Leeway Foundation presents Imprint, a skill share and panel discussion featuring Lillian Dunn (ACG ’12)of Apiary Magazine, Lovella Calica (ACG ’13, LTA ‘9, ACG ’07, ’06) of Warrior Writers, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela (ACG ’12, LTA ’05) of Thread Makes Blanket Press, Rasheedah Phillips of Metropolarity andYaba Blay (ACG ’10) of BLACKprint Press.
We will hear from local artists who are taking publishing into their own hands, from producing a literary magazine, to highlighting Philadelphia’s writer communities, to small presses who call attention to emerging and marginalized voices. The panel will discuss their choices to produce work independently and how it fits within current literary landscapes. Participants will have a chance to find out how they do it, and learn the potential benefits and challenges of running a small press or publishing one’s own work.
Lillian Dunn is co-founder and executive editor of APIARY Magazine and Program Director of the SPACES Artist in Residency Program at the Village of Arts and Humanities. As a poet she’s pursuing the Philly MFA by learning from the city’s living writers of all ages. Daughter of Zora, granddaughter of Blanka and Patricia, and ice cream enthusiast always.
Lovella Calica is a writer, photographer and multi-media artist. With backgrounds in Human Development, English and social justice organizing, she offers a unique perspective and develops creative, collaborative ways of organizing and communicating. She is the founder and director of Warrior Writers, a creative community for veterans articulating their experiences. She has edited four anthologies of veterans’ writing/artwork entitled: Move, Shoot and Communicate, Re-Making Sense, After Action Review and Warrior Writers. Lovella has received three Art and Change grants from the Leeway Foundation and was honored with the Transformation Award in 2009. She self-published her first chapbook of poetry Makibaka: Beautifully Brave in 2006 and Huwag Matakot: Do Not be Afraid in 2011. Her next chapbook of poetry and creative non-fiction is due out this fall. Lovella is a co-founder of the Pilipino-American artist collective, Tatlo Mestiz@s.
Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela’s writing has been recognized by The Leeway Foundation, Hedgebrook and others, and has been published in Make/shift, As Us Journal, Apiary, The Rust Belt Rising, Aster(ix) and Big Bell. She is the founder of Thread Makes Blanket press which recently released Dismantle, an anthology of writing from the VONA writing workshop. She teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Rasheedah Phillips is a public interest attorney, author, advocate, Afrofuturist, and Aries living and working out of Philadelphia. In her writing, Phillips explores the fine line between fiction and reality, experiments with time order, reverses cause & effect, and turns black holes inside out to create worlds. She is also the mother to her teen daughter Iyonna, the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, and a founding member of Metropolarity Spec Fic Collective. She recently independently published her first speculative fiction collection, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales).
Dr. Yaba Blay is a professor, producer, and publisher. As a researcher and ethnographer, she uses personal and social narratives to disrupt fundamental assumptions about cultures and identities. As a cultural worker and producer, she uses images to inform consciousness, incite dialogue, and inspire others into action and transformation. While her broader research interests are related to Africana cultural aesthetics and aesthetic practices, and global Black popular culture, Dr. Blay’s specific research interests lie within global Black identities and the politics of embodiment, with particular attention given to hair and skin color politics. Yaba Blay is the author of (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race and artistic director of the (1)ne Drop project. Yaba is also producing a transmedia film project focused on the global practice of skin bleaching (with director Terence Nance). She is currently co-Director and Assistant Teaching Professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University. Dr. Blay is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of BLACKprint Press.