Join us September 18-20, 2015 at Unity Village in Kansas City, MO for our 12th Power of Words Conference: Transformation, Liberation & Celebration Through the Spoken, Written and Sung Word, with workshops, performances, talking circles, celebration and more, featuring writers, storytellers, performers, musicians, community leaders, activists, educators, and health professionals. The conference, founded in 2003, features workshops in four tracks: narrative medicine, social change, right livelihood (and making a living through the arts), and engaged spirituality, with 30 presenters from across the country. Register now to catch the super early bird rate of $160, which expires 11/15/14 (regular early bird will be $210-$220).
Jimmy Santiago Baca, born in New Mexico of Native American and Mexican descent, went from being a teenage runaway and inmate at a maximum security prison to one of America’s most beloved poets. His books include poetry collections, prose, and an award-winning memoir, A Place to Stand, which was also the basis for a new film of the same title. Baca has devoted his post-prison life to teaching others who are overcoming hardship, and writing about barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country, and in 2005, founded Cedar Tree, Inc. to bring education and encouragement to people of many backgrounds.
Sha Cage is an interdisciplinary artist, actress, playwright, poet, director, filmmaker, producer, and visual artist. She is co-founder, artistic and managing director of MaMa mOsAiC, a woman of color performance collective, and she has been featured in many plays and performances, including with Penumbra Theatre, Pangea World Theatre, and Theare De la Jeune Lune. She is development director of Tru Ruts Endeavors, and the Minnesota SpokenWord Association, which she co-founded with her husband, E.G. Bailey.
E.G. Bailey is a Liberian-born multidisciplinary artist, actor, spoken word artist, filmmaker, playwright, director, and producer. Since ’95, he has co-founded and co-produced Write On RaDio!, an award-winning weekly literary radio program on KFAI Fresh Air Radio, and Arkology, an award-winning spoken word and music collective. His album American Afrikan was recently nominated for an Independent Music Award, and he is executive director of the Minnesota Spoken Word Association, which he co-founded with his wife, Sha Cage.
Darren Canady is a rising star in American theatre and won the American Theatre Critics Association Osborn New Play Award for his Brothers of the Dust. He teaches at the University of Kansas, and says of his work “I grew up hearing, seeing, and listening to family stories that were only told if they could be performed with as much blood, life, exuberance, and expressiveness as possible. Many of these stories grew out of personal journeys experienced against the backdrop of Jim Crow, the Great Migration, and the Civil Rights Movement…. [I] find myself consistently returning to investigations of family, history, and social change in the ever-changing landscape of the American heartland.”
Xánath Caraza is a traveler, educator, poet and short story writer. Her many awards include the International Latino Book Award, and she is a member of the Con Tinta literary organization and Latino Writers Collection in Kansas City. Born in Mexico of Spanish and Aztec descent, she teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in between writing, and presenting workshops and readings in Europe, Latin American, and the U.S.