literary landscapes

A Love Poem - CIL 04, 5296

Transcription

Translation:

O, would that it be permitted to hold your delicate arms, 

fastened around my neck, and to offer kisses to your tender lips.

Go now, darling, and trust your joys to the winds;

trust me, the nature of men is fickle.

Often while I lie awake in the middle of the night, lost in love,

I reflect on these things with myself: many are they whom Fortune has lifted up high;

and in the same way these, suddenly thrown down headlong, she now oppresses:

just as when Venus has unexpectedly joined the bodies of lovers,

daylight divides them, and (they?)…

Bibliography:

Milnor, Kristina. “Gender and Genre: The Case of CIL 4. 5296.” In Graffiti and the Literary Landscape in Roman Pompeii. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

(The picture and transcription are taken from this source, p 198 and 209. There is obviously MUCH more scholarship on this, but Milnor is a good starting place.)

I’d recommend looking up Rebecca Benefiel if you want more information specifically about graffiti in domestic spaces.

Comments:

A beautiful love poem from one woman to another, neatly inscribed on the wall inside a house in Pompeii. There’s much to say about this poem, but I’ll keep it brief! There’s a lot of debate as to whether this was actually written by a woman, to a woman, and scholars sometimes bend over backwards to try to justify another explanation. But I (and many others) argue that it rejects the involvement of men both thematically and grammatically. The speaker does not seem interested in men’s “fickle nature.” The gender of the speaker can be determined by the perdita in line 4: a nominative, feminine perfect passive participle. The gender of the addressee is shown by pupula, a vocative, feminine noun (a diminutive term of endearment, literally meaning “little girl,” but probably more like “darling,” or maybe even “baby”?)

Please add your own translations, comments, and bibliography if you like!

Thanks to @ciceronian for the great request!

Fairytales, with their flatness of language and simplicity of structure, can give writers access to storytelling modes often ignored by mainstream literature. In the English-speaking world at least, the literary landscape is largely divided into literary realism and ‘world-building’ genre fiction. In the former, even slight deviation from our culture’s narrow conception of reality is frowned upon. In the latter, all sorts of impossible things can happen, but only if there’re clear and consistent rules. Fairytales and fables offer a third way: a mysterious overgrown path into the unknown forest where stories can operate outside of real or invented rules. We don’t worry about the realistic motivations of the evil dwarf’s curse nor the backstory of the talking fox. It happened once upon a time, and that’s enough to know.
—  Kate Bernheimer (The Guardian, 2016)

anonymous asked:

What do you think about the arguments that say people only support redemption arcs for villains who are white males (and not fat or disabled) and not for any POC/disabled/or women villains? That fans will bash and tear down the latter group while woobifying and idolizing the former?

Here’s how I look at this problem: 

POC/disabled/women villains, WHERE?

This is a problem that I think our current literary landscape is grappling with. The characters who typically get redemption arcs, yes, are often white and male. But this is also the group most often portrayed as villains, period. 

I think there’s often some hesitancy among writers, especially white writers who might mean well but fear offending people, to bring the same kind of complexity to underrepresented groups. What if they get it wrong? What if their attempt to write a different kind of villain inadvertently feeds into harmful stereotypes? This is an especially big problem when we consider how the mentally ill are so often drawn as villains. There’s this idea that if we assign underrepresented groups to the “bad guy” role, we’re doing it wrong. 

But, as always, it comes down to fleshing those characters out, and allowing the narrative/character to somehow comment on how they’re subverting these simple definitions and behaving in three-dimensional ways. Sometimes this can be as simple as it never being an issue, and the strength of the writing simply draws attention to the fact that we haven’t seen that complexity for anyone but white men before. Sometimes it can stem from characters lampshading the archetypes we’re used to and emphasizing that they’re more than that. 

Ultimately I think this is a two-way street kind of issue. We as an audience are often not as primed to see complex narratives with these kinds of characters because writers have so often not written them. So it’s on us to find these narratives and build a desire for them, to support stories that give us villains outside the White Male box. That doesn’t mean we can’t also enjoy the White Male villains who are well-written or simply interesting to us. But we do need to be conscious of being enthusiastic about the redemptive/complex/villainous tropes wherever they appear, so it’s clear that our desire is for this story, not just this Specific-Looking Culturally Accepted Kind of Character. The more we do that, the more writers (and future writers) will start to fill the void. 

ALSO: Girls Made of Snow and Glass, by @mothlissa. Coming September to a store near you. Woobify these broken villain girls to your heart’s content. :)

Perseus and the Origin of Coral by Claude Lorrain. French, c. 1671 Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From the Met:

The rarely depicted subject of “Perseus and the Origin of Coral” is derived from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This drawing is one of seven known preparatory studies for one of Claude’s most important late paintings: Coast View with Perseus and the Origin of Coral (Coke Collection, Holkham Hall, Norfolk), four of which depict the entire composition. The painting was commissioned by his patron, Cardinal Camillo Massimi, and executed in 1674.

Is It Wrong to Write Cross Culturally? by Kat Rosenfield

Hello, Auntie!

I am an aspiring author who has been writing for forever. I am also a half-white, half-Hispanic girl (who passes as white) who loves world history and international cultures, and I want to travel the world someday. Thus, some of my stories take place in other countries and have multicultural characters.

A friend and I have been having a disagreement because of one story I’ve been writing lately. Long story short, it’s a Romeo and Juliet-type story that takes place at the Indian/Pakistani border where a Muslim Pakistani man falls for a Hindu Indian woman. Also, one of the main characters is an LGBT character that struggles with being LGBT in India. I’ve been researching the histories behind the two countries and the cultural divides that they have, and I’ve been working on this story for two months.

My friend told me that it’s not my place as me, a person who passes as white, to be writing a story that is so judgmental of two cultures (pointing out the xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny in both cultures) that have been oppressed for decades by the British and are now dealing with high levels of poverty. She told me that even though I was doing heavy research on both cultures and wasn’t just making caricatures of both, it isn’t my place to tell a story about a culture I have never lived in or experienced—I would personally have no idea what it’s like to be brought up in that culture, and I would be telling the story from the inherent perspective of a Westerner.

So I wanted to ask your opinion, Auntie. Would my inherent Western upbringing not make an accurate portrayal of the feelings and thoughts of an Indian or Pakistani person? I’ve always been so curious and enthralled by these two countries’ cultures yet were repulsed by how they view each other, their women, and their LGBT community. I don’t want to be racist, but I also want to give a voice to the people who don’t have one in those cultures. Is it not my place to write a story involving cultures that I have not personally experienced myself?

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Phan: Those Who Trust- Part 8

Wordcount: 3k
Genre: Angst, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: past non-con and abuse
Summary: Dan used to be a submissive and now he’s just a broken shell of a man.
A/N:  Hope you enjoy this chapter! :)

|| MASTERPOST ||

Being back at university gave Dan the perfect opportunity to hide in his room in the evenings when Phil was home from work under the false pretence to study, which was absolutely ridiculous considering the fact that it was only the second week of being back. He knew that and Phil probably knew that as well, taking into account that he had seen right through Dan and his act of being bad at any kind of game. Dan maybe possibly was avoiding Phil even more than before now after that night, because truth be told he was embarrassed that Phil had found out he was losing on purpose and he wasn’t keen on telling Phil why he had done what he had done.

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anonymous asked:

this is kind of a weird question, but which works would you recommend for someone just getting into ~serious literature~?

Not a weird question at all! If you’re not as lucky as me & don’t have a lovely, hyper-intelligent English teacher who is willing to make you lots of book recommendations, I am very sorry!! He is responsible for most of my education. 

But I did fish out an old email from him, basically a reply to the question “What should I read if I want to be a real person and reader and stuff” so I quote:

Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, The Tempest

Other novels/plays: Tristam Shandy, Emma, Great Expectations, Middlemarch, The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of a Dove, The Renaissance (by Walter Pater,) The Picture of Dorian Gray, Proust but primarily Swann’s Way, Ulysses, Waiting for Godot, 100 Years of Solitude, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, anything by Borges, Invisible Cities, The Remains of the Day

Poetry: the Preface of Lyrical Ballads and “Lines Written Above Tintern Abbey” by Wordsworth, “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold, T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction” by Wallace Stevens, “At the Fishhouses” and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop.

Those are recommendations from someone much smarter than I will ever be — if I can add, though, I’d recommend Beloved by Toni Morrison, Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Also, because I believe that the best literary education is a combination of reading both classics and contemporary literature, the best foray into the contemporary landscape of literary fiction is found at The New Yorker’s book section (& also their weekly fiction story,) The New York Review of Books, the New York Times Sunday Book Review (skim it,) n+1, and the Paris Review. (All of these are available online or at any major bookstore!)

It’s also very much worth it to look into who has won the Pulitzer for Fiction, the Nobel prize for Literature, & the Man Booker Prize lately. There’s a lot of issues with setting too much store by who wins these prizes, as it’s often really arbitrary and sometimes even problematic (i.e., the lack of women/POC winning or being on the judging panels for these prizes; everyone on the judging panel for the Booker this year is white…oh so coincidentally…,) but it can serve as a good taste. Also, the work of MacArthur Fellows (dubbed the “Genius Grant”) for Fiction is generally pretty excellent.

Read widely, have a discerning taste…and above all read what you like. 

Women of Ice and Fire [By Nerissa Naidoo]

One of the many reasons I love the A Song of Ice and Fire series is it doesn’t lack strong female characters. George RR Martin shuns the stereotypical ideas of women in the fantasy genre – a love interest of the burly hero, a fair face to break the trend of overbearing masculinity, or the super sexy girl with a sword that is more tedious to witness than season 4 of The Vampire Diaries. Instead, we have an array of leading ladies who are not only interesting and well-developed, but also quite believable. I’ve compiled a list of the most influential of the girls of Thrones and exactly why I adore them:

Cersei Lannister

I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.”

Evil Queens litter the literary landscape, but Cersei holds the title of THE Evil Queen. She also holds the titles of “power hungry alcoholic”, “incestuous nutjob” and “conniving bitch”. There are few things more dangerous than a beautiful woman, and one of those things is a beautiful, intelligent woman. But what makes Cersei the most dangerous of them all is that she’s a beautiful and intelligent woman who is all too aware of how threatening she is. Of course, most times this wit is made bridesmaid to her arrogance and paranoia. She fires the man most qualified to command the Kingsguard, allows the common folk to starve, ignores the debts she has to pay to very dangerous men, and has no handle whatsoever on her diabolical son, Joffrey. Politically astute and unapologetically ruthless, Cersei isn’t bothered with the responsibilities that come with her position, but prefers to use her power solely to make her enemies suffer. Her only redeeming quality seems to be the love she bears for her children, which she uses as justification for all her heinous actions.  She has a keen eye for weakness, and has no qualms about using her body to get what she wants. Cersei is despised for qualities often revered in men - another reason she loathes the limitations society imposes on her simply because she has a vagina. She is a clear case of someone who only listens to what they want to hear, and proves that there is such a thing as too much power. What makes Cersei so compelling is that somehow all this makes sense in her head, and the series wouldn’t be the same without our favourite trainwreck.

Margaery Tyrell
“So the girl is as clever as she is pretty.”
If Westeros were high school, Margaery would be that girl hell-bent on making her way up the social ladder with nothing to lose. She knows exactly what she wants and not even a gay husband, two dead husbands, a switching of loyalties, her dearest brother’s life and allegations of sleeping with the guards will stop her. While she shares Cersei’s intense desire for power, she has the love of the locals on her side (partly because she’s nice but mostly because her parents bring them food). Her ambition coupled with her unassuming nature makes her a force to be reckoned with and she can hold her own against the lionhearted Queen herself. Margaery navigates the streets of King’s Landing, a city where everyone grasps a knife behind their back, like a PR genius and for that alone, she must be given our respect.  

   Sansa Stark
My skin has gone from porcelain, to ivory, to steel.” Sansa is the quintessential high-born girl: beautiful, well-groomed and polite. She’s a hopeless romantic, who is constantly dreaming of valiant knights that rescue damsels in distress. It’s no crime, she is a teenager after all, but she lives in a world where those knights are far too busy brothel-hopping to care about damsels who instigate their own trouble. But while Cersei is hated for being as cutthroat as her male counterparts, Sansa is hated for being feminine and gentle in a place that invariably isn’t. WE JUST CAN’T WIN. She started out bratty and a bit of a sell-out but she’s had to grow up and develop her own set of smarts since becoming a hostage of the Lannisters. She declared her father a traitor in order to save his life. She put up with abuse from Joffrey’s guards to save hers. She takes the short end of the stick with a smile, behind a façade of duty, because she knows that the day she cracks is the day she dies. She may not take up a sword as so many others do, but there is great strength and courage in her kindness (and the occasional snide remarks she makes about being pro-Robb). Eat your lemoncakes with pride, little dove.  

   Arya Stark

“Ser Gregor, Dunsen, Raff the Sweetling, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei. Valar Morghulis.”
 Antithesis to her older sister, Arya is a gutsy tomboy who aspires to be a knight, and excels at archery and swordfighting where Sansa does at embroidery and singing. She’s goes through a rather shitty time – even by Stark standards – but she is more than willing to get her hands dirty if it means surviving long enough to avenge her loved ones. Arya is always adapting and learning as she travels across continents and seas to places she’s never been with people she’s never met. Her resilience is emphasised by her intelligence, resourcefulness and an inexhaustible well of courage - attributed to her personal motto that fear cuts deeper than swords.  
Catelyn Stark
   “Let him go, or I will cut your wife’s throat.” After watching the series, I bore no great love for Lady Stark. But after reading the books, I got to sympathise with perhaps the only sensible person in Robb Stark’s life. If only the Kid in the North had listened to his mummy, he wouldn’t be sleeping with the fishes with his direwolf’s head sewn onto his body. Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself. Look, Cat’s had it bad. Her second youngest son is crippled, her husband and daughters are carted off to the other end of the country, and she finds out that the people who crippled her second youngest son are the same ones carting her husband and daughters off to the other end of the country. She races after them, leaving her teenage son in charge of one of the largest castles and most untameable lands in the kingdom. Then a whole lot of shit happens involving the beheading of her husband, the kidnapping of one daughter, the escape of another, a lunatic of a sister, a childhood friend who is STILL hung up over her, a war, the breaking of vows, two biological sons supposedly dying at the hands of her foster son, her eldest becoming King and then being betrayed and killed right in front of her. Blow after blow, she remains rational and unflinching in her goal of rescuing what little family she has left. It is cruelly so, that at the very moment she feels a glimmer of hope on the horizon, is when she is crushed most severely. But strike Catelyn Stark, you strike a bloody hard rock and the North remembers.
 

 
Brienne of TarthThe wench is as strong as Gregor Clegane, though not so pretty.”
Brienne is described as a towering, muscular woman who is aesthetically disadvantaged. She is gravely underestimated with a sword because she’s a woman, and mocked when she dons a dress because she lacks the social graces of other high born ladies. More comfortable in chainmail than chiffon, Brienne expects very little from a world that has only ever rejected her. But she is fiercely loyal to the few who win her trust, and isn’t above being a blushing maiden when around the man she loves. Fighting with honour and determined to defend the weak, it is ironic that Brienne is met with disdain from most of the men she encounters, because she remains the only true example of an ideal knight in the series.  

 Daenerys TargaryenI will take what is mine with fire and blood.”
From submissive sister to Queen of Mereen, Dany is the poster child for empowerment. An exiled princess, she’s spent most of her life in hiding, and under the iron fist of a delusional brother manic in his quest to sit on a chair halfway across the world. He sells her into a marriage to the head of a clan of horse-mounted warriors, but rather than merely passed from one master to the next, she finds herself embracing married life and the privileges of power that come with being a Khaleesi. Dany detaches herself from the impotency inherited from her brother and establishes her position as a ruler for the people. She has very little regard for oppressors, having been related to one, and sets aside her similar goal of sitting on that chair halfway across the world in favour of abolishing the main trade in what is aptly named “Slaver’s Bay”. Dany’s flaws are a result of age rather than gender, as she is terribly naïve towards the running of a city, battle strategy and the politics that govern both. She often makes rash decisions that prove to be symptoms rather than cures, and rarely follows the advice of the experienced members of her Queen’s Council. I mean, Dany, you can’t do shit that makes people starve and then use an excuse like “I’m just a young girl”. They are hungry. They will eat you. She does, however, makes sacrifices for her “children” in order to rectify her mistakes, including marrying this creepy rich dude to keep the peace. But while her stubborn sense of entitlement is insufferable at times, her choice to pursue the most sought after throne that once was her (insane) father’s, without acknowledging the Westerosi tradition of male heirs, is pretty kickass. Oh, and she has dragons.  

  MelisandreWe choose light or we choose darkness.”
A mane of copper hair and blood red eyes, Melisandre is seen by many as both a mystery and a monster. But she is essentially a sorceress who takes great pain in making her craft seem effortless, all by the bidding of the Red God/Lord of Light, R’hllor, who she worships fervently. She is steadfast in her faith, publicly dismissing any other gods and men, and confident in her abilities to interpret R’hllor’s wishes. Her loyalties lie with one Stannis Baratheon, who she believes, according to visions she has, is some sort of resurrected hero. She becomes his advisor, and helps his crusade for the throne by vanquishing enemies, including his brother, proud rainbow warrior, Renly, using a shadow assassin that she gave birth to. However, Melisandre does seem to have her priorities in order, as Stannis is the only one who arrives with aid at the now vulnerable Wall that protects the entire realm. She also imparts valuable wisdom to many of the characters, but they are too overwhelmed by the sketchiness of this whole “homophobic R’hllor sent Jesus Stannis” thing, to listen. Do you blame them, though? The night is dark and full of terrors, and three sentences ago I said she gave birth to a shadow assassin.  

 
GRRM does justice to his female characters not by going out of his way to further their cause, but rather by simply writing them for what they are: people. They are cruel and loving, fearful and indomitable, arrogant and unsure, frank and ambiguous, insightful and ignorant, enterprising and passive, temperamental and laid-back, troublesome and agreeable. They are unlike each other, but similar in that none of them encompass what society deems a “proper” woman should be. They share a treasured trait in fiction which exposes this mummer’s farce – they are real women, and they live in a world where all men must die.  

You’re welcome, ladies.
4

Congratulations to Gene Luen Yang on being named the Library of Congress’s new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature! Comics critic (and Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist) Glen Weldon has Thoughts about his, and they are Weighty and Fascinating:

Yang’s selection signals an important shift in a decades-old war over the role of comics in education in general and literacy in particular.

Every since the 1930s, when they first burst onto the American literary landscape in all their gleefully garish four-color glory, the battle lines over comics were clearly defined.

Kids loved ‘em; teachers and parents hated 'em. (See also: television, rock and roll, rap, video games, emojis.)

Gonna go re-read American Born Chinese, because it is SO GOOD.

– Petra

Fixing the Problematic Legacy of Romance/Erotica: Polyamory is NOT Cheating

I just finished two fantastic books featuring bisexuality and polyamory, while also having a central f/m couple as the focus of the love story. The books are Alisha Rai’s A Gentleman in the Street and Kit Rocha’s Beyond Shame. They are fantastic and I highly recommend them both.

While I’ve been browsing through what other readers have said about these book I found a review for one that was essentially a huge trigger warning for “cheating.” I understand why this person felt compelled to post this review, but it doesn’t lessen the sting of someone mischaracterization your sexuality as an act of betrayal.

So let’s just address this right here and right now. Just as heterosexuality isn’t the default for everyone in the world, neither should it be in stories about love and sex. Likewise monogamy is not the default for everyone in the world. Nor should it be presumed to be the ideal in stories about love and sex.

Consensual sex between multiple adults is not cheating, whether or not everyone is participating in the touching or sexual intercourse. It’s just sex. And in the case of these two books it is polyamory.

“Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.” [source]

Beyond the wikipedia definition, polyamory isn’t just a relationships status. It’s an aspect of many people’s sexuality, whether or not they are actively in a polyamorous relationships in real life. Human sexuality is far more diverse than the simple boy meets girl narrative that dominates romance and erotica.

“What about properly labeling/shelving books? Isn’t this like marking BDSM, f/f, m/m, etc?” Shouldn’t people who could see it as cheating be warned?”

Just because monogamous people have the privilege of being portrayed as the norm in most romance and erotic doesn’t mean they should be catered to in ALL books, especially in books that aren’t about them.

This is a big problem we all need to discuss in every genre of literature. Just because the literary landscape has been dominated by a small group of people (heterosexual, white men) does NOT mean that every book written must take their perspective into account. That’s not diversity, that’s the exact opposite.

While labeling poly, bisexuality, homosexuality, people of color, etc as a subgenres in Romance/Erotica is a practice often totted as a helpful distinction, a way to to spotlight diverse stories. That can be true. However the execution of that labeling is deeply problematic.

Namely that there are no cis, vanilla, heterosexual or monogamous subgenre labels in any genre of literature. 

More often than not these subgenre distinctions are meant to slot diverse stories as “other.” To call them out as different, and not “the norm.” Which implies that cis, vanilla, heterosexual, monogamy is the default or ideal way to love and have sex. This is bullshit, and a subtle form of erasure.

Erotica and Romance are not genres restricted to just stories about cis, vanilla, heterosexual people in monogamous relationships. Bisexual people, trans people, gay people, polyamorous couples, interracial/multicultural relationships are all part of these genres. We deserve to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in real life, and our stories deserve to be shelved right along side yours in book stores and libraries, not pushed off into shadowy corners like dirty secrets.

My sexuality is NOT your kink. While you might enjoy the idea of bisexuality and polyamory as a fun, sexy fantasy that does not give you a right to define my sexuality as wrong just because it makes you uncomfortable. Even more important do not contribute to damaging bigotry in order to accommodate other people’s ignorance. Doing so values their ignorance over my dignity.

You wouldn’t put trigger warnings a m/m romance because two men kiss, because you understand that there is nothing wrong with the act of two men kissing. So too there is nothing wrong with consenting adults having sex whether their a couple or a group. Consent is the important distinction, even if the sexual intercourse is happening between a husband and another man. If his partner is aware and consents it’s not cheating.

Whether you agree with it or not, it is not your place to define or judge someone else's sexuality.

Polyamory isn’t ugly or wrong, it is simply different than monogamy. It is no less beautiful or resonant for MANY people, whether or not they are polyamorous themselves. Love and sex takes all kinds of amazing shapes.

Don’t you dare put yourself in a place of judgement upon other people’s sexuality. Even if it’s strange to you. Stay in your fucking lane and out my sexuality.

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I read only non-white authors for 12 months. What I learned surprised me | Sunili Govinnage

Reading science fiction, chick lit and fantasy novels by writers of colour for a year brought home to me just how white my reading world.

A challenge to read diverse authors opens Sunili Govinnage’s literary landscape. And that’s a good thing.

Image: urbanworkbench/Flickr

Today’s top book news item:

Children’s and Young Adult books have long been thought to be a sphere especially friendly to women, in contrast with the staggering gender bias found in the world of grown-up literature. It turns out that, nope, women don’t dominate children’s publishing. New figures released by the literary organization VIDA show that there is approximate gender parity among the winners of children’s book awards — which would be great if there were equal numbers of men and women writing kids’ books.

“For a relatively small percentage of our authors, men are very well represented among our award winners and list-mentions,” VIDA’s Kekla Magoon writes in a blog post. She adds, “[I]t’s true that being female is not nearly the barrier to initial publication for us that it often is in the adult literary landscape, but as this year’s pie charts demonstrate, being male still seems to carry some particular advantages when it comes to recognition, prestige, and awards for literary merit.”

Transcript of the #WNDB BookCon panel

We’re excited to provide a transcript of the team and author portions of our panel. Here’s a link to the audio.

Transcript of The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks Panel

The BookCon

May 31, 2014

Jacob Javits Center, New York, NY

NB: transcript is edited slightly for clarity

I.W. Gregorio:  I’d like to start off by doing a virtual mic drop for everyone who Tweeted and submitted photos. 

My name is I.W. Gregorio, and on behalf of the whole #WeNeedDiverseBooks team I’d like to thank you for being here. As you know, #WeNeedDiverseBooks is a grassroots campaign, and by definition it owes its success to you. So please accept our sincerest gratitude for your Tweets, your retweets, your love and your support. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so without further ado, I’d like to introduce some key members of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks team. 

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