home Wendy Call
bio writing editing teaching events appreciation of interest en espanol

Selected Previous Lectures
& Panel Discussions

Panel Discussion: "Rusted Species," chaired by Barbara Eckstein, with Nathaniel Otjen, Clint Peters, Kelsi Nagy, Erica Damman, and Chris Dolle
ASLE Biennial Conference
Rust / Resistance: Works of Recovery
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan
June 20-24, 2017

As these scenarios suggest, humans regularly encounter unwanted beings, or “rusted species,” decayed from their pure state in life web, and we react negatively. Rather than cringe at the seagulls or flee from the house centipede, we propose to look at the ecological and sociological possibilities that can emerge if humans pause their disgust and examine these beings in their own right. Taking the form of animals, insects, plants or fungi, these rusted species are embedded in a complex and ever-shifting web of relations with people and other beings surviving on this planet. This panel explores, among other things, the broadly interpreted manifestations and articulations of rusted species including the rusted infrastructure of animal housing, the rusty ideas of animal confinement and spectacle, the aging and deteriorating species created by modern medicine, and the possibilities of living with invasive species, ultimately aiming to recover a new appreciation for these maligned beings.
Visit the conference webpage for more information.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)
Annual Conference

Los Angeles Convention Center
& JW Marriott Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 through
Saturday, April 2, 2016

"Translation as a Democratizing Force" (Panel #F292)
with Peter Crume, Cecilia Martinez-Gil, Alison Mandaville and John Oliver Simon
4:30 to 5:45 pm, Friday, April 1, 2016
Room 512, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

Three poets, a prose writer, and a scholar, translators all, explore the democratizing power of translation. We consider how translation—with examples from Azerbaijani and indigenous Mexican poets, a poet’s self-translation, ASL/sign interpretation of speech and story in the US and Kenya, and work in multilingual children’s poetry—empowers writers and increases equity in the world of words and ideas, where new possibilities for living together are imagined, shared, and set into motion.

"Writing Other(ed) Places" (Panel #S152)
with Catina Bacote, Jeremy B. Jones, Justin Nobel, and Stephen J. West
10:30 am to 11:45 am, Saturday, April 2, 2016
Room 501, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

Five nonfiction writers discuss the pressures and possibilities of writing about marginalized and overlooked places—empty corners of Appalachia, tornado-torn stretches of the Deep South, housing projects in Connecticut, immigrant communities in New Jersey and LA, and beyond. Writing in forms ranging from memoir to journalism, the panelists grapple with how to honestly and artfully render people and places too often stereotyped or simplified or silenced.

Panel Discussion: A New "I" on Nature,"
with Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Angela Pelster, and Yelizaveta Renfro, moderated by Clint Crockett Peters
NonfictioNow Conference
University of North Arizona
Flagstaff, Arizona
Friday, October 30, 2015

It was an honor to be part of this panel, described by Clinton Crockett Peters this way: The first-person essay has a formidable history in the field of nature writing. By “nature writing,” we mean the traditional and well-challenged notion of a first person seer engaging with landscape and species, dissecting wilderness and animal experience. This, of course, is not the only way to define “nature writing.” Many eco-writers and critics have been hard at work in the last twenty years parsing out different streams of the environmental genre: eco-feminism, eco-justice literature, eco-post-colonial literature, post-humanism, and many, many others. The stream we follow today is the personal environmental essay as seen in the context of contemporary writers as they engage with the more-than-human world. “More-than-human,” includes rocks, animals, trees, insects, carbon-dioxide, and effluent but does not mean “without humans.” As one of the pioneers of ecocriticism, Lawrence Buell, writes, “Personhood is defined for better or for worse by environmental entanglement. Whether individual or social, being doesn’t stop at the border of the skin.”

Craft Lecture: "When You Have a Sense of Place, What Exactly Do You Have? (And where did that idea come from, anyway?)"
Schoolhouse, Fort Worden
Tuesday, July 14, 1:00 to 1:50 pm
Port Townsend Writers' Conference
Fort Worden State Park
Port Townsend, Washington
The Port Townsend Writers Conference is an annual ten-day wonder of literary learning, celebration, and community. I have attended many a writers' conference and this one is my favorite. Register for this fabulous conference here.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)
Annual Conference

Minneapolis Convention Center & Hilton Minneapolis Hotel
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 through
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Word-mania landed in Minneapolis. I spent most of my time at the bookfair (especially at the Goddard College table) and spoke on two panels:

Writers Write, No Matter What: The Role of the Writing
Prompt in the (Elementary to Post-Graduate) Classroom
and Beyond

with Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Sejal Shah and Anastacia Tolbert
4:30 to 5:45 pm, Thursday, April 9, 2015
Minneapolis Convention Center,
Auditorium Room 3, Level 1

The four panelists—writers of poetry, fiction, essay and memoir, representing Cave Canem, Kundiman, or Macondo—offered specific pedagogical strategies and learning outcomes for their writing prompts. Audience members added a favorite writing prompt to a collective basket and later received the entire collection, along with an extensive resource list, via email.

Byte by Byte: Teaching Creative Writing Online
with Cass Dalglish, Athena Kildegaard, Kate Kysar, LouAnn Muhm
3:00 to 4:15 pm, Saturday, April 11, 2015
Minneapolis Convention Center,
Room 200 H&I, Level 2
Five writers – who teach online in a public university, a community college AFA, an arts nonprofit, and in private BFA and MFA low-residency programs – offer a candid and guided tour of the online creative writing classroom. Stops on the circuit: cleaning out the correspondence course feel; using technology for web-based fine arts studios and readers’ salons; maintaining trust, establishing community, setting boundaries; and nourishing creativity and improvisation. Ample audience engagement.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)
Annual Conference

Washington State Convention Center
Seattle, Washington
Thursday, February 27, 2014 through
Saturday, March 1, 2014

Yes, word-mania took over Seattle. I spent some of my time at the Bookfair tables for Goddard College and Hedgebrook and helping to promote my Goddard students' new literary journal, Duende.

"Sonic Lit: Reaching New Communities by Lifting Writing off the Page"
Panel Discussion with Nari Baker, Tina Hoggatt, Geoff Larson, Judith Roche, moderated by Wendy Call.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
4:30 to 5:45 pm
Aspen Room, 2nd Floor
Sheraton Seattle

Digital technology brings us back to the oral/aural roots of poem and story, while expanding our options for leaping off the page. Jack Straw Productions brought together a poet, nonfiction writer, musician, and two multimedia/ installation artists to describe how they created audio recordings of poetry and prose; turned stories into songs; installed poetry as part of public art projects; incorporated oral history and storytelling into gallery installations; and created literary work for the stage, mobile app, and web page.

"From Finding Your Muse to Finding Your Readers: Book Promotion in the 21st Century"
Panel discussion with Kelli Russell Agodon, Wendy Call, Janna Cawrse Esarey, and Susan Rich, moderated by Midge Raymond
Friday, February 28, 2014
4:30 to 5:45 pm
Room 608, Level 6
Washington State Convention Center
We discussed the unique challenges and opportunities of transitioning from writer to published book author. Through specific experiences and using real-world examples, panelists will offer tips for finding one's natural niche and audience, and how to reach out to readers authentically and generously. Topics included book promotion through conferences, book clubs, social media, awards, blogs, events, book trailers, and salons.
These sessions were open only to registered participants of the AWP Conference.

Chuckanut Writers Conference
Whatcom Community College
Bellingham, Washington

9:00 to 9:45 am, Saturday, June 22, 2013
Writer's Studio Plenary Session

"Making Chicken Soup out of Chicken Scratch"
In my talk, we took a quick tour through nearly three hundred thousand years of mark-making and what the commonalities of all art, all through time, can offer your current writing practice.

1:30 to 2:30 pm, Saturday, June 23, 2013
"Breathing Life Into Your Nonfiction"
I shared the panel table with fellow Northwest writer Thor Hanson, with skillful moderation from Nan Macy.

It was a true delight to be on the faculty of this fabulously well-organized and enriching writers' conference for the second year. Many thanks to Whatcom Community College and Village Books for creating and sustaining this project.

Rejection: Get Over It!
Whatcom Writers and Publishers
Upstairs at Nicki’s Bella Marina
2615 South Harbor Loop Drive
Squalicum Harbor, Bellinhgam, Washington
Gathering 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Presentation 7:00 pm

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
OK, I don't really love rejection, but I do learn from it. In this talk, I'll shared ten things that rejection has done for me -- and can do for you.

"Taking Up Residence: Writers in Unexpected Places"
A Panel Discussion with Wendy Call, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Henry Reese, and Ellen Placey Wadey
Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference
Lake Ontario Room, 8th Floor, Hilton Chicago Hotel,
Chicago, Illinois
Thursday, March 1, 2012
12:00 to 1:15 pm
I gathered some of the writer-activists I most respect for a lively session on how to be a Writer in Residence outside the (very comfortable and wonderful) boxes of the university and the artist colony. This group has participated in and/or managed Writer in Residence programs in city neighborhoods, public high schools, county hospitals, national parks, libraries, historical archives, and many other unexpected places. See a summary of my presentation at my blog.

Telling True Stories: The Art and the Craft
A Discussion and Workshop
University of Pittsburgh
Cathedral of Learning, Room 501
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thursday, September 29, 2011
4:00 pm

At this interactive session, I offered a series of writing exercises inspired by some of my favorite lessons of Telling True Stories, the craft anthology I co-edited with Mark Kramer. Many thanks to the University of Pittsburgh's Writing Program for offering this workshop, and thanks to several dozen undergraduate and graduate students, several faculty, and even writer John Temple, who traveled 90 miles from West Virginia University!

The Story of No Word for Welcome
"Peer Innovations in Publishing" Series
Empire State College
State University of New York (SUNY)
Distance Learning Campus
113 West Avenue
Saratoga Springs, New York
Monday, September 26, 2011
12:30 to 1:30 pm
Reception to follow from 1:30 to 2:00 pm

In addition to the usual book reading and slideshow, I shared the long road that No Word for Welcome traveled from collection of articles (in 2002) to book proposal (in 2003) to full manuscript (in 2008) to book (in 2011).

"Global Perspectives, Local Stories"
with Midge Raymond
School of Communication
640 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 317
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
noon to 2:00 pm

Midge Raymond and I will return to the school were we first studied writing (me, for a single -- but seminal -- seminar with Mark Kramer, and Midge, for her master's degree) to offer a free, two-hour discussion and workshop on using a journalist's toolbox for better creative writing.

Artist Talk: Telling True Stories about Places Near and Far
The Studios of Key West
600 White Street
Key West, FL 33040
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
10:30 am to noon

I will begin my two-week stint as Artist in Residence at TSKW with a one-hour talk/discussion about the three years I lived and worked in southern Mexico to write No Word for Welcome. We'll talk about writing about places you know well, along with writing about places where you are a stranger.

"The Art of Rejection: Giving and Receiving"
Panel discussion with Philip F. Deaver, Geeta Kothari,
Molly Peacock
, and Kevin Morgan Watson; moderated by Diana Raab

AWP Conference (February 2 to 5, 2011)
Hampton Ballroom, Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington DC
Friday, February 4, 2011
10:30 to 11:45 am
Rejection is part of the literary life. Rejection of your manuscript is not a rejection of you as a person or a writer, but of one piece of writing. It says nothing about your potential. It’s equally difficult being an editor turning down work, as being a writer receiving the rejection. These panelists of writers, editors, and publishers will discuss how to establish boundaries between yourself and your work, what we learn from rejections, and how feedback makes us better writers and editors.

"Translating Mexican Women"
A Panel Discussion

Friday, November 13, 2009
8:45 to 10:00 am
I was so pleased that we had healthy attendance for this early-morning panel, at which I discussed ttranslating southern Mexican poets. It was an honor to be on a panel with two translators I greatly admire: Clare Sullivan and Jen Hofer.
Hilton Pasadena Hotel
168 South Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
This panel discussion was part of the 2009 Annual Conference of the American Literary Translators Association -- an excellent organization..

"What Can Artists' Communities Do to Support Social Change?"
A Panel Discussion

Thursday, November 13, 2008
5:30 to 7:00 pm
A panel discussion with Amy Wheeler, Executive Director of Hedgebrook, Theaster Gates of Chicago’s South Side 4 Flat residency, Valerie Curtis-Newton, of ACT - A Contemporary Theater, and Rick Ingrasci, author of Chop Wood, Carry Water.
Richard Hugo House
1634 11th Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98122
This panel discussion was part of the 2008 Annual Conference of the Alliance for Artists Communities. Read an essay I wrote expanding on my presentation in this newsletter, beginning on page 15.

"Stories in Collision: Globalized Narratives about the Isthmus of Tehuantepec"
Thursday, July 3, 2008
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
I presented a paper at the "Storytelling, Memories and Identity Constructions " Conference of the International Society for Cultural History and Cultural Studies. Read the abstract here.
Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) Calle República de Cuba # 60,
Centro Histórico, Ciudad de México

"Fishermen, Housewives, Teachers and Transvestites: Social Movements in Oaxaca, Mexico"
World Issues Forum

Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
12:00 to 1:30 pm
In 2006, a burgeoning social movement in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca jumped into international headlines. Involving everyone from university professors to rural farmers, teenaged gay-rights activists to middle-aged housewives, this movement built upon thirty years of activism by Oaxaca’s indigenous communities. Their grassroots organizing continues, in spite of severe repression by the state and federal governments. In this slideshow and talk, I'll discuss the development of Oaxaca’s current social movement, and how it inspired the Zapatistas in Chiapas and other groups throughout the world.
Western Washington University
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

"How Do We Render Other People's Stories?
Tales from Mexico"

Field's End Writers' Roundtable

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Bainbridge Public Library
1270 Madison N.
Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110
Bainbridge island writer and editor Tamara Sellman wrote an excellent summary of my presentation.

"What Can the Right Editor Do for You?"
A Roundtable Discussion with Waverly Fitzgerald and
Karalynn Ott & Michelle Whitehead of Verve Editorial

Thursday, April 17, 2008
4:00 to 6:00 pm
Book Publishers Northwest
Good Shepherd Center, Room 221
4649 Sunnyside North
Seattle, Washington

"Why They Come al Norte :
Economic Pressures Facing Rural Mexico"
part of a panel discussion with
Pramila Jayapal
of Hate Free Zone and
Joel Millman
of the Wall Street Journal
Institute for Current World Affairs Trustees Meeting
Saturday, December 8, 2007
morning session
Cosmos Club, Dupont Circle
Washington, DC
See a (rather homespun) video of my presentation here.


English Camp fence






Photo to left: English camp, San Juan Island, Washington, 2008
Photo below: José Luis Cuevas sculpture, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 2009

  Cuevas sculpture Bellas Artes