Dear TLA Community:
During these times - as our nation faces profound threats to our democracy, institutional racism is being exposed and challenged on every front, and as we grapple with the impact of a devastating pandemic in the face of a global climate crisis - we continue to promote the transformative language arts as a means for effecting powerful and important social change.
Whether you use your voice as a writer, a poet, a storyteller, a performer, an artist, a community leader, a change-maker, or in any kind of way - your voice matters. The work you do in the world matters. Our job here at the TLA Network is to offer support, share resources, hold out hope that change is possible, and to help keep our community moving forward while staying connected.
To that end, we are pleased to offer an incredible slate of upcoming fall online classes. Additionally, we invite you to join us in Santa Fe, New Mexico next fall, on the other side of this pandemic, at our 18th Power of Words conference. Join us October 29-31, 2021, as we gather with other like-minded transformative language artists dedicated to making the world a better place. We are delighted to welcome four spectacular keynotes: U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, spoken word poet and musician Lyla June Johnston, poet and artist Caits Meissner, and poet Javier Zamora.
Both the conference and the classes are on sale right now - so make sure you take advantage of the moment, and let's set our sites on being in community together again, and soon.
To the Power of Words,
Welcome to the TLA Network!
We bring together and lift up individuals and organizations that promote forms of the spoken, written, and sung word as a tool for personal and communal transformation.
2021 Power of
Transformation, Liberation, & Celebration Through the Spoken, Written, & Sung Word
Join us Oct. 28 - 31
Immerse yourself in workshops, celebrations, open mics, and fierce beauty among 50 presenters -- storytellers, writers, performers, activists, educators, healers, and more.
We are thrilled to be featuring Joy Harjo, the U.S. Poet Laureate, as one of our keynote presenters. In 2020, Joy Harjo was appointed to serve for a second term as the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. Grammy award winning saxophonist Paul Winter says, “Joy Harjo is a poet of music just as she is a poet of words.” She is the author of nine books of poetry and a memoir.
Lyla June Johnston is an Indigenous environmental scientist, doctoral student, educator, community organizer and musician of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages from Taos, NM.
Her dynamic, multi-genre performance and speech style has invigorated and inspired audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. Her messages focus on the climate crisis, Indigenous rights, supporting youth, inter-cultural healing, historical trauma and traditional land stewardship practices.
is the author of the illustrated hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016). Her latest projects include the DIY comix poetry zine Pep Talks For Broke(n) People and a comix vignette series, New York Strange, publishing monthly in Hobart journal throughout 2020. She currently is the inaugural Palette Poetry Second Book Fellow and spends her days as the Prison and Justice Writing Program Director at PEN America.
Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He was a 2018-2019 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard and has been granted fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and Stanford University. Unaccompanied is his first collection. He lives in Harlem where he’s working on a memoir.
We will be putting out the call for workshop and performance submissions in early 2021. Register here!
Join the TLA Network today to save on the conference now and on classes and other offerings later.
Available Self-Paced Classes
Get Certified in TLA
We offer a certification in Transformative Language Arts Foundations, an introduction to TLA in theory and practice with a focus on ethical work, community networking, and TLA in action. To learn more, go here.