We are the Diasporic Peoples Writing Collective (DPWC), a registered student organization (RSO), at San Jose State University (SJSU). The collective started with a handful of Creative Writing MFAs who developed community through their shared experiences as students and literary artists.

Today we’re much larger as a project that’s powered by student, alum, academic, and ally activists that are helping to build-out a platform for BIPOC+underrepresented literary artists. We maintain work synergy by meeting monthly and participating in a system of mutual support. We learn a lot from one another as a group that is both diverse and inclusive. Everyone is welcome to join: students/alums/academics and allies who enjoy creative writing, literature, and networking.

Writing can sometimes feel like a solitary endeavor, but it’s important to build community, network, and stay connected. This is essential to a writer’s professional development and perhaps sanity.

We have a lot of talent in our collective: some of us have experience writing for Silicon Valley tech, some of us are writers with a mix of creative expertise, and some of us are just here to add to our creative repertoire, but we are all in a position to share and/or give back. To this end, our focus has been to create a platform for aspiring literary artists of color and artists who are still underrepresented.

The DPWC platform is a space for symbiosis, experimentation, and learning. It’s a safe-space for the topics, conversations, and lived experiences that inform our writing, perspectives, and art. We exist because hegemony in the arts is still “a thing”. This thing still upstages diversity, as it does in other disciplines, and makes our advocacy and equalizing efforts necessary.

The collective is possible because we have a great leadership team and faculty advisor, Keenan Norris, PhD, of the English and Comparative Literature Department; alliances with the African American Studies Department (Chair: Travis Boyce, PhD); and the support of the SJSU Writing Center, Michelle Hager and Amy Russo, who send tutorial help to our meet-ups when possible.

The DPWC was inspired by Voices of Our Nations, VONA. Once located in San Francisco’s Eastbay, VONA is a writer’s collective with a workshop and publishing platform that seeks to raise the voices of literary artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) and/or who identify as being from other underrepresented groups.

We meet-up at SJSU, Washington Square Hall, room 218, to collaborate, commiserate, and work on our individual projects on the last Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (this includes an hour lunch-break). COVID-19 Update: Our meet-ups are online until further notice.

Explore the site if you’d like to learn more:

Contact us if you want to join the collective.

Follow us if you’d like to stay in the loop.

Our collective has open leadership positions ready to filled by impassioned SJSU student writers in good academic standing. Contact us if you’d like to be part of the team.

Stay tuned: we’ll post a video here that’s aimed at deconstructing our name and more about our mission.