2017 WORKSHOPS AT BOWERY POETRY
Bowery Poetry offers poetry and writing workshops, taught by some of the most exciting poets, artists, and educators
New York City has to offer. Scroll towards the bottom to view an archive of past workshops.
While enrolled in a workshop, you are invited to come to any Bowery produced event for free. Scroll down to see all workshops offered through December, as well as past workshops.
IS POETRY THEATER? 5-week writing/performance workshop w/ reg e gainesDATES:
workshop will meet the following Sundays: September 10, September 17, September 24, October 1, October 8TIME/LOCATION:
12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 BoweryINSTRUCTOR: reg e gainesRegister Here
It's no accident the workshops are rooted in the familiarity of other writers' work. Sessions arent about memorization techniques but love and respect for printed text. Focus is placed on emotion as key in lifting words from the page. Well-written text shows, through imagery, what one feels. Once this decision is reached, there become options in dramatic interpretations. This is the basis of a series of sessions which will aid artists in analyzing text, creating new work, revisiting unpolished pieces, and sharpening performance skills. Over a five-week period, participants learn the similarities between poetry, hip-hop inflected spoken word pieces, soliloquies, monologues and poetry/theater. Suggested texts used in preparation for the workshops include poetry/theater by Miguel Pinero, Patricia Smith, Paul Beatty, Suheir Hammad, Lemon Anderson, Dierdre Moses, Danny Hoch, and selections from the anthology Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. This book is a part of almost every public library's poetry collection in the United States and should be easily attainable at no cost.
reg e gaines is a two time Tony Award nominated
playwright, Grammy Award nominated lyricist, has published four books of
poetry, is editor of the 2015 poetry anthology, A Year In Ink and scored the
PBS documentary, Senior Year. Recent projects include, director of Connect The
Lots, a musical theater summer camp in Camden, New Jersey in 2014, director/
creative writing workshop facilitator of, Through The Looking Glass, Center
Theater Group, Los Angeles California, 2014-2016, and director of Lyricist
Fellowship Lab, Teaching Firm of America Charter School, Bedford Stuyvesant
Brooklyn, in winter/spring 2017.
RADICAL POETIC IMAGINATION 5-week poetry workshop w/ Janet HamillDATES:
workshop will meet the following Sundays: October 22, October 29, November 5, November 12, November 19TIME/LOCATION:
12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 BoweryINSTRUCTOR: Janet HamillRegister Here
This workshop explores the picture-making and inventive aspects of the imagination as manifested in the work of some of the most original poets of the past two hundred years: Blake, Coleridge, Poe, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Apollinaire, Reverdy, Tzara, Breton, Lamantia, Ginsberg, Guest, and Ashbery. Each poet will be examined against the backdrop of his/her historical period and the visual art of that period. Each session will involve a generative exercise.
Janet Hamill’s first book of poetry was published in 1975. Troublante
(Oliphant Press), was followed by The Temple
(Telephone Books), Nostalgia of the Infinite
(Ocean View Books), Lost Ceilings
(Telephone Books), Body of Water
(Bowery Books), Tales from the Eternal Cafe
(Three Rooms), and Knock
(Spuyten Duyvil). Her work has been nominated for the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Tales from the Eternal Cafe
, her first collection of fiction, was named "One of the Best Books of 2014" by Publisher's Weekly
. Janet has also released two CD’s of spoken word and music. Janet’s paintings have been exhibited at the JP Art Market in Jamaica Plain, MA and galleries throughout New York's Hudson Valley, where she now resides.
CAMP LAWLESS 11-week summer poetry camp w/ Amy LawlessDATES:
workshop will meet the following Sundays: June 4, June 11, June 18,
June 25, July 2, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August
12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 BoweryINSTRUCTOR: Amy LawlessRegister Here
At Camp Lawless, your primary goal is
to develop new poems: a quantity of your own original writing. And like any
Summer Camp, you will emerge as a somewhat unrecognizable but more experienced
form of yourself. Our generative format will allow you to develop your voices,
write voluminously, journal (yes, you may write home!), and scare yourself.
This class will be playful, harness the fun of summer sun and Sundays, but it
will also be hard work! We will study non-traditional forms, collaboration,
ekphrastic writing, elegy, using the self, hybrid, anti-poems, found, nature,
formal, conceptual, dreams, the internet, and more. Class time will be spent on
active writing, workshops, experiencing, listening to and responding to
visitors, a little editing, and you will also practice performing your new
work! We will be visited by two amazing working poets (TBA), read poetry,
words, and letters from the past and present. And since it’s SUMMER, we will
take a writing excursion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as to the
sidewalks, parks, and even the New York
City Poetry Festival for inspiration and writing.
We will feel the
summer heat, eat pizza, eat ice cream and write hungrily, constantly,
responsibly, and recklessly. The summer will end with a capstone project: a
chapbook manuscript! If you’re doing it right, you’ll cry tears of joy and
tears of wild emotion: either way changed and renewed!
ENROLLMENT – Workshops
fill up on a first-come, first serve basis. For this reason, we
encourage you to sign up early. You're officially enrolled in the
workshop when we've received your full payment.
REFUNDS – You
are entitled to a full refund before the workshop begins. This refund
does not include the credit card processing fee from Brown Paper
Tickets. After the workshop begins, no refunds are available.
USING RADICAL FORM IN POETRY AND VERY SHORT FICTION
Getting out of our comfort zones and into a white heat
In this class we will explore unconventional form in poetry in response to weekly exercises. There will be in-class and out of class writing and reading. The classroom will be formulated similarly to a poetry workshop where students read and respond on one another’s work, but we will focus more on production, exploration and imperfection. Our goal will be to push our poetry and (short) fiction into new realms. The forms we’ll explore are: new uses of ekphrastic, erasures, poetry comics, video, pastiche, and others. Students will be encouraged to bring in their interests and personal skills, and collaboration is inevitable.
TOTAL LYRIC: POETRY OF THE PRESENTExploding the lyric's relevance in the contemporary moment
Instructor: ANA BOŽIČEVIĆ
Put simply, a lyric is a poem that expresses deep personal feelings in the same way as song. Audre Lorde says that "our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real." If the lyric is a poetry of present tense and our presence, how do we sing more deeply now that the personal is made public, commodified, and more ephemeral than ever? And what can our song make real? In this workshop we will consider the history of the lyric: from ancient fragments to tweets, karaoke, and protest chants. Join us in writing, performance, and poetic engagement across the media as we foster the practice of a radical lyric.
Exploring your imagination through the music of poetry
SOUND, SUBJECT, IMAGINATION: EXPLORING THE THREE PILLARS OF POETRY
Instructor: ROWAN RICARDO PHILLIPS
For writers who wish to study how the imagination and sound work together to enhance the subject of their poems. A poem is always about the relationship between its sonic and imaginative parts, this is what convinces the ear that the subject is not only real but important. We will study techniques used by poets across various eras as well as workshop your own poems extensively in search of the keenest balance in your work between these three pillars of the art of poetry.
How to go off on a tangent and never return...
Instructor: LEWIS WARSH
We’ll explore the way daydreams, memories and fantasies are the key to who we are and to the dark and light sides of the stories and poems we write, using sentences and lines that might go on forever. How to go off on a tangent in the middle of a sentence, or in a conversation, or in the middle of a thought, or a poem–-and never return. We’ll explore possible ways of including our ideas about politics, our feelings of empathy or apathy about what’s going on in the world (our rooms, our neighborhoods, our cultures--and everything else). We’ll discuss different levels of openness in the poetry and fiction of Frank O’Hara, Renee Gladman, Ted Berrigan, Akilah Oliver, James Schuyler, Wang Ping and Lydia Davis, among others. As much time as possible will be spent reading and discussing our own work. This workshop is open to both poets and fiction writers.
PHYSICIANS, POETS, PATIENTS: CREATIVE WRITING FOR CLINICIANS + OTHERS
Learn ways to develop voice, narrative, and meaning in a medical memoir
Instructor: DONNA BULSECO This writing workshop will focus on the techniques of close reading, responsive writing, and the analysis of students' current work during each session. Students will be introduced to memoirs, poetry, creative non-fiction, and graphic narratives by writers such as Elizabeth Bishop, Byers Shaw, Marry Karr, Lillian Ross, Ian Williams, MK Czerwiec, and Atul Gawande. Their texts will serve as examples of the many ways of finding voice, narrative, and meaning when writing about personal experiences. Each week, students will do structured in-class writing to a prompt. The goal of the workshop will be to complete an essay, poem, or graphic narrative to review and send to a literary journal for consideration.
HOW TO SING ON THE PAGE
Instructor: CORNELIUS EADY MEMORY CAN COLLAPSE THE BODYWhat conversations can our memories have with an audience of bodies? How can different forms of poetry contribute to the memories & maintain a solid voice?
Instructor: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE
A generative workshop facilitating discussion, analyzation, performance techniques, and writing prompts that incorporate the body, and memory as language. We will be generating new poems & analyzing the technique and craft of poets like: Aracelis Girmay, Patricia Smith, Jake Adam York, Corneilus Eady, Chris Abani, Rickey Laurentiis, Ocean Vuong, Claudia Rankine and Toi Derricotte.
Camp Lawless with AMY LAWLESS
With Amy Lawless, the author of two books of poetry including My Dead (Octopus Books, 2013), and co-author of I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected (Forthcoming from Pioneer Works Press). At Camp Lawless, your primary goal is to develop new poems: a quantity of your own original writing. And like any Summer Camp, you will emerge as a somewhat unrecognizable but more experienced form of yourself. Our generative format will allow you to develop your voices, write voluminously, journal (yes, you may write home!), and scare yourself. This class will be playful, harness the fun of summer sun and Sundays, but it will also be hard work! We will study non-traditional forms, collaboration, ekphrastic writing, elegy, using the self, hybrid, anti-poems, found, nature, formal, conceptual, dreams, Twitter, and more. Class time will be spent on active writing, workshops, experiencing, listening to, and responding to fabulous visitors, a little editing, and you will also practice performing your new work. We will be visited by three amazing working poets, and read poetry, words, and letters from the past and present. Since it’s SUMMER, we will take a writing excursion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as to the sidewalks, parks, and even poetry bookstores of our city for inspiration and writing. We will feel the summer heat, eat pizza, eat watermelon, and write hungrily, constantly, responsibly, and recklessly. The summer will end with a capstone project: a chapbook manuscript! If you’re doing it right, you’ll cry tears of joy and tears of wild emotion: either way changed and renewed.
WRITING ON THEME AND IN SERIES w/ BC Edwards
Creating a unified collection of work at first feels like an insurmountable task. One of the simplest ways to tie a your work together is to create a constructive device, a cementing theme, or find source material from which a group of poems can be adapted. Instead of approaching poetry on a piece-by-piece basis, this course examines entire collections as single work and studies sources of inspiration and methodology to write multiple poems centered around one single theme or constructive device. Over the 5-weeks we will will explore many techniques, focusing primarily on constructing a thematically unified series of poems and adapting poems from non-poetic and poetic materials alike, as well as how these two methods can work in tandem with each other. Students will bring several pieces of new work to each class for review and discussion as well in class exercises to generate new work. We will look at a wide variety of poets such as Bidart, Carson, Lawless, Bang, Berrigan, Legault and many others.
LET'S MAKE A LONG POEM, YA? w/Tommy Pico Hi. I’m not a poetry scholar, so I can’t offer you a comprehensive review and dissemination of the tradition of epic poems in the English language. But I write book-length poems, I believe in and am obsessed with them, and I make zines, so: In this generative workshop we’ll embark on our own creative odyssey toward making a long poem. We’ll discuss how we enter them, how to make the meat, and ultimately how to leave. We’ll read (and experience) longer work with a special emphasis on voices who have traditionally been denied the epic: Robin Coste Lewis, Jeffrey Yang, r. erica doyle, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, Beyoncé, and more. We’ll talk about form, collage, narrative, and other concerns of the long poem. We’ll practice poem-generating exercises, both during and outside of class, and welcome guest instructors Jason Koo and Stacy Szymaszek! The goal is: to make writing a daily practice wherein during the final workshop you’ll come in with enough material to make your own ~20 page, zine-length epic that I will help you construct, reproduce, and distribute punk af.
all lead double lives--internal/external, past/present--so part of
our exploration as poets and fiction writers will be looking at the
ways to articulate the interactions between the two. All the details
of what goes in in our various worlds--memories, fantasies,
observations, dreams, distractions--are the raw material for the
poems and stories (or back stories) we try to tell. We’ll tap into
writers who work with numerous narratives: Marguerite Duras, Renee
Gladman, Ted Berrigan, Bernadette Mayer, W.G. Sebold and Georges
Perec among others. This
workshop is open to both poets and fiction writers. As much time as
possible will be spent reading and discussing our own work.
EKPHRASIS: BEYOND DESCRIPTION w/Jennifer Franklin
In this workshop, we will
write a series of ekphrastic (from the Greek, “to
speak out,” “to tell in full”) poems.
Since Homer described Achilles’ shield in the Iliad, Western
poetry has had a tradition of responding to art. This workshop will examine
ekphrasis on a deeper level than the occasional tool for writer’s block. The
emphasis is your poetry but I will provide examples of how the form is used to
explore personal, political, and social issues. More than honing language of
description, students will learn the nuances writing about art. Photography,
graffiti, outsider art, architecture, sculpture, music, painting, and
literature will be open to mine. Sometimes considered a form dominated by male
poets, we will read work by Griffiths, Fragos, Brock-Broido, and Cruz that will
help shatter that stereotype as we compose a short manuscript over the five
weeks. Bring a poem based on another work of art to the first class. ALTER/ALTAR: MEMORY/MIRROR/MONUMENT/MAP w/Lynne DeSilva-Johnson
this workshop we will shred, table, excise, burn, and deconstruct the
boundaries of poetics, both considering and creating works that
challenge the genre. Can a hybrid documentation — that which invites in /
explores historical and quotidian context, ephemera, detritus, found
language, list making, and letters — alongside and in conversation with
poetics — be a powerful, political, act of radical self-and-community
archive-building? Can it be an act of healing? YES. Here is a small
window into the vast resources of explorations with text coming from
outside an academic / “writing” based relationship with the medium,
rather, approaching text as one of many tools in an arsenal of
exploration, documentation, and challenge. We will engage with work that
resists categorization, exploring these interstices, and create our own
short zine-style hybrid chapbooks.http://www.theoperatingsystem.org/alteralter-memory-mirror-monument-map-workshop-spring-2017/
THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED, IN PART, BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.