I’m Having the Best Time: A Poetry Workshop with Experimentation, Collaboration, and Ekphrasis

Experiment with a range of generative writing exercises in this six week poetry workshop. Ekphrasis is the process of responding to works of art, images, media and music through written poetry. We will use this as a jumping off point to play writing games as we collaborate with each other and the space at Pioneer Works. We will also study performance of all sorts (e.g., standup comedy, performance art, virtual performances) for rhetorical insight into generating new texts.

We will work by becoming totally obsessed with our chosen/divined subjects. By journaling before/in front of art with an obsessive glee, shock, and ardor, students will gain an audacious authority over their given subjects. This may lead to a high output of writing (poems) and the creation of a toolkit for creative composition. In collaborating with each other, we will dip our toes into a version of a “creative communism” that prompted Robert Rauschenberg to reflect that “ideas are not real estate.”

Students’ poems/hybrid writing will be workshopped in small groups, during a full class workshop, and by Amy Lawless individually via written response. Readings will be drawn from poems, short stories, multimodal/virtual sources, and essays.

Price: $250

Audience: Open to enthusiastic beginners and more seasoned poets alike.

Materials: Bring your writing tools of choice.

Amy Lawless is the author of three collections of poems including My Dead (2013) and Broadax (2017) both from Octopus Books. With Chris Cheney she is the author of the hybrid book I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected from Pioneer Works Press’ Groundworks Series (2016). A chapbook A Woman Alone is just out on Sixth Finch. Poems have been anthologized in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion (2015), and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2017), Best American Poetry 2013 (a collaboration with Angela Veronica Wong). She received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2011. She teaches writing and lives in Brooklyn.