We are looking forward to participating in the Community Arts Partnership’s Spring Writes literary festival again this year with a program on Saturday, May 5. We hope you’ll join us for the following event.

Who Cares About the Past? Transforming Personal Experience into Art


A reading and panel discussion on May 5 during Ithaca’s Spring Writes literary festival



Writing is an act of transformation. Whether you’re writing poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, the writer’s aim is to make personal and private experiences — and the cultural tension around them — accessible to a reader.


In this panel, we’ll hear from several writers and discuss strategies for translating the lived experience onto the page. This is a concern for all writers, but especially for writers who write from marginalized histories. How much can you expect your reader to know? How do you balance creative expression with communicating contextual and historical information? What are your obligations to reality, and what are your obligations to the imagination?





Santee Frazier, Devon Moore, and Leo Ríos


Moderated by Christine Kitano


A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Santee Frazier earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Syracuse University. His collection of poems, Dark Thirty (2009), was published in the Sun Tracks series of the University of Arizona Press.

In Dark Thirty, Frazier portrays Native Americans living on the fringes of contemporary America. Offering nonromanticized and realistic portraits of great beauty, Santee’s poems afford a rare look at the truths of survival for Native peoples in today’s society.

Frazier’s honors include a Fall 2009 Lannan Residency Fellowship and the 2001 Truman Capote Scholarship from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program.


Christine Kitano was born in Los Angeles, CA. Her mother is a first-generation immigrant from Korea, and her father is nisei (second-generation) Japanese American. Christine earned an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) from Syracuse University and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University. She is an assistant professor at Ithaca College where she teaches creative writing, poetry, and Asian American literature. She is the author of the poetry collections Sky Country (BOA Editions) and Birds of Paradise (Lynx House).


Devon Moore is a native of Buffalo, NY. She currently lives in Syracuse, NY where she teaches writing at Syracuse University and SUNY Oswego. A former Syracuse University Fellow, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Gulf Coast, Foothill, Ovenbird, Cider Press Review, Harpur Palate, Stone Canoe, The Cortland Review, Meridian, New Ohio Review and Juked. Her first poetry book, Apology of a Girl Who Is Told She Is Going to Hell, which was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Crab Orchard First Book Award and the University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Pollak poetry series, is now forthcoming from Mayapple Press in May 2015.

Leo Rios

Leo Ríos is a fiction writer from Delano California. He studied English, Spanish and Latinx Studies at UCLA, where he was recipient of a scholarship from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. A Cornell MFA graduate, he has worked as a maintenance mechanic, case worker and ESL teacher. His fiction appears as winner of the Emerging Writers’ Prize in The Arkansas International.

Reading Time & Location

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018

Time: 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Location: Buffalo Street Books in downtown Ithaca


The bookstore is located one block from the Commons in the Dewitt Mall (same building as the Moosewood Restaurant.) The main entrance is on Buffalo Street, next door to Greenstar Oasis, and across the street from Dewitt Park. (See map below)