Waqas Khwaja-Agnes Scott College-Decatur/Atlanta, Georgia. 2022





Call for Participation: Poetry Reading, 2022

100 Thousand Poets for Change: Poetry Reading

Saturday, September 24 | 10:00AM to 4:30PM (in four 75-minute sessions with breaks)

In person readings in Frannie Graves Auditorium, Campbell Hall, Agnes Scott College, and Zoom Participation for Off-Campus Participants

100 Thousand Poets for Change is hosting its 12th annual poetry reading this year. The English Department continues to sponsor and support this event, now a part of Agnes Scott College’s regular calendar of events. 

This global event is set for Saturday, September 24, with in-person readings in Frannie Graves Auditorium, Campbell Hall, Agnes Scott College, and Zoom participation for off-campus participants. It will be conducted in four sessions of 75 minutes each, with breaks of 15 minutes between each session. The reading will be recorded and, as in the past, and the recording will become part of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change archives, curated by the founders of this movement Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, at Stanford University library in California. Students, faculty, staff and interested parties from the local and global community are all welcome to join the reading by volunteering to read a poem or two. Participants may read their own work or a poem they love, in any language they choose, provided they offer a translation of the poem in English if it is originally in another language.

Justice, sustainability, and peace remain the overarching themes of the reading, goals toward which the organization believes poetry and poets contribute in notable ways. In view of our transformed lives and anxieties over the last three years, we are further persuaded to consider how maladies that threaten or afflict us change the way we view ourselves and our relationship to the world. This may include not only the global pandemic and biological frailties and illnesses we all face, but also a sharper awareness of social and political ills, the inequities of class hierarchies, asymmetrical mechanisms of reward and distribution, embedded gender bias, racism, religious bigotry, xenophobia, wars and repression of basic rights across the globe. Against this, we as writers, as poets, have only our imagination to oppose. For doesn’t all militancy and aggression, all prejudice and injustice stem from a failure of the imagination? 

The disgraceful attack on the novelist Salman Rushdie in New York provides us with an opportunity this year to renew our pledge to freedom of thought and expression, to celebrate the life of the imagination, which allows a variety of voices and points of view to come into conversation with each other and rejects violence as a way of self-assertion, of settling disputes, or silencing dissent and disagreement. 

Many of us are already responding to the crises around us as individuals and as part of society in our own ways, so this rough map of our adversities is not to be viewed as a charge for presenting any particular kind of poetry at the event. Every participant is free to contribute whatever they believe best fits whatever represents to them the transformative power of poetry, the richness, joy, healing, comfort, and awareness it brings to our lives and in the lives of those who participate with us by listening, reading, and appreciating it. I share these brief thoughts in this call for participation without any conditions or expectations attached as to the subject or nature of poetry that may be read at the event. 

Please send me an email expressing your interest in participating at wkhwaja@agnesscott.edu by September 9, 2022.

Once I have your responses and the list of participants is finalized, I will send out an email with the order and schedule of readings and other incidental details about the event. 

Waqas Khwaja

Ellen Douglass Leyburn Professor of English, Agnes Scott College


All set for Saturday’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change Poetry Reading, and it’s a tremendous roster of poets we have to celebrate this event. And, it’s four 90-minute sessions (not 75-min, as the poster says). If you wish to attend all or any of the sessions, you may register to do so via this Zoom link:


Here’s the list of poets and the reading order: 100 Thousand Poets for Change Roster & Order of Reading–September 24, 2022 The timings given are Eastern Standard Time (EST), USA 10:00 AM – 11:45 AM Introduction & Words of Welcome (Robert Meyer-Lee, Chair of English Department & Waqas Khwaja, Professor of English) 1) Sukrita Paul Kumar (India) 2) Nizar Sartawi (Jordan/Palestine) 3) Alicja Kuberska (Poland) 4) Emiliya Avignova (Bulgaria) 5) Lali Michaeli (Israel) 6) Makhdoom Ammar Aziz (Pakistan) 7) Melissa Fay Greene (USA) 😎 Muddasir Ramazan (Kashmir) 9) Reme Alvarez Diaz (Spain) 10) Agnieszka Jarzebowska (Poland) 11) Basudhara Roy (India) 12) Ilona Yusuf (Pakistan) 11:50 AM – 1:20 PM 13) Niyi Osundare (Nigeria) 14) Shadab Zeest Hashmi 15) Kerry Shawn Keys (Lithuania) 16) Jaydeep Sarangi (India) 17) A’nji Sarumi 18) Mahnaz Badihian 19) Maham Fatima (Pakistan) 20) Eram Siddiqui (India) 21) Waseem Anwar (Pakistan) 22) Chani Butler 23) Taylor Johnson 24) Narlan Matos (Brazil) 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM 25) Rafiq Kathwari 26) Rimas Uzgiris 27) Adeeba Talukder 28) Lynn Farmer 29) Franklin Abbott 30) Rupert Fike 31) Young Hughley 32) Lejla Marijam 33) Twanda Muhammad 34) Danielle Holliday 35) David Dephy 36) Emily Lake Hansen 3:05 PM – 4:35 PM 37) Phoenicia Battle 38) Kai Issa 39) Mina Goldman 40) A’lyah Releford 41) Scout Ard 42) Deborah Monroy 43) Chandler Grant 44) Becca Robinson 45) Sanaa Lacore 46) Kaitlyn Burdett 47) Maddie Maschger 48) Zoe Salveson


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