2016 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.
ALTER/ALTAR: MEMORY/MIRROR/MONUMENT/MAP 5-week poetry workshop w/ Lynne DeSilva-JohnsonDATES:
This workshop will meet the following Sundays: April 23, April 30, May 7, May 14, May 21TIME/LOCATION:
12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 BoweryINSTRUCTOR: Lynne DeSilva-JohnsonRegister Here
For 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.
Inspiration for this workshop includes: Adrian Piper, Glenn Ligon, Teresa Kak Kyung Cha, Bhanu Kapil, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Michael Taussig, Brenda Coultas, Frida Kahlo, Clarice Lispector, Anais Nin, Penny Arcade, Judy Chicago, Jess, Susan Sontag, Martha Rosler, Tristan Tzara, Leslie Scalapino, Philip Whalen, Djuna Barnes, Mina Loy, Diane Di Prima, John Cage, Brian Gyson, Sun Ra, Hakim Bey, Gabriel Pomerand, and many more.
Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is an interdisciplinary creator, curator,
educator, and facilitator working in performance, exhibition, and
publication in conversation with new media. She is a Visiting Professor
at Pratt Institute, and previously taught at CUNY for over a decade.
Lynne is the founder and Managing Editor of The Operating System, and
serves as Libraries Editor at Boog City. Her books include GROUND, blood
atlas, and Overview Effect, and she is co-author of A GUN SHOW with
Adam Sliwinsk/Sō Percussion, as well as co-editor of the anthologies
RESIST MUCH, OBEY LITTLE: Poems for the Resistance, and In Corpore Sano:
Creative Practice and the Challenged Body, both forthcoming in 2017.
She publishes and performs widely, and lives in Brooklyn NY.
CAMP LAWLESS 11-week summer poetry camp w/ Amy LawlessDATES:
This 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 20TIME/LOCATION:
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.
EKPHRASIS: BEYOND DESCRIPTION 5-week poetry workshop w/ Jennifer Franklin DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: March 12, March 19, March 26, April 2, April 9
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM
– 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 BoweryINSTRUCTOR: 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.
Franklin holds an AB from Brown University and an MFA from
Columbia University School of the Arts. She
was nominated for the 2016 Rona Jaffe Award. Her first full-length collection, Looming, won the Editor’s Prize and was
published by Elixir Press. Her poetry has appeared widely in anthologies,
literary magazines, and journals including Boston Review, Guernica, New England Review, The Paris Review, Plume, poets.org, Prairie Schooner, and Western
Humanities Review. She is co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. She teaches at The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, where
she serves as Program Director. She has been a
guest teacher at Drew University’s MFA program and the Yale Summer Writers’
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.
THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED, IN PART, BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.