Poets Rita Banerjee, Christina M. Rau, Marlena Chertock, and Alex DiFrancesco will be featured in the panel “Fantasy As Reality: Activism and Catharsis Through Speculative Writing” at the 2018 Split This Rock Poetry Festival. Split This Rock: Poems of Provocation & Witness will take place from April 19-21, 2018 in Washington, D.C. You can read more about the festival here and the panel below:
Speculative literature, at its core, is about giving voice to “The Other.” Speculative writing, in prose or poetry, focuses on not only imagined realities of the future, past, and present, but also gives voice to bodies and individuals who are disabled, alien, marginalized, menial workers, and more. Terms like solarpunk and sco-speculation are becoming more used and explored. Often times, speculative and science fiction is stereotyped as futuristic, extraterrestrial, and fantastical romps through universes using space travel, time travel, and super-advanced technology involving mostly cis white males. However, women, non-binary, and activist writers of Speculative Fiction are purposefully subverting this stereotype, diversifying and owning the fantastical worlds that they imagine. Sci-fi and fantasy characters and voices can and should represent the underrepresented to create a sense of community as well as rail against injustices in this world.