Saturday at Seaport (SEAPORT)

Join us at our new South Seaport location for a full day of readings, conversation, and song. 



12:00 - Children's Art Workshop: Here Be Sea Dragons 

Imagine a time when mythology was true and sea monsters were real; a time when Vikings sailed their dragonships up the Hudson River, centuries before Europeans. For a unique Seaport event, intrepid kids can create their own Viking ships and design fantastical creatures (sea monsters, merpeople, kraken, finfolk, and more) to be fearsome figureheads on their ships. 

Hosted by Yvonne Brooks. All materials provided. Free.



12:30-1:30 pm in the Cafe: New York Recentered, with Kara Schlichting and Raechel Lutz

The history of New York City’s modern urban development often centers on titanic figures like Robert Moses and on prominent Manhattan sites like Central Park. New York Recentered shifts the focus to the city’s geographic edges—the coastlines and waterways—and to the small-time unelected locals who quietly but indelibly shaped the modern city. 

Kara Murphy Schlichting challenges the idea that urbanization is always a linear progression and that growth is always directed by central planners and government officials. New York Recentered details how the vernacular planning done by small businessmen and real estate operators, performed independently of large-scale municipal efforts, reshaped marginal locales like Flushing Meadows and the shores of Long Island Sound and the East River in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Schlichting’s view of the coastal metropolitan corridor takes in circus magnate P. T. Barnum’s city-building efforts in Connecticut; piano heir and businessman William Steinway’s developments along the East River; landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s parks in the Bronx; and much more. The result is a singular synthesis of planning history, environmental history, and urban history that recasts the story of New York as we know it.

Kara Murphy Schlichting is assistant professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York.

Raechel Lutz is an environmental historian and teacher based out of Northern New Jersey. Read more about her work here.




2:00 - Taking the Conversation Home: A Reading with Under the Volcano authors 

Joan Silber, Emily Raboteau, Kristina Andersson Bicher, Ana Portnoy Brimmer, C.S. Nelson, Shakthi Shrima, and Keila Vall de la Ville

A multi-genre reading by award-winning UTV faculty and program alumni. 

TAKING THE CONVERSATION HOME is our platform for encouraging UTV participants to play an active role as cultural ambassadors once they leave Tepoztlán. By organizing and hosting events such as readings and dialogues in their home communities, UTV alumni share exciting new work and engage larger audiences in conversations on the challenges and values that unite us in these early years of the 21st century.  Visit us at

Our alumni have published novels, stories, poetry chapbooks, memoirs and articles, been admitted to top MFA programs and residencies, signed with leading literary agents and won prizes and honors that include a National Book Award, the Premio Nacional de Novela Tamaulipas, the Premio Quimera Literatura Queer and the Write Stuff competition at the London Book Fair.

Joan Silber, the author of eight books of fiction, writes both linked stories and novels. The recipient of a Guggenheim and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, she has also been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Her most recent novel, Improvement, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.  Her previous book of stories, Fools, was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.  Her novel The Size of the World was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, and Ideas of Heaven, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize.  Her book The Art of Time in Fiction (Graywolf) has been called “a little gem” by fellow writers and is widely taught. Joan Silber teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program and has taught in the major writing conferences of the US.  She lives in New York City.

Emily Raboteau is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter (Henry Holt) and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion (Grove/Atlantic), named a best book of 2013 by The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle, a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival, and winner of a 2014 American Book Award.  Her fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, The Guardian, Guernica, VQR, The Believer, Salon, New York Review of Books and elsewhere.  Honors include a Pushcart Prize, The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Lannan Foundation, the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. An avid world traveler, Raboteau resides in New York City and teaches creative writing in Harlem at City College, once known as “the poor man’s Harvard.”

Kristina Andersson Bicher is a poet, essayist and translator whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Ploughshares, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Plume, Denver Quarterly, Narrative, Barrow Street, The Atlantic, Harvard Review, Brooklyn Rail, and others. Author of She-Giant in the Land of Here-We-Go-Again (forthcoming from MadHat Press in 2020) and Just Now Alive (2014), she earned an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Kristina lives in New York City.

Ana Portnoy Brimmer is a Puerto Rican poet and performer, writer and ARTivist. She is currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Rutgers University-Newark. Her chapbook “To Love an Island” recently won YesYes Book’s 2019 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Contest. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Gulf Coast, Anomaly, and Foundry Journal, among others. Ana is the recipient of The Ancinas Family Scholarship; the inaugural recipient of the Sandra Cisneros Fellowship; a 2019 Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominee; and a #PoetsForPuertoRico organizer. She is also a Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation Fellow in Poetry, a Community of Writers at Squaw Valley Fellow in Poetry, an Under The Volcano Fellow in Poetry and Journalism, a Las Dos Brujas Writing Workshop Alumna in Poetry, and an inaugural Moko Writers' Workshop Alumna in Poetry.

C. S. Nelson lives in NYC. His first book, The Book of Clay, was published in 2017. Kirkus Review selected it for quarterly attention. Most recently, his work has been selected for publication in the poetry journal, Oberon.

Shakthi Shrima's work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2018, The Journal, Copper Nickel, The Collagist, VINYL, BOAAT, the DIALOGIST, and Muzzle Magazine, amongst others. Shakthi Shrima appears or is forthcoming in her unmade bed. Find her online at

Keila Vall de la Ville is a New York-based Venezuelan fiction and non-fiction writer. Her award-winning books include novel Los días animals (Caracas, 2016); short story collection Ana no duerme (Caracas, 2008); Ana no duerme y otros cuentos (New York, 2016); and the poetry book Viaje legado (Caracas, 2016). Editor of the bilingual anthology Entre el aliento y el precipicio. Poéticas sobre la belleza / Between the Breath and the Abyss. Poetics on Beauty (Madrid, In press), and 102 Poetas en Jamming (Caracas, 2014). She is also co-founder of the collective readings “Jamming Poético” (Caracas, Miami, Bogotá, NYC), columnist at Viceversa Magazine (New York) and El Nacional/Papel Literario (Caracas), and collaborator in other several online publications. She received a BA in Anthropology (Universidad Central de Venezuela), MA in Political Science (Universidad Simón Bolívar), MFA in Creative Writing (NYU), and MA in Hispanic Cultural Studies (Columbia University).




4:00pm - International Voices: A National Translation Month Celebration

Claudia Serea, Andrei Codrescu, Carmen Firan, Hugo F Dos Santos, Poupeh Missaghi

In a world confronted by political and social upheaval, what is the role of the translator in bridging cultures and making space for new voices to be heard? Is he/she acting as a cultural emissary, as an integrator, or as a challenger of the status quo? What is the most difficult thing to convey in another language: words, or experiences? What about humor, or certain taboos? Join us for International Voices, an event celebrating National Translation Month organized in collaboration with McNally Jackson Bookstores, in which our panelists will answer some of these questions, share insights about the translation craft, and read from their most recent work.

Established in 2013 by poet and translator Claudia Serea and writer and journalist Loren Kleinman, National Translation Month (NTM) is a month-long celebration of literary translations each September. NTM seeks to promote the work of translators and highlight their craft, encourage the reading of literature in translation, encourage increased publication and distribution of works in translation, and support the under-represented and emerging literary translators, authors, and presses from around the world. Visit for exciting new translations published every day in September, events information, and list of 30 ways to celebrate NTM. Follow NTM on Twitter @TranslateMonth or #TranslationMonth, or on Facebook @nationaltranslationmonth, and send your own event at

Happy National Translation Month! And happy reading and celebrating translations this September and beyond.

Claudia Serea’s poems and translations have appeared in Field, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Asymptote, The Malahat Review, RHINO, and elsewhere. She has published five poetry collections, most recently Twoxism, a poetry-photography collaboration with Maria Haro (8th House Publishing, 2018). Serea co-translated The Vanishing Point That Whistles, an Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (Talisman House Publishing, 2011) for which she received a grant from the Romanian Cultural Institute. She also translated from the Romanian Adina Dabija’s Beautybeast (Northshore Press, 2012). Serea is a founding editor of National Translation Month.

Carmen Firan, Romanian-born living in New York, is a poet, novelist, short story writer, journalist, and playwright. She has published twenty eight books of poetry, novels, essays, and short stories. Her writings appear in translation in many literary magazines and in various anthologies in Europe and in the U.S. Among her recent books are: Interviews and Encounters. Dialogue and poetry with Nina Cassian (Sheep Meadow Press), Rock and Dew (Sheep Meadow Press), Words and Flesh (Talisman Publishers). She is a member of PEN American Center and the Poetry Society of America.

Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, a translator both into and out of Persian, Asymptote’s Iran editor-at-large, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English--creative writing from the University of Denver and MAs in creative writing and translation studies. Her translations into English can be found in The Book of Tehran, a City in Short Fiction (Comma Press, 2019), in Asymptote, Quarterly West, Copper Nickel, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. Her debut work, trans(re)lating house one, a hybrid novel, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press in February 2020. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.

Hugo dos Santos is the author of Then, there (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and the translator of A Child in Ruins (Writ Large Press, 2016), a staff pick at The Paris Review Daily. He is a co-founder of the Brick City Collective and associate editor at DMQ Review. Learn more about him and his work at 

Andrei Codrescu’s ( most recent books are No Time Like Now: New Poems (Pitt Poetry Series, 2019),  Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn (Princeton University Press, 2019), and this translation of the poetry of Romanian modernist Lucian Blaga, In Praise of Sleep (Black Widow Press, 2019). He lives in Brooklyn.

Katherine E. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards, 2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist, and two chapbooks. She is the translator of Farewell, Aylis by Azerbaijani political prisoner Akram Aylisli and Blue Birds and Red Horses and Two Poems, both by Inna Kabysh. Young’s translations have appeared in Asymptote, LA Review of Books, The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, and 100 Poems about Moscow, winner of the 2017 Books of Russia award (Poetry). Young was a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow and served as the inaugural poet laureate for Arlington, Virginia (2016-18).

Ariel Francisco is the author of A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020) and All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017). A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, The Florida Review, Guernica, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. The Miami New Times named him one of the Five Florida Writers to Watch in 2019.



6:00pm - Black Indian: Exploring Womanhood, Abuse and Black Indian Intersections

Shonda Buchanan and Oleana

Award-winning poet and educator Shonda Buchanan (1968) was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a daughter of Mixed Bloods, tri-racial and tri-ethnic African American, American Indian and European-descendant families who migrated from North Carolina and Virginia in the mid-1700 to 1800s to Southwestern Michigan. Black Indian, her memoir, begins the saga of these migration stories of Free People of Color communities exploring identity, ethnicity, landscape and loss. 

For the last 18 years, Shonda has taught Creative Writing, Composition and Critical Theory at Loyola Marymount University, Hampton University and William & Mary College. An Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship recipient, a Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow, a Jentel Artist Residency fellow and a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow, Shonda has received grants from the California Community Foundation, Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program and several grants from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Her first book of poetry, Who's Afraid of Black Indians?, was nominated for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the Library of Virginia Book Awards. Literary Editor of Harriet Tubman Press, her second collection of poetry, Equipoise: Poems from Goddess Country was published by San Francisco Bay Press. Shonda's poetry and essays have been featured in numerous anthologies. 

Freelance writer for the LA Weekly since 1991, and Indian Country Today, the Los Angeles Times and the Writer's Chronicle, Shonda is completing a second memoir as well as the screenplay of Black Indian. She’s also editing a novel and a collection of poetry about the iconic singer, concert pianist and Civil Rights activist, Nina Simone. For more information visit, and Follow Shonda @shondabuchanan.


A Museum Administrator over 10 years & Outreach Liaison who curates Native American Public Programs and Exhibitions, spotlighting Traditional & Contemporary Indigenous Artists titled *Beyond the Oak Tree Treaty, She stayed connected to The Arts while working as a Props Shopper for The Juilliard School of Music and ultimately the acclaimed Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recently launched into the art of Spoken Word, she shares her inherited diary of published Poems *Reflections of a Whispering Dove gifted by Def Poetry Jam founder; Danny Simmons (now a permanent volume of the Schomberg Center for research). 

Lending her image as a Native American Advocate, Educator and Poetess, Oleana's recently debuted Portrait as the Tsalagi Water Spider instates her legacy intrinsic to the newly expanded Exhibition by award-winning Photographer *Lisa Levart. Likewise, she presents newly written material aimed to broaden the myopic perspective of contemporary Native Americans, imagining a new reverence for life beyond the Reservation. Additionally, Oleana is a NYC American Indian community House member, working alongside Ramapough-Lenape Chief Perry.



8:00pm - Sixth Sense: An Evening of Poetry & Fervent Song

Sparrow X, Rachael Guynn Wilson, Ada Smailbegovic, and Yumi Shiroma

Sparrow will lead the audience in improvised percussive-invention. (Participation is not mandatory.) Watch for his new incendiary hit, "I've Got Long Sleeves!" 

Sparrow lives in a doublewide trailer in swarthy Phoenicia, N.Y. He has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the American Poetry Review, The Sun – and quoted in Vogue! Sparrow is the author of seven books, the most recent being On certain nights everyone in the USA has the same dream (Inpatient Press), a journal of his 2016 Presidential campaign. He plays flutophone in the biothermic pop group Foamola. Follow Sparrow on Twitter: @Sparrow14, and on Facebook (and Instagram):Sparrow X. Carter.

Rachael Guynn Wilson is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her critical and poetic work has appeared in apricota, Bathhouse Journal, The Distance Plan, Jacket2, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She is a co-founder of the Organism for Poetic Research and a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative.

Yumi Dineen Shiroma is a PhD student in English at Rutgers University, studying postcolonial and queer theories and literatures. Her poetry has previously appeared in BOMB, Hyperallergic, Peach Mag, and Nat. Brut. Her chaplet, A Novel Depicting “the” “Asian” “American” “Experience,” was published by Belladonna* in fall 2019. She lives in Philadelphia with Signora Neroni the cat.

Ada Smailbegović is an assistant professor of English at Brown University. Her writing explores relations between poetics, nonhuman forms of materiality, histories of description, and the natural sciences. She is a cofounder of The Organism for Poetic Research. Her research and poetic work has included “From Code to Shape” (differences, 2018), The Forest / On Waiting (Doublecross Press, 2017), “Cloud Writing” (in Art in the Anthropocene, 2015), and most recently an article on animals in Gertrude Stein’s work “Of Poodles, Mockingbirds and Beetles: Gertrude Stein’s Zoopoetics.” She has recently completed a book on poetry and science titled Soft Matter of Molecules, Fibers, Tissues, Clouds: Poetics of Liveliness.