In 2020, Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review, will not attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in San Antonio, Texas.
As a proud part of San Francisco State’s Creative Writing Department, Fourteen Hills relies on grant funding from the university for its expenses, including the purchase of the table at AWP and reimbursement for our editors’ travel expenses. However, we were unable to receive this funding because California law AB 1887 prohibits the use of public funds for travel to states with laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
While it is disappointing that we will not be able to join our community of writers, publishers, students and teachers at this important conference, we fully support California’s intent to not spend money in states that discriminate. Currently, Texas has no legislation in place protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in public schools or when applying for employment, housing or insurance. In fact, the Texas state legislature continues to attempt to pass laws that would protect the discriminators rather than those discriminated against. It is a disheartening reality for residents of Texas who wish to live in a free, tolerant and equitable society, and we stand with their fight for equality.
We will miss being at AWP. It is a vibrant event full of exciting ideas and books, old and soon-to-be new friends, and most importantly it is a thrilling reminder of why literature and writers, and the writing programs that support them, remain relevant today. As a journal that gives voice to marginalized communities, we will especially regret not being able to share our vision with the other conference attendees, although we know there will be journals and writers in attendance who share our values.
Of course, we hope to attend future AWP conferences. We also hope when AWP organizers are choosing upcoming locations they consider the discriminatory laws there affecting LGBTQ people as well as people of color, immigrants, or anyone whose rights are not fully recognized by their government.
In the meantime, Fourteen Hills issue no. 26, which includes a new story from Tommy Orange and a special translation feature, is due to be released in May 2020. For more information on the discriminatory laws mentioned above, and to discover opportunities to support the fight for equality in Texas, please visit https://www.equalitytexas.org/.
Thanks to all for your time and continued support.
-The Editors of Fourteen Hills