FSW to Host Emerging Writers Symposium: Art As Activism

Oct 19, 2016

OCTOBER 19, 2016 – FORT MYERS, FLA – Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) will hold its first Emerging Writers Symposium from noon-5 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 29, in the Rush Auditorium, Building J, Room 103, FSW Thomas Edison Campus, Fort Myers. The symposium will present the theme, Art As Activism, and will feature readings, a round table discussion and workshops with nationally recognized guest writers. It is free and open to the public.

“Authors and artists have always responded to world events through their work and writing, and the events occurring in the world have always been reflected and processed through authors and artists’ works,” said Jill Hummel, FSW English professor. “It’s a symbiotic relationship between society and her artists and authors. Our current societal ‘season’ addresses and encourages that need to participate and be active within one’s culture and community. Art is one way to do that, which is why we are bringing these artists and writers who change, critique and inspire action through language, community and experience to the college.”

Dr. Michelle Hayford, University of Dayton, teaches performance theory courses using performance as a methodology, devising original works, and the intersection of diversity and performance. Her research interests include applied theatre, ethnodrama, performativity in everyday life, and identity and gender. Her scholarship combines her passions of creating live plays with utilizing the craft of theatre as a necessary response to community and civic engagement.

Umi Selah is a cofounder of The Dream Defenders, an organization committed to shifting the culture through transformational organizing. He has been dubbed “one of this generation’s leading voices” and recognized by both EBONY magazine and The Root as one of the 100 most influential African Americans in the nation. His work in community activism has been highlighted internationally, including on MSNBC and in the Huffington Post, USA Today, the Guardian and Democracy Now.

Aja Monet is an internationally established poet, performer, singer, songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate. She is the youngest person to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title and has showcased at world renowned venues including New York City’s Town Hall Theater, the Apollo Theater, the Paradiso (Amsterdam), and NAACP’s Barack Obama Inaugural event. A voice of truth and gentle strength, Harry Belafonte has called Aja Monet “The true definition of an artist.”

Jeffrey S. Markovitz is a professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the Community College of Philadelphia. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in a variety of print and online journals. In 2015, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his novel, Permanent for Now, is forthcoming from Hyperborea Publishing. He lives in Philadelphia.

The Emerging Writers Symposium is presented by FSW Writes, the FSW Honors Scholar Program, the Creative Writing Club and Phi Theta Kappa. For more information, contact Hummel at 239- 489-9389 or jmhummel@fsw.edu.


Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW debuted its intercollegiate athletics program in January 2016. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.