Poet Ariana Brown highlights 2019 Latino/a/x Conference

Ariana-Brown
Ariana Brown

Poet and performer Ariana Brown will give the keynote presentation at the 2019 Latino/a/x Conference at Bowling Green State University on March 27. The daylong event also includes the eStrella Student Research/Creative Conference, featuring the work of 25 students from BGSU and other universities around the country.

The annual event is part of the University’s “Beyond the Dream” series, bringing inspiring leaders of social justice movements to campus. Conference events will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 5:30 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, followed by the annual mixer hosted by the Latino Student Union from 6-8 p.m. in 207 Union.

Brown is a black Mexican-American raised in a working-class community in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to performing her slam poetry, she tours the United States conducting workshops on college campuses and for local organizations, focusing on blackness in a Mexican-American context, womanhood, spirituality and healing.

She has received two Academy of American Poets Prizes and is a 2014 Collegiate National Poetry Slam Champion. Her work has been featured on PBS and in the Huffington Post and has been published in journals, including Nepantla, Muzzle, African Voices, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and iManteca!: an Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in African Diaspora studies and Mexican American studies from the University of Texas Austin and is in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Her talk will take place during the conference luncheon which begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Union. Lunch is free for BGSU students, $20 faculty and staff and non-BGSU students, and $25 for all others. Advance registration is required by March 11. Register online. Following the luncheon, Brown will sign copies of her books, which will be available for purchase.

Conference organizers are especially pleased with the variety of discipline areas represented in the eStrella conference this year, said Dr. Susana Peña, director of the School of Cultural and Critical Studies.

“We encourage people to see the exciting work that’s happening at BGSU and beyond,” she said. “We have a really wide range of presentations, in areas we haven’t seen before. Along with students from BGSU, we expect presenters from Rutgers, Ohio State, Michigan State, Grinnell, West Virginia and other universities. They’re presenting on topics from linguistics and history to social work to communication disorders to higher education. We also have a number of creative presentations, including a performance panel from OSU.”

The concurrent panels are organized thematically, under topics such as “Interrogating the X” and “Latinx Cultural Identity and Belonging” and “Salsa, Sexuality, and Song.” BGSU’s Latino Student Union will share “Our Story, Then and Now.”

Area high school students will also be attending and will give presentations.

On Feb. 28, Brown will hold a writing workshop from 1-2 p.m. at BGSU’s Arts Village called “Radically Tender.” Open to all students, it will focus on the importance of self-care for people involved in social justice, and using writing as a tool for that. The workshop will be held in 101E Kreischer Residence Hall.