Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Special Interest: Writing panels @ Split This Rock 2014

To help you plan your festival schedule, we broke down panels, workshops, and group readings by special interest. Check out those dealing with writing below!

    Thursday 3/27:

11:30am-1pm – Charles Sumner School, Rm 102
Crossing the Boundaries of the Self: Writing Through Others’ Stories
Joseph Ross, Kyle Dargan, Yvette Neisser Moreno, Travis Roberts

One powerful method for writing poetry that “bears witness” to events we haven’t experienced ourselves is to write through someone else’s experience, taking on that person’s voice and/or telling their story. Such poems may give voice to events or voices at the margin of mainstream society, or may draw attention to a different perspective on historical or current events. Panelists will read two poems each and discuss questions that arise, such as: When writing about someone else’s experience, how do you decide whether to use the first, second, or third person? How can you be sure that you are conveying that person’s experience accurately? What kind of research should you do, if any? What are the challenges, rewards, and possible pitfalls of writing beyond “what you know”?

2-3:30pm – Charles Sumner School, Rm 101
Road Ready: Poetic Mapping & Movement
Yael Flusberg

The road of the imagination contains a surprising amount of concrete images which may be mapped out, as well as the "much unseen" that Walt Whitman spoke about in his epic "Song of the Open Road." By using the tools of both poetry and yoga, we can transform into road-ready travelers of the imagination. In this experiential workshop, we’ll intersperse movement with writing prompts to help us escape our habitual residence in the intellect, in order to assume a more graceful position in the realm of reflective presence. Both the physical and creative exercises will be designed to help participants map out familiar roads (our individual bodies and minds, for instance, or our shared socio-historical movement), as well as chart out the possibilities that lie ahead. Participants should dress comfortably and bring your favorite notebook and pen and an open attitude.

2-3:30pm – Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105C
Mapping the Selves: Compulsion Resistance in Autobiographical Poetry
                   Kenyatta Rogers, Aricka Foreman, Keith S. Wilson, Raina Lauren Fields

How does writing our selfhood operate as a political act? Rather than look to the personal as “confessional,” this panel will consider the autobiographical impulse to write our lives as a means, for some, of writing for our lives. Looking to Yusef Komunyakaa, Toi Derricotte, Natasha Trethewey, and Kimiko Hahn, we discuss the necessary risk of navigating the interior life, and explore the private sphere as a vast landscape for personal, political, and social resistance. By giving ourselves permission to write into ourselves, we give our communal spaces the opportunity to expand, ensuring that each of us has the room to explore the power of our own agency.

4-5:30pm – Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105A
Claiming History: Writing Cliophrastic Poems
Marilyn Nelson, Kim Roberts, Dan Vera

Clio, the Muse of History, inspires us to revisit, reinterpret, and reclaim. This work is particularly important for people who have been historically oppressed or underrepresented in cultural narratives: women, GLBTQ people, people of color, and those who come from ethnic or religious minority groups. In this roundtable, three writers who have specialized in historical poems as a means to uncover and reclaim will read examples of their work, and discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of writing about American history. We will explore the sometimes conflicting needs of art and fact, and distribute a “recommended reading” list.

Friday 3/28:

          11:30am-1pm – Institute for Policy Studies Conference Room
“Tell it, Tell it!” Creating Poetic Broadsides
Pia Deas

In this workshop, participants will learn about the history of the broadside in order to create their own meaningful broadsides. The workshop will begin with a brief introduction to the broadside and an explanation of its original use to advertise products and communicate news to its more contemporary use to showcase poetry in public places. This workshop will use the broadsides of the 1960s Black Arts Movement to showcase how poets of a previous generation combined poetry and illustration to create a dynamic political message to capture a community’s attention. Participants will then create their own broadsides to be displayed at Split This Rock.

          2-3:30pm -  Charles Sumner School, Rm 101
Resisting Silence, Refusing to Fade: Documentary Poetry as Witness
Wendy DeGroat

This interactive workshop will introduce participants to documentary poetry, a powerful approach that incorporates excerpts from primary source material (e.g. text from documents, recorded voice from interviews, photography) into poetry in order to bear witness to events and experiences, most often of oppressed, silenced, or marginalized people. The workshop will provide a multimedia introduction to the form, a group activity and discussion using a documentary poem and its source document, and individual writing/reflection time.

                   2-3:30pm – Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105B
Acting for Writers: An Intergenerational Workshop
Robert Michael Oliver, Elizabeth Bruce, Sarah Pleydell

The workshop introduces the narrative and character-based poet to the actor's toolbox in order to deepen character, sense of place, given circumstances, and conflict, providing cross-disciplinary craft tools for exploring different aspects of poets’ themes and situations. We will get participants on their feet through simple theatre games and improvisations that then serve as writing prompts for brief generative writing and sharing. Bruce, Oliver, and Pleydell each have decades of professional acting or directing experience, as well as decades of literary writing experience.

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