SIGN UP FOR A SIX WEEK WORKSHOP OR A POWER HOUR
• When does it happen? Six 1-hour-sessions over the course of 6 weeks. Together, we pick a consistent day of the week and time that works for both of us.
• Where? Through the amazing power of internet! Skype or Google Hangout.
• How? Every week we read the greats, you receive a prompt relevant to the course, and we edit last week's poem in a non-judgmental, excited community of two. Every course culminates with a portfolio of six brand new poems.
• How do I sign up? Email Shira,
SO THIS IS MADNESS
(Title of the course attributed to writer Lauren Whitehead)
Our task is to leave behind the tropes of Madness in order to redefine our experiences of illness and wellness. Together we will carve our own pulsing vernacular of our most elusive experiences. In a space of non-judgement we'll venture like astronauts into the inner-cosmos. Guided by the poetry of Jeanann Verlee, Morgan Parker, Rachel McKibbens, Lauren Whitehead, Tarfia Faizullah and Lucille Clifton, we'll use the tools of non-linearity, persona, unreliable narrator, interview and paradox.
THE UNLIKELY POLITICAL HEART
Let’s turn the "political poem” inside out. Where one might expect right and wrong, choosing sides, or a firm position, we seek instead spaciousness, flexibility, and empathy. Our work begs the question: Can one look upon a political issue as they would a starfish—–with scientific wonder?The unlikely political heart is the soft spot in any story that can’t easily be made into a headline; it’s the reality of our differences, the intimacy of our struggles, and the curiosity of this unique situation we call life.
WON'T YOU CELEBRATE WITH ME?
Celebration seems simple enough: cake on your birthday, streamers. It’s joy, right? But often, celebration can contain grief, even violence. The celebration of soccer fans can turn a city inside out. There's even prejudice surrounding parades–––where some celebrate their sexuality, others condemn it as sinful. Lucille Clifton writes, it is reason for celebration that “everyday / something has tried to kill me / and has failed.” In this class we write poems of nuanced celebration, utilizing perspective and witness. Oh, and good old fashioned joy.
WRITING GENDER & SEXUALITY
Let us investigate the skirt and the man who wears it. The tenderness between two men in public that nearly causes a traffic accident. Let us topple the myths and build anew a sincere and sweaty language of the body. Guided by the work of H. Melt, Saeed Jones, Aracelis Girmay, Ross Gay, Dorianne Laux and many more, we explore this not-so-simple terrain. Let's say yes to our complex experiences. To dancing with the difficulties. To peeling the fog and unburying the treasure.
IN THE SPIRIT OF THE DIVINE RASCALS
Mystical visionaries such as Hafiz and Rumi (whose poetry overflow with sensuality, playfulness, and an outlandish ecstasy) reveal a God of infinite love – not a God that would control us, cut us down, or burden us with guilt. They believed in the holy rules of Laughter, Encouragement, Foolishness and Total Risk. In this spirit, we'll leap toward the liberation found in ordinary moments: spitting out toothpaste, studying a stranger’s hands, and listening to the subway screech to a halt. In the words of Hafiz “Now is the season to know / That everything you do / Is sacred.”