2020 Festival Workshops

Saturday, April 18th
Online Workshops 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Advance Registration Required by April 15
Workshops are free and open to the public, but donations are gratefully accepted!

10:00 am: Pamela Uschuk – REIMAGINING THE WORLD. Truth To Power: Writers Respond To The Rhetoric Of Hate And Fear

Spend this workshop writing poems that address social issues with prize-winning poet and editor of Truth To Power: Writers Respond To The Rhetoric Of Hate And Fear. Pam will offer writing prompts, model poems as well as encouraging discussion. Participants will learn how to use poetic technique to push through borders, create powerful imagery, rhythm, sound and line breaks to discuss issues that concern them without be didactic. Using Truth To Power as our source, we’ll discuss political poetry of Carolyn Forché, Rita Dove, Wendell Berry, Joy Harjo, Natalie Diaz, Martín Espada, Sherwin Bitsui, Margaret Randall, Luis Alberto Urrea, Patricia Spears Jones, Carmen Tafolla, Cynthia Hogue, Patricia Smith, Karen Brennan, Roger Bonair Agard, Dean Rader, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and the work of other contributors.

11:00 am: Sean Avery – Media (Mis)representation a generative workshop

This session investigates or states the effects of having one’s social identity (mis)represented by a popular media figure. Poets like Morgan Parker are in conversation with media figures, expressing how these popular icons influence one’s social identity. Her collection, “There Are Things More Beautiful Than Beyoncé”, explores her complicated feelings towards Beyoncé as a symbol of Black women’s strength and objectification. Using narrative, metaphor, and imagery, writers will explore a media figure important to their identity and celebrate and / or critique that icon.

1:00 pm: Diana Marie Delgado“Now Dietrich’s dead; we turn left here”

In this workshop we will focus on endings in poems, and tap into Haibun, a prosimetric form that encourages memorable closings. We will also, time permitting, do close readings of three poems by Lucie Brock-Broido, Rilke, and James Wright, a trio, that reveal a connection in how they land—and exit a poem.

2:00 pm: Bojan Louis – Grounding What Powers Us

In this generative poetry writing workshop we will attempt to enter the creative space by considering our place in the universe as occupants of this land, whether Indigenous, settler-colonist, or transient. We will consider and compose in tercets and couplets as a way to get outside of ourselves and beyond a “present” conception of time and place while also challenging the modes and constructs of a binary thinking in order to begin articulating and uncovering what connects us.

3:00 pm: Sylvia Chan – Perfect Music Cues: How to Find Your Interruption

Poetry is the investigation of our reality; we use different harmonies—as part of one effort—to get there. Music is a catalyst for poetry: it is perfect for finding our cues because its interruptions allow us to live the world we perceive. How do you liken music to teach yourself to write? What is this responsibility to our different threads before we can make a song? Sylvia Chan grew up in the San Francisco East Bay Area, where she was a jazz pianist. We’ll ask questions where we move forward each contrapuntal poem line, invoking improvisation strategies such as call and response, cause and effect, and performance, including its birthright and ability to stretch our limits.