It’s not likely a good time to be raising funds for a three-day Arab-American literature conference — set to take place in Minneapolis, Minn. mid-September — but, if it weren’t for literature, how would we make the world bearable?
The Radius of Arab-American Writers (RAWI) has raised just $885 toward their $5000 goal, although it’s a “flexible funding” campaign, so they will receive all money pledged. The $5000, should they raise it, will go to support guest speakers, student scholarships, and speakers at the conference and beyond. According to the fund-raising site:
We need support in order to bring you the 5th National RAWI Conference with Mizna– three days of performances, readings, workshops, panels, a film screening, a mixer, and a culminating celebration which will include the Arab American Book Awards ceremony. The conference will take place at Open Book in Minneapolis, MN, 9/18-20.
The conference is open to the public and will feature writers, artists, translators, editors, performers, and educators. This gathering will include a series of panels, workshops, and seminars on the topic of writing and Arab American literature, readings and performances, as well as several networking opportunities. As part of our goal to foster and support new voices within Arab American literature, we will be highlighting workshops and panels designed specifically for emerging writers.
It’s a difficult time to be competing for fund-raising money, but a $50 contribution will get you a signed book (or chapbook) from a RAWI member: I might suggest Diana Abu Jaber’s Birds of Paradise, Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer, or Randa Jarrar’s Map of Home, or maybe you can get Laila Lalami’s forthcoming book, The Moor’s Account.
More about the campaign and:
i don’t get it — how is this public? if you want to attend you have to pay over $100, not to mention flying there and hotel accomodations. it just doesn’t make sense to me. apparently they are charging speakers as well… and the conference schedule isn’t even online so why should i pay for something not knowing what’s even planned?
I imagined there would be public events in Minnesota (for people who already are in Minnesota; I can’t imagine anyone would fly in). I might well be wrong, I didn’t get clarification about that.
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