Myles Johnson read his piece Beyoncé and the End of Respectability Politics. Alison Kinney’s poignant account (yes, there were tears) “A Desk of One’s Own” encapsulated the hardships of making a living wage from writing and how that gives way to a tremendous community of writers and support. Tyler Wetherall read from her memoir No Way Home: A Memoir of a Life on the Run, detailing a peripatetic life that took her around the world before she was ten, only to learn that her father was a marijuana smuggler sought by authorities. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Gregory Pardlo read an excerpt from his memoir, Air Traffic, about his father’s job loss after the air traffic controllers’ strike of 1981.
The readings were followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Leslie Campisi, that touched on themes like work, capital, the politics of reviewing flute music, crowdfunding, mechanization of labor and what happens when you get caught with $500 million worth of marijuana from Thailand.