Alice Walker once said, “Activism is my rent for living on this planet.” Throughout history, writers have used their words to pay that rent. It is often the writers who deliver the truth, shed light on injustice, and lead the way forward.

PWC feels especially fortunate to be joined tomorrow — Sat 6/27 @ 3pm — in our discussion of Activism & Writing by four writers who have used writing to have a broad & deep social impact. The panelists are poets, playwrights, essayists, and filmmakers, and they’ll discuss how activist writing looks or behaves differently in different genres. Together, they will reflect on what it means to be an activist writer, or a writer activist, and offer advice to others who want to give their words social relevance. 

Panelists include: CAConrad, Lambda Book Award-winning poet and essayist; Jeannine Cook, talented writer and owner of Harriet’s Bookshop in Fishtown; acclaimed international author, performance poet, art activist, and playwright, TS Hawkins; and Lois Moses, an award-winning filmmaker, actress, poet, clinician, director, and playwright. (Full bios below). 

To attend this panel, register for the PWC Mini Couch Con. 

About the Panelists

CAConrad‘s latest book JUPITER ALIGNMENT: (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals, is forthcoming from Ignota Books in 2020. The author of 9 books of poetry and essays, While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books), won the 2018 Lambda Book Award. They also received a 2019 Creative Capital grant as well as a Pew Fellowship, the Believer Magazine Book Award, and the Gil Ott Book Award. They regularly teach at Columbia University in New York City, and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please view their books, essays, recordings, and the documentary The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films) online at


Jeannine Cook has worked for the last 10 years as a trusted writing consultant to several startups, corporations, non-profits, and influencers. In addition to a holding a master’s degree from The University of the Arts, Jeannine is also a Leeway Art & Transformation Grantee and a winner of the South Philly Review Difference Maker Award. She recently returned from Nairobi, Kenya facilitating social justice creative writing with youth from 15 countries around the world and recently opened Harriett’s Bookshop in Fishtown.


TS Hawkins is an international author, performance poet, art activist, and playwright. Plays, short works, and books include Seeking Silence, Cartons of Ultrasounds, Too Late to Apologize, They’ll Neglect to Tell You, #RM2B, The Secret Life of Wonder: a prologue in G, AGAIN, #SuiteReality, “don’t wanna dance with ghosts…”, Sugar Lumps & Black Eye Blues, Confectionately Yours, Mahogany Nectar, Lil Blaek Book: all the long stories short, and The Hotel Haikus. Hawkins’ one-act choreopoem, AGAIN, was acknowledged for having the Best Theater Moment of 2017. #SuiteReality received the 2017 Theatrical Reality Check Surya Bonaly Award, an international publication in WORDPEACE Literary Journal, showcased in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre for the Black Lives, Black Words International Theatre Festival, and shares residence at the Carnegie Mellon University Hunt Library. Cartons of Ultrasounds had the pleasure of returning to New York for a limited off-Broadway run to rave reviews. Hawkins’ residency credits include National Black Theatre SOUL Producing Resident, Swim Pony Performing Arts TrailOff Writer-in-Residence, 1812 Productions’ Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Residency, Out of Exile Artist-in-Residence, Irondale Ensemble “To Protect, Serve, and Understand”, Painted Bride Art Center’s Souls of Black Folk, and Alphabet Arts Puppets & Poets.

Check out this video of TS performing in 2015.  


Lois Moses is a native of Philadelphia. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, a law degree from Temple University and is a graduate of LaSalle University’s Master’s program in Clinical Psychology. Mrs. Moses is an actress, poet, filmmaker, clinician, director and playwright who has toured and performed extensively throughout the United States. She has published three collections of poetry and is also an award-winning filmmaker of the short film, “And They Jumped Into the Water…Some.”  As an actress, Mrs. Moses has toured and performed extensively throughout the United States with Kuntu Repertory Theater in Pittsburgh and the National Black Author’s Tour in Philadelphia. Her collections of poetry are entitled Not Just Another…Black/Woman, Missing Pages… (Women Behind the Glass Door), A Timely Trinity and a Self-titled spoken word CD. As an outreach/extension of her poetry, Mrs. Moses conducts motivational workshops for women  and men, geared toward addressing the necessity of healing and self-evaluation.