Workshops

Jonterri Gadson

Humor During Hard Times

(Session 1)


Have you ever watched Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, or Late Night with Seth Meyers and wondered how the hosts are able to make jokes out of today’s news headlines? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to structure jokes and many different methods of finding the funny in today’s news without being offensive.

 

Paul LaTorre

BODY ARCHAEOLOGY

(Session 1)


In this examination of the material and immaterial, we will uncover and dissect artifacts (poems) of a few seminal voices in poetry while also pointing the mirror back on (OUR) bodies of interest. 

 

We will examine what parts of our own experiences, baggage and anatomies haunt, consume or fascinate us. We will use those tools to dig up & make sense of our own bones / History.  We will unearth works by Sharon Olds, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jillian Weise and Safia Elhillo and use them to illustrate how to highlight the body in our personal work: how scars trace a path, beauty marks map atlases, our perceived flaws make us stronger & how far more than the heart deserves exploration in our poetry. 

 

Poets will engage in a brief freewriting session. We'll break into small groups, discuss our inspiration and share work(s) in development. We'll also have some fun cataloging & unpacking the stuff that weighs us down and how writing functions as an outlet / means of therapy.


Kem Joy Ukwu

Composing Substance and Discovering Themes in a Flash:

Writing and Finding Lasting Meaning in Brief Stories

(Session 1)


Short stories, microfiction and flash fiction are brief narratives comprised of a small number of words. Is it possible to write very short fiction reviewing themes often explored in longer narrative forms? What are methods a reader can use to draw significance from flash fiction and microfiction? This workshop will delve into short fiction from both reading and writing perspectives to study ways of finding and creating gravity under 1,000 words.


Jane Wong

The Language of Synesthesia

(Session 2)


How can we create vibrant and visceral descriptions to encapsulate an idea, an emotion, a state of mind? Synesthesia is all about mixed senses - mixing taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch. We will explore the power of synesthesia in poetry as a means of opening up new and surprising perspectives. We will consider poems rich with synesthesia by poets like Anne Carson, Lucille Clifton, and Kaveh Akbar. We will write our own poems, imbued with synesthesia, in this workshop.


Roberto Carlos Garcia

Poetic Form in Hip Hop

(Session 2)

 

Traditional form has influenced style, music, and meaning in poetry and literature for centuries. Form has also influenced Hip Hop, specifically Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy winning album Damn. We will examine these forms, lyrics, and traditions then use them to create our own poems.


Ysabel Gonzalez

Running Out Of & Into Words

(Session 2)


Ever sit down to write and the words just don’t come to you? Need some inspiration? In this workshop we will discuss various ways to create our own poems using bits of found language, including techniques like erasure, collaborative writing and centos. Each participant will receive a small packet of poems to get started.  Leave this workshop knowing you’ll never run out of words again!


Kyla Marshell

Everybody’s Got Multitudes

(Session 3)

 

Everyone has at least one thing about them that’s “surprising”: the tough guy who loves opera; the lawyer-turned-chef. Using the language from multiple written mediums (including the vocabularies of particular industries), and aided by artists whose work varies greatly from project to project, this workshop will guide participants in exploring those sometimes hidden dimensions of themselves to create work that is distinct in sound and feel from their last piece—and their next.


Benilde Little

On Memoir

(Session 3)


This workshop is for people who want to write a memoir by crafting a narrative of one’s life. The goal of this workshop is to learn to craft a narrative that is authentic, honest, and vulnerable. We will talk about structure, voice, and how to focus your story. I will share writings from other memoirists as well as advice on craft.

This workshop is purely about craft, not about how to get published.


Keisha-Gaye Anderson

Crafting Identity

(Session 3)

 

Who are we? Who are we told we are? Who do we know ourselves to be?


This workshop will explore how identity—imagined, imposed, and re-imagined—is utilized in poetics to communicate and construct objective and subjective reality. Through close examination of language, structure, form and other devices used within selected poems, workshop participants will become familiar with approaches to this craft that focus on powerfully probing and defining identity, in ways that empower them.

 

To that end, a series of writing prompts will be used so that participants may generate poems from different perspectives in order to move closer to the expression of their essential/hidden selves in their writing. We will look at selected poems from noted authors so participants have examples of how this has been done successfully.