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About the event

Join Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative Editors Iris Cushing, Megan Paslawski, Zohra Saed, and Publisher Kendra Sullivan for a panel discussion on "The Craft We Didn't Learn: Retroactive Writing Advice from the Archives." This panel contributes to a timely conversation about the effects of marginalizing writers within the industry to remind us that we have lost a rich instructional writing history from writers like the ones published by Lost & Found, who for reasons encompassing race, class, gender, sexuality, and the independence of their artistic visions often worked outside the literary establishment. By inviting Lost & Found editors to unpack the writing advice contained in the lost documents of Lost & Found writers and to discuss these writers' influences on their own creative work, our panel restores their voices to an evolving understanding of the craft of writing.

Click here to read a collaborative essay on "The Craft We Didn't Learn: Retroactive Writing from the Archives" with Lost & Found editors Iris Cushing, Megan Paslawski, and Zohra Saed discuss with L&F Publisher Kendra Sullivan what they've learned about writing through working in the archives of Diane di Prima, Marty Korte, Lucia Berlin, and Langston Hughes, as a continuation of their discussion for the 2021 AWP conference. Among many things, they reflect on the 'magic transmissions' of poetry, thought, and communication between the living and dead, archival research as 'pushing a hand through the veil of time,' and "the extreme 'outside' atthe very heart of life."

This panel is part of the 2021 AWP conference, for those attending, please click here to register and watch this panel discussion. We will include a closed-captioned video recording of the panel discussion here so all can view shortly after the event has concluded.


Iris Cushing's poems and critical writings have appeared in Fence, the Boston Review and the Poetry Project Newsletter. She is a founding editor for Argos Books, and is currently completing a book about two feminist mystic poets, Diane di Prima and Mary Norbert Korte.

Megan Paslawski
's writing has appeared in The Texas Review and American Book Review, and her editorial work includes volumes on Michael Rumaker and a forthcoming co-edited collection of Lucia Berlin's letters. She teaches English at Queens College, CUNY, where she directs the First Year Experience program.

Zohra Saed
is co-editor of One Stories, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press). Zohra’s latest work is Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos and Notebooks in Turkestan (Lost & Found CUNY Poetics Document Initiative Series V, 2015).

Kendra Sullivan
is a poet, artist, and PdD student in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the director of Andrew W. Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement & Collaborative Research, associate director of the Center for the Humanities, and publisher of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. She makes art as part of the collective Mare Liberum.

Lost & Found Series IV

Lost & Found Series V

Lost & Found Series III




Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative Series VII.

Lost & Found: The CUNY Document Initiative publications