Apr 3

Building Alternative Worlds with Ariana Brown and Alán Pelaez Lopez


Building Alternative Worlds: A Writing Workshop

As a group, we will discuss the work of trans Kichwa-Kañari writer, Sonia Guiñansaca, and queer Korean-American writer, Franny Choi, poets who are committed to thinking of disaster and possibility. Through a guided conversation about hope and hopelessness, Alán and Ariana will guide participants through a process of developing speculative (poetry or prose) pieces that address the end of one world and the beginning of a new one. This is an excellent workshop for first-time writers.

Building Alternative Worlds Writing Workshop Flyer

About the Facilitators:

Alán Pelaez Lopez (@MigrantScribble), is an interdisciplinary writer, visual artist, and theorist from Oaxaca, México. In their poetic and visual work, Alán investigates the realities of undocumented migrants in the United States, the radical potential of Black futures, and the trans* imagination. They are the author of Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien (The Operating System, 2020) and to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press, 2020), and a finalist for the International Latino Book Award. Their writing is published in Teen Vogue, Refinery29, The Andy Warhol Museum, Best American Experimental Writing, and others. When they are not writing, Alán spends much of their time organizing with queer and trans migrants impacted by prisons and detention, sending out letters to loved ones, and making phonecalls to Oaxaca.

Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from San Antonio, TX, now based in Houston. She is the author of the poetry collections We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020). Ariana’s work investigates queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, Black relationality and girlhood, loneliness, and care. She holds a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies, an M.F.A. in Poetry, and is pursuing an M.S. in Library and Information Science. A 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion, Ariana has also recorded a digital poetry EP titled LET US BE ENOUGH, available on Bandcamp. She has been writing, performing, and teaching poetry for over ten years, and owes much of her practice to Black performance communities led by Black women poets from the South. Follow her work online at www.arianabrown.com and on Twitter & Instagram @ArianaThePoet. 

Co-sponsored by BLAIS, the Digital Humanities Center, Barnard College Creative Writing, the department of Spanish and Latin American Cultures, and the Center for Engaged Pedagogy.

The Digital Humanities Center is committed to hosting and supporting programming that reflects its core values of inclusivity, sustainability, exploration, and collaboration. For questions, accommodation requests, or issues, email us at digitalhumanities@barnard.edu.