The House Slam Featuring Tatiana M.R. Johnson

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Upcoming Courses

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Trauma and Poetics

This class is dedicated to immersing writers into the experience of healing, testifying, and reclaiming power over trauma within the poetic form. We will explore the powerful role language plays in confronting and mending our relationship with trauma. The early part of the class will focus on belonging and norming: in integrating a sense of belonging for all members of the workshop, a foundation of trust can be developed for writers to share their own work. We will then focus on reading and examining poetry by Kevin Young, Li-Young Li, Danez Smith, Claudia Rankine and others. The latter part of the workshop will be spent writing and sharing new work based on in-class prompts and gathering feedback. Students can expect to leave inspired to continue building on the discussions and work produced in class.

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Reclaiming the Body

Reclaiming the Body is a workshop dedicated to discussing and crafting poems dedicated and inspired by our relationships to our bodies. We’ll explore various performance based and poetic texts dedicated to empowering their audiences to reclaim their bodies. Whether writers have experienced illness, assault, loss and/or shifts within the body, this workshop is a reflective space to embark on a journey of self-discovery of the physical self. This workshop will consist of guided reflective writing exercises, readings with analysis on structure and form along with a space to share back work. Readings consist of authors such as Martin Espada, Sonia Sanchez, Morgan Parker, Natalie Diaz and Danez Smith.

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Writing as Resistance

Writing as Resistance is a workshop based on studying and writing poetry with a social justice lens. Inspired by Edwidge Danticat’s New Yorker article “Poetry in a Time of Protest” this course will consist partly of reading and analyzing text by writers with poetry aimed towards systematic change. The later half of the class will consist of a writing workshop based off prompts meant to broaden the entry point into writing with a social justice lens. The class will culminate in a reading and a discussion about publications that accept and encourage submissions from writers with a social justice focus. This class will consist of readings by Audre Lorde, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, Terrance Hayes, Anna Akhmatova, and Hayan Charara.