lone Star College System in Houston, Texas. To learn more, visit www.melissastuddard.com.
New Mexico State University
Connie Voisine is the author, most recently of The Bower (2019) and the chapbook of poems And God Created Women. Her work has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and has won the Associated Writing Program’s Award in Poetry. She has poems published in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. A former Fulbright Fellow to Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Chicago.
St. Edwards University
Sasha West is the author of Failure and I Bury the Body, which won the National Poetry Series and the Texas Institute of Letters First Book of Poetry Award. She holds graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston, where she ran Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Her awards include a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Fellowship, Rice University’s Parks Fellowship, and a Houston Arts Alliance grant. An associate professor of creative writing at St. Edward’s University, she lives in Austin, Texas.