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Torch Literary Arts x [margins] Conference

TORCH presents a virtual panel and reading at the [margins] Conference, August 5-7, 2022.

Torch Literary Arts is proud to present at the [margins] Conference and Festival, August 5-7, 2022. TORCH features, Saida Agostini and Kindall Gant, join TORCH founder/executive director, Amanda Johnston, and TORCH board member, Dr. Sequoia Maner, for a virtual panel and reading. Visit [margins] to view the conference schedule and register.

PANEL- DATE: 8/6/2022 START TIME: 3:30 PM MT

Reserving a Seat at the Table We’ve Made:

a roundtable discussion with Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts (TORCH) was founded in 2006 by Amanda Johnston to provide a space to publish and promote Black women writers. For over 15 years, TORCH has featured established and emerging writers online at This roundtable discussion brings together TORCH’s founder, features, and board members to discuss the needs, challenges, and joy of sustaining a space dedicated to Black women writers.



Dr. Sequoia Maner (moderator) is an Assistant Professor of English at Spelman College where she teaches classes about 20-21st century African American literature and culture. She is author of the prize-winning poetry chapbook Little Girl Blue (2021, Host Publications) and co-editor of the book Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era (2020, Routledge). Sequoia’s 33 1/3 book about Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly debuts summer 2022 (Bloomsbury). Her poem “upon reading the autopsy of Sandra Bland” was a finalist for the 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize and her essays, poems, and reviews can be found in venues such as Meridians, Obsidian, The Langston Hughes Review, The Feminist Wire, Auburn Avenue, and elsewhere. She is at work on a poetic memoir about the foster care system in Los Angeles.

Saida Agostini is a queer Afro-Guyanese poet whose work explores the ways Black folks harness mythology to enter the fantastic. Her work is featured in Plume, Hobart Pulp, Barrelhouse, Auburn Avenue, amongst others. Saida’s work can be found in several anthologies, including Not Without Our Laughter: Poems of Humor, Sexuality and Joy, The Future of Black, and Plume Poetry 9. She is the author of STUNT (Neon Hemlock, October 2020), a chapbook reimagining the life of Nellie Jackson, a Black madam and FBI spy from Natchez Mississippi. Her first full-length collection, let the dead in (Alan Squire Publishing) was released in Spring 2022. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, and member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective, Saida is a two-time Pushcart Prize Nominee and Best of the Net Finalist. Her work has received support from the Ruby Artist Grants, and the Blue Mountain Center, amongst others. She lives online at

Kindall Gant is a poet and New Orleans, Louisiana native based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College where she received the Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry. Kindall finds herself in evolution through lyrical storytelling and her main inspirations are rooted in relationships, home, and heritage. She has participated in literary offerings with The Poetry Foundation, Cave Canem Foundation, Roots. Wounds. Words. Inc., Obsidian Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and more. With upcoming residencies at the Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow and MASS MoCA, Kindall is excited to continue her writing journey and pursue an MFA. She currently serves as the founder and Editor-in-Chief for Arcanum Magazine, a newly established literary magazine featuring the visual art and writing of Black creatives. In her free time, she volunteers reading poetry manuscripts for the Tenth Gate Prize and binding chapbooks at Ugly Duckling Presse.

Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter. Her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, and the anthologies, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. She has received fellowships, grants, and awards from Cave Canem Foundation, Hedgebrook, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Watermill Center, Tasajillo, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. Named one of Blavity’s "13 Black Poets You Should Know," Amanda has been featured on, The Moth Mainstage, the Poetry Society of America’s series In Their Own Words, and the Academy of American Poets. She is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder/executive director of Torch Literary Arts.

Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. TORCH has featured work by Toi Derricotte, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.


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